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A “Real” Porsche 911…

It’s an interesting term, ‘A “Real” Porsche 911’. But, what exactly is a “Real” Porsche 911?

EVER SINCE THE Porsche 356 was replaced by the 901, now more than 50 years ago, there’s been an undercurrent of ‘enthusiast’ Porsche owners with a hankering for the old and traditional – struggling to embrace the new. A cynic might say these people live in the past.

Before I elaborate, I must confess that I’m one of those enthusiasts. I’ve been known to entirely miss the latest 991 GT3 RS roaring past, simply because I was totally focussed on a cute little 1970s 911T.

There are just so many different examples of where changes in the production of the Porsche 911 has led to a longing to possess one of ‘The last of …”.

For example, there’s the last of the:

  • Short-wheel-base 911s (1968 911S);
  • Pre-Impact Bumper (long hood) 911s (1973 2.4S);
  • Traditional shape 911s (3.2 Carrera);
  • Rear wheel drive 911 turbos (964 3.6);
  • Air-cooled 911s (993);
  • Mezger-engined 911s (997 GT3, RS 3.8 or 4.0);
  • Mezger-engined 911 Turbo (997 v1);
  • Naturally aspirated 911 Carreras (991 v1); and
  • Manual transmission 911 GT3s (997 v2).

There are valid (and many invalid) arguments as to why each is the last “Real” Porsche 911. Ultimately though it’s not about whether these are better cars than their predecessors and successors, it’s about whether the market thinks they are. 

Now to the latest iteration, the 2017 991 RSR. For a guaranteed dose of goose bumps, watch the following “Spearhead” video. On the big screen. With the volume turned up to 11

For 2017, in order to be more competitive, Porsche have given the 911 RSR a full carbon-fibre body. Interesting as that is, the more seismic change is that it now has, wait for it… A mid-engine layout.

That’s right, the engine is no longer behind the rear axle, rather in front of it.

As the racing technology always, inevitably trickles down to the production cars, I can just see it now: it’s 2020, the new mid-engined 992 (or whatever they choose to call it) has just been released…. it’s the biggest, fastest, lightest, best-est Porsche 911 ever. But is it a “Real” Porsche 911?

Because we all know that a “Real” Porsche 911 is rear-engined.

Don’t we?

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3 Comments

  1. simon gray
    February 8, 2017 at 10:53 am — Reply

    Would it have 4 seats?

  2. trackdaze
    February 8, 2017 at 5:07 pm — Reply

    a real porsche to me is a widowmaker with its aircooled motor slung outback, ready to throw you halfway up a tree backwards at the merest hint of amatuer driving.

  3. Ross
    May 29, 2020 at 7:16 pm — Reply

    The question is what makes a real Porsche not just a 911. To me a Porsche new model must be better than its predecessor and equal to any competitor.
    The only 911 that has not been an improvement was the replacement for the 1983 introduced 3.2 Carrera 231 hp. During the transition to unleaded the new versions of the 911 and 928 were disappointing.
    The 928S and subsequent versions were all at the top of their class – despite not being a traditional Porsche.
    The Boxster had a slow start but has remained the benchmark for two seater sports cars (which by definition must be convertible).
    The 996s get a fair share of negative commentary but its performance exceed the previous 993 and its sales allowed Porsche to exist.
    Their SUVs are good but the criteria of what is best has too many undefined standards as to what is best in a SUV.
    A sports car is an easy product to make and have performance criteria for as SUV/and people carrying vehicles that takes more than two adults and two over 8 year olds have to cater to a wide range of weights to carry and hence are engineered with a wider range of needs.
    911s that don’t have the option of a manual transmission offend my driving needs and take away the concentration and skills of mastering an entertaining drive. I fall asleep in automatics especially on cruise control.

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Peter Bosland

Peter Bosland

I was educated in the Netherlands & Australia and I speak 3 languages.
Growing up, the family business was focussed on road building.
With numerous passionate drivers (family members) around, and access to Autobahns, my love of sports cars developed quickly.

After 35 years in IT, I now have the opportunity to apply the knowledge I've accumulated over;
• 40 years of sports car desire, passion & research,
• Thousands of sports car magazines, and hundreds of books,
• 20 years of keen awareness of the Classic & Prestige sports car market,
• 15 years of collecting German sports cars,

The result is VeruMachina: The standard in classic and prestige motoring provenance.
check us out at: www.verumachina.com