Since its inception, the 911 has been the worthiest linchpin for Porsche. Among all its models, the 911 is often considered as the model that inched the closest to perfection, all thanks to the wizards at Stuttgart. However, that is not completely true. Hence, here is a countdown of five times when Porsche won us over without a 911.
5) 2004 Carrera GT
By the 2000s Porsche had filled its treasury enough to ponder over a new model. The brand regained its financial health with the success of its 986 Boxster and the first generation Cayenne SUV. Hence, in order to remind its enthusiasts it could still make the ultimate driver’s car, Porsche married best tech of the day with an engine derived from a failed LMP1 program to create a true race car for the streets known as the Carrera GT.
At the heart of it, was a 5.7-litre V10 engine that juiced 603hp and 590 Nm of torque through a six-speed manual transmission. In its three-year life, Porsche produced 1207 models of the car. The design cues from the car were faithfully inherited to its successor, 918 Spyder.
4) 1957 718
Continuing what it started with the 550 Spyder, the 718 used an evolution of the same engine as the 550 and 356 Carrera. The new 718 used a new tubular space frame chassis and tipped the scales at just over 500kg. It was powered by the 1.5-litre flat-four engine that churned out 140hp. The car is credited to finish first in class and third overall at the Le Mans in 1958.
3) 1964 904 Carrera GTS
The 904 Carrera GTS dropped jaws and stole hearts as the ultimate iteration of Porsche’s flat four race cars in 1964. The car was built on a lightweight steel ladder frame with a fibreglass body making it perfect to house not only for the Carrera-spec flat-four–which made about 185 horsepower here–but flat-sixes and flat-eights (!) as well.
2) 2015 918 Spyder
By the time it was 2015, Porsche upped its game to find a sweet spot between futuristic and insane. The 918 meant serious business for the German manufacturer with a capable hybrid powertrain delivering massive output. As mentioned earlier, the 918 faithfully inherits heavy design cues from the Carrera GT. The company’s foray into the plug-in hybrid sports car class was noted with the 918.
The electric powertrain along with a 4.6-litre V8 engine churned out 875hp and a face-peeling 1280Nm of torque. The 6.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack delivers an all-electric range of 19 km under the US Environmental Protection Agency’s five-cycle tests.
1) 1986 959
The 959 was a model way ahead of its time. A majority of its design has been derived from the 911 and the front proves it. However, a glance at the rear and you know there’s something more going on with the model.
Back in the 80s, the 959 featured modern-age techs such as ABS, TPMS, and a six-speed transmission that supplied the power to all the wheels. The 959 stands are probably the only sports car that was also built for hard-core rallying. Yup, rallying. At the time, the Porsche 959 was the fastest street-legal production car achieving a top speed of 317kph.
Let us know what Porsches other than the 911 you think won the game in the comments below.