Could the Singer DLS be the greatest Porsche 911 ever made?

When Singer met Williams, of F1 fame, magic was promised – but the resultant Dynamics and Lightweighting Study is even better than we ever (re)imagined

Singer has revealed the result of its long-awaited collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering and two legendary Porsche engineers to take its famous ‘reimagined’ classic 911s to another level – and the car is on show at Goodwood this weekend. The LA-based company has become known for its high-quality, re-engineered restorations of the classic 1990s 964 version of the 911. However, in November 2017 it announced that it was working with Williams in the UK as well as former Porsche engineers Norbert Singer and Hans Mezger.

The result is a classic-shaped 911, still based on the 964, that has had every detail analysed and optimised using state-of-the-art engineering techniques, right down to the 2.7 RS Carrera-style ducktail rear spoiler. Could you ask more than a 911 with classic looks combined with technology that rivals the best any modern manufacturer could offer?

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The project, referred to as the Dynamics and Lightweighting Study (DLS), began when Singer client and Porsche enthusiast Scott Blattner requested that Singer take his 1990 Porsche 964 to another level, reducing its weight and increasing performance. To enable this to happen, Singer engaged Williams and other technical partners to engineer restoration and modification services that could be carried out on other customers’ cars.

Two DLS cars will be on show at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The car shown here, a 1990 Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer – Dynamics and Lightweighting Study in Parallax White with Norfolk Yellow interior, will be displayed outside Goodwood House. Meanwhile, in the Michelin Supercar Paddock visitors will be able to see the 1989 Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer – Dynamics and Lightweighting Study In Heart Attack Red with Black interior.

500bhp air-cooled engine

The engine remains a normally aspirated, air-cooled Porsche flat-six, but developed by Williams Advanced Engineering working with legendary Porsche engineer Hans Mezger to give 500bhp at a mind-boggling 9000rpm.

It’s a 4.0 litre, with four titanium valves per cylinder, twin overhead cams, constructed from magnesium and other lightweight materials to reduce mass, and fuelled by lightweight throttle bodies with F1-style upper and lower injectors, which enhance performance and drivability. You won’t be surprised to hear that the oil system has also been modified to improve lubrication and cooling.

Reworked aerodynamics

Williams Advanced Engineering, with Norbert Singer, was also involved with a full aerodynamic rework of the car, with every surface re-assessed through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis. This has resulted in elimination of front axle lift through the redesign of the front oil-cooler intake and venting, as well as a new front splitter.

Ducktail spoiler for the modern world

It’s also resulted in the honing of the most iconic aerodynamic device of the 20th century – the ducktail spoiler of the 2.7 RS Carrera. Now the roof-channel and roof/rear-window spoiler work together with the optimised ducktail and diffuser to generate downforce at the rear. In addition, side-window ram-air intakes and rear deck-lid venting increase engine intake and cooling performance.

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Lightweight bodywork

There’s now full carbon-fibre bodywork, with every panel unique to the DLS. However, it’s more than just a weight-saving exercise: the focus was equally on torsional stiffness, mass efficiency and the driver environment to reduce noise and vibration.

The engine was also moved forward, and components within the front luggage compartment were relocated to further centralise the car’s centre of mass.

Suspension

Williams Advanced Engineering was responsible for the suspension, creating a lightweight multi-link, double-wishbone system at the front, and lightweight, aluminium trailing arms with integral brake cooling at the rear. The dampers are bespoke mass-optimised units with remote adjustment.

Bespoke transmission and driveline

Singer worked with Hewland to create a bespoke six-speed gearbox, using magnesium casings with hollow shafts to reduce rotating mass. It’s also shorter to allow the engine to move forward, reducing the infamous rear bias of the 911’s weight.

The rest of the transmission uses motorsport-style tripod joints, centre-lock wheel carriers and modern materials, and the brakes are Brembo carbon-ceramic lightweight discs and lightweight, monobloc calipers.

Michelin got involved, too, developing a bespoke-sized Pilot Sport Cup 2s – 245/35x18 at the front and 295/ 30x18 at the back – on new BBS Motorsport forged magnesium wheels. Williams developed a special high-strength aluminium and titanium centre-lock mechanism for the wheels.

Advanced electronics are hiding within the classic shape, too: ABS, traction control and electronic stability control (ESC) systems specifically calibrated for DLS by Bosch, as well as switchable driving modes. The traction control and stability systems can be turned off as required.

Bespoke DLS interior

Recaro created lightweight carbon-fibre sports seats for the DLS, while MOMO developed a lightweight carbon-fibre steering wheel. The pedals are carbon and titanium, while the instrument gauges float in a carbon-fibre instrument panel and feature hand-applied characters. Even the controls for the air-conditioning and heater are lightweight.

Exposed gearshift

All other interior features are out-cooled by the manual gearshift’s stunning raised and exposed titanium and magnesium linkage. Oh, and there are shift lights integrated in the tachometer, too, in case you were wondering.

What Singer says

‘The Dynamics and Lightweighting Study has been years in the making,’ says Rob Dickinson, Singer founder and creative director. ‘To see the results, representing the ongoing pursuit of our client’s vision for their ultimate air-cooled 911, is so exciting. We’ve worked relentlessly to present a machine that visually celebrates the past while acknowledging the future – both inside and out. It’s our fourth year at this incredible event [Goodwood], and we’re thrilled to be back at the Festival of Speed for its 25h anniversary and to wish Porsche a very happy 70th birthday.’

CEO Mazen Fawaz adds: ‘The extraordinary collaboration of our partners – names like Williams Advanced Engineering, Bosch, Brembo, Hewland, Recaro, MOMO, RLE, EXE-TC and BBS Motorsport – have made this crazy vision become a reality. Not only did they believe in us, but their engineering might has delivered nothing short of spectacular results, above and beyond our expectations – and allowed us to achieve truly sensational, technologically advanced results for our clients.’

Racer Marino Franchitti was employed as a special consultant, vehicle dynamics. ‘After three years of hard work by everyone involved with the program, it’s such a thrill to bring this car to FoS and to run it at this iconic event,’ he says. ‘Even having lived with it through development, I’ve been blown away by how the car looks in the real world, and I can’t wait to see the reaction it gets.’

Design deputy Daniel Simon summarises: ‘The Dynamics and Lightweighting Study has been a most enjoyable yet unrelenting challenge. From bringing doodles on paper to sketch models in 3D, through to engineering, we’ve worked tirelessly to enable ideas to become reality. Nothing has been more exciting or rewarding than seeing the fruits of our labour for our clients.’

For more information visit the Singer website.

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