Speedster calls time on most successful generation of 911
Not only is the 991 is the most comprehensively developed 911 to date, it’s also the most successful, as demonstrated by 233,540 units produced. To mark the end of model production in the wake of the 992’s attack on the sports car scene, the final 991 to roll off the assembly line was the last of the much celebrated 991 Speedster, a special 911 featured on the cover of Drive-My.
“Porsche stands for both tradition and innovation,” commented Michael Steiner, Chief Research and Development Officer at the manufacturer’s Stuttgart headquarters. “This is reflected nowhere more than in the 911, which in 991 guise, set new standards in terms of performance, driveability and efficiency. To send the 991 off to retirement fills me with a sense of great pride, but also sadness. The 991 project has given me enormous pleasure, though I’m sure the same sentiment is felt by all those who bought one of the near quarter-million examples produced.”
Launched in 2011 as the 997’s successor, the 991 boasted nearly ninety percent new or updated components over the outgoing model. Thanks to a lightweight body made of an innovative aluminium-steel composite, assembly of the 991 was the first time a new 911 had weighed less than its predecessor. The chassis, which benefited from a 100mm-longer wheelbase than the 997, could be equipped with a new, optional roll stabilisation system (Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC)) and set the benchmark in terms of driving dynamics. The 991 Cabriolet followed in the spring of 2012, and with it came another exciting innovation: when closed, the lightweight magnesium bows made it possible to achieve a coupé-like curve of roof never seen before, and with a silhouette retained even at high speed. The 991 Targa, released at the end of 2012, was equally spectacular. Like the original 911 Targa, the new semi-open-top included the classic rollover ‘hoop’ in place of B-pillars. At the push of a button, however, the front section of the roof could be moved automatically and stored at the rear.
The raft of innovations continued in the 991 Turbo, which saw the first active aerodynamics and particulate filter-equipped turbo engines on any 911 Carrera model, while the 991 50th Anniversary Edition and 991 R provided enthusiasts with collectible future classics, much like the new Speedster, a ‘last hurrah’ for the 991. Interestingly, the millionth 911 arrived during 991 production — it was a not-for-sale commemorative model finished in spectacular Irish Green paintwork.