The Porsche 911 is the exception that proves the rule “to all good things comes an end”. This contemporary and luxurious, yet sporty, German sportscar was released in 1963. To this day, they are still being produced in large numbers, also a range of variants has been developed to mimic a tailor-made product range. Although the 911 has been refined over the decades, the basic design – which is recognisable and thus sublime – has generally remained unchanged. This pragmatic and contemporary approach only Porsche could ever succeed in.
The 911 is the successor to the Porsche 356 and was designed by Ferdinand Porsche - the grandson of Porsche’s founder – and presented at the Frankfurt Auto Show in the autumn of 1963. In 1964, the first models were delivered to customers, and due to its great success, the 911 was soon expanded: a cheaper 912, a faster 911S and the rollbar equipped and extremely safe convertible Targa were released. This Targa was named after a Sicilian race that was year by year won by Porsche.
Initially, this car would be called the Porsche 901, but Peugeot became the headwind as their models were named by a three-digit number with a 0 in the middle. “Don’t worry”, said Porsche and they replaced the 0 with a 1. The Porsche 911 was born! After that, there was still Porsche cars built that were named with a three-digit number with a 0 in the middle, however those were exclusively intended for racing and circuit purposes, not for public roads.
Undoubtedly, the 911 has been modified over the years; as durable a design may be, times change, and cars do too. Porsche has always been prepared for changes and innovation. They gradually increased the engine displacement, the power and the size. The biggest mechanical change was the transition from air cooled engines to water cooled engine. Water cooled engines ensure an evenly cooled engine, which results in uniform combustion. This results in lower consumption and less emission.
Porsche 911 996
The Porsche 996 was built from 1997 to 2004, except for some sporty editions that continued production until 2005. The 996 marked a significant milestone for the 911 series as it was the first to feature a water-cooled engine instead of an air-cooled engine. Although this is what defines the 996 in history, it is fundamentally different from its predecessor, the 993. Porsche was determined to make a new-millennium-worthy sports car, emphasizing modernization. As a result, they designed a nearly entirely new 911 that differed starkly from the classic 911 design.
Porsche 911 996 GT2
Porsche would not be Porsche if they did not inject some track-ready power into their street-legal cars. With the 996 series, Porsche eagerly worked on a successor to the non-street-legal GT2 of the 993 series. As early as 1999, the idea of creating a new GT2 based on the 996 series was brought forward. The 996 GT2 was designed with a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter 24-valve six-cylinder boxer engine, making it considerably more powerful than its predecessor. In less than four seconds, this powerful six-cylinder engine can propel the car from a standstill to a hundred kilometres per hour, absolutely astounding.
Given that the 996 was the first water-cooled 911, and the GT2 is the flagship model of the series, not to mention the fact that it's the first true homologated GT2, it's highly coveted. Enthusiasts remain captivated.