As you probably know, the Porsche 911 has come in endless different variants, with a wide range of different models and versions going back decades. I consider myself relatively well educated about the 911, so I’ve decided to list my personal favorite versions of the car — a list that will surely inspire some controversy. Nonetheless, here are my thoughts.
1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7
Although the other vehicles on this list show off my relatively simple tastes, when it comes to Porsche 911 models, it’s hard not to love the ’73 Carrera RS. This was effectively the GT3RS before that became such a big, commercialized brand name. It was just an attempt at a lightweight, track-focused car you could drive on the street. These pull big money now — well over $1 million — but it’s deserved, and on the rare occasions when I see one, I stop and stare, even though I’m not much of an enthusiast for older Porsche models.
1996-1998 Porsche 911 Turbo
The “993” Turbo is my all-time favorite Porsche 911. This is a bit of a cliche because this car is basically everyone’s favorite Porsche 911, but I absolutely love everything about it, including the simplicity, the way it drives, the way it looks and the relatively small size compared to today’s models. A great argument could be made that Porsche models after this became luxury cars, and cars made before this are now too old and basic to use frequently in the modern world, but the 993 Turbo was just right. These now cost $150,000 or more, and they’re worth every penny.
2002-2004 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S
The 996-model Porsche 911 is generally disliked by Porsche fans, but I’ve always loved the Carrera 4S version, which was an all-wheel-drive model with wider rear fenders made at the tail end of the 996 generation. The 996 C4S, as it’s called, didn’t have extra power over a regular Carrera — but it didn’t need it, as that car’s 320 horsepower was more than enough. What it did have was a gorgeous look, even with “those” headlights, and it’s an absolute bargain on today’s market.
2007-2010 Porsche 911 Turbo
The best Porsche 997 model is the 911 Turbo, specifically the original 911 Turbo, which offered a cleaner look than the “997.2” model. It also still offered a manual transmission, which is no longer available in the 911 Turbo, and it boasted just enough performance to hang with even modern supercars. The 997 Turbo is reliable, fun and highly enjoyable, and it’s probably the best buy on the Porsche market today.
2015+ Porsche 911 Targa
My favorite version of the latest Porsche 911, the “991” model, is the Targa. I like the GT cars, sure, but they’ve become a lot less special than they once were. The Targa will always be extremely cool. I love the operation of the roof, but I especially like the look of the car, which mimics older Targa models from the 1970s and 1980s. I’m glad Porsche decided to do the Targa right on the latest generation of the 911.