The styling of the 911 or the 901 as it was called then can be already be recognised as the next styling variant to its predecessor 356. The new model first appeared at the 1963 Frankfurt Show under the ‘901’ banner. Then, almost immediately the extraordinary process of Porsche Motorcars evolution began.
The history of the 911 can be traced back to 1956, when Porsche decided to build a four-seater that would be larger than the 356. Porsche then had no intention then of replacing the 356 with this new model during the project however, Ferry Porsche changed his mind, because if the new car would be a “four-seater the Porsche” it would have to compete with large companies like Daimler-Benz that would be a tough competition for a small manufacturer like Porsche. To avoid this Porsche decided the car would have to be a two-seater like the 356. The 911 however was designed to be more luxurious then the 356, they carried over some of the 356's distinctive styling features but it also had a more modern look, a roomier interior and a six-cylinder engine with more power.
In the autumn of 1964 the 911 went into production (as the A-series). A lot of people argued that this car couldn't be considered a 'real' Porsche, because it was supposed to be too luxurious and too heavy. At the pre-launch, the press response was enthusiastic “Car and Driver called it '...worth the price of all the old Porsche cars put together. Of these early 911’s the rarest and most highly collectable variants are the SWB (Short Wheel Base) models produced from 1965 through to 1968.
With a first overall win at Le Mans under its belt, 1970 was a good year for Porsche. Just a few months earlier in August 1969, a bigger capacity version of its classic production flat-six was introduced, so, for 1970 the 911S sported a 2195cc engine. Also, for 1970 their “S” variant was offered with an optional Targa body style. This model has now become one of the rarest production models of all time since the 911 commenced manufacture. The combination of a 180 bhp race-ready package with the removable Targa roof was an instant success. The main focus of the model’s engine upgrade was re-profiled camshafts, larger valves, better porting & a higher compression ratio. The chassis upgrades included a rear anti-roll bar, Koni shock absorbers and ventilated discs which replaced the standard solid rotors, special gear ratios were installed in the five-speed transmission including an overdrive 5th gear. The higher ratios allowed for 0-60 in eight seconds.
The Porsche 911 is probably the most recognized and iconic 2-door sports car produced by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany. It has a distinctive design, rear-engined and with independent rear suspension, an evolution of the swing axle design used on the Porsche 356 with the fitment of the famous air-cooled flat 6 “boxer” engine. Since its introduction in 1963 the car has undergone continuous development, though the basic concept has remained little changed until this day.
The 911 models have been modified by private teams and by the factory itself for racing, rallying and other forms of motorsport. It is amongst the most successful competition cars ever. In the mid-1970s, normally aspirated 911 Carrera RSR’s won major world championship sports car races such as Targa Florio, Daytona, Sebring & Nürburgring, even against works prototypes.
RS stands for Rennsport, translated to race sport in English. These motorcars were constructed by Porsche to enter racing formulae that demanded a certain minimum number of production cars were produced. Compared with a standard 911S 2.4, the Carrera 2.7 RS had a larger engine (2687 cc) developing 210 BHP (150 kW) with MFI, revised and stiffened suspension, a “ducktail" rear spoiler, larger brakes, wider rear wheels and rear fenders. In its RS Touring format the car weighed 1075 kg (2370 lb), in Sport Lightweight form it was about 100 kg (220 lb.) lighter, the saving coming from the thin-gauge steel used for parts of the body shell and also the use of thinner glass. In total, 1580 were made, comfortably exceeding the 500 that had to be constructed to qualify for the vital FIA Group 4 class. The RS model is considered by many to be the greatest classic 911 of all-time.
Following the outstanding success of the 1973 Carrera RS 2.7 and RSR 2.8, Porsche needed to improve their performance in sports car racing, particularly at Le Mans. Their now infamous 1974 Carrera RSR 3.0 was both the solution and the pinnacle of development of the car, complete with more power, 11J and 14J wide wheels and tyres, wider wheel arches, a wider front air dam and air intake and an enormous rear wing. The Carrera RS 3.0 with its wide wings and new spoiler shape was built even less compromisingly for speed than the 2.7 RS and was even more exclusive.
The three-litre Carrera was almost twice as expensive as the 2.7 RS but offered a fair amount of racing capability for that price. The chassis was largely similar to that of the 1973 Carrera RSR and the brake system was from the Porsche 917. The use of thin metal plate panels and a spartan interior enabled the shipping weight to be reduced to around 1060 kilograms, which gave the three litres 230 HP engine plenty of room to manoeuvre.” The way in which this powerful sprinter moves into action begs comparison – but is unlikely to find any” is how Klaus Westrup described the superiority of the Carrera in auto motor und sport. The sprint star could accelerate to 100 km/h in little over 5 seconds. To this day the Carrera RS 3.0 remains one of the most exciting and fascinating cars in the world.
In 1992, Porsche produced a super-lightweight, rear-wheel-drive only version of the 964 dubbed Carrera RS for the European market. It was based on Porsche's 911 "Carrera Cup" race cars and harked back to the 2.7 and 3.0 RS and RSR models. It featured a revised version of the standard engine, titled M64/03 internally, with an increased power output of 260 bhp (194 kW; 264 PS) and lightweight flywheel coupled to the G50/10 transmission with closer ratios, asymmetrical Limited Slip Differential and steel synchromesh. A track-oriented suspension system with 40 mm (1.6 in) lower ride height, stiffer springs shocks and adjustable stabilizer bars. The cars weight reduction is the key to the superb performance produced by the 964 RS, which is some 4% lighter that a standard model. Its overall weight was now down to approximately 1,230kg.
The 911 Speedster (M503), is a low-roof version of the Cabriolet inspired by the iconic 1950's Porsche 356 Speedster. This unique Porsche model was produced only in 1989 and understand from factory records just 139 right hand drive models were made worldwide. Considered by most Porsche connoisseurs as the most attractive design of the 911 series ever built.
With horsepower up by 90bhp and weight down by 154 lbs (70 kilograms) in comparison with the previous model, the 911 GT2 RS has a power-to-weight ratio of just 4.9 lbs (2.21 kg) per horsepower, by far the best power/weight ratio in its class. These are the ideal ingredients for an Ultra-high-performance sports car with supreme agility and truly blistering performance on the road. The 3.6 litre six-cylinder boxer engine features two variable turbine geometry turbochargers and provides power to the rear wheels exclusively through a six-speed manual gearbox. Tyres were specifically developed for the 911 GT2 RS and measure 245/35 ZR 19 at the front and 325/30 ZR 19 at the rear, delivering cornering performance to match the straight-line speed. Extreme cornering dynamics are ensured by the setup of the springs, Porsche Adaptive Suspension Management (PASM), unique anti-roll bars, specific engine mounts and recalibrated Porsche Stability Management (PSM), whose stability and traction control functions can be switched off individually. The combined effect of these developments is evident on the racetrack. In fact, the 911 accelerates from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, boasts a top speed of 205 mph and laps the famed Nürburgring-Nordschleife racetrack in just 7 minutes and 18 seconds. The unique looks of this limited production 911 GT2 RS stands out clearly from the other 911 models through the lavish use of carbon-fibre-reinforced components with a matt-black surface finish, even wider wheels (including flared wheel arches at the front), new light-alloy wheels with central locking and “GT2 RS“ model designations on the doors and rear lid. Matte-finish carbon also graces the redesigned front spoiler lip and the 3/8th of an inch (10 mm) taller rear spoiler lip – which both enhances aerodynamics and provide extra down force.