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By the time the mid-nineties rolled around, the 911’s chassis and engine were over thirty years old. To keep up with evolving technology, Porsche had to reinvent the 911. An all-new chassis with revised suspension mounting points, improved aerodynamics, and an all-new engine were designed for the ever-increasing safety regulations and the demands of a high-performance digital world. The new car would go on to define the new era of the 911: The Water Cooled Era. 

 

The 996 (1999-2005)

The 996-generation 911 provided the most significant leap between any generation since 1963. Starting with a clean sheet would allow engineers to completely redesign every facet of the car in line with modern technological developments, even though the 993 was still relatively competitive. What resulted was a bigger, lighter, and faster 911, unlike anyone had seen. 

Without a doubt, the most radical change for the 996 was its engine. New was a 3.4-liter, water-cooled, double overhead camshaft flat-six with four valves per cylinder. Porsche retained the Varioram technology and introduced the Variocam variable valve timing system for greater power and fuel economy. A new cable-shifted six-speed manual by Getrag became the standard transmission. Optionally, buyers could spec the five-speed Tiptronic S automatic. US-spec 1999 models used a cable throttle body, but every subsequent model year used a drive-by-wire system. The first year was also the only one with a mechanical LSD. Porsche Stability Management (PSM) was offered as a replacement for the LSD. PSM used several sensors to analyze the vehicle’s wheel speed and automatically apply the brakes to one wheel to either improve traction or in an attempt to reduce understeer/oversteer.

Porsche then dropped the new engine into an all-new chassis, the 911’s first since 1963. Made with modern processes, the fresh bodyshell was 7.3” longer, 1.2” wider, and 45% torsionally stiffer than before. Yet, the updated materials meant the new car was several hundred pounds lighter than its predecessor. Front suspension architecture was similarly redesigned, utilizing MacPherson struts with coil-over springs instead of torsion bars. Paired with a split lower control arm, it’s the same architecture Porsche used through the next two generations. In the rear, the 993’s multilink saw some changes, but the general principle remained. Altogether, those updates culminated in a 911 that was faster, more useable, better on fuel, and less oversteer-prone than its predecessor. 

An all-new chassis also meant a clean sheet for designers. Much was changing in the mid-nineties as computers began connecting the world unlike ever before. Hong Kong-born Pinky Lai led the design team, signing off on what would be the most polarizing 911 ever made. The so-called “fried egg” headlights were an immediate point of contention and have only recently become accepted with the end of the analog sports car in sight. Inside, the air-cooled model’s simple and sturdy interior was left behind with lots of oval shapes and plastics. A quirk of the air-cooled models is their lack of cup holders, yet Porsche’s design team continued to overlook that for the early 996s. There wasn’t even a glove box, as a lockable center console was determined to be just fine. As you might assume, the Germans were hit with such resounding feedback that cupholders and a traditional glove box returned for the mid-cycle 996.2 refresh.

The Carrera (RWD) and Carrera 4 (AWD), both coupe and cabriolet, were the only models available until the Turbo joined the lineup in 2001. The Turbo featured a wider body compared to the Carrera, featuring distinct air-inlets on the quarter panels that were standard to feed each intercooler. Unique lights and bumpers were fitted to the exterior, while hollow “Turbo Twist” wheels were the widest available. Its 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six was a completely different engine from the Carreras, too. Whereas the Carrera had an all-new engine, the Turbo used a crankcase and bottom end derived from the GT1 race car, known as the “Mezger” engine. The cylinder heads and cylinders were water-cooled, however. That helped the Turbo model avoid the IMS bearing issue the Carrera models suffered from and gain its reputation for holding big power reliably. 

Porsche released their mid-cycle refresh in 2002, creating the “996.2” models. All Carreras received revised bumpers and lights, aligning them with the Turbo’s, and a larger 3.6L engine good for another 20hp. The Carrera 4 coupe was dropped in favor of the Carrera 4S. It used the Turbo’s widebody, suspension, and brakes, but the engine and drivetrain from the standard Carrera. The Carrera 4 Cabriolet remained available until 2004, when the C4S Cab took its place. 2005 was the last year for the 996, and the only model available was the Turbo S. 

This generation also brought the GT3 and GT2 to American shores. The GT2 was based on the Turbo, but its six-speed manual put the power down only through the rear wheels. Porsche stripped the rear seats, thinned the carpeting, and removed unnecessary accessories to keep it light. Externally, it received a large fixed rear wing and unique bumpers. Its engine remained 3.6L, but other tweaks raised the power output to 476 hp. The GT2 was the fastest 911 ever when it debuted and featured Porsche’s first carbon-ceramic brakes as an option. 

The GT3 was birthed from the Carrera in 1999 but brought to America in 2003. Using a Carrera chassis, Porsche welded in reinforcements, put it on the same diet as the GT2, and stuffed in a naturally aspirated version of the Mezger engine redlining at 8200 RPM. It was similar in design to the Turbo, using the bottom end from the air-cooled engines with four-valve, water-cooled heads but with high compression and big camshafts. The suspension and brakes were made for dual-purpose street and track use. The exterior also received unique bumpers and a large, fixed rear wing. 

996 U.S. Models and Specifications

Year

Model

Engine

Transmission


1999

(996.1)


Carrera/Carrera 4

3.4 L Flat-6

296hp/258 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

Optional: “Tiptronic” Five-Speed Automatic


2000-2001

(996.1)


Carrera/Carrera 4

3.4 L Flat-6

300hp/258 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

Optional: “Tiptronic S” Five-Speed Automatic


Turbo

3.6 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

415hp/413 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

Optional: “Tiptronic S” Five-Speed Automatic“G96” 










2002-2005

(996.2)


Carrera/Carrera 4/Carrera 4S

3.6 L Flat-6

320hp/273 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

Optional: “Tiptronic S” Five-Speed Automatic

Carrera 40th Anniversary Edition 

3.6 L Flat-6

345hp/273 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

Optional: “Tiptronic S” Five-Speed Automatic


Turbo

Mezger 3.6 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

415hp/413 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

Optional: “Tiptronic S” Five-Speed Automatic


Turbo S

Mezger 3.6 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

444hp/457 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

Optional: “Tiptronic S” Five-Speed Automatic


GT2

Mezger 3.6 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

476hp/413 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual


GT3

Mezger 3.6 L Flat-6

380hp/284 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

 

The 997 (2005-2013)

Using the 996 as a basis, Porsche took its chassis and made small performance and styling improvements everywhere, culminating in 2005’s 997. Externally, the signature round headlights returned, replacing the much-maligned “fried eggs,” and the turn signals returned to the bumper. However, the overall shape changed slightly, retaining the classic 911 silhouette. Under the body panels and redesigned interior, much of the 911’s structure remained, with minor tweaks to the suspension, brakes, and unibody.

For the first time since the mid-seventies, Porsche gave the 911 two different engine sizes. Carrera and Carrera 4 models came equipped with the 3.6-liter engine out of the 996 with some small updates. The S and 4S models used a new 3.8L variant that produced 30 hp more than the non-S models. And if that wasn’t enough, buyers could opt for the X51 Powerkit. Offering the same improvements as the 996’s Powerkit, the 997’s X51 3.8L pushed out 381 hp and around ten lb-ft of torque over the standard S engines.

Yet, the 997’s most significant update was in the aesthetics department. Porsche heard the 996 criticisms loud and clear, so the 997 was styled far more reminiscent of the air-cooled manner. Instead of the odd dashboard layout, vent shape, and button shape, the new Carrera wore a tidied, concentrated interior with more traditional features. Plastic surfaces were minimized, and those that remained were treated to look like other materials. It’s a design that has held up well today and is bordering on modern classic status. 

Beyond the engine, the S-badged 997s also received more standard equipment than non-S Carreras. New for 2005 and standard on the Carrera S was Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). Leading-edge technology for its time, PASM uses sensors at each wheel to read the road conditions and change the shocks’ damping on the fly to adapt the suspension to the road conditions. Along with a 10mm lower ride, PASM also includes a button in the cabin to allow the driver to switch the suspension setting to tune the dampers to the situation at hand. While standard in the S-models, it was available as an option for base Carreras. The S also received larger, 19-inch wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights, and the brakes from the 996 Turbo as standard. The red brake calipers can identify all S-models.

For the 997, the AWD models were handled a little differently. Any Carrera in non-S or S form could be AWD regardless of coupe or cabriolet starting from the earliest days of production. However, Porsche gave the 4 and 4S models wider quarter panels over the RWD Carreras. The Targa models with their glass roofs returned to the lineup as 2007 models in late 2006. However, they were only available in 4 or 4S trim. 

Available as an option for all Carreras was the Sport Chrono Package. It added a “Sport” button, which sharpened the throttle response and quickened the Tiptronic cars’ shifts when pressed. It also activated the sports exhaust system if that option was fitted. Buyers also received an analog clock at the top of the dashboard that worked with the navigation system to record lap times at a track event. 

Hitting dealerships in the summer of 2006 was the 997 GT3. Externally, the GT3 featured a large rear wing and unique bumpers designed to prevent lift. The engine remained the same 3.6L Metzger-based design as the 996 GT3 but with a new intake manifold, revised Variocam, and further optimized internals to raise the power figures by 35 hp and 15 lb-ft of torque. The suspension on the GT3 is stiffer and more aggressive in its normal setting compared to the Carreras. It sits 1.2” lower than the entry-level cars with a more track-oriented version of PASM. The stock brakes used steel discs from the Turbo, while the Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes (PCCB) were an option. The only transmission available was a six-speed manual, essentially the same as the 996’s, with slightly shorter gearing and a shorter throw.

The GT3RS made its American debut in the spring of 2007 as an even more track-focused GT3. Using the wider body of the Carrera 4, the RS took the GT3 and turned it up to 11. The engine produced the same power, but the body was lighter, there was a larger carbon fiber rear wing, the gearing was shorter, the suspension stiffer, and most came fitted with PCCBs. European models received a plexiglass rear window and a half-cage. The RSs came in four colors: black, green, orange, or silver, with contrasting wheels and graphics. 

The GT2 was the last 997.1. Using the Turbo body and engine, the GT2 left the factory with even more power, 523 hp, and ditched the AWD system to lose weight. Unique bumpers and rear wing were fitted for better aerodynamics and cooling, the suspension was reminiscent of the GT3, and PCCBs were standard. 

The updated 997.2 reached showroom floors in late 2008 for the 2009 model year. The chassis shape remained the same, but new bumpers and lights revitalized the original design. The taillights and daytime running lights used LEDs, and the 4 and 4S Carreras received a reflector between the taillights. Rear-wheel drive Carreras retained a narrower body compared to the all-wheel-drive models. However, the most significant changes came under the skin for the 997.2. 

Porsche debuted a brand new engine for the 997.2, called the 9A1. Fueling was now via direct fuel injection, which allowed Porsche to raise the engine’s compression and use less fuel to produce better fuel mileage and more power. It also eliminated the catastrophic bore scoring, IMS, and D-chunk issues from the M96/M97 engine family with a new metallurgy and closed deck design. The Carrera’s engines’ displacement remained the same, but horsepower on the base Carrera rose to 345, while the Carrera S jumped to 385. However, 2010’s X51 Powerkit pushed power figures even further for the S when it became available.

The 997.2 also saw the Tiptronic S replaced with Porsche’s seven-speed double-clutch transmission or PDK. A first for a Porsche road car, the PDK automated manual did away with the torque converter and valve body of the traditional automatic transmission for wet clutches and actual gears. Shifts were smoother and quicker, more power could be held, and fuel economy improved. 

The 2010 model year saw the new Turbo, Turbo S, GT3, and GT3RS announced. The Turbo received small exterior and interior updates per the standard Carreras. The engine, however, was a 3.8L 9A1 mill with revised VTG turbochargers. The Turbo S was now the top of the range, featuring even more power and several expensive options, like PCCBs, the full leather interior package, and center-lock wheels as standard.

The GT3 and GT3RS retained the Mezger-based engine, also punched out to 3.8L. More aggressive camshafts and revised Variocam Plus meant the GT3 gained 20 hp and a similar torque figure, while the RS gained around ten hp. New bumpers, rear wings, and splitters were fitted to increase downforce at speed, with the RS receiving pieces much closer to that of the 997 race cars. Center-lock wheels were now standard on both variants over large, GT-specific brakes. The transmission remained the same six-speed manual. A turbocharged GT2RS joined the GT3s in late 2011. Porsche took the previous GT2, updated the looks, put it on a diet, beefed up the power, and sold it as the fastest 911 they’d ever made.

To bridge the gap between the GT3 and Carrera S, Porsche introduced the Carrera GTS. 19-inch center-lock wheels, PSM, and PASM were standard, as was the X51 Powerkit. Alcantara lined the seats’ center for a better hold as you adjusted the sound coming from your Sound Package Plus on your touch-screen navigation (PCM). Unique front and rear bumpers were fitted with the front receiving the Sport Design splitter. All of that was wrapped in the wider body shell of the all-wheel-drive models. Porsche offered the GTS with or without all-wheel-drive and in Coupe and Cabriolet configurations. 

The GT3RS 4.0 was the last of the 997s. Its 4.0L Mezger-based engine was the largest and the last of its kind. Most of the engine’s internals came straight from the RSR race cars, helping it achieve 500 naturally aspirated horsepower. The hood and fenders were made of carbon fiber, too. Just 126 examples made their way to the US.  

The Carreras ended their production first and were replaced in 2012; however, the Turbo and Turbo S held out until 2013.

997 U.S. Models and Specifications

Year

Model

Engine

Transmission




2005-2008

(997.1)

Carrera/Carrera 4

3.6 L Flat-6

320hp/273 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

Optional: “Tiptronic S” Five-Speed Automatic

Carrera S/Carrera 4S

3.8 L Flat-6

355hp/295 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

Optional: “Tiptronic S” Five-Speed Automatic

Turbo

Mezger 3.6 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

480hp/460 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

Optional: “Tiptronic S” Five-Speed Automatic

GT3/GT3RS

Mezger 3.6 L Flat-6

415hp/300 lb-ft tq

“G97” Six-Speed Manual

GT2

Mezger 3.6 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

530hp/505 lb-ft tq

“G97” Six-Speed Manual

2009-2013

(997.2)

Carrera/Carrera 4

3.6 L Flat-6

345hp/287 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

Optional: “PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Carrera S/Carrera 4S

3.8 L Flat-6

385hp/310 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

Optional: “PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Carrera GTS/Carrera 4 GTS

3.8 L Flat-6

408hp/310 lb-ft tq

“G96” Six-Speed Manual

Optional: “PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Turbo

3.8 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

500hp/480 lb-ft tq

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Turbo S

3.8 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

530hp/516 lb-ft tq

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

GT3

Mezger 3.8 L Flat-6

435hp/317 lb-ft tq

“G97” Six-Speed Manual

GT3RS

Mezger 3.8 L Flat-6

450hp/317 lb-ft tq

“G97” Six-Speed Manual

GT3RS 4.0

Mezger 4.0 L Flat-6

493hp/339 lb-ft tq

“G97” Six-Speed Manual

GT2RS

3.8 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

620hp/516 lb-ft tq

“G97” Six-Speed Manual

 

The 991 (2012-2020)

The all-new, seventh-generation 911, dubbed the 991, replaced the 997 in late 2011 for the 2012 model year. Line-up options hardly differed, but the generation saw significant evolution throughout production.

The chassis was all-new and larger once more, growing 2” in length and stretching 4” in wheelbase. Yet expanded use of ultra-high-strength steel and a nearly 50% aluminum construction meant it dropped 100 lbs over the 997 and was 20% stiffer. Up front, it retained the same 996/997 architecture with some minor updates to the bushings, but out back was a new multi-link design. A new wheel carrier and control arm setup capitalized on the prior arrangement to offer more robust components with slightly improved geometry and adjustability. Other bits, like the sway bars, were available for the first time with Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, or PDCC. Selecting that option gave the 991 hydraulically adjustable sway bar drop links that used sensors to provide adaptive roll control. 

The engine and drivetrain were carried over from the 997.2. The 9A1 engine was still mounted outback, though it was reduced to 3.4L for the base Carrera. The Carrera S’s engine remained unchanged at 3.8L. Power output grew by five horsepower for the base Carrera while the S received a bump of ten and fifteen in horsepower and torque. The PDK made the transition unchanged, while the standard six-speed manual gained an extra forward gear for low-RPM highway cruising. 

The early .1 model lineup featured the same set of trims and drivetrain as before, sans GT2. After the Carreras, Porsche Turbo, and Turbo S. Along with the usual exterior tweaks over the N/A models, the Turbos were fitted with Porsche Active Aerodynamics (PAA) to increase stability at speed. The extending rear wing changed its attack angle to keep the back end planted, while a front lip is inflated to reduce lift on the nose. Engine size and drivetrain specs remained the same from the 997.2, but power increased. The rear suspension received Porsche’s first rear-wheel steering system since the 928’s passive Weissach axle. PCCBs and center-lock wheels remained standard on the S, while the base Turbo received steel brakes and five-lug wheels. Both cars had leather sport seats as standard.  

The 991 GT3, introduced in 2013 for 2014, was also a big change from previous generations. It was still a track-taming weapon, but the iconic Mezger engine and six-speed manual disappeared. The only transmission option Porsche offered was the PDK. The engine: a specialized 3.8-liter based on the 9A1 of the Carrera S, pushing out 475 hp on its way to a 9000-rpm redline. Even the hydraulic power steering revered by so many was electrified. The GT3 had become genuinely mainstream and as popular as ever; it was a new era for the GT department. 

Porsche debuted the Targa 4 and 4S in early 2014, and much to motoring journalists’ delight, the original Targa design had returned. Instead of a collapsible, manually operated roof, the new one utilized an incredibly complex electrically operated system. Later that year, the GTS joined the lineup to fill the gap between the Carrera S and GT3. Like the previous GTS, the 991 used the Carrera S engine but with an extra 30 hp. Every GTS used the wider chassis from the AWD models regardless of how many wheels received power. Center-lock wheels joined the Sport Design front bumper and Sport Design side skirts as the standard exterior equipment. Other standard equipment included the Sport Chrono Package, Sport Exhaust System, PASM, PTV, Porsche’s Dynamic Lighting System (PDLS), and dynamic engine mounts. A manual transmission and PDK were both available.  

2016 brought about the last two models for the 991.1, the GT3RS and the 911R. The RS followed along on the classic RS formula; strip even more weight out of the GT3, make the suspension even more track-focused, add a big splitter and rear wing for more downforce, and add a bit more power. A magnesium roof panel, air intakes in the quarter panels like the Turbo, and louvered front fenders to relieve pressure in the wheel wells were all new for the RS. The engine was increased to 4.0Land produced another 25 hp over the GT3. 

The 911R was a mash-up of the RS and GT3 but without the flashy bodywork. It used the GT3’s chassis and bodywork, minus the big wing. The engine was the 4.0-liter unit from the RS mated to a new six-speed manual, the only transmission offered for the R. The interior was still stripped of sound deadening to keep the weight low, but the seats used a Pepita style cloth in an homage to the same fabric being common on 911s in the 1960s. In all, Porsche produced just 991 examples.

The updated 991.2 Carrera debuted for the 2017 model year with a sign of the times; a new and downsized turbocharged engine dubbed the 9A2. The new engine was a big deal for Porsche as the 3.0-liter flat-six fitted to the base and S models utilized two turbochargers; the first time a 911 not wearing a Turbo or GT2 badge used turbocharging. Porsche reasoned that the smaller displacement combined with the turbochargers allowed Carrera models to produce more power while being friendlier to the environment. Every variant from the 991.1 lineup returned with more power.  

A new model, the Carrera T, was also introduced. The body and engine were identical to the base Carrera, the PASM suspension was from the GTS, and the whole car went on an RS-style diet. There was thinner glass for the quarter and rear windows, cloth door pull straps, less sound-deadening, and no rear seats. Sports seats were standard, while the RS’s carbon buckets were an option. 

The 991.2 GT3 used a 4.0-liter engine making 500 hp and was available with a six-speed manual transmission. However, this isn’t the same engine as the 991.1 GT3RS, as it uses an entirely different valvetrain. On the outside, new bumpers and bodywork were fitted to update the design and produce more downforce. New to the GT3 was a small rear diffuser. Though, for the first time on a GT3, the big rear wing could be deleted. Based on the success of the 911R, Porsche introduced the Touring package to the GT3.

The 991.2 also featured a GT2RS. The GT2RS sent 700 hp through its rear wheels and PDK gearbox using a modified version of the Turbo S engine. Larger turbochargers, special pistons, and intercooler water sprayers helped the engine reach that figure. Externally, it wore bumpers and wings similar to the GT3RS; however, the rear wing and all air inlets and outlets were enlarged for aerodynamic and cooling purposes. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic was used extensively for the fenders, hood, and rear decklid, while the doors were made from aluminum. The standard carbon bucket seats and stripped interior trim helped the GT2RS shed nearly 400 pounds from the curb weight of the Turbo S. An updated GT3RS was also introduced around the same time. Looking very similar to the 991.1, the facelifted model received minor updates like NACA ducts to cool the brakes and extended front splitter and side skirts. The same 4.0-liter engine hangs over the rear wheels but offers another 20 hp.  

Available for both the GT3RS and GT2RS was the Weissach Package. For owners obsessed over shedding weight, the Weissach Package cut extra weight from its respective models by replacing the roof, anti-roll bars, anti-roll bar endlinks, and shift paddles with carbon fiber reinforced plastic pieces. Additionally, gold-colored magnesium wheels could be fitted to reduce unsprung mass further.

991 U.S. Models and Specifications

Year

Model

Engine

Transmission







2012-2016

(991.1)

Carrera/Carrera 4

3.4 L Flat-6

350hp/287 lb-ft tq

“MT11” Seven-Speed Manual

Optional: “PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Carrera S/Carrera 4S

3.8 L Flat-6

400hp/325 lb-ft tq

“MT11” Seven-Speed Manual

Optional: “PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Carrera GTS/Carrera 4 GTS

3.8 L Flat-6

430hp/325 lb-ft tq

“MT11” Seven-Speed Manual

Optional: “PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Turbo

3.8 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

520hp/487 lb-ft tq

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Turbo S

3.8 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

560hp/516 lb-ft tq

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

GT3

3.8 L Flat-6

475hp/324 lb-ft tq

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

GT3RS/911R

4.0 L Flat-6

500hp/339 lb-ft tq

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual











2016-2019

(991.2)

Carrera/Carrera 4

3.0 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

370hp/331 lb-ft tq

“MT11” Seven-Speed Manual

Optional: “PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Carrera S/Carrera 4S

3.0 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

420hp/369 lb-ft tq

“MT11” Seven-Speed Manual

Optional: “PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Carrera GTS/Carrera 4 GTS

3.0 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

450hp/406 lb-ft tq

“MT11” Seven-Speed Manual

Optional: “PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Turbo

3.8 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

540hp/487 lb-ft tq

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Turbo S

3.8 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

580hp/516 lb-ft tq

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

GT3

4.0 L Flat-6

500hp/339 lb-ft tq

Six-Speed Manual

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

GT3RS

4.0 L Flat-6

520hp/346 lb-ft tq

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

GT2RS

3.8 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

700hp/553 lb-ft tq

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

 

The 992 (2019-Present)

The eighth and current generation was introduced to the world in late 2018 as a 2019 model. An all-new bodyshell was created for the 992 to simplify production. All Carrera models use the same shell with the same width. The new car’s rear is no wider than the outgoing 991.2 Carrera S, but the front axle has been widened by 1.6 inches for greater handling and stability. Overall length grew about an inch, but the wheelbase remained the same as the 991. For the first time, non-GT models came standard with staggered wheel sizes: 19-inch front and 20-inch rear for the Carrera and 20-inch front and 21-inch rear for the S.

New bumpers and lights were fitted all around, keeping the classic 911 design language. All Carrera and Turbo models now use a lightbar connecting the taillights, reminiscent of the air-cooled cars’ reflector panel. The third brake light mounted in the engine grille and tailpipes that exit through the bumper are also part of the design change. Inside the cabin, the PDK’s shifter is a more compact mode selector that looks more like a key fob than anything else. The classic five-gauge instrument cluster remains, but only the tachometer is an analog gauge. LCD screens have replaced the surrounding gauges. The infotainment system has grown in size and moved up on the dashboard, causing the central air vents to be moved below it. The center console has been simplified; the multitude of buttons usually fitted have been condensed and redistributed.  

Engines for the Carrera models are the updated 9A2 EVO. It’s mostly the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter mills from the 991.2 but with small changes to the exhaust manifold and intercoolers. The base Carrera’s power jumps by 15 hp, while the S is raised by 30. The seven-speed manual remains unchanged but becomes the optional transmission while the PDK gets updated. Based on the PDK from the Panamera, the new gearbox features revised internals and an additional gear to improve performance and fuel economy further. 

The new Targa was announced in May 2020 and hit American shores that August. They remained only available with all-wheel-drive, in S and non-S forms. By this time, all Carreras were available in their S and non-S forms in all three body styles. The Turbo and Turbo S remained the same for the 992 updates. Standard equipment remains the same for each model, while both models’ standard wheel sizes increase by an inch. PDK 2 remains the only transmission available for the Turbos. Both cars also saw their engine size reduced to 3.7L but gained power. The Turbo pumps out the same power as the old 991.2 Turbo S, while the 992 Turbo S has 641 hp on tap. Both standard brakes were enlarged to keep up with the increasing power. LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Lighting Plus (PDLS Plus) are standard.

Two new option packages became available for this generation’s Turbos: the Lightweight and Sport packages. The Lightweight package puts the Turbos on an RS-style diet, deleting the rear seats and removing some sound insulation. The RS models’ carbon buckets replace the standard sport seats; the back glass is lighter and thinner. The Sport package changes the bumpers and taillights to the SportDesign pieces, replacing various trim with black and carbon fiber bits. 

Within a few years, the Carrera GTS and Carrera T models returned to the lineup. As with before, both serve as Porsche’s sportiest non-GT models. The latter is more or less a Carrera S with every performance option as standard with a relatively sizeable boost in power. The T is similar but far less involved. Utilizing a standard Carrera, Porsche fitted lightweight glass, removed the rear seats, and tacked on the sporty options for a lower-cost model with performance chops; think 964 RS America, but for more money. 

The first of Porsche’s official 992 GT models, the GT3, debuted in 2021. It uses the engine from the 991.2 Speedster fitted with individual throttle bodies. The front suspension design was changed to a double wishbone setup, a first for any 911. PASM Sport, PTV, PDCC, LED headlights, and lightweight glass remain standard. Transmission options are also carried over from the 991.2. In addition to the new front suspension, Porsche focused on aerodynamics. The GT3 uses a “swan-neck” wing and a large rear diffuser, taking cues from the race cars. Working with the front splitter and underbody aero, the new model makes 50% more downforce than the 991.2 it replaced. The Touring trim returns for the 992 GT3, deleting some of the aero bits for a more understated look. 

Fast forward to 2022, and the GT3 RS returned as the track-ready model. Starting with a GT3, the RS was heavily reworked, adding extra adjustability, technology, and a lot more aero. In fact, the RS is all about aerodynamics for this generation. Whereas previous versions had a large wing and a decent splitter, the 992 RS is directly off the race track. Active flaps in the wheel arches, cut-away front fenders, unique doors, two massive hood vents for extracting hot radiator air, a prominent diffuser, and the largest rear wing ever fitted to a road-going Porsche vehicle, complete with active elements are just some of the improvements over the standard GT3. The cylinder heads and camshafts are unique, too, to give it a small power boost over its less-intense sibling. Drivers can even adjust their differential lock rate and compression and rebound damping settings on the fly.

But before that debuted, Porsche dusted off a fairly revered name, Sport Classic, and reintroduced the model. Once an exclusive run of 997s, the 992 Sport Classic is around to fill a hole not previously opened. Now that the GT2 is nowhere to be found, mostly due to the racing class hardly existing, the Sport Classic is the only RWD fitted with the larger 3.7L engine from the Turbo model. While making less power, the SC only uses a seven-speed manual gearbox, something unavailable in the Turbo. As a Heratige Design model, it’s sprinkled with all sorts of callbacks like a modern duck-tail spoiler, green-numbered gauges, and vintage upholstery patterns. With just 1250 units for the global market, there aren’t many to go around. Yet, the SC isn’t even the most exciting limited-run model rolling out of Stuttgart; that goes to the 992 Dakar

Playing off the “Safari” 911 movement, Porsche released their own tribute to the many rally-specced 911s that have seen success all over the globe. Starting with a GTS model, Porsche redesigned the suspension and underside, slapped on skid plates and protective plastic exterior panels, and a host of other unique items to deliver a 911 capable of conquering more than most suburban-driven SUVs. It sits between 50mm and 80mm higher than the standard Carrera and features Dakar-specific tuning for a “Rally Launch Control,” “Gravel mode,” and “Offroad mode” within the Sport Chrono Package. There’s a bespoke rook rack and basket system with LED lights, a CFRP hood, bespoke bumpers, and a new rear wing, too. All-in-all, the Dakar is one of the craziest 911s to have been produced for public consumption.

But, of course, that’s not all. Porsche’s history of offering a million variants of a given generation at any time has become commonplace, and that isn’t changing any time soon. The most recent is the 992 S/T, standing for Sport Touring. It’s, again, the revival of an old name and one that doesn’t necessarily fit, but I digress. Rather than a purpose-built race car meant to take on the Targa Florio and Le Mans, the new S/T is essentially the “Touring” version of the GT3 RS. Carbon doors, fenders, roof, and hood, combined with a new clutch, standard Magnesium wheels, and PCCBs, make the new S/T the lightest 992 you can buy, coming in at around 3056 lbs. The GT-specific six-speed manual features revised ratios to pair best with the RS’s engine for an unmatched driving experience.

992 U.S. Models and Specifications

Year

Model

Engine

Transmission

2019-Present

(992)

Carrera/Carrera 4

3.0 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

379hp/331 lb-ft tq

“MT11” Seven-Speed Manual

“PDK” Eight-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Carrera S/Carrera 4S

3.0 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

443hp/390 lb-ft tq

“MT11” Seven-Speed Manual

“PDK” Eight-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Carrera GTS

3.0 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

473hp/420 lb-ft tq

“MT11” Seven-Speed Manual

“PDK” Eight-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Turbo

3.7 L Flat-6

Twin Turbocharged

572hp/553 lb-ft tq

“PDK” Eight-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

Turbo S

3.7 L Flat-6

Twin Turbocharged

572hp/553 lb-ft tq

“PDK” Eight-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

GT3

4.0 L Flat-6

502hp/346 lb-ft tq

Six-Speed Manual

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

GT3RS

4.0 L Flat-6

518hp/342 lb-ft tq

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

S/T

4.0 L Flat-6

518hp/342 lb-ft tq

Six-Speed Manual

Sport Classic

3.7 L Flat-6

Twin Turbocharged

553hp/442 lb-ft tq

Six-Speed Manual

Dakar

3.0 L Flat-6

Twin-Turbocharged

473hp/420 lb-ft tq

Six-Speed Manual

“PDK” Seven-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual

The 911 hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, remaining the spine and soul of Porsche, embodying everything they stand for. The latest Carreras remains the perfect sporty daily driver, the Turbo, a perfect autobahn missile, and the GT3 remains the king of the track-day specials. In 1948, Dr. Porsche set out to create his perfect sports car, and nearly sixty years later, the 992-generation 911 continues on that legacy.


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Written by :
Christian Schaefer

Car and motorsports-obsessed writer/editor for FCP Euro's DIY Blog. Constantly dreaming of competing behind the wheel or searching for another project. Owner of a turbo Subaru Forester and a ratty Porsche 914, neither of which are running.


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