Special, but still expensive.
Back in 1988, Porsche was celebrating the 25th anniversary of its 911. That was 29 years ago and the 911 is still around, though it’s drastically different. Or is it? As Motor Week learned way back then, the 911’s rear-engine setup had its pluses and minuses, and was one of the few cars still on the market with that design. Today, only the 911 remains butt-engined. It was also expensive even then. A base 911 started off at over $40,000, and the 911 Carrera tested in this video cost over $50,000.
Bear in mind this was still the air-cooled, classic-bodied car, so it was fairly small inside with a dashboard that looked vintage even then. Right, so the 911 was weird. Great driver’s car, but kind of weird. Old, but with splashes of modernity.
Today, Porsche has become a very different company than it was then. The 911 still exists because of the sales success of Porsche’s bread and butter models, specifically the Panamera, Cayenne and Macan. Imagine telling something in ’88 that in 30 years’ time Porsche would be a fully-fledged performance luxury automaker with a sedan (of sorts) and two SUVs. Twenty-five years ago, Porsche was strictly a two-door sports car company, but what it’s never lost sight of is how to build a great sports car.