It really is a racecar for the road.
Having the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the road-legal Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion is something most people never get to experience, but this video at least lets you live vicariously as Tiff Needell gets behind the wheel. The undulating, wet roads of the Scottish Highlands provide an intriguing backdrop for taking out this rare supercar.
The 911 GT1 stems from the era of endurance racing in the mid-1990s when the rules put production-based supercars in the top class. The McLaren F1 is probably the most famous machine from this period, but this Porsche deserves plenty of attention, too. With production amounting to only around 20 units, it's even rarer than McLaren, too.
Gallery: Porsche 911 GT1 in the alps
The 911 GT1 was somewhat of an evolution from the dominant Porsche 956 and 962 endurance racers from the 1980s. While it looked more like a road-going Porsche, the 3.2-liter twin-turbo flat-six powerplant was based on the mill from these earlier, successful competition machines.
As Needell notes, the GT1's gearbox also came from the 962. Unlike most racing transmissions, this one has synchromesh gears. This means that the box doesn't react well to the rapid changes that competition drivers usually perform, but it's perfect for use on the road. Plus, Needell says the transmission is very reliable.
Driving the GT1 requires lots of driver involvement. The suspension is firm, and the vehicle follows any camber in the road. Plus, there are none of the modern assist systems that make current high-horsepower vehicles easier to handle. As Needell expresses it, when you're doing 60 miles per hour, it feels like you're doing 160 mph because there's so much feedback from the road.