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1974 2.7 911: the new standard

The year 1974 represented great change for Porsche. After a decade of constant fettling of its 911, where it witnessed increases in wheelbase, model designations, engine capacity and specification options, Zuffenhausen decided to ring the changes in what was the first major refresh of the car’s now famous history.

Most notably from the outset, those slender lines associated with Butzi’s initial 911 design were altered by Tony Lapine and his team, the addition of impact bumpers at both the front and rear of the car a regulatory necessity rather than a creative endeavour. The 911 needed to adopt impact bumpers to satisfy US crash-safety regulations, and though their presence unquestionably disrupted the flow of the 911’s appearance, it truly was a case of adapt or die. The latter was out the question, as it had by now gained an envious reputation as a robust sports car capable of outgunning its bigger motorsporting rivals.

The engine too was updated, the entire line-up ditching the 2.4-litre engine capacity of the F-series cars in favour of the 2.7-litre capacity used by the 1973 Carrera RS. Black window trim was retained from that first 911 Rennsport for the top-spec cars, with door handles and mirrors also now finished in black instead of chrome. There were minor upgrades to the interior too, including the incorporation of headrests into a one-piece seat for the first time.

Aside from changing the body and engine, Porsche also took the opportunity to revamp its entire 911 model line-up. Three cars would remain – until, of course, the Turbo arrived a year later in 1975 – but the top-spec 911S of the F-series replaced the doomed 911E as the middle offering, while the 911 Carrera became the new jewel of Porsche’s showroom. At the other end the T was scrapped entirely, the entry-level car now simply referred to as the base 911 for this new chapter of Neunelfer.

However, while the pre-impact bumper 911T is a fairly sought-after classic today for the purity of its lines, its successor in the 2.7 911 isn’t generally looked at with a similar fondness. At face value this is understandable. The base 2.7 car may be more powerful than the 911T by 25bhp in US-spec, but it’s heavier by around 50kg too, largely cancelling out any straight-line performance advantage, and the G-series cars just don’t possess the purity in appearance of the early, pre-impact bumper models. However, there are fewer 2.7 911s on the planet than 911Ts, with a quoted 9,320 2.7s built in both Coupe and Targa body styles over the 1974 and 1975 model years, while the 911T was produced 16,933 times between 1972 and 1973.

Despite this, the base 2.7 has largely been forgotten in the classic marketplace, it considered less desirable than the T before it or indeed the cars succeeding it, such as the heavier SC or 3.2 Carrera. It’s not like 1974 is an unpopular year of production either: the top-of-the-range 2.7 Carrera is revered as a genuine collector’s car for its credentials as a ‘secret RS’, the 3.0-litre RSs of the same model year generally considered to be a superior car to the halo 2.7 RS. It’s fair to say though the mid-spec 911S has suffered a similar fate to the base 911 in being largely forgotten. Has an injustice been served?

 

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Porsche Increases Investment in Start-Ups and Blockchain Technology

Gapless Image

Porsche’s investment in the firm Gapless will help users log and track data related to their vintage Porsches.

 

In recent years Porsche’s scope of investment has broadened significantly; a reflection on the changing nature of the automotive industry. The brand’s increased investment in electrification tracks rather neatly to their current efforts to bring new vehicles to market. Electrification is not the only field Porsche is expanding in to, however. Earlier this month the brand announced an $80m investment in the Swiss firm WayRay, which is just the first of several new investments in start-ups for the brand.

Porsche Ventures, the brand’s investment arm, seeks to enhance access to new technologies and business models through strategic investment. Over the next five years Porsche increased the brand’s venture activities by EUR 150 million.The current focus is on start-ups dealing with customer experience, mobility, the digital lifestyle. Future technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality, are also on the company radar.

Blockchain and Vintage Porsches

Among the first companies highlighted in Porsche’s interest in start-ups is the German firm Gapless. Gapless utilizes blockchain technology to help clients digitally manage their vintage vehicles. Users can log their complete vehicle history in a secure way to prevent forgery. This secure tool is designed to maintain or increase the value collector vehicles by maintaining a consistent data trail. This small startup currently has a staff of nine, and is in the foundation stage. As far as I can tell, Gapless doesn’t even have a website at press time (and they are not to be confused with the German dental firm, Gapless GmbH).

At this stage Porsche has not noted further uses for the blockchain technology as it relates to vintage cars. TEND, who we’ve featured previously, is using Blockchain technology to share ownership of a 356 between users. Porsche themselves have a car sharing program which is active overseas.

Looking to the Future

Per Deputy Chairman, and Member of the Executive Board for Finance and IT, Lutz Meschke; « To continue building on the success that we have enjoyed over the past few years, we must fundamentally change our business model. Porsche has always been among the pioneers of the automotive industry. To date, innovation has been driven to a large degree by technology and with strong links to our current core competencies. In some cases, the changes that are now becoming necessary are linked to topics beyond our main fields of expertise. With this in mind, it is essential that we build a strong ecosystem with competent partners »

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Porsche Makes $80M Investment In Swiss Augmented Reality Tech Firm WayRay

WayRay is an up-from-nothing tech start-up in Zurich which deals with holographic augmented reality head-up display implementation and advancements. The company is currently working on implementing virtual objects being integrated into the driving experience. Because of the future uses of such technology, Porsche has devoted 80 million US dollars to the company as part of their third round of funding, joining other huge investors like Hyundai Motor and Alibaba Group. With these kinds of serious investment numbers being thrown around, WayRay must have shown these investors something seriously impressive.

It’s been said before that Porsche believes in the potential positives of investing in startups, and this isn’t the first major startup investment the company has made in recent years. Porsche calls their innovation platform a « Startup Autobahn », which allows startups not only to interact and learn from each other, but to work with Porsche engineers on future technology well ahead of time. Based on the video below, it looks like the WayRay unit can be used to help show you things like the proper racing line on your local track. Perhaps this technology can help your weekend track event feel a little bit closer to the heroics of a Forza video game, you know, if that’s what you want.

“The team at WayRay has unique technical expertise, with its employees having backgrounds in aerospace, hardware and software development. WayRay’s innovative ideas and products have proven to have enormous potential. We are convinced that by joining forces with WayRay we will in future be able to offer our customers solutions to the usual standard expected of Porsche. That is why we have opted to make a strategic investment”, says Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman and Member of the Executive Board for Finance and IT at Porsche.

WayRay currently has over 250 employees on staff. In addition to their headquarters in Zurich, WayRay also keeps offices in Russia, China, and the US. A production facility is planned for Germany, slated to open next year. While some manufacturers already make use of a head-up display (HUD), this technology takes things to the next level, bringing more information and better visibility to the vehicle’s windscreen. I’m not yet convinced that more information is what we need while driving. Remember when your Porsche’s clock barely worked and your odometer gears would strip out if you tried to reset the trip while in motion? Was that better? Maybe. Time, and WayRay, will tell.

 

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Could Your Next Porsche Be Manufactured by a 3D Printer?

Probably not, but recent investments by Porsche show they are definitely moving in that direction. Late last week Porsche SE announced two venture investments in 3D printing companies. The single digit stake investments included the US based company Markforged Inc. as well as another 3D printing specialist yet to be named. To be clear, when Porsche says « single digit » investments they are talking percentages and the numbers still add up into the millions of Euros.

porsche invests in markforged 3d printing manufacturer

Let’s Take a Look at Markforged and Why Porsche Would be Interested

Founded in 2013 and based in Watertown/Massachusetts, Markforged designs and sells end-to-end 3D print solutions. Specifically, according to what we read, they are the only industrial 3D printing platform that produces strong parts out of the entire range of materials from carbon fiber to metal. Moreover, in 2017 the company launched its first 3D metal printer for industrial applications.

Did you read that? Markforged offers the only industrial 3D printing platform capable of producing strong parts made from carbon fiber and other metals. Can you imagine a future where Porsche is producing parts as needed right on the manufacturing line? How about a dealer service center that 3D prints a needed part on the spot vs. holding inventory? If you’re thinking it’s something out of science fiction then you’re not thinking far enough ahead.

“Start-ups are an important source of innovations. In order to advance and capitalize on such innovations we have to invest in technologies at an early stage. Both investments are perfect examples of this approach. Start-ups have the potential to massively change different segments along the automotive value chain, for example R+D and production as well as the role of a vehicle in the broader mobility ecosystem“, Philipp von Hagen, member of the executive board of Porsche SE responsible for investment management, said. Additive manufacturing is one of the highly promising technologies we have identified », von Hagen added.

Markforged is already profitable, has 1000s of clients using their services, including Porsche, and has attracted more than $57 million in investments from the likes of Microsoft, Siemens, Matrix Partners, and more. I for one think this is a brilliant investment and can’t wait to see what the future holds!

The post Could Your Next Porsche Be Manufactured by a 3D Printer? appeared first on FLATSIXES.

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20 of the best collector’s Porsche 911s

What a difference a year makes. In issue 126 we presented you with 30 cars for a variety of budgets that would make for a good investment in 2015. As you’ll find out on page 32, we were right in almost every case as values increased from right across the entire 911 portfolio.

If you made the plunge as either a serial Porsche collector or an enthusiast with some spare cash, the chances are your investment has so far served you very well indeed.

For 2016, however, the outlook is somewhat different. The market has slowed as values have levelled out, casting a modicum of uncertainty over what is likely to happen next.

“Some cars that have overheated may come back down again in value,” says independent specialist Paul Stephens, while Mark Sumpter, owner of Paragon Porsche, says, “Originality and perfect documentation is more important than ever.”

White 1971 Porsche 911E

It’s far from doom and gloom when it comes to the Porsche market, though. This slowing of values has seen speculators weeded out as they move back into art and wine, which means these beloved cars are once again finding their way to those that cherish them most: the enthusiasts.

Besides, the rate at which values were increasing has slowed, but there are still gems out there to be had – models which, until now, may have avoided the limelight at auctions and specialist dealer forecourts around the globe.

More to the point, there are models of the Porsche 911 out there that you can still actually drive and profit from, a veritable silver lining for the true Porsche enthusiast.

That’s because, whereas 2015 was the year of the poster car, where great excess was perpetually lavished on halo models from the 911’s 53-year history, 2016 is to be the year of the underdog.

Porsche 993 C2S

As prices of popular Rennsport and GT cars have accelerated away, a chasm of disproportionality has been left in its wake when compared to the everyday icons in the 911’s repertoire.

Now that the widespread appeal of any Porsche 911 has, at last, been truly recognised by the wider public, attention is being turned to the cars that represent outstanding value for money rather than pure investment potential.

“The best way to look at it now is ‘Where is a safe place to put my money?’ and ‘What cars can I take out and use and not worry about my investment?’” Paul Stephens confirms. With that in mind, here are the 20 key cars that Total 911 is tipping for glory in 2016…

To find out which 20 cars made our list of the best collector’s Porsche 911s in 2016, pick up Total 911 issue 140 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy for home delivery, or download it to your digital device now.

Porsche 991 Anniversary

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