|996 (1998 - 2004)|
models include; Porsche 996 Carrera 2, Carrera 4, available with both
6 speed manual and tiprtonic gearbox's. Body styles started with the Coupe
(see picture of a '98 series 996 C2 manual I owned) and Cabriolet, but
recently a 'glass roof' Targa has been introduced, similar to the previous
996 was a totally new car, with a new shape, a new interior and a new
water cooled engine. All previous 911 had been air cooled, a system that
has advantages in simplicity and weight, but critically was no longer
viable to engineer to current legislation. Along with the air-cooling
went part of the glorious flat six sound. And that's what upset some critics.
No doubt as time passes the so called 'purists' that consider all 911 should be air cooled will warm to the 996 and appreciate the developments that the Porsche engineers have provided.
The body shape still resembles any earlier 911, but everything has changed. You can feel that the individual panels are less heavy than before, but this is progress and the engineers at Porsche always move forward. Open the drivers door and you will see beautiful cabin architecture. Gone completely is the practical but idiosyncratic design that had evolved little from the '60's. Instead a more roomy cabin, still two plus two, very good seats and a more relaxed driving environment.
Porsche, these cars are efficient and strong, characteristics that have
always been evident in all 911 - making the description 'an everyday supercar'
just as relevant today as its always been.
addition to the stock 996 Carrera and Carrera 4 available in Coupe, Cabriolet
and Targa configurations, Porsche also build the GT3 hot rod as well as
a variety of turbocharged machines. There's the twin turbocharged four-wheel
drive Coupe - soon to be available in Cabriolet form, the rear-wheel drive
only GT2 and, of course, some of the fastest, most reliable normally aspirated
GT racers in the world. Porsche set out to achieve a number of key objectives
with this new model, but above all it had to be faster, more driveable,
more exploitable and more comfortable than any previous 911. Introduced
first in rear wheel drive Carrera form during September 1997, the thoroughly
redesigned chassis had its wheelbase stretched to 2350mm which, when combined
with wider front and rear track, enabled the designers to provide vastly
more cabin space. Featuring MacPherson struts with coil springs and anti-roll
bars front and rear, there were also bigger ventilated discs all round.
New eighteen-inch alloy wheels were fitted as standard, a number of alternative
designs being available via the options list. But although the 996 retained
a traditional flat-six boxer engine with its rear-mounted longitudinally
positioned layout, Porsche's re-worked 3.4-litre motor employed water
instead of air-cooling for its new light alloy cylinder head, this so
as to provide a reduction in noise. Dual overhead camshafts, four valve
cylinder heads and variable valve timing all featured and, with a bore
and stroke of 96mm x 78mm respectively, displacement was 3387cc. Sequential
Bosch multi-point fuel injection and a compression ratio of 11.3:1 helped
output up by 15bhp on the outgoing 993, 300bhp being available at 6800rpm.
all were quick to agree this was one of the most significant strides taken
in the ongoing development saga of the 911 and, with even higher performance
derivatives planned for the future, Porsche would go onto build a 996
for all tastes. March 1998 saw a Cabriolet introduced (with right-hand
drive examples available that August), these new roadsters debuting what
was perhaps the most pleasing Cabriolet bodywork of any Porsche 911. When
lowered, the power hood all but disappeared below a hard body-colour coded
cover that, with a pleasing lack of canvas, helped it mimick the look
of Porsche's 356 B Roadster. The Carrera Coupe and Cabriolet were joined
in July 1998 by a four-wheel drive version (right-hand drive cars coming
late 1998), this new model incorporating highly sophisticated anti-skid
control by linking the ABS, ASR (traction control) and ABD (automatic
brake differential) to create Porsche Stability Management (PSM). Governed
electronically, PSM was programmed to recognise when the limits of the
Carrera 4 had been exceeded by taking inputs from individual wheel speeds,
acceleration and deceleration to act as a safety net although one that
in no way intrudes on the essential 911 experience. Meanwhile, derived
from the viscous clutch four-wheel drive system employed on the 993, torque
is split from front to rear, varying by between 5% and 40% depending upon
conditions, driving characteristics and, in particular, any loss of traction
through the front wheels. Weighing in 55kg heavier than the Carrera, the
Carrera 4 posted identical performance figures to its two-wheel drive
sibling, sixty coming up in 5.0 seconds while top speed remained 179mph.