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From the Editor…
UP FRONT… “The modern 911 is 21 years old, making the youngster a grown-up. Best of the lot, though, is the teenage 997”
A chance to play this month, as I joined regular 911&PW scribe, Dan Trent, at the Surrey based Longcross test track to tell the story of the modern Porsche 911, with the help of three generations of water-cooled Carrera 2s. Those generations, of course, being the 996, 997 and 991. The idea was to bring things up to date prior to the arrival of the soon to be launched 992. It proved to be a fascinating exercise.
We chose base C2s because they are always the purest of any 911 iteration, with the minimum of clutter to cloud the driving experience. The 996 was a super early example – one of the first off the production line in late 1997. It was certainly one of the first to be registered in the UK which, for an early 996 owner like myself, made it an intriguing Prospect. With nothing but switchable traction control for interference and a cable connecting the throttle to the plenum, it was the very definition of the analogue experience.
“This, we all felt, was/is the sweetspot of the modern 911 era”
The 997 C2, meanwhile, mixed electronic trickery in the form of PASM dampers, but very little else, and its torquier 3.6-litre engine gave it distinct tale wagging swagger. Despite sharing largely the same underpinnings as the 996, it felt decidedly more modern and the gearchange was a delight. This, we all felt, was/is the sweetspot of the modern 911 era. Values of late 997s would seem to bear this out. The 991 thrilled, but only when its peaky 350bhp, 3.4-litre engine was really working. Still, it is the last of the aspirated flat-sixes, which will count for something. The 992? Only when the gen 2 hybrid arrives will we really know the future of the 911.
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