Opinion: Porsche 911 range - Homogeneous, yet different

    There are 26 versions of the 911 available, and each one caters to a different buyer.

    Published on May 04, 2024 09:00:00 AM


    Porsche 911

    The breadth of ability and size of the Porsche 911 canvas is just vast.

    The 911 is a sportscar made by Porsche. Only it isn’t. No, no, Porsche makes it alright, and it is sporty for sure. But after having driven many, I’m convinced the 911 isn’t just one homogenous sports car; it’s many.

    Just look at the TWENTY SIX existing versions on sale today and you’ll get a better picture. There are Carreras, Cabriolets, Targas, GTSes, Turbos, GT3s, RSes, Dakar, Sport Classic and the S/T. All have a flat-six engine slung out the rear, and all have that ‘fun’ rear weight bias. Now, you’d think that with such a strong deviation from the mean, they would all be very similar. But boy oh boy are they different! Different in approach, different in application and very different in how they drive.

    Case in point: the track focused GT3 RS and the mighty Turbo S. While they are two of the fastest 911s around, they differ massively. Driving both recently at the CoASTT circuit in Coimbatore only highlighted some of these differences. 

    First up, the Turbo S. Getting to grips with it while simultaneously learning the track proves to be a heady combo. The boosted midrange and top end are so strong, it just explodes out of corners, its four-wheel-drive system and fat tyres putting the 650hp down in great gobs. Initially I only hang on, merely along for the ride. Even scarier is that it just seems to run away going downhill. I even experience some turbo lag, when I’m not in the right gear on an uphill section. As I start getting to grips with it, I feel the weight, I feel the suspension struggle to keep up, and I feel it squirm and wiggle when it has to put all its 800Nm of twist down. But oh, what a ride!

    The GT3 RS is different in almost every area. Almost 200kg lighter, it feels lithe, light and athletic. The steering feels direct and unassisted, and it feels it’s running slicks. It certainly doesn’t have the all-wheel-drive traction of the Turbo S, but sending power only to the rear just adds so much charm. And as you go faster, the feeling of driving a track car with loads of aero only gets stronger and stronger, pressing you down, increasing grip and confidence. At slower speeds, with the downforce gone, the nose does go light, and coming out of the last corner on the track, the rear steps out with fair warning, like that of a 911 should. And I love the naturally aspirated engine; it’s as sharp as a bull whip and just loves to rev. 

    Moral of the story: there’s a 911 for everyone. Some deliver a relaxing but sporty drive, convertibles provide open-top fun, you can opt for a sharp driving all-rounder, or even a muscle car and drag racer rolled into one. Today, you can even get a rally replica or a track day star. But do you know which one’s for you?

    Also see:

    2024 Porsche Taycan facelift review: The driver’s EV

    Porsche 911 GT3 RS video review

    Porsche 911 hybrid confirmed for 2024 debut


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