2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic has 7-speed manual gearbox, rear wheel drive

2023 Porsche 911
2023 Porsche 911
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  • The 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic uses the 911 Turbo’s engine, albeit with reduced output of 543 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque.
  • This lesser output allows the rear-wheel-drive Sport Classic to adopt a seven-speed manual transmission.
  • Porsche intends to cap production at 1250 units worldwide.

The 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic is a 911 Turbo by any other name. Limited to 1250 units worldwide, the Sport Classic shares its engine with the Turbo, but not its drivetrain or transmission.

2023 Porsche 911 (rear)
2023 Porsche 911 (rear)

Whereas today’s Turbo-grade 911 comes exclusively with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the 911 Sport Classic pushes its power strictly to its rear wheels by way of a manual transmission. A classic approach to a sports car, indeed.

In order to ensure the twin-turbocharged 3.7-liter flat-six plays nice with the seven-speed gearbox, Porsche reduces the engine’s output to 543 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque—a loss of 29 horses and 111 lb-ft of torque relative to the Turbo. If you’re after peak performance, then you’re better off with the quicker shift times and superior traction of the self-shifting all-wheel-drive 911 Turbo. The 911 Sport Classic instead sacrifices the lofty straight-line acceleration capabilities of its Turbo kin at the altar of a more involving driving experience.

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Though it’s sure to require a few more ticks to hit 60 mph (the 572-hp 911 Turbo did it in 2.4 seconds in our testing), the Sport Classic ought to maintain much of the dynamic competence of the Turbo on twisting tarmac. Credit features such as rear-wheel steering, active anti-roll bars, and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) Sport active dampers, which lower the car’s ride height by 0.4 inch. Model-specific revisions to the front springs and staggered 20- and 21-inch front and rear wheels are also included. Stopping power comes courtesy of black-painted 10-piston front and four-piston rear calipers that clamp down on 16.5-inch front and 15.4-inch rear carbon-ceramic rotors.

2023 Porsche 911 (interior)
2023 Porsche 911 (interior)

Along with its engine, the Turbo also lends its wider body to the Sport Classic. Like the prior 911 Sport Classic that Porsche revealed in late 2009, the latest 911 Sport Classic wears Fuchs-style wheels, a retro “ducktail” rear spoiler, and a double-bubble roof panel. A carbon-fiber hood with a central dip complements the look of the aforementioned roof panel, which Porsche also constructs from carbon fiber.

Additional alterations include LED headlights with black housings, Porsche script on the model’s lower sides, side-mounted white circles designed to house numeric decals of the driver’s choice, and a number of special badges shared with the 2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition. A Porsche crest that mimics the automaker’s 1963 design, real gold badging at the likes of the car’s rear end, and a Porsche Heritage badge mounted to the rear grille complement a set of badges on the front quarter panels.

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Despite its Turbo-sourced engine, the Sport Classic ditches the active aerodynamic equipment and side air intakes of its 911 Turbo and Turbo S stablemates. Forgoing the latter feature required Porsche to develop new tooling to stamp the intake-less wide-body panels it fits on this special-edition model. The Sport Classic channels additional air into its engine bay by way of ducts mounted under the rear spoiler as a way of compensating for the missing holes in its sides.

Tweaks to the interior accompany the exterior modifications. Both the tachometer and dash-mounted clock of the standard Sport Chrono package include white needles set against faces with green numerals and accents, while Porsche embosses logos into the headrests and center-console lid. There are also distinct door sill plates and a dash-mounted badge.

Pepita cloth lines the door panels and seat centers, contrasting with the cabin’s dark brown wood decor, as well as its black and brown leather trim. An all-black leather interior is optional for those in search of a low-key look.

Unlike Porsche’s previous 911 Sport Classic, all 250 of which were built for markets outside of the United States, the brand plans to ship an undisclosed number of its latest Sport Classic to our shores. Pricing remains under wraps, but we wager the Sport Classic will sticker for a good deal more than the $208,350 starting price of a 911 Turbo S.

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The 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic is due to hit dealers before the end of the year, with customers able to outfit the car in one of four paint options: gray, black, dark gray, and blue—each with contrasting light gray stripes.


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