Collectively, Porsche is arguably our favorite automaker here at supercars.net and they are most certainly mine, personally. So please bear with me, while you’re being subjected to the extra skip I had in my step while putting together this list (plus the monologue you’re reading right now). Porsche has come a long way since the company basically had to be “rescued” from the jaws of financial capitulation by the Boxster back in the mid ’90s, and has gone on to thrive as one of the world’s most respected car manufacturers.
The company’s first SUV – the Porsche Cayenne, which debuted in 2002 – really took the Stuttgart-based producer to the next level, first by broadening market appeal and then subsequently, expanding their customer base by significant proportions. For us enthusiasts, we really do have the Cayenne to thank for the proliferation of the brand’s performance cars, as the revenues from its sales were instrumental in funding Porsche’s most innovative and inspiring endeavors thereafter.
Fast forward to 2021, and where do we even begin with the brand? There are the fully-electric Taycan sports sedans/crossovers which can do 0-60 mph in as quick as 2.5 seconds. The GT lineup of cars are impressive as ever, with variants of the 718 and 911 being amongst the most revered performance automobiles on the planet, while GTS and Turbo models offer the very best in grand touring cars. The Cayenne continues to excel, offering a wide (and almost excessive) array of trims to cater to just about every taste that’s out there. The relatively new Macan has been tasked with bringing the company success in the increasingly competitive high-performance crossover segment. Perhaps the only model to be struggling right now is the Panamera, due to the significant overlap it has with the Taycan, despite having the opposite drivetrain philosophy.
Needless to say, there is a Porsche model for everyone out there. Here are the best of those, which can be purchased brand new today.
Porsche 911 GT3 (992)
Base MSRP: $160,100 USD (GT3), $160,100 USD (Touring)
Porsche unveiled its new 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 via digital livestream on YouTube. First deliveries are just starting to trickle in now, making it likely to be designated as a 2022 model. Semantics aside, this new GT3 becomes the seventh iteration of one of Porsche’s most established and beloved automobiles. More importantly, it continues to embody the spirit of previous GT3 models by amalgamating all that is awesome about the 911 – and the Porsche brand – in a single road car.
The automaker has continued the use of the naturally-aspirated 4.0L 9A1 flat-6 power plant in the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3. The only key differences between the engine used in the race car and the one used in the 992 GT3, are the exhaust system and ECU. Otherwise, the two engines share virtually all the same components, such as individual throttle bodies. As such, the new GT3 needed no “sound engineering” and inherently sounds amazing. With its astronomical 9,000 rpm redline, the GT3 produces 502 hp @ 8,400 rpm and 346 lb-ft of torque @ 6,250 rpm.
Overall, the silhouette of the new 911 GT3 remains a largely familiar one – and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, this is probably great news for Porsche and GT3 enthusiasts, who would contend that there was never anything wrong with the previous GT3 in the first place. One of the most visually notable changes is the “swan-neck” rear wing derived from the 911 RSR competition car, which further emphasizes the link between Porsche’s race cars and its road cars. Those who desire something a little less extroverted, but no less capable, may now also opt for the Touring version which had been promised from the very beginning.
Porsche has even gone as far as pricing both cars with the exact same base MSRP, meaning that you only have to worry about making your decision – on what GT3 variant you really want – based on your personal tastes, and not be forced into one because of a difference in price. We see this as nothing but a good thing. Just pick what looks better to you. Which to be fair, might be easier said than done – oh Porsche, you make things so, so interesting.
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 / 718 Boxster Spyder
Base MSRP: $101,200 USD (GT4) / $98,300 USD (Spyder)
The first iteration of the Porsche Cayman GT4 made its debut in 2015, drawing a conclusion to the third generation of Boxster/Cayman (981). Since that time, the GT4 has become a cult hero amongst purists with its absence of frills (not to be misheard as ‘thrills’), relative affordability and undisputable demi-god-status as one of the ultimate driver’s car. It is a Porsche model that every fan now lusts after. For Porsche’s GT department, the blueprint used in creating the GT4 was simple – a naturally aspirated engine, 6-speed manual gearbox, and access to the 911 GT3 parts bin. Combined with the Cayman’s mid-engine layout and a signature emphasis on performance and driving dynamics, the GT4 became an instant hit.
That was then, and this is now – some things have changed, while others haven’t. Shortly after the release of the 981 Cayman GT4, Porsche ushered in the fourth generation of the Cayman/Boxster (982) in 2016 which are marketed as the 718. The most welcome fact about the new 718 GT4/Spyder models is that they marked the reintroduction of the naturally aspirated 6-cylinder into the Cayman/Boxster series, and for the first time into the 982 generation; many were initially concerned about the possibility of a turbocharged engine being used for the range-topping models, which all the other 718 Cayman/Boxster variants had been using up to that point (until the GTS 4.0 was released, which gets mentioned later).
With the main difference between the two cars being that the GT4 is a coupe while the Spyder is a drop-top, both cars are mechanically identical and benefit equally from the typical GT-treatment we have all come to adore. Like the inaugural GT4, the new GT ‘twins’ once again infringe on Porsche 911 territory with their stunning performance metrics to rival Stuttgart’s own flagship car. However, there is some irony in this as a Porsche GT car has never put an emphasis on padding the spec sheet, and the new GT4 and Spyder are no different. The famed Motorsport division continues to use their cars to highlight the pinnacle of vehicle driving dynamics and enjoyment, so it’s safe to say that we are in for one hell (or two hells?) of a ride.
Porsche Taycan (All Models)
Base MSRP: Starting at $79,900 USD (Sedan) / Starting at $90,900 USD (Cross Turismo)
Porsche’s first EV was the statement car of 2020, proving that a future with electrification can still embody the soul of a true sports car in the Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S. Shortly after their release, Porsche added a slightly detuned version of the Taycan in a trim level known as the Taycan 4S. The company has since expanded the Taycan sports sedan lineup with even more versions, including a rear-wheel drive base model, with a future GTS version rumored to be in the works.
With the introduction of the new Cross Turismo range of Porsche Taycan models in 2021, we’ve now entered the second act of the company’s electrification strategy. The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo carries over the EV-platform and performance from its sedan counterpart, then amalgamates them with the utilitarianism of a sporty crossover/estate. What this means is that you can expect the same 800-volt battery architecture powering the car, with 93.4 kWh as the standard fare on all models (certain sedan trims could be had with a smaller 79.2 kWh pack). The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo is currently available in four distinct trim levels – 4, 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S – with relative performance figures and standard features across the range, mostly in parallel with that of the sedans.
Now having two distinct body styles and enough trims to satisfy anyone from soccer moms to performance junkies, there are sufficient permutations to create a Taycan for every type of owner and occasion. With the introduction of the Taycan, and now the Taycan Cross Turismo, we’re amidst being ushered into a new age of Porsche cars and a new era for all automobiles. No longer are electric cars something that have to be a compromise. We’re just getting started, and things are only going to get better from here.
Porsche Cayman / Boxster GTS 4.0
Base MSRP: $88,150 USD (Cayman) / $90,250 USD (Boxster)
In the new 718 Boxster and Cayman GTS, Porsche has replaced the 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder with a 4.0L naturally-aspirated flat-six engine, pulled from the GT4 and Spyder which were released earlier. The 4-pot turbo engine is still available in every trim level up to the Cayman S/Boxster S, but the new GTS gets the 6-cylinder powerplant, as it should. Granted it is a detuned version of those found in the GT4 and Spyder, making a little less power as it pumps out 394 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque. There’s more good news, too; this car can only be had with a 6-speed manual transmission. It also comes standard with Porsche’s symphonic sport exhaust system – a perfect compliment to its high-revving heartbeat.
Additional upgrades include a ride height that’s 0.8″ lower than the standard car, 20″ wheels finished in black, 13.8″ brake rotors up front and 13″ brake rotors in the rear, and 6-piston calipers. In addition to the performance upgrades, the GTS gets some blacked-out trim, more Alcantara on the inside, plenty of carbon fiber, and two different interior packages: Carmine Red or Chalk. For those who desire a true driver’s car – but are less interested in the hardcore-ness of the GT4 and Spyder – the GTS looks to be a really proper choice. Kudos to Porsche for acting on this opportunity to broaden their potential Cayman/Boxster customer base, while pleasing the company’s most hardcore fans, all at the same time.
Amidst all of these changes, the effort that Porsche makes to be in touch with their customer base has remained as concerted as ever. As if they were eavesdropping on every conversation ever had about the 982-gen, they have gone on to once again answer the wishes of the people with the release of the new GTS 4.0. It’s the ideal stablemate for the GT4 and Spyder models, and slots in perfectly within the 718 roster.
Porsche Macan GTS (2022 MY)
Base MSRP: $79,900 USD
As Porsche continues to refresh the Macan lineup, the company also unveiled an updated version of the GTS late in 2021. Orders for it can be placed now, but deliveries aren’t expected to arrive until early next year where it will be designated as a 2022 model. Currently, the new Macan GTS replaces the now-discontinued Macan Turbo as the highest trim offering; and with that promotion, it has also inherited the latter’s 434 hp twin-turbocharged V6. It’s a bit strange for the GTS to be the top dog in any range of models, yet the Macan GTS still seems to carry on its reputation of really hitting that “sweet spot” relative to other cars. This is in part, due to the fact that the whole Macan roster has been upgraded (with each trim getting an engine “hand-me-down” from last year’s step-up models).
With that being said, all of the new models (including the base and S trims) have been subject to a slight price bump, but not by a substantial amount. In the new GTS model’s case, the base MSRP has only increased by $7,800 over last year’s model, and is still $4,700 less than the outgoing Macan Turbo. That alone builds a pretty good argument to consider the new GTS, but you’re also getting other upgrades such as a retuned adaptive suspension, a revised front and rear end, and updated infotainment and convenience features. Changes aside, you can still expect the same world-class driving dynamics that you would get in a high-performance sports car, but in a crossover SUV.
As a selling point, one could think of the new model as “Turbo performance at a discount”, or a “GTS with Turbo Performance”. Outgoing 2021 models are likely to be offered with price reductions too, but based on all the aforementioned talking points, the new Macan GTS looks like a sure winner and we highly recommend taking a close and hard look at one, if you’re in the market – the premium and the wait, appear to be very much worth it. Either way, it’s a good time for anyone who’s looking to purchase a new Porsche Macan.