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Tires have a decisive impact on handling. That’s true for new Porsches, and it’s equally true for #classic models.
The N on the sidewall makes all the difference. What it means: this tire has been approved by #porsche. N—a seal of quality, internationally valid and officially recognized as a standard. After all, what good is a #tire that is the right size, but actually designed for a van? It would certainly be of no use to a classic 911—and even less so to its driver.
Just how much effort goes into a simple letter on the sidewall is apparent only to someone who witnesses what takes place on the picturesque testing grounds in the Piedmont region of Italy. Airplanes from the nearby Milan Malpensa Airport draw white streaks in the steel-blue sky, but the test track is inundated with water for the important discipline of wet-surface handling. The spray kicks up as Walter Röhrl expertly pushes the Riviera Blue 993 RS into the corner. He wants to know: Does the #tire demonstrate the unflappable balance that can single-handedly guarantee a good test result, even when driven at the limit?
Satisfaction in 33 steps
Röhrl’s satisfied expression provides a definitive answer: “It’s good.” He then elaborates: “The best thing is when the #tire directly imparts what is happening beneath the tires to the driver’s hand through the steering system. The highly sensitive steering in all Porsches is perfectly suited to the task, anyway. But when the degree of strain is clearly signaled, so that the driver can ease up before things go too far, that’s when we can be satisfied.”
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