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.
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.
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.
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.
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). 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.