After an eight year run, that brought with it the greatest number of sales (233,540 units) for any 911 generation, Porsche has completed the production run its last 991-generation 911, with an ever so fittingly, special-edition 911 Speedster.
Only 1,948 of the GT3-based drop top were produced, priced from $604,800 before on-road costs here in Australia, making it one of the most expensive and most exclusive 911’s you could buy. Utilising the same chassis as the 911 GT3 RS and 911 R, the Speedster is powered by a 4.0-litre aspirated flat six-cylinder engine that produces 375kW at 8400rpm and 470Nm, mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
“Porsche stands for both tradition and innovation. This is reflected nowhere more clearly than in the core of the brand – the 911,” said Michael Steiner, Chief Research and Development Officer Porsche AG.
“The 911 replaced the 356 in 1963 and, in the decades that followed, our rear engine model grew into an unrivalled sports car icon. The 991 generation in particular has set new standards in terms of performance, drivability and efficiency. It fills me with pride, as well as a touch of sadness, to have to send it off into retirement. For myself, I can say that the 991 has given me enormous pleasure.”
The 991-generation 911 was so successful in fact, that it’s sheer popularity and sales drove the 911 nameplate passed its one millionth production milestone. To mark the momentous occasion, a truly special example was built, painted in Irish Green and featured leather and Pepita seats, just like Ferdinand Porsche’s first 911. In the same year, Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur presented the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series with 446 kW and in the spectacular Golden Yellow Metallic paintwork.
Launched in 2011 as one of the biggest developmental steps in the history of the 911, the 991 generation saw nearly 90 percent of its components either completely newly designed, and parts that weren’t brand new had undergone substantial development.
The 991 was lighter than it’s predecessor, thanks to a lightweight body made of an innovative aluminium-steel composite. The chassis was 100mm longer than the model that it replaced (the 997), and for the first time, could be equipped with a new, optional roll stabilisation system – Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC).
The 911 Cabriolet brought further innovation when it launched in 2012. Lightweight magnesium bows made it possible to achieve a coupé-like curve of roof when closed, and with a silhouette that was retained even at high speeds. The 911 Targa that followed toward the end of 2012 was even more spectacular. Following the design of the legendary original Targa, the new model had the characteristic wide hoop instead of B-pillars, and at the push of a button, the front section of the roof could be moved automatically and stored at the rear.
The 991 generation also gave us the fastest and most powerful road going 911 ever – the absolutely brutal GT2 RS that punched out a massive 515kW/750Nm from its twin-turbo 3.8-litre flat-six which was revealed in 2017. It quickly, and rightfully so, earned it’s nickname – The Widowmaker. It was also the most expensive 911, priced from $645,400 plus on-road costs.
The GT2RS’s naturally aspirated sibling followed a few months later. The 911 GT3 RS had a racing chassis and a 382 kW four-litre naturally aspirated engine, perfectly combining road and race track in one vehicle.
The 991 also introduced active aerodynamics and petrol particulate filters on the 911 Turbo, which brought us further special-edition models, such as the 911 R, GT3 Touring and Carrera T.
The new 992-generation 911 arrived on Australian shores in February 2019 in middle of the range Carrera S guise, shortly followed by the entry level Carrera later in the year, and is the eighth generation of 911 since its introduction in 1963. We can expect the new 992 911 Turbo, Turbo S and GTS variants to follow throughout 2020, with more special-edition models throughout the 992’s life cycle.