PORSCHE 997 BUYERS GUIDE
All You Should Consider Before Purchasing a Porsche 997
PORSCHE 997 MODEL HISTORY
The 997 made its debut in 2004, a considered evolution of the much maligned 996, which had borne the brunt of criticism aimed at Porsche’s newly water-cooled powertrains and not wholly successful Nineties design direction.
The 997 returned to the trademark round headlight design, while subtly evolving the existing bodyshell. The interior was also significantly updated, with a considerably more modern and architectural aesthetic replacing the elliptical shapes of the 996.
Although still a markedly larger car than the air-cooled series that had ended in 1998 with the 993, the 997 was small by current 911 standards, making it agile and easy to position. The by-now highly evolved water-cooled flat-six engines were making over 350bhp in Carrera S guise, which equated to all the performance you would ever really need and usually a bit more besides.
But there was more to come, naturally. By the end of production, the second generation 997 Turbo S was making some 523bhp, good for 60mph in a fraction over three seconds and very nearly enough to pass 200mph. Meanwhile, the motorsport department in Weissach were making hay with the GT series, producing even more polished versions of the GT2 and GT3 in both regular and ‘RS’ guise.
But the 997’s significance should not be measured purely on its performance credentials. This was a milestone car for successfully introducing the dual clutch PDK transmission to Porsche’s flagship series, and also Porsche’s now ubiquitous and ingenious active suspension management or ‘PASM’.
In many respects the 997 is the sweet spot in the modern 911 range, being both small enough and analogue enough to feel largely uncorrupted, while offering the best of Porsche’s contemporary technologies to create an intelligent, dependable and addictive driving package.