Con­sis­tent evo­lu­tion­ary change is the Porsche way, stick­ing to the prin­ci­ples that make its cars great but al­ways em­brac­ing change to make them even be er. These are the cars that have built the brand

Car (South Africa) - - DRIVE - BY: Gareth Dean

356/1 – 1948 The fore­fa­ther of the leg­endary 911 and Porsche’s first se­riespro­duc­tion model, the 356 ex­celled both on road and race­track.

550 Spy­der – 1953 This light­weight, mi­dengined race-ho­molo­ga­tion spe­cial found fame in such iconic races as the Mille Miglia and Targa Flo­rio, as well as in­famy as the car in which James Dean lost his life.

901/911 – 1963 It de­fined Porsche’s tenets of 2+2 seat­ing and a rear-mounted flat-six. Over seven gen­er­a­tions, it’s gone from air- to wa­ter-cooled, RWD to AWD, in­tro­duced tur­bos and spawned a plethora of vari­ants.

914 – 1969 The first col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween two Ger­man giants, the 914 was to pro­vide Porsche with a new en­trylevel sport­scar and Volk­swa­gen with a halo coupé.

911 Car­rera RS 2.7 – 1973 This is the Holy Grail. Ca­pa­ble of more than 240 km/h and sport­ing the most iconic rear spoiler in per­for­mance-car his­tory.

924 – 1976 The move from a rear- to front-mounted en­gine lay­out, plus an Audi-pro­vided powertrain, was met with crit­i­cism, but the 924 saved a then-ail­ing Porsche.

928 – 1977 In­tended as a com­fier, more us­able re­place­ment for the 911, the V8en­gined 928 marked the pin­na­cle of Porsche’s transaxle era.

944 – 1982 Based on the 924 and of­fered in coupé, cabri­o­let, nat­u­rally as­pi­rated and tur­bocharged guises, the 944 was one of Porsche’s most suc­cess­ful mod­els.

959 – 1985 Upon its in­tro­duc­tion, the 959 was a su­per­car sen­sa­tion. Its 317 km/h top speed gave it the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing the fastest road-le­gal car of its day.

968 – 1991 The last of Porsche’s transaxle, front-en­gined cars, the 968 com­bined the live­li­ness of its 944 pre­de­ces­sor with the lux­u­ri­ous GT bear­ing of the 928.

Boxster – 1996 A spir­i­tual suc­ces­sor to the 356 road­ster, the mi­dengined Boxster formed an en­try point into the Porsche sta­ble and would go on to in­tro­duce a new gen­er­a­tion of buy­ers to the brand.

Cayenne – 2002 The con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sion to venture into the SUV sphere was met with howls of de­spair from Porsche purists but this dy­nam­i­cally gifted 4x4 has proven a huge money-spin­ner.

Car­rera GT – 2003 Since the days of the Porsche 356, the firm had de­signs on pro­duc­ing a 10-cylin­der sport­scar to crown its range. The 450 kw Car­rera GT V10 was as for­mi­da­ble as it was beau­ti­ful.

Cay­man – 2005 The Boxster’s hard-top coupé sib­ling, the Cay­man, has edged its way ever closer to the 911 in terms of both per­for­mance, dy­namic han­dling abil­ity and de­sir­abil­ity. Would join Boxster in the adop­tion of a flat-four en­gine.

Panam­era – 2009 Porsche’s ex­ten­sive model-di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion strat­egy spawned the Panam­era. Al­though as po­lar­is­ing as the Cayenne, the four-door has evolved into an ac­com­plished foil to the lux­u­rysedan sta­ples.

Ma­can – 2014 The Cayenne’s suc­cess paved the way for a smaller but sim­i­larly en­ter­tain­ing SUV in the shape of the Ma­can, which has gar­nered great suc­cess in its seg­ment.

918 Spy­der – 2014 A show­case for Porsche’s per­for­mance hy­brid pow­er­trains, the 918’s 661 kw unit helped a Weis­sach model be­come the first pro­duc­tion car to post a sub-seven-minute Nür­bur­gring lap time. A to­tal of 918 units were built, of which 294 went to the United States. One of the 918 units be­longs to Porsche SA’S Toby Ven­ter.

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