Porsche 996 is First Produced

The Porsche 996 is the company's internal name for the version of the Porsche 911 model manufactured and sold between 1998 and 2005.

It has since been replaced by the Type 997. Both body styles were used in 2005, depending on model. At its debut, it featured the most significant changes to the Carrera model since its 1963 introduction. The most important among these is the fully water-cooled engine, replacing the previously air-cooled engines, used exclusively by the Carrera models. More stringent noise regulations and higher customer expectations for both refinement and a higher performance 4 valve per cylinder engine made the switch necessary. The 996 Carrera (not GT2, GT3 and Turbo models) engine is designed with what Porsche calls "integrated dry sump oiling". This "integrated dry sump" engine does not have an oil scavenge pump in the crankcase to pump the engine oil to a separate holding tank outside the crankcase as a true dry sump design would have. The only scavenge pumps in the 996 engine are in the camshaft boxes and the oil is pumped from there to the bottom of the crankcase as it would be in any "wet sump" engine. Other changes include a sleeker body with a more steeply raked windshield and a re-designed interior.

With these differences in mind, many "purists" consider the 996 to be an altogether different car since it is not air-cooled like the 993 and its predecessors all the way to the 356, at least in spirit, than the Carreras that preceded it, as opposed to being a development of the original.

The Porsche 996 was an all new design; the first new 911 that didn't carry over a significant component from a previous variant. All new body work, suspension, interior and drive-train including the first water-cooled engine in a 911. The Porsche 996 replaced the Porsche 993.

The first 996s were available as a coupe or cabriolet with either rear wheel or four-wheel drive and a 3.4 litre flat-6 normally aspirated engine producing 300 bhp (224 kW). These cars had the same front end as the 1996 Porsche Boxster. Porsche Carrera Owners complained loudly and long about the "lower priced car that looked just like theirs did ", hence the headlight change for the Boxster. The design for the "fried egg" headlamp could be traced all the way back to the Porsche Panamericana concept car.

In 2000, Porsche debuted the 996 Turbo, equipped with four-wheel-drive and a 3.6 litre, twin turbocharged and intercooled flat-six producing 415 bhp (309 kW), making the car capable of 3.9 second 0 to 60 mph times. An "X50" upgrade package was available from the factory in 2002, increasing power to 444 hp (336 kW) through minor revisions to the turbochargers and engine control software. Porsche produced a Turbo "S" in 2005, featuring the X50 engine upgrades and the formerly optional Carbon fibre-reinforced Silicon Carbide (C/SiC) composite ceramic brakes (PCCB) as standard equipment.

In 2002, the standard models underwent minor re-styling, which included switching to the Turbo-style headlamps and to a new front fascia. These were sometimes known as the Mk2 generation of the 996. In addition, engine capacity was also increased to 3.6 litres across the range, yielding gains of 20 horsepower (15 kW) for the non-Turbo models. 2002 also marked the start of the production of the 996 based Targa, featuring a sliding glass "green house" roof system like its Type 993 predecessor. Also in 2002, the Carrera 4S model was first introduced. The C4S as it is commonly called, shares the widebody look of the Turbo as well as the brakes and suspension.

In 1998 the new Porsche 911, also known as the 996 was introduced. This car had the very important mission of rescuing Porsche as a independent car-manufacturer. For now that seems to be working as Porsche is doing well.

This new 911 is the first in 34 years that is so new compared with the previous models. First all of the bodywork is complete new. As is the interior and the suspension. The headlights, like a lot of other components are shared with the boxster, but Porsche implies they were designed for the 911, and then used for the boxster.The typical curved flanks have made way for a smooth new look. Door handles are now flush fitted. Even the so much loved air-cooled engine, was after 34 years replaced by a water-cooled one for environmental reasons. The overall length of the car has increased by 185mm and width has increased by 30mm.

The 996 is a totally redesigned 911 in every aspect, about the only thing that looks almost the same, is the 996's body. The 996 is the first so-called 911 ever to have a water cooled engine. Even when the whole engine has been completely redesigned, it still gives out the same growl as it's predecessors. The 996 is much easier to handle due to the genius multilink suspension system.

Having been among the most consistent advocates of turbocharging since the early seventies, it came as no surprise when a forced induction Porsche 996 arrived in late 99. Announced in September and launched during October’s Frankfurt Motor Show, this turbocharged 996 featured twin blowers and full-time four-wheel drive, much like its 993 predecessor. Based on the Carrera 4 frame, the Turbo featured a number of important changes over those normally aspirated 911’s, riding some 10mm lower and on mildly re-rated springs and dampers. Thicker anti-roll bars were fitted front and rear whilst the track got widened by 40mm at the back and new eighteen-inch alloy wheels came as standard.

However, unarguably the 996 Turbo’s most innovative feature came via the options list, Porsche offering ceramic composite brake discs and rightfully taking the plaudits for being the first manufacturer to incorporate these hugely effective items onto a road car. Meanwhile, as on the Carrera 4, Porsche’s sublime PSM came as standard. Engine-wise, Porsche began with the GT1-derived 3.6-litre powerplant from their GT3, the German engineers unarguably creating one of the finest turbocharged engines of all time by producing a motor whose characteristics were not too dissimilar to that of a large capacity normally aspirated powerplant.

Features and Performance
With 420bhp on tap at 6000rpm and custom mapped Bosch Motronic ME 7.8 engine management, these dry sumped twin turbocharged 996 posted what were the fastest performance figures of any series production 911, its top speed of 190mph and zero to sixty sprint time of just 4.2 seconds putting it firmly in the territory of Europe’s most lavishly engineered supercars. A six-speed gearbox was derived from the 993 Turbo, the 996 also coming with the option of a re-engineered dual configuration Tiptronic S gearbox (for what was the first time on a turbocharged Porsche). Offering drivers the choice of either a fully automatic five-speed or sequential shifting via steering wheel mounted switches, Tiptronic S was a no cost option. Visually, the Turbo featured a number of aesthetic tweaks to the bodywork over what was the concurrent 3.4-litre engined 996, the most obvious being those re-shaped light clusters and gaping air intakes carved out from the nose. They fed cool air through to the brakes, that large central intake to a front-mounted radiator whilst there were also a pair of ugly intercooler vents ahead of the rear wheelarches.

A matt black wraparound chin spoiler completed the Turbo’s distinctively re-profiled nose and there were a number of other changes made at the back. Indeed, a heavily ventilated skirt maximized engine cooling while, mounted on the engine lid, an electronically adjustable bi-plane rear wing that was unique to this version further extended into the airflow at speeds of above 70mph. Inside, the cabin was much the same as a Carrera 4, only a few minor detail alterations being made to the instrumentation, a more comprehensive trip computer also being fitted. Deliveries began during May 2000, only a Coupe initially being offered. Just days after unveiling their new GT3 RS road car, Porsche provided a glimpse of the Turbo Cabriolet.