Porsche 911 997 Series 2005–2012
+ Free-revving flat six-cylinder engines
+ Refined, precise and quick-shifting manual transmission
+ Supportive front seats
+ Excellent ride/handling balance
+ Variable ratio steering is accurate…
-but lacks weight in initial movement off-centre
– Tiptronic transmission blunts performance
– Impractical rear seats
The words ‘iconic’ and ‘legendary’ are frequently over-used in the motoring arena, but where the Porsche 911 is concerned they’re most definitely deserved. Since 1963 this supercar has captured the imaginations of enthusiast drivers, with its beguiling blend of supercar pace, grand touring usability and brilliant build quality. And with thousands made each year, there are plenty to choose from on the used market, although the number of different 911 variants to choose from is bewildering, and it’s essential that you buy the one that’s right for your needs. Once you’ve pinned that down, the next hurdle is to find a minter with a full history that’s been maintained by a marque expert. And don’t buy anything else.
Released in October 2004, the Porsche 997 Series I (997.I) 911 Coupe was a two-door fastback. Manufactured in Stuttgart, Germany, the 997 911 Coupe range initially consisted of the rear-wheel drive Carrera variants, with the all-wheel drive Carrrera 4 following in November 2005. The range was further expanded in 2006 with the Turbo (August) and GT3 variants (September), while a limited number of GT2 variants were available from March 2008. For specifications and further information, please see the Porsche 997 911 Coupe review.
The Porsche 997 Series II (997.II) 911 Coupe – released in October 2008 – introduced direct-injection engines for the Carrera, Carrera 4 and Turbo variants, a seven-speed double-clutch transmission (Porsche’s PDK or Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe) and cosmetic updates. The direct-injection engines were more powerful, lighter, had greater structural rigidity and 40 per cent fewer moving parts due to new timing chain technology and one-piece cylinder heads.
The suspension also featured revised spring, damper and anti-roll bar settings, including an additional stop spring on the front and rear axles.
Safety – Porsche 911 997 Series
Standard safety equipment for the Porsche 997 911 Coupe included dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, front door-mounted head airbags,
ABS, electronic stability control, traction control and front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters.
Engines – Porsche 911 997 Series
|Models||Engine||Power, torque at rpm|
|Carrera, Carrera 4, Targa 4||3,596 cc (3.6 L; 219.4 cu in) H6||325 PS (239 kW; 321 hp) at 6,800, 370 N⋅m (273 lbf⋅ft) at 4,250|
|Carrera S, Carrera 4S, Targa 4S||3,824 cc (3.8 L; 233.4 cu in) H6||360 PS (265 kW; 355 hp) at 6,600, 400 N⋅m (295 lbf⋅ft) at 4,600|
|Carrera S, Carrera 4S, Targa 4S with X51 Powerkit; Club coupé||3,824 cc (3.8 L; 233.4 cu in) H6||381 PS (280 kW; 376 hp) at 7,200, 415 N⋅m (306 lbf⋅ft) at 5,500|
|GT3, GT3 RS||3,600 cc (3.6 L; 220 cu in) H6||415 PS (305 kW; 409 hp) at 7,600, 405 N⋅m (299 lbf⋅ft) at 5,500|
|Turbo*||3,600 cc (3.6 L; 220 cu in) H6 twin turbo||480 PS (353 kW; 473 hp) at 6,000, 620 N⋅m (457 lbf⋅ft) at 1,950-5,000|
Overboost: 680 N⋅m (502 lbf⋅ft) at 2,100-4,000
|GT2*||3,600 cc (3.6 L; 220 cu in) H6 twin turbo||530 PS (390 kW; 523 hp) at 6,500, 680 N⋅m (502 lbf⋅ft) at 2,200-4,500|
Key Dates – Porsche 911 997 Series
9/04 The 997 coupe debuts in 321bhp 3.6-litre Carrera and 350bhp 3.8-litre Carrera S forms.
4/05 A 997 convertible is introduced.
11/05 There are now Carrera 4 and 4 S options, with four-wheel drive.
5/06 The 415bhp GT3 goes on sale.
7/06 The 480bhp 3.6-litre Turbo reaches showrooms.
6/08 Four-wheel drive models get a new transmission and an all-new, more efficient flat-six (341bhp for the Carrera, 380bhp for the Carrera S). The Turbo gets a 3.8-litre engine and Porsche’s brilliant PDK dual-clutch gearbox replaces the previous Tiptronic auto.
12/10 Carrera GTS has 408bhp 3.8-litre engine and rear-wheel drive.
1/11 Speedster has 408bhp 3.8-litre engine, rear-wheel drive, PDK transmission. Just 356 are available globally.
4/11 Black Edition is limited to 1,911 examples with 345bhp 3.6-litre engine.
5/11 Carrera 4 GTS is four-wheel drive version of Carrera GTS.
Checklist – Porsche 911 997 Series
- Clutches last 50,000 miles if not hammered; if driven hard, a replacement can be needed much sooner.
- The suspension lasts well, but the front bushes wear out, especially if the car is driven hard.
- Don’t buy a 997 privately – especially an early one – without an inspection by an acknowledged expert.
- Pre-2009 cars can suffer from engine failure, so look for blackened tailpipes and listen for ticking at idle. Later cars aren’t affected.
- The steel braking system (there was a ceramic option) can suffer from disc corrosion, especially on cars used sparingly.
- Because of stone chips, a resprayed nose is nothing to worry about, but if any other part of the bodywork has received fresh paint, be wary.
- The air-con condensers and coolant radiators can suffer from pinhole leaks; replacements are costly.
Problems and faults: Porsche 997 911 Coupe
• The remote central locking key fob may cease to function if repeated attempts are made to unlock the door from too far away
(i.e. beyond the transponder’s range). If this occurs, the key must be resynchronized with the vehicle.
•For models with manual transmissions, it may not be possible to engage reverse due to a misadjusted cable.
•There was a dealer campaign to replace the air cleaner housing because it did not fit securely.
Recalls: Porsche 911 997 Series
Model : 911 CARRERA S (997)
Concern : WELD SEAMS ON THE EXHAUST TAILPIPE MAY FAIL
Description : The welded seams on the exhaust tailpipe may fail. This can cause rattling noises while driving and can result in the loss of the exhaust tailpipe if the driver continues to drive the vehicle.
Remedial Action : Recall the vehicles that are likely to be affected and replace the exhaust tailpipes with modified units.
Model : BOXTER, BOXTER S (987), 911 CARRERA, CARRERA S (997) AND CAYMAN S
Build Start Date : 22.11.2005
Build End Date : 13/12/2005
Concern : PARKING BRAKE MAY FAIL
Description : A bearing flange on the parking brake lever is likely to break. If this occurs the parking brake will be ineffective.
Remedial Action : Recall the vehicles that are likely to be affected and replace the parking brake lever assembly.
Model : 911 GT3 AND 911 GT3RS (997)
Concern : SEAT BUCKLE MAY NOT DE-LATCH FOLLOWING AN IMPACT
Description : It has been identified that the possibility exists that a faulty seat belt buckle has been installed as part of the six- point seat belt harness. If a faulty buckle has been installed, it may not be possible open the buckle following an accident, if the belt straps have been subject to a tensile load, thus requiring the seat belt straps to be cut, before the occupant could leave the vehicle.
Remedial Action : Subject vehicles will have the seat belt buckle checked for the production date and replaced as necessary.
Model : 911 FT & 911 GT
Concern : DEFECTIVE SWITCH CONSOLE
Description : The switch console for the PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) and TC Off (Traction Control) may be defective and give incorrect signals or cause the above systems to fail.
Remedial Action : Recall the vehicles that are likely to be affected to check and where necessary replace the switch console.
Model : 911 CARRERA, 911 CARRERA S, 911 TURBO, 911 GT2.
Concern : STEERING COULD BE IMPAIRED
Description : It has been identified that, it is possible that the threaded joints on the chassis of subject vehicles may not have been tightened to the prescribed torque. This may result in the screws becoming loose, resulting in noises from around the vehicle. Should the screws detach, steering control can become impaired.
Remedial Action : Recalled vehicles will have the subject joints checked to ensure that they are tightened to the correct torque.
Model : 911 CARRERA 4 AND CARRERA 4S
Concern : ENGINE SPACERS MAY DETACH
Description : Due to vibration, it is possible that stress cracks make occur on the engine spacer. This will normally result in noises, however, it is possible on high milage vehicles for the spacers to become detached.
Remedial Action : Fitment of additional damping elements to reduce the vibration and overcome the issue.
Model : 911 Turbo, Turbo S, GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS
Concern : WHEEL MAY DETACH
Description : At a recent 24 hour race at the Nurburgring Circuit, it was identified that the clamping force/torque on the centre wheel locking components is incorrect. If the vehicle is used under racing type conditions, it is possible that the centre locking device could undo, which if not identified, could lead to a wheel detachment.
Remedial Action : Recall all the affected vehicles to check the centre locking components and replace them if required.
Model : 911 Carrera & 911 Carrera S
Concern : RISK OF FIRE
Description : A fuel pipe quick connector, located under the vehicle, could be contacting a heating pipe. The contact of the pipe and connector could impair the locking function of the connector and, in the worst case, could cause the fuel pipe to leak and the possibility of the engine cutting out or fire.
Remedial Action : Recall the vehicles that are likely to be affected to check for contact of the heating pipe and fuel line and if there is sufficient clearance fit a spacing ring and if there has been contact fit a new fuel line and spacer.
Vehicle Id : WP0ZZZ99ZCS100278 to WP0ZZZ99ZCS145247
WP0ZZZ99ZCS100278 to WP0ZZZ99ZCS145247
Model : 911 GT3 (997)
Concern : REAR HUB MAY DETACH
Description : Current market observations have shown that the track usage of many vehicles in the 911 model line now comes close to that of pure GT3 racing vehicles. The component stresses associated with race track use and competitive driving are much higher than for a sporty driving style on public roads. The revision intervals for race track use must be observed, particularly for highly stressed chassis components, in the same way as is required for GT3 racing vehicles. If these revision intervals are not observed the failure of highly stressed components and breakage of hubs on the rear axle, for example, cannot be ruled out, particularly in the case of components in advanced stages of wear.
Remedial Action : In order to standardise revision intervals, the wheel hubs on the rear axle will be replaced by standard wheel hubs on the affected vehicles with central wheel lock
Vehicle Id : WP0ZZZ99ZAS780067 to WP0ZZZ99ZAS781223
Model : 911 GT3
Concern : FIRE MAY OCCUR
Description : One or more engine con rod bolts may fail and lead to the crankcase being damaged and in the worst case fire.
Remedial Action : Recall the vehicles that are likely to be affected to replace the engine and vehicle specific identification stickers.
Vehicle Id : WP0ZZZ992ES180106 to WP0ZZZ992ES181345
History- Porsche 911 997 Series (2005–2012)
The 996-series was replaced with the 997 in 2005. It retains the 996’s basic profile, with an even lower 0.28 drag coefficient, but draws on the 993 for detailing. In addition, the new headlights revert to the original bug-eye design, drifting from the teardrop scheme of the 996. Its interior is also similarly revised, with strong links to the earlier 911 interiors while at the same time looking fresh and modern. The 997 shares less than a third of its parts with the outgoing 996, but is still technically similar to it.
Initially, two versions of the 997 were introduced— the rear-wheel-drive Carrera and Carrera S. While the base 997 Carrera produced 325 PS (239 kW) from its 3.6 L Flat 6, a more powerful 3.8 L 355 PS (261 kW) Flat 6 powers the Carrera S. Besides a more powerful engine, the Carrera S also comes standard with 19 inch (48 cm) “Lobster Fork” style wheels, more powerful and larger brakes (with red calipers), lowered suspension with PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management: dynamically adjustable dampers), Xenon headlamps, and sports steering wheel.
In late 2005, Porsche announced the all-wheel-drive versions to the 997 lineup. Carrera 4 models (both Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S) were announced as 2006 models. Both Carrera 4 models are wider than their rear-wheel-drive counterparts by 1.76 inches (32 mm) to cover wider rear tires. The 0–62 mph (100 km/h) for the Carrera 4S with the 261 kW (355 PS; 350 hp) engine equipped with a manual transmission was reported at 4.8 seconds. The 0–100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration for the Carrera S with the 355 PS (261 kW; 350 hp) was noted to be as fast as 4.2 seconds in a recent Motor Trend comparison, and Road & Track has timed it at 3.8 seconds. The 997 lineup includes both 2- and 4-wheel-drive variants, named Carrera and Carrera 4 respectively. The Targas (4 and 4S), released in November 2006, are 4-wheel-drive versions that divide the difference between the coupés and the cabriolets with their dual, sliding glass tops.
The 2009 model year 997 received a larger air intake in the front bumper, new headlights, new rear taillights, new clean-sheet design direct fuel injection engines, and the introduction of a dual-clutch gearbox called PDK. They were also equipped with Bluetooth support.
The change to the 7th generation (991) took place in the middle of the model year 2012. A 2012 Porsche 911 can either be a 997 or a 991, depending on the month of the production.
The Turbocharged version of the 997 series featured the same 3.6 L twin-turbocharged engine as the 996 Turbo, with modifications to produce 480 PS (353 kW; 473 bhp) and 620 N⋅m (457 lb⋅ft) of torque. It has VTG (variable turbine geometry), that combines the low-rev boost and quick responses of a small turbocharger with the high-rev power of a larger turbocharger. It also offers higher fuel efficiency compared to the 996 Turbo. The 997 Turbo features a new all-wheel-drive system, similar to the one found on the Porsche Cayenne. The new PTM (Porsche Traction Management) system incorporates a clutch-based system which varies the amount of torque to the wheels to avoid tire slippage. According to Porsche, redirecting torque to control oversteer or understeer results in neutral handling as well as greatly improved performance in all weather conditions.
For the face lifted 2010 model year 911 Turbo, known internally as the 997.2 (as opposed to the 997.1 2007-2009 model years), launched in August 2009, the PTM system has now been tweaked to give a more rearward power bias. The new 911 Turbo introduces paddle shifters for the PDK double-clutch gearbox. The new 911 turbo uses a different engine. The previous water-cooled turbos (996 and 997) measured 3600cc. This new engine measures 3800cc (3.8 liters) and was first developed for the Carrera that was launched in 2008. The variable-vane twin turbochargers have also been reworked to increase responsiveness, and the intercooler and fuel system have been uprated. It develops 493 PS (363 kW; 486 bhp) which is 20 bhp more than the previous model. The steering wheel also houses a display showing when Sport, Sport Plus and launch control have been selected through the optional Sport Chrono package. Porsche claims the new 911 turbo will go from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 3.4 seconds, or 0–60 mph in 3.2 seconds and can attain a top-speed of 312 km/h (194 mph).
As with the 996 Turbo the car featured distinctive styling cues over the Carreras including front LED driving/parking/indicator lights mounted on a horizontal bar across the air intakes. The traditional rear wing is a variation of the 996 bi-plane unit.
A new 911 Turbo S was set for production in 2010. It is a fully optioned Porsche 911 Turbo with a PDK gearbox and sports exhaust as standard. It also comes with re engineered turbos to give an extra 30 horsepower to a total of 523 PS (385 kW; 516 bhp).
The 911 GT3 was added to the 997 lineage on 23 February 2006. Performance figures include a 0–100 kilometres per hour (0–62 mph) acceleration time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 310 km/h (193 mph), almost as fast as the Turbo. Porsche’s factory reports were proven to be conservative about the performance of the car; Excellence magazine tested the 997 GT3 and recorded a 0–100 km/h of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 312 km/h (194 mph). It was at that time crowned “the best handling car in America” by Motor Trend.
997 GT3 RS
The 911 GT3 RS was announced in early 2006 as a homologation version of the GT3 RSR racing car for competition events like Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The drivetrain of the RS is based on the 911 GT3, except for the addition of a lightweight flywheel and closer gear ratios for further improved response under acceleration. Unlike the GT3, the RS is built on the body and chassis of the 911 Carrera 4 and Turbo, and accordingly has a wider rear track for better cornering characteristics on the track.
Visually, the RS is distinguished by its distinctive colour scheme – bright orange or green with black accents, which traces its roots to the iconic Carrera RS of 1973. The plastic rear deck lid is topped by a wide carbon-fibre rear wing. The front airdam has been fitted with an aero splitter to improve front downforce and provide more cooling air through the radiator.
The European version of the RS is fitted with lightweight plexiglass rear windows and a factory-installed roll cage.
Production of the first generation 997 GT3 RS ended in 2009. An estimated 413 units were delivered to the US and the worldwide production run is estimated to be under 2,000 vehicles.
In August 2009, Porsche announced the second generation of the 997 GT3 RS with an enlarged 3.8-litre engine producing 450 bhp (336 kW), a modified suspension, dynamic engine mounts, new titanium sport exhaust, and modified lightweight bodywork.
In April 2011, Porsche announced the third generation of the 997 GT3 RS with an enlarged 4.0-litre engine producing 500 bhp (373 kW), Porsche designed the GT3 RS 4.0 using lightweight components such as bucket seats, carbon-fibre bonnet and front wings, and plastic rear windows for weight reduction, while using suspension components from the racing version. Other characteristics include low centre of gravity, large rear wing and an aerodynamically optimised body. The lateral front air deflection vanes, a first on a production Porsche, increase downforce on the front axle. Aided by a steeply inclined rear wing, aerodynamic forces exert an additional 190 kg, enhancing the 911 GT3 RS 4.0’s grip to the tarmac. The GT3 RS 4.0 weighs 2,998 lb.
The Type 996 911 GT2 was superseded by the Type 997 GT2 in 2007. The new car was announced on 16 July of that year, but was launched during the 62nd Frankfurt Motor Show, held every other year in Frankfurt, Germany. It arrived in dealerships from November 2007.
The 997 GT2 has a twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre flat-6 engine, which generates 523 hp (390 kW) at 6500 rpm, and 505 lb⋅ft (685 N⋅m) of torque from 2200 to 4500 rpm. It has a 6-speed manual transmission and is rear wheel drive. With a curb weight of 3,175 lb (1,440 kg), the Porsche 997 GT2 accelerates from 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 3.6 seconds, and from 0 to 100 mph (161 km/h) in 7.4 seconds, and has a top speed of 204 mph (328 km/h). This makes it the first street-legal 911 to exceed 200 mph (322 km/h), with the exception of the 1998 911 GT1road car (which is broadly considered not to be a true 911 due to its mid-mounted engine).
Motor Trend tested a 2008 Porsche 911 GT2 and found the 0–60 mph acceleration time at 3.4 seconds, and 11.4 seconds at 127.9 miles per hour (205.8 km/h) for the quarter mile. The GT2 also recorded a braking distance from 60 to 0 miles per hour (97 to 0 km/h) of 98 feet (30 m) and recorded 1.10g lateral grip. The GT2 made an appearance on Top Gear, where it had a lap time of 1:19.5, faster than a Carrera GT by .3 of a second.
Its appearance differs slightly from its sister-car, the 911 (997) Turbo, in a few ways. It does not have fog lights in the front bumper, it has a revised front lip, it has a different rear wing (with two small air scoops on either side), and it has a different rear bumper (now featuring titanium exhaust pipes).
The 997 GT2 is also different from the 997 Turbo in that it is rear-wheel-drive rather than all-wheel-drive.
997 GT2 RS
On 4 May 2010, an RS variant was announced to German dealers in Leipzig. The GT2 RS develops 620 PS (456 kW; 612 hp) and 700 N⋅m (516 lb⋅ft) of torque and weighs 70 kg (150 lb) less than the standard GT2, allowing for a top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph) and the 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time of 3.4 seconds.
Unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, the Sport Classic is a limited (250 units- all sold in under 48 hours) version of 911 Carrera S coupé, inspired by the 1973 Carrera RS 2.7. The engine is rated at 408 PS (300 kW; 402 hp) via newly developed resonance intake manifold with 6 vacuum-controlled switching flaps. It includes 6-speed manual transmission, double-dome roof, 44 mm (1.7 in) wider rear fenders, SportDesign front apron with a spoiler lip and a fixed ‘duck tail’ rear wing (similar to the one found on the 1973 Carrera RS 2.7), PCCB Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, 20 mm (0.8 in) lower PASM sports suspension, mechanical rear axle differential, 19-inch black fuchs wheels, Porsche Exclusive woven leather seats and door panels, dashboard with Espresso Nature natural leather upholstery, and a specially developed Sport Classic Grey body colour.
In 2011, Porsche added a new 911 Speedster in a limited series of only 356 units to the 997 lineage, the number of cars produced recalling the iconic car of the 1950s. It was the third 911 Speedster produced, the other two being from the 930 and 964 generations. The Speedster was powered by the same engine of the Carrera GTS, and produced 408 hp (304 kW; 414 PS). It accelerated from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.2 seconds and attained a top speed of around 190 mph (310 km/h). Only two colours were offered, Pure Blue (which was developed specifically for the Speedster) and Carrara White. (Paint To Sample versions were produced in very limited numbers and upon special request from “loyal customers”.)
The Speedster featured a windscreen 70mm shorter than the standard 997 cabriolet while maintaining the same rake angle.