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STYLING | 9 out of 10
looks the part of a serious performance machine
like a track steamroller or an asphalt Zamboni
cabin is 'largely unaltered, is still a confusing mish-mash of oddly styled controls'
With more than 40 years behind its iconic silhouette, the Porsche 911 shows no sign of fading beauty. It simply rolls on, like a Mustang, with a confidence that comes from owning one of the few instantly recognizable shapes on the road.
All 911s are squat little teardrops, with front fenders that frame a narrow view of the road ahead. Turbos and look-alikes are a little wider, and the new Speedster model has some unusual kit-looking pieces that don't complement the timeless fenders too well. Under all those possible appliques, it's still a 911 at its core--and a time traveler from 1965 would still recognize it right out of the wormhole.
The 911's interior might strike you as busy and confusing, for good reason. It's still as stark as vintage 911s, and the ignition still sits to the left of the steering wheel, where no one else puts it. It has adopted the calling card of the circa-2010 automobile--the LCD screen--and that piece is flanked by dozens of small buttons of its own, which aren't like the dozens of buttons and switches you find in the most interesting places in the 911. And then there's the craftsman-quality trim: Valrhona chocolate-brown leather trim that would shame an Audi is a favorite.
Discerning between all the differently shaped ancillary switches can be distracting, but when it comes to priorities, the 911 gets them right. The tachometer is the centerpiece of the dash, flanked by other big, clear gauges, but clearly the star.
History's never been kinder to the Porsche 911's iconic teardrop silhouette; maybe it'll forgive the button-rich interior.