What’s the Best-Looking Porsche 911 Generation?

Porsche has kept true to the 911's original design over the years, but some have been better looking than others.

There can’t be a car whose design has changed less over the years than the Porsche 911. While it’s obviously grown bigger, heavier, and more complex with each of its eight generations, it still wears the same basic shape and profile as it did when it first launched in 1964. However, despite its familiarity, each generation has quirks and unique design elements that make it special. So which is the best-looking generation Porsche 911 of them all?

A knee-jerk response might be the original 911. Its simple, non-nonsense design still looks nearly perfect today. A case could also be made for the 964, potentially the most iconic Porsche exterior (and the 911 Turbo’s whale-tail spoiler is just legendary). Both of those are great choices and hard to argue with. However, my personal favorite is probably going to get me some flak from the Porsche purists: the 997.

The 997-generation Porsche 911 debuted in 2004 and replaced the controversial 996 generation. Maybe it’s because the 997 was the 911 of my teenage years and the one that I saw in dealer showrooms, but there’s something about its size, proportions, and just-modern-enough styling that I love. It still looks fresh today but it doesn’t feel as bloated or as over-styled as newer 911s. It also has a rear axle that’s far back enough to balance its profile, but still feels rear-engine.

I also love the 997’s interior, as I think it’s the sweet spot between modern technology and old-school, analog engagement. It has classic analog gauges, a simple touchscreen infotainment system, and the ability to pair a phone, but none of the outrageously complex systems of current interiors.

Would I love a 964 or the original 911? Of course, they’re gorgeous cars (and worth a helluva lot more than the 997). But if I had to pick my perfect 911 design, it’d be the 997. So what say you, readers? Tell me how wrong I am and what the best-looking 911 really is.

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