Modern Porsche 911 Turbos are basically supercars without the drama. The Turbo’s wider body, absurdly powerful twin-turbo engine, quick-shifting PDK automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive provide mega performance while keeping the 911’s daily drivable, four seasons spirit. But the original 1970’s Turbo was dubbed “the widowmaker” owing to its wild handling characteristics and crazy power, and modern Turbos have kind of lost that spirit. Now there’s a new 911 Sport Classic limited edition, which combines the Turbo’s powertrain with a manual transmission, rear-wheel drive and retro styling cues to create what may be the most desirable modern 911 yet.
This isn’t the first time Porsche has produced a 911 Sport Classic. In 2010 with the 997 generation, Porsche debuted the first Sport Classic, which was based on the GTS coupe and limited to 250 cars for European consumption. But the new 992-generation Sport Classic will be sold in the US, with 1,250 units set to be produced worldwide by, and Porsche turned everything up a couple notches for the new model.
First I’ll go over the mechanicals, because I know that’s what you really want to hear about. The Sport Classic uses the 911 Turbo S‘ twin-turbo 3.8-liter flat-6 engine, though it’s detuned to make 543 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque instead of the 640 hp and 590 lb.-ft. of the regular Turbo S. That’s because every Sport Classic uses a seven-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, instead of the Turbo S’ eight-speed PDK automatic and all-wheel-drive system. The Sport Classic is thus the most powerful 911 available with a manual transmission, putting out 41 hp more than the GT3 and 70 hp more than the GTS.
Though it may be down on power, the Sport Classic has all the same performance goodies you get with a Turbo S. Gigantic carbon-ceramic brakes, rear-wheel steering, active antiroll bars and the Sport Chrono package are all standard. The Sport Classic also comes with the lowered active suspension setup and sport exhaust system, both of which are normally optional on the Turbo S; Porsche says the exhaust setup is unique to the Sport Classic.
The Sport Classic looks similar to the Turbo at first glance, sharing that model’s more aggressive front and rear bumper designs, but the changes are much more modern than that. While the Turbo models normally have large air intakes in the rear fenders, the Sport Classic has the same widebody but no scoops. That required Porsche to create completely new tooling for the Sport Classic’s body — the unique panels span the front of the doors to the rear of the car — as well as creating new ducts at the spoiler for the cooling normally done by the scoops.
At the rear of the car is a phenomenal ducktail spoiler made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. Also made from CFRP are the double-bubble roof and redesigned hood, and the Sport Classic also has a fixed front lip spoiler in place of the Turbo’s active unit. Another design cue specific to the Sport Classic is the incredible Fuchs-style center-lock wheels.
The Sport Grey Metallic paint was created for the new model, inspired by the 997’s similar shade as well as the Fashion Grey color available on the 356. It comes with Light Sport Grey stripes along the top of the car and the Porsche script across the doors, and a white meatball decal with a customizable racing number is optional. If the Sport Grey Metallic isn’t your thing, the Sport Classic is available in non-metallic Black, Agate Grey Metallic or Gentian Blue Metallic — and if you really want something unique, it should be available with.
The retro design extends to the interior, too. The Sport Classic has a two-tone Black and Classic Cognac interior done up in semi-aniline leather, Porsche’s first time using the material since the 918 Spyder. The seats’ centers and door panels are finished in Porsche’s houndstooth-like black-and-white Pepita cloth, which really ties the whole car together. But if you’re super boring, you can just get an all-black interior — but I don’t know why you would.
Dark Paldao wood trim is standard, which is excellent — more sports cars need wood trim. The Sport Classic also gets a plaque above the glovebox that denotes the car’s serial number, retro green gauge accents, a Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur logo on the center armrest and door sill plates with the Sport Classic logo. Another nice touch are the leather-covered air vent slats, steering column and sun visors, which would represent a couple grand’s worth of options on a regular Turbo.
Porsche isn’t saying how much the Sport Classic will cost yet, but we’re betting it will start at close to $300,000, if not more. It will reach US dealers at the end of 2022. Buyers of the Sport Classic will also be able to purchase a special matching watch from Porsche Design.