Back in 1963, Porsche came up with a distinctive and durable vehicle that would change the way people viewed Porsche vehicles. Unbeknownst to them, what Porsche created may possibly be the most popular vehicle model in their history — the 911. This model had a rear, flat six engine and a beautiful, sexy design, but the notable feature was how the engine was air-cooled. The air-cooled engine provided many benefits to drivers, which included a light and nimble vehicle, affordable maintenance, and a simple and beautiful design. This had the community raving and for the next 30+ years, this was the standard in all Porsche 911 models.
But around late 1997 – early 1998, the company decided to introduce a new type of 911. This model advertised a water-cooled engine, which was necessary due to the stricter emission standards set by the EPA. This had purists furious and confused as to why Porsche would betray such a beloved design. Why did Porsche decide to move away from their popular air-cooled engine?
The biggest reason for Porsche transitioning from their ever-popular engine design was due to tighter government regulations, but competition and a greater demand for performance also played a role in the transition. Other brands had started to utilize water-cooled engines, and these engines yielded better performance and allowed engineers to push the envelope in engine design. Along with that, Porsche needed to meet the stricter emission standards being set by the EPA. Although the air-cooled engine provided quality performance and was extremely popular, it didn’t allow Porsche to reach their lofty goals or meet the new standards set by their competitors and the EPA. Unfortunately, the trajectory of performance they wanted didn’t match what the air-cooled engine could achieve, as it had met its maximum level of performance.
Since the introduction of the new, water-cooled 911 models, Porsche hasn’t created any models with the famous air-cooled engines. The only way vehicle owners can own and drive an air-cooled engine is if they purchase an older Porsche model. But just because manufacturing of this popular engine model has ceased, doesn’t mean its memory has. To this day, many car enthusiasts continue to debate the beauty and simplicity of Porsche’s air-cooled engines, with many purists believing that unless you are driving an air-cooled 911, you aren’t driving a real Porsche.
Where do you fall in this argument? Have you accepted the new water-cooled engines or do you still swear by the air-cooled models? Leave your thoughts below! We’d love to hear them. And regardless if you drive an air-cooled or water-cooled engine, make sure you visit Rocco’s European Garage if your Porsche runs into any issues! Our automotive team will quickly service your Porsche vehicle so it can continue humming all around Georgia!