911 is still a must-have sports car
Porsche’s internal codes for the 911 (pronounced nine eleven) models throughout its seventh generation are superconfusing, with names such as 930, 964 and 992. Luckily, the company recognised this and labelled all the models 911 for the public to easily understand.
The original 911, which was built in 1964, was an immediate hit with auto lovers. The rear-mounted, flat-six engine sports car with the awkward headlights was what every car enthusiast wanted to own. It had air-cooled engines that were used until the 996 generation in 1998.
The most prominent addition to the model was done in 1975 when the company added a pronounced spoiler at the back, calling it the Porsche 911 Turbo. This brought it into the realm of super sports cars, as it was constantly pictured with the Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari Testarossa.
Now, the spoiler is tucked away neatly in the back and only comes out when the extra assistance is needed, for example, keeping the rear end stable at high speeds.
There is no doubt this silhouette is a massive hit for the brand, and, as such, they have done their best to keep it practically unchanged throughout the generations. However, understanding that consumers want diversity, Porsche has found small, creative ways to add different variants of the 911. There is a convertible version, a coupé, which is a hard top and is the most common version. Then there is the Targa, where the roof panel can be removed.
Over the years, the vehicle has gotten broader, which helps significantly with staying planted on the road. What strikes me is the width of the tyres from the first generation to the 7th. Early models had tyres with widths of 185 mm, and more recent 911s come with 245 mm front tyres and 305 mm rear tyres.
I got a chance to drive this sports car four years ago and I was equally excited to drive it again at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta. With a 10-millimetre-lower sport chassis, you are sitting closer to the ground than ever. Which immediately makes the driver know he is in a serious sports car.
Fortunately, I got the manual option, which comes with a seven-speed transmission that has been shortened by 10mm to enable faster gear shifts. If you are not a lover of stick shift, an eight-speed Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) is available.
Porsche keeps the interior up to par with a 10.9 inch wide display screen that can now facilitate Android auto, unlike the previous 992 model. There are also unique touches throughout the vehicle like seatbelts and embroidered GTS lettering on the headrests, rev counter and Sport Chrono clock, which are in the same contrasting colours. To capture the true feeling of nostalgia, there is even a cassette player.
However, what really caught my eyes was the chrome gear knob. As I neutralled the car, sank the clutch and started the engine, the two exhaust pipes around the back made a loud growl. This made me know that the turbocharged three-litre flat-six engine was ready to deliver high performance.
From the get-go, you can feel the power of the rear-wheel-drive 911, as it moves from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.3 seconds. There were times I wished I was on the track rather than on the highways of Atlanta.
As the vehicle bobbed and weaved out of traffic, another outstanding fact was the braking system, with dampers that respond to dynamic changes at lightning speed.
One of the coolest things to witness is the car going over a certain speed and seeing the mechanical spoiler protrude from the rear. The company paid meticulous attention to anything that could enhance the performance, thus shedding 50lb when designing the 911. This was accomplished by lighter carbon fibre bucket seats, lightweight glass for the side and rear windows, and a lightweight battery. In addition, the rear seats were also removed.
All this ensures that the vehicle moves aggressively and agilely, while having an elite sport look. There is no doubt that the 911 is a fantasy car for all auto enthusiasts, and this new model delivers in every area that counts.
First deliveries for Jamaica are expected in early 2022.
Vehicle provided by ATL Motorsports, 876-754-0013, PorscheSales@atlautomotive.com
Engine: 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6
Torque: 570 Nm
Transmission: Rear-wheel drive
Fuel tank: 16.9 gallons
Body type: coupe
Competition: BMW M4, Chevrolet Corvette, Jaguar F-Type, Aston Martin Vantage.