The greatest sports car ever.
That is a powerful phrase to car junkies and not one to be taken lightly.
A 2014 list compiled by Australian car site John Hughes did include a Porsche, the iconic 959, which was produced between 1986 and 1993, during which it was the fastest street legal car money could buy.
But even that whip lagged behind vehicles such as the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB, the Ford GT40 and, John Hughes’s choice for the most iconic sports car of all-time, the 1960 Aston Martin Db4 GT Zagato.
“This magnificent sports car, with 314 horsepower, classic body and mesh-like wheels, is only available at exclusive auctions, the website says. “Not surprisingly, the magnate Sir Richard Branson has been seen driving around in one of these beauties.”
The 2020 Porsche 911, code named the 992, will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which runs from November 30 – December 9, and it’s something of an historic moment, Carscoop’s Brad Anderson says.
“In the 55-years since production of the Porsche 911 commenced, just seven generations have been released,” he says. “Consequently, the launch of a new one is always a very special occasion. In 992-generation (8th) guise, Porsche aims to improve the world’s most-enduring and arguably greatest sports car in history in every facet, ensuring that it topples all its rivals and is ready for the dawn of electrification.”
Road and Track’s Chris Perkins, who calls the unveil a “big deal”, nonetheless says the car is about improving on a great thing, rather than reinventing the wheel.
“Of course, in the great 911 tradition, the 992 doesn’t look all that different than its predecessor, the 991,” Perkins says. “Evolution rather than revolution is the name of the game here. The basic underlying structure and 96.5-inch wheelbase of the 991 has been carried over here, but the 992 wears new bodywork and brings a number of important suspension changes. Save for the front and rear fascias, the body is made entirely from aluminum, too.”
Reese Counts from Autoblog agrees that the 992 is more reminiscent of its predecessor than not, but notes there is a lot of new tech in the car, including Wet Mode, which detects water and can add stability, two huge digital displays, a night vision camera, and Porsche Connect Plus, a Waze-like system to keep drivers moving through traffic.
Now, you might be saying to yourself: “This sure is a lot of guys repeating specs, how does it drive? Let’s focus on the one journalist so far who has actually had the car out for a spin, because his praise for this next-generation Porsche is some of the highest.
“Sensational,” says Mark Webber from Auto Evolution, who calls it “another step forward on the previous generation”.
A step forward? That’s it? If incremental improvements don’t sound like the mind blowing fun you expect, consider for a moment the absolutely gaudy legacy that the 911 is building on.
“What really makes the 911 so great, and invariably leads me to conclude that its the finest car on earth and always will be, all happens when you slip behind the wheel,” says Business Insider’s Matthew DeBord in an article called “The Porsche 911 has convinced me that it’s the greatest car ever made”. “Obviously, this could just be me, but the car just feels right. Fire it up by turning — in the case of the Targa 4S — the starter switch on the left, and the flat-six springs to life. Get the seat and the steering wheel where you want them, and then off you go.”
Below: Mark Webber test drives the new Porsche 911…