Packing a Punch: 20 Most Powerful Porsche Vehicles

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Porsche (POAHF.PK) has made a name for itself by developing fast and powerful sports cars, and has been at it for many decades. The company dates back to 1931, where it was founded by Ferdinand Porsche in Stuttgart, Germany. From meager beginnings, the company has built itself into one of the world’s most trusted and well-respected automakers, constantly pushing the envelope in terms of design, speed, and power. Its engineering group alone has worked in a consulting role to other car makers as diverse as Audi and Subaru. As of last year, Volkswagen holds the dominant investment in the company, along with its other brands like Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Bentley.

The company has produced dozens of different cars over the years, and has since ventured off into sport utility vehicles with in the past couple of decades. Porsche, during its early years in World War II, actually produced several designs for military-grade vehicles, including heavy tanks. Although military vehicles never became the companies specialty, the love for power was then transferred into its sports cars, which have been improving year after year ever since.

These days, Porsche builds a variety of cars and SUVs that can routinely top 180 miles per hour at their fastest, each equipped with high-horsepower engines that deliver exhilarating driving experiences. The company has even started to experiment with hybrid technology, which has allowed it to design cars that are much more powerful than anything else Porsche has ever produced. Here, we take a look at the twenty most powerful Porsche vehicles of all time, excluding concepts and one-offs. The cars are arranged by horsepower, though their speeds may vary accordingly.

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20. 911 Carrera 4 RS Lightweight, 300 horsepower

Released for the 1990 model year, the 911 Carrera 4 RS driven by 260 horsepower, though engineers found a way to increase that number 40 extra ponies by removing a few components, namely the catalytic converter and muffler. The result is a 911 Carrera 4 RS Lightweight, a limited production car using a Flat-6 engine that can generate 300 horses — only a handful were produced, making it one of the rarer Porsche models — one unit was sold at auction in 2009 for a price of $139,000. with horsepower barely topping 300, the Carrera 4 RS Lightweight barely sneaks into the top twenty.

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19. 968 Turbo S, 305 horsepower

Expanding on the 968 model, Porsche pushed the envelope by unveiling the 968 Turbo S, which was released in 1993 and produced for only a brief amount of time. The 968 Turbo S used an eight-valve, 3.0-liter engine to produce 305 horsepower and reach a top speed of 180 miles per hour, hitting 60 along the way in 4.7 seconds. The Turbo S was short-lived, but engineers also managed to improve on it with the very limited Turbo RS, built as a ‘race’ version. Only four of those were ever produced, however, making them the rarest of the 968 line.

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18. Porsche Boxster GTS, 320 horsepower

The newest version of the Boxster is the fastest Porsche has made yet. The Boxster GTS can thank a 3.4-liter flat-six engine for its 320 horsepower, which allows drivers to take it to a top speed limit of 174 miles per hour. It can hit the ground running as well, hitting 60 miles per hour from zero in 4.7 seconds. While it’s by no means the fastest or most powerful model Porsche has ever released, it does have some sexy stylings. With a relatively ‘low’ price tag of around $75,000, the Boxster GTS is ideal for a summer cruise in a powerful roadster.

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17. Cayman GTS, 340 horsepower

The Cayman GTS picks up where the Boxster GTS left off and raises the bar a bit. The Cayman GTS can reach top speeds of 177 miles per hour, and jet from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds. All of that performance comes courtesy of a 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine, capable of generating 340 horsepower. With a price of less than $80,000, that performance comes at a bargain by Porsche standards. One really cool feature that is housed in both the Cayman and Boxster GTS models is the selectable drive mode, which includes Normal, Sport, and Sport Plus options. By hitting a button, shifting, handling and acceleration all can be changed to match specific conditions.

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16. Porsche Macan Turbo, 400 horsepower

The new evolution of Porsche sport utility vehicles is the Macan, a smaller and more compact vehicle compared to the Cayenne. The Macan Turbo really packs a punch, with 400 horsepower and a top track speed of 164 miles per hour. Fourteen years after Porsche first waded into the SUV game, it looks safe to say they have perfected the formula. A 3.6-liter turbocharged V6 seems more fitting in one of the company’s sportier models, but it also fits nicely in an SUV. For drivers who like power and a more capable vehicle, the Macan Turbo is a worthy contender.

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15. Porsche Carrera S, 400 horsepower

It doesn’t get much more sleek and sexy than the Carrera S, a 400 horsepower road warrior that can hit a top speed of 188 miles per hour. The Carrera S’s six-cylinder, 3.8-liter engine is matched with a seven-speed transmission to cultivate a driving experience that is hard to match. The 400 horsepower the Carrera S can kick out is more than enough to get you blasting down the road, and the handling is more precise than ever. It even has the fine folks at Top Gear calling it the world’s best sports car. It’s pretty hard to argue with that.

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14. Porsche 911 Speedster, 408 horsepower

At a price of $204,000, the 911 Speedster isn’t the thriftiest choice, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Part of this model’s high price comes from its exclusivity, as Porsche only produced 356 of them in 2011, with 100 of them released in the U.S. The Speedster didn’t disappoint in performance, making 408 horsepower from a 3.8-liter direct-injection boxer-six. Perhaps the most unique quality about the Speedster are on the inside; the center of the seats are upholstered with checkered-flag patterns, and the exterior color matches the interior leather.

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13. Panamera GTS, 440 horsepower

For Porsche fans with a need for some extra interior space, the Panamera GTS is the model you’ve been looking for. It also packs enough punch to haul around a full cabin, with 440 horsepower from its 4.8 liter V8 engine. Add on the Panamera GTS uses all-wheel drive, and its performance specs make it even more formidable. The Panamera GTS can reach a top speed of 179 miles per hour, fast by any measure, but also reach 0-60 in just 4.2 seconds. For an exquisite blend of power and passenger room, this is the Porsche model to take a look at.

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12. 959, 450 horsepower

“It’s the kind of car you’d want aliens to find 10,000 years from now, just to prove we weren’t complete dipshits,” says Mike Spinelli of Jalopnik, recounting the utter destruction of a Porsche 959. And he’s right, the 959 is a gorgeous model, and incredibly hard to find. Only 337 were produced in the late 1980s, and fewer survive today. The 959 used a 2.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat-6 engine to make 450 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful cars on the road at that time. It could also hit speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour. 

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11. GT3, 475 horsepower

A suped-up variant of the 911, the GT3 is a long-running favorite of many Porsche enthusiasts. The GT3 ups the ante over many of the company’s models, reaching a top speed of 195 miles per hour, and jetting to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in just 3.3 seconds. A horizontally opposed six-cylinder, 3.8-liter engine supplies 475 horsepower, as well as 325 pound-feet of torque. The GT3 takes the 911 platform and runs with it, making it one of the most capable and impressive sports car on the market.

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10. Cayenne Turbo, 500 horsepower

Ever since its initial unveiling, Porsche’s Cayenne SUV has been much more popular than anticipated. People liked it so much, in fact, that the company made a Turbo variant for those seeking even more speed. The result is a 500 horsepower luxury SUV that can go 172 miles per hour at its limit, and jet to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds. That 500 horsepower has its genesis in a 4.8-liter 8-cylinder engine, along with all-wheel drive. The Cayenne outshines its new little brother, the Macan, in both performance and capability. As far as fast and powerful luxury SUVs are concerned, the Cayenne Turbo holds the throne.

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9. GT3 RS 4.0, 500 horsepower

We previously looked at the GT3, but Porsche took things a step further with the GT3 RS 4.0. Another special edition built off of the 911 platform, the GT3 RS 4.0 is a powerhouse, able to generate 500 horsepower from a 3.8-liter flat-six. The main differences between the GT3 and this model? Improved steering and handling and a lighter overall weight thanks to titanium components. Modified air intakes and an exhaust system designed to be less restrictive also help boost overall horsepower.

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8. Panamera Turbo, 520 horsepower

Clocking in at 520 horsepower is the Panamera Turbo. This is one of nearly a dozen Panamera variants Porsche has released over the years, but the most recent iteration of the Turbo is one of the more powerful ever produced. Boasting 520 horsepower and a top speed of 189 miles per hour, it’s easy to be lulled into thinking the Turbo may just be another comfortable family luxury wagon by its appearance. The 4.0-liter V8 engine will leave you thinking otherwise, as the Panamera Turbo proves it belongs among Porsche’s best.

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7. Cayenne Turbo S, 550 horsepower

We’ve already taken a look at the Cayenne Turbo, which was a formidable SUV in its own right. But a higher trim-level is even more powerful, and the Cayenne Turbo S really raises the bar by bringing total horsepower up to 550. If you ever thought your SUV needed a twin-turbo engine, Porsche was reading your mind. The Cayenne Turbo S is equipped with a 4.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8, and can rocket down the road to a top speed of 175 miles per hour. This is the absolute apex of the Porsche SUV line.

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6. Carrera GT, 558 horsepower

The Carrera GT has been made infamous as the car that film star Paul Walker was driving when he was killed, but with such incredible specs, it’s easy to see what attracted the The Fast and the Furious star to it. It was produced by Porsche from 2004 until 2007, for a total of 1,270 units. The Carrera GT won numerous awards from auto magazines, and has become a favorite of sports car buffs worldwide – the GT sports a 5.7-liter V10 engine, and can reach 205 miles per hour at its fastest.

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5. 911 Turbo S, 560 horsepower

Porsche themselves calls the 911 Turbo S ‘the benchmark,’ and with good reason. The 911 has been the platform for many of the company’s more popular models, and the Turbo S is one of the more spectacular of them all. This car can generate a menacing 560 horsepower on its way to a top speed of 197 miles per hour, all from a 3.8-liter six-cylinder motor. It’s one of few cars on the road that can make it to 60 miles per hour in under three seconds as well. As Car and Driver says, they might as well change this car’s name to “Hold onto your Effing Hats.”

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4. Panamera Turbo S (570 horsepower)

Another, albeit more fast and powerful iteration of the Panamera is the Turbo S, which manages to topple the 911 Turbo S’s power by 10 ponies. Active all-wheel drive blended with the 570 horsepower kicked out from a 4.8-liter V8 engine make the Panamera Turbo S one of the most downright devilish models Porsche has ever built. As far as Panamera variants go, the Turbo S is the top of the line. You could even make the argument that it’s top of the line as far as four-door vehicles go.

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3. 911 GT2 RS (620 horsepower)

The storied 911 GT2 RS was announced in May of 2010. Built as one of the world’s ultimate performance cars, Porsche engineers built the GT2 RS with the components to make 620 horsepower, and hit a blistering top speed of 205 miles per hour. This powerful 911 iteration uses a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter flat six engine combined with a six-speed manual transmission to deliver a driving experience akin to a space shuttle launch.

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2. 911 GT1, 700 horsepower

It’s hard to believe that a car producing 700 horsepower would only rank second on this list, but somehow it does. The 911 GT1 generates those 700 horses on the effort of a twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter flat-six engine (that’s like 218 horsepower per liter). The 911 GT1 was originally built specifically for racing purposes, but was retooled in order to make a street legal version to release to the public. A very limited run of these cars was produced, all released in the late 1980s.

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1. 918 Spyder, 887 horsepower

Taking the crown for the most powerful Porsche ever built is the 918 Spyder, a plug-in hybrid that outpowers all other Porsche models by far. Using its two engines together, the 918 Spyder can achieve 887 horsepower, and hit a top speed of 214 miles per hour. The concept model was first revealed in 2010, and production models were released in 2013, limited to 918 total units. Two electric motors, combined with a 4.6-liter V8 power the car to incredible performance feats. If hybrid technology is going to be a mainstay in the Porsche lineup for the future, that future looks bright.