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Porsche typically keeps to a suitably fast schedule when it comes to rolling out increasingly hard-core performance versions of the 911. After the 997 Carrera debuted in 2004, the GT3 version followed in 2006, and by the end of the 2007, Porsche had rolled out both the GT3 RS and GT2 versions. Then the facelifted 997.5 came out in 2008 and it was back to the start: the GT3 came in 2009, the GT3 RS and GT2 RS in 2010, and the GT3 RS 4.0 in 2011. But things have slowed down some with the latest 991 generation.
The new Carrera came in 2011 and the GT3 followed in 2012. By recent history's example, we should have at least two more hardcore models by now, but we don't. Maybe the engineers in Zuffenhausen have had their hands full fixing the spontaneous-combustion issues with the existing GT3, or maybe their attentions have been focused elsewhere altogether. But if these spy shots are anything to go by, it seems like they're back on the job.
Now we don't know if this prototype foreshadows a new GT3 RS or a GT2, but it sure looks more hard-core than the existing GT3 that many purists have derided as too soft, what with its automatic transmission and four-wheel steering.
What we have here is the work of Dubai tuner Royal Customs that is controversial even beyond its styling. The Middle East aftermarket house says it spent fourteen months developing a bodykit for the Porsche Cayman, and the results seem to be aimed at those who wish their coupe were a 918 Spyder - the nose, strake-filled and widened rear fender, carbon fiber wing and massive diffuser all cribbing some from Stuttgart's new hybrid supercar.
Even without a buyer, the Alpha One Concept is already controversial. When WorldCarFans posted on the Royal Customs car recently, German tuner Alpha-N Performance wrote in alleging that the Dubai package copies their design from two years ago, which was also called the Alpha One, a design with which it's clear the Dubai Alpha One shares numerous cues. We asked Royal Customs about its relationship to the Alpha One car, we were told, "Yes, there is a lot we can say about the remarkable similarities all of which will be explained by our press release by Mr. Emil from Autogespot. Please wait for the official release and you will have the full exciting story. It's an 'actual success story' and not a 'replication' story."
The response is referring to an "extensive report" on the car coming out of Autogespot. Royal Customs doesn't have the Alpha One Concept on its site yet, so we're still missing quite a few details on it, such as whether the Porsche engine has been given a similarly 918-ish workover. We do know that the company says each car takes 30 days to build and it will only build three of them, which is a number that should satisfy any haters and, even more so, its buyers. You can decide which side of the fence you're on by having a close look at it in the gallery above.
The Porsche 911 is a special car, if for no other reasons than it's been continuously produced since 1964, with nearly every generation regarded as being at or near the top of its class. But why the rear-engined icon has done so well among enthusiasts and regular drivers alike can't always be explained easily. To truly understand the 911, you have to experience the whole package, and that means driving one.
While just about every publication has raved about the Porsche, commercial director, race driver, photographer and 911 owner Jeff Zwart explains to Petrolicious why he was drawn to the legend as a young child, and why he still loves them today.
Zwart's professional and personal life are inextricably linked to the 911, and hearing him talk about the car and its history makes for fascinating viewing. Watch the video below to hear Zwart's story and see him drive a couple examples from his collection: an early 911 and the 964-generation Carrera 4 he won Pikes Peak with for the first time - a car that happens to be equipped with the 959 Paris-Dakar's fascinating torque-split transmission. Enjoy!