The 996 (1997): Water-cooled

2013-02-08 10:19

The 996, which rolled off the assembly lines from 1997 to 2005, represented a major turning point in the history of the 911.

It retained all the character of its classic heritage, but was an entirely new car. The comprehensively re-designed generation was the first to be driven by a water-cooled version of the boxer engine. Thanks to its quad-valve cylinder heads, it achieved 218kW and broke new ground in terms of reduced emissions, noise, and fuel consumption.

Meanwhile, the exterior design was a reinterpretation of the classic lines of the 911, but with a lower drag co-efficient (Cd) of 0.30. The lines of the 996 were also a result of component sharing with the successful Porsche Boxster.


Its most obvious exterior feature was the headlights with integrated turn signals, at first controversial but later copied by many other manufacturers. On the inside, drivers experienced an entirely new cockpit.

Driving comfort now also played a greater role alongside the typical sports driving characteristics. With the 996, Porsche launched an unprecedented product offensive with a whole series of new variations. The 911 GT3 became one of the highlights of the model range in 1999, keeping the tradition of the Carrera RS alive.

The 911 GT2, the first car equipped with ceramic brakes as standard, was marketed as an extreme sports vehicle in the autumn of 2000.

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