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BBC Autos

For Porsche, 50 plus 400 equals a special 911

About the author

Deputy editor of BBC Autos, Jonathan was formerly the editor of The New York Times' Wheels blog. His automotive writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Details, Surface, Intersection and Design Observer. He has an affinity for the Citroën DS and Toyota pickup trucks of the early 1990s.

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It had to happen – it was just a question of when.

Three months ahead of the 50th anniversary festivities planned around its 911 sports car, Porsche pulled the wraps off a special-edition 911, commemorating 50 years of fast living.

Mechanically identical to the 400-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive Carrera S, the car is nevertheless clad in the body of the all-wheel-drive Carrera 4S, which brings broadened rear haunches and beefed-up tire track.

Special badges below the engine hatch and on the tachometer, door sills and headrests are augmented by special 20in five-spoke alloy wheels modelled on those from Porsches of the mid-1960s. (See the slideshow above for a mid-1970s example.)

A rather obvious touch, but no less classy for it: the special edition will be limited to a run of 1,963 cars, echoing the year in which the 911 bowed at the Frankfurt motor show – the setting, fittingly, for the 50th Anniversary Edition’s formal debut in September.

At $125,050 inclusive of $900 destination charge, the 911-50 commands a $25,200 premium over the Carrera S, which is priced from $99,850. For those who bothered to ask, “What price exclusivity?”, Porsche has graciously done the work for you.