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Celebrating 50 Years of Porsche 911

Cars
Celebrating 50 Years of Porsche 911

In 1931, a German named Ferdinand Porsche established a company called Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche GmbH. From the very start, the company was involved with cars that eventually became icons. The company was responsible for the Volkswagen Beetle, one of the most popular car designs of all time, after it was asked by the German government to design a people’s car.

Eventually, Porsche started making cars under his own name. In 1939, he came out with the Porsche 64, a car that shared similar features with the Beetle. After World War II, Porsche started selling the 356, considered as the first real Porsche car as it was the first model sold by the company.

Then Came 911

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In 1963, the entire world took notice when Porsche released the 911 during the Internationale Automobil Ausstellung, or more popularly known as the Frankfurt Motor Show. Based on sketches made four years earlier by Ferdinand Butzi Porsche, the grandson of the company’s founder, the 911 was larger, more powerful and more comfortable than the 356. While its debut featured just a mock up engine that wouldn’t start, a working one was introduced in the first quarter of 1964. Actual production started in the third quarter of the same year.

The car was originally called the 901 and 82 vehicles were built with such designation. A rival car manufacturer from France, Peugeot, owned the exclusive rights however to all car names made up of three numbers with a zero in the middle. Porsche was thus forced to change the name to 911, though internally, the car’s part numbers still had the 901 label.

The first 911 in the United States rolled out in the first quarter of 1965. At a price of U.S. $6,500, the car featured a 130 PS flat six engine that can generate up to 96 kW or 128 hp. The displaced 1991 cc engine was air cooled and mounted in the rear. Buyers had a choice between a four- or five-speed manual transmission system. Though technically a four-seater, it was more commonly known as a 2 + 2 as the rear seats were quite small.

Since then, the 911 classic has undergone several evolutions. These include the following:

  • 911S – introduced in 1966. The engine’s power was raised to 158 hp.
  • Targa – introduced in 1967. The Targa featured a stainless steel-clad roll bar. It had a removable roof panel and plastic rear window.
  • 911T – introduced in 1967 with a 108 hp engine.
  • 911R – limited edition with only 20 being made. It had thin aluminum doors, magnesium crankcase and twin-spark cylinder heads.
  • 911L – featured an engine with 128 hp.
  • 911E – featured a fuel-injected engine.
  • Sportomatic – had a four-speed automatic clutch transmission.

The 911 classic was in the market until 1989. Porsche introduced several other variants of the 911, with some becoming more popularly known for the company’s internal classification numbers. All of them are sold under the 911 brand, however. These include the following:

  • Porsche 930 – the turbo version of the Porsche 911 classic.
  • Porsche 964 – used from 1989 to 1994.
  • Porsche 993 – used from 1993 to 1998.
  • Porsche 996 – used from 1999 to 2005. This series featured the first 911 engines that were water-cooled.
  • Porsche 997 – used from 2005 to 2012.
  • Porsche 991 – used from 2012.

The Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Special Edition

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Owning a Porsche is special enough. Jerry Seinfeld, the famous American comedian, is so fascinated with the car that he actually has a collection of different Porsche models. While owning a Porsche of any year model is enough reason to celebrate, the company has further upped the ante by releasing a Special Edition 911 on the model’s 50th anniversary.

As the 911 was first built in 1963, Porsche has decided to build only 1,963 units of this model. It has a retro styling, though Porsche has never really deviated that far from the original design. The 911 50th Anniversary Special Edition takes off from the Porche Carrera and has a wide body and an engine that boasts of an additional 30 hp when compared with the 911S model. It also has the Porsche Active Suspension Management and special seats. The wheels are also specially designed for the anniversary model.

Manual transmission is available and lucky buyers can choose between black and metallic gray. The car is being sold for U.S. $124,100. That is around a quarter more than the Porsche Carrera S.

Porsche 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S

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The Porsche 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S 2014 models are the latest cars from the 911 series of the vehicle. Both models have all-wheel drive systems, twin turbos, four-wheel steering setup and active aerodynamics.

The 911 Turbo has an engine that boasts of 520 hp and torque of 487 lb-ft. Those are 20 hp and 7 lb-ft more than the previous version. Additionally, buyers can opt in the Sport Chrono package features a temporary overboost function that has additional torque of 37 lb-ft available for short bursts.

On the other hand, the 911 Turbo S increased the engine hp of its previous version from 530 to 560 hp. The torque remains at 516 lb-ft, which is the same as the older version. The Sport Chrono overboost function is a standard feature for this new model.

No manual transmission is available for either models, however. Both the Turbo and Turbo S instead rely on the seven-speed dual clutch automatic PDK transmission. Power is distributed to the front and rear axles by an electronically controlled multi-plate center. There is also a water-cooling setup for the coupling. This means that more torque can be sent up to the front wheels when compared to the previous versions.

The Turbo can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds. With the Sport Chrono package, it can do the distance in 3.2 seconds. Top speed is at 196 mph. The Turbo S comes in at a more impressive 2.7 seconds from zero to 60, with a top speed of 198 mph.

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