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Dearest 911 not the fastest?

2009-09-08 11:05
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Porsche
Model 911 Sport Classic
Engine 3.8l flat-six
Power 300kW @ 7 300r/min
Torque 420Nm @ 4 200-5 600r/min
Transmission Six-speed manual
Zero To Hundred 4.6 sec
Top Speed 302km/h
Fuel Tank 64l
Weight 1 425kg
Tyres F: 253/35 ZR 19, R: 305/30 ZR 19
Dream car for 1970s 911 fetishists or hugely cynical marketing exercise?

Meet Porsche’s (very) limited edition 911 Sport Classic - set to be one of the company's main attractions when next week's Frankfurt auto show opens.

It’s been a rather awful year for Porsche as the company’s management delivered it to near bankruptcy and resigned it to become another one of VW’s brands.

Currently Stuttgart prosecutors are investigating claims of rampant Porsche insider trading too. Not a happy state of affairs.

The engineers are still pretty switched on though.

From a product perspective the Porsche portfolio is still one of the most desirable around.

The company's latest 911 though, rather unoriginally named the Sport Classic, would appear to a bit of marketing department directive.

They’re only making 250, yet for such a limited edition run, it doesn’t appear to be awfully special at first.

Adding to the vexing logic surrounding this retro Carrera S, it's not the fastest 911 either, despite headlining the pricing table as by far the most expensive 911 on sale.

Hardly makes sense, now does it?

Retails for the price of a Cayman S and 911 Turbo combined. Hardly faster than the former and laughably slower than the latter.  Pointless car? Maybe not…

Contemporary RS chic?

What Porsche would like to have you believe is that the 911 Sport Classic is the embodiment of retro 1970s Porsche road racer cool.

Technically it’s based on the Carrera S. Has the same radically oversquare 3.8l flat-six engine, and weighs the same too – 1 425kg.

Thanks to some performance exhaust plumbing, modified cylinder heads, a new intake system and revised engine management electronics, power is up 17kW over the stock Carrera S.

Sport Classic peaks at 300kW, whilst maximum rotational force remains the same as a stock Carrera S though, with 420Nm.

Performance? Well, it's standard Carrera S fare too, 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds, top speed around 302km/h.

The 250 Sport Classic cars drive their rear wheels via a limited-slip differential, changing ratios courtesy of a six-speed manual gearbox only – no clever tricky clutch PDK option here.

If Porsche wishes to conjure up memories of the legendary 911s RS, demanding handling and fluid chassis dynamics simply have to be part of the 911 Sport Classic package.

To this end the company’s fabled active suspension management package is standard and the Sport Classic rides 20mm lower than a Carrera S.

Fixed ducktail rear spoiler echoes a flood of Porsche racing memories.

All the right styling cues...

Sheet metal surfacing is where the most significant changes have been rung in.

The Sport Classic boasts a ducktail rear engine cover spoiler (reminiscent of the 1973 2.7 RS) and if you follow the roofline, you’ll notice some odd visual tension courtesy of its double-bubble surfacing – a la Carrera GT.

Other styling refinements include a new lip spoiler and black surrounds framing the bi-xenon headlights – a heritage lighting set-up harking back to the 1974 911 Turbo RSR.

Around the rear of the Sport Classic is Carrera 4S bodywork, accommodating a 34mm wider rear track, which should improve stability.

The Sport Classic’s styling piece de resistance though is found rolling in its four wheelarches.

Those black 19-inch Fuchs wheels should have 911 traditionalists reaching for their defibrillators...

Nothing is more retro Porsche than a set of Fuchs alloy wheels - the strikingly simple five-spoke, one-piece alloy wheels which adorned Porsche most focused road-going 911s of the 1960s and 70s.

The Sport Classic features 19-inch, five-blade Fuchs wheels finished in black, which looks extraordinarily good, contrasting perfectly with their yellow Porsche badged hubs and the Sport Classic’s grey-white lacquer.

Hiding behind those fabulous Fuchs wheels are cross-drilled and internally vented ceramic brakes.

Measuring a substantial 350mm in diameter fore and aft, these ceramic brakes are actuated by six-piston callipers on the front axle and four-piston grabbers at the rear. The Sport Classic should stop okay then, we reckon…

Despite the perceptible presence of cynical marketing in the execution of the Sport Classic, the 911 heritage details to add up to something quite desirable.

Although £140 049 list (by far the most expensive 911 on sale) for something slower than a GT3 RS or 911 Turbo still takes some explaining.


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