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40th anniversary

996 40th anniversary: coming of age

Forty: one of the big ones, passing into the fourth decade tends to be a significant generational marker. To celebrate or commiserate, though? Porsche obviously decided to do the former – after all, producing a sports car for 40 years is an undeniably notable achievement.

It was a while ago now, too. It’s incredible to think that with the 992 we’ll see the 911 tick over to 60. That’s in just four years time, so it’s been nearly two whole decades since this Anniversary model was introduced.

Back then the 911 was the 996. Old enough to be in its second generation, Porsche’s awkward transitional 911 benefitting from the revised headlights that were introduced with the Turbo. As we all know, the 996 brought water-cooling to the 911, it igniting a debate that still resonates to this day, the 996 arguably the most divisive 911 in our favourite sports car’s now 56 years. Time heals, or at least softens resolve, and the 996 has found favour in its advancing years, the Turbo, GT3, GT3 RS and 4S all generating justifiable praise.

The Anniversary should be included among them as, unlike Porsche’s ill-considered Millennium Edition of 2000, the ‘40 Jahre’ car’s specification verges on perfection. Visually it is a demonstration of dignified restraint, perhaps with the exception of the shot-blasted and polished 18-inch Carrera II lightweight wheels. With the finish of those wheels prone to damage, many Anniversary cars have had their alloys refurbished with a more conventional painted finish. That might rob them of their originality, but does arguably improve the looks.

Elsewhere the Anniversary follows a proven Porsche formula that defines a special model. It does so without dropping any weight; as any 40-year old will testify, shifting bulk is tricky. The 996 is fairly light as standard though: the Anniversary’s kerb weight of 1,370kg matches that of the standard Gen2 Carrera. Instead of losing mass, Porsche focused on other facets to improve the offering with the Anniversary, particularly relating to how it drives.

Key to the Anniversary’s spec is the addition of an X51 Powerkit. It’s an option that would have added around £9,000 to a standard Carrera should you have asked for it back in the early 2000s. The X51 sees the power rise to 345bhp. Admittedly it’s not a significant gain over the 320bhp Carrera, but writing off the X51’s revisions on the modest bhp gain alone is to do the not-insubstantial revisions it brings a serious disservice.

The Powerkit adds cast-aluminium intake manifolds with a modified cross section, the exhaust ducts too benefiting by being larger in their width and being flow optimised thanks to machining and polishing. The valvetrain differs too: the valves and their springs, caps, guides and seats are changed over the standard car, allowing increased movement to benefit the X51 camshaft’s greater inlet valve stroke and modified inlet and exhaust timing.

The lubrication system is improved with a different dual-chamber suction pump for cylinder bank four to six, new oil lines and the oil pan coming with bulkhead baffles to help prevent high g-force oil surge. The changes via the X51 are anecdotally said to improve the durability of the 3.6-litre flat six because it counters the under-lubrication of cylinder six, with the benefit of helping prevent overheating and premature wear.

Controlling all that is a modified engine map which, like all the X51 Powerkit’s development, was apparently the work of the Motorsport department. That arguably makes X51-equipped cars ‘under-the-counter’ GT machines, and worth seeking out.

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Porsche Design Has Been Making These Aviator Sunglasses For 40 Years

Porsche Design aviator-style sunglasses with gold accent on a black frame and blue shaded lenses.

In 1978 Porsche Design introduced an iconic piece of eyewear, their Aviator-style P’8478. That’s forty years of intelligent interchangeable lens mechanism, a smart quick-release nose closure, and a stylish drop-shape. If you are nostalgic for the 1970s, Porsche Design eyewear still kicks it old school. In deference to this design’s 40th anniversary, they’re releasing a special edition limited to just 1,978 pairs. These special anniversary edition Porsche Design glasses come with gold accent pieces and three of the brand’s most popular lens colors. This kit will be available in Porsche Design’s brick and mortar stores and at porsche-design.us later this month in exchange for $935.

Karsten von Engeln, COO of Porsche Design of America:

For the 40th anniversary edition of the P’8478 sunglasses, our designers at Studio FA Porsche wanted to make something special, but they didn’t want to compromise the well-known iconic design. Therefore we decided to implement a bi-color design — the first time we’ve done this to the P’8478. Previously, the frame and its hardware always matched. Additionally, we decided to launch this edition accompanied by our three best-selling lenses from the past 40 years.

Think back to 1978 and the product that was on the showroom floors of Porsche dealers. Could you imagine any of those cars [the last of the mid-year narrow-body impact bumper 911s, the first year of 928 production for US consumption, and the still new 924] standing the test of time? The Porsche Design aviator glasses have remained almost wholly unchanged in all these years, and yet Porsche’s truly iconic 911 has been through gradual, but complete change. Through the 911 SC, the 3.2 Carrera, the 964, 993, 996, 997, and nearly the entire run of the 991 generations, the design of P’8478 hasn’t changed a lick. If that isn’t staying power, I don’t know what is.

Retrouvez les lunettes de soleil Porsche Design dans notre boutique en ligne ici.

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40 years of improving your Porsche 911 driving

We’ve been blessed with anniversaries this year, from the 25th birthday of four-wheel drive 911s, to the four-decade anniversary of the iconic 911 Turbo, via a 30-year celebration of the 3.2 Carrera.

While it’s easy to purely celebrate the legendary cars that rolled off of the Zuffenhausen production line though, 40 years ago, an important Porsche institution roared into life.

It’s August 1974 and, prompted by the release of the potent new 911 Turbo at the Paris Motor Show, the air around the Hockenheimring circuit is filled with the sound of flat sixes and tyre squeal.

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This is the first meeting of the newly formed Porsche Sport Driving School where Porsche owners take to the track not to improve their lap times but to improve their skill and control behind the wheel.

Fast-forward to the present day and the Porsche Sport Driving School has gone from strength to strength, with approximately 100 instructors running courses in 15 countries around the world.

“We want to instil an instinctive feel for driving and with it the art of reading and understanding the car better,” explains instructor, Carsten Dreses. “When drivers sense the harmony in their cars, they’re automatically more secure- and also faster as a result.”

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From sitting the right way, to perfect steering and braking application, the Porsche Sport Driving School was always designed with non-racing drivers in mind, with Zuffenhausen aware that it has a responsibility to teach people in the ways of the 911, especially as the Turbo was garnering a fearsome reputation from the outset.

Over the years, the Porsche Sport Driving School courses have become more clearly structured, with courses running from one to three days. The emphasis is clearly on driving pleasure though the participants now show a greater level of interest in the technical elements.

“The customers come with an ever greater degree of interest and ambition,” observes Dreses. “They don’t just want to drive better and more safely, they also want to understand when and how the cars do what they do.”

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As Porsche creates ever-faster iterations of the 911, the value of the Porsche Sport Driving School continues to increase. While the courses are designed to improve the owners’ speed, the focus on safety is naturally paramount.

“Their driving automatically becomes more commanding when they’re calm and composed,” Kreses explains. By feeling in control, the Porsche Sport Driving School allows owners to enjoy their driving more. You can’t put a price on that.

Have you done a Porsche Sport Driving School course? How did it help your driving? Share your experiences in the comments below, or head to our Facebook and Twitter pages now.

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Porsche Introduces New 911 Turbo Cabriolet Models

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Turbo Cabriolet and 911 Turbo S Cabriolet

The dynamic range of the new 911 Turbo model multiplied by the driving pleasure offered by an open-top sports car: This is the succinct formula behind the two new leading 911 Cabriolet models. Some 50 years after the 911 first made its debut and to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the 911 Turbo, the open-top versions of the 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S are making their global début. The vehicles will be unveiled for the very first time at the Auto Show in Los Angeles on November 20. By adding the two new leading 911 models into the mix, Porsche is doubling its offering of the top-of-the-range models to four versions.

In supplementing the range, the 911 Turbo Cabriolet and 911 Turbo S Cabriolet deliver the same blend of dynamism, performance and efficiency offered by the Coupé model unveiled a few months ago. Expressed in figures: The turbocharged 3.8-litre six-cylinder engine delivers 520 bhp in the open-top 911 Turbo and 560 bhp in the S model. The cars accelerate from zero to 62mph in 3.5 and 3.2 seconds respectively, reaching a top speed of up to 318 km/h. And all this while achieving fuel consumption figures below the ten-litre limit: Both of the new top-of-the-range Cabriolet models rest assured in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), boasting figures of 9.9 l/100 km (equivalent to 231 g/km CO2). When compared against the respective predecessor models, the new vehicles deliver 30 bhp more power and are 0.2 seconds faster in terms of their standard acceleration. They are also up to 15% more efficient.

Active rear-axle steering and active aerodynamics for even greater dynamism on the road
The driving dynamics offered by the two new top-of-the-range Cabriolet models is something that cannot be expressed in simple figures. Boasting PDK dual-clutch transmission as standard and the new PTM all-wheel drive, as well as featuring rear-axle steering and active aerodynamics, the open-top 911 Turbo models are now also establishing the leading Porsche technology in the open-top super sportscar segment. While the rear-axle steering has an immensely positive impact on handling for the two new super sportscars, both on the racetrack and during everyday use, the active aerodynamics can be tuned to offer optimum efficiency or driving dynamics at the touch of a button, depending on the driver’s wishes.

More than ever before, both of these new top-of-the-range models also make a clear visual statement about their performance. The characteristic, widely flared rear wings of the new 911 Turbo generation are 28 mm wider than those of the 911 Carrera 4 models – a virtually level surface of just over a hand’s width extends out from the C-pillar to the outer edge of the vehicle. The impressive effect of this width is accentuated still further when the top is down.

Another eye-catching feature of the 911 Turbo Cabriolet is the exclusive Porsche panel bow top with its lightweight magnesium frame. This innovative technology enables the Coupé-like arch to the roof to be achieved when the top is closed. This arch, which also offers advantages in terms of aerodynamics, is not feasible using conventional construction techniques. As with predecessor models, the roof opens and closes in around 13 seconds, at speeds of up to 50 km/h.

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Premium furnishings in the interior
The interior of the new Cabriolet models follows that of the 911 Turbo Coupé. The S-model boasts a particularly extensive range of furnishings, with features including an exclusive interior in Black/Carrera Red and adaptive Sport Seat Plus seats with 18-way adjustment and memory. In addition, the backrest shells of the seats are leather trimmed with double cap seams, and various elements are achieved in a carbon look. As with the predecessor models, the Bose sound system is fitted as standard – and, for the first time, a Burmester system is also available on request. What’s more, the radar-controlled adaptive Cruise Control system, camera-based road sign and speed limit recognition function and reversing camera are also available as options.

The new top-of-the-range 911 Cabriolet models will be launched onto the market in early 2014. In the United States, the 911 Turbo Cabriolet costs $160,700 and the new 911 Turbo S Cabriolet costs $193,900. Note: Prices do not include destination charges of $950.

 

Source: Porsche

 

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Porsche 911 Turbo Celebrates its 40th Anniversary (W/Videos)

A retrospective of the legendary Porsche 911 Turbo.
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