VFE had two different supercharged cars for us to sample, a rather fast 3.6-liter Carrera 2 and an even faster 3.8-liter Carrera S. Both kits run at between 5 and 6 psi. The relatively low level of boost means the factory compression ratio is still utilized, so off-idle performance remains intact. The supercharged Carrera 2 really comes to life, the blower waking the low end up and making driving it easier than ever. The chassis is already extremely competent and from the factory the 3.6 feels almost underpowered. The extra boost doesn't sound like much, but it's definitely noticeable on the road.
The Carrera S, while fast from the factory, feels elevated to GT3-like acceleration. At low- and mid-range rpm it pulls like you're in a gear lower than you actually are. At high rpm it pulls like you have two more cylinders. The linear power delivery is the most impressive part. There's no big jump in the powerband so coming off corners is smooth and controlled. In turbo cars you sometimes feel like you're lighting a fuse and waiting for it to blow all at once, while the supercharger gradually feed the power in.
Short of increasing displacement, we don't know of another way to add this kind of seamless power to an already well-developed engine like the Porsche flat six. The VFE kits start around $10,000 for 996 models and about $12,000 for 997s. That may sound steep, but we've seen aftermarket exhausts that cost half as much deliver only a tenth the power. The only downside is that if the dealer sees one on your car, your warranty is in jeopardy. The kit is completely reversible though, so if you happen to pull the pin on your motor, everything can be taken off before it finds its way back to the service department.
If it were ours, we'd look into a few other upgrades to compliment the supercharger. Both cars will benefit from an aftermarket exhaust to deal with the higher flow rates. A standard Carrera will be a better candidate for more power with some slight suspension and brake upgrades. Other than that, get a helmet, book some track days and learn how to drive.
2009 Porsche 911Carrera S
3.8-liter flat six, AWE headers and cats, VFE Supercharger kit
Peak Power: 456 hp @ 7200 rpm
Peak Torque: 339 lb-ft @ 6100 rpm
0-60mph: 4.1 sec.
Top Speed: 185+ mph (est.)
*measured at the wheels, VFE data
2008 Porsche 911 Carrera
3.6-liter flat six, VFE supercharger kit
Peak Power: 399 hp @ 7400 rpm
Peak Torque: 302 lb-ft @ 6400 rpm
0-60mph: 4.2 sec.
Top Speed: 180+ mph (est.)
*measured at the wheels, VFE data
VFE supercharger kit
* Let's look at the anatomy of the kit. It's centered around a V3 centrifugal supercharger, the newest offering from Vortech. The V3 is based on the proven V2 unit, but updated with a new internal oiling system. The new oiling system allows for a quicker and easier installation without extra oil lines cluttering up your engine bay. It uses a proprietary oil blend that can be drained and replaced without having to remove the supercharger from the car.
A liquid-to-air charge cooler is present to cool the pressurized intake air. The cooler is mounted in the engine bay, while up front the roto-molded water reservoir, Bosch 3psi pump and a GT3 radiator keep the whole system cool. All the lines supplied in the kit are by Goodyear and once installed look completely OEM.
The kit also includes higher flow rate Bosch injectors, a MAF housing and a longer belt for the drive pulley. VFE's attention to detail is apparent again in the belt routing. All the factory accessories still spin the same direction and even utilize the same swept area on the pulleys as the factory setup. The list of hardware is rounded out with factory bumper inserts for the air ducting and various fasteners and wiring to complete the install.