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2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic, All you want to know about a Great Car

 

2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic First Look: A Rear-Drive Turbo S With a Manual?!

This is a shameless nostalgia play that you will definitely drool over.

2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic 8

There are so many variations of Porsche’s 911 that, by now, you probably just tune out whenever a “new” one is announced. You probably figure that it’s merely the latest of an established 911 model, like the new GTS or Carrera S or Turbo S—or one of the other models lacking an “S” in their names. The 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic is the rare new variant, one that offers up a unique assemblage of 911 components you couldn’t otherwise order together. What do we mean? Well, underneath its retrotastic styling, the Sport Classic is essentially a rear-wheel-drive 911 Turbo with a manual transmission.

2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic 47

Contextualizing that requires pointing out that the 911 Turbo, like its more powerful Turbo S sibling, is only available with all-wheel drive. The Turbos similarly aren’t otherwise offered with a manual transmission; they’re only sold with Porsche’s eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, the PDK. While normal 911 Turbos’ twin-turbo 3.7-liter flat-sixes pack 572 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, the Sport Classic’s 3.7-liter is detuned to 543 hp and 442 lb-ft to play nicer with the manual transmission. Still, those figures make this the most powerful manual-transmission 911 you can buy, surpassing even the 911 GT3 (502 hp).

2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic 31

Forget the Sport Classic treatment for a second, and this 911 is desirable on its oddball specs alone. But of course, there’s more to it than just an unlikely powertrain and body combination. This is the second “Heritage Design” model from Porsche, the first of which was the 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition from 2020, and it’s also sort of similar to the 911 Sport Classic Porsche offered in 2010, at least visually.

Anyway, the idea with this ongoing thread of Heritage Design models is to loosely follow notable eras in Porsche’s history; while the Targa 4S-based model was an homage to late ’50s and early ’60s Porschedom, the new Sport Classic aims at the late ’60s and early ’70s, specifically blending together elements of Americana—hence the California dreamin’ vibes of the photos here—and racier Porsche 911 models that began cropping up around that period such as the classic Carrera 2.7 RS (an example of which can be seen peeking out of the background of some of these same photos).

2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic 48

Don’t worry about getting hung up on justifying why the 911 Sport Classic is laid out like a later-era Porsche 930, the original Turbo, and just let yourself chill out to the cool retro feels this limited-edition model gives off. Like the last Sport Classic, there is the ducktail spoiler, some stripes, and those Fuchs-lookin’ wheels (20-inchers up front, 21s in the rear), plus a (deletable) number dot on each door (customers can even specify the number). Gold badges, including the 1963 variation on Porsche’s hood crest, are scattered throughout.

Inside is a gorgeous color scheme of nougat-colored leather (last used on the 918 Spyder!) and black-and-white “Pepita” checkered cloth inserts, and Porsche really leaned into the old-school theme with green-backlit gauges and dials. Fans of the weirder depths of Porsche’s option catalog rejoice: The Sport Classic gets the 911’s available leather wrapping for its sun visors, steering column—not the wheel, the column—and air vent slats.

2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic 13

Underneath all this throwback window dressing is some serious design work that can easily go unnoticed by the uninitiated. At first blush, you might not realize the Sport Classic is based on the mighty Turbo because a few Turbo design cues are missing—namely the oblong intakes that typically live on the front side of each rear fender bulge. You might be thinking “sure, Porsche just covered up the hole, right?” Wrong. “Or maybe they just chose not to cut the hole out of the regular Turbo’s stamping?” Wrong again.

The automaker designed an entirely new quarter panel—as in, the stamping that runs from just behind the front wheel, under the door, and all the way to the taillights, rear bumper, and decklid cutlines. No other 911 uses this part, and as any engineer will tell you, that bit is one of the more complex, deeper-draw pieces on most any car. That Porsche rejiggered its factory and made new tooling to produce that new piece just to cover up a hole for what will be a relatively limited run of cars is staggering.

As for those now-closed-off cooling tracts? Porsche says the intakes were relocated under the ducktail spoiler, out of view. Other body mods include a carbon-fiber hood that isn’t otherwise available on Turbos and a “double-bubble” roof panel.

2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic 29

Those wondering whether the intake shuffling has any impact on performance should know that Porsche says it doesn’t, but the company also stresses this isn’t a track car. Instead, it’s more of a tactile experience, something that sounds good, feels quick, and will tear up a back road in style.

The Sport Classic gets carbon ceramic brake rotors with subtle black-painted calipers, the 911’s available Sport Chrono package, and the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with a 0.4-inch-lower ride height. The Turbo’s rear-axle steering remains in place, though Porsche does soften the front spring rates to adjust for the rear-drive setup.

While there is almost no way every single one of these Sport Classics isn’t already spoken for or being snapped up by people richer than you, we’ll mention that 1,250 will be built worldwide, and the order books will be open to Americans (they weren’t on the old Sport Classic).

Those lucky enough to snag one can select from among four colors or go ham with Porsche’s paint to sample custom program; the stripes are likewise optional; and for those with no sense of fun or style, the amazing Pepita-and-tan interior can be swapped for an all-black affair. Oh, and there’s a matching Porsche Design watch available, too.

How much will all this cost? Well, given the level of changes employed, and the fact that the starting point is a 911 Turbo is $176,650, figure on somewhere north of a quarter of a million dollars when the Sport Classic lands later this year. To make you feel better and put you in the Sport Classic’s sixties state of mind, that’s “just” $32,000 in 1969 money.

2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic Is the Manual 911 Turbo We’ve Always Wanted

The limited-run Sport Classic keeps the 911 Turbo’s engine but ditches its automatic gearbox and all-wheel-drive system.

2023 porsche 911 sport classic
PORSCHE
  • The 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic uses the 911 Turbo’s engine, albeit with reduced output of 543 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque.
  • This lesser output allows the rear-wheel-drive Sport Classic to adopt a seven-speed manual transmission.
  • Porsche intends to cap production at 1250 units worldwide.

The 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic is a 911 Turbo by any other name. Limited to 1250 units worldwide, the Sport Classic shares its engine with the Turbo, but not its drivetrain or transmission.

Whereas today’s Turbo-grade 911 comes exclusively with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the 911 Sport Classic pushes its power strictly to its rear wheels by way of a manual transmission. A classic approach to a sports car, indeed.

In order to ensure the twin-turbocharged 3.7-liter flat-six plays nice with the seven-speed gearbox, Porsche reduces the engine’s output to 543 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque—a loss of 29 horses and 111 lb-ft of torque relative to the Turbo. If you’re after peak performance, then you’re better off with the quicker shift times and superior traction of the self-shifting all-wheel-drive 911 Turbo. The 911 Sport Classic instead sacrifices the lofty straight-line acceleration capabilities of its Turbo kin at the altar of a more involving driving experience.

PORSCHE

Though it’s sure to require a few more ticks to hit 60 mph (the 572-hp 911 Turbo did it in 2.4 seconds in our testing), the Sport Classic ought to maintain much of the dynamic competence of the Turbo on twisting tarmac. Credit features such as rear-wheel steering, active anti-roll bars, and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) Sport active dampers, which lower the car’s ride height by 0.4 inch.

Model-specific revisions to the front springs and staggered 20- and 21-inch front and rear wheels are also included. Stopping power comes courtesy of black-painted 10-piston front and four-piston rear calipers that clamp down on 16.5-inch front and 15.4-inch rear carbon-ceramic rotors.

Along with its engine, the Turbo also lends its wider body to the Sport Classic. Like the prior 911 Sport Classic that Porsche revealed in late 2009, the latest 911 Sport Classic wears Fuchs-style wheels, a retro “ducktail” rear spoiler, and a double-bubble roof panel. A carbon-fiber hood with a central dip complements the look of the aforementioned roof panel, which Porsche also constructs from carbon fiber.

PORSCHE

Additional alterations include LED headlights with black housings, Porsche script on the model’s lower sides, side-mounted white circles designed to house numeric decals of the driver’s choice, and a number of special badges shared with the 2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition. A Porsche crest that mimics the automaker’s 1963 design, real gold badging at the likes of the car’s rear end, and a Porsche Heritage badge mounted to the rear grille complement a set of badges on the front quarter panels.

Despite its Turbo-sourced engine, the Sport Classic ditches the active aerodynamic equipment and side air intakes of its 911 Turbo and Turbo S stablemates. Forgoing the latter feature required Porsche to develop new tooling to stamp the intake-less wide-body panels it fits on this special-edition model. The Sport Classic channels additional air into its engine bay by way of ducts mounted under the rear spoiler as a way of compensating for the missing holes in its sides.

Tweaks to the interior accompany the exterior modifications. Both the tachometer and dash-mounted clock of the standard Sport Chrono package include white needles set against faces with green numerals and accents, while Porsche embosses logos into the headrests and center-console lid. There are also distinct door sill plates and a dash-mounted badge.

VIEW PHOTOS

2023 porsche 911 sport classic

PORSCHE

Pepita cloth lines the door panels and seat centers, contrasting with the cabin’s black and brown leather decor. An all-black leather interior is optional for those in search of a low-key look.

Unlike Porsche’s previous 911 Sport Classic, all 250 of which were built for markets outside of the United States, the brand plans to ship an undisclosed number of its latest Sport Classic to our shores. Pricing remains under wraps, but we wager the Sport Classic will sticker for a good deal more than the $208,350 starting price of a 911 Turbo S.

The 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic is due to hit dealers before the end of the year, with customers able to outfit the car in one of four paint options: gray, black, dark gray, and blue—each with contrasting light gray stripes.

 

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2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic, On Youtube

 

The new Porsche 911 Sport Classic​

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