You might not agree with the title I’ve chosen for this story, but let me just say that the new 935 is also why I love Porsche. Maybe. Allow me to explain…
Firstly, the concept itself is really awesome. The classic Moby Dick 935 is the stuff of motorsport legend, so why not celebrate 70 years of Porsche with a factory remake? The end aesthetic is quite nice, and the project came together with exactly the poise and polish you’d expect from Porsche.
Revealed at the sixth Rennsport Reunion, this time held at Laguna Seca, Porsche Vice President of Motorsport and GT Cars Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser has described the “spectacular car [as] a birthday from Porsche Motorsport to fans all over the world.” In fairness, with only 77 units being produced — all of which were spoken for before the world knew the thing even existed — it seems more like a birthday present from Porsche to Porsche. This isn’t an automaker that needs to swing their stuff around, but here we are anyway.
Dr. Walliser went on to explain that since the 2019 935 isn’t homologated (or street legal even), Porsche’s engineers and designers had “freedom in the development.” I’m not sure if the word ‘freedom’ means something a bit different in Germany, but here in America where the car was revealed it means you get to go berserk and do awesome things that don’t make sense. Instead, the end of the 935 result seems to be little more than a carbon-reinforced plastic bodykit for the 911 GT2 RS.
The 935 even makes the same claimed horsepower as the car which it’s based upon. Even worse, despite being unable to drive the car on the road, Porsche has only found 90kg they could throw out with this “new” car weighing in at 1,380kg. It’s not crazy enough, not by a long shot.
But Porsche knows exactly what they’re doing here; everyone’s been talking about the 935 (myself included) and, of course, everyone seems to love the thing. Just look at it. But as wicked as it is, this car is the epitome of why Porsche simultaneously excites and disappoints me.
What has the potential to excite is that Porsche is clearly pointing to their past here, back to a time when people buying their cars actually wanted to race them. This was the ethos behind the original 935 and the point of special editions like the RSR. Lap times were what mattered – nothing else.
So, is this that car? Is this a blistering, insane, race-bred creation from Porsche that genuine racers will buy and race? Of course not. Not even a little bit. But, again, it sure is nice to look at, isn’t it?
That’s just as well too, because 99% of anyone’s time spent with this car will likely just be looking at it. Back in the ’70s and ’80s no one cared if they binned their 935 at the track because there were plenty to go around and they were easy to repair, compared to today at least. With this thing it’s the exact opposite.
It’s just another pointless special edition Porsche; a ‘future classic’ that will cause the world to go bonkers when one goes up for sale in a year for $2,000,000 or some similarly outrageous sum.
On that note, it (sort of) makes sense that the car is based off of the GT2 RS, as this base 911 is another waste of an amazing car by Porsche. It was for the first time this weekend that I actually saw one, or actually four, on track. This isn’t to say it doesn’t ever happen, but let’s be realistic. Anyway, were they racing? Of course not, these were parade laps.
We’ll be lucky to see the new 935 being used even for that, as I can only assume the vast, vast majority will be delivered with options which cost more than entire cars, only to be locked away in climate-controlled collections curated by rich old men.
I suspect this encounter at Rennsport Reunion will be the only time I see this new 935 for a few years. The next time it’ll likely be similarly cordoned off, with everyone drooling around it from a couple meters back.
Even here, my visit with the car at the end of the day (basically the only time it wasn’t surrounded by said droolers) was short-lived; the thing was soon covered up, never to be seen again. I think the only way I can really forgive Porsche for what they’ve done here is if they invite me for a drive in it around the track. Wink, wink. Yeah, right.
Honestly, if they positioned the car such that anyone could hammer it around a circuit and go racing with the thing I’d be happy. Porsche isn’t stupid, though, so it’ll never happen. Instead we’ll get awesome special edition cars which turn out to be boring and, thus, purchased exclusively by boring people.
As much as I might ordinarily love Porsche for doing this sort of thing – since no other automaker really does – I just can’t quite say that this time around. I want to, but all they’ve really done here is create another collector car that won’t be used as it could and should.
But it sure looks cool, doesn’t it?