Has the 911 jumped the shark? Or did it do that years ago?

Arguments rage about the "purity" of the 911, but did it lose that 40 years ago?

4y ago

Porsche people tend to be quite passionate. I deal with Lotus a lot these days and Lotus guys often have a bee in their bonnet about Porsche. That's fine. Everyone supports their own team and will defend them as best they can.

But, for a long time I was a committed Porsche fan. I still do like their products, although I'm rapidly falling out of love with the company. In fact, I think the moment they consciously chose to start limiting cars like the Cayman GT4 and 911 GT3 RS to create an inflated second-hand market, I decided they were not the firm for me anymore.

The basic 911 going turbocharged hasn't helped my opinion of the model. Now, total disclaimer, I haven't driven a 911 any newer than a 997. And then only briefly. But I know plenty of Porsche guys who wouldn't be seen dead in something that has water running around the engine. What witchcraft!

The 911 is often criticized for being a bit stuck-in-the-mud, but equally many fans have stuck by it because of what it represents. With each step-change though, there are some who will stick their hands in the air and go "This is no longer a 911!". I even hear rumours about the next generation being mid-engined....

I ran a 993 targa for a while, a restoration project that revealed a lot about the "brilliant" 993 - it's not perfect!

I ran a 993 targa for a while, a restoration project that revealed a lot about the "brilliant" 993 - it's not perfect!

SO, are you a 911 fan? Do you think the best one is always the newest one, or have you got a firm favourite? When did you think they "jumped the shark".... perhaps it was recently.... maybe the turbos all round? No, how about electric steering? What about water cooling? What about the radically restyled 993's exterior? Maybe when it got POWER steering? Maybe when it got US-spec bumpers? Or maybe when it got a wheelbase extension in 1967?

Porsche have tried to replace it numerous times - but it keeps on kicking. So Porschephiles, tell me, is the 911 going to keep on for another 50 years or has it already gone one step too far for your money?

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Comments (2)

  • I'm a fan of Porsches of the past, and love the prospect of endless improvements in their future cars.

    To be brutally honest, I also have absolutely no doubt that some of those that are most passionate for all things Porsche, are working today to make tomorrow's cars better than yesterday's, and doing an awesome job of it. Any notion that yesterday's models are actually better than tomorrow's is largely nostalgia.

    All up, the key to my own life long love affair with Porsche brilliant cars is to appreciate each car and model for what they are and appreciate the design in the context of the period in which it was done.

      4 years ago
  • It's an interesting and emotive topic, and also hugely subjective. I guess it all boils down to why you like 911s - do you like them just because of how they drive? Or is the drive itself just one aspect in a kaleidoscope of factors including aesthetics, pedigree, the 911's long history, and so on? If it's just the drive itself then the very latest 991 still remains an enthusiastic and committed steer, even if it has sacrificed some of its soul to turbos and PDK. If you're buying into the whole 'Porsche ownership' experience then I can understand a certain level of frustration. A simple analogy would be to liken it to an AC/DC fan waking up one morning to find the band had signed for Simon Cowell and were releasing a new album of pop ballads. No matter how loyal that fan is, they'd be disgusted that the band had turned their back on their signature sound.. But if AC/DC had been slowly softening their music over 40 years .................................. does that mean they never really had a signature sound, and it's all been one long process of development where the fans are just along for the ride?

      4 years ago