To the untrained eye, a new Porsche 911 might look pretty much the same as an old one. But to the enthusiast, there's a world of difference. Namely that, while the latest Neun-Elfer has the benefit of decades of engineering development, the original still has the classic look. Solution: Singer.
As we've shown you previously, the Singer Design 911 combines the best of both worlds with a modern chassis and drivetrain cloaked in the classic lines of the original, painstakingly recreated in immaculate detail. And two new technical partnerships promise to make 'em even better.
Renowned British engineering firm Cosworth – the same that has powered Formula One cars since 1963 and currently motivates the likes of Williams and Virgin Racing – will now be preparing the air-cooled flat-six engines for Singer. Meanwhile, the carbon-fiber bodies will be made by the Aria Group, a company best known for crafting concept cars and prototypes for a wide array of automakers.
Starting at $190,000 and extending beyond the $300k mark, the Singer 911 ain't cheap, and sure ain't as common as a factory 911. In fact, Singer has only made a few of them, delivering its third example painted in white (following the previous units in green and orange) to one assuredly very happy customer. We've got a fresh batch of breathtaking photographs of the latest Singer in the included gallery, so check it out and follow the jump for the full press blast.
Singer Vehicle Design Completes Third Customer "Singer 911" as Awareness and Profile Spreads Around the World
LOS ANGELES – July 12, 2011 -- After almost four years of passionate development and the delivery of its first three optimized, air-cooled Porsche 911s®, Singer Vehicle Design (SVD) enters the next step in the advancement of its company and cars with the announcement of two key partnerships in the development and crafting of SVD vehicles -- internationally-renowned motorsport engineers Cosworth will be the exclusive provider of engines to Singer, and globally-recognized composite experts Aria Group will prepare, paint and deliver all of Singer's carbon fiber bodies. These two new partners bring invaluable credentials and experience to the Singer brand, guaranteeing world class production standards while sharing Singer's passion for refining the iconic air-cooled Porsche 911®.
As a classic vehicle design enthusiast, Rob Dickinson, founder and creative director for SVD, took his dream to reality with the production of the Singer 911, which he describes as his vision of an ultimate modern-day, air-cooled Porsche 911®. Regarding SVD's new partners, Dickinson said, "We are thrilled to be involved with these incredible companies who together bring a wealth of heritage, intelligence and global engineering expertise to this labor of love. This is not just about re-imagining an icon; we're working in a collaborative spirit of excellence to build something that celebrates Porsche's genius and the air-cooled era of the world's most important sports car: the Porsche 911®."
From the beginning, Dickinson sought to create the "ultimate classic 911®" by combining the finest characteristics of the air-cooled cars from 1964 to 1998 with a fresh design and engineering perspective, bringing the cars up-to-date for the 21st Century. One part of the allure was to save older 911s from an uncertain future and restore them with new thinking relevant to a new audience unfamiliar with the joys of classic 911® ownership. Says Dickinson, ''there is a generation which has never experienced the magic of an air-cooled 911® and we wanted to offer something that oozed authenticity and offered access to the heart of the original 911's® brilliance.''
SVD bases their machines on the 1990-1994 964 platform for its perfect blend of vintage 911® character and technical sophistication, then dresses them in carbon fiber bodywork that evokes the classic road racing 911s® of the '60's and '70's. With the addition of optimized engines -- and transmissions, suspension and brakes lifted from later air-cooled models -- the transformation is complete. ''We have respectfully attempted to enhance every element of these cars - they are extravagant machines for sure and we aim to build them like Swiss timepieces," says Dickinson. ''But if any car on the planet is worthy of such obsessive and meticulous attention, it is surely the Porsche 911®.'' Prices reflect this no-expense-spared approach with the cars ranging from $190,000 to more than $300,000, depending on a comprehensive selection of equipment which allows each customer to design a machine to their own specific tastes, be they grand touring opulence or hardcore road and track performance.
''Tackling such an ambitious project on our own would have been impossible," continued Dickinson. "The Singer 911 is an enormously collaborative effort and we see it as an amazing opportunity to showcase the best and brightest developments in the Porsche® world and beyond. We have also taken advantage of our geographic location to partner with some of the finest companies in their fields located here in Southern California -- and now we have Cosworth and Aria taking the Singer Vehicle Design project to a new plateau."
Founded in 1958 by Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth, Cosworth's sole purpose was to engineer and build high performance engines for Formula One race cars, however the iconic racing-engine builder is undergoing diversification on a major scale with new forays into the performance aftermarket at their 'Center of Excellence' in Torrance. According to Ken Anderson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Cosworth, LLC, the international market has long been searching for a "modernistic retro" vehicle that has the style, attention-to-detail and true definition of quality to gain global stature. "Our partnership with Singer is about taking that level of detail even further," said Anderson. "As the exclusive engine builder for Singer Vehicle Design, we have the ability to provide a unique array of powerplants – making for a very exclusive arrangement."
Cosworth is working closely with engine designer Jae Lee of Mirage International in San Diego, CA in specifying and calibrating these air-cooled creations. And, with Cosworth's precise engineering and development capabilities focused on optimizing the classic flat six air-cooled power plants, SVD is able to offer a full range of engine options, with three tiers of performance levels:
· Touring – 3.6-liter engine, producing 300 hp
· Sport – 3.9-liter engine, producing 380 hp
· Cup – 3.9 to 4.0-liter engine, producing more than 425hp
These engines will present state-of-the-art thinking and development in all areas of the Porsche® air- cooled unit with optimization in cylinder head design, fuel injection, intake and exhaust, to name but a few. Together, Cosworth and SVD plan to eventually brand these "Singer Cosworth" engines for aftermarket sales opportunities.
World-renowned for its high profile concept car projects, product development, prototype fabrication, and specialty or low volume production, Aria Group joined forces with SVD in a mutual commitment to bring the exclusivity of processes such as "pre-preg autoclaving" to a high performance vehicle practical enough to serve as a daily driver.
"The big advantage we bring to the Singer 911 is that we provide the type of technology that is usually only available for military aviation and major motorsports manufacturers," said Clive Hawkins, president and owner of the Aria Group. "We offer a military-perfect prep process that utilizes world-class standards and apply it to Singer's modernized, yet classical approach, to re-create a bespoken dream." Aria turns down 90 percent of the projects it is offered, demonstrating the integrity of its alliance with SVD. "To be a great partner, one has to have great vision," continued Hawkins. "Our role with Singer Vehicle Design will only grow due to the passion that is being sold and our ability to create the experience that only an 'Aria-prepared' body can showcase."
The Aria Group brings an intrinsic strength and high value to the Singer 911 product, offering the type of specialized carbon fiber previously reserved for Formula One standards. Hawkins maintains that "by taking off any removable body work of the original vintage body and replacing it with an optimized carbon fiber body, we not only save 75 percent of the weight, but of more importance, we strengthen the vehicle through a higher level process than any of the top high performance road-going brands."
According to Dickinson, SVD is on target in its goal of offering a 911® that provides a true duality of approach – that of creating a real sports car that is still an honest daily driver. "Unlike a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, the Singer 911 is a genuinely useable proposition and not a highly strung plaything," said Dickinson. "I liken it to a good companion. It's a beautiful piece of jewelry for sure, but we've maintained the intrinsic versatility of the 911®. Our machines have that vital duality of purpose that every great 911® possesses: the ability to thrill, but also to chill, and simply complete a journey in style and comfort.''
The company aims to produce ten vehicles annually and will continue to expand its product offerings through its restored and modified platforms. SVD will invite the world's press to drive the Singer 911 later this year.
Additional partners and suppliers for SVD include:
· Apex Technology – wiring/electrical/engine mapping
· Bilstein – suspension components
· Brembo North America, Inc. – brakes
· Fuel Safe Systems – fuel tanks
· GROWit 3D – rapid prototyping and manufacture
· Hella – lighting components
· Little John Interior Concepts – seats and upholstery
· Mirage International – engine and suspension development
· North Hollywood Speedometer – gauge restoration and re-imagination
· N2 Aero, N2 Autosport – high performance cabin acoustic noise reduction; S.O.A., aviation standard cutting-edge materials
· Ohlins Racing AB – suspension components and development
· Quaker City Plating – nickel/chrome plating, metal finishing and part fabrication
· Spinneybeck Enterprises, Inc. – leather
· Weidmans Wheels – wheel finishing
· Zuffenhaus Products – wheels
For more information, please view www.singervehicledesign.com. For SVD's most recent set of photography, please view http://www.singervehicledesign.com/gallery.
About Singer Vehicle Design
Singer Vehicle Design is dedicated to the design, engineering and crafting of the world's most respected high performance cars. Founded in 2009, SVD was created to explore the creative possibilities in existing classic vehicle design. Each of SVD's bespoke and hand-built vehicles use high-technology processes in a modern environment and reflect the highest standards of construction and execution. Each car receives state-of-the-art enhancements in every detail ranging from aerodynamics, drivetrain and suspension, to steering, wheels, brakes and interior/exterior design.
Singer Vehicle Design restores and modifies existing Porsche® automobiles. SVD is not sponsored, associated, approved, endorsed nor, in any way, affiliated with Porsche Cars North America, Inc., or Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche Aktiengesellschaft (www.porsche.com®). The Porsche® name and crest are trademarks of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche Aktiengesellschaft, and any other products mentioned are the trademarks of their respective holders. Any mention of trademarked name or other mark is reference purpose only in the remarketing of pre-owned/used units or for reference to make/model and should not be construed as contesting such trademark. Copyright/trademark infringements are not intended, or implied.
About the Cosworth Group
The Cosworth Group of companies provides high performance technologies to a diverse range of global industries including automotive, aerospace, defense, sports and clean energy. The Cosworth Group leverages its unique combination of advanced technologies, engineering expertise and globally recognized brand to deliver performance solutions.
About the Aria Group
Aria Group is the preeminent engineering, design, and prototyping company serving a broad range of industries. Aria Group provides engineering, design, product development, prototype fabrication, and specialty or low volume production services for its clients in the automotive, aerospace, architecture, entertainment, marine, military, and mass transportation industries.
Clive Hawkins and Charles Taylor, engineer and automotive designer respectively, joined forces to form Aria Group, Inc in 1995. Their partnership quickly flourished from a two man team into an internationally recognized full service product development and prototyping company housed in its 50,000 square foot facilities in Orange County, California.