Admittedly we don't exactly have a Texas climate here in the UK but I would like to do a bit of continental touring in the 911 with my other half and there's the rub. There is just no way she is going in that car without A/C. Nope, not a chance.
You can see her point. The air cooled 911 is not exactly a comfortable continental cruiser. It's already the noisiest, most cramped and possibly even smelliest car ever so to add punishing heat to the equation that doesn't exactly make a relaxing journey. Open the windows, you say! Really? I want some autobahn fun without the force 10 gale thanks all the same.
The factory A/C on any air cooled 911 is, well, a bit of a joke. With no frontal cooling area and an engine at the 'wrong' end, the poor guys at Porsche did the best they could but it's hardly optimum. Their job was akin to trying to fit a gym in a submarine. All these bits of equipment and where to put them?
Anyhow, due to the rise of the electric vehicle, there has been some real progression of compressor technology and with a bit of Classic Retrofit cunning, we have our prototype system in test at the moment. The whole system fits neatly in the luggage bay under the carpet and uses less that 1/2 a horsepower to run. Oh, and it weighs just over 11kg (25lbs), that weight being at the front, ahead of the fuel tank, just where you want it on a 911. That's half the weight of the original system.
As with all our products, we are adhering to our 'drill no holes' mantra. The SC test mule has had not a single modification to its shell to fit the A/C system.
We hired the climate chamber at Ricardo on Wednesday and ran the system at 44 C / 110 F degrees. That's me on the right in the picture (melting) with Trevor, our lead electronics engineer.
Here's a sneak preview of the results.
We need a bigger fan but we are very pleased with the performance
Full test report is here.