Porsche 991 Buyers Guide
“Porsche… There is no substitute.” -Ferdinand Porsche
If you have driven a Porsche, whether it be old, new, racecar or SUV, you know that above statement to be true. Porsche has done something most automotive industries fail to do, create a consistently amazing product throughout decades of advancement. The handling, drivability, design, and feeling given to you by the German-built beauty is something that just can’t be found anywhere else, no matter how hard you look.
Across the board the Porsche legacy has held weight in the hearts of men for its incredible performance on the track, women for it’s elegant yet bold design, and children for its strong presence at car shows or out in the wild.
In the first installment of this series, we talked about the 996/997 Porsche generations, specifically the Turbo and Turbo S models exclusively.
However in this edition, we will be talking about the Porsche of the modern era: The 991, with only the models best suited to hack in mind: Turbo, Turbo S, GT3, GT3RS, and the GT2RS.
The other models in this 991 generation are still beautiful cars and great to drive, just not what we look for when discussing “hacks”.
The 991 is the seventh generation of the Porsche 911 sports car, and we all know one thing is for sure about the number 7…it’s a lucky one. The 991’s came produced on the cusp of Porsche’ 50 year run of the 911 sports car family. All 991’s took on the same look and general design, but were improved greatly in terms of build quality and option choice. To keep up with the high demand that the entry level exotic market create, Porsche ensured the 991’s were built with a higher tune to performance but also built with attention to reduced fuel consumption and emissions.
In regards to alterations from the 997 to the 991, there aren’t that many to be found, intact looking at a picture of both models to find the differences may be like an adult version of Where’s Waldo?
A few changes were made to the height, width of the 991, making the car longer lengthwise than it’s older sisters, as well as shorter in terms of height, bringing the roofline down and shortening the bonnet. The headlights are a tad different too, more flowing to the cars design versus the 997 stuck to a more circular and outspoken design. The interiors still kept the same simplistic but elegant nature of it’s past, but this time around with more options to make the owner feel a more personalized touch overtime they sat behind the wheel. The car itself is larger overall than it’s past siblings, but it’s past generations weren’t battling 458’s, Gallardo’s, and Vantage’s for the title of King MidLevel Exotics.
Porsche 991 Model Year Changes
With the Turbo, Turbo S, and GT3 all being introduced in the same year (2013) a lot of eyes were on Porsche. The Turbo came with the twin-turbocharged 3.8 liter V6 engine that could put out 513hp and 457 lbs of torque.
The Turbo S had the slightly modified engine that allowed for increased output with 552hp and 516 lbs of torque. Both the Turbo and Turbo S came with all wheel drive and a 7 speed dual clutch PDK transmission. Both the Turbo and the Turbo S featured Cabriolet versions the same year to allow their clients more options than before.
The GT3 however had the same 3.8 liter engine as the Turbo/Turbo S but the output is lower thanks to the lack of the twin turbos, with only 469 hp with 325 lbs of torque. The GT3 however does have an exciting feature, perhaps to make up for the car only coming with two pedals (that’s right, only a PDK transmission for this little lady).
The GT3 is rear wheel drive, with active rear-wheel steering, this is a computer controlled reader differential with torque vectoring, a science that came with the 918 but has now found it’s way into this daily driver. Also it’s got a pretty dope stock from factory wing, for all my big wang gang lovers out there.
Then in 2015 the RS version of the GT3 was introduced. Differences between the two include: front fenders equipped with louvers above the wheels, along with intakes in the rear fender, stolen from the 911 Turbo. The RS is the race car version of the GT3, so it’s main goal is to be faster and lighter, and Porsche succeeded.
The roof of the GT3RS is made up of the light-weight magnesium. The interior is made up of carbon fibre inserts, bucket seats from the 918, a botled-on roll cage, a six point safety harness for the driver, AND a fire extinguisher, ya know…just in case. And in the ways of performance, the GT3RS did away with the GT3’s 3.8 liter and now comes with a 4.0 liter unit that has a max power output of 493 hp and 339 lbs of torque.
The Porsche 991 GT3RS keeps the same rear wheel drive with the active rear wheel steering, it is a racer after all.
Most recently in 2016-2017 the Porsche 991 went under the knife like a Orange County housewife and got all sorts of cosmetic work done to her.
The exterior only had minor changes, such as new bumpers, intakes, taillights, new middle pieces, headlights, and splitter. Interior only getting updated in the ways of a steering wheel thanks to the 918.
But mechanically Porsche has changed it’s 911 dynasty forever, creating all it’s models with the 3.8 liter V-6 turbocharged engine. Giving the Turbo model 540 hp and 523 lbs of torque and the Turbo S model 580 hp and 553 lbs of torque. Once more these models come ready with option for hardtop or soft top.
The GT3 models took the world by storm, giving the drivers of the world the option to own one of these beauties in a manual transmission. Also it is fair to note that some small aerodynamic upgrades were made. The GT3 was also gifted the same 4.0 liter from the GT3RS to match the power. Then in Sept 2017 the GT3 touring model was introduced that could be either manual or PDK but lacked the fixed wing of the regular GT3.
The GT3RS relaunched it’s 991.2 version just this year in 2018. The upgrades to the new GT3RS include more downforce thanks to the new diffuser, wider side skirts, new front lip, wing, and supports. The engine got tuned to deliver 20 more horsepower and an addition 7 pounds of torque. Cosmetic changes include new LED indicators at the front, new taillights, vents reshaped, and stickers labeling the GT3RS on it’s sides, just incase you didn’t already know.
But perhaps the biggest beast to come out of the 991.2 generations is intact the Porsche 911 GT2RS. This beautiful monster comes with the Turbo S’s 3.8 liter V-6 twin turbocharged engine, but with larger turbos, taking the car to 700 hp and 553 lbs of torque. The GT2RS took a massive weight loss before it’s unveil, making everything light weight and utilizing lots and lots of carbon fiber both in and out of the car. Along with a prime aerodynamic wing and a low deck lid, this car is lighter than the wind it breaks through.
Porsche 991 Common Problems and Cost of Maintenance
Being the newest kid on the block, you know the Porsche 991 is one that everyone looks at, dealers and sellers alike. In order to ensure that the 991 you are interested in is as clean as it looks, be sure to get a PPI before even thinking of putting a deposit down on the car. Porsche has always done it’s best to ensure it’s maintenance costs are lower than that of it[’s rivals in the exotic space and the 991 models are no exception.
When working in the GT3RS/ GT2RS realm you will want to be a little bit pickier and choosey as to who you let work on the car, especially if you are using them as track toys. But most Turbo/Turbo S models can have oil changes done for as little as $200. What gets costly is using these cars as track toys, then you’ll need new tires, fluid flush new brakes, and a nice clear bra…which could run you upwards of $3,000-$4,000 just for a fun hour or two at the track. We are also happy to report that the 991, like most Porsche’s have little to no issues that plague the generation, but any multiple issues are worth noting and we have done so below for you:
991 Common Problems:
- PMS Failure: Perhaps the most common issue with the 991 generation is the Porsche’s new Porsche Stability Management problem. There are a variety of potential causes ranging from faulty brake switches to software malfunctions, with most of these models still being under warranty be sure to make this issue known to the dealer before purchasing.
- GT3: as with any first year, you are bound to have some problems. The Porsche GT3 release got off to a rocky start when in 2014 the engines to multiple cars caught fire and forced all 785 already delivered units to have a total engine replacement.
Porsche 991 Preferred Options
The 991 generation is when the more fun and creative options came into play for Porsche. After watching Ferrari and Lamborghini dominate the creative space, they wanted to get in on the action too. Porsche began offering more “loud” colors on it’s models such as UltraViolet and Lava Orange on the GT3RS or Acid Green on the GT3, then you had the more notable colors such as Mexico/Miami Blue, Racing Green, and Chalk on the Porsche spectrum now. Manual is always preferred in the hacking value of these cars, if it can be in manual, get it. Porsche Sport Chrono package is also a nice addition along with Carbon Ceramic brakes ALL DAY LONG. The PSE (Porsche sport exhaust) is also a good option, but if you are going to be tuning/modifying your exhaust with aftermarket parts, you don’t necessarily need that.
Interior wise, the more carbon, the better. Seatbelts/dashboard gauges that match your brake calipers are also a hot aesthetic addition. Any Porsche emblem in the headrests is automatically an upgrade to say yes to.
Pricing For A Porsche 991 Models Now:
Keep in mind, we are still hackers at heart, and while I (PJ) like to play with new exotic cars, it isn’t always a safe bet. While the 991.2’s are beautiful machines, none of them have depreciated down to the point of calling them “hacks”. The GT2RS, in fact, is currently appreciating with some models going for almost $100K over sticker. With that being said, the below pricing will just be referred to for the 991 generation in terms of Turbo, Turbo S, GT3, and GT3RS.
With even the first round of the 991 just becoming hackable, you’ll need to pay close attention to miles. A good rule of thumb for hacking exotics like these is the 5k/year rule. So if it is 2018 and you are looking at a 2014 model, you’ll want that car to have no more than 20,000-23,000 miles on it. Porsche also tends to hold value extremely well as we saw with the 996 and 997, so risking the resale value later for a few extra thousand off now is not a wise idea.
Right now if you look at a clean 2014 Turbo, with 15-20K miles on it, you are looking at something in the in $100-$110K range, with coupes commanding a higher dollar than convertibles (Coupes are usually preferred on resale, but there is always a buyer at the right dollar for convertibles too). With your ECH hacking methods, you should be able to get that car down to somewhere in the $80-$90K range which allows for a good year or so for usable driving.
Much like even the 996/997 versions, the Turbo S will always command a higher dollar than the Turbo. Like the Turbo, coupes will always hold a higher dollar than the convertible, but to each their own. Currently finding a 2014-2015 Turbo S on the market can be done at around $120-$140K depending on miles and options, but can be bought with our methods for somewhere in the $100-$115K range.
Even with the 2014 scare for the GT3 engines catching on fire, all models at the time had a total engine replacement and shouldn’t be feared so long as the dealership/seller can prove the work was done. The GT3’s can hold the crazy colors that Porsche began to start introducing like the reds, the blues, etc and those colors usually command a higher dollar than the whites or the blacks. A 2014-2015 GT3 on the market right now can be found at between $120-$135K and bought using our strategies around $110-$115K.
The race car in the family is where the dollar/mile allowance changes. These cars are more susceptible to depreciation due to mileage so the rule I had given to you before needs to almost be cut in half, same ideology for the higher end supercars like the 675 LT, Aventador, etc.
The GT3RS also does better in the more loud and rare colors. But the launch edition colors of Ultraviolet Purple/Lava Orange are found more commonly but can still get attention. However, thanks to the 991.2 version coming out, along with the GT2RS hackers can rejoice as these cars dropped almost $40K overnight and now sit in the $180K-$205K range and can be bought for $160K-$180K
While Porsche never sixes to amaze us, we can’t help but be in awe of the incredible line up that the 991 generation produced. The Turbo/S had always been stablemates in the Porsche line-up but were further perfected in this last generation in a way that you have to see to believe. Porsche also wanted to bring its race cars to the street with the GT3 series and did so in a way that no other brand has done before. Porsche truly sets themselves apart from every other car brand by developing cars specifically for their drivers, listening to their concerns, taking criticism, and never shying away from returning to the drawing board to make things better. No matter which of the five children of the 991 family you’ll be in for a hell of a ride.