Porsche 911S 2.2: the small wonder

I’ll start this feature with a confession. As a motoring writer, I’ve driven all the early 911s, can tell them apart from 100 feet, and can recognise their engine sizes simply by listening to them while idle – blindfolded.

However, in this instance I am unsuccessful. This afternoon, not far from Johannesburg’s central business district, marks the first occasion in which I will spend some time in the company of a 2.2-litre S and, more importantly, get to drive it.

However, the owner is as enthusiastic about Porsches as most of you reading this magazine, and for the best part of four hours we would only discuss 911s – pre-1973 models in particular.

Porsche 911S 2.2 bonnet

Aside from the hallowed RS moniker, the S signature has been used by Porsche for the best part of the 911’s existence. The original 911S’s genealogy can be traced back to the first 2.0-litre 911S released in 1967.

It didn’t take long for Porsche to increase the capacity of the 911 for the first time, and in August 1969 the 2.2-litre flat six was released. Generally, these are referred to as 1970 models, and the S engines developed 180bhp, compared to the original 2.0-litre S’s 160bhp.

The increase in engine size was due to the enlarged cylinder bores, from 80 to 84mm. Another important mechanical update was the replacement of the 215mm clutch with a larger 225mm item.

Porsche 911S 2.2 static

Porsche didn’t simply increase the engine size for road use; with its capacity now above 2,001 cubic centimetres, the 911 could be more competitive in the 2,001-2,500 cubic centimetre class for race purposes.

911 anoraks will appreciate the fact that the increase to 2.2 litres also signalled the introduction of Porsche’s engine type number prefix, which changed from 901 to 911, meaning the 2.2-litre S’s engine was referred to as the 911/02.

To read more of our classic test drive in this beautiful 2.2-litre Porsche 911S, make sure you pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 112 now. Currently available at your local newsagent, you can also order your copy online, or download it to your digital device.

Porsche 911S 2.2 engine

Comments (3)

  • roger

    The car seems to be LHD, not a South African spec. car. The headlights look as if they are the bi-iode type with two H1 bulbs that you can wire up rally style (main+dip) and have (illegal) high main beam wattage. Bi-iodes were never fitted to RHD, at least not in the UK.
    There were only 34 UK 1970 ‘C’series 2.2Ss and 44 for 1971, because the economy was even more cr*p than usual,so they are very rare, how many are left today?, unmolested and not turned into 73RS look-alikes.
    The last models with 66mm stroke cranks and the proper racing shift pattern, first to get you moving then 2-3 and 4-5.Drive calmly and you might get 20 mpg .

  • Matthew Alexander Barnes

    Many of ‘our’ lhd cars were Italian spec. This is a mate’s car. As far as I know the car is standard, aside from turbo tie-rod ends. As a testament to the owner and the creators, it is driven hard regularly and seldom misses a beat. A startling example of how a concept, even in the context of modern cars (his immaculate S2000 for example) still holds its own. The 2nd to 3rd gear shove and gt3-esq wail is utterly intoxicating. Despite being 42/3 years old, it remains a very very quick car; the lack of inertia making it feel even quicker than it is.

  • Nadav Ravid

    Hi Roger, well spotted!

    We replaced the original H1 headlamps with new H4 units and RHD lenses for one simple reason – as alluded to in the article, the car is used regularly and at all times of the day and night and the H1s are simply pitiful!

    We looked into various options (globe upgrades etc) but these seemed to be the only way forward.

    The modern tyres, turbo tie-rod ends and a 380mm period RS spec steering wheel are the only other changes.

    Thanks for the info!