With the start of 2020 comes not only a new year, but an entirely new decade. The roaring 20s are back and the cars of the 2020s are just getting started. But as we step into this new era, it’s important to take a look at the past just to see how far we’ve come. Here are the most important Porsches of the 2010s.
997.2 911 Turbo
Introduced back in 2009, the 997.2 generation 911 is arguably the brand’s best. With gorgeous, modern styling and old fashioned Porsche driving dynamics, it’s really hard to hate the 997.2. What’s important about this generation’s 911 Turbo in particular, is that this was the last 911 Turbo to feature a 6 speed manual. That’s right, back in 2010, you could pick up a 911 Turbo with a 3.8 liter twin turbo flat 6, 500 hp, and 6 speed manual. What a day that would be, huh?
997.2 911 GT2RS
Today, the 911 GT2RS is more like a GT3RS with a 911 Turbo engine. It’s refined, fast as can be, and relatively easy to drive. Well, back in the day, the GT2RS was basically a 911 Turbo with the dial cranked up to 11; simple, yet so amazing. With a 3.6 liter twin turbo flat 6, 620 hp, rear wheel drive, and a curb weight of 3,020 pounds, the 997.2 GT2RS demolished the competition of its day, not to mention it has no trouble leaving modern supercars in the dust. The 997.2 GT2RS was also the last GT2 to come with 3 pedals, long live the manual.
997.2 GT3RS 4.0
Dig around in any Porsche forum, and you’re bound to hear the name, “Mezger.” Well, Hans Mezger has designed most, if not all of Porsche’s greatest engines. His work with the 911 was most notably the engines in the 996 and 997 GT and Turbo cars. This man is a true genius and his last masterpiece when it came to 911s was the M97/74 engine, also known as the 4.0 in the 997.2 GT3RS 4.0. Making 500 hp, and weighing less the 3,000 lbs, the 911 GT3RS 4.0 was a real treat, a legend among legends basically. In my opinion, the GT3RS 4.0 is the greatest 911 ever made, not to mention it was the last Porsche with an RS badge to have a manual transmission.
Taking a break from sports cars, I think it’s very important that we recognize the Porsche Macan. Since it was introduced around 2015, the Macan has consistently been Porsche’s best selling model. This is important because a lot of the money used to fund research for Porsche’s sports cars likely came from Macan sales. So, as long as Porsche has the Macan, it will have a consistent stream of income, which is nothing to complain about. I think we owe a thank you to this little crossover.
The Porsche 918 Spyder needs no introduction. When it first debuted, it was one of the fastest, and most technologically advanced hypercars ever made. The 918 was a leading pioneer in hybrid technology among performance cars, not to mention it was the first ever production car to lap the Nurburgring in under 7 minutes. With a 4.6 liter naturally aspirated V8 and two electric motors, the 918 made 887 hp, 944 lb/ft of torque and could launch to 60 mph in as little as 2.2 seconds! Even with today’s advances in technology and design, the Porsche 918 still remains a force to be reckoned with.
981 Cayman GT4
Matt Farah (@thesmokingtire) has a distinct term for what Porsche has been doing to the Cayman and Boxster. The theory is, that no matter how good the Cayman and Boxster get, Porsche always makes sure that the 911 is better. And up until the GT4, we had every reason to believe this theory which was called the “Cayman Complex.” But when the Cayman GT4 first came out, it left the world speechless. The 981 GT4 was the first time that Porsche’s GT Division had gotten their hands on a Cayman, and it was arguably one of the best sports cars ever made. It was light, small, fun to drive, and not too expensive either. It also came stock with GT3 suspension and a 911 motor which made the GT4 VERY fast. it drove all the 911 enthusiasts nuts!
991.1 911 R
I mentioned earlier that the 911 GT3RS 4.0 was the last Porsche RS car to have a manual transmission. This was due to the fact that Porsche thought its customers did not want manuals, and that they only wanted the fastest car possible. The 911 R proved them wrong. With today’s Porsche’s there is a trend which involves bringing back the manual transmission. Well, it all started back with the 911R. The 911R was essentially a GT3RS, without all the aero and the PDK. It was what Porsche had always intended the 911 to be, a bare bones, driver focused sports car. It was brilliant, and its resale value proved it.
991.2 911 Carrera Models
As much as I love the 911, I can’t lie to myself and say that the car radically changes every generation. The concept of evolution rather than revolution is what’s defined the 911 over the years, but I think the most important change with the 911 of this decade came with the 991.2 Carrera models. This change came in the form of a 3.0 liter twin turbo flat 6. It was with the 991.2 generation that all 911 models except the GT3 and GT3Rs became turbocharged, and it was controversial to say the least. Numbers wise, this new engine was better in every way, but it just lacked the sound and emotion of its naturally aspirated predecessor. So for the future, I’m just glad the 911 has a flat 6, but if I were to choose one, I’d go for an NA motor.
With the 981 generation of Caymans and Boxsters, it was only the Cayman GT4 that got the true “GT treatment.” The 981 Boxster Spyder was kind of left out in that regard. This was not the case with the 718 Spyder. The new 718 Spyder is the first ever Boxster created by Porsche’s GT division and is miles better than its predecessor. With its naturally aspirated 4.0 liter flat 6 and its 8,000 rpm redline, there really isn’t much to complain about. It’s a phenomenal car, and a true GT Porsche.
Out of this entire list, I feel that the Porsche Taycan is the most important. Like it or not, electric cars are the future, and Porsche’s first ever electric car is a HUGE deal. Despite its inefficiencies and astronomical price tag, the Taycan is an amazing car. It brings top tier luxury, and Porsche performance to a segment that desperately needed it. The Taycan is Porsche’s first step into the future, and there is lots more to come.
Which Porsches do you think were the most important of this decade? Were there any that I missed? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Happy New Year!
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