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Understanding the Porsche 911

With the arrival of the latest 911, the 992, at Hughes we thought rather than talking about the on the road feel and exhilaration of driving the latest 911, we will instead look at how do you tell the difference between the models.

Image’s courtesy of Blades Media

Origin, the 901

The 901 was the first 911. After a copyright dispute with Peugeot over the prefix of a number, centred by a zero and followed by another number e.g 106, 206, 306 etc. Porsche was pushed to change their flagship 901 to the 911. Why the 911? Because they had an abundance of 1’s. In this range you will find the T, S, L and E. Quite hard to tell apart but these cars generally look small and delicate. From this generation was born the RS. RS stood for Renn Sport and was an acronym held for the track focused models.

Carrera, 930, Turbo and SC

These models are the hardest to distinguish as they all look terribly similar. The easiest to spot/identify is the yuppie killer, the 930 Turbo. Big wing, wider stance and generally Turbo written on it. For the time, these cars were exceedingly quick and when the turbo kicked, a monster to control! The SC and Carrera models featured a bigger engine over the previous 2.7 RS and had a more 80s/90s styling.


The 964 was considered a major jump in Porsche’s design and technology as it took a lot of enhancements from the flagship 959 and made them standard for the 964. The 964 was the first 911 to feature 4 wheel drive and to bring back the RS name. The 964 is identified by its deeper front bumper with inset indicator cluster.


Considered very undesirable in the looks department for many years, the 993 is now seeing a resurgence in popularity as prices begin to soar. The 993 has lights which are like the 959 making you believe the 959 came after the 964. However, the later 993 was the model to adopt this styling where the canonical highlight shrouds became part of the wing rather than a stand-alone feature. The 993 was the last of the air-cooled engines.


The difficult 3rd album! The 996 as a side profile looks like 964 and the 993 however, the front end which was inspired by Porsche Lemans cars and was a difficult thing to love. Dubbed “the fried egg” the head lights of the 996 became a stain on this model and later down line they also became known for an engine issue. Reality, this issue is quite rare, but well documented which keeps the price of the 996 down. The 996 is one of the purest Porsches you can buy for sensible money.


997, bella, the beauty of Stuttgart! The 997 is probably the most iconic 911 and by far, one of the best looking. Great on the road handling, fantastic advancements in technology and exceptionally good looking, especially compared to it’s older brother the 996.


The 991 is remarkably similar in styling to the 997 but more beefed up. Side by side you can see the 991 has increased in size. The 991 is considered the first generation where 911’s stopped being a driver’s car as the driver enhancements dulled the on road feel to appeal to a mass market. Not overly loved by purists, but still considered a great car. This generation featured a facelift in the form of .2. The early stage of the 991 is referred to the 991.1 and the facelift is called the 991.2. The easiest way to tell these apart is the Daytime Running Lights on the bumper. 991.1 feature wedged LED strips whereas the 991.2 features a skinny strip. The generation of the 911 also features two of the best all time track cars. The GT3RS and GT2RS.


Currently we are on the 992. In style the 992 is hard to distinguish from the 991.2 as the outside styling is subtle. The bonnet of the 992 is a nod back to earlier Porsches whereas the rear is new a unique to this model with a single light bar with a 3D, inset Porsche badge rather than stick on letters. Inside is where the biggest difference takes places where a more Audi style command centre can be found.

Hopefully this has helped you with Porsche spotting! If you are looking to source a Porsche for yourself why not use Hughes? With global connections we can find you the Porsche of your dreams. Simply get in touch via email or phone 01202 744777


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