Porsche 911 Targa
It is hard to image Porsche not having the 911 in the lineup. After all the car has been with us for over 50 years now. However, in the late ’70s replacing the rear-engined sports car was the plan for the German performance car maker.
At the time the thought was that the new front-engined V8 powered 928 would take over as the brand’s flagship vehicle, with a less expensive front engined sports car also for sale.
Below are the top 5 reasons why we still have the 911, but others have come and gone.
- Porsche Family – A large reason why the 911 survived is that the Porsche family wanted it to remain in production. While they no longer controlled the company, they still had a big say in what happened and they couldn’t imaging the company without the flat-six powered car.
- Classic Styling – While I like the styling of the front-engined Porsche (928, 924, 944 and 968), one can only call the lines of the 911 timeless. They look as good now as they did when the car first appeared. While the front engine sports cars had great styling that helped define the style of their day, the 911 always looks good, no matter the era.
- Rear-Engine Design – Most 356s had a rear engine design (with the exception of the first 356 which was mid-engined) and the 911 continued this tradition with its rear engine design. Until the front engined sports cars made their debut in the companies lineup, all Porsches were either rear-engined or mid-engined. Needless to say many thought that to have a Porsche with the engine in front of the driver was a sin.
- Purist Perception – For many purists when the front engined sports cars made their appearance the company only made one sports car, the 911. Much of this had to do with the tradition of the company and that the 928 was introduced above the 911.
- Sports Car Versus GT – The front engine cars were more GT cars (well the 924, 944 and 968 had element of both), but the 911 was a pure sports car. While over time the 911 has become more of a GT car, when the front engined sports cars started to appear it was still a pure sports car.