The first Porsche 911 was introduced in 1964 as a 2+2 sports car with a rear-mounted flat-6 engine. The 911 recipe has predominantly stayed the same since the car’s introduction, except for the switch from air-cooled to water-cooled engines in 1998 with the somewhat controversial 996 model. The 911 is also one of the most decorated race cars in history.
The 911 classic 911 powertrain is a flat 6-cylinder engine with a displacement between 2.0L and 4.0L depending on the model and the power output. Most 911s were naturally aspirated while the 911 Turbo has always been turbocharged. 911s come in either RWD or AWD configuration depending on the model.
Design-wise, the 911 is known for its unmistakable silhouette which has definitely matured over the years. The interior of the 911 is characterized by its rather straightforward dashboard and the classic 911 5-dial lineup which once looked like a Swiss watch, now looks like an Apple watch.
The 911 is designed as a through and through sports car, it has also always been a reliable car as well. Value-wise, the 911 is one of the best sports cars of all time because it retains value superiorly. Practicality-wise, the 911 is a 2+2 sports car which means that the rear seats are fairly unusable and that the cargo space is limited.
Porsche 911 – The powerplant
As mentioned in the beginning, the 911 typically comes with a flat 6 engine. Early 911 models use 2.0L, 2.7L, 3.0L, or a 3.7L flat-six with between 130hp and 140hp. Newer water-cooled 911s typically use either a 3.0L, a 3.6L, or a 4.0L flat-six with up to 700hp for the most powerful 911 ever, the 991 GT2RS.
The GT2RS uses a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine and so do all 911 Turbo models. Up until the 991 911 facelift, regular 911s were naturally aspirated. All 991 post-facelift models are turbocharged except for the GT3, the GT3RS, the 911 Speedster, and the 911 R. The 911 Turbo is also an AWD car while other 911s are RWD.
The two best 911 transmission options are either the manual or the latest PDK dual-clutch automatic. The fastest 911s can go from 0-60mph in about 2.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 211mph.
Porsche 911 – Design and chassis
One of the most unmistakable features of the 911 is undoubtedly the exterior design. The 911 features an iconic silhouette since its inception. Rounded headlights and ducktail spoilers are also a common trait of many 911s. A 911 is available as a 2-door coupe, a convertible, a Targa, or as a Speedster.
The interior of the 911 has come a long way and is now a full-fledged luxury car. A straight-up dashboard, a three-spoke steering wheel, and the 5-star gauge layout are a must for all 911 models. The 911 also comes with lots of high-quality materials such as leather, carbon fiber, aluminum, wood, and black piano high-grade plastic.
The 911 drives like no other sports car out there. Thanks to rear-wheel-drive and a rear-mounted engine, the 911 is known for a light front end which can typically be explored with trail-braking into the corner. The suspension is stiff and the car does not roll, but it also does not punish you over uneven terrain.
Porsche 911 – Reliability and common issues
The 911 has also always been a really reliable car, especially when compared to most sports cars as they are notorious for high-maintenance costs which inevitably means high repair costs. The most common 911 issues are problems with the battery, AOS failure, heat management issues, and cylinder scoring.
Older 911 models are far more delicate than newer ones which mean that buying a newer 911 is a lot safer. Furthermore, air-cooled 911s are also known to develop rust, especially if not stored adequately.
Porsche 911 – Value and practicality
Buying a 911 is not as expensive as some may think as you can buy a relatively modern 996 for around $20,000-$25,000. A brand-new 992 Carrera costs about $100,000 and about $14,000 more for a convertible model.
Practicality-wise, the 911 is better than most supercars, but it’s not really a car for more than two people at the same time. The trunk space is good for a sports car, but not all that encompassing for a usable daily driver.
Should I buy a Porsche 911?
If you are interested in buying a sports car, the Porsche 911 is likely one of the best options you can go for. The 911 is a household Porsche name which means that it is always going to be a popular car. Therefore, the 911 will always retain its value better than most sports cars do. Moreover, a 911 is also one of the most capable cars anyway.
The 911 was always the car capable of punching way above its weight limit. A standard 911 Carrera can reach 60mph from a standstill faster than some cars with almost twice as much power can. It is also a really good-looking car inside and out, so there really is no reason for you not to buy one right now.
Which Porsche 911 is the worst?
No Porsche 911 is bad, but some generations like the 996 are not as appreciated as other 911s. The reason behind the 996’s controversy is twofold. The first one is because it introduced a water-cooled engine instead of an air-cooled engine which was met with criticism from Porsche enthusiasts.
Secondly, the 996s’ “eggplant” headlights are also an eyesore for many Porsche fans and that is why Porsche never repeated this mistake. Either way, even the 996 is slowly getting the recognition it deserves which is indeed a good thing.
Which Porsche 911 is the best?
It’s incredibly difficult to answer this question, but we can say however that great 911s come with a RWD configuration, a naturally aspirated flat-6 engine, and preferably a manual gearbox. This means that the 911R 991 could as well be the best 911 yet, but this is up for debate.
The 911 GT3 Touring, the GT3, the GTRS, the 911 Speedster, the 911T… All of these are also part of the “best 911 models” club.