Porsche is defined by the 911, but it's made plenty of other great models over the years. In fact, we'd happily own any one of these over a 911. Here are some of the best non-911 Porsches out there, according to you.
It might look a lot like the 911 from the front, but take one glance at the rear end and you know there's something more going on with the 959. Equipped with all-wheel drive, ABS, TPMS, and a six-speed transmission, it was way ahead of its time, and remains one of the most desirable Porsches ever made.
With a name so long it takes your breath away, you'd expect the top-spec turbo-hybrid Panamera to perform—and it does. It has a total system output of 680 horsepower, and can get from 0-60 in just 3.2 seconds—all in a wagon body. It's the Panamera we've always wanted, and now we finally have it.
Lots of Porsche fans may not have liked the first-gen Cayenne, but you have to admit, the GTS version was cool. It mated a naturally aspirated V8 to an optional six-speed manual transmission, and could tow your race car to the track. What other Porsche checks all those boxes?
Porsche's first purpose-built racer is perhaps its most famous, or infamous, since this was the car a young James Dean was killed in. Using a highly-tuned, four-cam version of its venerable air-cooled flat-four, the 550 established Porsche's early reputation as a giant-killer.
The first car to wear Porsche's iconic "Carrera" badge was this, the 356A Carrera. It borrowed its motor from the 550 Spyder to produce a car that was equally at home on the street and the race track.
Porsche continued what it started with the 550 Spyder with the 718. It used an evolution of the same engine that powered the 550 and 356 Carrera with a new tubular space frame chassis. The weight of the first 718s was a touch over 1100 lb and the flat-four made an incredible (for the time) 142 horsepower.
The ultimate iteration of Porsche's flat-four race cars is the 904 Carrera GTS. A lightweight steel ladder frame with a fiberglass body made a perfect home for not only the Carrera-spec flat-four–which made about 185 horsepower here–but flat-sixes and flat-eights (!) as well.
The 914 was the result of a joint-development between Porsche and Volkswagen, and didn't receive much love in its day. It didn't have quite the pedigree of a 911 and was too expensive to be a Volkswagen. Powered by a flat-four, it was kind of slow as well, a problem Porsche fixed by installing a 2.0 liter flat-six from the 911T. The problem with this was that a 911T wasn't that much more expensive, so the 914/6 proved a hard sell. Now, it's a bonafide collectable.
The 924 suffered many of the same problems as the 914 before it, until Porsche built the amazing Carrera GT. To homologate a significantly modified version of the 924 Turbo road car for racing at Le Mans, Porsche built a handful of Carrera GT road cars. The Carrera GT made 210 horsepower and the rarer Carrera GTS made 240.
Other than the mighty Carrera GT, the 924 was a bit of a lame duck as Porsches go. To solve this issue, Porsche gave the 924 sexy fender flares and a new inline-four, creating the 944. The Turbo and later Turbo S models cranked things up a bit further and gave the old 911 a run for its money.
Back in the mid-1970s, Porsche wanted to replace the then aging 911 with two cars: the 924/944 and this, the front-engined, V8-powered 928. The 928 was a proper Gran Turismo, with its big, powerful V8, but it was a significant departure for Porsche. It never caught on, so it was killed in the mid-1990s, but not before Porsche produced the 928 GTS. The final version was easily the best.
Before the rise of the Boxster and the water-cooled 996, Porsche was strapped for cash, so its modus operandi was to stretch as much out of a single platform as possible. The ultimate iteration of the 924/944 platform is the 968 Clubsport. was lighter and more track-focused than its regular counterparts, but good luck finding one today: just over 1500 were built.
Some see this as a lackluster relative of the 911, or as the harbinger of death for Porsche's classic era, but if you're glad Porsche still exists today, you have the original 986 Boxster to thank. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the original Boxster saved Porsche and helped it become the mega-profitable company it is today. They're also great to drive and a bargain, as used Porsches go.
With financial health ensured by the 986 Boxster and the first-generation Cayenne, Porsche decided to remind enthusiasts it could still make the ultimate driver's car. Using the best tech of the day and an engine derived from a failed LMP1 program, Porsche created a true race car for the street in the original Carrera GT. A glorious analog throwback that remains a high watermark for Porsche.
The second-generation Boxster is already a fantastic driver's car in stock form, but the stripped-out Boxster Spyder is sublime. For the Spyder, Porsche did away with the Boxster's power-folding soft top and interior luxuries, then added more power and stiffer suspension. It's definitely worse than the regular Boxster as a daily driver, but it's still the one you want.
Purists will cry foul at the Panamera, but let them cry. The Panamera GTS is a fantastic four-door. It's expensive, but its 440-horsepower, 4.8-liter naturally aspirated V8 is worth the cost of admission. Think of it as the four-door successor to the 928 GTS.
If you want to see where Porsche is headed, take a good long look at the 918 Spyder. A gorgeous flat-plane, naturally-aspirated V8 combines forces with three electric motors to produce a total of 887 horsepower in a shockingly easy-to-manage package. In terms of cost, the 918 is unobtanium, but soon, its tech will be available for regular folks to enjoy elsewhere in the Porsche lineup.
Gone are the days when Porsche only made two-door sports cars, but from time to time, the automaker builds a car just for geeks like us. The Cayman GT4 is one such car. It combines a detuned 3.8 liter flat-six from the old Carrera S with a six-speed manual and the front axle from the 911 GT3. We're still waiting for an even more powerful Cayman, but the GT4 is the most pure, unadulterated driver's car in Porsche's lineup today.