Porsche re-designs iconic sportster
First printed in Auto Trader Magazine, May, 2004.
A new, simpler headlight design is the most noticeable change in Porsche's latest generation version of the iconic 911 sports car, the Type 997.
The 997 retains the 911's instantly recognisable lines but tweaks the styling to keep it fresh.
Under-the-skin changes provide increased efficiency,
more safety and greater levels of driving enjoyment.
Two new 911 models will be launched simultaneously: the 911 Carrera with a 239kW 3.6-litre six-cylinder boxer engine, and the 911 Carrera S, powered by a newly-developed 3.8-litre engine, which delivers 261 kW.
The 3.8 develops peak torque of 400Nm, and catapults the S to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds.
The Carrera takes exactly five seconds for the same sprint.
Top speeds for the Carrera and Carrera S are 285km/h and 293km/h.
The two new 911 models will be launched across continental Europe on July 17 and in right-hand drive form in Britain from September 18. The car makes its world motor show debut at the Paris Salon in September.
Both 911s have a newly-developed six-speed manual gearbox and revised chassis dynamics, which includes active suspension, called Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). In the normal position, PASM provides a sporty and comfortable balance to the suspension. Engaging the sport function firms the suspension for enhanced agility for enthusiastic drivers.
PASM is fitted as standard on the S and available as an option on the Carrera. A further option for both models is a sports suspension package, which lowers the body by 20mm.
It's offered in combination with a mechanical limited-slip differential.
The specification of the wheels and tyres fitted to the Porsche 911 has also evolved.
The 911 Carrera now has, as standard, 8-inch by 18-inch wheels with 235/40 ZR 18 tyres at the front and 10-inch by 18-inch wheels with 265/40 ZR 18 tyres at the rear.
For the first time, 19-inch diameter wheels are available on the Porsche 911 and the Carrera S is equipped with 8-inch by 19-inch wheels with 235/35 ZR 19 tyres (front) and 11-inch by 19-inch wheels with 295/30 ZR 19 tyres at the rear.
The design of the latest Porsche 911 is a logical continuation of the 911 story, now in its 41st year.
The result of the new exterior design – including a wider track and more emphasis on the waist – is a 911 which Porsche believes is even more dynamic, clear, powerful and elegant.
Other features of the evolutionary design are new circular headlights, more prominent bumpers and wheelarches, dual-arm exterior mirrors, altered seam characteristics and a more aerodynamic rear spoiler.
Auto Trader Magazine, May 2004.Changes introduced in the Type 997 include a stronger horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine, a new six-speed gearbox, suspension refinements and variable-ratio steering.
The interior has been redesigned for greater comfort, and doing away with the spare wheel gives greater luggage space .
Carrera 4 and Cabriolet versions of the 997 are scheduled for 2005. There will be Turbo and Carrera 4S in 2006 and GT3s and GT2s in 2007.
Though it retains the same basic look as its predecessors, Porsche says all the 997's body panels - apart from the roof - are new.
The new oval headlights are complemented by separate front indicators mounted on the bumper.
Taillights wrap further around into the bodywork and are more angular than before.
The 997 is slightly shorter but wider than the 996. The wheelbase remains the same.
Porsche says the Carrera's co-efficient of drag drops from 0.30 to 0.28, and reduced aerodynamic lift gives better high-speed stability.
Front and rear track are wider, and there are new mounting points for the rear suspension arms, increased spring travel and more compliant bushings.
The optional sports package includes firmer springs and dampers and a more aggressive limited-slip differential.
The 997 has speed-sensing variable-ratio power steering and bigger brake sizes. Ceramic discs are available on the S.
Interior styling takes cues from the successful Cayenne SUV.
A new three-spoke multi-function steering wheel adjusts for both rake and reach, and the dashboard uses soft-touch plastics and aluminium-coloured trim.