Is the Porsche 911 Worthy of the Supercar Distinction?

The Porsche 911 is a car that comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, and prices. While the base 911 might not be a supercar, it has all of the characteristics a supercar would need as the price increases. So, is the 911 a supercar or just a regular old sports car?

What makes a car a sports car or supercar?

A Porsche 911 firework from China
The Porsche 911 is often called a sports car but not everyone agrees | Wu Wei/VCG via Getty Images

J.D. Power offers a bit of insight as to why this question is so hard to answer. Some sports cars can keep up with supercars. Sometimes, supercars are just driving around on the road like a regular car.

J.D. Power suggests that British automakers like Morris, the Triumph Motor Company, and MG started the trend. The trend started around the 1920s. These cars were smaller, lower to the ground, and frequently had convertible tops. By the nature of these differences, the cars were quicker and handled better than the larger counterparts.

Weight distribution improved while the weight of cars, in general, went down. Automakers replaced aluminum parts with steel parts for weight reduction. And the most obvious improvement was the engine. Engines became faster, stronger, and arguably more fun to drive.

After that, sports cars were no longer sporty enough. Supercars came into the picture and blew sports cars out of the water. The base-level Porsche 911 might not be a supercar off the lot. However, if you upgrade to something like a GT3 RS, 911 Turbo, or any other top-level Porsche 911 cars, it is worthy of the distinction.

However, the 911 GT1 is a different story. The GT1 was designed for racing but happened to require a street-legal version, according to Wikipedia. Thus, the 911 GT1 Straßenversion (street version) was born.

What year Porsche 911 is the best?

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The Porsche 911 comes in a variety of years, trims, and models. It isn’t so much the year that is important, but the type of 911 you want to consider. The 911 is offered in the Carrera, Targa, Turbo, Turbo S, and GT3 models. All of these are also offered in convertible styles, and other various S and Turbo trims. But that doesn’t mean all of the 911s on the road are supercars.

The 911 Turbo S Cabriolet gets 640 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque from the twin-turbocharged boxer 6. The 0-60 speed of 2.7 seconds has a top track speed of 205 miles per hour. The starting MSRP is $219,800, which is getting up into supercar prices.

One of the more sought-after fast cars is the 911 GT3. The GT3 gets 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque. The same Naturally aspirated boxer 6 engine has a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds. It also has a top track speed of 197 miles per hour. The MSRP is $161,100.

Back to the GT1. First released in 1996, the GT1 originally didn’t share much with the 911. The only bits shared by both cars were the front and rear headlights. Some parts of the front chassis were also from the 911.

The track version 911 GT1 came equipped with a 3.2 L (200 cu in) water-cooled, flat-6, twin-turbocharged, mid-engine. It participated in 135 races and won 47 of them. The Straßenversion had a 3.2 L (3,164 cc), twin-turbocharged, flat-6. But this Porsche 911 begs the question, are either one of these a supercar?

Is a Porsche 911 a good investment?

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A sound investment is probably not a Porsche car unless you plan on being able to store it for extended periods of time and not drive it much. However, if there is a car that tends to hold its value well, it might be the 911. CarEdge has an interesting depreciation calculator tool.

Additionally, a graph shows the depreciation for the first 10 years of a 911’s life. In the first year, the depreciation value is around $38,872. If you purchase the car a few years older, you can save yourself some immediate depreciation. CarEdge notes that if you purchase a 2020 911, you will pay an average of 79% of the price, with 92% of the car life remaining. Not a bad deal.

If you are thinking about investing in a car of any kind, it is good to do extensive research beforehand. Not all cars are a good investment idea. And while we at it, not all sports cars are supercars, but all 911s are sports cars.