An icon, the 911? Certainly, but Porsche still needs to multiply the variations (and further developments) to remain firmly on its basis. In the last year alone, the German company revived the T, redesigned the GT3 RS and then brought the Dakar to the streets. And now it’s inventing the S/T to mark the 60th anniversary of that model, which sells less well than the all-electric Taycan but otherwise makes more profit. The electric transition can be financed.
Published yesterday at 11:45am.
The Porsche 911 was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 12, 1963 and is celebrating its 60th anniversary. A success ? More of an achievement, since this sports car no longer weighs so heavy in terms of volume (13% of sales in 2022). On the other hand, it remains the brand’s most profitable model, which is why it continues to exist, but not without the efforts of its designers.
Around twenty variations
It must be said that Porsche has skillfully managed to maintain the insatiable appetite of fans of this model. Since 1963, the German manufacturer has assembled more than 1.2 million 911 units of all versions. And there were several and not all of them were always very subtle. The press is annoyed, but the customer demands more. Today, the eighth generation has more than twenty variants in the catalog and Porsche management is careful not to reveal which are the most popular.
Porsche estimates that its model portfolio will be 80% electrified by 2030. Macan, Cayenne, 718 (Boxster and Cayman) will each have a cable to the wheel to regenerate the batteries that power them. “Not the 911,” promises the brand’s staff, but it cannot be ruled out that the ninth generation of the 911, expected in 2028, will be partially electrified (48 volts, plug-in hybrid?). The 100% electric 911? It can always wait, but Porsche is working on it, especially in the area of dry batteries (solid-state batteries) and their implementation in an emerging chassis (codename SSP). At the same time, Porsche relies on synthetic fuel (see “Technical data” tab) to keep the horsepower numbers firmly in check.
Exceptionally complex puzzle
Last year, Porsche Canada released three additional versions of the 911, including the special 60th Anniversary Edition (S/T) that illustrates this test bench. Only 1,963 units will leave the production line. This limited production, as you guessed it, alludes to the commercial release of the 911.
Aside from the commemorative badges, this S/T once again shows the creativity of the engineers and marketing managers. You just have to draw from the organ bank to assemble “real-fake” organs. The S/T is a good example of this. It benefits from the existing mechanics, foregoes certain electronic devices for “cleaner” driving behavior and thereby loses a few kilos, making it the lightest 911 of its generation. A beautiful cocktail that costs more than $300,000. Aside from the brand’s fanatical and wealthy customers, there are cheaper ways to enjoy the driving pleasure and elegance of the 911. And the T version is one of them. And it costs at least half as much.
The T is far from the most powerful 911. It also makes barely more horsepower and torque than an Acura Integra Type S. But that’s not the primary quality of this Porsche, which we value above all for its adaptability.
No matter who is behind the wheel, no matter what the traffic conditions, the 911 is suitable for all hands and all terrains. That was not always so. In the eyes of strict Porchists, this is the biggest mistake. Before, when you were in charge, you couldn’t be afraid. You had to whip it up, decipher its instructions to get the full essence of it. And it hasn’t always rewarded you for your hard work.
Today you have to drive extremely fast to feel that slight shimmy of the front axle, feel that swing steering wheel or recognize the peculiarities of a vehicle whose engine is mounted at the rear. Unless you want to play your license or have access to a race track, these character traits are unknown to users. You will quickly discover the quality of the driving position, the excellent visibility, the very small turning circle, the confidence it inspires and the braking effect that never fails even after repeated requests. Happy Birthday !
From $141,500 to $278,229
11.8 L/100 km (measured in our tests)
- Proven and reliable model
- Excellent visibility
- Sporty driving and manual transmission
We like less
- Only two seats and two-wheel drive (T)
- Extensive options catalog
- Dry suspensions
The art of making the cash drawer ring for as long as possible
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La Presse will soon publish the test of the following vehicles: Cadillac Lyriq, Ford Mustang, GMC Sierra, Hyundai Kona, Mitsubishi Mirage, Lucid Air and Volkswagen Atlas. If you own one of these vehicles or are awaiting delivery, we would love to hear from you.