When is a Porsche 911 not a 911?


I just spotted a comment on Facebook saying that the Porsche ‘991’ is a stupid name and ‘911’ was much better. It’s not unusual for people to get confused by Porsche model numbers as they don’t seem to make sense to anyone not familiar with Porsches. So here’s a quick lesson in 911 maths!

First of all, the rear-engined, flat-six Porsche made from 1963 to the present day is a 911. Period. Even though it may be badged ‘Carrera’ or ‘GT3’, the basic model is a 911.

However, there have been many different versions of the 911 over the last almost 50 years, as Porsche has constantly evolved and improved it. And so to differentiate between those models, for 911s made from 1989 people tend to use Porsche’s internal model numbers to describe the cars, which is where it can get confusing, as these are three-figure numbers beginning with, you guessed it, a nine. So, here is a quick visual guide to all the 911s with ‘nine’ model numbers:

Porsche 964 (1989 to 1993)

Porsche 993 (1993 to 1997)

Porsche 996 (1998 to 2004)
Porsche 997 (2004 to 2012)
Porsche 991 (2012 onwards)

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