Porsche 911 Nominated as 'Car of the Century' Award Finalist
17 December 1999Porsche 911 Nominated as 'Car of the Century' Award Finalist
Global Media and Car Enthusiasts Select Renowned Rear-Engine, Six-Cylinder Sports Car From a Field of 100 Very Memorable Automobiles ATLANTA, Dec. 16 -- The Porsche 911, a lasting and legendary design from one of the world's leading sports car manufacturers, has been selected as one of five finalists for the Car of the Century Award, which along with the Car Designer of the Century, Car Engineer of the Century Award, Car Entrepreneur of the Century, and Car Executive of the Century Awards are organized by Car of the Century International N.V. The winners will be announced at the Car of the Century Awards Gala at the Venetian Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas on Dec. 18, 1999. The independent Global Automotive Elections Foundation, which is made up of 132 leading members of the automotive community from 33 countries, oversees the election of category candidates and the selection of category winners. The category finalists, and ultimately the winners, are determined by votes from automotive journalists and enthusiasts alike who have come together to celebrate the automotive industry's past 100 years. The Porsche 911 was introduced in September 1963 at the International Auto Show in Frankfurt and was intended to be the successor to the Porsche 356. Originally designed by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, son of Ferry Porsche, the new car was designated Type 901 but changed to 911 in deference to French automaker Peugeot. In its 36-year history, the car has become a platform for numerous automotive engineering developments and racing milestones. The first 911s marked a suspension departure for the Stuttgart-based auto manufacturer. The front suspension featured MacPherson struts and single lower transverse A-arms connected to longitudinal torsion bars, while the rear suspension featured transverse torsion bars and semi-trailing arms. This new design gave a firmer ride, but, when combined with rack-and-pinion steering, provided very controllable, high-performance handling characteristics. The heart of the 911 was its new air-cooled, horizontally opposed (boxer) six-cylinder power plant featuring a pair of triple-choke Solex 40 PI carburetors and rated at 148 horsepower at 6,100 rpm. In 1965, Porsche unveiled a new open-air roof design for the 911. The Targa top, which first appeared in the 1967 911, was an innovative and practical design that featured an easy-to-handle lift-off section above the front seats. What remained was a fixed rear "hoop" that provided rollover protection and a large rear window greenhouse. The 1968 911 featured yet another new option: the Sportomatic four-speed automatic transmission. Designed for the U.S. market, this was Zuffenhausen's first automatic transmission. By 1969, buyers could opt for fuel injection and a five-speed manual transmission, as well as increased horsepower. The 1969 911 sported a longer 89.3-inch wheelbase (up from 87.04 inches), wider rear fender wells to accommodate wider wheels and tires, vented rotors and larger aluminum calipers. Engine displacement increased to 2.2 liters in 1970, and in 1972 Porsche introduced the 1973 2.7-liter Carrera RS with its signature duck tail rear spoiler at the Paris auto show. The Carrera RS was the first production Porsche with a rear spoiler. Spartan interior, lighter materials, gas shocks, super-stiff anti-roll bars and 20 extra horsepower provided considerably improved performance. The Porsche Turbo legend began with the 1976 with the 911 Turbo Carrera, initially called the 930. The original model included almost every Porsche luxury and convenience item and produced 234 horsepower at 5,500 rpm. In 1978 and 1979 the 911SC was introduced with a 3.0-liter, 180-horsepower engine. A Cabriolet model, the first Porsche convertible since the 356, became available for the first time in 1983. An all-new platform was introduced in 1989. The 911 Carrera 4 featured an all-wheel drive system, a new front-suspension design using light alloy cast control arms and coilover shock absorbers, rear independent suspension with lower light alloy semi-trailing arms and coilover shock absorbers, and all-wheel ABS. Approximately 80 percent of the car was all new. By 1994, displacement reached 3.6 liters, yet the engine retained its original air-cooled design. In 1995, another new platform, still retaining the original 911 lines, was introduced. Carrera, Carrera 4 and Cabriolet models featuring water-cooled heads and multi-link rear suspension were offered, and a 400-horsepower, twin-turbo 911 Turbo Carrera 4 was unveiled at the 1995 Geneva Auto Show. The latest and greatest 911 platform debuted in 1998 as a 1999 model year car. The new 911 plays off the highly recognized 911 shape, but underneath is all-new technology such as a water-cooled, horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine producing 300 horsepower, Tiptronic S or manual transmission, all-wheel drive, and the Porsche Stability Management system. An all-new 911 Turbo, based on this new platform, will arrive in early 2000.