In introducing the new generation 911 Turbo and Turbo S, Porsche is presenting the top cars of the 911 model series in terms of technology and dynamic performance. 40 years after the world premiere of the first Turbo prototype, the Porsche 911 Turbo is redefining the limits of what is feasible in a sports car for everyday use
For 40 years now, the unique selling point of the 911 Turbo has been the extreme spread of its capabilities that range between dynamic performance and efficiency, between exclusivity and everyday practicality, between tradition and innovation. Advanced development of existing systems and the introduction of new active systems are extending this range in such a way that the 911 Turbo models have now cranked their top values up a notch in all individual disciplines. For example, the lap time of the new Porsche 911 Turbo S at the North Loop of the Nürburgring was reduced to well under 7:30 minutes - naturally wîth standard production tyres. This advances it into realms of dynamic performance that were previously only attainable by uncompromisingly designed super sports cars.
More than ever, the two new top models also make a clear visual statement about their performance. The characteristic widely flared rear fenders of the new 911 Turbo generation are 28 mm wider than those of the 911 Carrera 4 models - a nearly level surface of more than a hand width extends out from the C-pillar to the outer edge of the car.
The new top models of the 911 model series arrive on the market at the end of September 2013. In Germany, the 911 Turbo costs 162,055 euros; the new 911 Turbo S costs 195,256 euros, including VAT and country-specific features. In the ÚK, the Turbo is priced from £118,349 and the Turbo S from £140,852. In the Únited States, the 911 Turbo is priced from $148,300 while the 911 Turbo S begins at $181,100, not including a destination charge of $950.
Independent, sporty and dynamicThe new 911 Turbo models have an unmistakable and independent look, which makes a clear statement about their special positioning within the 911 series and differentiates them from the competitive field. A key characteristic is the front body wîth its large cooling air intakes, independent front lights and fins in the lateral cooling air intakes that are all horizontally aligned.
In front, the new Porsche 911 Turbo S is distinguished by additional air scoops in black in the lateral cooling air openings. The front lights in LED technology each consist of a light frame, which is used in the 911 Turbo as a daytime running light and in the S model as a position light, and an integrated direction indicator. The Porsche 911 Turbo S makes its top position clear wîth standard full-LED headlights that feature four-point daytime running lights, which are available as an option in the 911 Turbo.
However, the special aspect of the new front body is the fact that the front spoiler is fully hidden in its retracted position. This gives the new top 911 a significantly lighter and more elegant frontal appearance. When the front spoiler is extended, however, the car shows its second performance-oriented face, and this is highlighted by the central 'turbo' or 'turbo S' badge on the lip of the black spoiler.
A focus on the key traits of a 911 Turbo is also apparent in a side view. At a standstill and in urban traffic, there is no spoiler lip to disturb the puristic form of the 911 front line. Clear and unmistakably typical of a Turbo, the air intake for the intercooler opens in front of the rear axle. Forming the visual end point of the so-called 'fly line' is the characteristic rear fender, which is integrated more fully in the overall design in the new generation. The new 911 Turbo models give a significantly more dynamic overall appearance in side profile due to a combination of shorter body overhangs, front and rear, and an extended side line wîth a 100 mm longer wheelbase. Another visual accent is created by the new 20-inch forged aluminium wheels in bi-colour look. In the 911 Turbo, they have ten dual spokes, and in the S model they feature an especially fine structure wîth a strongly branched spoke design - and a hub lock.
Never before was a 911 more impressive when viewed from the rear. The new 911 Turbo generation has shoulders that are wider than those of any other 911. Above the rear axle, the body is 85 mm wider than at the front axle. The selected style of driving can be discerned from the adaptively adjustable rear wing. Retracted in its sub-shell at moderate speeds, it is extended at top speeds and is also tilted for a greater attack angle when maximum dynamic performance is required. Here, the form of the classic slotted wing was designed wîth even sharper lines, and together wîth the narrower wing base and the distinctive rear cover screen the wing is harmoniously integrated into the overall rear body design. The narrow rear lights of the new 911 generation in LED technology visually reinforce the broad shoulders of the new 911 Turbo models by their form and their further outboard mounting positions.
New body wîth greater rigidity and lower centre of gravity
The body of the new 911 Turbo models is based on the 911 Carrera body structure; as a result, it is based on intelligent lightweight design that utilises aluminium-steel composite construction. Along wîth extensive use of aluminium and polymer surfaces to reduce vehicle weight, the local use of ultra-high-strength steel offers high body rigidity for ideal occupant protection and excellent dynamic performance. The weight of the body-in-white was reduced 13 per cent compared to the previous models.
This basic concept represents the foundation for the substantial performance gains in the new 911 Turbo generation. Simply lengthening the wheelbase by 100 mm in conjunction wîth a wider track in front - 51 mm wider in the 911 Turbo and 49 mm wider in the Porsche 911 Turbo S - creates a completely new geometry wîth greater tracking and roll stability at high speeds on straight-aways and in bends. The lowered centre of gravity improves dynamic performance and agility, and the body's considerably greater rigidity provides the backbone for the highly precise chassis.
More spontaneous, quicker and more efficient
The entire powertrain of the new 911 Turbo models reflects the typical traits of advanced Porsche development. The turbocharged 3.8-litre six-cylinder wîth direct petrol injection produces 520 hp (383 kW) in the 911 Turbo and 560 hp (412 kW) in the S model. Porsche continues to be the only carmaker to offer two turbochargers wîth variable turbine geometry (VTG) in a petrol engine.
Power is transferred exclusively via a seven-speed Doppelkupplung (PDK), which in the top 911 cars now also enables the stop-start function wîth engine shutoff earlier while coasting to a stop and a separate coasting function. Together wîth a new thermal management system for the turbo engine, fuel efficiency technologies have reduced NEDC fuel consumption as much as 16 percent to 9.7 l/100 km, a figure that applies to both models.
Compared to previous models, the power level of the 911 Turbo was boosted by 20 hp (15 kW) and its torque was increased ten Newton metres to 660 Nm. In the S model, power was increased 30 hp (22 kW), and torque was increased ten Nm to 710 Nm. The increase in power of the new 911 Turbo was achieved primarily by improving engine efficiency wîth higher combustion pressures and new valve timing and ignition angle tuning. In the engine of the S model, charge pressure was increased to 1.2 bar to enhance power, and maximum engine speed was increased 200 rpm to 7,200 rpm. This lets the driver utilise an even broader engine speed range, and a higher connected speed wîth stronger drive torque at full load acceleration after a gear-shifting operation.
Overboost: power is boosted at the press of a button
The new sports cars perform even better in a sprint wîth the Sport Chrono package, which is standard equipment in the Porsche 911 Turbo S (optional in the 911 Turbo); for one, it offers increased torque. The 'Overboost' function, which is being used in the Porsche 911 Turbo S for the first time, increases maximum charge pressure by around 0.15 bar for up to 20 seconds in the middle speed range; this increases maximum torque to 750 Nm. The pistons were reinforced and modified to ensure that the new 911 Turbo engines can withstand the higher loads associated wîth their higher power and torque values. Peak pressures were increased over ten per cent, and internal efficiency was significantly improved.
PDK wîth virtual intermediate gears
The achieved performance gains and reduced fuel consumption in the new top 911 cars is in part due to the further developed PDK Doppelkupplung which features new functions optimised for sporty driving.
For example, Porsche engineers supplemented the seven driving gears by adding virtual intermediate gears that further improve fuel economy and comfort. They are used to reduce engine speed during an undisturbed, constant-speed mode of driving, when the next higher gear would reduce engine speed below the specified lower speed limit. To do this, the transmission controller engages adjacent gear levels and controls the two clutches for defined slip in transferring the drive power. When the driver presses the accelerator pedal, the Doppelkupplung downshifts to the suitable gear wîth lightning speed. Since the PDK has oil-bath clutches, this innovative transmission function is wear-free.
Furthermore, the PDK's extended stop-start functionality now shuts off the engine while coasting to a stop, which saves more fuel. (concept carz) Both Turbo models also offer a coasting function that disengages the clutches in coasting phases, runs the engine at idle, and coasts the vehicle in neutral. This function can significantly improve fuel economy, especially on trips on motorways.
The dynamic engine speed adjustment feature delivers even quicker gear changes in both downshifts and upshifts. During downshifts, the controller outputs intermediate acceleration pulses which are relatively comfort-oriented in the base setting and very dynamic in the SPORT or SPORT PLÚS modes. During upshifts, engine speed adjustment functionality utilises masking of engine injection in the SPORT modes. Both of these effects make gear shifts more acoustically impressive as well.
New all-wheel drive system wîth electro-hydraulic control
For even quicker and more specific power distribution to the two axles, Porsche developed its currently used all-wheel drive system (PTM) wîth electro-hydraulic control of its multi-plate coupling. This functional principle enables faster and more precise control of the coupling. The result is more dynamic and more precise control of drive forces to the front axle wîth benefits in traction and vehicle dynamics. In addition, the new system can now direct more drive torque to the front axle, whose transfer case was provided wîth a new water cooling system. At the same time, the optimised interaction of engine, transmission and all-wheel drive system improves sprinting capabilities of the new top 911 cars even more. With the optional Sport Chrono package, the 911 Turbo accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, which is one-tenth of a second faster than the Porsche 911 Turbo S of the 997 model series. Its successor now covers the standard acceleration distance in 3.1 seconds.New vehicle dynamic limits
The top models of the 911 series have made their most impressive development leap in vehicle dynamics. Simply lengthening the wheelbase by 100 mm in conjunction wîth an increased front track width - it is 51 mm wider in the 911 Turbo and 49 mm wider in the Porsche 911 Turbo S - and a 42 mm wider rear track have created a completely new geometry wîth greater tracking and roll stability at high speeds on straight-aways and in bends.
Building upon this foundation, the intelligent interplay of active systems continually adapts driving properties to the driving situation better than ever. In particular, the new active rear axle §teering, active aerodynamics and Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) Plus represent systems that considerably improve the car's spread of driving capabilities. The Porsche 911 Turbo S claims the top position wîth an ample range of standard equipment. It also has the PDCC roll stabilisation system, PCCB ceramic brake system and dynamic engine mounts that are included in the Sport Chrono package. These systems may be ordered as options for the 911 Turbo.
Rear axle §teering improves agility and stability simultaneously
Active rear axle §teering consists of two electromechanical actuators, which are used on the left and right of the rear axle instead of the conventional track §teering units. The §teering angle of the rear wheels may be varied as a function of vehicle speed: by up to 2.8 degrees in a direction opposite to that of the front axle's §teering angle or up to 1.5 degrees in the same direction as front wheel §teering. By comparison: A §teering angle of 2.8 degrees at the wheels of the front axle is equivalent to a §teering angle of around 45 degrees on the §teering wheel from the centre position.
Two effects can be achieved by varying the directions in which the two axles are turned. When the front and rear wheels are steered in opposite directions, the sports car drives like a model wîth a significantly shorter wheelbase. Exhibiting astonishing manoeuvrability, it steers and handles wîth better agility in bends. The system sets this functionality at speeds below 50 km/h, which also makes manoeuvring and parking noticeably easier in everyday driving. At 10.6 metres, the new 911 Turbo models have the smallest turning circle of the entire competitive field.
The second type of effect is achieved when the front and rear wheels are turned in the same direction: This lengthens the perceived wheelbase of the sports car. For the driver this means greater stability in lane changes and more driving stability, especially at high speeds. Even more: The build-up of lateral forces at the rear axle initiated in response to the driver's §teering input occurs much quicker than wîth an unsteered rear axle, and this leads to a more spontaneous and harmonious initiation of changes in direction. Steering both axles in the same direction is performed starting at a vehicle speed of 80 km/h. The high lateral force potential at the rear axle also permitted a §teering ratio that is ten per cent more direct. Overall, this makes the new 911 Turbo perceptibly more agile.
In offering this variability, rear axle §teering makes a significant contribution towards resolving the conflict in goals between agility and driving stability. The result not only offers benefits in manoeuvrability, driving safety and everyday utility; it also increases driving performance. Rear axle §teering has played a decisive role in further improving lap times at the Nürburgring as well.More traction coming out of a bend: PTV Plus
Active rear axle §teering may be supplemented by Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus, depending on the driving situation. The system consists of an electronically controlled, fully variable rear differential lock, and specific, individual brake interventions are made at the right or left rear wheel on road surfaces wîth low grip. When §teering into a bend, the system slightly brakes the rear wheel at the inside of the bend. This gives the rear wheel at the outside of the bend greater drive power which adds a turning impulse in the steered direction. The result is direct and dynamic §teering into the bend. In this way, PTV Plus significantly improves agility and §teering precision at low to moderate vehicle speeds. At high speeds and when accelerating out of bends, the rear differential lock goes into action and also delivers greater driving stability.PDCC: through a bend wîth practically zero side tilt
Another active vehicle dynamic system, which has now made its way into the 911 Turbo models and is standard equipment in the S model, is Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC).
This variable stabiliser system essentially resolves the conflict between extreme sportiness wîth the lowest possible roll angle in dynamic driving situations and a high level of comfort by substantially decoupling the stabiliser in straight-line driving and implementing opposing suspension spring deflections on uneven roadways. In this way, the Porsche 911 Turbo S makes another substantial contribution towards improving transverse acceleration and handling, since it compensates nearly completely for lateral vehicle tilt up to the car's maximum transverse acceleration value. The reduced roll angles maintain optimal tyre contact to the road surface so that they can transfer higher lateral forces. This increases the possible speeds through bends, which in turn results in faster lap times on race courses. The system also provides more direct §teering feedback and better §teering precision. When the SPORT Plus mode is activated, the PDCC system also reacts more powerfully.Dynamic engine mounts prevent undesirable engine surges
Porsche is implementing another active system for improving vehicle dynamics in the new 911 Turbo S: dynamic engine mounts, which are components of the standard Sport Chrono package. Their controller uses existing sensors to detect a very sporty mode of driving, then stiffens the normally elastic engine mounts. This is done by using a liquid wîth a suspension of magnetic particles in the mounts; its viscosity can be varied by an electric field. Damping of the mounts may be increased as a function of the switch setting - SPORT or SPORT Plus - and a control strategy configured wîth greater stiffness for a circuit course is preselected.Large wheels wîth larger contact surfaces
The package of design actions for further optimised vehicle dynamics is rounded out by entirely new wheels. Compared to the 19-inch wheels of the previous model, the current 20-inch wheels are not only larger; on the Porsche 911 Turbo S the front and rear wheels are also one-half inch wider. The front tyres are also wider. So, the new 911 Turbo models ride on tyres that make an impression in terms of vehicle dynamics due to their larger road contact surfaces. The new top sports cars get a new generation of tyres that were specially optimised for low rolling resistance, typical Porsche performance, short braking distances and weight. As previously, the wheels of the Porsche 911 Turbo S have a hub lock, whose mode of operation was further optimised.Playing wîth the wind
The new Porsche 911 Turbo is the world's first sports car to feature adaptive aerodynamics. As a result, it attains an entirely new bandwidth of everyday utility, efficiency and performance, setting best values in each of these three disciplines.
Porsche Active Aerodynamics (PAA) breaks down the barriers that limit conventional sports cars. Without active components, aerodynamic tuning always represents a compromise - primarily between efficiency and circuit racing performance. Based on a unique combination of a front spoiler that can be extended in multiple stages and a rear slotted wing that is adjustable in height and attack angle, the 911 Turbo on the other hand can adapt its aerodynamic shape to the current situation and to customer wishes at the press of a button. It is the first vehicle that can switch back and forth between different aerodynamic modes while preserving the balance of aerodynamic lift between the front and rear axles.
PAA controls the front spoiler and rear wing in three basic modes. At the start, both are fully retracted. When the front spoiler is folded back, this enables a significantly larger approach angle than in the previous model. It is now 10.3 degrees instead of 7.8 degrees, and ground clearance is now 156 mm instead of 139 mm. This drastically minimises the risk of getting 'hung up' on steep ramps of parking structures or on kerbs.
PAA stays in this mode up to a vehicle speed of 120 km/h, unless the driver manually intervenes and activates the aerodynamic or SPORT Plus button. Then the Speed mode is initiated, in which the two outer §egmènts of the three-part front spoiler are extended. This diverts more air around the body, which reduces aerodynamic lift at the front axle. At the same time, the rear wing is extended 25 mm upwards. In this configuration, the total air drag of the new 911 Turbo is very low; this improves fuel economy and the sports car reaches its maximum speed 315 km/h or 318 km/h in the S model. When the car's speed drops below 80 km/h, PAA automatically switches back to the base setting.'Performance': an entirely new aerodynamic dimension in the 911 Turbo
The 'Performance' mode adds an entirely new aerodynamic dimension to the top 911. The forces generated by air flow illustrate this quite well: At 300 km/h in Performance mode the sports car generates 132 kg of downforce. This means that the maximum possible transverse acceleration grows by ten per cent at this speed - just as a result of downforces.
To generate these forces, the middle section of the front spoiler is also extended. The air is diverted even more around the vehicle, and a low pressure zone is created behind the spoiler. Simultaneously, the rear wing is extended to a height of 75 mm and is angled forward seven degrees.
The aerodynamic bandwidth of the new 911 Turbo effortlessly reaches performance zones that were previously reserved for GT sports cars by Porsche. Just switching from the 'Speed' mode to the 'Performance' mode improves the vehicle dynamics potential of the new 911 Turbo to such an extent that it shortens the lap time on the North Loop of the Nürburgring by two seconds.Driving fun in an exclusive ambience
The interior was completely redesigned in both 911 Turbo models, and it is based on the interior design of the 911 Carrera family. Above all, it was tailored to convey intensive and unadulterated driving fun of the high-performance sports car to the driver, to support the driver and to offer the driver and passengers the exclusive high-end ambience of a leather interior.
The new 911 Turbo models also make their appearance wîth a more intensive acoustic experience. Ensuring an especially emotional driving experience is the standard Sound Symposer, which transmits air induction sounds of the turbo engine to the interior via a diaphragm. The purely mechanical system is activated by pressing the SPORT button.
The driver and front passenger in the Porsche 911 Turbo sit on sport seats wîth fully electric 14-way adjustment, which in addition to its basic adjustments also offers such electrical adjustments as seat tilt, seat depth and a four-way lumbar support. The S model has the standard Adaptive Sport Seats Plus wîth 18-way adjustment. These seats have prominent side support panels and an adjustment of the side supports to the seat cushion and the backrest for optimal lateral support in every driving situation. Both versions include the Memory package and electric §teering column adjustment. The Memory package stores a large number of seat, §teering column and vehicle settings.
Along wîth the extensive package of standard features in the new 911 Turbo, the new Porsche 911 Turbo S has the bi-colour leather interior in black and carrera red exclusively offered for this model as standard. In addition, the backrest shells of the seats are leather trimmed wîth double cap seams, and the decorative gearshift and door panels and the centre console are executed in Carbon look.Instrument cluster has extended set of displays
The driver steers both models wîth a sport design §teering wheel wîth aluminium shift paddles. The instrument cluster of the new 911 Turbo models was further developed based on the current 911 generation and therefore also has a colour display to the right of the tachometer. The instrument cluster itself differs from that of the 911 Carrera models by its entirely black dials wîth aluminium-coloured outer rings and its tachometer wîth a silver-coloured decorative ring and illuminated 'turbo' or 'turbo S' logo. The 4.6-inch, high-resolution colour display offers extensive display options including charge pressure and performance data. The new 'Performance' display shows the momentary available engine torque by a moving dot on the screen; this value is a function of engine speed and load. In addition, the main beam assistant for the LED headlights (standard in Porsche 911 Turbo S, optional in 911 Turbo) can be activated or deactivated from a submenu of vehicle settings.
As in the previous models, here too the new 911 Turbo models include Porsche Communication Management (PCM) wîth navigation module as standard. This latest PCM generation offers such features as a universal audio interface, three-dimensional navigation map including City and Terrain models wîth overlaid satellite map, map-based speed limit display and controls for the standard Bose Surround Sound system. The high-performance system has a total of twelve loudspeakers including a 100 Watt active subwoofer wîth Class-D amplifier integrated in the body-in-white as well as eight amplifier channels that create an impressive sound experience.Full-LED headlights wîth continuous leveling adjustment
Porsche offers a number of highly developed systems and features for the new 911 Turbo models, some of which are standard in the S model. For example, the new top sports car can be made out by its factory-installed full-LED headlights.
They differ significantly from the bi-xenon system of the 911 Turbo, for which the LED system is offered as an option. They offer fatigue-free driving wîth their LED light colour that is very similar to daylight and enhances perception of contrasts. Integrated in the headlight housing is a four-point daytime running light, which is a highly attractive, brand-typical trademark.
Instead of a spherically shaped light housing wîth a round projection lens, the headlights have two tube-shaped light housings arranged on levels wîth upper and lower cut lens contours. The base module in the upper tube is part of the dipped beam light, and it illuminates the roadway wîth a broad and uniform swath of light. The second part of the dipped beam light is in the module of the Porsche Dynamic Light Systems (PDLS) located beneath the first. It has a swivelling function and variable light distribution for such functionalities as dynamic cornering, country road, motorway and main beam lights. The auxiliary main beam light in the upper section of the full-LED headlight consists of two sub-components to the left and right of the base module. Its high position offers even better illumination of the roadway. Each daytime running light consists of four LED spots surrounded by a light ring.
In combination wîth the full-LED headlights, the Porsche Dynamic Light system was extended to include a dynamic main beam, so it is known as PDLS plus. In contrast to systems that only switch digitally between dipped beam and main beam, here the lighting range, including that of the auxiliary main beam, is continually adjusted. The dynamic main beam light system detects light sources of oncoming vehicles and traffic ahead via a camera mounted inside of the car. The advantage of this system is consistent use of the lighting potential without causing glare to others in traffic.Camera-based assistance for parking and road sign recognition
For the first time in the new 911 Turbo models, and exclusively for Porsche sports cars, the Park Assistant option, front and rear wîth reversing camera will be offered at the end of this year. Along wîth ultrasonic sensors in the front and rear body trim, this option also utilises a camera above the rear licence plate; its images are displayed on the PCM monitor, and its control module generates additional lines that the driver can have shown for orientation purposes. They show the driving path based on the current §teering angle. In addition, a transparent, rectangular colour area in the monitor symbolises the vehicle's parking zone, which offers additional support in parking. Moreover, the image output of the reversing camera may be combined wîth the top view of the Park Assistant.
Another camera-based option is road sign recognition. This information system uses a camera to detect speed limit signs, no overtaking zones and the ends of these zones. It also considers supplemental signs. If the camera unit does not recognize a character, the speed limit stored in the navigation system is automatically displayed.Innovative adaptive cruise control, Burmester sound system
The adaptive cruise control system wîth Porsche Active Safe (PAS) also offers up new auxiliary functions. New here is the additional integration of the auto stop-start function. In the new 911 Turbo models, the system offers the opportunity to automatically shut off the engine after slowing the vehicle to a stop. The engine is restarted automatically when the driver presses the accelerator pedal or initiates it from the ACC §teering column stalk.
As in the 911 Carrera models, the Burmester® High-End Surround Sound system is being offered as an option in the new 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S. Based on experience gained from the many award-wining systems from the Panamera and Cayenne, this system offers an output power and sound quality that has never before been heard in the sports car §egmènt. Its performance data bear this out impressively in figures: twelve individually driven loudspeakers, including an active body-in-white subwoofer wîth a 140 mm diameter diaphragm and integrated 300-Watt Class-D amplifier, 16 amplifier channels and a total system power of 821 Watts.Source - Porsche
Who could predict that the 911 would be Porsche's saving grace and surpass the 356 in sales, longevity? Quickly establishing itself as an icon of '60s cool, the iconic 911 only became more popular as the years went on. The flagship of the current lineup of Porsche, the 911 (pronounced Nine Eleven) or 'Neunelfer' is a two-door grand tourer with a very distinctive design. The 911 is one of the oldest sports coupe nameplates still in productions and in 2013 its 820,000 model had been sold. Produced by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany, the 911 is rear-engined and features independent rear suspension, a development from the swing axle on the Porsche 356. Debuting in 1963, the 911 has continued to undergo major modifications over the years, yet the basic concept has remained the same. The 911 is one of two in the top five that remains continuously in production and until the Type 996 was introduced in 1998 the engine was air-cooled.
The Porsche 911 carries the auspicious honor of being among the most successful competition cars ever. Over the years it has been modified by private teams and by the factory itself for rallying, racing and other types of automotive competitions. Naturally aspirated 911 Carrera RSRs won major world championship sports car races in the mid-1970s, even against prototypes. In 1979 the 911-derived 935 turbo won the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 911 came in fifth in the 1999 international poll for the award of Car of the Century.
Early design sketches for the 911 started in 1959 drawn by Ferdinand 'Butzi' Porsche. Assisting Ferry Porsche, son of the firm's founder, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, was body engineer Edwin Komenda and powertrain engineer Ing Hans Tomala. (Tomala was responsible for developing the 'Type 7' prototype with styling that would lead to the 911). The Porsche 356 was the company's first model, and the 911 classis was meant to be a much larger, more powerful replacement.
The Type 7 was built as a 2+2 with a fastback shape and useful rear seats, like the 356. Retaining the rear-mounted air-cooled engine with horizontally opposed cylinders, the Type 7 had a front end that was a precursor to the 911. Similar to the 2.0-liter engine from the 356 with its pushrod valve actuation and two valves per cylinder, the Type 7 however had six cylinders, 2 more than its predecessor. Porsche decided to construct an all-new flat six with overhead camshafts instead of the pushrods. Physically hefty enough to accommodate future displacement increases, the new engine had more efficient valve actuation. The engine would proof incredibly sturdy and flexible throughout its life as it started out at 2.0 liter and growing all the way to 3.6 liters, and could be turbocharged for both production and racing purposes.
The new engine, and the decision by Porsche to eliminate on the rear-seat accommodations resulted in the Type 901. A non-operational concept of the 901 engine was debuted at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show. In February of 1964 a working model was introduced, designated as the 'Porsche 901', with 901 being its internal project number. Peugeot raised an issue with the name and claimed that in France it had exclusive rights to car names formed by three numbers with a middle zero, so rather than selling the car with another name in France, the name was changed to 911. Though the cats' part numbers carried on the prefix 901 for years internally, the 911 name stuck.
Production of the 911 began in September 1964 with this first models reaching the U.S. the following February with a price of $6,500. Early models came with a 130 PS flat-6 engine in the 'boxer' configuration like the 356, air-cooled and rear-mounted, displacing 1991. The 356's four-cylinder had a 1600 cc unit. Though the rear seats weren't much to speak of, the 911 had seating for four and was usually classified a 2+2 rather than a four-seater. The tourer was mated to a four or five-speed manual 'Type 901' transmission.
A tiny machine packed full of high-tech pieces, the 1965 911 was introduced in an era when most sports cars offered a four-speed manual transmission as standard, but the 911 featured five forward gears. Rather than the solid rear axles suspended on leaf springs, the 911 sports a high tech semi-trailing arm and torsion-bar-sprung independent rear suspensions. MacPherson struts were used on the 911 at a time when practically no one had ever heard of them, along with a precise ZF rack-and-pinion steering gear at a time when steering was usually by recirculating ball. Initial 911 models rode on P165HR15 radial tires and carried four Dunlop disc brakes.
In 1965 the 356 finished its production run, but there was still a specific nitch for a 4-cylinder car, especially in the U.S. The Porsche 912 was introduced as the replacement for the 356 and shared the same 4-cylinder, 1600 cc, 90 hp engine encased in the 911 bodywork. The 912 was $1,400 cheaper than the 911 and sold nearly twice as many models in 1966.
The following year Porsche introduced the more powerful 911S with an impressive 180 HP and compression ratio up from 9.0 to 1 to 9.8 to 1. The S stood for Super and was available as both a coupe and a Targa. The 911S featured stunning five-spoke alloy wheels from Fuchs from the first time in a distinctive 5-leaf design. Other featured included a rear anti-sway bar and ventilated disc brakes. To help the 911S balance the weight was a 24.2-pound weight fitted to the front of the S. The mid-engined Porsche 904 and Porsche 906 received the engine developed to 210 PS.
Introduced as a 'stop gap' model in 1967, the 'Targa' was inspired by the Targa Florio sports car road race in Sicily, Italy where Porsche had a successful history, with seven victories since 1956. Targa means 'plate' in Italian, and the Porsche model sported a removable roof panel and a removable plastic rear window since Porsche worried that the U.S National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would ban fully open convertibles in the U.S. From 1968 on, a fixed glass version was offered alongside the Targa model. Initial Targas were horrible with leaky tops distorted rear windows that quickly yellowed after being exposed to the sun, but Porsche would soon improve them.
In 1967 the 911T 108 hp model was introduced as the replacement to the 912. In 1968 the new emissions forced the 911S out of the US and the base 130 PS model was renamed the 911L and sold alongside the regular 911 and 912. For 1968 both the 911S and a new, lighter 911T were launched in Europe. Customers complained about the Targa's rear window and Porsche introduced a neat wraparound piece of glass as an alternative. Other changes for 1968 included wheels widened an inch, new door handles, four-speed 'Sportomatic' semiautomatic transmission newly available, slight fender flares and the engine case switching to magnesium construction.
Only 20 models in total of the 911R were produced of the very limited production model. The rare 911R was a lightweight-racing model with thin aluminum doors, twin-spark cylinder heads, a power output of 210 PS and a magnesium crankcase. These 911R models had no carpet, stripped interiors, Fiat taillights, fiberglass deck lids, and dual spark plug cylinder heads. These rare models were race-ready and lightweight and would be the start of the 911 racing history.
The B series was launched in 1969. The 911 and 912 wheelbase was increased from 2211 to 2268 mm, which aided the car's handling. The rear wheels were relocated, which improved weight distribution, yet the overall length of the car remained the same. The 911S and a new middle model; 911E-received fuel injection. New to the product lineup this year was a semi-automatic Sportomatic model, which was composed of a torque converter, an automatic clutch and the four-speed transmission. Unfortunately this model wouldn't last long and by 1980 would be gone, partly because of the elimination of a forward gear to make it a three-speed. The 911E was an extremely quick model and even beat the 911S despite its lower power output.
The 911T's 2.0-liter engine was rated at 125 hp and used a low 8.6-to-1 compression ratio and carburetors and fed a four-speed transmission. Pumping out 158 hp was the 911E's 2.0-liter with a 9.1-to-1 compression ratio and Bosch mechanical fuel injected and five-speed transmission. The impressive 911S had an impressive 190 hp and used a 9.9-to-1 compression ratio pumped through a five-speed transmission. All three models were available as Targas and the Sportomatic was available on the 911T and 911E.
For 1970 the 911 lineup remained basically the same except for a slightly larger 2.2-liter version of its flat 6. The 912 was replaced by the new mid-engine Volkswagen-powered 914. The extra displacement bumped output of the Zenith-carbureted 911T to 142 hp, the injected 911E to 175 hp, and the injected, high-compressions 911S to a full 200 hp. The new engine was larger and also had better respiration thanks to new aluminum cylinder heads with larger valves. This would also be the first time that a limited-slip differential was an available option. Other changes for 1970 included new undercoating and a buzzer that would go off when the driver forgot and left the ignition key in. The 911 lineup remained virtually the same for 1971.
The models remained the same from 1972 through 1973, but featured a new, larger 2341 cc engine, which would universally be known as the 2.4 L engine. (This nickname was despite the fact that the displacement was actually closer to 2.3 liters.) In all markets the 911E and 911S used Bosch (Kugelfischer) mechanical fuel injection (MFI). The 911T was carbureted for 1972 almost everywhere except some select Asian markets, and the U.S. where emission regulations were high and forced Porsche to use mechanical fuel injection instead. U.S. 911Ts were switched to the new K-Jetronic CIS (Continuous Fuel Injection) system from Bosch in January of 1973.
The 2.4 L cars receiving a newer, more powerful transmission dubbed type number 915, thanks to power and torque increases. Inspired from the Porsche 908 race car transmission, the 915 went for a traditional H pattern with first gear up to the left, second gear underneath first, etc., rather than the 901/911 transmission's 'dog-leg' style first gear arrangement.
To help with high-speed stability the 911S model received a subtle spoiler under the front bumper. Often referred to as the classic mainstream 911s, these early models only weighted around 2,315 pounds. The 911 ST racing model was produced in very limited numbers and were available with engines of either 2466 cc or 2492 cc producing 266 hp at 8000 rpm. These models did very well at the Sebring 12 Hours, the Daytona 6 Hours, the Targa Florio and the 1000 km Nürburgring.
Considered by many to be the 'greatest classis 911s of all-time', the 911 Carrera RS was a truly beautiful example of Italian racing. RS, or Rennsport, is translated to 'race sport' in English, and the Carrera name was reintroduced from the 356 Carrera which had been named from the 1950 Porsche class victories in the Carrera Panamericana races in Mexico. Porsche wanted to enter racing formulae that required a certain minimum of production cars built, so the RS was created. The Carrera 2.7 RS sported a larger engine of 2687 cc developing 210 hp with Bosch (Kugelfischer) MFI, compared to the base 911S. The Carrera featured revised and stiffened suspension, larger brakes, wider rear wheels and rear fenders and a 'ducktail' rear spoiler.
The RS Touring version weighed 2,370 pounds, and the Sport Lightweight version weighed around 220 pounds lighter since it was composed of thin-gauge steel in the body shell along with thinner glass. A total of 1,580 were made, more than the 500 that were necessary to qualify for the vital FIA Group 4 class. 49 Carrera RS models were constructed with 2808 cc engines that produced 300 PS.
The Carrera RS 3.0 was launched in 1974 with mechanical fuel injection that produced 230 PS. Costing nearly twice the price of the 2.7 RS, the 3.0 featured plenty of racing capability that made up for its pricetag. The Carrera featured more radically flared fenders, larger (185/70VR15 front and 215/60VR15 rear) tires and the classic ducktail rear spoiler. The brakes system came from the Porsche 917 while the chassis was very similar to that of the 1973 Carrera RSR. The shipping weight was incredibly light, around 1,984 pounds, thanks to thin metal plate panels and a very sparse interior. This lightweight homologation special was not meant for U.S. automotive market, but 1,800 models were built for the rest of the world.
Racing teams purchased the Carrera RSR 3.0 and scored outright wins in various major sports car races of the 1970s. The prototype Carrera RSR Turbo featured 2.1 L engine due to a 1.4x equivalency formula landed second place at the 24 Hour of Le Mans in 1974 and won several major races. This engine winning such a significant race set the tone for the future of Porsche sporting attempts in car racing.
For 1974 the engine size was enlarged to 2687 cc, which increased the torque. Impact bumpers were introduced to conform to low-speed protection requirement of U.S. laws. These bumpers would remain unchanged for the next fifteen years. Two of the three models, the 911 and 911S models now used K-Jetronic CIS Bosch fuel injection, retaining the narrow rear arches of the old 2.4, now had a 2.7-liter engine producing 150 hp and 173 hp respectively.
Launched in all markets except for the U.S., the 2.7 Carrera used the 210 PS RS 911/83 engine with Bosch (Kugelfischer) MFI from the /73 Carrera RS. Built from 1974 through 1976, the 2.7 MFI models had the same rear widened arches as the '73 Carrera RS and was mechanically identical. The coupe weighed the same as the '73 Carrera RS touring; 1075 kg. The same 2.7-liter engine found in the 911S that produced 173 hp powered the U.S. built Carrera model.
Except for the German market, the Carrera was available for purchase with the ducktail from the 1973 Carrera RS for the 1974 model year. The ducktail was standard on the Carrera in the U.S. The whaletail was an available option for 1975 and 76 on the Carrera. A special limited run of 113 Carrera 2.7 coupes were constructed with the 911/83 RS engine for 1976. The Belgian police received 20 Targas.
The 911 Carrera 3.0 in 1976 featured the Turbo's 2994 cc engine, but without the turbocharger. The K-Jetronic CIS now developed 200 hp and aluminum replaced magnesium for the crankcase and gearbox housing.
The 912E was a 4-cylinder version of the 911, like the 912 that was produced in 1969, also produced in 1976. The 912E used the I-series chassis and the Volkswagen 2.0 engine from the Porsche 914 instead of the 356 engine in the old 912. 2,099 units were produced before the front-engined Porsche 924 replaced it in 1977.
The first production turbocharged 911 was introduced in 1974. Marketed as Porsche 930 in North America, the car was simply called Porsche 911 Turbo in Europe. 930 was the internal type number, and it sported a distinctive body shape thanks to wide wheel-arches that housed wide tires and a large rear spoiler (dubbed 'whale tail' on the early cars). This turbocharged version initially featured a 3.0 L engine 260 PS and was known for its white-knuckle acceleration and its extreme turbo lag. The capacity jumped to 3.3 L 300 PS for 1978 and also received an intercooler placed under the rear spoiler.
The racing version was called the Porsche 934 of 1976 and production figures of the basic 930 soon qualified it for FIA Group 4 competition. Many models were participants at Le Mans along with other races, includes some historic battles with the BMW 3.0 CSL 'Batmobile'. The Porsche 935 evolved from the 2.1 L RSR Turbo of 1974 and was called FIA Group version. The 500+ PS car was fitted with a slope nose and was campaigned in 1976 by the factory, and won the world championship title. Until the FIA and IMSA rules changed, private teams went on to win numerous races, like Le Mans in 1979, and continued to compete successfully with the vehicle well into the 1980s.
The 930 was equipped with a five-speed gearbox only in 1989, its final year of production. In 1990 the 930 was replaced with a 964 version that featured the same 3.3 L engine. In each subsequent generation of 911's there have been turbocharged variants.
Porsche introduced the newest version of the 911, called the 911 SC in 1978. The SC designation was introduced for the first since the 356SC, and there would be no Carrera version of the '911SC'. The 911 SC featured a 3.0-liter engine with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and a 5-speed 915 transmission. The original power output was at 180 bhp, but eventually became 188 bhp, and finally bumped up to 204 bhp in 1981.
A Cabriolet concept car was debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1981 that was a true convertible and four-wheel drive. The four-wheel drive was dropped by the time the car made it to production. Late in 1982 as an '83 model the first 911 Cabriolet was introduced, the first Porsche cabriolet since the 356 of the 1960s. During its first year a total of 4,214 of the popular model were sold despite its premium price relative to the open-top targa. Since this introduction the Cabriolet version of the 911 has been available ever since.
In 1979 Porsche AG decided to replace the iconic 911 with the new 928, but sales of the 911 were so strong that their plan was rethought. Porsche CEO Peter Schutz chose instead to revamp the 911 lineup. 911 SC sales totaled 58,914 units.
In 1984 the successful SC series was replaced with the 1984 911 3.2 Carrera, resuscitating the Carrera name from the 1970's. This version was the last iteration in the original 911 series, since future models would now feature new body styling with new brake, electronic and suspension technologies. Powering the Carrera was a 3.2-liter horizontally opposed flat 6-cylinder, a new higher-displacement motor that Porsche claimed was 80% new. The 95 mm bore was borrowed from the previous SC model, combined with the '78 Turbo 3.3 crankshaft's 74.4 mm stroke, the new swept volume of 3164 cc was achieved. The compression ratio was bumped from 9.8 to 10.3:1 thanks to higher domed pistons. New exhaust systems and inlet manifold were fitted and the 915 transmission was a carryover from the SC series for the initial three model years. A new five-speed gearbox sourced from Getrag with proven BorgWarner synchronizers was introduced in 1987, model number G50. This version was slightly heavier and featured a hydraulically operated clutch.
Porsche added one-touch centralized locking to the 911 Carrera for 1985. This feature was extremely helpful for those drivers who couldn't or wouldn't reach across the narrow cockpit to the only other door to either lock or unlock.
Power was increased to 207 bhp at 5900 rpm with the new engine for North American-delivered cars, and to 231 bhp at 5900 rpm for other markets. This newest version could hit 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds and claimed a top speed of 150 mph according to Autocar. To help with more effective heat dissipation the brake discs were larger, and improved oil-fed chain tensioners were fitted to the engine. Oil cooling was improved with a finned cooler that replaced the serpentine lines in the front passenger fender well. A thermostatically controlled fan was also added. An upgrade of the fuel and ignition control components to an L-Jetronic with Bosch Motronics 2 DME refined driving and motor reliability. The DME providing a petrol cut-off on the overrun improved fuel-efficiency. Power was bumped up to 217 bhp for North American cars, and other markets requiring low emissions thanks to changes in the fuel map and chip programming from October 1986 and custom-mapped chips remain a popular upgrade. Unfortunately the fuel relay mounted externally on the DME is considered a weak point of the system.
The Carrera lineup featured three basic models, the Coupe priced at $31,950, Targa priced at $33,450 and the Cabriolet for $36,450. Only slight changes like the front lights were integrated into the front valance separated the Carrera from the SC. During its lifespan only very minor cosmetic changes were made throughout its lifespan, including a redesigned dash featuring larger AC vents that was introduced in 1986.
The M491 option, officially called the Supersport in the UK, or 'Turbo-look' was introduced in 1984. This styling looked a lot like the Porsche 930 Turbo with wide wheel arches and unique 'tea tray' tail. This option featured the superior turbo braking system, stiffer turbo suspension and wider turbo wheels. Since the popular 930 wasn't available, sales of the Supersport were very favorable the first two years.
A lighter version of the standard Carrera, the 911 Carrera Club Sport (CS) was introduced in August of 1987. Only 340 of these models were produced and featured engine and suspension modifications, and were purpose built for club racing. The Club Sport had a blueprinted engine with hollow intake valves and a higher rev limit, and lacked the extras like all power options, AC, radio, sunroof, undercoating, rear seat, sound insulation, rear wiper, fog lamps, door pocket lids, front hood locking mechanism, lockable wheel nuts, engine and luggage compartment lights and the rear lid 'Carrera' logo which helped save an estimated 155 pounds in weight.
Except for the CS's delivered to the UK, all of the models were easily identifiable by the 'CS Club Sport' decal found on the left front fender, and were available in a variety of colors, some special ordered. All CS models have a 'SP' stand on the crankcase and cylinder head but some US CS's didn't have the decal installed by the dealer. All of the CS models delivered to the UK were painted 'Grand Prix White' with a red 'Carrera CS' decal on each side of the car, and sported red wheels. Club racers loved the CS, but the lack of very few creature comforts made the CS not very popular with the general public. According to Porsche Club of America and Porsche Club Great Britain CS Registers there are only 28 documented deliveries to the US, 1 to Canada and 53 to the UK.
Produced worldwide from January to September 1989 was the 911 Silver Anniversary Carrera SE. Only 240 of this custom version with engine and suspension modification from the standard Carrera was specifically built for marketing the production of the 250,000th 911 that summer. This model was made special for 1989 to also mark the 25th year of 911 production. Production colors of the 120 models were either Silver Metallic or Satin Black Metallic. The Silver Anniversary model featured very limited production worldwide, a Limited slip differential and short shifting gear lever. The inside of the exclusive model featured lush silk grey supple leather seats that corresponded with black accent seat piping and silk grey velour carpet that went all the way through the trunk area as well. The steering wheel, knee bar and shift knobs were also encased in matching silk grey leather. A Porsche Exclusive special stitched leather center console in silk grey held CD holders and an outside temperature gauge while the shifter featured a leather boot in sleek silk grey leather. The special body-colored wheels were 16x6 in the front and 16x8 at the rear Fuch forged premium wheels. The front and rear spoiler was custom designed to create additional down-force. Today these excusive models are highly collectible .
Introduced in January 1989 until July of the same year was the 911 Speedster, a low-roof version of the Cabriolet. Produced in limited numbers as both a narrow body car with only 171 models produced, and a Turbo-look. A two-seat convertible with a low swept windshield, the Speedster was designed by Helmuth Bott in 1983, but wouldn't reach production until six years later. A total of 76,473 911 3.2 Carrera's were produced during its lifespan with 35,670 Coupés, 19,987 Cabriolets and 18,468 Targas.
In 1989 the Porsche 964 was introduced and became a major evolution in the 911 series. At the time the world economy was undergoing recession and the introduction of the Type 964 would be a very important vehicle for Porsche. The 964 was introduced as the Carrera 4 with '4' indicating the four-wheel-drive, a decision that demonstrated Porsche's commitment to engineering by reminding consumers that race and rally engineering does effect road cars. A rear spoiler deployed at high speed, the drag coefficient was down to 0.32 and the chassis was completely redesigned with the introduction of coil springs, ABS brakes and power steering. The engine was increased to 3600 cc and developed 250 PS. Some thought that the new car lost some of the purity of the 911's concept, though most agreed that the car was refined. A year later the rear-wheel drive version, the Carrera 2 was debuted.
In 1990 the 964 incarnation of the 911 Turbo returned following an absence from the price lists. Initially it used a refined version of the 3.3 L engine of the earlier Turbo, but two years later a turbo engine based on the 3.6 L engine of the other 964 models was launched. The evolutionary Tiptronic automatic transmission was introduced in 1990 in the 964 Carrera 2 and featured adaptive electronic management and full manual control. This would also be one of the first cars worldwide to feature dual standard airbags, with the first car being the Porsche 944 Turbo (1987).
Inspired by the 1973 Carrera RS, Porsche re-introduced a limited edition RS model in 1992. The model was emissions-legal only in Europe. American customers clamored for their own model, so in 1993 Porsche developed the RS America, of which only 701 were built. The RS American received rear seats in 1994, and only 84 were made this year. While European RS was a homologation special, the RS America was an option delete variant of the regular model. The 1993 RS 3.8 sported Turbo-style bodywork, featured a larger fixed whale tail instead of the movable rear spoiler, and a 300 PS 3746 cc engine.
Only four factory options were available on the RS/RS America bare bones, higher performance version of the 964; AM/FM cassette stereo, AC, a sunroof and a limited-slip differential. The interior was very basic, more in fact than a standard 911. The door pockets had a simple pull strap for the opening mechanism and the interior door panels lacked the armrests. The RS America cost around $10,000 less than a fully equipped C2 at the time of their productions, these models today can claim a higher premium priced on the used market over a standard 964.
A Turbo version of the 964 series was launched in 1990 and is often mistaken for a 965.
From 1991 until 1993 the 964 Turbo featured the 930's proven 3.3 L engine which was improved to produced 320 PS. In 1994 the 964 received the Carrera 2/4's 3.6 L engine, now in turbo-charged form with a powerful 360 PS sent to the rear wheels. This model was produced through 1994 and still today remains an incredibly rare collectible.
Once again the 911 was revamped in 1993 and dubbed internal name Type 993. This would be the final incarnation of the air-cooled 911, which was introduced in 1964. A much sleeker modification, the exterior of the 993 featured all-new front and rear end that was much smoother and more aerodynamic. British Tony Hatter was responsible for the styling, under the direction of design chief Harm Lagaay.
The 993 also featured modified mechanics that included an all-new multi-link rear suspension that only enhanced the vehicles ride and handling. This inspiration for the rear suspension was taken largely from the stillborn Porsche 989's rear multilink design. Thankfully this suspension helped correct the earlier problem of over steering if the throttle or brakes were applied mid-corner. It also helped to reduce the lift-off over steer issues from before to a much more moderate degree.
The 993 was able to keep up with the stiff competition thanks to the new suspension and chassis modifications. The engine capacity remained at 3.6 L but was powered by an impressive 272 PS because of improved exhaust design and better engine management and eventually rose to 286 PS by 1996. This would be the first Porsche to introduce variable-length intake runners with the 'Varioram' system on 1996 models, once of the first of its kind to be used on production vehicles, helped the inherent compromise between high-rpm power production and low-rpm torque production. Rear-wheel-drive versions were dubbed simply 'Carrera', while a new four-wheel-drive returned as an option in the form of the Carrera 4. A lightweight RS version had power reaching 300 PS and capacity that rose to 3.8 L, and had rear-wheel drive only.
Some non-turbo models like the Carrera 4S, and later the Carrera S used the Turbo's wide bodyshell along with several other components. The well-loved Targa model made another appearance and sported a new large glass rood that disappeared under the rear window. The pricy air-cooled 993 Targa was sold under a limited release from 1996 through 1998.
In 1995 the first standard production Porsche with twin turbochargers was a Turbo version of the 993 that also became the first 911 Turbo equipped with permanent all-wheel-drive. Several comparison road tests were made between the model and the Porsche 959 due to similarity in specification and performance levels. The Turbo version was powered by the 3.6 L twin turbo M64/60 engine that produced 408 PS.
An extremely limited run of the 993 911 Turbo S with a boost in performance was produced by Porsche in 1997. The special boost of 24 PS over the regular Turbo's 400 PS was impressive. Body modifications included a scoop on the side right behind the doors for engine cooling and vents on the whale tail rear spoiler. Today these models still command a huge premium on the market because of their exceptional power and reliability.
Produced for the GTI Le Mans racing class, the 911 GTI was launched in 1996. 25 homologation road-going models were required for qualifying for GT racing. With a top speed of 235 mph these models developed around 700 hp and could accelerate to 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds. Powering both the road and racecars was the same twin-turbo charged engine from the Porsche 962. Achieving a victory at the 1998 24 Hour of Le Mans was a re-developed version of the 911 GTI racecar. The most powerful road-going Porsche ever produced was the GTI, even though it had a mid-mounted engine and was built for homologation purposes exclusively. The rear of the car came from a 962 Le Mans prototype, but the original front section design was inspired completely by the 911.
After a long productive run of 34 years, the well-known air-cooled 911 was replaced by an all-new water-cooled model. A major innovation for Porsche, the model known as the Type 996 would be the introduction, finally, of a newly design bodyshell. In the past, though there modifications, the previous 911 were all based on the original 1964 shell and the '996' would be the first truly 'all-new 911'.
The 996 was instrumental for Porsche and the effect it had on the company during the 1990s. Unfortunately many critics complained that the 996 shared a lot of similarities with the cheaper Boxster, and criticized the headlamps and dash that were taken directly from the less expensive vehicle. Porsche had a reason behind cutting costs with the 996 and kept the vehicle more advanced in other areas. The interior was different from previous 911 models and was often criticized for its lack of ornament, usually by older 911 owners. The Carrera had a 0.30 coefficient of drag. More than a dozen variations of the Type 996 were produced, including all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S models, the club racing-oriented GT3, and the forced-induction 996 Turbo and GT2. Often the Turbo, both four-wheel-drive and twin-turbo made magazines' best cars for sale lists.
6.8 inches longer than the 993 overall the 996 measured a total of 174.5 inches, just two-tenths of an in inch shy of a 2003 Civic Coupe. Ride on a relatively long 92.6-inch wheelbase, the engine was still in the rear. Enthusiasts considered driving the 996 to be a completely new experience compared to previous 911's. Much more 'civilized', the 996 was considerably more gentle traversing bumpy roads. For 1999 there were no Turbo or Targa models offered, but both two and all-wheel drive were available with Cabriolet or Coupe.
Naturally aspirated 911s were a carryover to 2000 with the only changes being a new exhaust that bumped output to 300 hp and stability control. This feature was already standard on the Carrera 4, but would now become optional on Carrera 2 models. The Turbo returned in Europe, and would be back in the U.S. by 2001.
Using a twin-turbocharged, water-cooled 3.6-liter flat six, the new 2001 911 Turbo produced 415 horsepower, which was distributed through an all-wheel-drive system. Edmunds.com Senior Road Test Editor Brent Romans tested the 911 Turbo in 2001 and claimed that the car was 'the pinnacle' and compared it to Star Trek's Wrath of Khan and The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper. The Turbo was available with an automatic Tiptronic transmission for the first time. Other updates for this year included a new audio system with a subwoofer, a modified three-spoke steering wheel, power releases for the engine cover and front luggage compartment and 'Turbo Look' wheels for non-turbo 911s.
In 2002 the Carrera and Carrera 4 underwent a revamp that included receiving clear lens front and rear indicator lights from earlier Turbo versions. This gave the 911 more separation from the Boxster look. Though the basic bones remained the same, an updated front fascia helped to further separate the models. Standard 911s received more horsepower thanks to a bump in displacement from 3.4 liters to 3.6 liters. The Targa model returned after four years, and the Cabriolet received a glass rear window. Turbo-style headlight clusters were fitted; a single cup holder was added along with a real glove box. Except for the 40th Anniversary 911, GT2, GT3 and Turbo the 911 Carrera didn't come with rear limited-slip differential starting from the models with water-cooled engines.
With 3.4 L engine displacement the power was 300 PS and featured dry sump technology and variable valve timing. In 2002 the displacement increased to 3.6 L and 320 PS. In just 19 seconds the convertible could transform from coupe to roadster thanks to the roof system. The convertible also featured a rear spoiler that can raise at speeds over 75 mph. The spoiler can also be raised manually via an electric switch.
Inspired by Porsche's racing GT3, the company launched a road version GT3 version of the 996 series simply called GT3 in 1999. This model sported weight-saving materials and even thinner windows, no rear seats and an emphasis focused on strict handling and performance. Rather than focusing on comfort the GT3 featured a lowered suspension ride height and was tuned for responsiveness, which greatly improved handling and steering. The engine in the GT3 was derived from the Porsche 911 GT1 '98 sports-prototype racing car rather than a version of the water-cooled units found in other 996s. The engine featured lightweight materials that allowed the engine to rotate at high speeds. Instead of the engine from the pre-facelift and revised Carrera, the engine was instead a naturally aspirated 3600 cc flat-six (F6). Initially the engine produced 365 PS before rising to 386 PS at the end of the 996 series' revision.
Porsche introduced the Turbo version of the Type 996 for MY 2001 in 2000. The new Turbo engine originated from the 911 GT1 engine like the GT3 and, like its predecessor, featured twin-turbos and now developed 420 PS. The new Turbo was only offered with all-wheel drive (like its predecessor). The X50 package was a US $17,000 add on that boosted engine output to 450 PS with 457 lb/ft of torque across a wide section of the power band. With this package the vehicle could achieve 0-62 mph in just 3.8 seconds. In Europe this package is called Turbo S. A special 996 Turbo S coupe was added to the US lineup near the end of the 996 life cycle along with a new Turbo S Cabriolet with a extra boost of power; 450 PS and 457 lb/ft. The Turbo had an impressive top speed of 189 mph.
The 996 Turbo was much more eye-catching than previous Turbos and featured different front lights and bumpers than the Carrera and Carrera 4. The rear bumpers featured air vents that were similar to the ones found on the Porsche 959. The large vents on the front bumper were also replicas from the Carrera 4S and Cayenne Turbo. For the first time in Porsche history, and in the car design field, the styling of the 996 Turbo was done with the help of Computer Aided Styling. Before the full size clay model was a digital Styling model, and 99% of the styling changes were done on the digital model, then the clay model was milled in order to gain approval from the top management.
In 2003 the only changes for the Porsche 911 included a slightly modified front and rear fascia and gray tinted turn signal lenses instead of the previous yellow ones.
In 2005 the replacement for the 996 was launched, the 997. Sharing the basic profile of the 996, the 997 used a lot of the 993 for its detailing. The drag coefficient was down to 0.28 and the 997 shares less than 1/3 of its parts with the 996, but shared much of the technical features. Straying from the 996 teardrop design, the 997 headlights reverted to the original bug-eye design. The inside of the 997 was heavily revised with many aspects taken from the earlier models; in addition to fresh and modern takes not previously seen on the 911.
The first two versions of the 997 were the rear-wheel-drive Carrera and the Carrera S. The base 997 Carrera pumped out 325 PS from its 3.6 L Flat 6, the Carrera S sported a powerful 3.8 L 355 PS Flat 6 engine. The dominant Carrera S came standard with 19-inch 'Lobster Fork' style wheels, stronger and larger brakes with red calipers, a sporty suspension with PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management), sport steering wheel and Xenon headlamps.
Porsche added all-wheel drive versions to the 997 lineup late in 2005. The Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S were launched as 2006 models and were wider than their rear-wheel-drive siblings by 1.26 inches to cover wider rear tires. The base Carrera 4 could achieve 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds with the 321 hp engine, according to Edmunds.com. The Carrera S was recorded at 0.62 mph in 4.2 seconds according to Motor Trend, though Road & Track recorded the S at 3.8 seconds. The 997 lineup includes both Carrera 2; 2-wheel drive variant, and Carrera 4; 4-wheel-drive variants. In November of 2006 the 4-wheel-drive Targa 4 and 4S were launched and featured dual sliding glass tops.
In 2009 the 997 was updated with a larger intake in the front bumper, near headlights and rear taillights, new clean-sheet design direct fuel injection engines, and the introduction of a dual-clutch gearbox called the PDK. U.S. models were introduced in 2009 with Bluetooth support built into the communications system.
Developing 473 bhp and 457 lb/ft of torque, the 997 Turbo featured the same 3.6 L twin-turbocharged engine found in the 996 Turbo. Part of this was due to the 997's VTG (variable turbine geometry), which combines the low-rev boost, and quick responses of a small turbocharger with the high rev power of a larger turbocharger. The new turbocharger improved fuel consumption over the 996 Turbo and produced much more power and flexibility. Because of these performance upgrades the 997 Turbo could reach 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds and had a top speed of 193 mph. With the Tiptronic transmission Motor Trend magazine reported the 997 Turbo reached 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds.
Resulting in much more neutral handling, along with greatly improving performance in all weather conditions, the 997 Turbo featured PTM (Porsche Traction Management), a new system that incorporates a clutch-based system that varies the amount of torque to the wheels to avoid tire slippage. According to Porsche, this system helped traction and handling by redirecting the torque to control oversteer and understeer. The 997 Turbo also had an all-wheel-drive system like the one found on the Porsche Cayenne.
In August of 2009 Porsche introduced a revamped 911 Turbo. This model featured an updated PTM system that now gave a more rearward power bias and paddle shifters for the PDK double-clutch gearbox for the first time. The new Turbo used a completely new engine measuring 3800cc and was originally produced for the new Carrera introduced in 2008. Previous water-cooled turbos measured 3600cc and originated from the so-called Mezger motor powering numerous racecars. The intercooler and fuel system have been uprated on the new engine and the variable-vane twin turbochargers were extensively reworked to increase responsiveness and it developed 493 hp, 20 bhp more than its predecessor.
Porsche rated the new Turbo able to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 3.4 seconds, and having a top speed of 194 mph. The steering wheel held a display that show when Sport, Sporty Plus and launch control have been selected through the optional Sport Chrono package. The 996 Turbo sported very distinctive styling compared to the Carreras and featured front LED driving/parking/indicator lights mounted on a horizontal bar across the air intakes.
A fully optioned Porsche 911 Turbo, the 911 Turbo S was introduced in 2010. Featured a PDK gearbox and sport exhausts, the Turbo S had many options as standard. With a top speed of 196 mph, the Turbo S came with re engineered turbos with a boost of 30 HP totaling 523 hp. Car and Driver magazine road tested a Turbo S with PDK transmission and found it accelerated from 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds.
Launched in the summer of 2006, the 911 GT3 was awarded 'the best handling car in America' by Motor Trend. With a top speed of 193 mph, the GT3 was nearly as fast as the Turbo had accelerates 0-62 mph in 4.1 seconds. A homologation version of the GT3 RSR racing vehicle was the 911 GT3 RS for competition events like Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Except for the addition of a lightweight flywheel and closer gear ratios for more improved response under acceleration, the RS powerplant was based on the 911 GT3. Unlike the GT3 though, the RS was built on the 911 Carrera 4 and Turbo body and chassis, and had a wider rear track for better cornering characteristics on the track. The RS was easily noticed by its bright orange or green color scheme with black accents, channeling the iconic Carrera RS of 1973. Further distinguishing the eye-catching model was the plastic deck lid topped by a wide carbon-fiber rear wing. The front airdam received an aero splitter, which improved front downforce and pumping more cooling air through the radiator. In Europe the RS received lightweight plexiglass rear windows along with a factory-installed roll cage. In 2009 production ended for the first generation 997 GT3 RS with a total of 413 units sent to the US, and total production numbering around 2,000 units.
The second generation of the 997 GT3 RS was announcing by Porsche in August of 2009. This generation would feature an enlarged 3.8-liter engine that produced 450 bhp, a modified suspension, new titanium sport exhaust, dynamic engine mounts, and updated lightweight bodywork. Soon after in the spring of 2011 Porsche introduced the third generation of the 997 GT3 RS with an enlarged 4.0-liter engine that produced 500 bhp. Using weight saving components like bucket seats, plastic rear windows, and carbon-fiber bonnet and front wings, the GT3 RS 4.0 used suspension components taken from the racing version. Other features included an aerodynamically optimized body, large rear wing and a low center of gravity. A first on a production Porsche were the lateral front air deflection vanes and increased downforce on the front axle. Improving the 911 GT3 RS 4.0's grip to the tarmac was a steeply included rear wing that aerodynamic force exerted an additional 190 kg. The RS 4.0 weighed 2,998 pounds.
In 2007 the Type 997 GT2 was introduced via an official press release on July 16. The first street-legal 911 to exceed 200 mph was officially launched at the 62nd Frankfurt Motor Show and arrived in dealerships by November of 2007. The GT2 was powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engine that generates 523 hp at 6500 rpm and 505 lb/ft of torque from 2200 to 4500 rpm. The GT2 had a 6-speed manual gearbox and rear wheel drive and a curb weight of 3,175 pounds. With a top speed of 204 mph, the speedy GT2 could hit 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The GT2 smoked a Carrera GT by .3 of a second during an appearance on Top Gear, having a lap time of 1:19.5. The GT2 sported an updated front lip, different rear bumper and different rear wing from the 911 (997) Turbo and didn't have fog lights in the front bumper. The GT2 also is rear-wheel-drive instead of all-wheel-drive like the 997 Turbo.
The RS variant was introduced on May 4, 2010 to German dealers in Leipzip. Weighing 70 pounds less than the standard GT2, the RS developed 612 hp and 516 lb/ft of torque and had a top speed of 205 mph and could achieve 0-62 mph in 3.4 seconds.
On August 2011 Porsche announced several updates on the 991 Carrera and Carrera S. Powering the Carrera was a 350 hp 3.4-liter engine while the Carrera S was powered by a 3.8-liter engine that produced 400 hp. Increasing power to 430 hp was a Power Kit available for the Carrera S. The new length for the 911 was now 2.2 inches more and 3.9 increased wheelbase, totaling 96.5 inches. The rear axle was moved forward about 3 inches closer to the engine and the was a wider front track. Michael Mauer headed all of these design changes.
The new 991 sported very wide-set headlights that were more 3-dimensional and front fender peaks that were more prominent and wedge-like directional that seemed to float above the intakes for the twin coolant radiators. The biggest change was in the stretched rear ¾ view that had a more voluminous form and thin taillight slivers capped wit the protruding lip of the bodywork. The biggest change for the new 911 was the center console on the inside, inspired by the Carrera GT and adopted by the Panamera.
The 991 is the first Porsche 911 to use mostly aluminum construction and even though the car is larger than the previous model, it's still 110 pounds lighter. Both the Carrera and Carrera S are faster than the previous models thanks to reduced weight and increased power. Manual transmission cars could hit 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds and 4.3 seconds for the Carrera S. 991 models equipped with PDK can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4-4 seconds and 4.1 seconds for the Carrera and Carrera S. Models with the PDK transmission could opt for the sports chrono package which made the 991 Carrera accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and the Carrera S in just 3.9 seconds.
The new 991 also featured the industry-first 7-speed Manual-Transmission with rev-matching as well as the tweaked PDK transmission. Another new feature wit the new manual-transmission is that in Sport Plus mode it blips the throttle during downshifts. Unless the vehicle is in 5th or 6th gear the 7th cog cannot be engaged.
Porsche was focused on improving fuel economy with the new model as well as increasing performance and to meet these goals they introduced a variety of new technologies in the 911. Replacing the previous hydraulic steering was an electro mechanical power steering, which helped reduce fuel consumption. Some enthusiasts feel that the very precise steering feedback for which the 911 is famous was reduced with the all new system. The 991 featured an engine stop start system that would turn the engine off at red lights as well as a coasting system that allows the engine to idle while keeping speed on downhill gradients on highways. This system allows for up to 16% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions over the outgoing models.
In an attempt to improve handling the new 911 featured a torque vectoring system that was standard on the Carrera S and optional on the base Carrera, which brakes the inner wheel of the vehicle when going into turns. This system allowed the vehicle to turn quicker and with more precision. Hydraulic engine mounts also help reduce the inertia of the engine when going into turns as part of the optional sports chrono package. The Carrera S offers Porsche active suspension management standard, and as an option on the Carrera. This system stiffens the suspension during aggressive drive and improves the ride quality during straights.
PDDC or Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control was another new feature on the new model that Porsche claims shaves 4 seconds off the standard model's lap-time around the Nürburgring. This feature assists the car in corner flat and is reputed to improve high-speed directional stability and outright lateral body control. Some reports suggest though that the car is more prone to under steer when equipped with this system.
Porsche launched all-wheel-drive variants of the Carrera models in January of 2013. Powered by a new all-wheel-drive system the new '4' and '4S' models power was sent to the front wheels only when necessary, which gave the driver a sense of piloting a rear-wheel-drive 911 when road conditions are ideal, and sending torque and power when road and weather situations are hazardous. Their wider tires, slightly wider rear bodywork and a red reflector strip nestled between the taillights easily distinguish these models.
Changes to the 2014 911 Turbo and Turbo S included a rear-wheel steering system incorporated in that turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction at low speeds or the same direction at high speeds, greatly improving handling. Other changes included a boost in power to 520 hp on the Turbo, and 560 hp on the Turbo S, which gave a 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds and 2.9 seconds, respectively.
Over the year the well-loved Porsche 911 has won numerous awards including number three on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s and the Carrera RS number seven on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s. The 911 Carrera was named number seven on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1980s and the 911 was named Number 2 on the list of '100 Coolest Cars' by Automobile Magazine's list. For 2005 the Porsche 997 was nominated for the World Car of the Year award.Sources:
By Jessica Donaldson