Picking the best Porsches is no easy task thanks to the manufacturer's history of excellence. But Rob Griffin has identified his favourite five.
The beloved Porsche is the ultimate supercar in many people's eyes – and for good reason. There's the eye-catching designs, fantastic engineering and high levels of performance.
In fact, let's be clear: there aren't any really bad Porsches. Sure, there are the odd looking ones – yes, Cayenne, I'm looking at you – but they are all fantastic pieces of machinery.
With the latest arrivals being as cherished as those from days past, we have leafed through the history books to select five of the best.
This demands a place on the list. The aerodynamic, beautifully styled 356 was the first production automobile made by Porsche, appearing in the late 1940s and staying around until the mid-1960s. Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche, son of the company founder, played a vital role in the design of this machine, which initially had 40 horsepower from a modified VW Beetle engine, although more powerful versions followed. It still looks as eye-catching today as it did almost 70 years ago, although to own one now would set you back around £70,000.
This replaced the 356 in 1964 and was an instant hit. Of all the Porsche designs down the years this is arguably the most recognisable. The two-door, high-performance machine has seen plenty of incarnations down the years, including the innovative Targa model which arrived in the mid-1960s and sported a removable roof panel. Other popular versions have included the 911 Turbo and 911 Carrera. The most recent 911 – which costs between £70,000 and £140,000 – received this glowing accolade by Top Gear: "When you consider price, performance, economy and emissions, this is the world's best sports car."
The idea behind the 928 was to create a machine that had the poise and power of a 911 but with some more refinement and luxury thrown in. Porsche executives wanted it to be the sports car in which you would be comfortable driving long distances. The front engine, water-cooled design didn't go down well with many hard-core Porsche enthusiasts, who also weren't very keen on the bold styling and innovative pop-up headlights. However, the 928 did win wider acclaim and was named European Car of the Year for 1978. Production continued until the mid-1990s, meaning it was part of the scene for an impressive 18 years.
One of the newest machines on our list, the Cayman series of Porsches made its debut less than a decade ago. It has been praised for being one of the best-handling sports cars currently available, as well as clearly being among the best-looking coupes in the marketplace. There are three versions available: the Cayman at around the £40,000 mark; the Cayman S that will set you back a further £10,000; and the fantastically powerful Cayman GTS, which can go from 0-62mph in less than five seconds and has a top speed of around 175mph. Phenomenal.
Amazingly, it's been the best part of two decades since the first-generation Boxster arrived on the scene. This mid-engined, two-seater was the first of the modern era road-going Porsches that was actually designed to be a roadster. The most recent incarnation of the Boxster, which has been totally revised in comparison to the long-running original design, costs between £38,000 and £46,000 depending on the specifications chosen. However, older models can be picked up cheaply. In fact, a 10-year-old example can be bought for around the £5,000 mark. Classy – and affordable.
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