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The Ultimate Driving Machine: A Guide To The Porsche 911

porsche 911

So you’ve decided to pull the trigger on finally getting your very own Porsche 911? But how do you choose? Air-Cooled or Water-Cooled? GTS, Carrera, Turbo or GT? Which are widebody and which are narrow body? All-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive?

We understand there can be a lot of confusion when trying to pick out your dream spec Porsche, so hopefully, our ultimate guide can help you decide.

Air-cooled VS Water-cooled​​​​​​

The age-old debate of every Porsche owners club, forum, and meet is which is better, air-cooled Porsches or water-cooled Porsche? The true answer is neither. No matter which form of cooling you go for, you are going to be guaranteed the classic Porsche 911 experience. It truly comes down to preference.

Air-cooled Porsches have the heritage and classic Porsche experience to them and are all descendants of the legendary Mezger-designed flat 6. 911 generations that feature air-cooled engines are the 1964-1989 911s, the turbocharged 930, the 964, and the 993

Water-cooled engines can handle higher performance numbers and excel with large turbos as they can cool down more effectively with upgraded radiators. For those wanting Metzer reliability with water-cooled power potential, look for a 996 generation Turbo, GT2, or GT3. These cars have Metzger engines in them but also have the benefit of being water-cooled. The water-cooled generations are the 996, the 997, 991, and the current generation, 992

Decoding The 911 Naming Scheme​​​​​​

All 911s feature a rear-mounted flat 6 engine. Porsche has derived multiple names over the years to indicate whether a car is turbocharged or naturally aspirated, narrow-bodied or wide-bodied and whether they are rear-wheel drive or AWD. Let’s look at some of the more common naming schemes


The Carrera name first appeared on the Type 547 four-camshaft four-cylinder engine and later became the moniker for Porsche’s most powerful engine models. In recent times, the 911 Carrera is the base model of the 911 series. Carrera models feature the classic rear-mounted naturally aspirated flat 6 and are exclusively rear-wheel drive. For generations, pre-997 (911, 964, 993, and 996), Carreras also featured wider bodies than standard models.

Models Featuring “S”

Models like the Carrera 4s and Turbo S are higher-performance variants of their non-S siblings. They tend to receive more aggressive tunes and stiffer suspensions to give them a sportier feel

Carrera 4s

The 4s is identical to the Carrera but instead features all-wheel drive over rear-wheel drive.

Carrera GTS​​​​​​

The GTS is the highest spec, highest performance, naturally aspirated “road version” of the 911. With larger capacity engines to the standard Carrera and Carrera S, the GTS is the go-to for people who want a high-performance naturally aspirated 911 but want to keep all the luxuries and creature comforts.

930 Generation and Turbo

The 930 took the standard 911, widebodied it, and stuck a turbo onto the engine. Until the release of the 964 generation, the 930 was the most powerful 911 you could purchase. It is still a popular choice among Porsche enthusiasts as it has immense tuning potential with modern turbos.

With the 964 generation, Porsche introduced the Turbo moniker. The Turbo picked up where the 930 left off, featuring wide bodies and turbochargers, but introduced all-wheel drive to help put the power to the ground. The turbo is best suited for those who want all the luxuries that come with a Porsche, along with all the power a Porsche can make


The Gt3 series is essentially a race car with a VIN number. Porsche took the wide body and naturally aspirated engine from the GTS model and extracted more performance by fitting barely road-legal race car parts, along with a more aggressive aero package. The GT3 also sheds a lot of its weight by losing comfort features like rear seats, noise insulation, and heavy electric front seats. In its place, you get a roll cage. The GT3 is truly a race car for the road and is best suited for those looking for the ultimate driving experience

GT3 Touring

The GT3 touring was introduced with the 991 generation. It offered all the subtle styling and luxury of the GTS, but with the punch-you-in-the-gut performance of a GT3. The GT3 touring is positioned as a direct competitor to other high-performance touring cars from the likes of Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz


So the GT3 just wasn’t enough for you? Do you just need more power? Well, the GT2 has you covered. The GT2 takes the same formula as the GT3 and adds two turbochargers to give you that real performance boost you’ve been searching for. The GT2 is the most hardcore of the 911 series and is not for the faint of heart

RS Models

RS, or RennSport (German for racing), are cars that are heavily influenced by the 911 Cup racers and often feature a lot of parts from these models, such as engines and aerodynamics

Naming Change For the 992 Generation

With the release of the 992 in 2019, Porsche changed their naming scheme. Every model from the 992 generation (besides the GT3) is now turbocharged. They still come in rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive depending on the model, but if you have your heart set on a new 911 with a naturally aspirated engine, you’re going to have to go with the GT3.

Maintaining Your Porsche 911 In Pompano Beach

Hopefully, our guide helps you choose the 911 you’ve been dreaming of, and when it’s time to service or modify your Porsche, don’t trust anyone else except for South Florida’s Porsche masters. Foreign Affairs Motorwerks have been in the business of modifying and building Porsches since we first open our doors in 1987. From race cars to outlaw builds, there’s nothing we haven’t seen or done to a Porsche 911. Don’t hesitate and call us today at (954) 746-0488 or request an appointment.

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