4.5-star Porsche 911s: chasing perfection

Before the Roman Empire, the idea of something perfect simply did not exist. It was only when the Latin verb “perficere” was coined that the notion came into being.

From there, the word morphed into the Old French term “parfit” before eventually joining the English lexicon in the early 15th century. As we all know though, an object truly worthy of the term was only created in 1963 in the Stuttgart suburb of Zuffenhausen.

Okay, so that may be a bit farfetched but Porsche has – according to our own Data File – achieved automotive perfection 16 times, beginning with the iconic 911 Carrera 2.7 RS in 1973.

Porsche 911 2.4S

Unsurprisingly, the latest addition to the five-star club is the newest 911 Rennsport – rolling out of Zuffenhausen to rave reviews. In reality, of course, there is no such thing as a perfect car (show me a perfect car and I will show you a liar).

However, for those we deem worthy of a top score, the experience of driving them is not diluted by insignificant imperfections. That is not to say that every other 911 is defined by its inadequacies.

Every 911 in Data File, from one star to five, are all good cars compared to automotive offerings from other manufacturers. For every exemplary Neunelfer though, there is at least one that falls just short.

Porsche 993 Turbo

That is where the trio before you come in. While a 2.4-litre Porsche 911S, a 993 Turbo and a first generation 997 GT3 RS may not look like they have much in common (in 911 circles at least), after intensive evaluation in previous issues of Total 911, we graded each just half a star away from perfection.

Alongside 17 other 911s in Data File, they are ‘the nearly men’ of the Neunelfer fraternity. Yet, you wouldn’t say “no” if you were handed the keys to any of them, would you? We certainly wouldn’t.

As explained above, these are Porsches whose strengths shine brighter than their weaknesses, so what is it that holds them back from complete greatness? That is why I’m here today with a trio of delectable 911s awaiting my presence behind their respective wheels. And, if I can’t pinpoint any faults, we may just have a new member or two for the five-star club.

To read our four-and-a-half star shootout in full, pick up Total 911 issue 135 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

Porsche 997 GT3 RS

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