Porsche 911 Turbo

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The Porsche 911 (pronounced as nine eleven, neun elfer in German) is a sports car made by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany. The famous, distinctive, and durable design has undergone continuous development since its introduction in autumn 1963[1]. Mechanically it is notable for being rear engined and, until the introduction of the all-new Type 996 in 1998, air-cooled.

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Since its inception the 911 has been modified, both by private teams and the factory itself, for racing, rallying and other types of automotive competition. It is often cited as the most successful competition car ever,especially when its variations are included, mainly the powerful 935.
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After 34 years in production the famous air-cooled 911 was replaced by an all-new water-cooled model. Known as the Type 996 this car was a major leap for Porsche, although many of the traits that made the 911 what it was during the past 34 years still remained with the new model. As with the 993 before it the 996 was also a significant model, but mainly for the way it was conceived and designed, and the effect it had on Porsche during the 1990s.

Pundits criticized the 996’s styling a great deal, largely because it shared its headlamps— indeed much of its front end, mechanically— with the less expensive Boxster. The 996 had been on the drawing board first and was a more advanced car in some respects, but the cost-cutting seemed inappropriate for an expensive car. Otherwise, the Pinky Lai-penned shape followed the original Butzi Porsche design very closely. The interior was further criticized for its plainness and its lack of relationship to prior 911 interiors, although this came largely from owners of older 911s.
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The Type 996 spawned over a dozen variations, including all wheel drive Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S (which had a ‘Turbo look’) models, the club racing-oriented GT3, and the forced-induction 996 Turbo and GT2. The Turbo, four-wheel-drive and twin-turbo, often made appearances in magazines’ lists of the best cars on sale.

The Carrera and Carrera 4 underwent revisions for model year 2002, receiving the front headlight/indicator lights which were first seen on the Turbo version two years earlier. This allowed the 911 to be more distinguishable from the Boxster. A mildly revised front fascia was also introduced, though the basic architecture remained.
Engine wise, displacement was 3.4 L and power 300 PS (221 kW), increased in 2002 to 3.6 L and 320 PS (235 kW).

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Porsche unveiled a road-going GT3 version of the 996 series which was derived from the racing GT3. Simply called GT3, the car featured lightweight materials inside and out, including thinner windows, the GT3 was a lighter and more focused 911 with the emphasis on handling and performance. The suspension was lower and more aggressive than other 996s, leading to excellent handling and razor-sharp steering though the ride was very firm. Of more significance was the engine used in the GT3. Instead of using a version of the water-cooled units found in other 996s, the naturally-aspirated engine was derived from the Porsche 911 GT1-98 sports-prototype racing car and featured lightweight materials which enabled the engine to rev highly.

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Its engine was a non-turbo 3600cc F6 rather than either engine from the pre-facelift and revised Carrera. It produced 360bhp at first, later increased to 381bhp at the whole 996 series’ revision.
The GT3 did not feature rear seats.

In 2000, Porsche launched the Turbo version of the Type 996. Like the GT3, the new Turbo engine derived from the 911 GT1 engine and, like its predecessor, featured twin-turbos and now developed 415 PS (309 kW). Also like its predecessor the new Turbo was only available with all wheel drive. A US$17,000 factory option, the X50 package, was available that boosted the engine output to a tidy 450 PS (331 kW) with 620 N·m (457 ft·lbff) of torque across a wide section of the power band. With the X50 package in place the car could make 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 3.8 seconds. This package is named as Turbo S in Europe. Later on toward the end of the 996 life cycle, a 996 Turbo S also returned to the US along with a new debut of the Turbo S Cabriolet boosting even more power— 450 PS (331 kW) and 620 N·m (457 ft·lbff)— than the regular Turbo.

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Styling-wise, the car was more individual than previous Turbos. Along with the traditional wider rear wings, the 996 Turbo had different front lights and bumpers when compared to the Carrera and Carrera 4. The rear bumper had air vents that were reminiscent of those on the Porsche 959 and there were large vents on the front bumper, which have been copied on the Carrera 4S and Cayenne Turbo.

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In 2004 the 911 was heavily revised and the 996’s replacement, the 997, was unveiled in July. The 997 keeps the basic profile of the 996, bringing the drag coefficient down to 0.28, but draws on the 993 for detailing. In addition, the new front fascia is reminiscent of the older generation, with the traditional “bug eye” headlamps. 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 very similar to it. Initially, two versions of the 997 were introduced— the rear wheel drive (2wd) 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), a more sporty suspension, complete with PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) which allows for electronic adjustability of suspension settings, Xenon Headlamps, and Sport 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 1.26 inches (32 mm) to cover wider rear tires. 0–60 mph (97 km/h) for a base Carrera 4 with the 325 PS (321 hp/239 kW) engine was reported at 4.5 seconds according to edmunds.com. The 0–100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration for the Carrera S with the 355 PS (350 hp/261 kW) 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, Carrera 2 and Carrera 4 respectively. The Targas (4 and 4S), released in November 2006, are 4-wheel drive versions that divide the difference between the coupes and the cabriolets with their dual, sliding glass tops. There were rumours that the 997 911 was to undergo an update for the 2008 model year, however these changes were held off until the 2009 model year. The official changes, found in leaked product guides , indicate the new 997 will receive a larger air intake in the front bumper, new headlights, new rear lights, engines with direct fuel injection, and the introduction of a dual-clutch gearbox. In talking with Porsche USA, it was learned that the 2009 models due out in April will be equipped with BlueTooth support in the communications system.

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The Turbo version of the 997 series featured the same 3.6 L twin-turbocharged engine as the 996 Turbo, but this time it developed 480 PS (353 kW/473bhp) and 620 N·m (460 ft·lbff) of torque. This was in part due to the 997’s VTG (variable turbine geometry), which essentially combines the low-rev boost and quick responses of a small turbocharger with the high-rev power of a larger turbocharger. As well as producing more power and flexibility, the new turbocharger improved fuel consumption over the 996 Turbo. With these performance upgrades, it accelerates to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds (3.4 with the Tiptronic transmission) and reaches a top speed of 310 km/h (193 mph). However, these are official figures and Porsche is notable for being conservative about their power and performance ratings. Motor Trend Magazine has clocked the 997 Turbo’s 0–60 mph time in 3.2 seconds with the Tiptronic transmission. The optional Sports Chrono overboost package increases torque to 680 N·m (505 ft·lbff) for short periods (maximum 10 seconds) but over a narrower rev range.

The 997 Turbo features a new all wheel drive system, similar to the one found on the Porsche Cayenne. Featuring PTM (Porsche Traction Management) the new system incorporates a clutch-based system which varies the amount of torque to the front wheels, regardless of wheel slip front and rear. This, according to Porsche, aids traction and the handling by redirecting the torque to control oversteer or understeer, thus resulting in far more neutral handling, as well as greatly improved performance in all weather conditions (as opposed to older AWD system which gave the Turbo stability under hard acceleration).

Styling wise, as with the 996 Turbo the car featured more distinctive styling cues over the Carreras, one of the more distinctive elements the 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.

In the international poll for the award of Car of the Century, the 911 came fifth after the Ford Model T, the Mini, the Citroën DS and the Volkswagen Beetle. It is the most successful surviving application of the air (or water) cooled opposed rear engine layout pioneered by its original ancestor, the Volkswagen Beetle.

Scribbled on December 23rd 2006 in Porsche, Porsche 911 Turbo
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