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Porsche 911 Type 996 - The Story

The first all new chassis platform since the original 911 and the introduction of an all-new, water-cooled flat six engine.

Porsche 911 Type 996 Model Timeline

Porsche 996 Model Guides

Manufactured between 1997 and 2005, the 996 split opinion among Porsche purists as it was the first 911 to feature a water-cooled engine. However, it proved a hit with the wider motoring public and worldwide sales figures of over 175,000 made it one of the company’s most popular cars ever. Those sales were split across a cadre of regular model variants that we were used to seeing as well as some ones. The M96 3.4 liters was found in the base Carrera coupe and cabriolet, making 296 horsepower and 258 ft lbs of torque. The Carrera 4 coupe and cabriolet models came next, also powered by the same engine. These models were joined by the hardcore GT2 and the ultra-quick Turbo for the 2001 model year, both equipped with a 3.6-litre, twin-turbocharged and intercooled flat-six engine. All 996s got a major refresh in 2002, along with a bigger engine and the new Targa and Carrera 4S models newly introduced, as well as a visual update. The base engine, now displacing 3.6 liters, was rated at 320 horsepower and 273 ft lbs of torque. The Targa model got a sliding glass "green house" roof system (like it had in the 993) and also featured a rear glass hatch which gave the driver access to the storage compartment. The Carrera 4S was the pick of the standard models, sharing the wide-body look of the Turbo as well as the brakes and suspension. The GT3 was based on the standard 996 Carrera, but was stripped of a great deal of equipment for weight savings, featuring stiffer, adjustable suspension and upgraded brakes. The GT3 was produced in two versions, the first (996.1) was introduced in 1999 and featured a naturally aspirated 3.6-litre flat-six engine generating a maximum power output of 355 hp. The 996.2 GT3 arrived for the 2004 model year, based on the second generation of the 996, and featured updated aerodynamics, and a more powerful version of the 3.6 L engine from the MK.I, now rated at 375 hp. The Mk.II was the first GT3 marketed in the North America.

The 996 series was a monumental update to the 911 story. The Type 996 introduced water-cooled engines and it also ushered in a new body design. The roof line with a windscreen which is around five degrees flatter gives the side view a more fluid look. Gone was the "classic" 911 design, the entire main body now much sleeker. The flat six in the Carrera 996 was a newly-developed flat-six engine that offered 300 hp. It was mated as standard with a six-speed manual. A 5-speed automatic (Tiptronic) with manual override to shift gears was on the options list. As always, the Carrera 2 was rear-wheel-drive. Read More
The flat six in the Carrera 996 was a newly-developed flat-six engine that offered 300 hp. It was mated as standard with a six-speed manual. A 5-speed automatic (Tiptronic) with manual override to shift gears was on the options list. As always, the Carrera 2 was rear-wheel-drive. Designed as a grand tourer, the Porsche Carrera Cabriolet was the base version for the open-top 911 range in 1998. The retractable roof was able to be stowed away in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 50 kph (31 mph), like the rest of the 911 convertible range. With the roof up, the car was tested in the wind tunnel at speeds of up to 338 kph (210 mph). Read More
Since 1989, the rear-wheel-drive Carrera has always been accompanied by an all-wheel-drive Carrera 4, and the 996 was no different. Overlapping with the last year Carrera 993'S, the 996 Carrera 4 represented two major changes for the venerable 911 lineage: a water-cooled flat-6 engine replaced the air-cooled engine used in the previous 911 model, and the body shell received its first major re-design. Engine was 3.4 L and power was 296 hp featuring a change to an "integrated dry sump" design and variable valve timing. Read More
The 996 Cabriolet was introduced in March 1998 at the Geneva Motor Show. The 996 Cabriolet was long ready (remember, it was tested already in 1995), but for marketing and production-related reasons it was launched in 1998 as a 1999 model. While the evolution with the 911 coupe was questionable from 993 to 996, the real evolution came with the cabriolet. In USA - the biggest market - 911 Cabriolets outsold the Coupés. The all-wheel-drive system provides between 5-40% of torque to the front wheels depending on the situation. Read More
Porsche introduced the turbocharged version of the Type 996 for the 2001 model year (late 2000 in Europe). Like the 996 GT3, the Turbo's engine was derived from the engine used in the 911 GT1. Like its predecessor, the 993 Turbo, it featured twin-turbos but now had a power output of 420 PS (309 kW; 414 hp). As of 2002, the X50 package would increase engine output to 444 hp. The 996 Turbo was available with a 6-speed manual transmission or an automatic (Tiptronic), driving power to all four wheels. This is a great great car. Read More
In 2002, the entire generation of the 996 was facelifted. The Carrera 4S Cabriolet was introduced in the lineup with the new engine and the Turbo bodywork. Many publications called the Carrera 4S the sweet spot in the 911 lineup when it was introduced, providing more performance than the base car without the exorbitant pricing of a Turbo or GT2. The Carrera 4S paired the aggressive bodywork and suspension of the Turbo with the base Carrera 4 drivetrain, though it didn't get the Turbo's huge rear wing. It’s easily identified by “Carrera 4S” badging and a large reflective strip on the rear end, spanning the gap between the taillights. Read More
In 2002, all of the standard models received a minor makeover in 2002 which included Turbo-style headlights, a freshly designed front clip and an increase in engine capacity to 3.6L along with a subsequent 20HP boost. The bodies were more rigid which further improved handling and safety and the lower, stiffer X74 suspension became available as a factory modification. From the outside, it was hard to notice the difference between the 1998 version and the facelifted model. The main difference was on the headlights. Including the Mk 1 cars, the 996 Carrera Coupe sold 46,317 units. Read More
The 996 was initially available in a coupé or a cabriolet (Convertible) bodystyle with rear-wheel drive, and later with four-wheel drive, utilising a 3.4 litre flat-6 engine generating a maximum power output of 221 kW (300 PS; 296 hp).[7] The 996 had the same front end as the entry-level Boxster. After requests from the Carrera owners about their premium cars looking like a "lower priced car that looked just like theirs did", Porsche redesigned the headlamps of the Carrera in 2002. With the cabriolet, buyers have a choice between this version and the hotter Carrera 4S cabriolet. Read More
Designed as a grand tourer, the Porsche Carrera 4 Cabriolet was the base all-wheel-drive version for the open-top 911 range in 2001. It offered enough comfort to be used as a daily driver, on all weather. The 996 Porsche was facelifted in 2002. Along with the coupe versions, the convertibles were reshaped also. There was not a big difference on the outside. It was the same sports-car and open-top grand tourer. The Carrera 4 Cabriolet, continued on through 2004, receiving the same updates as the Carrera, including the 3.6-liter engine. Read More
In 2002, the standard Carrera models underwent a facelift. In addition, engine capacity was also increased to 3.6-litres across the range, with power up slightly on the naturally aspirated models. 2002 also marked the start of the production of the 996 based Targa model, with a sliding glass "green house" roof system as introduced on its predecessor. It also features a rear glass hatch which gave the driver access to the storage compartment. The 996 Targa is the rarest bodystyle in the series – only 5,152 were produced (all Mk.2 generation) between 2002 and 2005. Read More
Introducing this new top-of-the-range model, Porsche is once again placing a 911 Turbo Cabriolet right at the top of the family after a break of 14 years: From 1987 - 1989 the Porsche 930, as the first Turbo was code-named within the Company, set the first milestone in the history of these outstanding open-air sports cars. With cylinders still featuring two valves each at the time, the 3.3-litre power unit driving the first Turbo Cabriolet offered maximum output quite unique at the time of 300 bhp or 221 kW. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h was in 5.2 seconds and the car had a top speed of 260 km/h or 161 mph. Read More
The 996 Carrera 4S Cabriolet is the convertible version of the slightly-uprated 996 Carrera 4. Introduced a year after the 996 C4S Coupe. The Carrera 4S Cabriolet was introduced in the lineup with the new engine and the Turbo bodywork. The cabriolet version of the Carrera 4S paired the aggressive bodywork and suspension of the Turbo with the base Carrera 4 drivetrain, though it didn't get the Turbo's huge rear wing. The three-layer canvas-top was powered and it needed 20 seconds to completely retract or cover the car, at speeds up to 50 kph (31 mph). For winter, the car featured an aluminum hard-top. Read More

Porsche 996 Special Models

For the road we also saw some very special 996 variants. Porsche offered a special edition of the 996 for the year 2000, named the 911 Millennium edition, it was based on the Carrera 4 coupé and had a cool Violet Chromaflair paint and turbo-polished wheels. The "40th Anniversary Edition" was built to celebrate the 911's 40-year history in 2003. It got the 996 Turbo's front-end, and was available only in GT Silver metallic paint and came with the X51 power kit. The GT2 was the turbocharged counterpart to the GT3. It had rear-wheel drive, and a re-tuned version of the 996 Turbo's 3.6 litre, twin-turbocharged engine featuring larger turbochargers and intercoolers. The result was 477 hp and 0 - 60 mph in just on 4 seconds. In 2005, Porsche introduced the Turbo S model available as either a coupé or cabriolet. The Turbo S was essentially a 996 Turbo with the X50 option but also included PCCB, 6-disc CD changer and aluminum-faced instruments. The final special edition worth mentioning it the 996 GT3 RS, a sharpened version of the Mk.2 GT3, built for track use and it was the homologation model for the GT3 race-car. It was the forbidden fruit for the U.S. and Canadian customers.

The GT3 was based on the standard 996 Carrera, but was stripped of a great deal of equipment for weight savings, featuring stiffer, adjustable suspension and upgraded brakes. The GT3 used the bodyshell of the four-wheel-drive Carrera 4, which incorporated additional front-end stiffening. It featured a naturally aspirated 3.6-litre flat-six engine generating a maximum power output of 360 bhp @ 7200 rpm and torque of 273 ft lbs @ 5000 rpm. This engine was shared with the 996 Turbo and was a derivative of the engine developed for the 911 GT1 race car. Read More
In 1999, Porsche celebrated the turn of the century with a special edition – the 996 "Millennium Edition". The 911 Millennium edition was based on the Carrera 4 coupé and was pretty rare, with only 911 cars made. Based on the Carrera 4, the "Millennium Edition" was limited to 911 examples and was based exclusively on the wide bodied Carrera 4. This special edition was finished in Violet Chromaflair paint, which, depending on the light changes from dark violet to light green and is quite spectacular to look at. It also got a caramel-colored leather interior and polished "turbo-twist" wheels. Read More
From model year 2001, the model range was extended to include the 911 GT2. The body of the extreme sports car was based on the body of the 911 Turbo. The GT2 engine was also based on the 911 Turbo but had ten percent more power. The bi-turbo engine delivered 462 horsepower. The GT2 was offered with a Clubsport Package for use in motorsport. In late 2003 the Porsche 911 GT2 received a power upgrade from 462hp to 483hp, maximum torque also increased from 457 lb ft to 472 ft lbs, thanks to a revised engine management program. Top speed increased by 2mph to 198mph while 0-60 is claimed to take 3.8 sec. Read More
Towards the end of the 996 production run, Porsche introduced the Turbo S, boasting even more power than the standard 996 Turbo — 450 PS (331 kW) and 620 N·m (457 lb·ftf)— courtesy of the X50 package being standard. The Turbo S was limited to approximately 1,500 units worldwide, of which 598 were coupé (hardtop) and 960 were cabriolet (convertible). It was available with a 6-speed manual or an automatic (Tiptronic S) transmission, driving power to all four wheels. The basic price is EUR 122,500 for the Turbo S Coupé or EUR 131,100 for the Turbo S Convertible. Sprints from zero to 200 km/h in 13.6 seconds. Read More
Porsche 911 Turbo X50 (996)
The optional X50 Performance Package gave the base Turbo larger K24 turbochargers and intercoolers, a revised ECU and a quad-pipe exhaust, raising the engine’s output from 415 to 450 bhp and maximum torque from 415 to 457 ft lbs. With power at 450 bhp @ 6000 rpm and torque of 457 ft lbs @ 4400 rpm, the X50 option is a monsters. Porsche engineers achieved the increase in power and performance through modifications to the Turbo charger, the change air cooler, the control units and exhaust system in particular. The base constructions of the manual and automatic transmissions were also improved. Read More
The 2005 Porsche 996 Turbo S was available as both a coupe and cabriolet – it was basically a standard Turbo model with the X50 Powerkit and carbon-ceramic brakes fitted, alongside a few luxury features for the interior. Approximately 1558 Turbo S models (split between coupe and cabrio) were sold in 2005. Also included are small aluminum appointments to the interior and Turbo S badging. A great all-rounder with the extra power to surprise most. The Turbo S with manual transmission (coupé) sprints from zero to 200 km/h in 13.6 seconds. This is another 0.8 seconds faster than the 911 Turbo. Quite rare, with only a total of 600 units made. Read More
The 996 GT3 RS was a sharpened version of the Mk.2 GT3, built for track use and it was the homologation model for the GT3 race-car. It was the forbidden fruit for the U.S. and Canadian customers. It was available in a limited number and it was a true track-oriented vehicle. It was based on the GT3 version, but with fewer comfort features and even stiffer suspension. It was the kind of car which could have been taken from the shop and dive into the first race-track. The GT3 was available in white color only, with red or blue inscriptions on its sides. The adjustable rear wing and the “duck-tail” were mounted in the back, to provide better traction on higher speeds. It was fitted with the same engine as the GT3. Read More
The second generation GT3 takes all that was good about it's predecessor and then improves it! Power from the GT1 derived flat-6 is up by 21 bhp to 381 bhp (with an 8200 rpm redline), ride height is lowered for increased stability and also has an upgraded braking setup, as it features a 6-piston calipers on the front. Two versions are offered, the more extreme 'Clubsport' showing it's track day colors with a full roll cage, racing seat and a 6-point harness. The 996.2 GT3 was the first GT3 marketed in the North America. The new Porsche 911 GT3 comes with all the features of half a century Porsche motorsport. It is a sports car for the purist through and through. Read More
To commemorate the 40th year of 911 production, Porsche built 1963 of the 40th Anniversary Porsche 911 Carrera for model year 2004. Painted only in a GT Silver Metallic finish, with a dark gray leather interior, the 40th Anniversary (or 40 Jahre in German) took the Base Model 996 Carrera and added the front fascia of the 996 Turbo, side skirts and luxury features for the cabin – including a luggage set that matched the special grey leather interior. Mechanically, the X51 Powerkit increases power to 341hp, combined with rear wheels power wheels, a standard 6-speed manual and sport suspension and limited-slip differential included. Read More

Porsche 996 Motorsport Racing Models

Not surprisingly, Porsche went racing with the 911 996 and the core car saw quite a few racing versions. The Cup car started racing in 1998 and was updated over the seasons, increasingly getting better aero and more power every year. The 996 GT3 R was an interesting one-year racer, dominating every race it entered. In 2001, the modified version, now called the 996 GT3 RS raced.

The 996 GT3 Cup served as the basis for the 996 GT3 road car, featuring a 3.6 litre engine with 355 hp. For the 1999 season the engine output was increased to 365 hp. For the 2001 season the GT3 Cup received modified aerodynamics including an enlarged rear wing and improved cooling. For 2002, the GT3 Cup received several changes, adopting facelift 996.2 features such as Turbo-style headlights. The new body significantly improves aerodynamics and cooling. Engine output was increased to 380 hp. For 20003 onward, the power was hiked once again, with the engine now pumping out 385 bhp @ 7250 rpm and of torque 288 ft lbs @ 6500 rpm. Read More
The 996 GT3 R was a one-year-only (2000 model year) special of which only 63 were produced. The car took the basic GT3 bones and amplified it for motorsport. The Mezger engine produced over 400 horsepower, while factory-fitted adjustable shock absorbers gave better handling. Most notably, the GT3 R wore carbon-fiber bodywork meant for ultimate light weight in motorsport. The 996 GT3 R was introduced in 1999 as a replacement for the 993 RSR. Before its introduction, it was extensively tested at Weissach and Paul Ricard. In the 2000 FIA GT Championship, the 996 GT3 R was in the N-GT class and won every run. Won the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring.  Read More
2001 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Race Car (996) (2001 - 2004)
In the 2000 FIA GT Championship, the 996 GT3 R was the dominant racer in the new N-GT class and won every run. In the same year, the factory-supported Phoenix Racing won the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. In 2001, the modified version, now called the 996 GT3 RS, was used. The vehicle was not only very successful in its class, it also achieved overall victories. Modelled on the 911 GT3 R, the GT3 RS race cars offered a number of technical improvements, which combine to ensure a racing car with optimal competitiveness. 50 racing cars were produced. Read More
Based on the road-going 996 911 GT3 RS, the GT3 RSR features improvements to its predecessor in all key areas. The vehicle is available in an ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest) version for competing in Le Mans and in the American Le Mans Series as well as in a FIA specification. The 911 GT3 RSR features a modified front which improves downforce at the front axle. The 3.6-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine delivers 445 hp at 8,250 revs. Maximum torque is now 405 Nm at 7,200 rpm, with top revs reached at 8,500 (for the FIA specification with two 30.8 mm air restrictors). Race cars never got more exciting than this. Read More

Porsche 911 Type 996 Specs & Performance Summary


Porsche 911 Type 996 (1998-2005) Technical Specs

Forget the summary, here is every fifth generation Porsche 911 (Type 996) broken out by model year and variant and the technical specifications for each one. Car data nerds, let us unite.

Porsche 911 (996) Pictures, Galleries & Videos

The Porsche 911 (Type 996) was a different car than the 993 which is replaced. The water-cooled engine, the new look and feel and a totally new chassis. We found some great original 996 review videos and older coverage that gives you a better impression of what people thought about the 996 when it was first released.

Porsche 911 (996) News & Updates

Recent auctions, awesome review videos and all the latest news and posts regarding anything to do with the Porsche 996.

To commemorate the 40th year of 911 production, Porsche built 1963 of the 40th Anniversary Porsche 911 Carrera for model year 2004. Painted only in a GT Silver Metallic finish, with a dark gray leather interior, the 40th Anniversary (or 40 Jahre in German) took the Base Model 996 Carrera and added the front fascia of the 996 Turbo, side skirts and luxury features for the cabin – including a luggage set that matched the special grey leather interior. Mechanically, the X51 Powerkit increases power to 341hp, combined with rear wheels power wheels, a standard 6-speed manual and sport suspension and limited-slip differential included. Read More
The second generation GT3 takes all that was good about it's predecessor and then improves it! Power from the GT1 derived flat-6 is up by 21 bhp to 381 bhp (with an 8200 rpm redline), ride height is lowered for increased stability and also has an upgraded braking setup, as it features a 6-piston calipers on the front. Two versions are offered, the more extreme 'Clubsport' showing it's track day colors with a full roll cage, racing seat and a 6-point harness. The 996.2 GT3 was the first GT3 marketed in the North America. The new Porsche 911 GT3 comes with all the features of half a century Porsche motorsport. It is a sports car for the purist through and through. Read More
The 996 Carrera 4S Cabriolet is the convertible version of the slightly-uprated 996 Carrera 4. Introduced a year after the 996 C4S Coupe. The Carrera 4S Cabriolet was introduced in the lineup with the new engine and the Turbo bodywork. The cabriolet version of the Carrera 4S paired the aggressive bodywork and suspension of the Turbo with the base Carrera 4 drivetrain, though it didn't get the Turbo's huge rear wing. The three-layer canvas-top was powered and it needed 20 seconds to completely retract or cover the car, at speeds up to 50 kph (31 mph). For winter, the car featured an aluminum hard-top. Read More
Introducing this new top-of-the-range model, Porsche is once again placing a 911 Turbo Cabriolet right at the top of the family after a break of 14 years: From 1987 - 1989 the Porsche 930, as the first Turbo was code-named within the Company, set the first milestone in the history of these outstanding open-air sports cars. With cylinders still featuring two valves each at the time, the 3.3-litre power unit driving the first Turbo Cabriolet offered maximum output quite unique at the time of 300 bhp or 221 kW. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h was in 5.2 seconds and the car had a top speed of 260 km/h or 161 mph. Read More
In 2002, the standard Carrera models underwent a facelift. In addition, engine capacity was also increased to 3.6-litres across the range, with power up slightly on the naturally aspirated models. 2002 also marked the start of the production of the 996 based Targa model, with a sliding glass "green house" roof system as introduced on its predecessor. It also features a rear glass hatch which gave the driver access to the storage compartment. The 996 Targa is the rarest bodystyle in the series – only 5,152 were produced (all Mk.2 generation) between 2002 and 2005. Read More
Designed as a grand tourer, the Porsche Carrera 4 Cabriolet was the base all-wheel-drive version for the open-top 911 range in 2001. It offered enough comfort to be used as a daily driver, on all weather. The 996 Porsche was facelifted in 2002. Along with the coupe versions, the convertibles were reshaped also. There was not a big difference on the outside. It was the same sports-car and open-top grand tourer. The Carrera 4 Cabriolet, continued on through 2004, receiving the same updates as the Carrera, including the 3.6-liter engine. Read More
The 996 was initially available in a coupé or a cabriolet (Convertible) bodystyle with rear-wheel drive, and later with four-wheel drive, utilising a 3.4 litre flat-6 engine generating a maximum power output of 221 kW (300 PS; 296 hp).[7] The 996 had the same front end as the entry-level Boxster. After requests from the Carrera owners about their premium cars looking like a "lower priced car that looked just like theirs did", Porsche redesigned the headlamps of the Carrera in 2002. With the cabriolet, buyers have a choice between this version and the hotter Carrera 4S cabriolet. Read More
In 2002, all of the standard models received a minor makeover in 2002 which included Turbo-style headlights, a freshly designed front clip and an increase in engine capacity to 3.6L along with a subsequent 20HP boost. The bodies were more rigid which further improved handling and safety and the lower, stiffer X74 suspension became available as a factory modification. From the outside, it was hard to notice the difference between the 1998 version and the facelifted model. The main difference was on the headlights. Including the Mk 1 cars, the 996 Carrera Coupe sold 46,317 units. Read More
In 2002, the entire generation of the 996 was facelifted. The Carrera 4S Cabriolet was introduced in the lineup with the new engine and the Turbo bodywork. Many publications called the Carrera 4S the sweet spot in the 911 lineup when it was introduced, providing more performance than the base car without the exorbitant pricing of a Turbo or GT2. The Carrera 4S paired the aggressive bodywork and suspension of the Turbo with the base Carrera 4 drivetrain, though it didn't get the Turbo's huge rear wing. It’s easily identified by “Carrera 4S” badging and a large reflective strip on the rear end, spanning the gap between the taillights. Read More

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