PORSCHE 911 Carrera
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
After 55 years since the introduction of the prototype of the Porsche 911, named 901, the eighth generation was unveiled in November 2018 at Los Angeles with the Carrera S and the Carrera 4S versions.
Strangely though, the Carrera was introduced in 2019.
There was a long road between the first, naturally aspirated, Porsche 911, and the 2021 Carrera Coupe. While the first 911 was for pure sports driving experience, the eighth generation was a mix of performance, elegance, luxury, and exclusivity. It wasn’t just a sports-car anymore. It gained a status symbol.
The front side of the car featured the same round headlights design but evolved. It featured the four-dots LED daytime running lights signature. The bigger apron in the front featured bigger air-intakes since the Carrera featured a twin-turbo engine and it wasn’t naturally aspirated anymore. The flush to the bodywork pop-out door handles looked smooth. Interestingly, the car was fitted with 19” light-alloy wheels at the front and 20” for the rear axle. In the back, behind the windscreen, the third stop-light showed the 11 number when it was lit.
Inside, the Carrera was fitted with all the comfort and luxurious items required by an exclusive sports-car as the Porsche 911. The sport seats and the finishes had a premium look. The instrument cluster featured the classic five-dials, but only the tachometer was analog. The other four were TFT displays. A 10.9” screen for the PCM (Porsche Communication Management) was installed in the middle of the dashboard.
The flat-six under the engine lid was a 3.0-liter turbocharged engine that cranked up 385 hp. It was mated as standard with the new 8-speed automatic (PDK) transmission.
The Porsche 911 was the best selling sports car in the world and every newer generation was better than the one it replaced it and the 2015 Carrera was no exception.
Even though it wasn’t a completely new model, the 2015 Carrera had so many parts changed that it was hard to say that it wasn’t a new vehicle. The basic 991 bodywork (code-name for the generation launched in 2012) remained the same, but some minor changes were noticed. The bumpers were slightly different, with bigger air-intakes. On the rear spoiler, the engine vents were longitudinally placed instead of transverse.
Inside the cabin, the Carrera featured the same two bucket seats in front and two cramped seats in the rear. The dashboard was modified and featured a Porsche Communication Management System (PCM) that included a 7” touch-screen display. It could be connected to an iPhone via Apple CarPlay and the interior designer assigned a special place for the phone in the center armrest where the phone could have been charged.
The real changes are under the bodywork. The Porsche Active Stability Management (PASM) was a standard-fit for 2015 911 and that included a lowered ground clearance by 10 mm (0.4”) when compared to the 2012 911. The engine displacement was decreased to 3 liters but with two turbochargers. The standard transmission for the Carrera was a 7-speed manual, but a PDK (Porsche Dual-Clutch) was available.
The Porsche’s 911 roots started in 1963 and it continuously evolved ever since.
It grew in size, engine, and power. It evolved from a sports car to a luxurious super-car. And the 2012 Carrera Coupe was no exception.
The seventh generation of the 911 was launched in 2012 and it sits on a new platform, with a longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs. It also featured new headlights and taillights. The overall shape of the car didn’t change that much since 1963 and that is one element why the 911 became an iconic car, same as the VW Beetle and the Land Rover Defender.
The round headlights with the white DRLs strips underneath, installed on the bumper were one key-feature of the 2012 Porsche 911. The three air-scoops in the bumper amplified the sport look of the vehicle. With its rounded greenhouse that was continued by the engine hood in the back, the seventh Porsche 911 kept its original shape. Behind the engine lid there was an active wing that was risen on highway speeds to keep the car better planted on the road. Porsche stated that the wing was tested up to 300 kph (186 mph) and the car had zero lift.
The interior was more about luxury than about performance. The new instrument cluster still had the center tachometer but on its left there was a TFT display installed into the round circle of the former analog gauge.
The 2012 Porsche Carrera featured a 3.4-liter flat-six engine. It was mated as standard to a world’s first seven-speed manual transmission. An automatic, PDK (dual-clutch) transmission was offered as an option.
In 2004, Porsche launched a new generation of its well-known Porsche 911.
That generation was named 997 and it represented an important upgrade for the whole range, especially after the 2008 facelift.
After four years into production, a mid-life cycle refresh was ready for the market. Porsche had to improve its engines to make them cleaner and to respect the new pollution norms in Europe. It meant that it had to build its cars more fuel-efficient. As usual, the rest of the car suffered some minor changes too.
On the outside, the first difference was on the front bumper, where larger air-intakes were sculptured. The headlights were fitted with LED daytime running lights and an option for bi-xenon lamps was added to the list. The rearview mirrors were slightly redesigned. A new set of 18” light-alloy wheels was fitted as standard for the Carrera. In the rear, the taillights received an LED design.
Inside the car, on the center console, Porsche installed a new infotainment unit that featured a 6.5” touch-screen display. It featured an optional hard-drive navigation system and Bluetooth connectivity. For seats, there were more options than on the non-facelifted version. Besides the standard, manually adjustable, seats, there was an option for 12-way adjustable seats, adaptive sport seats, and new for the 2008 model were the sport-bucket seats. The instrument cluster featured five dials with a black background.
The 3.6-liter engine was enhanced to become more fuel-efficient and offer better performances. It was fitted as standard to a 6-speed manual, while a 6-speed automatic was on the options list. The braking system was enhanced with the introduction of the 318 mm (12.52”) front disc brakes and 299 mm (11.78”) in the rear.
The 997 Carrera made its way back toward the performance factor and lost some of the comfort given by its predecessor, the 996, which was not that much loved by the Porsche fans.
Porsche 911 was one of the most famous sports cars. Its concept of rear-engine and rear-wheel-drive was unique on the market. The biggest change in the car’s configuration was when the water-cooled engines replaced the older air-cooled models. The German car-maker unveiled the 997 model at the 2004 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The 997 version kept the 996 shapes but, apart from the roof, all the other body panels were changed. The most obvious difference was at the headlights. While the 996 featured the turn-signals under the same lens with the main lamps, the 997 moved them into the bumper.
Inside, the 2+2 coupe looked similar, but with more differences. There was a new steering wheel, a new infotainment system on the center stack, and new sport-bucket seats. With 6 airbags installed, the 997 generation was safer than its predecessors. The Porsche Communication Management included a DVD-based navigation system and a 9-speaker stereo system, offered as an option or, as a second option, a Bose 13 speaker.
The Carrera 2 featured a 3.6-liter flat-six engine mounted in the rear, same as the 996. It was mated to a new 6-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic.
After four years on the market, the 996 generation of the Porsche 911 received a facelift in 2002.
It brought a few options and a new pair of headlights. It was fitted with more powerful engines.
The 2002 Carrera came on the market to attract even more customers. It was already established as a true sports-car and a great grand-tourer vehicle. Its rear-engine and rear-wheel-drive configuration were highly appreciated by its customers.
From the outside, it was hard to notice the difference between the 1998 version and the facelifted model. The main difference was on the headlights. The 2002 model featured a clear lens for the entire lamp, while its predecessor featured a yellow lens for the turn-signals. The difference was even more striking for the vehicles sold in North America.
Inside, the main difference was the stereo, which received a digital AM/FM stereo and a CD-player. Other than that, it was the same four-seat sports car built for two adults for long journeys. In the 911 coupes, the rear seatbacks could have been folded down to create a flat cargo floor. It was a good daily driver vehicle and even more relaxing on long journeys.
The drivetrain received a new 3.6-liter engine and it gained 20 hp more than the non-facelifted version. It was fitted with a standard 6-speed manual. The 5-speed automatic (Tiptronic) gearbox with manual override to change gears was on the options list.
Designed as a grand tourer, the Porsche Carrera was the base version for the 911 range in 1998.
It offered enough comfort to be used as a daily driver.
The 996 Porsche was unveiled in 1997. The Carrera was the quickest naturally aspirated Porsche 911 from its times, apart from the GT3 versions, which were track-focused vehicles. The main advantage of the 911 was that it was a true, daily-driver, sports-car. It was the first water-cooled 911.
From the outside, the big headlights were oddly shaped and that brought a lot of criticism from Porsche fans around the world. The main difference between the 1998 Carrera and the facelifted version was that on this model, the turn-signals were placed at the bottom of the headlights. From the side, the flush bodywork, without any enlargements for the wheel-arches, offered a clean look.
Inside, the car was fitted as standard with a stereo and air-conditioning. Since it was the base model in the stable, it didn’t feature too many luxury items, but those were on the options list. The standard seats could have been upgraded to power-adjustable leather seats. It was the first Porsche 911 with a center stack. The 911 featured two seats in the back, but very cramped. Those were installed mainly for tax and insurance purposes.
Under the engine lid, there was a newly-developed flat-six engine that offered 300 hp. It was mated as standard with a six-speed manual. A 5-speed automatic (Tiptronic) with manual override to shift gears was on the options list. The Carrera 2 was rear-wheel-drive.
The Porsche 911 – 993 marked the end of the air-cooled engines for the Germans sports-car manufacturer.
Due to new rules for pollution norms, they had to switch to water-cooled engines.
For some, the 993 generation was the last true 911. Even though after that the car-maker built faster cars, the 993 still had that specific Porsche sound. It was the mix between the old and new school, with enough comfort for a daily-driver car, and good performance.
The Carrera was the base model for the 911. It featured two round headlights, in the tradition of the Porsche brand. The flat and low trunk-lid in the front was lower than the fenders. The windshield was not very raked and the sloped back toward the end of the car made a curved line along with the engine lid. A rear spoiler was installed and it was automatically extended depending on the car’s speed, or via a button installed in front of the gear-stick.
The interior featured sport-bucket seats in the front and two small seats in the back. The instrument cluster featured five dials, with the tachometer in the middle and a clock on the right side. The climate controls and the stereo were mounted in line with the steering column.
The engine was a completely reworked flat-six, with a 3.6-liter displacement. It was offered in two versions of power, depending on the market and manufacturing year. A newly-developed suspension system resolved the lift-off oversteer problem form the previous generation. It was offered with a 6-speed manual or with the Tiptronic (automatic transmission) with manual override for gear changes.
The 1989 Porsche Carrera 2 was the first 911 to offer a sequential automatic transmission and power steering.
But these were not the only two key-factors that made the car great.
After the introduction of the new generation, the 911 brought ’90s features for a car designed in the past. The Tiptronic (automatic with manual override) transmission was a new system on the market and the Americans loved it.
From the outside, the Carrera 2 was a 911. The hood lower than the front fenders, the curved, but almost vertical, windshield made a clear distinction between the front and the greenhouse. The sloped-back roof was ended over the engine lid, where a speed-activated spoiler was automatically deployed at highway speeds.
Inside, the owners of the previous generation noticed more similarities with the old generation. The main differences are for the safety systems. The 964 was fitted as standard with dual airbags, for the driver and front passenger. In the back, there were two small (very small) seats. The five dials for the instrument cluster featured a black background.
For the engine, Porsche offered the flat-six, unit. It offered 260 hp and it was fitted with the latest development systems that mare possible such a high specific output for that era. It was mated either to a 5-speed manual, or a 4-speed automatic with manual override to change gears named Tiptronic. The new suspension moved from torsion bars to struts, which improved the car’s handling.
For the 1974 model, the Porsche 911 featured a new look, somehow similar to the older model, but it was different.
Both the interior and the engine were revised to offer more comfort and power.
By 1974, the Porsche 911 already gained its place in the motorsport arena with victories on snow, tarmac or gravel, in the rally, or endurance racing. The second generation came to improve the street vehicles, for the general public and for those who were on the market for a daily-driver sports-car.
The 1974 model was redesigned for the first time in the car’s history. The raised bumper design with black plastic bellows on the sides to absorb shocks was a key feature of the car. But the car’s profile remained the same 911 as before, with an almost vertical windshield, a curved roof, and swept-back rear windscreen in the same line with the engine lid. In the back, the bumper featured two big rubber buffers and, between them, the license plate.
Inside, the cockpit featured sport seats in the front and two smaller ones in the back, which were hard to use. The five-dials instrument cluster offered information regarding the oil pressure, oil temperature, fuel level, tachometer in the middle, the speedometer, and, on the right, an analog clock. The ventilation controls were placed at the same level as the steering wheel and the stereo.
For the engine, the Carrera featured a 2.7-liter flat-six air-cooled engine. Over time, its displacement was increased up to 3.2-liter in 1984, so the power range was between 200 hp in 1974 and 231 hp for later models.
The iconic Porsche 911 was born in 1964 and it became one of the most iconic sports cars in the world.
Its shape was kept over the years, with its sloped rear engine bay.
The design was an evolution of the Porsche 356 model. The new headlights, higher greenhouse, and the same slope in the back were the main characteristics that defined the classic Porsche shape. Its design was created by Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche, son of the Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche. The latter was the creator of the 1936 VW Beetle. That is why the concept of the air-cooled engine in the back was adopted on the first Porsche, the 356, and it was kept on the 911.
The Porsche 356 was a commercial success for the young German company. But there was a need for modernization and, in 1964, the 911 was launched. It kept the same principles of the 356 with a flat-four, air-cooled engine. That led to a different engine lid in the back, with big vents on top of it.
Inside the car, there was a simple flat layout for the instrument cluster. The five-dials concept was kept over the time Another particularity of the Porsche 911 was the starter key on the outside, closer to the window, while most of the other vehicles had it on the inside. Even for that time, the Porsche offered luxurious interior, with leather seats and wood panels. Also, on the dashboard, a stereo was installed.
The simple layout for the engine included a four-wheel independent suspension, which was a great advantage while cornering. The car had more weight on the rear wheels and provided better traction.
In 1964, Porsche introduced the 911 range, as a successor for the 356 model.
But the car was too expensive. A compromise solution was found: a 911 with the 356 engine. And that was the 912.
The design was an evolution of the Porsche 356 model. The new headlights, higher greenhouse, and the same slope in the back were the main characteristics that defined the classic Porsche shape. Its design was created by Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche, son of the Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche. The latter was the creator of the 1936 VW Beetle.
The Porsche 356 was a commercial success for the young German company. One year after the 911 was launched, the 912 reached the showroom floors. It kept the same principles of the 356 with a flat-four, air-cooled engine. That led to a different engine lid in the back, with big vents on top of it.
Inside the car, there was a simple flat layout for the instrument cluster. The five-dials concept was kept over the time Another particularity of the Porsche 912 was the starter key on the outside, closer to the window, while most of the other vehicles had it on the inside. To keep the car’s price low, some of the Porsche 911 features were deleted and offered only as an option. In that process, the stereo and some sound-deadening materials were axed.
The simple layout for the engine included a four-wheel independent suspension, which was a great advantage while cornering. The 1.6-liter flat-four engine was based on the one found in the 356 SC. It was fed by a Solex carburetor and mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox.