Porsche has been one of the most prolific car makers since the 1930s. It started out making the Volkswagen Beetle, out of which the Type 64 was developed as the first car under the Porsche brand. It was a little coupe that used a 1-liter engine to make 40 horsepower and weighed 1,346 pounds. Porsche hasn’t lost any of its stride. It makes some of the fastest and most powerful cars on the planet.
There are several ways to test how fast a car is, like a 0-60 time or by quarter-mile, but for consistency’s sake, we’re going to look at lap times around Virginia International Raceway’s (VIR) Grand Course. It’s a 4.2-mile track with 24 turns, used primarily as a testing track for NASCAR and production cars.
2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Weissach
The Porsche 911 GT2 RS uses a 700 horsepower twin-turbo flat-six, and with that is capable of 211 mph, according to Porsche. It managed to lap VIR’s Grand Course in 2:37.8, slotting into the number 2 spot behind the 2019 McLaren Senna which holds the record at 2:34.9.
2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
The 2019 911 GT3 RS got around in 2:41. 6, with its naturally aspirated, 520 horsepower 4.0-liter flat-six. The RS variant uses different suspension and aerodynamic parts to the GT3 base for better track usage. Ultimately the GT3 and GT2 are two fundamentally different cars.
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
The 918 Spyder lapped in 2:43.1, thanks to its hybrid powerplant. It uses a 4.6-liter V8 and an electric motor for the rear wheels, and an additional electric motor for the front. All of this makes 887 combined horsepower.
2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S
The classic tried and true 911 Turbo S is still one of the fastest cars on the market. It uses a turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-six to make 580 horsepower to all four wheels. It managed to lap VIR in 2:46.8, just a bit faster than the 2018 911 GT3.
2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
Nearly 15 seconds slower and yet two years newer than the GT2 RS, the 718 Cayman GT4 was able to set 2:50.3. It used a 4.0-liter flat-six pumping out only 414 horsepower, but sold for significantly cheaper than the GT2 RS at $100,000.
2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T
Light and spritely, the Carrera T lapped in 2:53.4. While it only made 370 horsepower from its 3.0-liter flat-six, it had massive 305mm rear tires. According to VIR’s lap times, the Carrera T is still one of the fastest Porsches.
2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S
Contrary to its name, the Taycan Turbo S does not use a turbocharged engine. It uses an electric motor that gets 616 horsepower to all four wheels. It lapped VIR in 2:55.2, which might seem slow, but it’s neck-breaking for a 5,121-pound EV sedan.
2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S
As the oldest car on this list, the 2013 911 Carrera S is still an impressive car, with impressive power. It used a 3.8-liter flat-six with 400 horsepower to get around in 2:58.9. It might sound slow, but it was fast enough to beat a 2014 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG.
2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo
When the Panamera first came out it was a head-scratcher. A four-door Porsche was about as confusing as an SUV with a race horse on the front grille. Since its debut, the Panamera Turbo has grown into a viscous blood-thirsty maverick, and is one of the fastest Porsches ever around the VIR. With a 4.0-liter V8 making 550 horsepower, it got a lap time just barely under the 3-minute mark, at 2:59.2.
2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Rounding out this list is a surprise entry, in the form of an SUV. The Cayenne Turbo from 2019 made 541 horsepwoer from its 4.0-liter V8, and weighed as much as a house at 7,700 pounds. It managed to trot around the track at the same time as the Panamera Turbo, which is no easy task.
Porsche knows how to make fast cars, consistently. Ever since the Type 64, performance has been on the forefront, and only where it counts. Straight-line speed is one small measure of a car’s ability. How it handles and adapts tells a more complete story.