Porsche's iconic 911 marks major milestone
Few sports cars have the pedigree of the Porsche 911. The nameplate debuted in 1963 and, although the details have changed, the basic rear-engined formula has stayed largely the same over 54 years. The one millionth 911 rolled off the production line last week, and Porsche celebrated by dressing it up as a tribute to the original.
Although it celebrates a significant milestone in Porsche history, the millionth 911 is very restrained. Mechanically, it's unchanged compared to the regular Carrera S. The only real changes are stylistic: the exterior is finished in the same Irish Green as the first car to roll off the production line, and the cabin is decked out in lovely houndstooth trim. There's also a part-wooden steering wheel and some chrome-rimmed dials to link the modern car to the original.
Speaking of the original, it's amazing to think how far the 911 has come in the model's 54 years. Back then, the base model made just 96 kW (128 hp) from its air-cooled engine, compared to 275 kW (370 hp) from the current base Carrera. The first 911 S, launched in 1966, made a more respectable 118 kW (158 hp), but that pales in comparison to the 312 kW (420 hp) you get from a current Carrera S.
The thought of a 911 hitting 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.9 seconds must have also been unthinkable back in 1963, but that's exactly what the current 911 Turbo S can do thanks to all-wheel drive and the sophisticated engine hanging out over the rear axle.
In spite of these differences, the basic formula of the modern Turbo S is largely the same as the formula in that original car. Both have their engines at the rear, and both maintain a modicum of practicality with their +2 rear seats. From the shape of the body to the layout of the dials, Porsche has done a remarkable job of maintaining the essence of the 911 through the years.
The millionth car won't actually be sold to collectors, and it won't be appearing in dealerships anytime soon. Instead, it'll be taken on a tour of significant motoring spots around the world, before being retired to the Porsche Museum as a monument to the longevity of iconic 911.
For a behind the scenes look at the production of the millionth 911, check out the video below.