Are all-wheel-drive Porsche 911s a more difficult sales proposition than rear-wheel-drive models?

Are all-wheel-drive Porsche 911s a more difficult sales proposition than rear-wheel-drive models?

We’ve had the option of an all-wheel drive 911 for over 30 years, with increasing variants for every generation since the 964. How does the market favour those models over their 2WD brothers? Is there a difference in the market between 2WD and 4WD?

Sales debate

“In short, yes,” says Jonathan Aucott of Avantgarde Classics, who mainly trades in air-cooled 911s. “But the question is, what is the model?” he adds. “With 964 and 993, as a blanket, the 2WD cars are more saleable,” Jonathan says, noting buyers wanting either of those iconic models increasingly want the purity of two driven rear wheels. “With water-cooled, it perhaps isn’t so much of an issue.”

Jamie Tyler of Paragon reflects the same opinion, and trades both air- and water-cooled models. “The purist would always probably go for the two-wheel drive car,” he thinks, across all eras. “But do you know, there are always people that will buy a 4WD car,” he says.

“In this day and age, people are probably more critical on things like colours or spec, rather than 2WD or 4WD.” That likely reflects the myriad range of model variants introduced in the past decade or two. There’s such a range of body styles and options that ideal specifications of a used 997, 991 or 992 may mean a compromise of driveline is inevitable, to secure that ideal colour or interior features a buyer desires.

That wasn’t always the way, though. “On older air-cooled 993s the 2WD car was always the one to have, as the 4WD system was fairly primitive,” says Jamie. Jonathan highlights the importance of model variant within that, though. “In the 993 Carrera S market, it isn’t as important, as buyers are driven by aesthetics,” he says. “Even then there are exceptions, as there are features and options on a C4S that aren’t necessarily on a C2S.” Those buyers wanting a 993 as a daily car, he notes, are happy to have a 4WD model, although that market is shrinking. The consensus then, is that 2WD cars are easier to sell, but that specification, beyond simply driveline, also plays a pivotal role in market appeal.

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