In our June 2018 issue (no. 671), we named the 70 greatest Porsches of all time. Here are 10 that flew below our radar.
Predating the better-known 968 CS by five years, this lightened, left-hand-drive-only example of Porsche’s debonair GT dispensed with the sunroof, rear wiper, powered seats (a win, given the 928’s troublesome electrics) and rear sun visors. Extremely scarce.
Porsche 997 Carrera
The reception to 1992’s heavily-reworked 944 successor was lukewarm until the brilliantly spartan Club Sport’s launch in 1993; bereft of rear seats, airbags and electric windows, and equipped with 17-inch wheels and tauter suspension, the transformed 968 was a revelation. To create the rare UK-only Sport, right-hand-drive Club Sports were factory-equipped with specific Porsche GB-requested options.
The naturally-aspirated 944 evolved steadily through the ’80s and climaxed with 1992’s run-out S2 Sport Equipment special featuring adjustable dampers, limited-slip diff, unique side graphics and an additional 17bhp. Only 14 were reputedly built – an unsung precursor to the 968 CS.
Sweet handling and practical, the early (non-turbo) 924 was nevertheless hindered by its prosaic 2.0-litre engine – salvation came in the form of the mildly detuned 2.5 from the 944. Packing 150bhp (160bhp from ’88), these usually seem to have lived more cherished lives than 944s, too.
Standing for Super Carrera, the SC (lead image) delivers 85 per cent of the 3.2 Carrera’s desirability for 70 per cent of the outlay. With a maximum 201bhp, performance is spirted rather than scorching, but drive a coupe in a vivid ’70s hue with the Pasha seat fabric and you’ll be too blissed out to care.
Yep, the 2.9-litre second-generation 987 base model. Boasting 20bhp and a half-second quicker 0-62mph time over the outgoing 2.7, not only did the mid-cycle refresh bring greater reliability, it also made the entry-level Cayman a compellingly rev-happy and playful choice in its own right.
Planned as the 944 S3, the claimed 80 per cent revision over the S2 prompted the change of name. In came 928-inspired circular pop-up headlamps and that larger rear end, while the 3.0-litre four gained variable valve timing for 240bhp. A bargain at £15,000.
The first-gen Panamera was hardly the epitome of elegance upon its introduction back in 2009. Luckily we’re prepared to look further than skin-deep – how does a 400bhp, naturally-aspirated V8 manual four-door 928 successor for £25,000 grab you? Thought so.
964 RS, RSR, Turbo and Speedster – all likely to be anorak-encircled at a concours event near you soon. Drive a no-frills 964 Carrera coupe on 16-inch Design 90 alloys in black, dark blue or silver and take to the city streets at night to emulate (a bit) Ian McShane in Sexy Beast.