It doesn't get much better than driving a Porsche. The German-made car is one of the high-end brands on the market, with a long and illustrious career of making some of the most stylish vehicles we've ever seen. But which Porsches are the best of all time? Like the greatest BMW, Mercedes and Audis, we've put this list together of the best Porsches ever, from the racing cars to the consumer favourites we drive today.
The 917 was constructed in an effort to conquer Le Mans and became one of the best Porsches ever built in the process. Not only was it a winner on the race track; the variants of the 917 that followed all went on to be hits. The 917 is a classic piece of history for Porsche and arguably one of the greatest cars ever made.
This rear-wheel-drive Porsche set the tone for the modern sports car. It was rear-engined, had two seats and was light and reliable to drive. In fact, the 356 SL's Le Mans win in 1951 cemented Porsche's status as a performance vehicle manufacturer.
The 908 pushed Porsche to the top of the motorsports tree in the 1960s and inspired a new generation of Porsche cars in the process. The 908 was the first car built for the CSI's prototype Group 6, meaning it had an engine capacity of three litres. Its name came from the eight-cylinder, flat-6 engine and was driven by some of the best drivers around at the time.
Porsche 944 Turbo
Fast-forward the mid-eighties, and the Porsche 944 Turbo came on the scene in style. This car set the bar for what vehicle performance should be, from its looks to how it drove. The 944 Turbo featured a wedge design with pop-up headlamps and telephone dial wheels, while performance-wise, it had a 4-cylinder engine producing 250bhp. At the time, it was the most powerful 4-cylinder ever built.
Any car that can do 0-62mph in under four seconds deserves recognition. The Porsche 959 was a beast and beauty of a car simultaneously, with its top speeds hitting 210 mph and its classic design resembling the cars we see today. When it was released, the 959 was the world's fastest street-legal car.
The car James Dean was driving when he was killed, the 550 Spyder was Porsche's first-ever purpose-built racer and was based on the 356. At the time, its rear mid-engine setup was revolutionary and improved the car's balance and agility. Only a handful of 550 Spyders were ever produced, and they cost millions to buy in today's market.
Porsche 911 GT2 RS
The 911 is about as iconic as it comes with Porsche, and the 911 GTS RS is perhaps the purest version of the car ever produced. The 2019 model sits at the very top of the tree of the 911 performance hierarchy and has set lap records at the Nürburgring Nordschleife and Road America. With a 3.8-litre engine producing 700bhp and 553 lb-ft of torque, it's easy to see why the GT2 RS is such a monster.
By the mid-90s, Porsche found itself in financial trouble and needed to adapt its models to meet the everyday needs of regular – albeit well-off – drivers. Enter the Cayenne, the first-ever SUV from Porsche. It helped kickstart the SUV trend and was a mega-hit with drivers who couldn't get enough of driving a big and bully car built by Porsche around town.
Another car that slightly moved away from Porsche's roots, the Panamera was essentially a 911 in five-door form. It also happens to outsell the 911. A super-lux, sports car hybrid, the Panamera can do nearly 200 mph in the turbo versions but also sort of works as a family car. Well, it does in the sense that it has four doors and rear seats that won't squash your legs up against your face.
The Carrera GT is simply beautiful with its 5.7-litre V10 engine that produces 603bhp and accelerates from 0-60mph in just 3.5 seconds. The car featured many of the technologies found in the 911 GTI and was developed by the manufacturer's racing divisions in the late nineties. The Porsche Carrera GT was built between 2004 and 2007, with 1,270 cars hitting the market.
Porsche 918 Spyder
Another Spyder, this car was made in 2010 and was one of the first cars of its kind to feature hybrid technology and led the way for today's supercars. Porsche used a 4.6-litre V8 engine and mated it to two electric motors, producing an output of 887bhp in the process. It shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that the 918 outperformed many supercars, such as the McLaren P1 and Ferrari models, on the racetrack.
The best Porsches ever
Do you have a favourite Porsche car of all time? Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, we'll be thinking about getting behind the wheel of one of the Porsche's on our list and enjoying a ride full of speed and luxury.