Special-edition sports car proved to have surprisingly distinct character
Porsche is currently hooked on the hard stuff: the rare-groove special editions every manufacturer of note seems to be purveying as though their existence depended on it. (Maybe it does?) It’s obvious why.
These creations delight the engineering teams, but so too do they have the bean-counters positively frothing at the mouth, such is the willingness to swallow outrageous prices. It’s easy to see these projects as cynical.
And then you meet the cars first hand.
The Porsche 911 Dakar? Silly car, silly price, but truly, superbly fine company in the real world and an instant classic.
The new 911 S/T? Hugely contrived, despicably expensive, but probably the most intoxicating yet usable supercar Porsche has ever made. Sublime.
Which brings us to the 911 Sport Classic, which arguably started all this nonsense in the ‘997’ era, when it embraced a style-over-substance approach with an entirely pointless duck-tail, houndstooth innards and almost no mechanical tickles.
Asking price: £140k. Or, in 2009, £10k more than a 911 GT2!
This year, Porsche reprised the Sport Classic idea, cueing prejudiced ambivalence in the Autocar office, particularly when the price was revealed to be £214k.
Except the new SC is a genuinely interesting 911, with its own character and quirks.
Yes, you get all the aesthetic trinkets, which I can take or leave, but underneath that is an entity both special and unique: a non-S 911 Turbo shorn of its front driveshafts and fitted with a manual ’box. In 2023, it feels a bit rebellious.
The result is a sort of hot-rod modern 911 that’s just the right amount of boosty and has an exaggerated rear-biased balance that makes it all kinds of mischievous once you’re on first-name terms.
I really fell for the SC. It’s a bit of a loner, has its own swagger about it, and given that it rides better than a GT3 Touring, it’s my current haute-911 of choice. Until next year’s batch lands, that is.