2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic

2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic
2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic Rear Angle View
2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic Dashboard
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2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic Review: Modern-Day 930 Turbo

It's hard to keep track of all the Porsche 911s, and Porsche has a derivative for almost every proclivity. The sledgehammers with Turbo badges and towering performance are usually sold as all-wheel-drive automatics. Rear-wheel-drive Turbo 911s are rare and manual ones rarer still; the last one Porsche did was the 523-horsepower 997 GT2. That's why the new Porsche 911 Sport Classic coupe on review here is such big news. It marks the return of a Porsche 911 Turbo with RWD and a manual gearbox to appease fans that remember the terrifying four-speed manual 930 Turbo of the '70s. Possessed of 543 hp, this would have been the Widow Maker reincarnated, had it not been for modern tech like stability control. And there's nothing quite like it out there; the RWD Audi R8 GT Coupe is naturally aspirated and automatic, while the Porker is a manual muscle car done the Porsche way, a bit like a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, but in a pin-stripe suit, at four times the price, and with the engine at the other end. With a $272k starting price, the Porsche 911 Sport Classic is $75k more expensive than a 911 Turbo, 29 hp less powerful, and 1.2 seconds slower to 60 mph. Yet, asking what gives would be to miss the point of this thrilling bruiser entirely.

2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 911 Sport Classic?

There hasn't been anything like the 2023 911 Sport Classic for years. Only 194 of the manual RWD turbocharged 997 GT2s were sold in the USA and production of that car ended in 2012. All the GT2s since used the PDK automatic, while the manual 408-hp 2010 911 Sport Classic of which 250 were made was naturally aspirated. Now the Sport Classic is back as a Porsche Heritage Design limited-run model. With a 543-hp version of the 911 Turbo engine, it's the closest thing to a manual GT2 you'll get in the 2023 range, complete with its ducktail rear spoiler and Fuchs-style wheels recalling the 1973 911 Carrera RS 2.7. Porsche has revived a niche we thought it had abandoned. It's only temporary though, as just 1,250 will be built, ensuring its instant collector's status. It's also by far the most expensive 911 you can buy. At least it's fully loaded, with even Porsche's carbon-ceramic brakes and rear-axle steering fitted as standard.

Best Deals on 911 Sport Classic

Pros and Cons

  • It's a RWD manual 911 Turbo
  • Instant collector's status
  • Towering power and performance
  • Retro styling touches
  • Everyday supercar
  • Only 1,250 will be built
  • It's very expensive
  • Slower than a 911 Turbo
  • Not Porsche's most satisfying manual

What's The Price Of The 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic?

With a $272,300 MSRP, the 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic's price is the highest of all the 911 derivatives, and a whopping $42k more than a Turbo S. The gas-guzzler tax and destination fee will cost you an additional $1,000 and $1,450, respectively.

2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.8L Twin-Turbo Flat 6 Gas
7-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic Trims and Specs

2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic Handling And Driving Impressions

Despite the loss of the Turbo's AWD, the Sport Classic finds lots of traction thanks to its rear-engined layout and doesn't feel dramatically different from the Turbo on dry roads. It helps that it has Turbo S hardware such as carbon-ceramic brakes, rear-axle steering, the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) anti-roll system, and a torque-vectoring diff. It's brutally effective and can be steered on the throttle, but won't try to kill you like a 930 Turbo, thanks to a lag-free, responsive engine. Its biggest differentiator is the manual gearbox, but you won't find the delightfully precise action of the GT3's six-speed sports 'box here. That gearbox obviously can't handle the torque, so the car ended up with a version of the seven-speeder in the regular turbocharged Carreras. It's a quick, positive shifter, but the five-plane gate is tight and you can occasionally wrong-slot it when trying to skip a gear, changing up. Alas, you're rarely punished for your mistake, as the huge torque of the engine papers over your mishap and it just keeps on pulling, regardless. It's just not the seat-of-the-pants manual experience you get in a GT3 where being in the right gear actually matters. The rev-matching function does perfectly smooth out downshifts though.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic A Good Car?

There is no doubt that the 911 Sport Classic is an excellent car and perhaps the most intriguing of all the 911s. The prospect of a manual-shift RWD 911 Turbo is enough to send many a (well-heeled) enthusiast scurrying for their checkbook and, even at this eye-watering price, it will be an appreciator thanks to its guaranteed rarity value. It looks delightful with its '70s ducktail and those Fuchs-style wheels, and comes with the whole gamut of hardware to deploy all that power with steel-fisted discipline, yet with a RWD character that's more fun than dangerous. But it's not a car for people good at math, because it's slower and less powerful than a 911 Turbo and asks way more money for less. The GT3 is still the best manual-shift 911 out there, but you're guaranteed to have the only Sport Classic on your block.

What 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic Model Should I Buy?

There's only one 911 Sport Classic trim level and it already comes with all of Porsche's most important hardware such as the active anti-roll system, Sport Chrono package, the torque-vectoring diff, and carbon-ceramic brakes. What is, disappointingly, still optional even at this price, are driver assists such as a surround-view camera, traffic-sign recognition, and lane-keep assist, though adding a few of the missing ones for a few thousand dollars probably doesn't make much difference to you if you shop in this category of collectible Porsches. You might not even need them, because who's going to daily a Porsche Heritage Design special?

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