2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic Will Make You Go Woof With Its Houndstooth Seats, Decals Not So Much
Porsche is a master of producing limited and special edition 911s to keep its core fans constantly engaged and their latest offering, the new 911 Sport Classic, is betting on nostalgia to get those bank accounts rolling.
Some of you may remember the original 997-generation Porsche 911 Sport Classic from 2009 that was made in a mere 250 units, all sold within 48 hours of its debut. The fresh incarnation of the Sport Classic series follows the same path, though you might have a few more (slim) chances of acquiring one, as Porsche will build 1,250 examples of the 992-based model. This is also the first time that a Sport Classic model will be offered for sale in the USA.
The most powerful 911 with a manual gearbox
While the 997 Sport Classic was built around the Carrera S of the time producing 402hp, Porsche went ballistic with the new version basing it off the wide-body 992 Turbo S using the same 3.7-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six. However, whereas the Turbo has 572hp and 553 lb-ft , and the Turbo S, 640hp and 590 lb-ft, both offered exclusively with AWD and an 8-speed dual clutch automatic, the Sport Classic’s flat-six is de-tuned to 542hp and 442 lb.-ft with a 7-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels only. That makes it the most powerful manual gearbox model in the 911’s range.
Porsche said that it revised the engine mapping to deliver output compatible with the Sport Classic’s layout. No other performance figures were released but given the setup, it’s safe to assume that it will lag behind the 911 Turbo’s 2.7 second 0-60mph (96km/h) sprint time, despite weighing less. In essence, the Sport Classic will fit between the GTS and the Turbo model in terms of performance.
Other standard performance features include a tweaked version of the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), ceramic composite brakes, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), Rear Axle Steering, the Sport Chrono Package, and a specially modified Sport Exhaust system that should sound louder inside as Porsche has removed some insulation from the cabin.
What makes a Sport Classic special?
When it comes to appearance, it’s all about those retro vibes from the brand’s storied past. But before we get into the details, it’s worth noting that while the Sport Classic retains the 911 Turbo’s wide hips, oddly, it ditches the latter’s rear air inlets. The most evident changes on the outside begin with the throwback ducktail spoiler that takes inspiration from the 1973 Carrera 2.7 RS, and the 20-inch front and 21-inch rear five-spoke alloys with black trimmings that pay hommage to the 1967 911S, but which aren’t near as cool as the black-center Fuchs-style rims worn by the 997 Sport Classic.
The special edition is painted in a similar, model-exclusive Sport Grey Metallic paint color to the last car, with two lighter grey stripes running across the top, though solid Black, Agate Grey Metallic, and Gentian Blue Metallic will also be available. And then there’s the ‘Porsche’ and racing-style number scripts on the sides, though at least Porsche’s designers avoided going full ‘Herbie the Love Bug’ restricting their use on the doors. The good news is that beyond being able to specify the digits between 1 and 99, those graphics are intentionally applied as decals rather than paint so you can remove them any time you wish.
Other design elements that are unique to the limited model include a fixed spoiler lip, gold-colored badges and a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) hood that’s not offered on the 911 Turbo models and which dips in the center. That indentation matches the carbon double-bubble roof that is also special to this edition.
What a sweet, sweet looking interior
The real treat, however, is once you step inside the 911 Sport Classic as Porsche went with a Houndstooth pattern known as the Pepita design for the seats contrasted by light Classic Cognac leather that also adorns the bottom half of the dashboard and door panels. If you squint at the photos, you may also see that there’s a very thin piece of dark Paldao wood trim running across the dashboard. Stuttgart’s designers have planted several other little details throughout the cabin to set this model apart including a white needle and scale markings alongside green numbers and accents on the digital instrument panel and Sport Chrono clock, embossed headrests and a badge with the serial number on the passenger side.
Furthermore, along with owning a limited-edition model, 911 Sport Classic owners will be able to purchase a unique watch from Porsche Design to go with their car at an additional cost, of course.
OK, so how much will it cost?
Porsche said that the first examples will arrive in late 2022 with pricing information to be announced closer to market arrival. However, we already know that in Germany, where it goes on sale in July, the new 911 Sport Classic is priced from €274,714 (nearly $290,000 at today’s rates of the free-falling Euro), or around €80,000 ($85,000) more than the 911 Turbo. In the States, the Turbo starts from $174,300 (if you can find one at MSRP, that is), so the Sport Classic should be priced in the neighborhood of $260,000. But you better hurry up and get your Porsche dealer onboard as used examples of the older 911 Sport Classic have sold for several times their MSRP in recent years.