Porsche 911 - Part 2
This is one of many illustrated classic car guides I've created for the community. I hope you enjoy it. If you wish to find out more about the classic Porsche 911 sports car art featured in this guide please click here.
The 911 series is one of the world's quintessential sports cars. Thoroughly fresh and modern when introduced in 1963, Porsche has carefully massaged its shape over the last four decades so it remains the most identifiable profile in the sports car world. This guide covers classic 911 models produced between 1978 and 1998.
By the mid-to late seventies Porsche were in the position of needing to build a "world car", to meet different governments' requirements, and therefore rationalised the 911 series into the Turbo and the SC. The normally aspirated 3.0-litre engine meant it was good for 141mph/227kmh and 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds in European form (it was much slower in US spec). Servo-assisted brakes were standardised in 1979, and the list of luxury options grew in a deliberate move to make the 911 more attractive to the non-enthusiast. 1982 saw the first genuine cabriolet since the 356 series and in 1984, the sohc flat-six engine was enlarged to 3.2-litres, and the SC became known as the Carrera.
911 Slant-nosed Turbo (1982-1987)
Inspired by the racing 935s of the late 1970s, the "flatnose" 911 conversions were built by Porsche's Zuffenhausen repair department as a special order from 1981, although they were only ever officially listed as an option in 1987 (option code M506 also known as the 930S in the USA). Small numbers were produced, the early ones having headlights mounted in the front wing, while later models were equipped with folding headlights. Behind the bumper an additional oil cooler was placed. A total of 236 were built between 1982 and 1987, and these genuine factory cars are now highly sought after as unique 911 variants.
This is the ultimate 911. Beneath the familiar body lines are a mind-blowing array of equipment which made the 959, for a time, the world's fastest production road car with a top speed of 197mph/317kmh.In many ways, with the 959 Porsche were reaffirming the spirit of the 911, with its unorthodox rear-mounted, air-cooled, flat-six engine. The 911 had taken a back seat between 1972-1980, when Dr Ernst Fuhrmann was Porsche's chief executive and he decreed to switch to conventional front-engined cars such as the 928. However, with the arrival of his successor, Peter Schultz, the 911 once again moved centre stage and it has remained there ever since.
911 Carrera 2
In 1989 a heavily revised 911 (codenamed 964) was launched as the Carrera 4, which had permanent four wheel drive (31/69% split) and a 3.6-litre version of the flat-six engine. Power increased to 247bhp, which meant a top speed of 156mph/251kmh (0-60mph in 5.2secs). A two wheel drive version, the Carrera 2 arrived late in 1989, which was a fraction quicker than the Carrera 4. Both two and four wheel drive ranges were offered in fixed head, cabriolet and targa-top versions. With the Carrera 4, Porsche managed to establish a new generation of cars with enhanced aerodynamics, handling and performance, while at the same time retaining the spirit of the 911.
993 Turbo (1993-1997)
The 993-bodied car was introduced in December 1993 as the fourth generation of the 911, and it made striking improvements in three most important areas - looks, power and handling. Fitted with a 272bhp, 3.6-litre engine and multi-link rear suspension, top speed rose by 6mph over the 964 to 168mph/270kmh with 0-60mph/0-96kmh at 5.6secs. The styling of the 993 was stunning and for many observers this was the most beautiful of all 911s. With its flared wheel arches, large diameter 17-in (or larger) alloy road wheels and flush headlamp lenses, the Porsche design team had created a car that equalled, and surpassed, the most evocative designs from the Italian styling houses. The 400bhp 993 Turbo was the ultimate extension of the 911 design.
In 1998 the 996 arrived representing the fifth generation of the remarkable 911 series. It was equally stunning and exciting as the cars from which it was derived, although for the first time the famous flat-six (now 3.4-litres) was water-cooled. This made the car much smother and quieter than its predecessors. There was also clear family resemblance to the Porsche Boxster, which had been introduced for the 1996 model year, since the 996 used the same distinctive headlamps with polycarbonate lenses and a similar front bumper. Bristling with innovative digital technology, the 996 probably represented the world's most idiot-proof driving machine and clearly Porsche had not produced a more competent road car.