The Porsche 911 - And 3 Cars That Could Take Its Crown

In the past 50 years that Porsche 911 has been on the market, many have attempted to take it on, but only a handful has so far come close to halting its dominance.

The primary factor in the 911’s continued success has potentially been its capability to evolve while still holding onto the traditions it was born with back in 1963. The car’s shape and styling has broadly stayed very the same, only getting bigger as aerodynamics took precedence, while the engine has remained very much at the rear.

While the 911 Turbos, GT2s and GT3s of this world have usually enjoyed the most attention from adorning fans of the Porsche brand, the Carrera GTS has always looked to be the pinnacle of the ‘standard’ 911 range. The latest embodiment of the GTS, like some have already mentioned, looks to bridge the gap between the Carrera S and the GT3 with 424bhp, a ride height 10mm lower than the S and driving dynamics to really get the juices flowing.

So who’s out there to ruffle Porsche’s feathers? Well, it’ll take something pretty special to worry the Stuttgart firm; but, another name from the German city is out to impress, while a British number has already begun to steal some hearts and another is on its way to join the battle next year.

Mercedes finally enters the ring

Taking the reins from the wonderful SLS, the Mercedes-AMG GT is arguably a car that the manufacturer has needed for years; a model that can position Mercedes in a place in the market where they have never really featured.

Split into two variants, the AMG GT S and its 510bhp will happily be going to war with the 911 Turbo, but the entry-level GT is aimed towards the Carrera’s line of fire; both make use of Mercedes’ new 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 and are priced at £97,195 and £110,495 respectively.

Not only do such price tags signify something a scale down from the lairy SLS, but also, an extra dose of practicality and a more useable powertrain show that Mercedes wants to have an everyday sports car in its range.

Gone are the extravagant gullwing doors and brought in are frameless front-hinged openings complete with a compact fastback body design. Even the boot opens to 350 litres of room.

The AMG GT has received Mercedes’ revised dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox and initial reflections have been massively positive, with the transmission’s response times brought down to a minimum and finally gives the German firm a chance to stand up to its sporty rivals on such a factor. The ‘box sits traditionally at the rear to aid balance, and with the engine hanging over the front axle, the GT has a weight distribution of 47:53 front to back. Power-to-weight ratio for the GT, meanwhile, matches that of the Lotus Exige S.

First reviews for the AMG GT have been very favourable and early signs indicate Mercedes could be onto a winner.

Unleashing the big cat

Most people who have laid eyes upon the Jaguar F-type since its release last summer have immediately fallen for its sleek curves. Arguably the best looking Jag since the E-type, the British marque’s much needed sports car already had a rather potent model in the V8 S, but the arrival of the coupe saw the introduction of the R variant.

Armed with 542bhp, the R Coupe is a car with some real muscle, and perhaps most importantly, having a permanent roof has increased the F-type’s structural rigidity by a whopping 80 per cent. Such a change has meant that the F-type is now completely monocoque in nature, a trait shared with the likes of the McLaren 650S and the Alfa Romeo 4C.

Of course, the addition of such strength in the chassis can only mean good things, with the F-type R Coupe a cut above the roadster in terms of driving dynamics, added precision in the corners, enhanced agility and greater body control. New 20-inch wheels and larger steel brakes also help, while ceramics are on the options list.

The F-type R Coupe covers the 0-62mph dash in 4.0sec dead thanks to the supercharged 5.0-litre V8; the eight-cylinder roadster manages 0-100mph in under 9.0sec, so with an extra 53bhp, you can imagine the pace of the coupe to thoroughly out-do its roofless sibling.

Being a luxurious coupe, the R doesn’t need to be driven at ten-tenths to be enjoyed and could easily be regularly used throughout the year, while always having that capacity to raise hell.

McLaren ready to shake it up

Set to be fully revealed in mid 2015, McLaren will enter the fray with its Sports Series range that will eventually consist of a coupe, roadster and a track-focused model.

Not a great deal is known about the car that will square up against the 911, as well as the Audi R8 and Ferrari California. We’ve seen a single teaser image of the car that will sit below the 650S and looks to be a smaller version of the 458 rival that is expected to cost in the region of £125,000 – a fair chunk more than Porsche’s equivalent.

Also anticipated but not confirmed is the use of the 650S’ twin-turbo V8 for the Sports Series range, an engine also utilised in the flagship P1, but to what level of tune is yet to be disclosed.

If the 650S is anything to go by, this new batch of cars should have the metal to compete with its contemporaries at a technical level; although, that hefty price tag could let McLaren down if it wants to compete on a larger scale of production.

A member of the team over at Stoneacre Specialist, Sam’s adoration for the motoring world knows no bounds and loves a good motor show.