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A New Classic.
2005 brought about another big revision for Porsche's model 911. The 911 Type 997 was the direct replacement for the model 996, however this time, Porsche went back to the mid 90's and the styling of the model 911 Type 993 for inspiration. The round headlights made a return replacing the tear-dropped shaped lights of the 996, and the interior and controls received make overs as well - updated with the latest technology, yet pleasantly reminiscent of the classic model 911.
There were a total of fourteen variations of the first generation model 997. Each one was equipped with either a 3.6 or 3.8L powerhouse available with seemingly endless options and tweaks. The base Carrera models, the GT3, GT3 RS, Turbo and GT2 all shared the heartbeat of the 3.6L flat 6 with an extra dose of power for the Turbo and GT2 models in the form of twin turbos. The Carrera S models were powered by the new 3.8L flat 6 with an optional X51 Powerkit available for the S, 4S and Targa models.
The rear wheel drive Carrera and Carrera S were the first of the model 997's to hit the streets. The all wheel drive Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S were released as 2006 models. The Targa variations, the Targa 4 and 4S, were released in November of 2006 for those that preferred a dual sliding glass top over a solid roof or full convertible. This was the first time Porsche released a Targa version as an all wheel drive.
The model GT3 appeared in late 2006 in Geneva at the Geneva Motor Show. Equipped with 3.6L flat 6 capable of churning out 409 HP, the GT3 was developed to homologate racing features and it doubled as a starting point for customer racing as well. The body of the GT3 was clearly built for speed. The front bumper was specially designed to pump more cool air into the front-mounted radiators, and the rear bumper with it's centrally located tailpipes was designed to draw heat away from the engine.
The model GT3 RS was an even more bare-bones racing variation who's focus was aimed almost entirely at the track. While it was still street legal, it came equipped with a full roll cage and carbon fiber seats - no fluffy luxury here. The North American market got dibs on the GT3 RS in March of 2007.
The Porsche 911 model 997 Turbo debuted in early 2006. It sported a newly designed front bumper with horizontal LED turn signals designed onto the intakes and the fog lights were moved to the corners. Large air intakes in front of and behind the back wheels and a retractable rear wing are a couple of the obvious visual distinctions of the model. In addition to the variable geometry turbines (the first ever on a street legal Porsche) and the turbos, the model 997 Turbo was also available with an optional Sport Chrono package which allows the turbo to overboost for 10 seconds to increase peak torque over a narrow rev range. The model 997 Turbo Cabriolet went on sale in September of 07 and is recognized as one of the fastest convertible sports cars in production - well played Porsche, well played.
Finally, in November of 2007, the model 997 GT2 was released to an eagerly awaiting public. The model 997 GT2 is powered by a twin turbocharged 3.6L 6 cylinder beast of an engine. It is the most powerful and fastest road legal 911 GT2 ever available to the public. With an ungoverned top speed of 204 MPH, this is the first Porsche 911 GT2 to break the 200 MPH mark. It is also the first Porsche ever to be equipped with launch control.
There was one limited production variation of the first generation model 997, the model 911 Club Coupe. Only 50 of these cars were built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Porsche Club of America. They were designed around the 2006 model year Carrera S coupe and included the optional X51 Powerkit. The Club Coupes were all painted in Azzurro California and included special badging and door sills. The VIN numbers all end with the specific production number from 1 to 50. Car #1 is in the Porsche museum in Germany, and car #50 was given away to a Porsche Club of America member in a sweepstakes drawing.
In 2008, plans went into motion for the newly revised second generation Porsche model 911 Type 997 - affectionately referred to as the 997 Gen II by Porsche's inner sanctum. It was released to the public in 2009 and featured all the flavors of the first generation with enough upgrades, tweaks and special features to elate even the most finicky Porsche enthusiast.
Newer classic 911's like the 2005's 997 series may seem too young to be considered classic - and in fact they are according to your typical insurance company. A proper classic insurance policy with a company familiar with a Porsche's special nature is especially important with these younger classics.