Restored Porsche 911 gets a modern upgrade, but retains classic beauty

California-based restoration house Singer Vehicle Design is on a mission. It wants to create the most advanced air-cooled Porsche 911 without diluting the model’s unique, inimitable character. It teamed up with German engineering firm Bosch, among other partners, to make its vision a reality.

Singer calls its latest project the Dynamic and Lightweight Study (DLS). It started life as a 964-generation 911 built in the early 1990s but every single component inside and out has been upgraded in one way or another. For starters, the DLS receives the 4.0-liter flat-six engine developed jointly by Singer and Williams Advanced Engineering. It’s air-cooled like Porsche’s original six-cylinder, not water-cooled like the firm’s modern engines, but it’s all-new. It’s gorgeous to look at, of course. In this application it sends 500 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.

Singer turned to Bosch to keep the cavalry in check. It commissioned the development of a modern electronic traction control system that keeps the front end pointed in the right direction without spoiling the driving experience, even on a race track. Singer notes teaming up with Bosch and Williams early on in the project ensured the sensors that feed information to the traction control system are neatly integrated into the car. The result is a masterfully crafted supercar that looks like a classic 911, drives like one, but packs a modern punch and state-of-the-art technology.

“Our team embraced the challenge to integrate the ESP in a modern fashion while respecting the heritage,” said Keith Andrews, the North American president of Bosch Engineering Group, in a statement.

That’s the dynamic part of the name. For the lightweight part, Singer made numerous parts (including the front hood and the deck lid) out of carbon fiber. The weight-saving treatment continues inside, where the seats, the dashboard, and the steering wheel appear on the list of parts crafted with the lightweight materials. Automobile Magazine learned the diet lowered the DLS’ weight to approximately 2,200 pounds. Tasteful design tweaks like new-look lights on both ends bring Singer’s 911 into the 21st century. The changes are more extensive than the ones made to Project Gold, Porsche’s own resto-modded 911, but they don’t alter the coupe’s timeless silhouette.

The DLS won’t remain a one-off for long. Singer plans on building 75 examples of the car. Pricing starts at $1.8 million — a figure that doesn’t include the cost of the donor car — before buyers add options.

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