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Porsche’s first production vehicle—the 356—set the course for sports cars powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled engine in a lightweight platform. Upon its introduction, it was primarily adopted by enthusiasts who recognized its dynamic race-winning performance; but as its life cycle came to a close, Porsche opted for a larger and more comfortable replacement. That replacement became the 911. What became of the 911 is now the story of a legend.
For almost 60 years, the equation of the 911 has been consistent but constantly evolving. The flat six has always been mounted in the rear but innovations of power and efficiency have necessitated change—though never deviating from the core of what a 911 is.
And that silhouette. That silhouette is still unlike anything else.
When you compare the latest 992 side-by-side with the original 901 prototype, it’s clear how far that evolution has advanced the 911 platform. Since its inception, the 911 has taken forms of the fastest car in the world, Le Mans winners, track day warriors, the ultimate daily driver and everything in between. The latest 992 takes lessons from each and every one of those variants to fully embody the 911 lineage.
Displayed at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 992 aimed not only to continue the progression of the model, but to hark back to the original in a myriad of ways. Contemporary Porsche design language was applied but the design team worked to incorporate classic cues in recognizable ways, especially from the front and throughout the interior. But the technology is distinctly modern, resulting in an innovative experience in terms of accessibility and performance.
Combining the familiarity of the 911’s history with the cutting edge results in something evergreen. The timeless nature of the 992 generation is what inspired the latest project for Porsche of The Main Line—a celebration of a classic 911’s arrival into the modern era. The 911 has been able to transcend the decades and never appear out of place, almost as if it’s been placed in a time machine. So, fittingly, it became one.

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Arriving in a cloud of smoke and lights to Porsche of The Main Line’s launch event on October 24, 2019, was a brand new 911 that had traversed the decades and picked up each predating generation along its way for the ultimate celebration of the history of the 911. Styled with inspiration from the famous 1985 movie car, our “Back 992 the Future” machine embodied all of the classic traits to travel through time, with replica equipment and effects to mark the 911’s arrival to 2019.
But as the 911 exists in the present day, it remains the benchmark it always has been. The original more-powerful-than-the-356 911 had 130 horsepower, now dwarfed by the 911 Carrera’s starting powertrain of 380 horsepower, and up to 444 in the Carrera S. Acceleration figures for the S models now creep toward 3.5 seconds for 0-60, challenging supercars in another stratosphere of price.
Power is nothing without control, however, so the 911’s balanced characteristics are emphasized for this generation. Staggered tires allow for a wider track both front and back, promoting greater lateral stability in dynamic driving, limiting both understeer and oversteer tendencies at the edge of grip. And as the tachometer climbs, the new PDK gearbox gets its chance to shine, as the new 8-speed unit comes with a host of bolstering. Most prevalent is a “quick shift” function that improves clutch-switching during gear changes for better response—like a full-on GT car. But optimized performance doesn’t just relate to power; reduced engine speeds in the upper gears results in a new standard for efficiency in everyday driving, all while keeping the gobs of power on tap with a few clicks of the left paddle.
Even though the 911 was originally developed to be the bigger and faster replacement for the 356, it was also to be more refined and comfortable. The 992 does speed very well but never at the cost of the everyday experience, wherever that everyday happens.

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The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system has been modified for softer damping and therefore greater comfort in certain settings, but also increased firmness for roll stability and road connection in spirited driving. But when the going gets rough, the 992 does not fail to excel.
The 911 has innovated its “Wet” driving mode to further predict and compensate instability in the most unpredictable driving conditions. When activated, the system senses sprayed-up water in the front wheel housings, and the Porsche Stability Management, Porsche Traction Management, aerodynamics and Porsche Torque Vectoring are adjusted to be complicit in a much more stable driving experience. This gives any driver the confidence to get the most out of the car as well as themselves.
The accessibility that the 911 affords is what has made it a fan favorite spanning decades. Rewarding a skillful driver, but not overwhelming the uninitiated, opens up the 911 to be a universal experience. Factory racing drivers have their 911s to win Le Mans, the amateurs have their turnkey track day racers, enthusiasts have their pure driver’s cars, and the casual driver has something with style, speed and the pedigree of all the above.
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