Opinion: Should Porsche have released more new 911s in 2014?
Last year marked something of a purple patch for fans of new Porsche 911s. With 2013 marking the 50th anniversary of Stuttgart’s sterling sports car, Zuffenhausen pulled out all the stops, releasing five production 911s, and one limited edition model.
First we were graced with the 991 GT3 before the new 911 Turbo and Turbo S were launched simultaneously for the first time. The latest turbocharged 911s were initially released in Coupe form but were soon followed by Cabriolet versions for fans of alfresco forced induction.
On top of this, Porsche created 1,963 examples of the 911 50 Jahre anniversary edition a car that, with its widebody and excellent retro touches, enthralled us. Along with the 991 Turbo S it made our list of the top seven water-cooled 911s of all time.
Therefore, we were not only treated to a large quantity of new Porsche 911 releases last year, each model of the rear-engined sports car was of undeniably high quality too. But what of this year?
2014 has brought about just two new Porsche 911 releases, with the 991 Targa and 991 Targa 4S unveiled back in May. Effectively this has added just one new car to the range.
What’s more, while the return of the gilled, silver roll hoop is undoubtedly cool, the new 911 Targa was never going to have the same halo effect as a new Coupe model. Similarly, open-top 911 fans already had the 991 Carrera Cabriolet to satisfy their craving for windswept hair and a naturally aspirated flat six.
This year was always going to struggle to match 2013 for sheer shock and awe, such was Porsche’s propensity for releasing new 911 variants during the model’s anniversary year but, with spy shots whetting our appetite for the 991 GT3 RS and the a possible 991 GTS, we have often been disappointed as wave after wave of international motor shows pass without a new 911 to celebrate.
To an extent, the Porsche 991 has been overshadowed this year, especially with Zuffenhausen releasing the captivating Cayman and Boxster GTSs, a car so good that it snaps at the heels of base 911s.
Of course, the 911 has become such an icon that it is impossible to forget about, even during new-model dry spell. However, it still would have been nice for Porsche to bestow at least one more version of the 991 in 2014, especially as the platform is nearing the end of its first generation.
The one thing that 2014 has allowed us to do as a magazine is truly focus on looking back through the 51 years of Porsche 911 production, searching out the best and the brightest.
We started the year with a 997 GT3 RS face-off, while we’ve also been lucky enough to jump behind the wheel of numerous classics like the 3.2 Carreras of issue 114 and turn our attention to the legendary 964 RS.
While we definitely would have liked more 911 launches this year, Porsche’s focus on other models has made us do the same. It’s certainly been no bad thing as it has given us the time and space to revisit some truly spectacular 911s from bygone eras.
It’s always good to be reminded of Porsche’s heritage. It gives you a sense of perspective, while also letting you revel in some of the best cars to ever roll off the Zuffenhausen production line. When we put it like that, having no new 911s to celebrate has hardly been a problem.
And, with a few more motor shows left this year, we might still get one more new 911 launch to satisfy our cravings. That would truly be having our cake and eating it!