June 6, 2023


Automotive and technology

Manual, Rear-Drive Turbo With a Ducktail


Boris Apenbrink, head of Porsche Exclusiv Manufaktur, believes the original 911 Sport Classic was ahead of its time. As a brief refresher, the Sport Classic was a retro-themed version of the 997, of which 250 were built. It got a bit of extra power over the Carrera S of the time, and a number of new design features, most notably a ducktail spoiler aping the 1973 Carrera RS. Wolfgang Durheimer, then Porsche R&D head, apparently wondered why anyone would want a ducktail, yet all 250 cars were quickly sold.

Now, the idea of a retro-themed 911 feels like something akin to fan service. Porsche generally, and the 911 especially, is hot right now, and this new 911 Sport Classic seems a very savvy way to capitalize on it. Porsche will make 1250 examples, and unlike with the previous Sport Classic, some will make it to the U.S. If you’re a Porsche nerd, you’ll want one.

porsche 911 sport classic


The last Sport Classic took some off-the-shelf hardware to make a slightly more sporty Carrera S; this Sport Classic is very different from any other 911 available today. It combines the Turbo’s 3.7-liter twin-turbo flat-six with a seven-speed manual gearbox, and there is no driveshaft going to the front axle. This is a 543-hp, rear-drive, manual-transmission 911, and that alone makes the Sport Classic interesting.

In the decade since the original Sport Classic, Porsche Exclusiv Manufaktur has grown significantly, and now, it has the capacity and budget to make significant mechanical changes to existing Porsche models. The bodyshell of the Sport Classic is from the Turbo, though notably, the intakes on the rear fenders are gone. Apenbrink and the rest of the team behind the Sport Classic—including original Boxster designer Grant Larson, 993 designer Tony Hatter, and 918/Taycan interior designer Thorsten Klein, a murderer’s row of Porsche designers if there ever was one—wanted a more puristic look. Plus, the engine doesn’t need those large intakes, as its output is reduced compared to the Turbo because of the limitations of the manual gearbox. So, the Sport Classic gets an entirely new rear fender, which required new tooling, a huge expense for a limited-run car. The engine is instead fed by ducts integrated into the ducktail.

porsche 911 sport classic


Much hardware from the Turbo and Turbo S makes an appearance here too including standard carbon-ceramic brakes, active anti-roll bars, rear-wheel steering, sport suspension with adaptive dampers, sport exhaust, and the Sport Chrono package.

It’s the design touches that define this car as much as the mechanical changes. The hood is made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and that pairs well with the double-bubble CFRP roof–another nod to the previous Sport Classic. The ducktail is made from CFRP as well, and it’s arguably the defining feature of the car. Other neat touches include Fuchs-style center-lock wheels measuring 20 inches up front and 21 out back, and an interior trimmed in semi-aniline Congac leather with pepita seat inserts. The color seen here is called, appropriately, Sport Gray Metallic, and it’s inspired by a classic Porsche shade—Fashion Gray. Other colors are available, including Gentian Blue, Agate Gray, and Black as standard, or anything from Porsche’s extensive Paint-to-Sample catalog.

porsche 911 sport classic


The livery consists of painted stripes in a light gray, which when paired with the standard Sport Gray exterior, is an inverse of the original Sport Classic livery. Optional is side Porsche graphics and a racing gumball with numbers of the customer’s choosing. These are just decals, which can be removed later if the customer wishes.

The Sport Classic is the second in Porsche’s Heritage Design strategy, which will see the company offer four different 911s, each inspired by a different decade. The first was the 911 Targa Heritage Design Edition, which paid homage to Fifties 356 race cars. Apenbrink says the Sport Classic is a tribute to the Sixties, though obviously there are a lot of elements of early Seventies 911s in there. In the coming years, Porsche will offer 911s inspired by Seventies and Eighties design.

Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, though it seems very reasonable to expect a six-figure number starting with a “2.” And that surely won’t deter buyers.

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