The Porsche 911 is a sports car made by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany. The famous, distinctive and durable car has undergone continuous development since its introduction in 1964. Mechanically it is notable for being rear engined and, until the introduction of the all-new Type 996 in 1999, air-cooled. All 911s use six-cylinder boxer engines.
Since its inception the 911 has been modified, both by private teams and the factory itself, for racing, rallying, and other types of automotive competition. It is often cited as the most successful competition car ever, especially when its variations are included, mainly the powerful 935.
Present Porsche 911 models are:
- The 911 Carrera,being the most affordable 911 model in the line up which competes with the other 2+2 grand tourer such as the Maserati GranTurismo,Mercedes-Benz CL-Class,and the Jaguar XK.
- The 911 GT3,being the most favourited 911 model among 911 enthusiasts.
- The 911 Turbo,which is more expensive than the GT3 and famous for its handling perfection and engineering.
- The 911 GT2,the flagship of the 911 badge.Famous for its wild handling and power.It competes with other supercars such as the Lamborghini Gallardo and Ferrari 458 Italia. The GT2 currently isn't in production but is rumoured to return to production in 2018.
A note on designations: the series letter (A, B, C, etc.) is used by Porsche to indicate the revision for production cars. It often changes annually to reflect changes for the new model year. The first 911 models are the 'A series', the first 993 cars are the 'R series'.)
A note on the models listed: not all of the Porsche 911 models ever produced are mentioned here. The listed models are notable for their role in the advancements in technology and their influence on the following vehicles from Porsche.
A note on model names: although the articles below use Porsche's internal classifications (911, 964, 993, 996, 997) the car was always sold as 911. "Carrera", "GT3", "Turbo", etc. refer to the specific model trim (they are all 911s).
Air-Cooled Engines (1964 - 1998)
911 Series (1964-1989)
The 911 was developed as a more powerful, larger, more comfortable replacement for the Porsche 356, the company's first model, and essentially a sporting evolution of the Volkswagen Beetle. The new car made its public debut at the 1963 Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung, better known to English speakers as the Frankfurt motor show.
It was designated as the 'Porsche 901' (901 being its internal project number). Peugeot protested on the grounds that they owned the trademark to all car names formed by three numbers with a zero in the middle. So, before production started, the new Porsche had its name changed to 911. It went on sale in 1964.
911 2.0-litre / O, A and B series (1964-1969)
The earliest editions of the 911 had a 130 PS (96 kW) six-cylinder engine, in the 'boxer' configuration like the 356, air-cooled and rear-mounted, displaced 1991 cc compared with the 356's four-cylinder 1600 cc unit. The car had four seats although the rear seats are very small, and the car is usually called a 2+2 rather than a four-seater (the 356 was also a 2+2). It was mated to a five speed manual 'Type 901' transmission. The styling was largely by Ferdinand "Butzi" Porsche, son of Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche. Erwin Komenda, the leader of the Porsche car body construction department, was also involved in the design.
The 356 came to the end of its production life in 1965, but there was still a market for a 4-cylinder car, particularly in the USA. The Porsche 912, introduced the same year, served as a direct replacement. It used the 356's 4-cylinder, 1600 cc 90 PS (66 kW) engine but wore the 911 bodywork.
In 1966 Porsche introduced the more powerful 911S, the engine's power raised to 160 PS (118 kW). Alloy wheels from Fuchs, in a distinctive 5-leaf design, were offered for the first time. In motorsport at the same time, installed in the mid-engined Porsche 904 and Porsche 906, the engine was developed to 210 PS (154 kW).
In 1967 the Targa version was introduced. The Targa had a removable roof panel, a removable plastic rear window (although a fixed glass version was offered alongside from 1968) and a stainless steel-clad roll bar. (Porsche had, at one point, thought that the NHTSA would outlaw fully open convertibles in the US, an important market for the 911, and introduced the Targa as a 'stop gap' model.) The name 'Targa' came from the Targa Florio road race in Sicily, in which Porsche had notable success: victories in 1956, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1973.
The 110 PS (81 kW) 911T was also launched in 1967 and effectively replaced the 912. The staple 130 PS (96 kW) model was renamed the 911L. More excitingly, the 911R was produced in tiny numbers (20 in all). This was a lightweight racing version with thin aluminium doors, a magnesium crankcase, twin-spark cylinder heads, and a power output of 210 PS (154 kW).
In 1968 the B series was introduced: the wheelbase for all 911 and 912 models was increased from 2211 mm to 2268 mm, an effective remedy to the car's nervous handling at the limit. The overall length of the car did not change: rather, the rear wheels were relocated aft. Fuel injection arrived for the 911S and for a new middle model, 911E. A semi-automatic Sportomatic model, composed of a torque converter, an automatic clutch, and the four speed transmission, was added to the product lineup.
911 2.2-litre / C and D series (1970-1971)
For the 1970 model year the engines of all 911s was increased to 2195 cc. Power outputs were uprated to 125 (911T), 155 (911E) and 180 PS (911S). The 912 was discontinued, thanks to the introduction of the Porsche 914 as an entry model.
The 2.2 litre 911E was called "The secret weapon from Zuffenhausen". Despite the lower power output of the 911E (155PS) compared to the 911S (180PS) the 911E was quicker in acceleration up to 100 mph (160 km/h).
911 2.4-litre / E and F series (1972-1973)
The 1972-1973 model years consisted of the same models of 911—the entry level T, the midrange E and the top of the line S. However, all models got a new, larger 2341 cc/142 in³ engine. This is universally known as the "2.4 L" engine, despite its displacement being closer to 2.3 litres — perhaps to emphasize the increase over the 2.2. The new power ratings were 130 hp (97 kW), or 140 hp (104 kW) in the U.S., for the T, 165 hp (123 kW) for the E and 190 hp (142 kW) for the S.
The 911E and 911S used mechanical fuel injection (MFI) in all markets. The U.S. 911T also used MFI, while the RoW (rest-of-the-world) 911T was carbureted, which accounts for the 10 hp (7.5 kW) power difference between the two. In January, 1973, US 911Ts were switched to the new K-Jetronic CIS (Continuous Fuel Injection) system from Bosch. These cars are commonly referred to as 1973.5 models.
With the power and torque increases, the 2.4 L cars also got a newer, stronger transmission, identified by its Porsche type number 915. Derived from the transmission in the Porsche 908 race car, the 915 did away with the 901/911 transmission's 'dog-leg' style first gear arrangement, opting for a traditional H pattern with first gear up to the left, second gear underneath first, etc. Some say this was because the dog-leg shift to second gear was inconvenient for in town driving, other say it was due to Porsche’s desire to put 5th gear outside the main transmission housing where it could easily be changed for different races. The Sportomatic transmission was still available, but only as a special order.
In 1972 tremendous effort was made to improve the handling of the 911. One thing Porsche did was relocate the oil tank from its position behind the right rear wheel to in front of it. This had the effect of moving the weight of almost 9 quarts of oil from outside the wheelbase to inside, improving the handling. To facilitate filling of the oil tank, Porsche installed an oil filler door (much like the fuel filler door on the left front fender) on the right rear quarter panel. Unfortunately, this unique design was scrapped after only one year, some say because inattentive gas station attendants were putting gas in the oil tank! The oil tank was moved back to its original position for the 1973 model year, and there is stayed until it was moved back within the wheelbase for the 964 models.
These cars also gained a discreet spoiler under the front bumper to help high-speed stability. With the car's weight only 2314 lb (1050 kg), these are often regarded as the best classic mainstream 911s. For racing at this time, the 911 ST was made in tiny numbers. The cars were available with engines of either 2466 cc or 2492 cc, producing 270 bhp at 8000 rpm. Weight was down to 960 kg. The cars had success at the Daytona 6 Hours, the Sebring 12 Hours, the Nurburgring 1000 km and the Targa Florio.
911 Carrera RS 2.7 (1972-1974)
This model, much prized by collectors, is one of the all-time classic 911s. It was built so that Porsche could enter racing formulae that demanded that a certain minimum number of production cars were made. Compared with a standard 911S, the Carrera RS had a larger engine (2687 cc) developing 210 PS (154 kW), revised and stiffened suspension, a 'ducktail' rear spoiler, larger brakes, larger wheels & wheel-arches, and was about 150 kg lighter—most of the saving coming from the thin-gauge steel used for parts of the bodyshell. In total 1636 were made, comfortably exceeding the 500 that had to be made to qualify for the vital FIA Group 4 class. A more powerful version, the Carrera RS 3.0, was also made. The 3.0-litre cars used standard-gauge steel, and thanks to that extra 180 kg the extra 20 PS (15 kW) did not give it a performance advantage.
The Carrera RSR 3.0 and Carrera RSR Turbo (its 2.1-litre engine due to a 1.4x equivalency formula) were made in tiny numbers for racing. The turbo car came second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1974, a significant event in that its engine would form the basis of many future Porsche assaults on sportscar racing, and can be regarded as the start of its commitment to turbocharging. The large rear spoiler and the 3.0 turbo engine were to be used again in the production 911 Turbo and the 934 racing car.
911 2.7-litre / G, H, I and J series (1974-1977)
From 1974 a detuned version of the 2687 cc engine from the Carrera RS was used in the mainstream production cars. The cars looked rather different from the previous year's, thanks to bulky new bumpers front and rear, to conform with low-speed impact protection requirements of US law. The interior was refreshed too. The model line-up was now: 911, 911S and 911 Carrera (the latter now a regular production model). The Turbo was introduced in 1975 (see below). In 1976 the Carrera model was upgraded to what was essentially the Turbo's 2992 cc engine, minus the turbocharger, developing 200 PS (147 kW). The 2.7 engines proved to be less reliable than the 'bulletproof' 2.4 units. In effect, the 2.4-litre engine had been enlarged with no additional cooling capacity. The engines saw problems, particularly in hot climates, where the different rates of thermal expansion between the magnesium of the crankcase and the aluminium of the cylinder heads contributed to major failure. In addition, some engines saw problems whereby the cylinder head studs would pull themselves out of the crankcase. The 3.0-litre engine of the Turbo and Carrera had not used magnesium, but rather aluminium, thereby showing equal expansion rates to the cylinders. The move to that engine across the board was welcome for reliability reasons. However, the aluminium case weighed 15 lb more than the magnesium one. In addition with the 1973.5 engines Porsche moved away from MFI to Bosch K-Jetronic CIS. This system varied fuel pressure to the injectors dependant on the mass airflow. While this system was exceedingly reliable, it did not allow the use of as "hot" cams as MFI or carburators allowed. Therefore the 911S's horsepower decreased from 190 to 165 despite the displacement increase from 2.4 to 2.7 L. However, the engine did have increased drivability.
Also produced for the 1976 "model year", for the U.S. market, was the 912E, a 4-cylinder version of the 911 like the old 912 that had last been produced in 1969. It used the I-series chassis and the 2.0 Volkswagen engine from the Porsche 914. In all, 2099 units were produced. In 1976 the Porsche 924 took this car's place for the 1977 "model year" and beyond.
Position vis-à-vis the Porsche 928
Although Porsche was continuing development of the 911, executives were troubled by its declining sales numbers and in 1971 greenlighted work on the Porsche 928. Larger, with a front-mounted V8 engine that was considerably more powerful than the contemporary 911's, the 928 was not only designed to eclipse its performance, it was designed to be a more comfortable car, a sporty grand tourer rather than a focused sports car. The 928 sold reasonably well, and managed to survive from its introduction in 1977 until 1995. Throughout its 17 years, despite its capabilities on the road, it never outsold the 911. Notably, it achieved little success in racing.
In 1975 Porsche introduced the first production turbocharged 911. Although called simply Porsche 911 Turbo in Europe, it was marketed as Porsche 930 (930 being its internal type number) in North America. The body shape is distinctive thanks to wide wheel-arches to accommodate the wide tyres, and a large rear spoiler often known as a 'whale tail' on the early cars, and 'tea-tray' on the later ones. Starting out with a 3.0-litre engine (260 PS or 191 kW), it rose to 3.3 litres (300 PS or 221 kW) for the 1978 model year. The early cars are known for extreme turbo lag.
Production figures of the car soon qualified its racing incarnation for FIA Group 4 competition as the Porsche 934, of 1976. Many participated at Le Mans and other races including some epic battles with the BMW 3.0 CSL 'Batmobile'. The wilder Porsche 935, a more highly tuned car in FIA Group 5 and evolved from the 2.1-litre RSR Turbo of 1974, was campaigned in 1976 by the factory and won Le Mans in 1979. Private teams continued to compete successfully with the car until well into the 1980s.
As demand for the Turbo soared in the late 1980s, Porsche introduced novelty variants including a slant-nose version, while not significantly improving the range mechanically. Although these cars could be sold for extraordinary premiums over the standard models, the company's reluctance to invest in research and development of the entire 911 line at that time turned out to be an almost fatal decision not only for the 911, but for the entire company.
Only in its last production year the 930 was equipped with a five-speed gearbox. Before, the five-speed gearboxes of the naturally-aspirated cars were not strong enough to cope with the torque of the turbo engines. With the four-speed gearbox the 930 was capable of exceeding 200 km/h in third gear!
There have been turbocharged variants of each subsequent generation of 911. Four-wheel-drive was standard from the 993 Generation and on, except for the lightweight GT2.
911 SC (1978-1983)
SC stands for "Super Carrera" (although Porsche never claimed this or marketed it as such). All 911 models standardized on the 2994 cc engine for the 1978 model year (introduced in late 1977). This engine was a unit fresh from the factory delivering 180 PS (132 kW) that was still capable of substantial extra tuning, compared with the 2.7 which was almost at its limit. Yet, the weight of the extra equipment on these cars was blunting performance compared with what would have been expected from earlier, lighter cars with the same power output.
SCs sold in the UK could be specified with the Sport Group Package (UK) which added the rear spoiler, front air dam and black Fuchs wheels.
In 1981 a Cabriolet concept car was shown at the Frankfurt motorshow. Not only was the car a drop top, but it also featured four-wheel drive. In late 1982 (débuting as the 1983 model) the first 911 cabriolet went on sale (the first Porsche cabriolet since the 356). To many, this was a much more attractive car than the Targa, the other open-top 911. But while the Targa was priced to match the regular car, the Cabriolet cost significantly more. Cabriolet versions of the 911 have been offered ever since.
In 1979 Porsche made plans to replace the 911 with the 928, but the 911 still sold so much better than the 928, that Porsche revised its strategy and inject new life into the Type 911 European editions. Those cars (1981-1983 911 SCs) were massaged to yield 204 bhp @ 5900 rpm from their 2994 cc powerplants. North Americans would have to wait for the replacement 3.2 L 911 Carrera in 1984 before seeing any extra horsepower.
911 3.2 Carrera (1984-1989)
In 1984 a new 3.2-litre car replaced the 3.0-litre SC model. It was badged '911 Carrera' but known as '3.2 Carrera', the first time the sporty label had been applied to the basic 911. Power was increased, brakes were better, the fuel injection was upgraded to enhance everyday reliability, and the car was more refined. The non-Turbo models became available as 'Turbo-look' or 'Super Sport', a style that aped the Turbo with wide wheel-arches to accommodate the wider wheels and the addition of the slightly different Turbo 'whale-tail'. The most significant differences however were under the skin of the supersport, which featured the thicker anti roll bars and thicker torsion bars from the turbo suspension. Most crucially perhaps the Supersport featured Turbo brakes, which are four piston aluminium Brembo callipers with larger diameter vented, cross-drilled discs. These were originally developed for the Le Mans winning Porsche 917. In 1987, the Carrera got a new five-speed gearbox sourced from Getrag, model number G50. This included a hydraulic clutch.
The 911 Speedster, a low-roof version of the Cabriolet, evocative of the Porsche 356 Speedster of the 1950s, was produced in limited numbers. The Carrera Club Sport from 1987 (340 produced) is highly collectible. It was stripped of electric windows, electric seats, and radio to save a claimed 50 kg in weight. Its engine was allowed to rev higher, and the engine developed a little more power. All the Clubsports' engines were blueprinted (ie. assembled by hand in the factory), and every one of the 340 produced was painted in white with a red 'Carrera' decal along the sills and red-centred Fuchs alloys - with the exception of one example, which was painted with in black with the same red detailing.
964 Series (1989-1993)
In late 1989 (and for the 1990 model year) the 911 underwent a major evolution with the introduction of the Type 964.
This would be a very important car for Porsche, since the world economy was undergoing recession and the company could not rely on its image alone. It was launched as the Carrera 4, the '4' indicating four wheel drive, a decision that surprised many but demonstrated the company's commitment to engineering by reminding buyers that race and rally engineering (of the 959) does affect road cars. Drag coefficient was down to 0.32. A rear spoiler deployed at high speed, preserving the purity of line when the vehicle was at rest. The chassis was redesigned overall. Coil springs, ABS brakes and power steering made their debut. The engine was increased in size to 3600 cc and developed 250 PS (184 kW). The car was more refined, but thought by some journalists to have lost some purity of the 911's concept. The rear-wheel-drive version, the Carrera 2, arrived a year later.
The 964 incarnation of the 911 Turbo returned in 1990 after an absence from the price lists, using a refined 3.3-litre engine of the previous Turbo, but two years later a turbo engine based on the 3.6 litre engine of the other models was introduced.
Porsche introduced the ahead-of-its-time 'Tiptronic' automatic transmission in the 964 Carrera 2, featuring adaptive electronic management and full manual control. The 964 was one of the first cars in the world offered with dual airbags standard (from 1991).
In 1992 Porsche introduced, for Europe only, a limited-edition Carrera RS model, inspired by the 1973 Carrera RS. Appeals from American customers resulted in Porsche developing the 1993/94 RS America model of which only 701 were built. The RS America had the M030 sports suspension of the 964 Turbo, larger Cup 1 design 17" x 7" front and 8" rear alloy wheels, and a larger fixed whale tail in place of the C2/C4 moveable rear spoiler. The RS America shared its 247 bhp 3.6 litre engine with the C2/C4.
Since the RS America was intended as a no-frills, higher performance version of the 964, there were only 4 factory options available: a limited-slip differential, CR-1 AM/FM cassette stereo, air conditioning, and a sunroof. The interior was more basic than a standard 911 as well; for example the interior door panels lacked the armrests and door pockets and had a simple pull strap for the opening mechanism. Although cheaper than a fully-equipped C2/C4 at the time of their production, these models now command a premium price on the used market over a standard 964.
964 Turbo (1990-1993)
In 1990 Porsche introduced a Turbo version of the 964 series. This car is sometimes mistakenly called 965 (this type number actually referred to a stillborn project that would have been a hi-tech turbocharged car in the vein of the 959). For the 1991 and 1992 model years, Porsche produced the 964 Turbo with the 930's proven 3.3L engine, improved to produce 320hp. 1993 brought the Carrera 2/4's 3.6L engine, now in turbo-charged form and sending a staggering 360hp to the rear wheels. With the 993 on the way, this car was produced through 1994 and remains rather rare.
993 Series (1993-1998)
The 911 was again revised in 1993 and was now known as the Type 993. This car was significant as it was not only the final incarnation of the Mk 1 911, introduced in 1964, but it also represented the most changed Mk 1 911 ever.
The exterior featured an all new front and rear end, with only the windscreen, side windows and doors maintained from the previous 964. The revised bodywork was smoother, having a noticeably more aerodynamic front end somewhat reminiscent of the Porsche 959. Styling was by Englishman Tony Hatter under the supervision of design chief Harm Lagaay.
Along with the revised bodywork, mechanically the 993 also featured all-new multilink rear suspension that improved the car's ride and handling.
The new suspension, along with chassis refinements, enabled the car to keep up dynamically with the competition. Engine capacity remained at 3.6 litres, but power rose to 272 PS (200 kW) thanks to better engine management and exhaust design, and beginning with model year 1996 to 285 PS (210 kW). A new four-wheel-drive made a return as an option in the form of the Carrera 4, the rear wheel drive versions simply being called Carrera. A lightweight RS version saw capacity rise to 3.8 litres, with power reaching 300 PS (221 kW). The RS version had rear-wheel drive only.
The Targa open-topped model also made a return, this time with a large glass roof that slid under the rear window.
The Targa and wide-body versions remained in production in model year 1998, when the entirely new Porsche 996 was launched, the 993´s successor.
993 Turbo (1995-1998)
A Turbo version of the 993 was launched in 1995 and became the first standard production Porsche with twin turbochargers and the first 911 Turbo to equipped with all-wheel-drive (in order to delete the 4WD, one had to refer to the more powerful and race homlogated GT2). The similarity in specification and in performance levels inspired several comparison road tests with the Porsche 959 (f.e. Car and Driver, July 1997, p. 63).
Water-Cooled Engines (1998-Present)
- Main article: Porsche 996
996 Series (1998-2004)
After 34 years in production the famous air-cooled 911 was replaced by an all-new water-cooled model. Known as the Type 996 this car was a major leap for Porsche, although many of the traits that made the 911 what it was during the past 34 years still remained with the new model. As with the 993 before it the 996 was also a significant model, but mainly for the way it was conceived and designed, and the effect it had on Porsche during the 1990s.
Pundits criticised the 996's styling a great deal, largely because it shared its headlamps—indeed much of its front end, mechanically—with the less expensive Boxster. The 996 had been on the drawing board first and was a more advanced car in some respects, but the cost-cutting seemed inappropriate for an expensive car. Otherwise, the Pinky Lai-penned shape followed the original Butzi Porsche design very closely. The interior was further criticised for its plainness and its lack of relationship to prior 911 interiors, although this came largely from owners of older 911s.
The Type 996 spawned over a dozen variations, including all wheel drive Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S models, the club racing-oriented GT3, and the forced-induction 996 Turbo and GT2. The Turbo, four-wheel-drive and twin-turbo, often made appearances in magazines' lists of the best cars on sale.
The Carrera and Carrera 4 underwent revisions for model year 2002, receiving the front headlight/indicator lights which were first seen on the Turbo version two years earlier. This allowed the 911 to be more distinguishable from the Boxster. A mildy revised front fascia was also intorduced, though the basic architecture remained.
Engine wise, displacement remained at 3.6 liters, but power was increased to 320 PS (235 kW).
996 GT3 (1999-2004)
Porsche unveiled a road-going GT3 version of the 996 series which was derived from the racing GT3. Simply called GT3, the car featured lightweight materials inside and out, including thinner windows, the GT3 was a lighter and more focused 911 with the emphasis on handling and performance. The suspension was lower and more aggressive than other 996s, leading to excellent handling and razor-sharp steering though the ride was very very firm. Of more significance was the engine used in the GT3. Instead of using a version of the water-cooled units found in other 996s, the naturally-aspirated engine was derived from the Porsche 911 GT1-98 sports-prototype racing car and featured lightweight materials which enabled the engine to rev highly.
996 Turbo (2000-2004)
In 2000 Porsche launched the Turbo version of the Type 996. Like the GT3, the new Turbo engine derived from the 911 GT1 engine and, like its predecessor, featured twin-turbos and now developed 420 bhp. Also like its predecessor the new Turbo was only available with 4 wheel drive.
Styling wise, the car was more individual than previous Turbos. Along with the traditional wider rear wings, the 996 Turbo had different front lights and bumpers when compared to the Carrera/Carrera 4. The rear bumper had air vents that were reminiscent of those on the Porsche 959 and there are large vents on the front bumper, which have been copied in the Carrera 4S and Cayenne Turbo models.
997 Series (2004-2012)
In 2004 the 911 was heavily revised and the 996's replacement, the 997, was unveiled in July. The 997 keeps the basic profile of the 996, bringing the drag coefficient down to 0.28, but draws on the 993 for detailing. In addition, the new front fascia is reminiscant of the older generation "bug eye" headlights. Its interior is also similarly revised, with strong links to the earlier 911 interiors while at the same time looking fresh and modern. The 997 shares about 30% of its parts with the outgoing 996, but is still technically very similar to it. The 0-60 acceleration for the Carrera S was noted to be as fast as 3.9 seconds in a recent Motor Trend comparison, but other sources contradict that. Motor Trend also recorded a 0-60 Accelleration for the 997 Carrera 4 (non-S) as being 4.6 seconds.  Type 997 versions of the GT2, Turbo S, and Targa have yet to have a released introduction date, but they will most likely start production during 2006 and 2007 (as of June, 2006). However, the GT2 is rumored to be released in late 2006, have 520-550 hp, and cost around 200,000 USD.
997 Turbo (2006-2012)
In 2006 Porsche unveiled the Turbo version of the 997 series. Still simply called the Turbo the new car was a heavily revised over the 996 Turbo, incorporating many of the upgrades from the Carrera versions of the 997 when it was launched in 2004.
The Turbo still featured the same 3.6 litre twin-turbocharged engine as the 996 Turbo, but this time it developed 480 hp and 460 lb ft of torque. This was in part due to the 997's new variable-geometry turbocharger (a first on a petrol-engined road car) which essentially combines the low-rev boost and quick responses of a small turbocharger with the high-rev power of a larger turbocharger. As well as producing more power and flexibility, the new turbocharger improved fuel consumption over the 996 Turbo. With these performance upgrades, it will be able to accelerate 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds (3.5 seconds with engine overboost), have a top speed of 193 mph, and have the title of the highest performance 911 ever (at least until the 997 GT2 is released).
The optional Sports Chrono overboost package increases torque to 505 lb ft for short periods (max 10 seconds) but over a narrower rev range.
The Turbo's standard 4 wheel drive system was new though, featuring many of the features found on the Porsche Cayenne. Featuring PTM (Porsche Traction Management) the new system incorporates a clutch-based system which varies the amount of torque to the front wheels, regardless of wheel slip front and rear. This, according to Porsche, aids traction and the handling by redirecting the torque to control oversteer or understeer.
Styling wise, as with the 996 Turbo the car featured more unique styling cues over the Carreras, one of the more distinctive elements the front LED driving/parking/indicator lights mounted on a horizontal bar across the air intakes. The traditional rear wing is a variation of the 996 bi-plane unit.
997 GT3 (2006-2012)
Porsche released information for one of two of their two-seating, lightweight 911 models, the 911 GT3 on February 24, 2006 (the other would be the GT2); it is reported to accelerate 0-60 in 4.1 seconds and have a top speed of 193 miles per hour . It will be released in the summer of 2006, and its cost will start at $106,000. The 911 GT3 RS will release in October 2006 in Europe and the spring of 2007 in North America. It is stripped of most luxuries to reduce weight, therefore increasing performance. However, it will sport the same 415 hp flat-six.
|Model||MSRP (Cost)||Horsepower||0-60 Acceleration||Top Speed||Official Model Site|
|911 Carrera||$71,300||325 hp||4.8 s||177 mph|||
|911 Carrera S||$81,400||355 hp||4.6 s||182 mph|||
|911 Carrera Cabriolet||$81,400||325 hp||5.0 s||177 mph|||
|911 Carrera S Cabriolet||$91,400||355 hp||4.7 s||182 mph|||
|911 Carrera 4||$77,100||325 hp||4.9 s||174 mph|||
|911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet||$87,100||325 hp||5.1 s||174 mph|||
|911 Carrera 4S||$87,100||355 hp||4.6 s||179 mph|||
|911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet||$97,100||355 hp||4.7 s||179 mph|||
|911 Turbo||$122,900||480 hp||3.7 s||193 mph||turbo/|
|911 GT3||$106,000||415 hp||4.1 s||193 mph|| (minisite)|
The GT2 variant of the 997 has been spotted in testing around the Nürburgring. The car shares much of its bodywork with the Turbo but has a different rear spoiler and extra venting for the radiator. The GT2 has 530 hp, 50hp more than the Turbo. It accelerates 0-60 in 3.6 seconds, and has a top speed of 204 mph.
997 Mid-Cycle Facelift (2009–2012)
- For 2009, the 911 gets a change. Let us begin by clearing a very important issue about this vehicle right now: make no mistake, this is NOT the highly anticipated Audi R8-slaying 998 replacement, it is quite simply a mid-cycle freshening of the 997. Now that we have cleared that up, let us proceed. Very subtle changes abound on the front and rear fascia including new LED taillights, a more integrated and cohesive face as well as new multi-element bi-xenon headlamps which apes Audi by also featuring LED daytime running fairy lamps. However, the changes are not only skin deep. Under the hood, the 911 sports new 3.6 and 3.8 litre engines which for the first time in 911 history, and seemingly following the recent footsteps of rival Ferrari, are fed fuel via direct injection. This makes the new 911s more powerful and more fuel efficient (try 24 mpg (US) combined-cycle figure). The smaller mill now produces 20 more horsepower (345 hp) from its predecessor while the bigger Carrera S mill gets 30 more hp. That's 385 German engineered horses. Connected to all this (and helping improve this automotive institution's figures) is Porsche's new 7-speed Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch transmission in place of the old Tiptronic S. European sales are expected to begin in July of 2008 while the Americans, though getting the new car until much later, will not be deprived of the latest evolution of the iconic automotive wonder before the year is out.
997 911SC (2010)
- For 2010, Porsche has unveiled the 250 unit limited edition 911SC (Sport Classic) which takes the standard engine and adds 23 more horsepower for a total of 403 hp. The new variant is also significant for being the first 911 to sport the iconic "ducktail spoiler" from the legendary Carrera RS 2.7. Other special touches include Fuchs-style 19-inch wheels designed that evoke the last 911SC of the late Seventies and early Eighties and an interior finished in Espresso Nature natural leather and the use of new materials to the marque, including woven leather/yarn seat panels. Pricing starts at €169,300 ($240,702 USD) before VAT.
997 Speedster (2011)
- The 2010 Paris Motor Show hosted the world premiere of the Speedster's resurrection, last seen on the 964 generation 911. Officially, the Speedster will be the 20th 911 variant in the current range. As is the case with the Porsche's Speedster models, the new car will feature a chopped down appearance: the windscreen is 60mm lower and more rakish and the rear stance is 44 millimeter wider to enhance the "squat" look. Power comes from the 3.8 litre Flat-6 but tweaked to develop 408 hp. Further changes include a bespoke front spoiler, specific side-skirts, a distinct rear apron, tinted front lights, black headlight surrounds, black windscreen border, Fuchs-style rims and color-coordinated black stone guards ahead of the rear wheels. Porsche developed an exclusive "Pure Blue" finish for the Speedster but, upon request, the car is also available in Carrera White, at no extra cost. Interior modifications are limited to the specific color and trim options such as the black leather upholstery with color-keyed elements. Production is limited to just 356 units. In Germany, the 911 Speedster is priced at €201,682 (about US$263,700), while in the UK, pricing is set at £144,100 (USD$224,700 or €171,900). 
991 Series (2012–)
Main article: Porsche 991
Porsche revealed basic information on the 991 Carrera and Carrera S on 23 August 2011. The Carrera is powered by a 350 hp (257 kW) 3.4-litre engine. The Carrera S features a 3.8-litre engine producing 400 hp (294 kW). A Power Kit (option X51) is available for the Carrera S, increasing power to 430 hp. The new 991's overall length grows by 2.2 inches and wheelbase grows by 3.9 inches (now 96.5 in.) Overhangs are trimmed and the rear axle moves rearward roughly 3 in. toward the engine (made possible by new 3-shaft transmissions whose output flanges are moved closer to the engine). There is a wider front track (2.0 inches wider for the Carrera S). The design team was headed by Michael Mauer.
At the front, the new 991 has wide-set headlights that are more three-dimensional. Front fender peaks are a bit more prominent, and wedgy directionals now appear to float above the intakes for the twin coolant radiators. The stretched rear 3/4 view has changed the most, with a slightly more voluminous form and thin taillight slivers capped with the protruding lip of the bodywork. The biggest and main change in the interior is the center console, inspired by the Carrera GT and adopted by the Panamera.
The 991 is the first 911 to use predominantly aluminum construction. This means that even though the car is larger than the outgoing model, it is still up to 50 kilograms (110 lb) lighter. The reduced weight and increased power means that both the Carrera and Carrera S are appreciably faster than the outgoing models. The 0–60 mph (97 km/h) time for the manual transmission cars are 4.6 seconds for the Carrera and 4.3 seconds for the Carrera S. When equipped with PDK the 991 models can accelerate from 0–60 mph in 4.4 seconds and 4.1 seconds for the Carrera and Carrera S respectively. With the optional sports chrono package, available in cars with the PDK transmission, the 991 Carrera can accelerate from 0–60 mph in as little as 4.2 seconds and the Carrera S can do the same in 3.9 seconds.
Apart from the reworked PDK transmission, the new 991 is also equipped with an industry-first 7-speed manual transmission with rev-matching. A new feature with the manual transmission is that it blips the throttle during downshifts (if in Sport Plus mode). Also, the 7th gear cannot be engaged unless the car is already in 5th or 6th gear.
One of Porsche's primary objectives with the new model was to improve fuel economy as well as increase performance. In order to meet these objectives, Porsche introduced a number of new technologies in the 911. One of the most controversial of these is the introduction of electromechanical power steering instead of the previous hydraulic steering. This steering helps reduce fuel consumption, but some enthusiasts feel that the precise steering feedback for which the 911 is famous is reduced with the new system. The cars also feature an engine stop/start system which turns the engine off at red lights, as well as a coasting system which allows the engine to idle while maintaining speed on downhill gradients on highways. This allows for up to 16% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions over the outgoing models.
The new cars also have a number of technologies aimed at improving handling. The cars include a torque vectoring system (standard on the Carrera S and optional on the Carrera) which brakes the inner wheel of the car when going into turns. This helps the car to turn in quicker and with more precision. The cars also feature hydraulic engine mounts (which help reduce the inertia of the engine when going into turns) as part of the optional sports chrono package. Active suspension management is standard on the Carrera S and optional on the Carrera. This helps improve ride quality on straights, while stiffening the suspension during aggressive driving. The new 991 is also equipped with a new feature called Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC). Porsche claims that this new feature alone has shaved 4 seconds off the standard car's lap time around the Nürburgring. PDCC helps the car corner flat and is said to improve high-speed directional stability and outright lateral body control, but according to several reviews, the car is more prone to understeer when equipped with this new technology.
In January 2013, Porsche introduced the all-wheel-drive variants of the Carrera models. The '4' and '4S' models are distinguishable by wider tires, marginally wider rear body-work and a red-reflector strip that sits in between the tail-lights. In terms of technology, the new 4 and 4S models are equipped with an all-new all-wheel-drive system that sends power to the front wheels only when needed, giving the driver a sense of being in a rear-wheel-drive 911.
In May 2013, Porsche announced changes to the model year 2014 911 Turbo and Turbo S models, increasing their power to 520 hp on the 'Turbo', and 560 hp on the 'Turbo S', giving them a 0-60 mph time of 3.2 and 2.9 seconds, respectively. A rear-wheel steering system has also been incorporated on the Turbo models that will steer the rear wheels in the opposite direction at low speeds or the same direction at high speeds to improve handling. During low-speed maneuvers, this has the virtual effect of shortening the wheelbase, while at high speeds, it is virtually extending the wheelbase for higher driving stability and agility.
In January 2014, Porsche introduced the new model year 2015 Targa 4 and Targa 4S models. These new models come equipped with an all-new roof technology with the original Targa design, now with an all-electric cabriolet roof along with the B-pillar and the glass 'dome' at the rear.
In September 2015, Porsche revealed the second generation of 991 Carrera models at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Both Carrera and Carrera S models break with previous tradition by featuring a 3.0 turbo-charged 6-cylinder boxer engine, marking the first time that a forced induction engine has been fitted to the base models within the 911 range.
Porsche introduced the 991 GT3 at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013. The 991 GT3 features a new 3.8 litre direct fuel injection (DFI) flat-six engine developing 475 PS (349 kW; 469 hp) at 8,250 rpm, a Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) double-clutch gearbox and rear-wheel steering. The engine is based on the unit fitted in the 991 Carrera S, but shares only a few common parts. All other components, particularly the crankshaft and valve train, were specially adapted or developed for the 991 GT3. The dual-clutch gearbox is another feature specially developed for the 991 GT3, based on sequential manual transmissions used in racing cars. The 911 GT3 is claimed to be able to accelerate from 0–97 km/h (60 mph) in 3.2 seconds or less, and the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds at 203 km/h (126 mph). The GT3 has a claimed top speed of 315 km/h (196 mph).
Porsche unveiled the facelifted 991.2 GT3 at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Extensive changes were made to the engine allowing a 9,000 rpm redline from the 4.0 litre flat-six engine. Porsche's focus was on reducing internal friction to improve throttle response. Compared to the 991.1, the rear spoiler is higher and located further back to be more effective. There is a new front spoiler and changes to the rear suspension. The 991.2 GT3 brought back the choice between a manual transmission or PDK dual-clutch transmission. A touring version was also introduced which comes standard with the comfort package and the manual transmission along with the deletion of the fixed rear wing and employing an electronically operated rear wing instead.
911 GT3 RS
Porsche launched the Renn Sport version of the 911 GT3 at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015. Compared to the 911 GT3, the front fenders are now equipped with louvers above the wheels and the rear fenders now include Turbo-like intakes, rather than an intake below the rear wing. The roof is made from magnesium. The interior includes full bucket seats (based on the carbon seats of the 918 Spyder), carbon-fibre inserts, lightweight door handles and the Club Sport Package as standard (a bolted-on roll cage behind the front seats, preparation for a battery master switch, and a six-point safety harness for the driver and fire extinguisher with mounting bracket). The 3.8-litre unit found in the previous 997 GT3 is replaced with a 4.0-litre unit that has a power output of 500 PS (368 kW; 493 hp) and 460 N⋅m (339 lb⋅ft) of torque. The transmission is PDK only. The car accelerates from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds (0.6 seconds quicker than the 997 GT3 RS 4.0) and 0–200 km/h (124 mph) in 10.9 seconds. The 991 GT3 RS also comes with functions such as declutching by "paddle neutral" — comparable to pressing the clutch with a conventional manual gearbox – and a Pit Speed limiter button. As with the 911 GT3, a rear-axle steering and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus with fully variable rear axle differential lock are available as standard.
In February 2018, Porsche introduced a facelifted GT3 RS model to continue their updates for the 991 generation of the 911. Changes include a new engine similar to the GT3 and RSR models with a 9,000 rpm redline and a 20 PS (15 kW; 20 hp) and 10 N⋅m (7.4 lb⋅ft) increase over the outgoing model, NACA ducts for brake cooling, modified front fascia (similar to the 991.2 GT3), side skits and rear wing (similar to the GT2 RS) for increased downforce, ball joints on all suspension links, front helper springs, lightweight glass for the rear and rear-side windows and a newly developed tyre compound. A Weissach package was available that included additional carbon fibre body and interior parts as well as magnesium wheels and stiffer suspension settings is available as an option.
911 GT2 RS
The high-performance GT2 version made a return to the 991 lineage but now as an RS variant only with no standard variant being produced, unlike the previous generations. It was initially unveiled at the 2017 E3 along with the announcement of the Forza Motorsport 7 video game. The car was officially launched by Porsche at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed along with the introduction of the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. The 991 GT2 RS is powered by a 3.8 L twin-turbocharged flat-6 engine that produces a maximum power of 700 PS (515 kW; 690 hp) at 7,000 rpm and 750 N⋅m (550 lb⋅ft) of torque, making it the most powerful 911 ever built. Unlike the previous GT2 versions, this car is fitted with a 7-speed PDK transmission to handle the excessive torque produced from the engine. Porsche claims that this car will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 2.7 seconds, and has a top speed of 340 km/h (210 mph).
The car has a roof made of magnesium, front lid, front and rear spoilers and boot lid made of carbon, front and rear apron made of lightweight polyurethane, rear and side windows made of polycarbonate and features a titanium exhaust system. Porsche claims that the car will have a wet weight of 1,470 kg (3,241 lb).
A Weissach package option is available, which reduces the weight by 30 kg (66 lb), through the use of additional carbon-fiber and titanium parts. These include the roof, the anti-roll bars and the coupling rods on both axles made out of carbon-fiber while the package also includes a set of light-weight magnesium wheels.
At the 2018 Paris Motor Show held in October on the occasion of the 70th-anniversary celebration of the marque, Porsche unveiled the Speedster variant of the 991 generation for the 911, as a concept. Utilising the chassis of the GT3 and the body shell of the Carrera 4 Cabriolet, the Speedster includes the GT3's 4.0-litre naturally aspirated Flat-6 engine generating a maximum power output of 500 PS (368 kW; 493 hp) and having a red-line of 9,000 rpm coupled with a 6-speed manual transmission and titanium exhaust system which are claimed to be 4 kg (9 lb) lighter than the 7-speed manual transmission found on the standard 991 models. The car also features the signature "hump" shaped double-bubble roof cover along with a shorter windshield frame, side window glass and the analogue roof folding mechanism retaining the "Talbot" wing mirrors and the central fuel cap from the 911 Speedster concept unveiled earlier at the Goodwood Festival of Speed harking back to its use on the 356 Speedster. Other highlights include a leather interior with perforated seats, red tinted daytime running lights, carbon fibre fenders, engine cover and hood and stone guards. Production began in the first half of 2019 and be limited to 1,948 units in honour of the year in which the 356 "Number 1" gained its operating license. The final production version of the Speedster was unveiled at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April and dropped the "Talbot" wing mirrors in favour of standard 991 wing mirrors. The speedster was available for sale in May 2019.
In 2016, Porsche unveiled a limited production 911 R. It has an overall weight of 1,370 kilograms, a high-revving 4.0 L six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine from the 991 GT3 RS, and a six-speed manual transmission, while an air conditioning system and an audio system are removable options to save weight.
Porsche 911 in rallying
The Porsche 911 showed great promise in rallying from the start. The rear engine means that the car has inherently good traction. Here are a few of its more significant rallying achievements.
- 5th, Monte Carlo Rally (911, Herbert Linge)
- 3rd, Monte Carlo Rally (912, Vic Elford)
- 1st, Swedish Rally (911T Björn Waldegård)
- 1st, Monte Carlo Rally (911T, Björn Waldegård)
- 1st, Monte Carlo Rally (911T, Björn Waldegård)
- 3rd, 1000 Lakes Rally (911 Carrera RS 3.0, Björn Waldegård)
- 2nd, Safari Rally (911 Carrera RS 3.0, Björn Waldegård)
- 1st, Monte Carlo Rally (911 Carrera RS 3.0, Jean-Pierre Nicolas)
- 1st, Tour de Corse (911SC/RS, Jean-Luc Therier)
- 1st, Paris-Dakar Rally (953, Rene Metge/Dominic Lemoyne)
- 1st, Paris-Dakar Rally (959, Rene Metge/Dominic Lemoyne)
- 2nd, Paris-Dakar Rally (959, Jacky Ickx/Claude Brasseur)
- 1st, Rallye des Pharaons (959, Saeed Al Hajiri)
(In the 1980s Porsche developed the Porsche 959, a four-wheel-drive twin-turbo development of the 911 to compete in the FIA's Group B category. This won the prestigious Paris-Dakar Rally of 1986.)
Porsche 911 in racing
The Porsche 911 has been a very successful racing car, successfully crossing racing genres - early successes in rallying were followed by Le Mans, Daytona and the world's various GT championships.
The Early Years
Unveiled in 1964, Porsche was keen to follow in the competition footsteps of the Porsche 356 - many of which had been privately entered in rallies. Porsche, as a factory effort, entered the 1965 Monte Carlo rally, cashing in on the cachet of the money-saturated image of the principality. Driven by Herbert Linge, the red 911 finished a highly respectable fifth, suffering very few reliability niggles. In 1967, the Monte was attepted again, by Vic Elford in a modified 912. The rally went exceedingly well for the Stuttgart concern, who punched far above their weight by finishing third. Also in the same year, Porsche attempted the London to Sydney rally, with a three-strong team of very highly modified 911s. The ride height was increased, along with protective cladding all over the car. To protect against lethal kangaroo hits in Australia, a wire mesh scaffold was built, and placed over the front of the car.
Porsche finished the Sixties with strong finishes in Sweden and yet again in Monte Carlo, but the Seventies marked the dawn of the 911 (or at least its variants) being wielded by the world's best drivers and teams in GT championships and track endurance races.
Switching to the Tarmac
The Seventies dawned with Porsche entering a number of 911s into a multitude of track races. But efforts were not only works-based - Porsche's competition department began to sell race prepared 911 models, for buyers to race the cars in a chosen event. Many of the customer cars cleaned up in national GT championships, hill climbs and speed trials.
However, the Seventies also brought with them the fire-spitting, fuel-guzzling racing monsters based (very loosely, it must be said) upon 911s. A turbocharged 911 special, Martini-sponsored, was entered into the 1972 Le Mans - and almost caused mass headaches in the classes above, as the car was so close to taking the overall Le Mans win. The 934 followed, along with the 'Moby Dick' 935 models. Daytona fell to the Stuttgart concern, followed by multiple class wins at Le Mans.
By the 1980s, purpose built race prototypes were taking overall Le Mans victories, leaving the 911s to pick up the class wins. Many teams left Le Mans, and focussed on the European road rallies, such as the Targa Florio, with much success. The 911 was showing immense adaptibility and an all-conquering demeanour which has continued to this day.
By the 1990s, Porsche's own race efforts were in decline, but customer cars were still beating all comers. The IMSA championship fell to a 964 Turbo, and even the Pikes Peak hillclimb was entered by a 993 Turbo. The 993 was used in the newly-formed GT2 Le Mans class, but also as a basis for a very extreme endurance prototype, built for the Porsche factory to go back racing. Named simply GT1, after the racing class destined for entry, the car featured a smooth, aerodynamic form, topped with an insanely large rear wing, crafted from composite materials. Under the skin, sitting amongst a tubular steel chassis, was a highly tuned 911 motor, which was later used in the 996 GT3 road car. The GT1 was produced in both 993 forms and 996 forms (with two 'evolutions'), and was victorious at Le Mans.
The 996 GT3 itself has become a very successful racing car. Starting in 2000 with the GT3-R, then morphing into the GT3-RS in 2001, and finally the GT3-RSR in 2003. The car, in all its forms, has class titles at Le Mans, Daytona wins, national GT championships and European GT championship titles to its name. The car has been superseded by the 997 model, which is continuing the success enjoyed by the 996.
In 2004, Sports Car International named the 911 number three on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s, the Carrera RS number seven on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s, and the 911 Carrera number seven on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1980s. In addition, the 911 was voted Number 2 on Automobile Magazine's list of the "100 Coolest Cars". The 997 was nominated for the World Car of the Year's award for 2005.
Film and television appearances
Sally Carrera (or simply known as "Sally") is the tritagonist of Cars, and a supporting character in Cars 2 and Cars 3.
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- Frère, P (1999). Porsche 911 Story (sixth edition). Patrick Stevens Limited. ISBN 1-85260-590-1
- Meredith, L (2000). Porsche 911. Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-2281-8.
- Wood, J (1997). Porsche: The Legend. Parragon. ISBN 0-75252-072-5.
- Morgan, P (1995). Original Porsche 911. MBI Publishing. ISBN 1-901432-16-5
- Raby, P (2005) "Porsche 911 Identification Guide". Herridge & Son. ISBN 0-9541063-8-5
- Official Porsche website
- Porsche 911
News and References
- 997 in detail (www.pistonheads.com)
- 997 911 C4 Comparison from Motor Trend.
- Porsche 911 art photo
- VIDEO: The Evolution of the 911
- Porsche 911: Best Automobile in the World
- Porsche 911 Carrera 2 & 4 Facelift Promotional Videos
- Porsche 911 4S Pon Edition Exclusively for The Netherlands
- Frankfurt Preview: Limited-edition Porsche 911 Sport Classic marks return of the ducktail
- Porsche Offers New Accessories Including Awesome Fuchs Rims for 911
- Paris Preshow: New Porsche 911 Speedster
- New 911 Speedster: Porsche's Blast from the Past, Now on Film
- 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S
Enthusiast Sites and Discussion Forums
- "PS" is the metric horsepower, a common way to specify the power output of European cars, however PS should always be measured at the wheel, rather than the crankshaft. There is a very small difference between PS and the English horsepower (1 PS = 0.986320073 hp), but it should still be left written as PS because of this slight difference.
|This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Porsche 911. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Autopedia, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|