The heart of the Porsche brand for nearly 70 years has been the 911. The genuine continuity of the Porsche 911 is a long-standing tradition that few other automobile brands in the world can claim. Since the International Automotive Show in September 1963 where it debuted as the Type 901, it has been inspiring car enthusiasts worldwide.
Features throughout the years included:
- The 911 was first unveiled in Frankfurt at the 1963 IAA Motor Show as the 901.
- Renamed for the market launch as the 911 in 1964, its 6-cylinder, air-cooled, boxer engine produced top speeds of 131 mph with an impressive 130 hp.
- Drivers could take the experience a bit slower starting in 1965 by selecting the four-cylinder Porsche 912.
- The 911 made its debut in late 1966 as the Targa, with a standard stainless steel roll bar, making it the first safety-equipped Cabriolet.
- The semi-automatic four-speed transmission 911 joined the lineup in 1967. Porsche was the first German automobile manufacturer to meet the strict U.S. exhaust emission control regulations with the 911T and the E and S variants.
- 1969 and 1971. The more powerful Porsche 911 evolved with the displacement to 2.2-liters in 1969 and then in 1971 to 2.4-liters.
G-Series: The Second Generation
Changes over its life included:
- 1977. Intercooler-equipped 911 Turbo 3.3
- 1982. The 911 Cabriolet for fresh-air enthusiasts
- 1983. The 911 Carrera with a 3.2 liter 231-hp engine
- 1989. The 911 Carrera Speedster, evocative of the legendary 356 of the 50’s
964: Classic Modern
In 1988, after 15 years of production, the 911 platform was radically redesigned with the debut of the 911 Carrera 4, internally known as the 964. Its 3.6-liter air-cooled boxer engine produced an impressive 250 hp. In 1990, enthusiasts could order the Carrera Coupé, 964 Turbo, Targa, and Cabriolet versions. Powered by a sturdy 3.3-liter boxer engine initially, the Turbo was upgraded in 1992 to a high performing 360-hp, 3.6-liter engine.
993: Last Air-Cooled Models
The 911 with the internal design number 993 is still the true heart of many Porsche fans for for a variety of reasons, some of which include:
- Integrated bumpers
- Lower-slung front section with poly-ellipsoid headlights
- First 911 with newly designed aluminum chassis
- First car with a bi-turbo engine
- Lowest-emission standard automotive powertrain
- First car to use hollow-spoke aluminum wheels
- Electric glass roof that retracted out of sight beneath the rear window
- Last 911 with an air-cooled engine
996: Water-Cooled Models (1997 to 2005)
The engine of the 996 created a completely new driving experience. Other changes included:
- First car driven by a water-cooled boxer engine
- Four-valve cylinder heads and 300-hp
- Reinterpretation of the 911’s classic line
- Lower drag coefficient
- Headlights with integrated turn signals,
- First car equipped with standard ceramic brakes
997: Modern and Classic
In 2004, Porsche debuted the new generation 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S models, internally referred to as the 997. Features included:
- Clear oval headlights
- 6-liter high-performance boxer engine delivering 325-hp
- 8-liter Carrera S engine produced an inspiring 355-hp
- Porsche Active Suspension Management as standard equipment
- First gasoline-powered automobile with a turbocharger and variable turbine geometry
- Direct fuel injection and a dual clutch transmission
- Distinct blinkers in the front apron
- Rear or all-wheel drive
- 24 model versions
991: Refined by Experience
- Completely redesigned suspension
- Extended wheelbase and larger track
- Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control
- Wider tires and an ergonomically enhanced interior
- Lower fuel consumption and higher performance
- Smaller 3.4-liter displacement
- Hybrid steel and aluminum construction to significantly reduce curb weight
- First seven-gear manual transmission in the world
- Flat, stretched silhouette and exciting contours
Today’s 911 Carrera Turbocharge
The Carrera, named after the legendary Carrera Panamericana road race competition, is also used to refer to base-spec 911s. The current 911 Carrera touts a 3.4-litre engine in the standard 911.
Today, the 911 it is recognized as the quintessential benchmark sports car. The 911 is also the reference point for all other Porsche series, from the Panamera to the Cayenne. Every Porsche contains a bit of the 911 concept as the most sporting automobile in its category. The evolution of the Porsche 911 over the past seven decades has been incremental and sometimes extreme. While other cars may have carried a similar production tradition, none have unwaveringly maintained such a unique personality.