Why is the Porsche 911 Called the 911?

1969 Porsche 911

It was 1963, an exciting year in automotive history. Porsche was developing a more powerful vehicle as an upgrade to the Porsche 356. Late in that same year, Porsche debuted the new vehicle at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.

Named after its internal project number, the new Porsche 901, boasted a rear-mounted engine that was air cooled and had 6 cylinders compared to the 356’s 4 cylinders. The engine had a displacement of 2 liters and a type 901, 5-speed manual transmission.

A Spanner in the Works for the Porsche 911

Shortly after the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show, French automaker Peugeot had a bone to pick with Porsche. It seemed that in France Peugeot owned the rights to the names of all vehicles that had a zero in the middle of model names that were three characters long. This created a problem for Porsche because they would have to change the name of the new Porsche 901 model for all of the cars they planned to sell in France.

Porsche ultimately decided that changing the 901’s name for the sales to France alone would cause confusion and could ultimately hurt the model’s overall popularity. So, they decided to change the model name of the car altogether and simply replaced the zero with a one. In 1964, the Porsche 911 went on sale to the general public and has been a phenomenon ever since.

The Porsche 911 began its life as a prestigious, top-quality sports car, and that tradition has continued throughout its long life and many iterations. Whether it would have remained the Porsche 901 or become the 911 makes no difference in the end. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. The performance and quality craftsmanship that goes into the design and production of all Porsche vehicles would still be evident, and we would still have one of the most recognized models from a brand that has consistently delivered luxury and high performance, time after time.

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