Six things you need to know about the Porsche 911 (type 997)
As the venerable 997 becomes a classic Porsche, we look back at its standout stats
Porsche 911 parked beside coast
The 997 is now a classic Porsche. Time for a walk down memory lane to discover what a legend this 911 was
The sixth generation of 911, called the 997, was a benchmark car for Porsche. From new technology to a beautiful fresh design language, more powerful engines to increased performance, this classic 911 continues to be a fan favourite. Here are six things you might not know about it.
Yellow Porsche 911 Turbo parked beside the beach
Inspired by classic 911s, one of the 997’s key design changes were its ‘bug eye’ headlights
1. The 997’s ‘bug eye’ headlightsThe 997 followed the hugely successful 996 version of the 911. One of the most significant changes to the new model was the introduction of distinctive and iconic ‘bug eye’ headlights, replacing the flatter ‘fried egg’ ones from the 996. The bug eye lights were a hark back to previous models and instantly gave the 997 a beautiful, classic aesthetic that has stood the test of time.
Close-up picture of a Porsche 911 Carrera S badge on the back of car
The 997 was the first 911 to wear the Carrera S badge
2. The 997 Carrera S – a new derivative of 911After the success of the 996 Carrera 4S, an all-wheel drive variant of the 911 with more power, Porsche introduced a new Carrera S variant into the 997 range. With a slightly larger engine and more power, the Carrera S offered more performance over the standard Carrera base model.
Red leather interior of Porsche 911
The 997 was a pioneer of new Porsche technology that is now commonplace on models today
3. The 997 introduced new Porsche technologyA new era of Porsche 911 brought with it plenty of pioneering new innovations to the world of sportscars. In 2008, Porsche introduced its ‘Doppelkupplungsgetriebe’ PDK dual-clutch transmission for the 997, the first car to use the new gearbox. Offering faster changes than the Tiptronic automatic, as well as better performance and reduced fuel consumption, PDK quickly became a standard feature on more models in the Porsche range. PDK’s two clutches ensure lightning-quick changes because one handles the even gears while the other manages the odd gears. The 997 was, of course, still available as a manual for those who enjoy the sensation of changing gears themselves.The 997’s technological advancements didn’t stop with PDK. In 2008, during the refresh of the model, Porsche introduced direct injection across the revamped 911 engine range. As a result, fuel consumption and emissions fell considerably and the power and performance figures improved significantly. Another innovation that pioneered in the 997 was torque vectoring. The 997 Turbo debuted Porsche Torque Vectoring for the first time, which works with the car’s Porsche Stability Management system. It brakes the inside rear to allow the car to turn into corners more sharply, improving steering response and giving the car better traction out of corners. A gamechanger, indeed.
Porsche 911 Sport Classic driving on open road with dramatic landscape in background
The 997 spearheaded several limited-edition 911 models that continue to be appreciated by fans and collectors alike, like the 911 Sport Classic
4. 911 special-edition modelsThe 997-era 911 heralded a host of new special-edition Porsche models. The 911 Sport Classic was a limited run of 250 cars that sold out within 48 hours. Finished in Sport Classic Grey and with a ducktail spoiler and Fuchs®-style wheels, it also gained more power and a wider body over a Carrera S. The 997 also welcomed the GT3 RS 4.0, a limited-edition run of 600 cars, with 500PS. Additionally, two more cars based on the 997 were launched: first the 911 Speedster, produced in honour of the 356 and limited to 356 cars. Secondly, the 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder, which was offered to future owners of the 918 Spyder before they took delivery of their hybrid sportscar.
six-20things-20you-20need-20to-20know-20about-20the-20porsche-20997-205Front shot of a Porsche 911 997 GT2 driving on the road
The 997 GT2 took the performance of the 911 to new heights
5. The 997 GT2: at the time, the fastest 911 everLaunched in 2007, the 997 GT2 was the fastest street-legal 911 ever built. Developed by the motorsport specialists at Weissach, it was designed to be devastatingly fast on the road and the track. Featuring the wider body of the 911 Turbo, and rear-wheel drive instead of all-wheel drive, the GT2 went through an extensive weight-saving programme to further push its performance. In 2011, a GT2 RS version was launched, limited to 500 cars and with even more weight reduction and a significant increase in power.
Porsche 911 GTS driving on a road
Exciting performance in an uncompromising package – the 911 GTS model offered it all
6. The 997 was the first-ever 911 GTSThe name GTS is one that is steeped in Porsche legend – and spans 60 years. In 1963, the GTS badge – which stands for Gran Turismo Sport – was given to the 904 Carrera, a mid-engined coupe for road and track use. The 904 went on to win the legendary 1964 Targa Florio road race, cementing the GTS name in history. Since then, several models have worn a GTS badge – the name has become synonymous with high performance and everyday usability. In 2009, the GTS badge graced a 911 for the first time – in this case a 997.2. Some of the key changes that differentiated the 997 GTS from other 911 sportscars of the era include centre-lock wheels, more power and torque, aero enhancements and lowered suspension. Today, there’s a GTS variant of nearly every Porsche model.
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