Units Produced: 215,092
In July, 2004, Porsche unveiled the Porsche Type 997. It featured the same classic silhouette as all earlier variants of the Porsche 911, and was an evolution of the preceding 996, with the most significant changes being interior and exterior styling, the most notable being the replacement of the "fried egg" headlamps used on the 996 with the classic "bug eye" units. Larger 18-inch wheels were fitted as standard, and other engineering changes include slightly increased power; however, the car is technically very similar to its predecessor.
While the Porsche 911 Type 997 featured a refined, race-inspired appearance, the car was hailed for being a true high-performance vehicle. Most notably, the 997 also marked a big growth in the Porsche 911 product line in terms of sheer options and sales volumes (the 997 became the best-selling generation of 911 to date). There was a 997 911 model for every taste, with over 24 models available in every performance, body style and combinations imaginable. Model improvements came in late 2008 made the 997 even more efficient thanks to direct fuel injection and a double-clutch transmission and was known as the 997.2 series, running till the series ended in 2012.
Porsche 911 997 (2004-2008)
When the 997 came out fans of Porsche were happy to see the return to round headlights and the style they missed in the earlier 996. An updated interior was welcomed and was more important than it seems because at the time other carmakers had really beaten Porsche in this area in previous years.
Porsche offered two engine displacements for first time since 1977 to better differentiated the base Carrera and more potent Carrera S models. The base Carrera featured a 3.6 liter boxer engine good for 321 horsepower while the Carrera S got a larger 3.8 liter unit with 350 horsepower. The X51 Powerkit was available for S, 4S, Targa models, which increased engine power.
Not only did the 997 look “right,” it also performed on par with the world’s best sports cars, especially in terms of acceleration and handling. Bigger brakes, a lowered suspension, and Porsche’s new stability control system earned the 997 immense respect among fans. While the main models were quick it was the 911 Turbo that was the true straight line beast. It was first production car to get a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry.
In terms of special editions, Porsche introduced the next-generation Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 RS. The new 911 GT3 was equipped with a 3.6 liter, naturally aspirated engine that produced 415 horsepower and had an absurd 8,400 RPM. The GT3 RS got the same engine but was set up for the track primarily. The 997 GT2 was also launched and was the most powerful and fastest road-going 911 ever to have been sold to the public.
Porsche 911 997.2 (2008-2011)
The midlife update came in 2008 (2009 model year) for the 997 and was known as the 997.2 model series. The exterior featured slight modifications as compared to the 997.1 models. For 2009, both 3.6-liter and 3.8-liter engines receive direct injection; new PDK dual-clutch seven-speed transmission replaced the Tiptronic S automatic. The Carrera’s engine had 345 hp on tap while 385 hp was made available in the Carrera S. Other changes included a revised suspension system, revised front bumper with larger air intakes, headlamps with newly optional dual HID projectors, a new LED taillamp design, and LED turn signals, a new Porsche Sports Exhaust (PSE) and updated PCM system with optional touch-screen hard-drive navigation and Bluetooth.
Along with the Carrera and Carrera S, Porsche also introduced new all-wheel-drive versions in 2008 (Carrera 4 and 4S). The Targa now had a glass roof made of a special glass that repelled UV rays from entering the car. The 911 Turbo got a completely new 3.8 liter twin turbo flat six with 490 hp and 480 lb⋅ft of torque thanks in part to newly revised BorgWarner variable turbine geometry (VTG) turbochargers. The 911 Turbo S that was introduced in 2010 made 523 hp and was capable of 0-60 runs of less than three seconds. Available with only a 7-speed PDK transmission and carbon ceramic brakes along with the Sport Chronograph package as standard it was a straight line monster.
In 2011, Porsche launched a new 911 that was basically the perfectly specced Carrera S. The Carrera GTS was available as both a coupé and cabriolet and got a wider body and track and an upgraded 3.8-litre engine generating with 413 horsepower.
The updated GT3 was a cracker. The car had better airflow to the radiators, a larger rear wing, forged pistons, lightweight valves and hollow camshafts in order to make the engine lightweight. A special 6-speed manual transmission with rev matching technology was the only transmission option. Total downforce was doubled. Power output was now rated at 429 hp at 6,000 rpm and 317 lb⋅ft of torque from the new 3.8-litre flat-6 engine. The GT3 RS was once again the high performance version of the GT3 with a higher engine power output, lower weight and shorter transmission ratios, as well as having upgraded body and suspension components, designed for homologating the race version of the 911 GT3. Porsche added the “RS” treatment to its new GT2, which meant 612 hp, a 205 mph top speed, and a lap time of 7:18 – a record at the time – on the famed Nurburgring circuit.
In terms of other limited run special editions the 997 did not let us down. In 2011 there was a 365 unit run of a new 911 Speedster variant which as always brought back the historic model and sold out fast. It was the 600 unit limited edition 911 GT3 RS 4.0 which was the final evolution of the 997 that we love. It featured a 4.0-litre engine with 493 hp at 8,250 rpm and 339 lbf⋅ft of torque and took a lot of the GT2 RS learning Porsche Motorsport team had into effect. It was near perfect and is a collector car these days.