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CATEGORIES (articles) > The Cars are the Inspiration > Porsche > Porsche 911 History

Porsche 911 History

The Porsche 911 (pronounced as nine eleven) 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.

In the international poll for the award of the world's most influential car of the twentieth century the 911 came fifth after the Ford Model T, the Mini, the Citroën DS and the Volkswagen Beetle.

Porsche 911 in hillclimb
A 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS


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)

Porsche 911
Manufacturer: Porsche

The 911 was developed as a much 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 PS1 (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 ([1] 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.

911 Turbo (a.k.a. 930) (1975-1989)

Main article: Porsche 930
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 and the 'whale-tail', but did not reflect any mechanical changes.

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.

964 Series (1989-1993)

1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RS

Main article: Porsche 964
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 re-introduced a limited-edition RS model, inspired by the 1973 Carrera RS and emissions-legal in Europe only. Appeals from American customers resulted in Porsche developing the RS America of which 701 were built. However, while European RS was a homologation special, RS America was a low spec variant of the regular model. The RS 3.8 of 1993 had Turbo-style bodywork, a larger fixed whale tail in place of the moveable rear spoiler, and a 300 bhp 3746 cc engine.

Since the RS/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, 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 RS America was about $10,000 cheaper than a fully-equipped C2 at the time of their production , these models now command a premium price on the used market over a standard 964 (RS Europe was about $20,000 more expensive than a C2).

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)

Main article: Porsche 993

The mid-nineties Type 993 had sleeker bodywork. This is the lightweight GT2 variant.

The 911 was again revised in 1993 and was now known as the Type 993. This car was significant as it was the final incarnation of the air-cooled 911, introduced in 1964.

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.

Non-turbo models appeared that used the Turbo's wide bodyshell and some other components (the Carrera 4S and later the Carrera S).

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)

996 Series (1998-2004)

Main article: Porsche 996
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 was 3.4 litres and power 300 PS (221kW), increased in 2002 to 3.6 litres and 320 PS (235 kW).

996 GT3 (1999-2004)

996 GT3 RS

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)

2004 996 Turbo X50

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. A $17,000USD factory option, the X50 package, was available that boosted the engine output to a tidy 444 bhp with 457 ft/lbs of torque across a wide section of the power band. With the X50 package in place the car could make 0-60mph in about 3.6 seconds.

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-Present)

Main article: Porsche 997

997 Carrera S

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 reminiscent 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. Type 997 versions of the GT2 and Turbo S have yet to have a released introduction date, but they will most likely start production during 2006 and 2007 (as of July, 2006). The Targas (4 and 4S) will be released in November 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-Present)

997 Turbo

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.

997 GT3

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-Unknown)

997 GT3 RS

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.

997 Statistics

Model MSRP (Cost) Horsepower 0-60 Acceleration Top Speed Official Model Site
911 Carrera $71,300 325 hp 4.8 s 177 mph ([2] 911-carrera/)
911 Carrera S $81,400 355 hp 4.6 s 182 mph ([3] 911-carrera-s/)
911 Carrera Cabriolet $81,400 325 hp 5.0 s 177 mph ([4] 911-carrera-cabriolet/)
911 Carrera S Cabriolet $91,400 355 hp 4.7 s 182 mph ([5] 911-carrera-s-cabriolet/)
911 Carrera 4 $77,100 325 hp 4.9 s 174 mph ([6] 911-carrera-4/)
911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet $87,100 325 hp 5.1 s 174 mph ([7] 911-carrera-4-cabriolet/)
911 Carrera 4S $87,100 355 hp 4.6 s 179 mph ([8] 911-carrera-4s/)
911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet $97,100 355 hp 4.7 s 179 mph ([9] 911-carrera-4s-cabriolet/)
911 Turbo $122,900 480 hp 3.7 s 193 mph ([10] 911-turbo/)
911 GT3 $106,000 415 hp 4.1 s 193 mph ([11] default.aspx?language=en-us&market=P ...) (minisite)
911 Targa 4 $85,700 325 hp 5.3 s 174 mph ([12] default.aspx?language=en-us&market=P ...) (minisite)
911 Targa 4S $95,900 355 hp 4.9 s 179 mph ([13] default.aspx?language=en-us&market=P ...) (minisite)

998 Series (2009-Unknown)

Porsche is expected to debut its next entirely new 911, the Type 998, in 2009. The 998 is rumoured to have an entirely new 3.8 litre or 4.0 litre flat eight engine, still hanging over the rear axle. This is just a rumour, and a very doubtful one at that. Previous Porsche press releases said that for the 911 they would never deviate from the flat-6 rear engine rear drive platform although apparently there are some Porsche engineers who would like a mid-engined platform for future 911s.

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 WaldegÃ¥rd)


  • 1st, Monte Carlo Rally (911T, Björn WaldegÃ¥rd)


  • 1st, Monte Carlo Rally (911T, Björn WaldegÃ¥rd)


  • 3rd, 1000 Lakes Rally (911 Carrera RS 3.0, Björn WaldegÃ¥rd)
  • 2nd, Safari Rally (911 Carrera RS 3.0, Björn WaldegÃ¥rd)


  • 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)
(The Porsche 953, sometimes called the 911 Carrera 4x4, used the 4x4 drivetrain of the 959, which was still being developed.)


  • 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.)



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 award for 2005.


  • Sally Carrera, from the 2006 Pixar movie, Cars is a 2002 Porsche 911.

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