SpeedArt offers a one-inch diameter increase over the largest factory wheels with its LSC lightweight forged alloys. Available in three sizes, 8.5, 11.0, and 12x20, these wheels look even larger than they are thanks to an optical trick where the spokes extend all the way to the wheels' edges.

Striening took great pains to emphasize just how careful his team was to not upset the much-improved balance of the second generation 997 Turbo. "The factory corrected all the problems of the original car, which made things even harder for us to improve," he says.

Driving through town away from SpeedArt's HQ, the extra ride stiffness was immediately apparent. It feels more like 20 percent stiffer than stock, but retains a relatively good secondary ride. Firm but never jarring is the best description.

The big-output motor, on the other hand, feels every bit as tractable as standard, which is exactly how you want things in a daily driver. It was only when the vital fluids were properly warmed through on a fast open road en route to the Malmsheim test track that I lit the afterburners and experienced this monster Porsche's darker side.

Because the big turbos have been so finely fettled and the electronics so well mapped, the SpeedArt Turbo picks up speed with deceptive ease. While the push in the back is noticeably more aggressive than standard, there's none of the lag, and then all-or-nothing shove you might expect from an engine that matches the output of a 1990s Le Mans Porsche 962C Group C racecar blow.

The effect might well be more dramatic if you row your own gears, but the PDK transmission does a hugely effective job delivering each ratio seamlessly. All you feel is one long, hard blast of acceleration, and on these fast country roads, the scenery and other traffic turns into a blur rather quickly.

In the first part of this exploratory foray, I was up-shifting at 5500 rpm, some way short of peak power. Now more familiar with the car's capabilities, I took it up to 6500 rpm where I had the space to do so. My take on this car's acceleration went from impressed to simply staggered.

The chassis and brakes are up to the challenge. The lower ride height, stiffer springs and wider rubber give the car almost physics-defying cornering powers. Despite being on street rubber, it feels like it could easily generate 1.1g in steady state cornering.

I pondered the choice of just 8.5 inches of wheel in front, but this works very well as wider wheels would create bump steer problems on some road surfaces, especially those with odd cambers. Also, given the recalibration of Porsche's AWD system to direct more power to the rear, this front/rear wheel size differential makes a lot of sense. As Striening promised, the relatively narrow front wheels and optimized geometry keep bump steer off the menu.

While I have to think twice every time I try to recall the BTR-II 650 EVO designation, this 997 Turbo Mk 2-based car proved itself quite comprehensively as yet another very fast and well-sorted addition to the SpeedArt stable.

Speedart BTR-II 650 EVO


Layout
Longitudinal rear engine, all-wheel drive

Engine
3.8-liter flat six, dohc, 24-valve, turbocharged and intercooled. Modified GT2 turbos, larger intercoolers, sport intake and exhaust, 200-cell metallic catalysts, ECU remap

Transmission
Seven-speed PDK automated manual

Suspension
SpeedArt/H&R lowering springs

Brakes
OEM Turbo assemblies

Wheels & Tires
SpeedArt LSC alloy, 8.5x20 (f), 12x20 (r) 245/30 (f), 325/25 (r)

Performance
Peak Power: 650 hp
Peak Torque: 634 lb-ft

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