Leland-West Insurance

Classic Porsche: the 911 (996) - 1998-2005

A New Era.

The introduction of the 911 Model 996 in 1998 ushered in a whole new era for Porsche. The model 996 was the first redesigned 911 model that didn't carry over any significant components from it's predecessors. It was totally revamped from the inside out with the most notable advancement being the new water-cooled, 3.4L, flat-6 powerhouse that produced nearly 300HP.

Initially, the model 996 was only offered in coupe and cabriolet versions with either rear-wheel or 4-wheel drive. Production of the Targa didn't begin until 2002. The Turbo variant appeared in 2000 and came well equipped with a 420HP, 3.6L, twin-turbo flat-6 that could launch the car to 60 mph in a fleeting 4.2 seconds. Two years later, in 2002, the X50 option became available on the Turbo model boosting it's power to 450HP. Keeping with their enough-is-never-enough motto, the model 996 Turbo S, along with it's 489 horses, was released in 2005.

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. The model Carrera 4S, more commonly known as the C4S, was introduced in 2002 as well. The C4S was clad with the wide body look of the Turbo and also shared it's brake and suspension set-up.

Two lightweight GT variants were produced using the model 996 platform. The GT2 variant was put on hold for two years while Porsche focused on the new model GT3. The model GT3 was produced in two versions, both of which were stripped of most of their luxuries and geared more toward performance. The first version, the model Mk.I GT3, was released in 1999 but was never available in the United States. It was powered by a 3.6L flat-6 engine that produced 360HP. The second version, the Mk.II GT3, was available to the United States market and featured better aerodynamics along with a more powerful version of the 3.6L which produced 380HP.

The new model GT2 finally arrived in 2001. It was developed primarily as a road car in contrast to it's counterpart, the track-oriented GT3. The model GT2 sported wider fenders to accommodate bigger wheels and tires, a more aggressively angled nose and a large, fixed rear wing. The heart of the beast was a re-tweaked version of the model 996 Turbo's 3.6L twin turbo engine. Larger turbochargers and intercoolers, upgraded intake and exhaust and re-programmed control software resulted in a 489HP adrenaline rush that could take you from 0-60 in under 4 seconds and carry a top speed of 198 mph.

Two Special Editions of the model 996 were released during it's production. The first was introduced as "The 911 for the Millennium". It was based on the model 911 Carrera 4 coupe and finished in Violet Chromaflair paint. Only 911 were produced, and each one is distinguishable by unique badging on the engine lid and a numbered plate on the center console.

The second Special Edition was released in 2004 to celebrate the 911's 40th anniversary. The Anniversary Edition was loaded with extras and was only available in Carrera GT Silver. 1,963 cars were built to coincide with the year 1963 - the year the model 911 was first introduced to the world.

Newer classic 911's like the late 1990's 996 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.