The Porsche 911: Why is it the benchmark? Why choose it? Why the name?
911. A number that, in the heart of every car enthusiast, evokes pure performance. Indeed, this is the name of one of the most timeless sports cars ever: the legendary Porsche 911. Produced without interruption since September 1964 until now, the 911 is a true myth of longevity on four wheels. It's quite simple: since its inception, it has been the one to beat to take the lead in its segment!
But why does the Porsche 911 have such an exceptional longevity? Why is it an icon and a true benchmark in its class? Why is it called "911"? And finally, why choose it? Porsche Lauzon, your Porsche dealer of choice in Laval, on the North Shore of Montreal, but also in the entire metropolitan area, answers below in detail all these questions about the most iconic sports car in history!
Why choose a 911? First of all for its unchanging design!
The 911 is now over 56 years old. This is a venerable age, and a relatively rare one in automotive history. And this exceptional lifespan is not due to chance, but rather to a combination of factors, starting with an exterior style that is immediately recognizable.
Indeed, its look has remained virtually unchanged since the very beginning of the model. Sloping hood surrounded by oval or round headlights (except for the 996 generation, which are more "teardrop" shaped) in line with the front fenders, low ground and roof clearances, wide and curved wheel arches, and a fast-back rear end: while the proportions have changed, the styling fundamentals of the 911 have remained the same all over the world, including in the Greater Montreal area.
But how does the 911 stay relevant if its design concept remains the same?
Quite simply by evolving with the times, always aiming for a perfect balance between tradition and modernity. And the best current example of this is the 911 Type 992's rear taillight bar, which pays homage to the 911 Type 964, while being is eminently futuristic in its execution.
Hence, the first reason you'll definitely choose a 911 is its unique and timeless design that remains relevant and appealing in any era!
Why is it still the best? For its engine and the great versatility of its range.
However, if the 911 has managed to stay on top, it's not just because of its good looks. Its technical characteristics also have a lot to do with it, starting with its engine!
The 911's rear-mounted flat-six engine is a true automotive monument.
From the very beginning, the 911 has been powered by a very special engine: a flat six. Both the naturally aspirated and turbocharged versions were air-cooled until the 996 generation, which went into production in 1997. The following generations (997, 991 and 992) were water-cooled. This engine alone justifies the purchase of a 911. The first reason: its sound, as metallic as you could wish. Gritty at low end, it screams with a raging roar when nearing the red zone, all coupled with an incredible thrust. The experience is exhilarating, unparalleled, and most of all, very addictive!
This powertrain has also been able to evolve with the times despite the number of similarities it shares with the model that preceded the 911, the Porsche 356. The latter was indeed equipped with a flat-four engine, itself derived from the one of the Volkswagen Beetle, 21.6 million units of which were produced from 1938 to 2003. What an amazing heritage!
As for the 911's flat-six engine, it has grown from the 130 horsepower of its first two-litre iteration to 640 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque in the 3.8-liter turbo variant that powers the current 911 Turbo S Type 992. Performances also evolved accordingly, as the latest turbocharged variant of the Porsche sports car is capable of sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.7 seconds when equipped with the Sport Chrono Package, all for a top speed of 330 km/h.
Add to this an atypical engine position (rear-mounted) enabling the 911 to deliver a very lively driving experience that is unique in today's production, and you get a sports car with a character that is unmatched in the industry.
A great versatility due to its architecture, and its wide range of available models.
But the most impressive thing is the amazing versatility of the legendary Porsche sports car. This is due to two things, starting, once again, with its design. Indeed, it was conceived from the start as a 2+2-seats Porsche coupé (two seats in the front and two extra small seats in the back). Many of its competitors offer only two seats. As for the position of its engine, from the first model, it has allowed for a significant amount of storage space under the front hood. Add to that Porsche's legendary reliability (70% of the Porsches produced since the company's inception are still on the road!), and you have a vehicle that is as capable of lapping at the Mont-Tremblant racetrack on weekends as it is of being very practical on a daily basis or comfortable on long distances.
However, these characteristics are enhanced by the countless 911 versions available in today's Porsche lineup, designed to cover all sports car driver profiles. Are you looking for the purest 911 experience? The 911 Carrera coupé with its 379 horsepower and rear-wheel drive is for you. Are you looking for the same experience but with your hair blowing in the wind? The 911 Carrera Cabriolet is for you. You want the same experience, but with a four-wheel drive system? Choose the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. Want the quiet ride of a coupé, the open-air driving experience of a Porsche convertible, and all-wheel drive? The Porsche 911 Targa 4 is for you. If none of that appeals to you, and you rather want an accomplished track car? Look no further than the 911 GT3 Type 992, with its naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six engine, developing 502 horsepower and 347 lb-ft, that will give you thrills with its 9,000-rpm ignition cut-off and powerful roar.
So you see, the 911 offers you the best of both worlds. With its high-performance and ultra-reliable engines, all faithful to the 1964 model, its ultra-practical interior and an impressive number of variants that will allow you to drive a 911 but in your own way, the Porsche sports car can do everything!
By the way, why is the Porsche 911 actually called "911"? A unique story!
So you know why you should choose a 911 as your next sports car! However, this portrait would not be complete without telling you about the origin of the name "911", which is just as special as the car that bears it.
Originally, the 911 was to be called the Porsche 901. Why this number? Simply because the first generation of the iconic sports car was going to be produced in the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, and the number series beginning with 900 had not yet been used there. So, the story of the 911’s naming started in a factory!
But if we follow this logic, the car should then have been called the 901. However, the existing name is not a typo: it is really 9-1-1. And we owe this name to Peugeot! Indeed, when the Porsche sports car was presented in Paris as the 901, an immediate controversy about the latter broke out. Indeed, it seems that these three numbers had already been reserved by the French manufacturer. Peugeot had (and still has) the habit of reserving all three-digits numbers with a zero in the middle for its models.
Porsche was in the middle of a model launch at the time, so changing the name at such a crucial moment was quite a headache. The solution to that was to replace the 0 with one of the other two digits already used for the rest of the new car number, since it would be easy to produce this replacement digit quickly. From then on, the manufacturer had two choices: to use either the 9 or the 1 to replace the 0. The latter was chosen, thus allowing the "901" to be reborn as the "911". The rest is automotive history!
Contact us as soon as today, or (better yet!) come see us directly at Porsche Lauzon, your Porsche dealer of choice in Laval and the rest of the Greater Montreal area! It will be our pleasure to share with you our passion for the Zuffenhausen manufacturer and for its mythical 911. We will also answer all your questions and let you test drive the model of your choice. Finally, we will take this opportunity to introduce you to all the Porsche offers, and to the Porsche leasing/financing programs that will allow you to drive away in YOUR Porsche 911. See you soon at the dealership!