Porsche 911

News | Porsche produces one-millionth 911

It might have taken over 53 years of production, but Porsche has finally built the one-millionth version of the 911. It’s green, and a little bit hipster.

2017 One-millionth Porsche 911

Painted ‘Irish Green’ in fact, and apparently inspired by a colour used on a 911 owned by the founder of the company – Ferry Porsche. Put together by the Porsche Exclusive team inside the Zuffenhausen factory, the one-millionth 911 is meant to celebrate the history included in the previous 999,999 examples built before it. But you can’t buy it, and it’s heading to spend a life within Porsche’s own museum.

2017 One-millionth Porsche 911

Cynical marketing creation? Why of course. Despite the fact the Cayenne and Macan SUVs have kept the company afloat, and helped transform it into a hugely profitable concern, the 911 is still the golden goose at the heart of the Porsche brand. So with a company that majors on reminiscing the history of the 911, celebrating this particular manufacturing milestone was a ‘no-brainer’ for the marketing folk.

2017 One-millionth Porsche 911

We could possibly even label this as the ‘hipster 911’ with the choice of interior and exterior colour choices. Historic paintwork? Check. Steering wheel and dashboard featuring mahogany trim like the original 911? Check. Seats clad in ‘pepita’ cloth trim like it’s still 1964? Also present. Retro-recreations of the Porsche crest badges used on the original car? Yes, they’re here, too.

This is the Porsche that wants coffee produced from a bespoke copper still, with hand-selected beans. It wants food served on a slate, by a waiter with a beard and tattoos. Ok, we could go with the clichés, but we’ll stop here. We imagine any true hipster would pine for the one-millionth Volkswagen Beetle which was produced way back in 1955 anyway… (more…)

Motorsport | Can a Porsche 911 really be mid-engined?

With a new Porsche 911 RSR announced, EngageSportMode ponders if anything is truly sacred in 2016.

2017 Porsche 911 RSR

It’s fair to say that 2016 has been something of a rollercoaster ride. From Brexit, to Donald Trump, and even Boaty McBoatface this has certainly not been a ‘normal’ year. However, amongst the madness, there’s always certain automotive things you can count on, right? A Mercedes driver will win the Formula 1 World Championship, more SUV models will be announced at every motor show, and a Porsche 911 has a rear-mounted engine.

After the LA Auto Show, only two of the above statements can be counted on to be true. Yes, 2016 has got to the most hallowed of sports cars – the Porsche 911. Admittedly it’s not a 911 road car, but the RSR racer instead. Yet there’s still something slightly unsettling about a 911 not featuring an engine behind the rear axle.

Porsche claims to have taken advantage of Le Mans GT regulations by moving the engine to “be positioned in front of the rear axle” along with various other technical developments. It’s still powered by a naturally aspirated flat-six – none of the that flat-four turbo nonsense here – but surely a rear-engine position is what makes a 911, well… a 911? It’s probably the key defining feature of the 911 model, as a mid-engined Porsche coupé is actually just a Cayman. (more…)

Friday Photo – Two 911s reimagined by Singer

Singer Vehicle Design has gained a huge cult following for the breathtaking restoration of air-cooled Porsche 911s. Two new customer-commissions continue to show why.2016 Singer Florida 001The Singer story still sounds almost too unlikely to be true, with a small workshop in Southern California, ran by a former rock musician. But that is the genuine truth – the cousin of Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson is restoring classic Porsches in Los Angeles. It’s also important to note that for reasons of respect – and the probable threat of messy intellectual property law – the creations of that workshop should never be referred to as a “Singer 911” or similar. You’ve been warned. Instead these two cars are Porsche 911s that have been “restored, reimagined, and reborn by Singer Vehicle Design”.2016 Singer North Carolina 002Nomenclature dispensed with, the main prizes here are the product of Singer’s 8-10 month restoration process which comprehensively transforms a Porsche 964 into a genuine work of art. These two particular cars are referred to as “Florida” and “North Carolina” which reflects the home states of their very lucky owners. The Florida car is painted Hemingway Blue, whilst North Carolina features a Blood Red Dark colour scheme.2016 Singer North Carolina 001Both rock carbon fibre body panels, Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes and Singer’s special 4.0-litre flat-six engine; producing 390hp! Inside there’s more of a difference, as North Carolina is fitted with black leather touring seats, whilst Florida has beige fixed buckets with retro brass ventilation holes.

The overall aim of Singer is to produce each car as a one-off, with numerous options available to customers wanting to recreate the classic Porsche 911 of the 1960s and ’70s, but using a bodyshell from the 1990s. Fitting items like bi-xenon units into retro-styled headlights offers up a mix of modern and classic, with an attention to detail that has resulted in the demand for 40 individual cars since 2008.

It’s hard not to be seduced by the work of Singer, but they don’t come cheap. Expect somewhere in the region of £280,000 as a starting point, with the two cars featured here stretching closer to £450,000 depending on options. However, with the ridiculous rate of climb in the classic car market at present, the prices for a classic 911 restored by Singer starts to represent relatively good value. We’d have one – in grey with orange stripes, and a 4.0-litre engine, and…2016 Singer Florida 002If you happen to be in the United States, and want to go drool of these two cars, they’ll be on show at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance (March 11-13) and The Palm Event (March 18-20). Try not to get too much saliva on the paintwork – it’s considered rude in most polite circles. You can of course always head to Singer’s website should want to see even more. Set aside a few hours, at least.

Geneva 2016 – Porsche 911 R

Turbocharging, dual-clutch gearboxes; is nothing sacred in Zuffenhausen anymore? Porsche appears to have heard those collective complaints, and picked Geneva as the place to launch the enthusiast-pleasing 911 R. Ned Jasper gives you the details.

2016 Porsche 911 RFancy a GT3 RS with less shouty bits and a manual gearbox? Step this way; it’s the 911 R. When Porsche announced there wasn’t going to be a manual GT3 RS, the purists among us got quite annoyed. Then when they changed the majority of their range to forced induction, this did little more than exacerbate things. Now Porsche has come to its senses, and created a car that is focused purely on driving enjoyment, rather than the optimum amount of aero or emissions.

2016 Porsche 911 RExternally the 911 R is very much the same as the GT3 RS, albeit, without the gigantic rear wing. In its place, you’ll find a ‘normal’ retractable spoiler. More importantly, there’s a distinctive pair of red stripes. Whilst the omission of the wing and the supplement of stripes may not be to everyone’s tastes, it remains a firmly good-looking car.

2016 Porsche 911 RDespite the GT3 RS’s stripped out race-prepped cabin, the R actually weighs in at a substantial 50 kg less. That’s thanks to the carbon-fibre construction and plastic windows. Like with all lightweight, battle-hardened Porsches, you’ll also find a chasm where the radio and A/C should be (although they are an option) and, of course, ribbon door handles. Every little helps, I suppose.


Porsche 911 Martini Racing Edition – Details and Photos

Porsche and Martini sponsorship go together in the world of racing cars much like, well, Lancia and Martini sponsorship come to think of it. But anyway, the German manufacturer has produced a special edition 911 to celebrate the Porsche’s return to the Le Mans big time. 

2014 Porsche 911 Martini Racing Edition 001

As we saw last week, some of the most famous Le Mans Porsche racers have worn the distinctive blue and red stripes of the Martini colour scheme. Whether this necessarily translates into an attractive road car is another question, however.

2014 Porsche 911 Martini Racing Edition 002

Based on the Carrera S, the Martini Racing Edition is limited to just 80 models worldwide, with only two reported to be coming to the UK. By the time you’re reading this, they’ve probably already been snapped up at a hefty price of £102,862. So, what have you missed out on? That livery for a start. It may be classic Porsche, but the details just don’t quite work. We wonder if it might have looked better with full length centre stripes and without the giant Martini logo on the front.

2014 Porsche 911 Martini Racing Edition

The Cup Aerokit comes as standard, with racer-esque front bumper and jutting splitter, combined with the equally dramatic rear spoiler. We’re fans of the satin platinum finish applied to the standard Carrera S alloy wheels; a little bit motorsport. Inside there are red illuminated side sills, spelling out the model name (nice), dashboard accents in Martini colours, leather electrically-adjustable sport seats and a black tachometer dial. (more…)

Top Gear Review – Series 20, Episode 5

After the mixed up message from the previous week’s episode, including the media fallout from parts of the Hover Van segment being staged, what would number five bring? As usual, contains spoilers (of the pop-up kind too).

Top Gear Series 20, Episode 5 – UK Air Date 28th July 2013 

Some people have already labelled this as the best episode of the season so far. Hmm…

Porsche 911 (991) 001


Hidden Desires #2 – BMW X5 4.8iS

With this week’s announcement of the new third-generation BMW X5, I felt it was time I owned up to the irrational inclination I have towards wanting to own the original iteration.

#2 – BMW X5

Way back in 1999 when the millennium was just around the corner, Bill Clinton was President of the United States and Lou Bega was popular (I know!), BMW still owned Rover. More importantly it also owned Land Rover, which meant it was able to use technology such as LR’s Hill Descent Control to produce its own range of off-road vehicles. BMW had offered 4WD versions before in the shape of iX branded 3 and 5-Series models, but the X5 represented a substantial leap forward into the field of Sports Activity Vehicles.

In the UK it’s fair to say BMW’s “X” models do suffer from something of an image problem, especially if offerings by Sniff Petrol are anything to go by. It’s also fair to say that it’s 4×4 abilities are wasted on most of the people who buy one; unless they’re attempting to escape from the police by going cross-country. But, for some unknown reason, there is part of me that would like one. In particular, it’s the rather rare (and even more pointless) 4.8iS version offered from 2004 to 2006.

Taking the N62 4.8 litre V8 engine, later found in other creations such as the Morgan Aero 8 and Wiesman GT MF4, BMW endowed a rather large SUV (sorry, SAV) with more power and torque than a contemporary Porsche 911. A slick shifting 6-speed automatic box transferred 360 bhp and 369 lb ft to all four wheels. The end result was a large off-roader capable of hitting 60 mph in under 6 seconds, whilst propelling itself onwards to 153 mph flat-out. Sitting on 20″ wheels with wide grippy rubber, the uprated suspension of the 4.8iS meant Evo found it was “far more agile (and more fun to drive) than logic and physics” should allow.

That is possibly the reason why I have a strange yearning for an X5 4.8iS. The logical car enthusiast part of my brain tells me it is all wrong; there is no need for such a thing to exist. An SAV like the X5 has questionable purpose in the first place, making a performance version only furthers the doubt as to its existence. But there is something strangely compelling about the NASCAR soundtrack, the oversized bodykit and wheels, and the fact it could easily shame any hot-hatch at the lights.

Yes, it only averages 20 mpg (officially), yes it’ll make you look like a drug dealer and yes similar era 545i Touring is probably a much more sensible proposition. But you cannot talk practically about a testosterone-heavy 4×4; it is illogical, it doesn’t make sense and the ridiculous nature of it only adds to the appeal.

Back in 2004 the X5 4.8iS would have set you back at least £58,000 plus all the expensive options you’d have wanted. Today you’ll need less than £9,000 to put you behind the wheel of a 100k mile black example, whereas a lesser mileage version in M5 style Le Mans blue is only £10,000. If I could allay the fears of bankruptcy, or falling into a life of petty crime, due to its fuel consumption I would happily own one. Although there would always be the knowledge that it wasn’t the fastest first-generation X5 ever produced by BMW.

For that you would have to convince the guys in Munich to part with the one-off X5 LM. Using the engine from BMW’s 1999 Le Mans winning prototype, a specialist team inserted the 6 litre V12 engine into an off-the-shelf X5. Due to the LMR V12 no longer needing to run air-restrictors to comply with Le Mans rules, the result was an X5 packing 700 bhp. A top speed of 176 mph was on offer if you were crazy enough to dare (Hans Joachim Stuck was) although the lack of ABS might concern most. It’s difficult to encapsulate the X5 LM in words, so here is a German video which may help:

So the 4.8iS might not be the fastest X5 made, but you can at least buy one. Next to the LM version it also starts to look slightly more sane…