The total package creates a fine balance between handling and ride for both road and track work, while the stock PCCB brakes are well up to keeping the extra horses in check.
This original Werks One production car now belongs to Tim Lewis Jr., who kindly loaned it to Champion for my test drive. First impressions were of an immaculately turned out car that is quite obviously loved by its owner. Worthy of mention is the way the carbon-fibre front splitter lines up with and fits to the stock front apron. So many aftermarket lips and splitters do not take exactly the same curve as the O.E. front, spoiling the illusion of seamless integration.
The Werks One front splitter is beyond reproach in this respect, as are the underbody diffuser and the rear wing. The carbon components are beautifully made, with a perfect high gloss finish, and as I ran my fingers over their perfect surface, I imagined the satisfying experience of washing and polishing this car following an outing. Full marks to Werks One for an inspiring visual and tactile experience.
When I opened the driver's door, the sight of lightweight Alcantara and leather-trimmed Carrera GT seats raised an eyebrow. This is the first time I have seen these seats fitted to a Turbo. While they are a perfect match for the Alcantara-covered GT3 RS steering wheel, some owners might prefer the 997 GT2 seats with their adjustable seat backs.
Other details include Alcantara covering the door pulls, armrests, gearshift gaiter and handbrake grip, while the factory GT3 RS half-rollcage is powdercoated in matte black, and the interior trim parts are color-coded to the body.
The first thing I noticed after firing up the motor was the free-revving nature of Champion's lighter, single-mass aluminum flywheel. It makes a huge difference in engine response, while the Sachs Sport disc with its modified pressure plate required to take the power and torque still has a fairly moderate operating weight. Werks One uses the factory short-shift kit, and the combination makes for a much more direct and responsive interface between driver and car. Runs through the gears feel much sharper, each upshift like slamming the bolt home on a sniper rifle. Unlike a sniper rifle however, this Turbo is no one-trick pony.
It is truly ballistic down the straights, and the usability of its power is close to absolute. It punches harder than a Carrera GT once the modified turbos are spooled up and blowing hard, and on full noise, the acceleration is really intoxicating. It is one of those cars where you look at a gap in the traffic and you're there.
While the factory suspension on the second-generation 997 Turbo is very good out of the box, I'm not a fan of its predecessor. Excessive weight transfer under hard acceleration and braking, excessive understeer under power in slow bends, and unpredictable torque distribution between front and rear axles when power sliding are not endearing characteristics. In addition, stock PASM had an odd combination of firm secondary ride, yet too much body movement under certain conditions in Comfort mode, while the ride was over-firm in Sport mode.
The Werks One suspension removes all criticisms in one fell swoop, with the bonuses of more consistent body control at all speeds along with better steering feel and response. Some of this improvement is down to the half roll cage and the front strut brace, which combine to stiffen the bodyshell by about 25 percent.