The first ever edition of the 911 was powered by a 2.0-liter 130HP air-cooled flat-six mated to a “Type 901” gearbox. It was very compact in size and the design was the work of Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche, Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche’s son. The 912 was also launched as a replacement to the 356, with the 911’s bodywork but with a four-cylinder, 90HP 1.6-liter engine.
In 1966, Porsche introduced the 911S with a more powerful 160HP engine followed in 1967 the Targa with a removable roof panel. One year later Porsche increased the wheelbase from 2,221 mm to a still very compact 2,268 mm in order to improve the 911’s handling, without changing its overall dimensions.
The 911S received a fuel injection system, and Porsche introduced a semi-automatic four-speed “Sportomatic” gearbox.
In 1970, the capacity of the boxer engine was increased to 2.2 liters, resulting in power upgrades for the base 911T (125HP), the 911E (155HP) and the 911S (180HP).
Another change in capacity, this time to 2.4 liters, was on the cards for the 1972-73 E and F-Series. The 911T got 130HP (140HP in the US), the E 165HP and the S 190HP while a new, stronger transmission, the 905 was also introduced. The increased power of the base, U.S. market 911 was due to the use of Mechanical Fuel Injection, which wasn’t available to other markets that still had to do with carburetors.
A special mention should be made to the homologation-special 1972-74 Carrera RS. It sported a larger, 2.7-liter engine with 210HP, redesigned suspension, larger brakes and enlarged wheel arches. It is still considered a classic and, perhaps, the purest 911 ever made.
In 1974, the larger capacity engine of the RS made it to the rest of the range, which comprised of the 911, 991S and 911 Carrera. It also gained different looks thanks to bigger bumpers due to stricter US safety regulations. One year later the 911 Turbo was introduced. It had a wider bodywork, the now famous “whale tail”, a capacity of 3.0 liters and an output of 260HP that eventually topped 300HP when the boxer’s capacity rose to 3.3 liters.
In 1981’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Porsche displayed a cabriolet concept, the brand’s first real open top car since the 356. It entered production one year later and has since remained in the 911’s line-up. In 1984, the 911 gained a new 3.2-liter engine and the “Carrera” moniker was adopted by the regular versions. A new Getrag gearbox, the G50, was added in 1987.