2023 Porsche 911 S/T Review: Pulled Pork

David Khoo

The Porsche 911 S/T is the sort of pure driving instrument you get when you pursue perfection

2023 PORSCHE 911 S/T

Launched: September 2023 – Price: S$1,373,588 without COE and options (Sept 2023)
Two-door coupe, 2+2 seats
525hp, 4.0-litre flat-6, VES C2, 15.2l/100km


Possibly the most perfect driver’s 992 to date


You can’t get one!
OK, maybe… it seats only 2


The recipe always seems straightforward, but it is the execution that determines how excellent (or mediocre) the finished dish turns out. For instance, the same song sung by different singers could either have you closing your eyes in the rapture of enjoyment, or reaching for the bin of ear-plugs.

Even the same car reviewed by different people can evoke a similar dichotomy of responses. One makes you glaze over after the second paragraph, while the next could see you riveted to the very end.

Still with us? I’m glad! This brings us to the 911 S/T, Porsche’s pressie to itself on the occasion of the 60th birthday of the venerable 911. Limited to just 1963 units worldwide, it’s Porsche’s hip-hop-hurrah to celebrate pure driving passion.

I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but if you’re thinking of popping down to your friendly neighbourhood Porsche AD to secure a car, well, they’re all spoken for.

It’s like the stainless steel sports models exhibition pieces at the Rolex boutiques: can see, cannot buy.

And that’s a crying shame too, because the visceral intensity of the 911 S/T’s drive is something that all driving enthusiasts should get to experience, especially if you’re a Porschephile.

With all of Porsche’s ‘special’ models – like the 997 RS 4.0, 991 R and now the 992 S/T – the ‘unicorn’ status means only a rarefied segment will get to enjoy them, at least those who aren’t relegating such collectibles to garage queen status.

Unfortunately, this also means that there are a lot of nay-sayers who will pooh-pooh them based on the familiar ‘recipes’. In the case of the 911 S/T, it’s a lightweight, rear-drive coupe with a storming nat-asp engine matched to a 6spd manual.

Sound familiar? Well, the 911R started this in the time of the 991.1 generation, with an instant sell-out that demonstrated 1) enthusiasts still wanted a manual GT model and 2) these same enthusiasts had the money to buy these cars. 

Ultimately, Porsche nixed its plans for having the 911 GT3 as PDK-only (the GT3 RS and GT2 RS would remain PDK-only) and bringing back the option for a manual transmission (as well as the addition of a wingless GT3 Touring model) in the time of the 991.2.

With just 991 units made, not everyone had (or will have) an opportunity to drive the 911R, which led most folks to fall back on the 991.2 GT3 Touring as the closest point of reference.

And we’re seeing this happen with the 911 S/T, albeit vis-à-vis the 992 GT3 Touring.

Same recipe, so the car must be the same right? Wrong on so many counts. This author is lucky to have driven the 911R and now the 911 S/T and they sit on a decidedly different level from the respective GT3 Touring models.

Today’s 911 S/T moniker draws inspiration from the 911 ST ‘hot-rod’ of the late 1960s (and early 1970s). This factory upgrade kit – which comprised lightweight body-parts and powertrain components – was offered to owners / teams who wanted to go racing with their 911s  to ‘muscle-up’ the standard car in looks and performance.

Mostly, the 911STs ran the 911S’ more powerful mechanicals in the no-frills (and lightweight) 911T. However, because of the mix-match permutations available, there was no single recipe for the 911ST.

The 992 GT3 Touring serves as the ‘base’ car for the S/T (albeit with even more lightening measures), with engine duties served by the raw, raucous and very rev-happy nat-asp 4.0-litre from the 992 GT3 RS.

Today’s 911 S/T embraces its predecessor’s philosophy of lightweighting (it tips the scales at 1380kg), with a close-ratioed hit of frenzied performance perfectly matched to a sucker punch wallop to the tune of 525hp / 465Nm… and a thrilling 9000rpm rev cut to boot!

If you don’t have a keen eye for detail, you might think the S/T has adopted the GT3 Touring’s shell wholesale, nostrils and all… except it hasn’t.

To save weight, the front fenders, double-domed roof, frunk-lid and doors are made of carbonfibre that is painted in body-colour – great, because we prefer the clean, low-key stealthiness in road-cars.

On the topic of ‘clean’, the brand wanted to preserve the purity of the 911 silhouette, so it included a discreet gurney flap on the S/T’s rump, which increases the downforce just enough to shift the speed at which the rear-spoiler deploys from 80km/h to 120km/h.

Naturally, there’s an override to deploy the spoiler manually for those who prefer to drive around at city speeds with it up.

Also, the doors are from the 992 GT3 RS with ‘proper’ door handles and aero-cuts, which also explains the open-worked front fender vents that segue neatly into the RS doors.

Other visible weight-saving features include the tasty forged magnesium alloy rims over PCCB carbon-ceramic brakes and a lightweight stainless steel exhaust system.

Truth be told, there’s very little to option on the car (because most of the good stuff comes standard), unless you’re going down the full colour / trim customisation rabbit-hole.

Dynamics-wise, the only other cost-option to be ticked is the carbonfibre rollcage that we had on our test-car, which really looks the business, but might not be essential on a road-car – it’s a want not a need!

Our test-car also featured the optional Heritage Design package, which sees gorgeous cognac semi-aniline leather cladding the 918 Spyder bucket seats, door pull-tags and large tracts of the cabin. Additionally, the emblems are in gold, another feature of the Heritage Design package (like the Sport Classic).

As with all special Porsche models, a lot of the magic happens only when you’re in the command seat behind the wheel, because the 911 S/T isn’t the sort of car you want to be a passenger prince / princess in!

The nat-asp flat-6 4.0-litre snarls angrily to life when you twist the starter ‘key’ – a fitting portent of great things to come. Like the 911R (and the Rufs), the S/T has retro green illuminated instruments and we can tell you it’s a thrill to watch the needle blaze its way towards the engine’s 9000rpm cut-off.

The stubby shifter is short-throw and notchy to operate, but it is the new ‘lightweight’ clutch and single-mass flywheel (an option on the 911R) that takes some getting used to – ‘lightweight’ doesn’t refer to pedal operation, but the fact that at 10.2kg, this hair-trigger clutch pack is almost half the weight of the GT3 Touring’s 20.7kg item.

The revs rise and fall urgently (like your own heartbeat after a stint with the S/T) like a race engine’s in response to prods of the gas pedal on the move thanks to the closer gear ratios. This is the sort of positive energy we enjoy working with, especially since the frenetic urge of the S/T’s powertrain engages and entices you into pushing it harder and harder.

It’s staggering that such a precision driving tool can be engineered to deliver such emotional, analogue responses and this is one Porker that has really been pulled and stretched in so many ways.

A sign of maturity is being able to let things go, especially if something is playing out only in one’s own head. As an OG, Porsche isn’t afraid to create sportscars that appeal to the driving enthusiasts, instead of escalating the performance arms race or pandering to armchair analysts looking for the next ‘hypebeast’.

On the tighter, winding roads in Southern Italy, we never missed having rear-axle-steer at all. Suspension, LSD and steering have been tuned to deal with its absence, with the S/T serving up some cheeky thrills as it eagerly carves the corners, because it’s all about the purity of driving, as opposed to the perfect line.

Binning the active-rear-steer meant there were other weight-savings to be enjoyed too, beyond that of the hardware, because this meant the engineers could use a lower powered 40Ah battery, since the energy demands were no longer as high.

All in (or rather out), the lightweight 911 S/T is an agile and sweetly balanced canyon (or corner) cleaver, with a distinct emphasis on engaged enjoyment over clinical precision. 

Don’t get us wrong, all the driver’s touch points are perfectly weighted for maximum tactile enjoyment, but it does without the big power, big aero or even PDK, because those are meant to create more perfect driving lines and to chase lap times.

If a person goes on about how fast and fuss-free the PDK is, they’re probably not the sort to be able to work a manual well, or they don’t really understand what the love of fast-road driving means to us old-school petrolheads. It’s all good because it just means there are fewer folks fighting over the truly special cars like the S/T!

With the S/T, it’s about man and machine flowing as one over the winding roads and creating a path through it that brings you the most enjoyment, not necessarily because it is the fastest, but because it is the ‘funnest’… and all to the accompaniment of the soaring soundtrack as you wring the engine to its climax.

As far as birthday presents go, the 911 S/T not only takes the cake, it scoffs it all down too and there’s no rowdier, more rambunctious rendition of the Happy Birthday song than from the sound of its own voice… at 9,000rpm!

PHOTOS Porsche

Porsche 911 S/T (type 992)

Drivetrain type Petrol engine 
Engine3,996cc, flat 6, nat-asp
Power525hp at 7800rpm
Torque465Nm at 6300rpm
Gearbox6-speed manual
0-100km/h3.7 seconds 
Top Speed300km/h
Fuel Efficiency15.2L/100km
VES Band C2 / +S$25,000
AgentPorsche Singapore
PriceS$1,373,588 without COE, without options
Verdict Very limited, highly desirable, a stunning drive that’s destined to become a collectible classic


911 s/t 911 st 911r 911st porsche 911 porsche 911r porsche 911st porsche singapore

About the Author

David Khoo

From PR to product planning and content creation, David is a big petrolhead who has been dabbling in the car trade since 2001. His stories often take an eclectic slant from the predictable and he's able to craft a compelling read that lets you see the cars (often old!) in a new light.

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