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Wednesday, June 5, 2013
2013 Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Edition Coupe
Classic 911 style hides the latest 911 capability and technology.
The iconic Porsche 911 sports car celebrates its 50th birthday this year, and if you thought the German automaker would pass up an opportunity to commemorate the event with a special-edition model, well, you just don’t know Porsche. This is the company that built the absurd GT3 RS 4.0 because it was getting bored in the run-up to the release of the latest 991-generation 911, so the 50th Anniversary Edition 911 you see here surely was a no-brainer. As you’d expect from a company deft in churning out limited-production variations of its bread-and-butter model, the 50th Anniversary 911 is unique and sure to become a collectible.
If You Squint, It Kinda Looks Like a 901 . . .
The original 911 started life as the 901, which debuted at the 1963 Frankfurt auto show, and 50 years on, the car’s basic formula has survived largely unchanged. The engine’s still bolted into the wrong end of the car, the body still features a backwards teardrop shape, and the ignition switch lives on the left side of the steering wheel. For the celebratory 50th anniversary model, Porsche installed the 911 Carrera S’s rear-drive mechanicals in the wider, all-wheel-drive 911 Carrera 4’s body. The result is a two-wheel-drive, wide-body 911 coupe—a combination that otherwise doesn’t currently exist in Porsche’s 911 lineup. The last-generation 911 family included the Carrera GTS coupe and cabriolet, which featured the same unique layout, but those models have yet to appear in the latest 991 architecture.
Cosmetically, Porsche struck a slightly more classic, pared-down tone with the limited-edition 911 that’s similar to last year’s Club Coupe edition. Two-tone 20-inch wheels with a Fuchs-like design pair nicely with the subtle chrome trim added to the front intakes, window surrounds, and the rear deck louvers. Three colors will be available: Graphite Gray, Black Monochrome, and the attractive and vaguely retro eggshell hue we see here. Porsche calls the paint color Geyser Gray, and it carries a strong 1960s vibe. Inside, two full-leather interior color options are available—Agate Gray or black—and both come with gorgeously retro Pepita-style houndstooth cloth inserts for the seats. Buyers also can specify 18-way power sports seats to replace the standard 14-way chairs. The headrests get embroidered, two-tone “911 50” lettering, and Porsche even put green lettering on the gauge faces and fitted white needles in a nod to the original 911.
Highly Capable, Minus the Chest-Hair-Inducing Oversteer
Although the look might recall the 911’s early days, the mechanicals knock solidly at modernity’s door. The Carrera S’s optional Powerkit, which boosts output from the 400-hp, 3.8-liter flat-six to 430 horsepower, is standard. The Sport Chrono package also is included, as is Porsche’s Active Suspension Management, sport exhaust system, and Dynamic Light System with dynamic bi-xenon headlights. A seven-speed manual transmission and the brand’s seven-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic are available. The wider rear track should imbue the 911 50th Anniversary Edition with impressive dynamics, and Porsche claims the Powerkit-enhanced powertrain is good for a 4.2-second 0-to-60 time and a 186-mph top speed; PDK-equipped cars drop the acceleration time to 3.8 seconds but lose 1 mph from the top end.
Porsche’s birthday goodie bag won’t come cheap, however, with pricing for the 50th Anniversary Edition 911 starting at $125,050—that’s 911 GT3 territory. It also won’t be easy to find, since when establishing the production cap for the model, Porsche borrowed numerology from the year the 901 was introduced: just 1963 will be built. Porsche also borrowed the original’s debut venue, and will introduce the 50th Anniversary Edition at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show this September.