Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Porsche 911 History


2005-2007 Porsche 911 Carrera Road Test

Press reaction to the 997 Carreras was enthusiastic. The old Porsche 911 soul was back. "Few cars offer drivers such an invigorating or involving experience," Britain's Autocar asserted, "and those that do usually have six-figure prices or prove unusable every day. Forty-one years on, the 911 remains the yardstick by which all other [sports cars] are measured."

Porsche 911
Most critics agreed: The new Carreras offered an invigorating driving experience.

Car and Driver's Csaba Csere concurred: "Drive the 997 over undulating pavement and its steering works in your hands more than the 996's ever did. Similarly, the 997's shifter feels more tightly coupled to the innards of the gearbox. And when pressed into a corner, the car responds more immediately to subtle adjustments of the throttle. In other words, the 997 is more of a driver's car than the 996 was -- and that's saying something."

Road & Track matched a Carrera S coupe against a perennial Porsche 911 rival, the Chevrolet Corvette, itself redesigned for 2005 as the "C6" generation. Test results proved quite close. The Porsche won the 0-60 mph sprint at 4.4 seconds versus 4.5 for the V-8 Chevy but trailed in the 0-100 heat (10.7 seconds to 10.1). Quarter-mile acceleration was a wash, the Carrera doing 12.8 seconds at 110.2 mph against 12.9 at 112.3 mph. The Corvette also pipped the Porsche in lateral acceleration with 0.95g versus 0.94. Still, these were terrific numbers for "off-the-rack" sports cars.

Predictably, though, these two were "miles apart" in subjective evaluations. R&T found the Corvette "the easier car to get in and drive fast immediately. The only place it will really bite you is exiting a high-speed corner with too much throttle...The 911, on the other hand, doesn't take kindly to abrupt transitions -- especially panic throttle-drop -- and needs power-on to stabilize the rear through high-speed turns. But when driven properly, the 911 can do magical things and the driver is so much more a part of the experience...[E]very driver input is met by immediate response. The brake pedal is utterly firm, the steering hides nothing, and each throttle blip rockets the tachometer needle upward. And though the Corvette is only 0.3-inch longer and 1.4 inches wider, it feels a lot bigger than the 911 on back roads."

Summing up, R&T said the "Carrera S is almost $35,000 more (as tested) than the Corvette; that's why it didn't win this test, although...it did win both the performance and subjective categories. [And] it delivers one of the purest driving experiences in the world. In other words, it's still a 911. And we love it as much as ever."

It's interesting to note Porsche's 0-60 numbers for 997 Carreras with manual transmission. The base coupe took a claimed 4.8 seconds, the S 4.6. Respective rear-drive Cabrio quotes were 5.0 and 4.7, while Carrera 4 coupes were listed at 4.9 and 4.6 seconds. The Targa 4 was billed as needing 5.1 seconds, the Targa 4S 4.7. The optional Tiptonic automatic added about 0.3-sec to any of these.

So once again, Porsche had raised 911 performance while keeping all models to a tight range despite weight and aerodynamic differences. Quite a feat, when you think about it.

Of course, there was a price for all the 997's much-praised goodness. The four-model 2005 U.S. line didn't provoke much sticker shock, ranging from $69,300 for the base Carrera coupe to $88,900 for the S cabrio. But prices jumped by $2,000 to $2,300 for '06, when the $97,100 Carrera 4 Cabrio was the costliest offering. The Targa came in for 2007 starting at $85,700 for the 3.6 version and $95,900 for the 3.8-liter S.

But if the cars seemed pricey, buyers doubtless felt they got their money's worth -- and more. Besides, there was still nothing else quite like the Porsche 911, which was worth a lot in itself.

Porsche 911
This 2007 Carrera coupe might be pricey, but after all, it is a Porsche 911!

Check out the complete story of Porsche cars, including these fabulous models:

Porsche 356
Porsche 911
Porsche 914
Porsche 924, 944, 968
Porsche 928 Porsche 959
Porsche Boxster Porsche Cayenne Porsche Cayman

For Porsche prices and reviews from the auto editors of Consumer Guide, see:

  • Porsche new cars
  • Porsche used cars
  • 2007 Porsche 911
  • 1999-2006 Porsche 911
  • 1995-1998 Porsche 911
­