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A brief look at the Porsche 911

The Porsche 911 is probably one of the longest running car lines today since it’s been in production since 1963. Available as a coupe, cabriolet, and targa, the 911 has undergone numerous modifications in the hands of both Porsche and private teams to come up with a top-notch machine for rallying, racing, and other kinds of competitions involving cars. It is one of the most successful cars used in competitions, with some of its most vibrant years in the 1970s as the 911 went on to win major world championship titles. As of the Porsche 911’s 50th anniversary, it is estimated that 820,000 units of the vehicle has been sold around the world.

Pros

As possibly one of the best examples in the world for continuous product improvement, the Porsche 911 has gone half a century being fine-tuned every time a new iteration came out. The larger and more comfortable successor to the 356, the 911 is a sports car that has managed to keep up with the ever-changing standards of the market. In terms of design though, the 911 is a classic so there’s no mistaking it for anything else. In this sense, Porsche has done a good job of introducing improvements to the 911 to essentially make it a new car each time but at the same time retaining its looks that has charmed generations.

The 911s in the past always suffered two problems: body pitching and power understeering. To address this concern, the 911 was made to me longer by 56mm on the overall, 46mm at the front tracks, and 100mm at the wheelbase. The 911 has always had its gearbox and longitudinal engine hanging out behind the rear wheels so adding more space between the front wheels and the axles took care of the body pitching and power understeering.

Aluminum has also replaced steel throughout many of the 911’s parts so the car is the lightest it has ever been. Think at least 45kg less compared to what its predecessor had, if the coupe is involved. Apart from slashing off weight, the 911’s aluminum construction has also made it possible to provide 20% improvement in the rigidity level of the torso.

The dashboard is neat and logically laid out, with switchgears accented by aluminum and quite responsive. Some might find the large gauges to be off-putting, but 911 loyalists are generally pleased with these elements as these stay true to function, something to be expected out of sports cars.

In terms of performance, the 911 is a sports car but you don’t need to drive in a circuit to get a sense of what it can do. For starters, handling is more settled and consistent so whatever bumps on the road you may encounter will be easily dealt with. You’ll appreciate best what a 911 can do though when you’re on wide, open roads.

Cons

While the Porsche 911 makes its 2+2 seating arrangement work, it is still lacking. Passenger space should have improved, after all, since the 911 now has a longer wheelbase. Still, changes in leg and head room measurements are not enough to make a meaningful statement. Rear seats remain suitable for children only and even then younger passengers will only fit if the front seats are moved to make more at the back.

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A History of the Porsche 911

Porsche’s halo car, the Porsche 911, is lauded as one of the oldest coupes in production and one of the most successful competition cars in the history of motorsport. This grand tourer first came out in 1963. Very few changes were made throughout its production, and its original distinctive design remains until today.

The 911 (Nine Eleven) is a rear-engine, rear-wheel or four-wheel drive car that comes in a coupe, cabriolet and Targa body styles. This succeeded the Porsche 356, the company’s first ever vehicle, which ended production in 1965.

The concept behind the 911 can be traced to Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche, grandson of company founder Ferdinand Porsche, in 1959. The 911 was created as a replacement for the 356, which was less powerful and less comfortable than its successor. It was initially called “901,” but after a dispute with Peugeot, was renamed 911.

Between 1973 and 1974, the great 911 classics were produced: the Carrera RS, the Turbo, and the SC. These models bore distinctive styles, and were greatly used in racing and rallies.

1998 marks the year when the 911 was switched from air-cooled to water-cooled engine. The latest 911 series, first introduced at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, carries a new platform: the third in its 50 years of production.

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