The Definitive History of the Porsche 911

The Porsche 911 is the most iconic car to come from Germany since WW2. It defines excellence, style, and performance while still being at a reasonable price. Cars are defined by the culture that they emerge from and they also end up defining the image that we have of the countries that produce them. The Porsche 911 defines the modern image, but it does so on 4 wheels.

Origin Of The Porsche 911

Having started in 1963, it has been under continuous development ever since while retaining the same basic layout. It always had a rear-mounted flat 6 engine with 2 doors and independent suspension in all 4 wheels. Air cooling was present until 1998 when the 993 came to the end of its production run.

The first 911 was produced from 1963 to 1989 and was called, obviously, the 911. The Porsche 930 Turbo was produced from 1975 to 1989 while the Porsche 996 was produced from 1999-2004 and featured water-cooled engines in the series for the first time. Porsche often changes the model number to reflect changes that have been made to the car and these numbers can change annually. Other variants include the Targa Models, the Carrera models, and the G.T. series.

It was ‘’Butzi’’ Porsche, the grandson of the founder of the company who drew up the first planes for the 911 in 1959. An interesting little tidbit of information is that the 911 was originally going to be named the 911 but Peugeot protested this because it had exclusive rights to sell cars with 3 digits in the middle of the serial number. Hence the change to 911. By 1965 the first model was being sold in America. These first models had 130 h.p. and had 4 seats. By 1966, Porsche introduced the 911S with 160 h.p. while the mid-engine 904 and 906 had 210 h.p. which were developed for motorsport. All this was done while keeping the weight down with the 911S weighing 1,050 kg.

What’s The Deal With RS?

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You might have encountered the title RS in the Porsche 911 series. What it stands for is Rennsport which means Race Sport in German. In the course of its racing career, Porsche 911’s have won Le Mans 24 Hours, 24 Hours of Daytona, and the World Championships for Makes 4 times in the late 1970’s. Models such as the Carrera RS 3.0 weighed just 900 kg which was die to thinner metal plates and a bare interior. But Porsche was heading towards the peak of its success on the track with the 911 which only served to increase the popularity of the car with its customers.

Modern Porsche 911’s

By 2013 the 991 GT3 was introduced and it produced 475 h.p. at 8,250 r.p.m. and is able to accelerate from 0-60 m.p.h(100 km/h) in 3.1 seconds while achieving a top speed of 202 m.p.h. (325 km/h). These are astonishing numbers and it explains the enduring popularity of the 911 series. In 2018 for example, a Porsche 911 bought the number plate title ‘’911’’ for $525,000 ($347,000 U.S.D.) in Australia. Such reverence for the 911’s reputation carries over to the awards it continues to win. The 911 came in fifth place in the Car of the Century competition which was held by the Global Automotive Election Foundation. Motor Trend magazine chose the Porsche 911 Carrera S model as 2014’s ‘’World Performance Car of the Year’’ and a year later Car and Driver said that the 911 was ‘’the best premium sport’s car on the market’’. Approximately 1,000 911’s continue to be sold each month in the United States and this is for a brand of vehicle that has been on sale for over 50 years.

Porsche has always been improving the 911 but there are no plans to make an electric model at this stage. Frank-Steffen Walliser, who is in charge of the 911 line said that ‘’For sure the world will be more different, we will see different propulsion technology, but maybe I’m joking, maybe I’m right when I say the 911 will be the last car that will be electrified’’. It looks like the Porsche 911 will be speeding down our highways for some time to come.