Porsche Classic Upgrade Finally Brings Apple CarPlay To Old-School 911s
Porsche's updated classic stereo line offers Apple CarPlay from the earliest 911s all the way though the extremely nineties 996 era.
Porsche Classic, the arm of the automaker that supports its iconic old-school cars as well as the 924, has made stock-looking replacement head units for its classic cars for several years now. They're pretty good, too. They fit seamlessly into the car's decor and there isn't a single eye-searing LED or detachable faceplate in sight. Now Porsche updated and expanded this line to fix one of the biggest problems with newer classics: outdated early infotainment units.
Usually, it's a good thing when someone ticks all the available options for a car, but if you have one of the earliest water-cooled 911s or a first-generation Boxster, that leaves you with a clunky eyesore infotainment unit in the dashboard. That early infotainment unit is out of date in every respect, from its graphics to its functions.
Now, thanks to Porsche Classic, you can finally yank that irritating system and put its Geocities-looking ass in a Y2K aesthetic art installation where it belongs. The new Porsche Classic Communication Management system (or PCCM for short) now comes in both 1-DIN (to replace older Porsches' narrower radios) and 2-DIN sizes now, with the latter replacing the bigger screens in 996-era 911s and 986-generation Boxsters.
That larger size, called PCCM Plus, is a huge upgrade for those cars. Instead of one smaller screen next to period-correct blob-shaped buttons, you get a larger 7-inch touchscreen with a tasteful row of smaller buttons underneath. Best of all, the PCCM Plus is designed to work with all of the existing components in your car. You'll still get navigation information from it in your instrument cluster if your car has that feature.
Both versions of the latest PCCM bring the car into the current decade, with high-resolution touchscreens, Apple CarPlay and (significantly better looking) navigation with both 2D and 3D views. Navigation info can be updated periodically using an SD card just like any other modern-day Porsche.
If you'd rather use your phone's apps, both systems feature Apple CarPlay, and the larger PCCM Plus offers Android Auto as well. You can also play music off through Bluetooth, USB, an SD card or the AUX jack.
There's still one caveat for those of us with older Porsches and clumsy fingers: what is this, CarPlay for ants?! Yes, it's nice to have another option to blast a curated selection of Paul Wall's finest straight from your iPhone. That being said, the 1-DIN radios that came in early Porsches are only a couple of inches tall, and this new PCCM high-res touchscreen measures only 3.5 inches diagonally, from corner to corner. That's less surface area than an iPhone 5. It should still give you slightly larger on-screen buttons than on your iPhone, but not by much.
The upside of the classic cars' teeny tiny screen that it should be very difficult to use while driving. There are already myriad dumb ways to total a perfectly good classic Porsche, so let's not make it too easy to add "messing with infotainment screen" to that list.
Both new PCCM systems are on sale online through Porsche Classic as well as at your local Porsche dealership. They're not cheap, though. Pricing for the U.S. market isn't available yet, but at today's exchange rates, the listed European prices work out to $1,550 for the smaller PCCM and $1,730 for the PCCM Plus.
All things considered, though, that still costs less than adding wood interior trim to a new 911.
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