Porsche lets enthusiasts seamlessly add Apple CarPlay to 50-year-old cars

Porsche added the first-generation 911 introduced in 1964 to the list of cars compatible with Apple CarPlay. Check your calendar; April 1 was weeks ago. There is no need to deal with suction cups, bulky screens, or wires, either.

The company designed a touch-capable head unit that seamlessly replaces the radio in many of its classic models to enable some of the most popular connectivity features found in modern-day cars while retaining a period-correct look. In addition to CarPlay, the device is packed with an SD card-based navigation system that offers 2D and 3D views plus a point-of-interest search function, a USB port, an AUX input, and Bluetooth compatibility.

Enabling CarPlay in a 50-year-old Porsche is no different than in a 2020 model. Enthusiasts need a compatible iPhone (nothing older than a 5, in other words) and a Lightning-to-USB cable. Set it up, and you’re done.

The interface is clean, simple, and displayed on a high-resolution, 3.5-inch color touchscreen. That’s as big as Porsche could make it without exceeding the original radio’s dimensions. Six buttons and two knobs let the front passengers access the various apps and menus. The black backing plate matches the rest of the dashboard.

There are two available systems called Porsche Classic Communication Management (PCCM) and Porsche Classic Communication Management Plus (PCCM+), respectively. The first fits older models including the aforementioned first-generation 911, the 993-generation model made between 1994 and 1998, and all versions in between. Porsche explained PCCM is also compatible with some of its mid- and front-engined classics, like the 914 and the 924.

PCCM+ adds connectivity to newer classics, such as the 996-generation 911 (the first water-cooled model) sold from 1997 to 2006 and the original Boxster (called 986 internally) available between 1996 and 2002. It’s displayed on a 7.0-inch touchscreen, and it adds the same features as PCCM plus Android Auto, which isn’t available on the modern-day 911. Who would have thought a 20-year-old model would be the first Android Auto-compatible 911?

Both units are available through Porsche dealerships. Pricing and availability for the American market haven’t been announced yet, but PCCM and PCCM+ cost about $1,550 and $1,700, respectively, in Europe. Expect a similar price tag in the United States.

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