Seventh-Generation Porsche 911 to Make North American Debut at Rennsport
roll-out will be part of Porsche's celebration of a 48-year success
credit: Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
Seventh-Generation Porsche 911 will make its official North
American debut at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show.
ATLANTA -- By
the late 1950s it was obvious to Porsche that the 356, which was
the company's sole product line since 1948, needed to be updated.
Replacing it was necessary, yet perilous. Who knew that the eventual
replacement for the 356, the 911, would surpass its predecessor
in sales, longevity and glory? Or that it would be so fanatically
cherished by its owners that Porsche hasn't been allowed to replace
it. Or that the Company would be introducing its latest iteration
all the way in 2011?
And, with Porsche Motorsport
concentrating on its development of prototypes for Le Mans and elsewhere,
there wasn't much initial effort by the factory for racing the 911,
but it became the most successful race car in history, with hundreds
of samples of its 48-year legacy to be displayed and raced at the
Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV, October 14 - 16, 2011, at Mazda Raceway
Laguna Seca in Monterey.
The surprise is that
the new 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera, the completely redesigned seventh-generation
sports car icon, and a fore-bearer of race cars to come, will be
on display for the first time in North America for Porsche enthusiasts
to see up close at Rennsport Reunion IV.
"As the 911 race
car and street car histories are completely intertwined, it is fitting
to show our latest 911 at a motor racing extravaganza," said
Bernd Harling, who is heading up Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV for
event host Porsche Cars North America.
"Everyone will see
that this newborn is truly a member of the family," said Harling.
From every angle it is
unmistakably a 911, holding true to the Porsche 911 Carrera evolution,
not revolution' design philosophy. The new car has a longer wheel
base, but is both lower and lighter than its predecessor. With its
two engine sizes, the new 911 Carrera is able to provide improved
performance and handling, and even better fuel economy than before.
The 911 Carrera is equipped with a 3.4-liter, 350hp six-cylinder
boxer engine, while the Carrera S is fitted with a 3.8-liter, 400hp
six-cylinder boxer powerplant, both with the optional PDK transmission
The new Porsche 911 Carrera
celebrates its world premiere at the 2011 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show
next week, while the official North American debut will
be held at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The first
new 911 models will arrive in U.S. dealerships beginning in February
It took a while for Porsche
Motorsport to warm up to the 911 as a race car, but, as has happened
several times in the company's history, the customers took the lead.
Almost as soon as the 911 went into production, buyers were using
it in hill climbs and autocrosses and Porsche itself started to
produce lightweight and enhanced performance vehicles for their
motorsports customers. In 1967, Porsche built 20 911 "R"
models stripped interiors (no carpet, for instance), thin-skinned
aluminum doors, fiberglass deck lids, taillights swiped from a Fiat,
oversize carbs, a magnesium engine case, dual spark plug cylinder
heads and much more. With about 210 horsepower on board, these race-ready,
lightweight rockets were the start of the 911 racing legend.
Vic Elford, one of the
most famous Porsche drivers in history, was one of the first to
compete in the Porsche 911 at a high level, winning in the mid-'60s
in England using a race with the very first demo model imported
by the factory distributor, and later driving to victory in 1968
at the Monte Carlo Rally.
The Porsche 911 race
car started to make noise in the U.S. when IMSA's Camel GT series
started in 1970, with Brumos Racing and Hurley Haywood taking their
1970 Porsche 911S to its first championship in the 1972 season.
Haywood and co-driver and Brumos co-owner Peter Gregg went on to
win IMSA championships in 1973, 1974, and 1975.
After the Porsche 911
Carrera RS and RSR models won IMSA and Trans-Am championships in
the mid-70s, the company introduced the radical Porsche 934 and
935 race cars - 911 silhouette bodied cars with big, twin-turbocharged
engines. After being banned for a season from the Camel GT, they
came back with a roar to become the cars to beat in the late '70s
and early '80s.
The 1980s and early 90s
were prime time for Porsche Motorsport's 956 and 962 prototype race
cars, and the 911 took a bit of a back seat on the GT side to Porsche
924 and 944-based models.
Then, in 1997, Porsche
introduced the GT class 911 GT2R at Le Mans where this 996-based
water-cooled coupe promptly won its class, followed by the famous
Porsche 911 GT1 which gave Porsche its last overall victory at Le
The current generation
of 911 race cars, initiated by the introduction of the Porsche 911
GT3 R in 1999, and promptly driven to the 1999 American Le Mans
Series GT championship by Cort Wagner. The iteration of this family
is the current Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, with Dick Barbour Racing, Alex
Job Racing, and Flying Lizard Motorsports - all U.S.-based teams
- leading Porsche to victories in U.S. sports car championships
a well as Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans.
The other family of 911
race cars, in production since 1989, is the 911 GT3 Cup, which was
developed for the Porsche Supercup and Carrera Cup one-marque series
which take place around the globe. The latest version, the 2011
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which also competes in the American Le Mans
Series, the IMSA GT3 challenge by Yokohama, SCCA World Challenge,
and Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series, will have its own feature
race during the Rennsport weekend.
A short video summation
of Rennsport Reunion III is available on Porsche's YouTube channel
- showing an incredible gathering of Porsche historic and modern
race cars from around the world, many of the famous drivers who
piloted them to victory and a taste of what to expect at Rennsport
Reunion IV being held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, October 14-16,
Source: Porsche Cars North America, Inc.