The Ducktail is back, meet the 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic

I was in my late teens during the Eighties, so I remember having posters on my bedroom walls with supercars on them, I admit, mostly Lamborghini, but I did really like that era of the Porsche 911 too, especially the 930 Turbo, and preferably the Slantnose models, but there was another, more classic Porsche that also caught my attention back then, the early Seventies Carrera RS models like the 2.7, in the 80s this was a ten-year-old car, and admittedly it wasn’t near the value nor cult status this lady has today, and while I love that ‘whale tail’ on the Turbo, I have always had a sweet spot for a ‘Ducktail’, that small upright fin at the rear of a car just brings back memories of my childhood.

So when Porsche decides to bring back the ducktail on a brand new 2023 model, I’m all in … and that’s exactly what we now see on the Porsche 911 Sport Classic … modern styling on the classic 911 model designation, with a return for that Seventies RS style rear wing, the small ducktail, and Porsche recognizes this, as the new 2023 Sport Classic is a limited edition model, only 1,250 will be made for the entire world, as a tribute to the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 from the early 1970s, the new Sport Classic is the second model we see in the Heritage Design strategy, which began with the 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition in 2020.

The 911 Carrera RS 2.7 was a serious performance car in the early Seventies, so for this contemporary incarnation Porsche went to the top of their current line up, the Sport Classic is based on the Porsche 911 Turbo S, but there is a twist for this homage model … the 543 hp from the 3.7-Liter twin-turbo flat-six gets revised engine mapping because the Sport Classic is rear-wheel-drive only and comes with a 7-speed manual gearbox … we didn’t have four-wheel-drive nor an automatic gearbox in the Carrera RS, now did we? The 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic is the most powerful Porsche with a manual transmission at the time of writing.

A factory spec Porsche 911 Turbo S already comes with a host of high-performance equipment, and all of those will make the transition to the Sport Classic too, we’re talking about the magnificent Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) with black calipers, the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), Rear Axle Steering, the Sport Chrono Package, and a specially modified Sport Exhaust system as standard fitment on this lady, a 10mm lower ride height courtesy of the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) Sport will also come straight from the factory, and because of the rear-wheel-drive setup, the Sport Classic comes with decreased spring rates to the front.

The Sport Classic is the second in a series of four Heritage Design models, the dark red 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition was the first, and this new 911 Sport Classic does share some design elements with the Targa, including the heritage inspired Porsche crest nearly identical to the version from 1963, badges and PORSCHE lettering finished in real gold and special Exclusive Manufaktur badges on the front quarter panels. Finally, a Porsche Heritage badge fixed to the intake grille at the rear references the Porsche 356 badge that was awarded in the 1950s when a vehicle reached the 100,000-kilometer mark.

The exterior of this 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic features several bespoke items when compared to the Turbo S she’s based on, like the Sport Grey Metallic paint that has been developed specifically for this new heritage model, with contrast stripes in light Sport Grey, a shade that has been inspired by the Fashion Grey paint used on the Porsche 365, but if you really insist, Porsche will also put non-metallic Black on your specific 911 Sport Classic, or Agate Grey Metallic, and even Gentian Blue Metallic … I wonder if you could convince Porsche’s Exclusive Manufaktur to finish the 911 Sport Classic in white with the lettering in green, just like a 1973 Carrera RS 2.7.

There are some additional details that will distinguish the 911 Sport Classic further from the Turbo S she’s derived from, like the front spoiler lip and LED-Matrix black headlights, while the carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) front hood with a ‘dip’ at the center isn’t even possible on the Turbo S, just like the ‘double-bouble’ CFRP roof that is specific to the Sport Classic, a reference to the first 911 Sport Classic model that was made on the Type-997 generation years ago.

Some customers will love the ‘Porsche’ lettering on the side, and that massive ‘cartouche’ on the doors, the demo cars in this article all wear the nr 60, but customers will be able to specify digits between 1 and 99 to go on the doors, but fear not, these are simply decals, which means they aren’t painted on the delicate bodywork of the 2023 Porsche 911 Sport Classic, so if you really don’t like it, you can always remove them for a clean look on your own Sport Classic, and if you really dislike the stripes from front to back, you can order your 911 Sport Classic without them too.

I for one really love those classic Fuchs wheels on the older Porsche models, and that’s why I also like these new 911 Sport Classic wheels, only available on this limited edition model, they are a contemporary evolution of those classic Fuchs wheels, another homage to the rich Porsche heritage, but now in a modern center-lock configuration, and a staggered configuration, measuring 20 inch up front and 21 inch at the rear with 255/35 ZR20 and 315/30 ZR21 respectively.

But it’s all at the rear where the real fun happens on the new 911 Sport Classic, we get the massively wide 911 Turbo rear fenders, but without the large air intakes from the latter, so on the Sport Classic these are just wide and create a stunning visual emphasis on the rear, note that this is a serious modification as this panel starts at the front wheel, goes all the way under the doors to flow over the wide rear wheels and goes onto the rear of the 911, but this also required air intakes to be positioned elsewhere to draw air into the engine bay … and that is where the most important visual design element comes into play … the large CFRP ducktail spoiler which contains ducts underneath it to channel combustion air to the engine while charge air continues to route through the grille above the engine for cooling.

A ‘classic’ model deserves a classically styled interior, so for the Porsche 911 Sport Classic, the engineers went back to the Seventies with seat centers and door panels fitted with Pepita cloth upholstery, as standard the interior for this model comes with semi-aniline leather in black and Classic Cognac, which is the first time since the 918 Spyder that Porsche has used this particularly supple and natural feeling grade of leather, for those that don’t really like this, there is an option for a single-tone black leather interior too.

The open-pore, dark Paldao wood trim comes as standard too, while a gold plaque in front of the passenger on the dashboard depicts the serial number of that specific car in the 1,250 units production run, and then we get to all the small details that really set this Sport Classic apart from the other Porsche 911 models you can buy, like the central, analog tachometer is true retro style with a white needle and scale markings alongside green numbers and accents or the modern Sport Chrono clock in the dashboard that boasts the same look. The center console lid is embossed with the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur logo, while the headrests are embossed with the Porsche Crest. The door sill plates are also specific to this model, featuring the 911 Sport Classic logo. The sun visors, steering column, and even the air vent slats are upholstered in leather while perforated Race-Tex fabric makes up the headliner and covers the A-, B- and C-Pillars.

The 911 Sport Classic will be available in the United States as part of the 2023 model year, demo cars will arrive at the official dealerships in late 2022, at this time there is no pricing information yet, but that will be made available closer to market arrival, for now, let’s enjoy some more photos of this amazing, classic-looking modern supercar: