LONDON, May 11 — After 54 years of continued production the vehicle that redefined what a sportscar should be is marking yet another milestone on its iconic journey.
Even in the world of the automobile, terms like legend and icon may be used far too frequently, but in the case of the Porsche 911, all superlatives are completely justified.
For over a half-century it has constantly pushed the envelope in terms of performance, handling and reliability. It is the most successful car in autosport history, having won more races in more events than any other model (the 911 accounts for over half of Porsche's entire 30,000 race wins to date) and, thanks to choosing a path of evolution over revolution in terms of outward appearance at least, despite its comparative rarity on the road, it is one of the world's few universally recognisable cars.
"We have continued to enhance the technology of the 911, refining and perfecting the sports car," said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, "that's why it remains a state-of-the-art and technically innovative vehicle."
However, it offers that technology in a way that the brand's dedicated legion of fans will accept and that, more than any other reason, is why it has managed to stay relevant even as competition increases from the likes of Mercedes and McLaren. "54 years ago, I was able to take my first trips [in a 911] over the Grossglockner High Alpine Road with my father," said Dr Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. "The feeling of being in a 911 is just as enjoyable now as it was then. That's because the 911 has ensured that the core values of our brand are as visionary today as they were in the first Porsche 356/1 from 1948."
The loyalty that the 911 stirs up in owners, along with the fact that unlike Italian automotive exotica, Porsches are built to last, is also why over 70 per cent of all 911s ever built are still on the road today. In other words, the number of 911s currently in use is equal to the total amount of cars ever built by Aston Martin in its 103-year history.
The one millionth 911 will not be offered for sale. Instead it will be going to the company's museum, but not before it is goes on a global road trip over the course of the year where it will hit the Scottish Highlands, lap the Nurburgring and take in the US and China. — AFP-Relaxnews