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The Porsche 911

The Porsche 911; undeniably the greatest sports car ever made. Although it could have been a slightly different story, as the car was originally unveiled to the world at the 1963 Frankfurt motor show as the Porsche 901.

The Porsche '901' was the successor to Porsche's first ever car, the 356. It wasn't until September 1964 that Porsche renamed the 901, to the now legendary '911', after Peugeot trademarked numbers with '0' in the middle.

With the Porsche 911 name fully established, this unbelievable sports car has gone on to create quite a name for itself. With the upcoming launch of the eight-generation Porsche 911, we take a look back at the legendary history of the world's greatest sports car.

Original Porsche 911

The Original Porsche 911

A true sports car is born. The original Porsche 911 consists of a 2-door, 2+2 coupe body with a flat-six air-cooled engine. These have since become legendary 911 characteristics, along with the engine being situated in the rear of the car. This concept, which seemed crazy to many, made the 911 all the more impressive as Porsche made it work so well in this somewhat flawed configuration.

What's more, the original Porsche 911 silhouette can be seen in each new 911 model produced throughout history. The iconic sloping roof line toward the rear of the car, and the 911's distinct round headlight set-up (aside from the 996) have been re-imagined on each new incarnation since first appearing on the '60s original.

Legendary and iconic are words which simply fall hand in hand with each generation of 911. The original gave the world legendary variants such as the 911 T, 911 S and the holy grail - the Carrera RS 2.7. This particular 911 featured the iconic 'ducktail' rear spoiler, which incidentally was the first rear spoiler ever fitted to a production vehicle.

Original Porsche 911.2
Porsche G Series Coupe

Porsche 911 (G Series)

A decade passed before the original 911 was given its first update. The silhouette was still there for all to see, but this generation of Porsche 911 displayed much bigger front and rear bumpers, to meet new crash test legislation. It was produced from 1973 to 1989 making it the longest production period for a 911 model.

The G Series era also gave birth to one of the most recognisable 911 models ever, in the form of the incredible Porsche 911 Turbo. The Turbo featured 260 hp and a colossal rear spoiler - it was the bedroom poster car for that era. This particular 911 also paved the way for the very first Porsche 911 Cabriolet, which was introduced in 1982 - allowing owners to enjoy true open-top sports car experience.

Porsche G Series Cab
Porsche 964

Porsche 911 (964)

The late eighties saw a dramatic overhaul of the Porsche 911. So much so that 85% of the car had entirely new components. Yet the external silhouette was still 100% Porsche 911. Other initiatives included aerodynamic polyurethane bumpers and the cutting-edge inclusion of an automatic extending rear spoiler. These key features ensured the Porsche 911 was at the forefront of state-of-the-art sports car design.

Designed to fully captivate the driver, the 964 also featured a greater level of comfort - a trait to which some regard the Porsche 911 as the pinnacle everyday sports car. The 964 welcomed ABS, power steering and airbags too, further complementing the 911's ability to be able to excel as doing the regular everyday stuff, whilst still excelling as a superb sports car when required.

The 964 was also the first 911 to feature all-wheel drive, in the form of the Carrera 4 model, with the '4' indicating the car's 4-wheel drive capabilities, a trend which has remained in today's model line-up too. The 964 era is hugely desirable and models such as the Carrera RS are hugely sought-after today.

Porsche 964 RS
Porsche 993

Porsche 911 (993)

993-generation Porsche 911 models are perhaps some of the prettiest 911s ever made, thanks to elegant, clean styling. A lower-slug front end is one of the reasons for this, which also help in making the 993-generation another highly sought-after Porsche 911.

The 993 was the first 911 to feature an all-new aluminium chassis, ensuring weight was kept to a minimum - perfect for true sports car characteristics. Another innovative feature was demonstrated in the 993 Turbo - which featured hollow-spoke aluminium wheels, another first for the 911, and the car as a whole.

Another first for the 993-generation Porsche 911 Turbo was the use of a biturbo engine, giving big power and lower emissions. But perhaps the biggest and most interesting factor concerning the 993 version of 911 is that is was the last Porsche 911 to feature an air-cooled engine!

Porsche 993 GT2
Porsche 996 Turbo

Porsche 911 (996)

In the late nineties, just before the new millennium, Porsche unveiled the 996 version of the 911. This was a completely new version of the iconic 911 sporting a quite substantial change in the form of the engine. This was because it was the first Porsche 911 to use a water-cooled engine.

Exterior styling also featured a key change, which was another first for a 911 and that was the inclusion of different headlights. These were no longer completely round, and featured integration of the car's indicators.

Many new model variations were introduced on the 996 generation too, which included a lot of high-performance focused models such as the 911 GT3 and an even more hardcore 911 GT2. Another first as this particular 911 era was with ceramic brakes as standard on the hardcore GT2.

Porsche 996
Porsche 997 GT3 RS

Porsche 911 (997)

Perhaps the most obvious change for the 997 era was the return of round headlights. It may seem like a minor change, but after the 996 era stepping away, the 997 was a welcome return to a characteristic that had featured on every era of the 911 since the original, except the 996 of course.

New engines included a 355 hp 3.8-litre found in the Carrera S, along with Porsche Active Suspension Management coming as standard on this particular version too.

For sheer choice, the 997 variants of Porsche 911 catered for a magnitude of models to suit many individual preferences. Legendary models such as the Turbo were available, along with Convertible versions. For those who didn't want a full Convertible, a Targa model was a welcome addition too. High-performance models such as 911 GTS versions, and the legendary Turbo model also filled the range, along with many versions available with the choice of the rear and all-wheel drive. Special models and GT models were also available, which again are still highly sought-after today.

Porsche 997 Pair
Porsche 991 R

Porsche 911 (991)

The 991 era was all about setting new standards for technology. Porsche Intelligent Performance ensured lower fuel consumption, yet more power! This was done by reducing engine size of the standard Carrera to 3.4-litres, yet thanks to a steel/aluminium construction, Porsche were able to make the 911 lighter, thus ensuring the car was quicker than previous generation 911 models.

A brand-new chassis with an enhanced wheelbase and increased track width, complemented by larger tyres were enhancements made elsewhere. This ensured the world's best sportscar could once again display superb performance credibility.

Thanks to rear-axle steering and Porsche Active Suspension Management - along with those enhancements already mentioned, the 911 completed a lap of the infamous Nürburgring-Nordschleife in just 7 minutes and 30 seconds, an improvement of 10 seconds over the previous 997 version.

Porsche 991 Turbo S
Porsche 992 Front

Porsche 911 (992)

2019 sees the latest generation Porsche 911 unveiled. Quite simply the most technologically advanced and also the cleanest 911 ever, with 70% of the body being made of aluminium. Introducing the 992. Still staying true to the iconic 911 silhouette, the latest 911 makes use of a recessed bonnet - a styling touch that celebrates classic 911 models.

Although classic details and of course the silhouette remain, a full-width light bar ensures the rear-end is very much the epitome of cutting-edge design. As a whole, the 992 features a more muscular appearance, with all variants featuring a wider body, which in previous generations has been reserved for the higher-performance models only.

The 992 also features staggered wheel sizing, with 20-inch wheels at the front and larger 21-inch wheels at the rear.

Interior detail is state-of-the-art with multiple screens and beautifully laid out switch gear ensuring this sports car is as cutting-edge as it gets. Performance has also never been better with Carrera S models delivering 444 bhp and 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds.

Porsche 992 Back

The Next Chapter

We cannot wait to see what is in store for the next chapter of this legendary sports car. With models offering more performance, unbelievable technology and Porsche engineers constantly pushing the boundaries of what's possible - the future is bright for this iconic sports car. The Porsche 911 story will continue to impress. Watch this space.

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