Josh’s top five Porsche 911 drives of 2014
Initially I thought this list would be incredibly painstaking to put together, even if it does only feature five Porsche 911s. This year I’ve had the opportunity to drive every single variation of the current 991 generation, as well as numerous Zuffenhausen icons. However, when I put pen to paper, this quintet immediately sprung to mind. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did:
Dynamically, this was actually one of the worst 911s I drove this year however, this was excusable given its day job as a museum exhibition at Prodrive’s headquarters. Instead, the Porsche 911 SC RS makes my list thanks to its historical significance.
Resplendent in the iconic Rothmans Porsche livery, I have always wanted to drive one of the iconic blue-white-red-and-gold Stuttgart chariots. Prodrive’s 911 SC RS fulfilled that childhood fantasy, and with a rousing flat six soundtrack to boot. If that’s not reason enough, then the interview with racing hero, David Richards later in the day certainly sealed the deal.
Read our full Rothmans Porsche 911 SC RS test drive in issue 109, available to download now.
Given that I declared this “my new favourite 911” after my test drive in September, it would be sacriligeous should the Porsche 964 Carrera 2 not make my top five 911s drive of 2014. It was, simply, a sublime little car that retained the intrinsic classic 911 character in a modernised package.
If I had £40,000 in the bank at that moment, I very likely would have signed on the dotted line and handed Grieg at RPM Technik my money. As it was, I left empty handed but with a rather large grin on my face. It certainly confirmed why the 964 is experiencing such a resurgence.
Read our 964 Carrera 2 v 3.2 Carrera head-to-head in issue 119, available to download now.
By my own admission, I am not a 911 Turbo fan. Even a blast up the hill at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the latest, greatest 991 variation could warm my heart fully to the forced induction philosophy. Yet, when compiling this list, the Porsche 930 LE was the first car I wrote in my notebook.
Why? Because it was a car with so much character. Modern Turbos are like anaesthetic in comparison to the 930 LE. You have to work the wheel and the gear level (thankfully connected to a G50 ‘box) to get the most out of it. And the surge in power, after the inevitable turbo lag, is truly addictive. Superb.
Read our Porsche 930 LE test drive in full in issue 110, available to download now.
The inclusion of the Porsche 991 GT3 will no doubt irk Lee, who cannot include Zuffenhausen’s latest incredible sports car on his own list, because he hasn’t had a chance to drive it yet. Originally scheduled for February, the engine recall put paid to our initial plans to get behind the 991 GT3’s alcantara steering wheel.
Good things really do come to those who wait though. When I eventually strapped myself in during a sweltering August afternoon in Germany, the new 911 GT3 easily showed itself as the most entertaining 991 yet. The PDK is an excellent addition thanks to its brutal action, while the engine’s 9,000rpm soundtrack is savage. If I could only have one Porsche, this would be it.
Read our track test of the new Porsche 991 GT3 in issue 117, available to download now.
Beating the GT3 to first place though is the 2.2-litre Porsche 911S from 1971. Porsche’s second proper generation of ‘S’, the 2.2-litre car is a true classic racer for the road. It’s arguably the original inspiration for the GT3 strand that we currently fawn over.
The steering was incredibly direct and feelsome, the dogleg gear change was wonderfully quirky and the peaky power delivery wanted you to do just one thing: drive as fast as you dared. With it’s classic lines, and neat period touches such as the Cibie headlights, the 1971 Porsche 911S is easily my favourite drive of 2014.
Read our Porsche 911S group test, featuring the 2.2S, in issue 120, available to download now.