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Unless it’s Jeremy Clarkson you’re listening to, the Porsche 911 holds a particular spot of reverence among car enthusiasts. Whether it’s a sun-soaked Targa, Carrera 4S daily driver, or ballistically capable GT3 RS, the 911 has a variant for nearly any situation. From the classic 964s to the 996 and the latest 992, the Porsche 911 is one of the last words in do-it-all performance car nameplates.

Whether it’s on the road, on the track, or sans pavement, the Porsche 911 can do it

When it boils down to it, the Porsche 911 lives at the intersection of a premium badge, performance orientation, and daily driver usability. Do you want to jump your iconic German performance car off dunes? The lifted 911 Dakar will handle it. Do you want to attack the Nürburgring? The GT3 RS from the most recent generations, like the 992 or 991, will hang with some of the sharpest supercars on the planet. Better yet, most 911s come with a usable main storage bay and two seats behind the driver.  

What’s more, there’s a likely a 911 for any budget. For instance, the first of the water-cooled 911s, the 996-generation Porsche models, routinely sell for around $25,000 with sub-six-figure mileages and a high-revving M96 flat-six-cylinder engine. That said, you might be taking a gamble with the 996’s rare albeit catastrophically expensive engine failures due to a faulty IMS (Intermediate Shaft) bearing. 

A 996-generation Porsche 911 like this one is a capable daily driver.
A 996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 | National Motor Museum, Heritage Images, Getty Images

Moreover, the 911 has fought a perennial battle with America’s original sports car nameplate, the Chevrolet Corvette. However, a PDK-equipped 992 911 Turbo S will outrun a C8 Corvette Z06 with two extra seats and a grippy AWD system. Of course, the Turbo S starts at quite literally twice as much as the Kentucky supercar.

Of course, the Porsche 911 isn’t alone; the Lamborghini Huracán is also a bit of a performance car Swiss Army Knife. For instance, the screaming mid-engine V10 supercar offered a Huracán Peformante trim for apex-clipping racecar-esque performance. Additionally, like the 911 Dakar, the Huracán Strerrato rides on a hiked-up, rally-ready application. However, you’ll be paying significantly more for a Huracán than a comparable 992-generation 911.