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Porsche 911 (991) (2004 – 2012) Story & History
Type 991 – The 7th Generation Porsche 911
Porsche 911 991.1 Carrera Coupé/Targa/Cabriolet (2015-2018)
Official photos: 2011 August 23 / Premiere: 2011 September 15 IAA Frankfurt motor show / Market launch: 2011 December 3
The 2012 model 911, internally (and confusingly) called the 991, was introduced at the IAA Frankfurt on September 15, 2011. On April 5, 2012, the 991 was voted as the “2012 World Performance Car” at the New York International Auto Show. Most sadly, on the very same day, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche died at the age of 76. Despite the 991 being already the 7th generation of the 911, the original F. A. Porsche 901/911 design can still be clearly seen in the car.
Compared to its predecessor, the 997.2, the 991 was 2.2″/5.6 cm longer and had 3.9″/10 cm longer wheelbase, but the width stayed exactly the same. The windscreen was more back-tilted and body was slightly lower. The 991 Carrera S was 30 kg/66 lbs lighter than the 997.2 Carrera S. Although the 911’s high cockpit used to be its trademark, the flatter car does look more sporty.
7-speed manual gearbox
Its manual gearbox was the world’s first 7-speed manual transmission on a passenger car. It is like the 6-speed unit in the 997 plus a 7th long ratio gear for reducing the CO2 emissions. The top speed was still reached in 6th gear. Thanks to the elevated centre console, the gear lever is within easy reach – ideal for sporty gear changes. A gear indicator in the rev counter reminds you which gear has been selected.
Cabriolet roof and WindStop
The 991 cabrios came with electric wind deflectors as standard equipment – just press the button and in 2 seconds the wind is stopped. Although the cabriolet roof looked very good already on the 996 and 997 generations, the soft top was completely redesigned for the 991. The new convertible top was a humpless 3-piece magnesium unit covered with smooth and trim fabric. A water channel on the roof ensured that no rainwater dropped into the entry area when the door was open. As before, the top was fully electric and could also be opened with the remote control button on the key. The top made its move in just 13 seconds. And like before, it was operable up to vehicle speeds of 50 km/h / 30 mph.
The roof of the 991 Targa looks very much like the roof on the original 911 Targa when it came to the markets in 1967. The design and the engineering complexity of the 991 Targa roof is amazing, but unfortunately the system is heavy and it is only available for already heavier 4WD cars. The Targa system is 40 kg/88 lb heavier than the Cabriolet top and as the basis for the 911 Targa is the 911 Cabriolet, the basic car is already heaver than the Coupé. When the Targa roof on the 993, 996 and 997 generations of the 911 were made out of glass, the Targa then could be considered as a cabriolet that drives through the icy winters. With the 991 the fabric roof panel is back. With the 993/996/997 Targa you still had the frames running between A- and B-pillars when the roof was open, but the 991 Targa uses the older design that is better for experiencing open air driving. Who needs front wheel drive in the open-air machine is a question we cannot answer. If you are on the market for the nice-weather-car, note that the basic Targa (4WD) is 90 kg/198 lb heavier than the basic Cabriolet (RWD). The front wheel drive weighs 50 kg/110 lb on the 991 Targa and the roof system adds 110 kg/243 lb, making the basic Targa 160 kg/353 lb heavier than the basic Coupé. When you add the automatic gearbox there is another 20 kg/44 lb that you have to drag along all the time and you are already 180 kg/397 lb away from the basic Coupé. The latter now sounds better than ever.
’50 years 911′-anniversary model
The 911-50 anniversary model was presented to the public in the same place exactly 50 years after the 901 was presented: on September 12, 2013 at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show. The 911-50 was based on the 991 S, but with the 44 mm wider body of the 4S and with many cool and unique design features. 1963 numbered cars were made.
The ’50 years 911′-edition and the Carrera GTS were the only 991 versions made in the true Porsche configuration: with wide body, rear wheel drive and manual gearbox. Plus with 4 seats, something that has always set Porsche apart from competition. While the ’50 years 911′-edition was optionally available with the WLS X51 powerkit, this came as standard in the Carrera GTS. The GTS had a few finishing touches unique to it, but most of the features – the WLS engine, SportDesign front spoiler, Sport Chrono package etc. – were from the options list of the 991 S. The center lock wheels were standard and the 5-bolt wheels an option. The Alcantara interior was similar to the GT3. If you couldn’t get your hands on the ’50 years 911′-edition, the 991 Carrera GTS was the ultimate 991 because it ticked more boxes than any other 991. The GTS Coupé was optionally available as a 2-seater to show its closeness to the GT3. The GTS was uniquely available also as a RWD widebody cabriolet. Of course the Carrera 4 GTS Coupé and the C4 GTS Cabriolet were also available, but the 4WD system and the driver who needs it, do not match with the philosophy of the GT3.
Front discs, calipers
Rear discs, calipers
330 mm, 4-piston
330 mm, 4-piston
340 mm, 6-piston
330 mm, 4-piston
350 mm, 6-piston
350 mm, 4-piston
As the PCCB never was as good as planned, with the 991, Porsche AG added a notice for the PCCB brakes: “Please note that circuit racing, track day use and other forms of performance driving can significantly reduce the service life of even the most durable brake pads and discs. As with conventional high-performance braking systems, we recommend that all brake components be professionally inspected and replaced where necessary after every track event.”
The electric parking brake, which you can activate and deactivate manually, releases automatically as you pull away. With the hill-hold function, you can pull away without rolling back. The system automatically detects when the vehicle has come to a halt on an uphill gradient requiring intervention. When you start moving, PSM maintains the brake pressure at all four wheels for a brief period to prevent the vehicle from moving back.
Weight-saving standard roof
To celebrate 60 years of Porsche Club of America, PCNA (Porsche Cars North America) ordered 60 units of 911 Carrera GTS Coupés in Club Blue from Porsche Exclusive. All 60 cars were equiped with SportDesign aerokit (including ducktail). The 991 Carrera GTS was the ideal choice for a Porsche enthusiast car – rear wheel drive, wide body and most powerful Porsche available with manual gearbox. Some cars were equipped with PDK. These Club cars were not numbered because it wasn’t a special series by Porsche AG, but a series of similarly equipped cars ordered by PCNA. The cars got a few unique touches by Porsche Exclusive, like the special “Club Blau” paint, the “Club Coupe” stickers on the doors, the door entry guards with ”GTS Club Coupe” lettering, number “60” embossed on the armrest cover and the “GTS Club Coupe 60 Years Porsche Club of America” lettering written on the dashboard trim strip. The first 991 GTS Club Coupé was finished by Porsche Exclusive in November 2014. It was introduced in USA in the end of January 2015 to be sold in June 2015. One of the cars was destined for a lottery among PCA members. Similar to the 2015 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Club Coupé was the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S WLS Club Coupé. Just that the GTS Club Coupé came with the wider rear end.
(called Sport seat)
Fully electrical seat
(called Electrical Sport seat)
(called Sport Plus seat)
Adaptive sports seat
(called Adaptive Sport Plus seat)
standard electrically erecting rear spoiler
SportDesign Package fixed rear spoiler
Aerokit Cup fixed rear spoiler
Porsche 911 991.2 Carrera Coupé/Targa/Cabriolet (2015-2019)
Official photos: 2015 September 7 / Premiere: 2015 September 15 at IAA Frankfurt motor show press day / Market launch: 2015 December 12
911 Turbo 3.0 is back
From the end of 2015 (model year 2016) the basic 911 versions got turbocharged engines – and like the very first 911 Turbo 41 years earlier – in the size of 3.0 litres. The model year 2016 911 Turbo 3.0 had two power trims: 272 kW for the Carrera and 309 kW for the Carrera S. The more powerful version had its turbochargers, exhaust system and engine management software tuned and cost +15%. In both versions the boxer had its redline set at 7500 rpm, which is not bad for a turbocharged engine. ‘Carrera’ or ‘Carrera S’ doesn’t sound right for the bi-turbo 911 and there was the no-cost option 498 which meant the rear lid ‘Carrera’-sign installation could be skipped at the factory. Unfortunately the “turbo 3.0” sign was not available.
Performance comparison to previous normally aspirated versions
The turbocharging technology ads weight, but there must have been something else that added the weight as the base version is 50 kg/110 lb heavier and the S version 45 kg/99 lb heavier than before. This is compensated mostly by the added torque of 44 lb-ft/60 Nm on both versions, but also by 15 kW of added power in the case of the base model. The seriously added torque helps the cars to accelerate faster despite the added weight. The power of the S model should be compared to the previous WLS/GTS version and there it loses a bit – 309 kW instead of 316 kW.
Performance comparison between the Turbo 3.0 versions
The best power-to-weight ratio is on the Carrera S WLS Coupé with manual gearbox with 104 W/lb or 228 W/kg. In the other end of the spectre is the model with Targa body (+ 90 kg/198 lb), 4WD (+ 50 kg/110 lb) and PDK (+ 20 kg/44 lb). The 991 Targa 4 Turbo 3.0 has the power-to-weight ratio of 78 W/lb or 171 W/kg, which means it is 25% weaker in performance than the WLS Coupé with manual gearbox.
The rear-axle steering was optionally available for the Carrera S. It ensures greater maneuverability in city traffic thanks to the 4-5% reduced turning circle on RWD models (the effect is smaller on 4WD models). PASM Porsche Active Suspension Management (adjustable shock absorbers) were made standard also for the base model.
The steering wheel in the 918 design had a diameter of 375 mm, but was also available in the size of 360 mm. The optional Sport Chrono pack came with a mode switch on the steering wheel, which consists of a rotary ring with four positions for the driving modes: “0″ (Normal), “S” (Sport), “S+” (Sport Plus) and “I” (Individual). Depending on the equipment, the latter setting enables drivers to configure their own individual vehicle set-up (PASM, PADM active engine mounts, PDK shifting strategy and exhaust noise). In combination with PDK the mode switch has an additional Sport Response button. This button helps to overcome the usual low rpm problem associated with PDK-equipped cars. When the button is pressed the car goes to Sport Plus mode for 20 seconds and this way makes overtaking experience closer to the manual gearbox cars.
The active safety of the 991.2 was increased with the post-collision braking system.
Based on the base version Carrera, the Carrera T is a bit sportier. It has reduced sound absorption, the lightweight glass rear window and rear side windows, the inner door openers from the 911 GT-versions, shorter gear shifter, cool Sport-Tex seats and it comes without (or with) the rear seats and the radio system. The mechanical rear differential lock and 0.8″/20 mm lower PASM suspension are standard features.
All the GTS versions feature the wider body, black accents everywhere (even the Targa bar), central lock wheels, Sport Design front spoiler and mirrors. A black trim strip between the tail lights characterises the rear-wheel-drive models. The WLS/GTS engine package includes larger turbochargers, the Sport Chrono package includes dynamic engine mounts, a modified brake cooling system and the sports exhaust system with central tailpipes.
The 1.000.000th 911
The 1.000.000th 911 is a 911 Carrera S Turbo 3.0 WLS with manual gearbox. After the car came from the production line on April 12, 2017, it went to Porsche Exclusive department where it was finished by May 9, 2017. The car was made for Porsche Museum collection.
The celebration event was held on May 11, 2017. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, commented: “54 years ago, I was able to take my first trips over the Grossglöckner high alpine road with my father. The feeling of being in a 911 is just as enjoyable now as it was then. That’s because the 911 has ensured that the core values of our brand are as visionary today as they were in the first Porsche 356/1 from 1948”.
Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur cars
Porsche’s special wishes department fulfills the orders from private customers, from Porsche AG (limited edition special versions of production models) and from Porsche dealers (market specific special editions).