The 911 is the soul of the Porsche lineup. At just over an hour long, this documentary, titled “Building a Porsche 911: Legend on 4 Wheels,” goes deep into the manufacturing process, development, history, and racing heritage of Porsche’s iconic sports car, which is built at the automaker’s Zuffenhausen, Germany, factory.
Introduced in 1963 (and originally called the 901), the 911 has anchored the Porsche lineup ever since. It’s evolved from a basic sports car to a supercar-baiter, accumulating multiple body styles and variants along the way. In the U.S., the current 992-generation 911 is available in more than 20 configurations, encompassing coupe, convertible, and Targa body styles. The documentary says maybe once a year two 911s come out of the factory equipped alike.
Consequently, the most remarkable thing about the 911 assembly process may be that cars get built in the right configuration. With so many models and body styles, not to mention differing paint, wheel, and equipment options, it seems like things could get confused pretty easily.
The 911’s history, development, and building process expertly are weaved expertly throughout the documentary. Various section concentrate on the assembly line process, the autonomous carts Porsche uses to move its boxer engines, the history of the 911 and cars like the 935 and 959, the design process, testing at Porsche’s Weissach research and development center, aerodynamics, and the leather shop, or saddlery.
Customers can watch their cars getting built remotely through an app. Porsche began installing cameras at assembly-line work stations last year as part of this perk, which also lets customers track the build of a custom-ordered 911 from start to finish.
While Porsche recently branched out into EVs with the Taycan, the firm seems hesitant to do an electric 911. Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said earlier this year that such a car won’t happen anytime soon, because it would erase the 911’s characteristic rear-engine layout. A 911 hybrid is expected, however, and Porsche is researching synthetic fuels, which the automaker could attempt to use to keep its traditional sports cars in production despite tightening emissions rules. In the documentary, Frank-Steffan Walliser, the 911 product line manager, says the 911 will be the last Porsche built with an internal combustion engine and it may be the last in the industry.
Check out the full video for a comprehensive view of the 911’s development and building processes, as well as some very informative history.
This article was originally published by Motor Authority, an editorial partner of ClassicCars.com.