History of the 911

The Porsche 911 just rolled its millionth model off of the production line. A car with this many models must have quite the history.

Since its first version hit the road in 1963 to today, this two-door high-performance sports car has been named one of the top five Cars of the Century, Top Sports Cars of the 1960s and 1980s, and number two on Motor Trend’s 100 Coolest Cars.

How does a car go from being a relatively unknown entity to being called Car and Driver’s Best Premium Sports Car On The Market?” Here are some highlights of this premium sports car’s history:

In The Beginning

The Porsche 911 was actually supposed to be called the 901. It was meant to replace the 356 sports car. Unfortunately, The Peugeot Motor Company had the rights to three-digit car names that sued a zero in the middle. Porsche decided to go with 911 instead.

The first edition of this car had a 2.0-liter air-cooled flat-six engine located in the rear of the car. It eventually sported the world’s first rear spoiler on a production vehicle. That was just one of the elements that made this car stand out.

The First Makeover Worked

It took nearly a decade before Porsche decided to give the 911 a facelift. This second-generation G Model had a longer run than any other generation. It came with three-point safety belts and integrated headrests, something that wasn’t too common on cars in this era.

This second generation revealed the first 911 Turbo that came with a three-liter engine boasting 260 horsepower. This was followed by a 3.3-liter engine that earned a Best-in-Class 300 hp.

Innovations Continued

As the Porsche 911 grew in popularity, experts predicted that it was nearing the end of its run. That’s when Porsche released the 911 Carrera 4 that was made up of 85% near parts and components. It kept elements of its iconic look but took on a new feel everywhere else. One of the most impressive additions was an all-wheel-drive drivetrain that wasn’t previously available.

It wasn’t until the 90s that Porsche added an available twin-turbo engine to the 911. At the same time, this car took on some remarkable styling changes. We’re talking new headlights, a lower front end, and more.

A Turning Point For The 911

The 5th generation of the 911 introduced the first water-cooled engine. That means it could drive faster while producing fewer emissions. This is also when the first headlight with integrated directional indicators (turn signals) was put into practice. Many manufacturers scoffed at this idea, but they soon followed suit.

When the new generation of 911 hit the market in 2004, Porsche decided to pay homage to former 911 designs with clear oval headlights and separate blinkers. The Carrera S now came equipped with a 3.8-liter engine that made 355 hp. The addition of fuel injection and a double-clutch transmission made it even more efficient.

The biggest addition to this generation was the ability to customize the 911 with various models and upgrade packages. Newer versions included more options to personalize the experience. The GT3 RS and GT2 RS models also joined the lineup as track-read speedsters.

The Modern Day 911

2020 marked the eighth generation of this impressive and iconic car. It came with a complete redesign. This generation was meant to be more comfortable handling a variety of driving conditions. Drivers could now enjoy a supercar feel on everyday commutes. Top models come with a 3.0-liter turbocharged flat-six that produces 379 horsepower unless you go with an S model: now you get 443 horsepower.

Things are only getting more exciting with the 2022 models. Porsche’s trend of offering more options for a more diverse market continues. At this point, it’s easier to describe what the 911 isn’t versus trying to describe everything that it is. Top models can now go from zero to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds. You can even relive a classic driving experience with an available seven-speed manual transmission.

History In The Making

The driving theme behind the Porsche 911 was the question, “what can make this car better?” Porsche answers that question in spades with each generation. From technological advancements to offering more options for more drivers, the 911 continues to raise the bar. We can’t wait to see how the 911 evolves over the next million models.