In some circumstances, it does – like the 996 – but in others, such as the 997 series, it absolutely does not. And, yes, all GT-series cars come in ‘gen 1’ and ‘gen 2’ spec, which is just a cool way of saying pre or post mid-life facelift. But Porsche being Porsche, gen 2 cars are almost always significantly upgraded over their gen 1 forebears.
For those on a budget: 996 GT3 (gen 1)
It’s perhaps not a surprise that the earliest cars are also the cheapest, but they still go very well thanks to a 3.6-litre engine with 354bhp (gen 1) or 374bhp (gen2) outputs. With proper maintenance these cars wear their miles well, but be very careful: quite a few have been crashed and rebuilt and most have been used hard on track. Many have been modified. Look for signs of neglect, particularly under the car, where suspension can be deranged by being clouted over circuit kerbs.
For those wanting the biggest bang for their buck: 996 GT2
Not the most loved of GT-series 911s and emphatically not for the faint-hearted, the 996 GT2 was probably the most flawed GT car Porsche had produced. And that was one of the reasons it was so exciting. Its turbo engine came with 456bhp (later 476bhp) and all the subtlety of a rhinoceros in mating season. Power arrived with an enormous bang, sending you hurtling up the road, whereupon a corner would arrive that you’d have to tackle using its no-nonsense, old-school 911 handling. Only the brave need apply.
The best all-rounder: 997 GT3 (gen 1)
By the time the 996 GT3 gave way to the 997 GT3, Porsche understood exactly who its customers were and what they wanted to drive. So the first 997 was rip-snortingly quick, thanks to a Mezger engine by then up to 415bhp, and with some classy work on the aero front, actually quicker around the Nürburgring than even the previous-generation GT2. So far so good, but it was also a very usable car, with decent ride quality and even reasonable refinement on a long drive. Better looking than the 996 and with all the improvements of the standard 997, to me this is the clear bargain of the GT-series line-up.
The investment: 997 GT3 RS 4.0
Until the 911R came out last year, this was the first GT-series 911 to be built to a strictly limited number. Just 600 were constructed and, if you weren’t a favoured Porsche customer, you didn’t stand a chance of getting one. Using the crankshaft from the RSR race car to raise its capacity to 4 litres, it had the torque the ‘standard’ GT3 RS lacked, making it an easier yet more rewarding car to drive. Few come to market and all fetch huge money; even so, if you ever fancied tying up some cash in a Porsche, this would appear a gilt-edged way of doing it.