The Water-Cool Porsche 911 Porschephiles Love. The Porsche 997
When Porsche introduced the replacement to the Porsche 996, they looked at what went wrong and went back to the direction of the last water-cooled 911, the Porsche 993. The Porsche 997 returned to the tradition of past Porsche exteriors and interiors by going back to oval headlights, wider back hips, and simpler interiors. Basically a modern interpretation of the Porsche 993. But they added top of the line performance including an updated suspension, more powerful engines, electrical adjustable shocks, PCCB carbon-ceramic brakes and later on in the 997.2 newer engines and the new PDK (dual-clutch) gearboxes. They also added a host of models including the race-bred GT3/GT3RS and the beloved GTS. The Porsche 997 was an instant winner and is deemed today as a great Porsche 911 to own.
When the 2005 Porsche 997 appeared it, it didn’t seem like a radical departure from the Porsche 996 but it was. It had more powerful engines, the base Carrera producing 325-hp, and the Carrera S producing 355 hp. The engine was a evolution of the M96 engine found in the Porsche 996 but was called the M97. Unfortunately the 2005 and early 2006 models were still susceptible to the IMS issue, but later 2006 to 2008 models received an updated bearing. With time being last, it seems that the updated bearing has corrected any problematic issues with the IMS in these later model cars. Porsche added convertible and all-wheel versions of the Carreras during this time.
The Heavy Hitter Porsche 997 Are Coming
The Porsche 997 Model lineup included the wonderful Porsche GT3 and the Porsche Turbo. Both uses the Mezger engines and the GT3 especially has become a collectible with Porsche owners. The Porsche 997 Turbo has been appreciated much more then the previous generation Porsche 996 Turbo.
The big game-change for this platform was the updated generation 2 997s known as the 997.2. These arrived in 2009 and ended in 2011. The engine was totally re-done, bringing in two core technologies to the Porsche 911 – Direct Fuel Injection (DFI) and PDK (dual-clutch automatic). The 997.2 has updated LED lights on the exterior and for the interior now include bluetooth capabilities. These cars are deem the best of the 997s, and prices have held steady for all models.
In the later years of the 997.2, Porsche came out with numerous special additions including the Porsche 997 Black Edition and the highly acclaimed Porsche 997 GTS. The Porsche 997 GTS fits in-between the S Carrera and the race-ready GT3. But due to special options including an tweaked suspension, bumped up horsepower and special exterior trim, the Porsche 997 GTS is an instant classic.
The Porsche 997 is known as the best water-cooled Porsche 911 made. They came in so many models – from daily driver to track-day cars – its easy to find one that fits your needs. The best values will be the early 997.1, the cars made from 2005-2008. Remember the IMS will be an issue on 2005 and early 2006 cars. For the 2007 and 2008 Porsche 911 you don’t have to worry due to the updated IMS bearing. If you want to get the best 997s, then aim for a 997.2, the cars made from 2009-2011. These cars are going to be more expensive due to the recent age and the preference for the DFI engines and the PDK automatic.
The best all around choice would be a Porsche 997 C4S. These cars have it all, lots of power, all-wheel drive, the bigger S brakes, and usually they are ordered fully optioned out (You should look for a full-leather’ optioned car to see what I mean). In general you want to get an CS 911 due to the options they came with including bigger brakes, standard PASM, extra HP and updated wheels.
For the track-oriented driver, you can’t go wrong with the Porsche 997.1/997.2 GT3. Both are great track cars and are going up in appreciation due to the un-certainly with the current Porsche 991 GT3 (i.e. blown engines, and PDK only). For a more intense race experience Porsche came out with the Porsche GT3 RS 4.0. These cars are very rare and very expensive.
To learn more about the Porsche 997, check out the Wikipedia page.
Some video reviews of the Porsche 997: