Home Cars Stars Of Stuttgart: Top 20 Porsches That Aren’t The 911

Stars Of Stuttgart: Top 20 Porsches That Aren’t The 911

Vukasin Herbez January 16, 2020

As you probably know, the Porsche brand is defined by its iconic 911 model. As the most popular and famous sports model, the 911 defined the Porsche narrative and became synonymous with the brand. However, the legend of Porsche is far broader and stronger than just one car. Even though Porsche is legendary for the 911, the iconic model is far from the only legendary car this company has ever made.

Before they introduced the 911, Porsche was already well-known in racing circles for compact sports and racing cars, as well for the legend of its founder, Ferdinand Porsche. Even after the 911 become the success it is today, Porsche didn’t stop innovating and introducing more exciting and well-designed cars. So today, read on about the 20 most exciting Porsches from the company’s rich history that aren’t the 911. Build your overall Porsche knowledge with the infamous stars of Stuttgart below.

20. Porsche 356

A predecessor to the legendary Porsche 911, the 356 was the first proper sports car this iconic company produced. Porsche introduced the 356 in 1948 and sold it until 1965. The Porsche 356 had a four-cylinder boxer engine closely related to the Volkswagen Beetle and the T1 Van engine.

However, Porsche tuned the motor to produce a much higher output, winning numerous races with it. As you can expect, the flat-four sounded angry and aggressive even though it produced modest power compared to later Porsche models. Over the 15 years of production, there were numerous versions and variants; however, this car is the car that established Porsche on the global market.

19. Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

For years, the talk of the car industry was the alleged conspiracy deep inside the Porsche management to keep the Boxster/Cayman combo from getting the 911 engine. Apparently, somebody was afraid that a lighter and nimbler chassis with more power and torque would be better and faster than any 911. No one is sure that is totally true, but most people were a bit suspicious until Porsche announced the GT4 in 2015. Finally, here is a Cayman that was not a 911 for poor people, but a car with more than enough power to hunt almost any 911 on the twisty roads.

For the 2020 model year, Porsche announced a brand-new 718 Cayman GT4 made with the same recipe. It has a 4.0-liter flat-six engine from the 911, as well as a precisely-tuned chassis, brakes, and steering. The power output is more than a respectable 414 HP, which means the 718 Cayman GT4 is ridiculously fast. It’s much more a real sports car than a modern 911, which grew bigger, heavier and more luxurious.

18. Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Ever since the first Cayenne Turbo appeared in the early 2000s, the market for quick, luxury SUVs was born. A Porsche with four doors, a raised body, and all-wheel-drive may have offended brand purists, but it also brought so much to the segment in terms of driving dynamics, performance and prestige.

Fast forward 15 years, and there is a new Cayenne Turbo with even more power, faster acceleration, and better road holding than before. The heart of this lightning-quick SUV is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, which pumps out 550 HP. It sends all that power to an eight-speed automatic and intelligent all-wheel drive. The result is an impressive 3.7-second 0 to 60 mph time.

17. Porsche 959

The Porsche 959 is one of the fastest, most advanced, and technologically sophisticated supercars of the ’80s. The 959 was a super Porsche in every way, not only by design but also by performance and price. It was the perfect blend of experience from racing with the latest technology along with turbocharging. Porsche truly put everything they had in one car with the 959.

Debuting in 1987, the 959 had a 3.0-liter turbocharged flat-six engine producing 450 HP, which transferred to all four wheels over an intelligent AWD system. That was the first of its kind for Porsche. They also equipped the car with traction control, ABS and a host of electronic systems, which helped the driver.

Although all that is standard in most new cars today, it was space-age technology in the late ’80s. The performance of this technological tour de force was astonishing since a 0 to 60 mph sprint was possible in just 3.7 seconds.

16. Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo

The Panamera caused quite a lot of media attention when it first arrived as the first Porsche sedan, but soon, it proved it was worth the name. Porsche fans grew to accept it for what it is. For its second generation, Porsche offered the Sport Turismo model, which is an elegant station wagon with a slightly different rear-end. It was just enough to be called a wagon. Porsche also offers the Panamera Sport Turismo as the Turbo S. It comes with a hybrid drivetrain, combining practicality, advanced technology, old school power, and luxury.

The combined output of the gasoline and electric engine is 680 HP, which goes to all four wheels for the best traction. Despite weighing over two tons, this Panamera is capable of a mind-blowing 3.2-second 0 to 60 mph time. That’s faster than many current sports cars.

15. Porsche Macan Turbo

The introduction of the Macan meant Porsche was considering the SUV segment as one of its main markets. The Macan is a mid-sized SUV with a performance-oriented design, drivetrain and technology. As such, it is one of the best driver’s cars in the segment. The Macan Turbo is impressive since it has a 3.0-liter turbo V6 engine delivering 400 HP. Porsche paired it with a performance calibrated seven-speed automatic and intelligent all-wheel drive. All of that is responsible for its 4.4-second 0 to 60 mph acceleration time and 163 mph top speed.

The base price for the Macan Turbo is high at $77,000. Most buyers consider that steep since it is just a mid-size SUV with not much space. If you want more performance and want to pay $10,000 extra, move up to the Macan Turbo Performance Package. It pumps out 440 HP and can go from 0 to 60 in just 4.2 seconds.

14. Porsche 550 Spyder

Available for just two years, between 1953 and 1955, the 550 Spyder left an everlasting mark on sports car history. This was an open-top race car for the street and the ultimate evolution of the Porsche 356 model. It was an immensely successful race car and a highly-exclusive road-going model.

Behind the passengers was a 1.5-liter flat-four engine producing just 110 HP. But since the whole car only weighed 1,102 pounds, that was more than enough for blistering performance, at least according to the standards of the day. Most people would’ve forgotten about this model if it wasn’t for the unfortunate circumstances that made it legendary. Hollywood icon James Dean owned a 550 Spyder and was killed driving it in 1955.

13. Porsche 904 GTS

Although Porsche only produced it for two years in 1964 and 1965, the 904 GTS was the ultimate racing car for the streets. In fact, they designed it especially for the track, but then homologated it as a road car. Porsche put a flat-four engine behind the driver, which displaced 2.0-liters with a high output of 180 HP. Since this was a racing car, they uncorked the exhaust to provide the 904 with a glorious soundtrack.

The GTS was an evolution of Porsche racing logic. It paved the way for the more extreme and much faster models like the 908 and the legendary 917.

12. Porsche 916

Even if it looks like an ordinary, four-cylinder Porsche 914, the 916 is a totally different animal. This special model was a rolling experiment on how to put an engine from the fantastic 911 2.7 RS into a smaller, lighter body.

Even though the results were terrific, Porsche feared that nobody could tame this beast or buy it since it was so expensive. In the end, the company only made 11 of them. Since they are so rare, they are the Holy Grail of the Porsche collector community.

11. Porsche 944 Turbo

This forgotten gem from Stuttgart is one of the best affordable sports cars you can buy. They are still affordable, but act fast, because chances are the prices will go stratospheric soon. An entry-level Porsche, the 944 has an attractive layout with a front-mounted engine and rear-mounted transaxle gearbox. The handling is sublime, but even though the base 170 HP engine isn’t slow, the real treat is the turbocharging.

It has a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that puts out 250 HP. Due to its lighter weight, better transmission, and aerodynamics, the 944 Turbo is fast. Going from 0 to 60 mph takes only 5.9 seconds, and this car can top 162 mph. Even today, this little Porsche can outrun some modern, sporty cars.

10. Porsche 928

The 928 is a Gran Turismo coupe with a powerful V8 engine in the front, transaxle gearbox, ideal weight distribution, intelligent suspension, and space-age design. In contrast to 911, which still had some VW Beetle cues, the 928 looks like it comes from another planet. Despite the fact that early 928s produced below 300 HP, the car is fast. Porsche made the 928 for effortless cruising and driving over the continents in comfort, speed, and luxury.

For decades, this model sat in the shadow of the famous 911. However, recently people started realizing just how good those coupes really are, so prices have started to go up.

9. Porsche 917

In 1971, Steve McQueen made Le Mans, the ultimate racing movie. The film featured real racing and real race cars, including the legendary Porsche 917. However, even before they released the movie, the Porsche 917 was a legend in racing circles.

Porsche had a lot of success on Le Mans but never in a top class. The top class was reserved for Jaguar, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Ford GT40. However, in the late ’60s, with the Porsche 908 and its derivates, they intended to attack the most prominent players on the grid.

The 917 was their choice of weapon, and it incorporated everything that Porsche as a company had. It had a special body consisting of lightweight materials. Porsche added a flat-12 engine they made out two flat-six units. With the special aerodynamics and bespoke suspension, the 917 could reach a top speed of over 200 mph.

8. Porsche 968 Clubsport

The Porsche 944 brought a new vision of sports car dynamics to the market in the early ’80s. At that time, Porsche was continually upgrading the original concept and performance. However, in the ’90s, Porsche decided to introduce an improved model they called the 968 with an ultimate track version they named the 968 Clubsport.

The Clubsport was a two-seater model without luxury items. It had a 238 HP four-cylinder engine, updated brakes, and a track-trimmed suspension. When Porsche released the car, most motoring journalists recognized it as one of the best front-engine Porsches they ever built. However, most of the customers weren’t all that impressed. That is why they produced the 968 Clubsport in limited numbers, so if you find one, buy it.

7. Porsche 356 Speedster

The first Porsche that gave driving enthusiasts a taste of a “race car for the street,” was the tiny-but-significant 356 Speedster. The presented it in the mid-50s as a special model. It came without luxuries and an open-top. In fact, Porsche designed the Speedster to be easy to drive on the track as well as the road.

Although the mechanics were the same as the standard 356, the Speedster came with a flat-four engine with 75 HP on tap. Despite the fact the power was so diminutive, so was the weight. All that made the 356 Speedster an extremely fun car to drive on the track. Legendary actor and racer Steve McQueen had one too.

6. Porsche 918

There is so much buzz around the new 918, making it one of the most desirable Porsche models ever built. First, it is a proper supercar with almost 1,000 HP coming from its hybrid power train. Second, it is unbelievably fast and capable thanks to its all-wheel drive. Third, it is a limited production hypercar that is already sold out.

Lots of people think the 918 is the successor to the fantastic 2003 to 2007 Carrera GT supercar. However, this isn’t true. Although the 918 occupies the same place on the market, it is a much more advanced car as well as a total game-changer. That is why Porsche decided to make it the successor to the 917 since those two cars have both changed the industry in the same way.

5. Porsche 912

Worried that the costly 911 would narrow its customer base and affect sales, Porsche needed an entry-level model for people who wanted an everyday sports car that would be dependable as well as economical. In those days, nobody considered the economy of performance models, but Porsche realized it could be a good selling point.

So, in 1965, just after the end of the Porsche 356 production, they released the new 912. It was a 911, but with a 2.0-liter, flat four-cylinder engine producing 90 HP and modest performance numbers. The car also cost significantly less than the 911 and was fuel-efficient at 36 mpg.

Despite the slower performance, the Porsche 912 turned out to be a significant hit for the company. Between 1969 and 1969, they built more than 32,000 of them. In fact, the 912 proved to be a savior to the whole 911 series because it secured the financial stability of the factory until buyers accepted the 911.

4. Porsche 962

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to drive a Le Mans racing car on the street? Here’s the answer in the form of the crazy Dauer 962 Le Mans. This car could be the ultimate supercar because it is so extreme and fast. It could probably put most of the latest and fastest supercars to shame, despite the fact it is over 20 years old.

What most people don’t know is that Porsche based the 962 Le Mans on the Le Mans-winning Porsche 962 race car. Dauer, a German company, built it from 1993 to 1997. This supercar is basically a race car with some trunk space and license plates.

In those days, Porsche wasn’t directly involved with Le Mans racing, but they supported small teams and companies that used their cars. Dauer was one of those racing outfits, so it received help from the factory. However, the rules stipulated that they had to build a street version, so Dauer made 12 street 962 LMs to sell to the public.

The road-going car used the same engine, chassis and body style with two interesting differences. One was the narrower tires with street tread and second was a more powerful engine. Interestingly, the streetcar was more potent than the racing models since race cars had to have air restrictors and streetcars didn’t. That meant the Dauer 962 got a neck-bending 750 HP from its 3.0-liter turbocharged flat-six engine.

3. Porsche Boxster

With over 20 years since Porsche introduced this roadster, it is safe to say the Boxster revolutionized the concept of open-top fun cars. It has withstood the test of time as a future classic, which you can still own today. The Boxster has a mid-mounted flat-six engine and perfect balance. Also, it comes with two trunks and sublime handling.

The power comes from the choice of 2.5, 2.7 or 3.2-liter flat-six engines they mounted centrally just behind the passengers for excellent road holding and weight distribution. When Porsche first presented the car, all the driver’s magazines praised the Boxster for its handling and precise steering. Those are the qualities that still stand today.

The power output ranges from 204 to 260 HP and the 0 to 60 mph acceleration time is less than seven seconds. With a top speed of 160 mph, the Boxster is quite a capable car. It comes with two trunks, one in the back and one in the front, making this roadster practical, too. Who needs an expensive, modern 911 when you can have a first-generation Boxster that they built from 1997 to 2004? It drives just as nice and has the same driving feel for less than $10,000 in pristine condition.

2. Porsche Carrera GT

Porsche has always relied on racing when developing components for road-going cars. In the case of the Carrera GT, Porsche created almost the whole vehicle for racing, just detuning it for normal drivers. The Carrera GT looked like something more suited to a Le Mans race than on the street. With a screaming V10 engine delivering a brutal performance and sublime handling, it was just that.

When Porsche presented it in the early 2000s, the Carrera GT was the perfect combination of innovative materials and a racing V10, offering an analog driving feel. In those days, many supercars engineers started installing sequential automatic transmissions, but the Carrera GT has a good-old six-speed manual. That is something all true enthusiasts appreciate.

1. Porsche Cayman GT4

In 2014, Porsche presented the first Cayman GT4. It was an all-out factory-prepared sports car with a 385 HP engine straight from the 911 with chassis improvements from the 911 GT3. The Cayman GT4 was the best Porsche 911 compilation installed in a smaller package.

Indeed, the GT4 was a blast to drive and is capable of beating some versions of the 911. Simply, the 911 is still the king of the lineup despite the Cayman GT4 arguably being a better driver’s machine. As they predicted volume for the North American market, Porsche limited the production of the GT4 to only 1,000 cars, but they sold out in just a matter of weeks.

These are the top stars From Stuttgart. Which of these 20 Porsche models that aren’t the 911 did you like the best? Luckily, many of them are still available today.

Please wait 5 sec.