Monday, March 14, 2011

Introducing the Singer Design 911: Retro Cool Porsche for the iPod Generation

In 1998, the last of the air-cooled Porsche 911s rolled off the production line at Stuttgart, soon to be replaced with a newer, more modern water-cooled variant of the classic rear-engined sports coupe. Fortunately, for Porsche fans and company shareholders alike, the water-cooled 996 Series proved to be a venerable replacement for the air-cooled 993 and still commands impressively high prices on the second-hand vehicle market.

For some fans though, the only “true” Neunelfer is the original: the 911 Classic built from 1963 until 1989. Back in those days Porsches were lightweight, rear-engined and – most importantly – air-cooled. By the end of the ‘80s, however, outside concerns such as passenger safety, comfort and emissions regulations were – to some purists – killing the Porsche brand. Enthusiasts began demanding a purer 911 and, in 2009, L.A.’s Singer Vehicle Design responded.

The company set itself a challenge: apply modern materials, manufacturing techniques and design as well as state-of-the-art technology to a forty-year-old car. Singer wanted to incorporate the spirit of the 911 Classic with the sharp looks of the long hood pre-‘74 race specials, the durability of the ‘80s models and the power and sophistication of the 964 / 993 Series.

Here’s how they do it:

First they take a long wheelbase 911 donor car - one built between 1969 and 1989 - and strip it down to the bare shell. This leaves only the original wheelbase, A-pillar position, roofline and suspension / transaxle mounts. Singer then reinforces the unibody to improve torsional rigidity and coats the car in a “second skin” of carbon fibre. With the exception of the doors, all the 911’s sheet metal is then replaced with lightweight composites including Kevlar and carbon fibre.

MacPherson struts and a coil sprung Carrera SC rear trailing arms replace the 911 Classic’s original torsion-beam suspension setup, and multi-adjustable Smart Racing anti-roll bars and Eibach springs are added to improve ride and handling. The original ZF rack-and-pinion steering is replaced with electric-hydraulic power steering that Singer claims emulates the feel of the original on the track or open road while making the 911 a more pleasant drive around town.

The 3.6 L engine from the last of the air-cooled 911’s – the 993 – replaces the 911 Classic’s 2.0 L jobby and is massaged up to 3.82-liters with the help of Ninemeister and Jerry Woods Enterprises components and expertise. A Motec ECU that integrates launch and traction control with data logging capability rounds out the engine mods. Stopping and sticking is handled nicely by four-pot Brembo callipers / rotors and five-spoke forged aluminium Zuffenhaus wheels wrapped in 17-inch Michelins.

Singer is offering its reborn 911 with a choice of either a 360 hp (268 kW) luxury or 425 hp (317 kW) touring tune. The latter is good for 0 to 60 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 170 mph (274 km/h); not bad for a forty year old car.

Singer has also beefed up the interior with lightweight sound deadening, new gauges and refurbished Recaro’s with electronic operation and premium leather. The crowning glory is a MOMO Monza steering wheel; a must-have for any classic 911. Modern conveniences such as air conditioning, Garmin satellite navigation, iPod connectivity and Bluetooth are all available as options, while HID headlamps and a speed sensitive retractable rear spoiler are included as standard.

As you’d expect for this sort of vehicle, prices are only available on enquiry. I don’t know about you, but for something that looks this good I’d sell the kids, the cat and one of my kidneys. You can check out our full gallery below and / or leave your piece in the comments section.

By Tristan Hankins


1 comment:

myscoot said...

Greetings from Madrid, and happy to be part of this blog so motivated, electric vehicles are changing the urban mobility of these times. The scooters, scooters and hovers are my passion, in my store is the widest variety of models of these wonders that will make your walks a fun experience.

Post a Comment