Porsche 911 996 1998 - 2003 model years.
The Porsche 996 is the current '911' series. Porsche introduced the 996 for the 1998 model series starting August 1997.
996 models include; Porsche 996 Carrera 2, Carrera 4, available with both 6 speed manual and tiprtonic gearbox's. Body styles started with the Coupe (see picture of a '98 series 996 C2 manual I owned) and Cabriolet, but recently a 'glass roof' Targa has been introduced, similar to the previous 993 Targa.
picture left is a 996 C2 coupe in ocean blue with 18" Turbo wheels.
The 996 was a totally new car, with a new shape, a new interior and a new water cooled engine. All previous 911 had been air cooled, a system that has advantages in simplicity and weight, but critically was no longer viable to engineer to current legislation. Along with the air-cooling went part of the glorious flat six sound. And that's what upset some critics.
The motor, as it's always been, is in the rear, the chassis a development of things learned from the 993 and from Porsche racing activities. Therefore this new model handles even better, has superb brakes, and great performance. The motor was downsized from 3600cc to 3400 cc, although horse power went up (on normally aspirated versions) from 285 to 300hp.
No doubt as time passes the so called 'purists' that consider all 911 should be air cooled will warm to the 996 and appreciate the developments that the Porsche engineers have provided.
The body shape still resembles any earlier 911, but everything has changed. You can feel that the individual panels are less heavy than before, but this is progress and the engineers at Porsche always move forward.
picture left is a 2002 996 Convertible in Orient red metallic.
Open the drivers door and you will see beautiful cabin architecture. Gone completely is the practical but idiosyncratic design that had evolved little from the '60's. Instead a more roomy cabin, still two plus two, very good seats and a more relaxed driving environment.
Typically Porsche, these cars are efficient and strong, characteristics that have always been evident in all 911 - making the description 'an everyday supercar' just as relevant today as its always been.