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Do you understand the Porsche code

Do you understand the Porsche code?


Every Porsche model has an official name and an in-house prefix. Sometimes the two are identical, sometimes not – let us explain.

Porsche devotees juggle these abbreviations and codes with skill: the 356 and 911, 964 and 993, GTS, GT and S, Carrera, Spyder, Speedster… they are all part of the Porsche culture – and every mystique has its own code. Yet for many enthusiasts, the typology of Porsche can be confusing. How can a car be called a 911 and a 991 at the same time? Is that a Boxster there or a 987? Or is it a 982? And what do the 4, the S or the Executive mean on the current models?



Originally, ‘Carrera’ was the name of Type 547 four-camshaft engine designed by Dr Ernst Fuhrmann. Porsche later used this suffix for the most powerful engine versions, such as the 356 A 1500 GS Carrera or the 911 Carrera RS 2.7. However, Carrera has almost become established as a synonym for the 911 model series. The name comes from the Carrera Panamericana, a Mexican endurance race in which Porsche secured major successes with the 550 Spyder.


As well as the combustion engine, the E-Hybrid models also have an electric motor on board, which provides more power while ensuring the powertrain emits less CO₂.


The Executive models of the Panamera range have a longer body, which primarily benefits the rear-seat passengers.


GTS stands for Gran Turismo Sport and was originally a homologation class for motor racing. The 904 Carrera GTS received this badge for the first time in 1963. In 1991, the 928 GTS revived the tradition. The GTS suffix is currently used to designate the especially sporty and exclusive models of a Porsche model series.


The RS (Renn Sport, or ‘racing sport’) is a road-legal model that has been derived from its motor racing equivalent. The designation is, however, also used for particularly sporty classic models, such as the 911 RS America.


S for ‘Super’ or ‘Sport’: a version with a more powerful engine. Today the S consistently stands for Sport and, in addition to the extra-sporty engine, hints at the equipment enhancements compared with the base model.


Originally coming from the coach-making term for lightweight, open carriages for two people, the name ‘Spyder’ at Porsche is reserved for open-topped mid-engine sports cars, just like ‘roadster’. The Boxster Spyder already has a legendary predecessor in the form of the 550 Spyder from 1953.


Characterised by its distinctive roll-over protection bar and its fixed (rather than folding), removable roof section. The name comes from the legendary Targa Florio Sicilian road race and means ‘plate’ in English.


These models have an engine with an exhaust gas turbocharger, which produces a powerful boost in performance.


Models with all-wheel drive.


Similar to GTS, the Gran Turismo (GT) suffix signifies a sportier version of the base model; the designation has its origins in motorsport when it was used to homologate vehicles for the GT class. Appearing for the first time in 1955 with the 356 A 1500 GS Carrera GT, Porsche returned to the designation in 1989 for the 928 GT.


In the Speedster models, the windscreen was significantly lower when compared with the base model, which gave the car a more streamlined silhouette. In return, the driver had to sacrifice comfort in terms of the equipment provided.


Although it was also available as a Targa version, the T in the 911 T from 1967 stood for ‘Touring’ – and hence for a less expensive entry-level version of the classic vehicle with a less powerful engine.


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