BUY­ERS’ GUIDE: 997 gen 1

Ev­ery­thing you need to know

911 Porsche World - - Contents -

For many Porsche fanciers, the 997-model, built from 2004 un­til 2011, is the ideal 911. Ti­dier look­ing with its round head­lamps, and bet­ter built, par­tic­u­larly in the cabin, than the pre­ced­ing 996, early ex­am­ples are also now old enough to be af­ford­able but young enough not to be rusty or laden with ex­pen­sive me­chan­i­cal prob­lems. And while re­fined over the 996, they re­tain plenty of Porsche “ana­logue” driver ap­peal, that was di­luted in the elec­tron­ics-heavy 991 of 2011.

A bud­get of £20,000 to £30,000 gives you a wide choice of 997s. But you may have heard some hor­ror sto­ries about the M96/M97 en­gines from the be­gin­ning of the wa­ter-cooled era in the mid 1990s, so if now rea­son­able priced, do early 997s make a trust­wor­thy 911?

Here we’re look­ing at the “ba­sic” ver­sions of the gen 1 coupes made un­til sum­mer 2008, the 911 Car­rera car­ry­ing over the 996’s 3.6-litre flat-six but with out­put up slightly to 321bhp and 273lb ft toque, and the Car­rera S us­ing a new 3.8-litre unit rated at 355bhp/295lb ft. A six-speed man­ual gear­box was stan­dard; in this pre-pdk era the au­to­matic op­tion was the five-speed Tip­tronic trans­mis­sion.

An ac­tive damper sys­tem ar­rived on the 911 for the first time in the form of Porsche Ac­tive Sus­pen­sion Man­age­ment (PASM), stan­dard on the S, and com­ing with the low­ered, sports sus­pen­sion; it was op­tional on the Car­rera. Steer­ing switched from fixed- to vari­able-rate power-as­sis­tance, and wheel di­am­e­ter on the Car­rera went up an inch to 18-inch, wear­ing 235/40 front and 265/40 rear tyres. The S came out of the fac­tory with 19-inch rims (the first Porsche to do so) fit­ted with 235/35 front and 295/30 rears; these were op­tional on the Car­rera.

You’ll see a wide vari­a­tion in 997 specs, due to the long fac­tory op­tions list, which in­cluded: Bixenon head­lamps, Park As­sist, a sun­roof, Sport Chrono Pack­age Plus, elec­tric front seats, sat nav and tele­phone module for the PCM, and Porsche Ce­ramic Com­pos­ite Brakes (PCCB), the prici­est item, at £5349. The cheap­est was a Porsche crest on the head­rest, cost­ing £103.

The 997 went on sale in the UK in mid Septem­ber, the Car­rera and Car­rera S run­ning un­changed un­til late sum­mer 2008, when the gen 2 mod­els ar­rived, boast­ing the new Di­rect Fuel In­jec­tion (DFI) en­gines and PDK dou­ble-clutch gear­box.

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