The 911 – a sports car icon
Despite the success of the Porsche 356, it was clear by the mid-1950s that a completely redesigned sports car was necessary in order for Porsche to continue to grow. The sports car, which was based on Volkswagen technology, was facing pressure from increasingly powerful saloons. Planning for a new Porsche sports car officially began in 1957. Ferry Porsche and his development team defined the parameters at an early stage: The air-cooled flat engine in the rear had to remain, and the desire for increased performance, smoother running, improved road holding and a larger interior and luggage compartment had to be fulfilled.
The development process resulted in the 901, which was launched at the IAA in Frankfurt in 1963. Even before delivery of the first sports car one year later, objections from Peugeot meant the new model had to be renamed, and the 911 was born.
In an unprecedented career spanning 54 years, the 911 continued to develop and yet remained true to its roots – becoming a sports car icon. The 911 has led the way in terms of innovation and broken new ground in automotive technology, with examples including the Targa concept, turbocharging and the sporty all-wheel drive. The sports car, of which over a million units have now been built, has always been an intrinsic and successful part of motorsport. Acronyms such as GT, R and RS indicate variants that have been optimised for racetrack use. Visually, the timeless elegance of the coupé shape is identifiable in the lines of every Porsche. In the original 911, F.A. Porsche and his team distilled the Porsche design DNA into a concentrated masterpiece. He created an unmistakeable brand design that, to this day, still gives all Porsche series their identity and forms the basis for their success.