PORSCHE 991 MODEL HISTORY
The 991 generation 911 arrived in 2011, a radical step forward from the outgoing 997 with an ingenious new platform, Porsche’s third full redesign in almost fifty years. Its complex monocoque shell was slightly larger in every direction, yet its hybrid fabrication of steel, aluminium and composite made it both lighter and stiffer than the car it replaced.
This was the generation of 911 that pushed Porsche’s by now faultless twin-clutch PDK auto transmission to the fore, and introduced the new retro-styled Targa with so much success. But alongside the stunningly effective series runs of Carrera S, Turbo and GTS, it is the limited editions, like the 911 R and GT3RS, that the 991 era will be best remembered for.
The 991 is also hugely significant for introducing turbocharging to the base Carrera, a sop to efficiency rather than performance. The move away from natural aspiration, arriving during the midlife refresh, was initially met with consternation by the purists. But their concerns proved largely unfounded. A modest deficit in top end performance was more than offset by improved all-round drivability, reduced emissions and improved fuel economy.
Like the 996, Porsche’s first water-cooed 911, the 991 was a milestone product that, to a certain extent, future proofed the 911 once again. Its replacement wouldn’t appear until 2019 and was, to all intents and purposes, just a mild evolution of its brilliant forebear.
The 991 matured the 911 into a much more rounded product, with more performance, more refinement and a far greater degree of both dynamic and safety-oriented tech. This was, once again, the yardstick by which all rivals could beat themselves down, proof positive that Porsche did, does and almost certainly would continue to do it better