Why Porsche need to build more limited edition 991s
Off the back of the 997 GTS’ public debut at the LA Auto Show on Wednesday, Porsche announced the order book for the 918 hybrid hypercar had been slammed closed, with all available units now sold out.
Porsche have long championed the limited availability of the car, predictably limiting production to just – you guessed it – 918 units. This got me thinking: why aren’t there more limited edition 991s? Of course, I’ve not forgotten the tedious 991 Club Coupe and the superb ‘50 Jahre’ Anniversary edition 991, which melds a careful selection of classic accoutrements to the engineering brilliance of the modern 911 (even if I’m still peeved about that Powerkit coming as standard kit on US-bound examples and not UK equivalents).
However, the 991 Anniversary will be made to the not-so-exclusive tune of 1,963 units, which falls romantically in line with the birth year of the 911 in 1963 but not so much with creating an allure of what we’d call rarity as a result.
Why has Porsche’s stance on limited edition 911 specials changed so quickly? In three years of the 991-generation so far, we’ve had one vaguely limited edition release in the Anniversary. By contrast, the three years before that had no fewer than five with the 997 generation, which revelled in a decorated throng of real limited edition models rolling off the production line.
Just take your pick from the 997 GT3 RS 4.0 (600 units made), Sport Classic (250 units), Speedster (356 units), GT2 RS (500 units), plus of course the Turbo S 918 edition (918 units were originally sanctioned, though the number of orders taken fell well short of this).
These supercars had already achieved cult status long before the last lug nut/centrelock had been torqued and the cars had rolled off the production line. Today, they are valued at well above original book price, with many encroaching (or in the case of the RS 4.0, exceeding) Carrera GT values.
Meanwhile, their mere existence has only lavished more international acclaim in the direction of Porscheplatz, the level of which is a PR’s wet dream. In a year when Porsche have only released Carrera GTS and Targa variants to the stunted 991 range, this omission of a real firecracker rarity is heartfelt for the enthusiast.
It’s not as if poor sales have anything to do with it, either. Porsche are quick to boast about their 13% increase in deliveries to customers this year, so there’s quite evidently still a huge demand for the brand. I’m sure some of the 151,500 customer’s who’ve bought a Porsche this year would even welcome the exploitation of their chequebooks if Porsche flashed a tempting new limited edition, highbrow 911 under their noses.
So, Zuffenhausen, the message is quite simple: one special edition in three years isn’t good enough. Give us some more rare 911 exotica, please!