The six most popular Porsche 911s of all time
However, the Porsche 911’s place as the most famous sports car in the world isn’t purely built on rarity, quite the opposite. Its popularity has been key in its success.
These six Porsche 911s have proved Zuffenhausen’s greatest sales successes over the last 52 years, with stratospheric numbers rolling out of Werks II. These are, definitively, the most popular neunelfers* ever:
After the divisive styling of the 996, the Porsche 997 recaptured the imagination of 911 fans. Unlike previous generations, the Carrera 4S was a regular part of the line-up and, therefore, proved incredibly popular thanks to its mix of pace and practicality.
The last days of air-cooling certainly didn’t see luftgekühlt popularity dwindle. The 993 Carrera proved more popular than the 964 C2 and C4 put together. No wonder many think that this is the greatest generation of neunelfer ever.
Along with the C4S version (see number six), the Porsche 997 Carrera S helped to make the 997 generation the most popular 911 generation yet. The traditional rear-wheel drive setup captured enthusiasts while the mainstream return of the ‘S’ badge helped its appeal.
Disliked by some for its ‘fried egg’ headlamps, parts sharing with the Boxster and switch to a water-cooled flat six, over 50,000 Porsche 996 Carreras rolled out of Zuffenhausen, saving Porsche from bankruptcy in the late Nineties.
When Zuffenhausen released the Porsche 911 SC in 1978, it took the decision to streamline the 911 line-up from ‘911’, ‘911S’ and ‘911 Carrera’ variants into a single model: the SC. Thanks to this decision (and a five-year lifetime) the SC is one of Porsche’s biggest sales successes.
Coming after a period of instability, the Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 was born out of a necessity to keep the 911 alive. That its launch coincided with a global economic boom certainly didn’t harm sales figures either. Thanks to its proliferation between 1984 and 1989, it has become an enduring icon of the Eighties.
*Production numbers include Coupe, Cabriolet and Targa figures. The 991 has not been counted as it is still in production.