“A true sports car – intelligent, with masterful engineering and brilliant aesthetics” is how the American comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who owns one of the world’s largest collections of Porsches, describes the 911. A love of detail and the pursuit of purist elegance are what make a Porsche. The epitome thereof is the Porsche 911, the object of countless stories and legends. Since its wheels first hit the road 56 years ago, it has embodied the combination of power and elegance like hardly any other sports car. The eighth generation of the 911 has now arrived, and not only continues the tradition but is also using the fast lane to accelerate into the digital age.
Strong, fast, beautiful: It sits powerfully on its wheels, unmistakably displaying the DNA of its Porsche design yet also a markedly more powerful appearance than all the previous 911s – and is equipped with a completely new interior featuring a 10.9-inch touchscreen monitor. Intelligent control and chassis elements as well as innovative assistance systems combine the masterful and uncompromising dynamism of the rear-engine sports car with the demands of the digital world.
“The pulsating heart of Porsche”
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume had this to say about the new edition of the legendary sports car: “The art consisted of taking a major step into the future with the new 911 yet still recognizing the legacy of the original version from 1963.” Blume described the eighth generation of the new 911 as even more powerful, emotionally evocative and efficient than its predecessors – and with an extensive array of digital features. Yet despite all its innovations, the 911 remains what it has always been. Its essence, according to Blume, is that of “a purist sports car, the pulsating heart of Porsche. Our iconic symbol.”
Why the ignition is on the left
This iconic car has a long history that is rich in stories and anecdotes. For example, the ignition in a Porsche is often to the left of the steering wheel. Why is that? As usual the reasons are practical instead of playful or arbitrary. When automotive racing began to take off in Le Mans back in 1925, the drivers did not sit behind the wheel at the starting line but stood several meters away, on their marks. As soon as the starting gun was fired, they sprinted to the cars, climbed in and started the ignition before driving off. To help them shift into gear more quickly, Porsche moved the ignition to the left side of the wheel so they could start the car while getting in. Race cars from Porsche have won thousands upon thousands of contests worldwide – though not only for that reason, of course. And they have driven into the hearts of an even greater number of fans. The Porsche 911 is no exception here. It too owes much to the principle of minimalist elegance whereby “form follows function.”
The car was almost called the 901
Very few people know that the 911 was originally supposed to be called the 901. Rival carmaker Peugeot objected to “901” because of naming rights to three-digit automotive designations with a “0” in the middle. So that is why the middle digit is now a “1.” But as either the 901 or 911, this Porsche would still have become the quintessential sports car. We present a brief overview of past generations:
Through Death Valley and a Finnish Winter
On to the newcomer, which has already clocked three million kilometers on test drives over mountains and in forests, through Death Valley in the USA and on winter roads in Finland, in temperatures from over 50 degrees Celsius to minus 35. Why? “In addition to its outstanding performance, the 911 has always In 2011, Type 991 arrived. It was in this generation that the one millionth Porsche 911 – the Irish Green anniversary Carrera S – rolled from the production line on May 11, 2017. A total of 217,930 units had been sold by October 31, 2018. Since the debut of the 911 in 1963, Porsche has sold 1,049,330 series-production units.been known for its everyday drivability,” explains Andreas Pröbstle, the project manager for the 911 vehicle. “That’s why we test the cars under all conditions, in all types of weather and in all sorts of regions. The drive systems have to function flawlessly, as do all the fluids, systems and operations as well as gauges and displays. That’s the only way we can be sure that the cars will run smoothly everywhere in the world.”
Wet mode and thermal imaging
Not only the new 911 but also the turbocharged flat-six engine belongs to a new generation. The 450 hp in the Carrera S and the Carrera 4S with all-wheel drive – a good 30 hp more than before – send the cars hurtling from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 4 seconds, with a peak mark of 3.4 seconds under top conditions. With the accelerator still down, the cars can reach 308 km/h. They also have a recess for a battery, and the housing that currently holds an 8-speed dual clutch transmission can accommodate an electric motor – allowing customers to retrofit a hybrid drive in the future if desired. Additional highlights of the new 911 include Porsche Wet Mode for even safer handling on wet surfaces, Night Vision Assist with thermal imaging and comprehensive connectivity that uses swarm intelligence.
- 911 Carrera S: Fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.9 (combined), CO₂ emissions in g/km: 205 (combined)
- 911 Carrera 4S: Fuel consumption in l/100 km: 9.0 (combined), CO₂ emissions in g/km: 206 (combined)