Porsche's bespoke Brembo brakes have a good reputation for staying power. They also have reasonable headroom built in, so coping with a few more horses will not push them over the edge. Because of this, SpeedArt does not insist that you upgrade the brakes with the 420-hp conversion, but they do substitute the rubber brake hoses for braided stainless steel ones that resist flex and thus giving better pedal feel. But if you're a trackday junkie, SpeedArt will happily fit an uprated road or race brake system to your car.
SpeedArt boss Bjorn Striening is particularly proud of his new 20-inch three-piece forged alloy wheels. They are around nine pounds lighter per corner than cast alloy wheels of the same size, and help to keep unsprung weight low. Available in three sizes-8.5-, 11.0-, and 12.0x20 inch-the wheels look even larger than they are thanks to an optical trick with the design and coloring of the spokes. Because the spokes overlap the outer rim, they're as long as they would be on a 22-inch wheel. In addition, their centers are slightly concave, which makes them look deeper and help to give the car its purposeful stance.
While the spokes look normal dark metallic gray from a distance, close-up you see that they actually have a rough finish like the old black crackle on classic Ferrari rocker covers. This kind of originality and attention to detail shows Striening's personal interest and involvement in his company's products goes far beyond the norm. "It's easy to make a wheel design, commission a few hundred sets from a wheel manufacturer, and then just sell lots of boxes all over the world," he says. "But I'm still an enthusiast always looking for ways to make things better and more appealing to my clients."
Unless they develop a car's suspension closely with one tire manufacturer for optimum results, most car manufacturers use three or four suppliers. The same is not true for aftermarket tuners, who tend to work with specific companies for all their parts. SpeedArt uses Michelin and Continental tires depending on each client's application and driving style.
"We offer customers a choice of Michelin Pilot Sport 2 or Continental ContiSportContact3 tires," Striening explains. "The Michelin is a slightly better steer on track and on a dry road, while the Continental is superior in the wet."
The SRS-II aero kit adds a lower valance and a splitter to the factory front bumper. "We retain the factory front bumper with its LED daytime running lights to keep costs down," Striening says. "Together with the GT3 moustache air outlet, the face of the car is significantly changed without the added expense of a complete new molding."
SpeedArt's signature sculpted side skirts visually join the lower front spoiler to the rear bumper. Here, SpeedArt removes the lower rear section of the factory bumper and adds its own diffuser. This is flanked by the four 90mm exhaust outlets, whose tips can be ordered with either a matte black or polished finish. The aero kit's finishing touch is a rear wing with ram-air inlets flanking its support structure. The wing is inclined at a five-degree positive angle of attack, and the combined effect of the new front and rear aero is a 55-pound reduction in lift.
Inside, the only Speed additions to the cabin are the paddle shift steering wheel and the brushed alloy door kick plates.
I first drove this car in August 2008, when SpeedArt had only just fitted its older style 10-spoke wheels, front spoiler, moustache, side skirts, and a modestly sized fixed rear wing. The engine was stock, and the steering wheel, diffuser, and larger rear wing were still in the works. Now completely transformed, the SRS 420 demo car promises to be a different animal altogether, and as I drive it on local country roads to the nearby Malmsheim test track, I'm eager to see by just how much.