Is this the end of the porsche 911?
Have porsche's latest decisions signed the 911's death certificate?
I’ve never really been a fan of Porsche. Yes they’re brilliant vehicles. Iconic, track ready weapons. But they’ve never excited me. Purely for the fact that they all look the same and for a long time I couldn’t really see a difference between the Boxter and the 911.
To be completely honest I’m not even sure if I’ve got those names right. Is the Boxter a 911? Or is the 911 separate? If so, where does the 991 fit into this? Okay, so we’ve established Porsche like the numbers 9 and 1 and that I can’t for the life of me keep up with the constant number and name changing. A trip to their car configurator will have to take place later I’m sure.
This is a problem, though. Because of the limited design differences between models it seems to me that there hasn’t been much progression. The only changes I’ve noticed were the addition of electric steering, which is a bad idea on any performance-oriented car, the change from the flat six-cylinder to a four-cylinder turbo engine in the 718, which was just daft. Oh, and the move from air-cooled motors back in the late 90s. That one didn’t please the purists one bit.
Every move seems to be in the wrong direction, doesn’t it? Yet they’ve somehow managed to maintain the overall design of their sporting pedigree: A flattened VW Beetle, some fancy hardware, and an engine in the rear.
The Porsche RSR 911.
This is the Porsche RSR 911. It’s mid-engined. It’s different.
Designed to make the most of the Le Mans 24 Hours GT regulations, this car will be racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship starting with the Daytona 24 Hours in January. Everything has been changed from the suspension and the aero, to the engine and transmission. And this worries me a bit.
One part of me is shouting “Hooray! A change!” The other part is biting his nails wishing it would go away.
With the engine moved forward there's much more space for a diffuser.
I don’t like change. For example, I still own a pair of leather boots from when my feet stopped growing. Yes, I know I have a baby face but that was a long time ago now thanks very much. I still sometimes wear these boots. They’re old and a bit tatty. The soles are worn and they’re starting to let water in, but they are mine and I don’t want to replace them. I even tried, but to no avail. So these boots are now tucked towards the back of my wardrobe. Slowly falling apart, slowly fading from memory.
I have to buy new boots now. But all I see are blue velvety things with fluffy insides and thick laces. The RSR is these boots.
The last of the air-cooled Porsches. the 911 933 turbo.
Porsche has told me that the RSR is only for the championship and that it will never reach the public roads nor be sold at a dealership. I bet that’s what Dodge said about the Charger Daytona, but look at what happened with that. Plenty of changes have occurred due to advancements in racing. Like DOHC engines for example. And big stupid wings on muscle cars that I annoyingly want to own one day. How long do you think it will be until there’s a road legal Porsche with a mid-engine layout from the factory? With electric steering, a water-cooled turbo engine, and a start button on the normal side of the steering wheel?
But more importantly, how long will it be until we forget what makes a true 911? Most of us have forgotten about the air-cooled engine and the fact that the pedals didn’t used to hinge at the bottom. How long will it be until the car, the icon, the name represents something completely different? How long will it be before the Porsche we all know so well today becomes the old boots at the back of the wardrobe?
After seeing this, not long. Not long at all.