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Factory Visit: 9ff Fahrzeugtechnik
9ff Fahrzeugtechnik is a German car tuning company, based in Dortmund and founded by Jan Fatthauer in 2001. The company is a specialist in high-speed and powerful Porsche upgrades, and known for their record winning high-performance vehicles breaking speed record after speed record. The name “9ff” is a combination of the name of the CEO’s wife, Frauke Fatthauer, and the signature first number of Porsche’s most well-known sports car, the 911.
Since their startup at the beginning of the century the company from the Ruhr area focused on upgrading Porsche models like the 911. Their first ever record-breaking model was the 9ff 9f-T6, which became the fastest Porsche at the high-speed Nardo Ring test track with a top speed of 372km/h. The Germans managed to set the record in April 2004 using a tuned 2001 Porsche 996 Turbo with 743hp.
In the same year they created the 9ff V400, the world’s fastest street legal car of its time, with a top speed of 388km/h and a performance of 838hp. The basic setup was a 2000 996 GT3. To experience the true 9ff heritage I was handed the keys to the world record car for a first drive on local roads near the HQ.
It’s not every day that you climb into +800hp and +800Nm high-speed monster, so you do not ask too much questions, just turn the key, be fortunate to have your moment and go for a ride. Getting into the car meant finding my way inside the racing cockpit featuring a roll case, racing steering wheel and a four-point harness. Somehow I felt stranded somewhere between a racing car and everyday transport. Turning the key, brought the tuned twin turbo boxer six-cylinder engine to life. Controlling a reinforced six-speed gearbox running unique ratios and working through a new three-plate clutch, you need fienesse to get the car rolling.
The ride feels like a true sports car, but never more bumpy than any tuned Porsche leaving the 9ff workshop on a daily basis. The true experience starts when pushing the pedal and shifting gears. The initial start line performance is fast – 0-100km/h in 3.2sec – but the forward motion is beyond explosive when I hit higher gears. The V400′s power seems to literally explode once I pass 2,000rpm. The violent shove in the back is forcing air from my lungs, and lets my mind pause for a second before it understands the sheer speed explosion I just witnessed. In the meantime the adrenaline made me scream like a little boy in a roller coaster.
Knowing that I did not hit 840 horsepower at 7,200rpm on my short run, I park the car and give back the keys with the biggest smile on my face feeling a decent amount of respect. Respect for a world record breaking vehicle that blasted through the traps at Nardo carrying an average speed of 388km/h smashing McLaren’s mighty F1, which set 384.2km/h at VW’s Ehra Leissen test track in March 2004. So this was my first 9ff experience, please when can I do it again!
Two new record breaking cars based on the same model were released in 2006. The 9ff TRC-65, followed by the TRC-85 a few months later, became the world’s fastest street legal convertible with a top speed of respectively 350km/h and 380.5km/h. The basic model was a 2006 997 C4S Convertible tuned up to 650hp and 855hp. In 2007 9ff continued its breaking spree and realized a speed record using a 987 Cayman. The 781hp 9ff CT 78 Bio-Ethanol became the world’s fastest alternative fuel car.
Since 2005, the company is working on the project GT9, a modified Porsche 911 GT3 intended to beat the speed record of the SSC Ultimate Aero TT – 412km/h. On April 10, 2008 a speed of 409km/h was measured using two independently operating GPS devices. To achieve this speed, the entire vehicle had undergone a major upgrade. The roof was lowered and the wheelbase extended. The only parts re-used from the original Porsche body were the headlights and the hood. The performance of the six-cylinder boxer engine was enhanced using bi-turbo technology. The output increased up to 987hp.
In the end the 9ff GT9 got replaced by the GT9-R, which starts with a 750hp kit which is good for a maximum speed of 380km/h and an acceleration time from 0-300 in 20 seconds and optimized for track performance. The second stage of 987hp is build for track performance and high-speed racing reaching 409km/h and 0-300km/h in 17 seconds. The third stage is the ultimate driving machine. With its 1,120hp it hits a top speed of 414km/h and goes from a standing to 300 in only 15.8 seconds.
During our visit the workshop was filled with the latest from 9ff. We counted up to four GT9-Rs and engineers working on technical upgrades for many different Porsche cars. The latest project by 9ff named the GTurbo 1200 was parked in the center of the building. The high-speed sports car is based on a Porsche 911 GT3, which produces 1,200hp and 1,100Nm of maximum torque. The GTurbo 1200 sprints from zero to 100km/h in just 2.8 seconds, 200km/h in 7.1 seconds and reached a top speed of 378.4km/h in Nardo last year.
This year they changed the engine petrol setup to E85 bio-ethanol fuel – in order to lower combustion temperature – and the power was reduced from 1,200 to 900 horsepower – for better drivability. The final results at Nardo this Summer were 19.3 seconds to accelerate from zero to 300km/h and a top speed of 388.1km/h.