It is hard to believe, but the Porsche 911 exists despite Porsche’s own attempts to eliminate and replace their beloved icon. This rear engine, 2+2 coupe has defied attempts (type 951 and 928) to terminate its allegedly dated concept only to be re-invented in superior form and bask in a renewed wave of enthusiasm.
The 911 brand is so compelling to consumers that even cars that are not 911′s (Types 930, 964, 993, 996, 997) have been badged as such since 1990. Such is the influence of a model and a brand within Porsche that as the vehicle made vast technical leaps, even wholly re-invented it remains a 911. The original 911, with its air/oil cooled engine was built from 1964 to 1989.
This model was succeeded by two much more evolved 911′s that were still air/oil cooled; the type 964 and 993. The 964 and 993 are still lauded for their own technical brilliance, but the vehicles gained weight and complexity addressing safety, (airbags) emissions, and feature/ options concerns. One could argue that the last air/oil cooled 911′s, though brilliant, paid a price for their sophistication.
However, 1998 brought the first 911 to rely on water cooling for the engine, and it introduced the first all-new and larger body shell to the model since 1964. In addition, it was the first 911 to feature an engine with four valves per cylinder which would help it meet power demands and emissions requirements. While the early 911′s were beloved for their unique sound, a baritone growl that was a product of the engine noise itself which could easily escape through the thinner castings and cylinder walls (not surrounded by water) and projected by the fan atop the motor. In the interest of compliance, performance, and evolution both sound effects were eliminated. After surviving 35 years, this integral piece of the 911′s character had been severed from the car’s persona.
The feel of hydraulic power assisted steering (equipped on 911 since the 964), the larger shell, the swollen wheelbase and dimensions, the raked windshield, the front end components shared with the more inexpensive Boxters were among a list of elements that conspired to make the 996, while certainly a BETTER car, a less beloved 911. The longing for a “true” 911 grew louder from 911 enthusiasts and owners lamenting the changes made to their favorite sportscar in the name of “progress.”
Nevertheless, a rational person can admit that the advances made in vehicle design since 1963 have ushered in improved powertrain, unibody, and suspension technologies yielding a vehicle with greater overall capability. But have the evolved water-cooled 911′s proven more enjoyable? Is the drive more fulfilling? What of the magic behind the wheel? It is this fulfillment that is at the core of the original driver-focused 911 concept, and wholly recaptured, yet vastly enhanced by the vision of Singer Vehicle Design.
To optimize suspension performance add rigidity to the unibody, the 911 donor car’s structure has been thoroughly reinforced with a labor intensive stitch welding procedure and the addition of a lightweight integral backbone structure that helps further improve the chassis torsional rigidity. A developmental carbon-fiber second skin further aids this rigidity.
The benefits of such measures to ride and handling given the improvements in unibody’s resistance to twisting are vast, as the suspension is converted from torsion bars to the Macpherson strut and Carrera SC rear trailing arm with coilover set-up seen on vintage racing 911′s. Moton dampers with remote oil reservoirs and Eibach springs are used at all four corners and offer multiple settings for ride and handling that the steel shell can now fully exploit. The Singer 911 will also benefit from extensive use of Smart Racing suspension products, such as multi-adjustable anti-roll bars, suspension bushing that help maintain correct geometry.
A Jerry Woods Enterprises electric/hydraulic power steering system is fitted to the Singer 911 that maintains the vital 911steering feel and feedback while helping quicken the steering reactions as compared to the original ZF rack and pinion.
The racing 911′s were famous for their braking ability and making up distance on the competition in the corners. The Singer 911 is equipped with competition-proven Brembo calipers (4-pot) and rotors that are derived from the 917 and 930 models. The brakes will be peeking out from behind period-evoking Zuffenhaus, lightweight, five-spoke, three-piece forged aluminum wheels. The 17 x 9-inch front wheels are wrapped in sticky, modern Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires measuring 225/45/17 and the rear 17 x 11-inch wheel wears 275/40/17 rubber.
Source - Singer Vehicle Design
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