Odd lingo aside, there’s no getting away from the fact that the Sport Classic has the most lavish, finely detailed interior seen on a production Porsche. The material found on the door panels and the seats’ center sections recalls Berber fabric used in 911s of the 1970s. Closer inspection reveals an intricate pattern
of finely woven leather and yarn that’s pleasing to eye and fingertip alike. Sonderwunsch has long been known for its ability to cut leather so thinly that it can cover plastic air vents and still fit them into their dashboard receptacles, an art that continues here.
More details abound. Intricate cross-stitching on the steering wheel is matched by a similar level of detail on the key pouch and cover for the owner’s handbooks. Twin gray stripes on the tachometer echo the theme started on the bodywork, and are matched by gray seatbelts and a gray Alcantara headliner. Polished stainless-steel doorsills feature the Sport Classic script illuminated in blue. The finishing touch
is a plaque near the glovebox engraved with each car’s standing as one of 250 customer Sport Classics. This test car isn’t one of them, by the way. It’s labeled No. 000/250 and will likely end up in the Porsche Museum.
Moving back outside, the 19-inch alloy wheels are a modern interpretation of Porsche’s first and longest-running alloy road wheel, the basic design of which lasted from 1967 until 1989. Made for Porsche by Fuchs, those five-spoke wheels were known for strength and lightness and came in a variety of finishes — but never with the gloss black spokes and polished lips seen here. Sized 19×8.5 and 19×11 and wearing 235/35ZR19 and 305/30ZR19 tires, the new versions positively dwarf the 14-, 15-, and 16-inch originals.
Porsche’s PCCB ceramic-composite brakes are among the best in any car, at any price, and are standard on the Sport Classic. So too is a limited-slip differential, which is part of the car’s electronically variable Sport suspension package. Weissach R&D has been on a steep learning curve with Porsche Active Suspension Management since its introduction on 2005 997s, something clearly evidenced by the more refined settings of the second-generation PASM in 2009-on 997s.
The optional Sport suspension found on 2005–08 997s used -20 mm springs and conventional gas-filled dampers, which produced a very stiff ride. The new PASM Sport suspension still lowers the car by 20 mm, but now uses the variable damper technology to yield a near-perfect balance between daily driver comfort and taut handling in the Normal setting with enough body control for track events in the Sport setting.