The Porsche 911 had its debut in 1963, at that time under the name 901 and over 50 years later, today, we can admire the 8th generation, Code-named 992. The 911 marks an innovation era for Porsche and is by far Porsche’s most successful model. The community build around the 911 today is enormous and all over the world big fans & enthusiasts admire the 911, whether that’s of the era “Luftgekühlt” or it’s more modern versions.
The 992 has been launched under the theme #TimelessMachine and not only is that a clever marketing strategy but also reflects on a truly iconic design language continuing until today. I always say it’s truly admirable to keep design elements such as the headlamps and front fenders sticking to its iconic shapes and curves. When a 911 approaches you from far, one immediately recognizes the 911 shape and is assured it’s a Porsche, without a doubt. The rear view mirror is a Porsche’s best friend and you often only see the 911 for a glimpse before you pull over and let it go it’s way. The rear end has changed quite a bit over the years but the overall shape is sticking to its roots.
As I do love and appreciate classic cars just as much as modern cars, I will once again talk about the heritage. So let me take you back through the 911 history, all the way from the beginning in 1963 up until today.
The “Ur-911” was the successor of the Porsche 356 and its story begins in 1963.
Back then the new Porsche model was introduced at the IAA as the 901 and along with it the first 6-cylinder engine in Porsche’s history was implemented. It weight around 1000kg and managed to climb up to 100km/h in 9 seconds. This model line included the Targa, the new “safety cabriolet” as well as the famous “Entenbürzel”, the 2.7 RS (a car everyone wishes to own).
Followed was the G-Series from 1973. Here the focus was set on the latest safety standards. A “galvanized” body was introduced and 1983 the first cabriolet entered the markets. The 6-cylinder boxer engine produced 150-230 hp and managed to power up the 911 to a maximum speed of 230 km/h. This model was the first equipped with a turbo (type 930), adding another 30hp. This model line was up until today the longest one, holding production up until 1989.
Next up, the 964, a model which has started climbing up significantly in value over the past 5+ years! New were aerodynamic features such as the first moveable rear spoiler. The first all wheel drive and adaptive automatic gearbox were also part of its innovative features. All the new technology let the 1350kg heavy car climb up to 100km/h in less than 5,7 seconds.
The last “Luftgekühlt” (air cooled) model line known as the 993 was introduced in 1993, the year I was born. For many Porsche & 911 enthusiasts this marks the end to an emotional era for others this was the start of an innovative future. As for me, the “Luftgekühlt” Porsche’s surely have the greatest character and tradition but innovation is such an important feature of the automotive industry that the future is bright for the 911! The 993 also came with the first 6 gear manual shift gearbox and the famous “Weissach-Achse” (Aluminium-LSA-chassis) was integrated.
The first water cooled Porsche following the 993 is the 996, introduced in 1997. The 996 managed to keep up until today the highest production numbers and was therefore the saviour in the crisis, leading the company to finally write positive numbers again. A new design was introduced for exterieur & interieur and the new Vario Cam Plus 4-valve System found its place on the 996 Turbo. As if this wasn’t enough of new technology, the first ceramic brake discs PCCB were added to the car.
Only 7 years later the 997 founds its roots back to the original shapes and followed the classic design language of its predecessors. The unique VTG “Lader” of the combustion, petrol, engine found its first use in the 997. The GTS model variant was introduced as an additional option for its customers. Of course the 911 Speedster and 911 Sport Classic shouldn’t be forgotten and we are only produced in a limited number. The base model came with the 6-cylinder boxer engine producing 325 hp and the turbo managed to provide a mere 560hp. Now weighing around 1450kg it still managed to reach the 100km/h mark faster, in around 5 seconds.
The 1 million produced 911s marks the 991 in late 2017. Introduced in 2011 the 991 is the first one mixing several materials together in order to produce a lighter and more rigid body. The wheelbase was extended for the first time, 100mm longer in fact. Leaving room for dramatic changes in terms of driving agility and geometry. The first Biturbo was introduced in 2015, being even more efficient while producing more power.
Finally this leaves us with today, the 992 has been introduced to the market and this is why we are here. Of course, in the great 911 tradition, the 992 doesn’t look all that different than its predecessor, the 991.
Evolution rather than revolution is the name of the game here.
If you want to check out all the new details about the 992, check out my next article!