The Porsche Carrera was introduced for the 2005 model year along as a variant of the 997. The Carrera and Carrera S coupes were the first versions of the 997 to hit dealer lots. Before long, the all-wheel drive Carrera 4 joined the lineup (and of course, the Carrera 4S), but it wasn’t until the following year when the Turbo and GT3 models debuted on the road. While the 997 parts are slightly based on the model's predecessor (the 996), the 997 Carrera S and Carrera 4S shared just the roof panels and several other minor styling characteristics and parts with its predecessor, where previous Porsche models used the same primary body design and build. One of the most notable examples of the change in design is the addition of circular headlights, which prior to the 996, were a steady styling trait of the 911 family.
Performance for the 997 varied from model to model depending on the configuration. The base Carrera, Carrera Cabriolet, Carrera 4, and Carrera 4 Cabriolet all generate up to 340 horsepower with an average top-speed of approximately 180 miles-per-hour. The Carrera S, Carrera S Cabriolet, Carrera 4S, and Carrera 4S Cabriolet display 380 horsepower along with a top-speed of approximately 186.5 miles-per-hour. 911 Targa 4 models share a similar power-plant to the Carrera, offering 340 horsepower while the Targa 4S gets credit for 380 hp. Horsepower increases for each series, as the 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo Cabriolet produce 493 hp; Turbo S and Turbo S Cabriolet variants pump out a hefty 523 horsepower; the GT3 and GT3 RS are good for 429 hp and 444 hp, respectively; and finally, the top-level GT2 delivers up to 523 horses as the GT2 RS takes the cake with a whopping 612 horsepower.
The second-generation of the Porsche Carrera was introduced for the 2009 model year. Porsche instituted changes throughout the vehicle, directing a substantial amount of the design effort to the exterior parts, as the front-bumper was revised (for larger air intake). Also new were LED turn-signals and optional xenon HID headlights. Porsche’s PDK seven-speed dual-clutch transmission entered the lineup for the first time and the powertrains were upgraded with direct-injection with Porsche Sport Exhaust (PSE). Similar to the previous generation, the Carrera, Carrera S, and Carrera 4S were the first Carrera models made available. The base Carrera, Carrera 4, and Targa 4 were rated at 340 horsepower; Carrera S, Carrera 4S, and Targa 4S models got credit for 380 hp; the GT3 pumped out 429 horsepower whereas both the GT3 RS and GT3 Cup came in at 444 hp. The Sport Classic lowered the bar to 402 horsepower, but the Turbo and Turbo Cabriolet demonstrated 493 hp. As per the first generation, the Turbo S and Turbo S Cabriolet both churned out 523 horsepower, and the GT2 RS was once again at top of the heap with 612 hp.
Thanks to a low-slung body design and the reliable Porsche Carrera parts delivering outstanding performance that begs of racetrack imagery, the model is one sporty ride that still maintains a place in the spotlight. Taking the controls behind the wheel of this machine brings about unchained aggression along with stylish implications. The Porsche Carrera handles with responsiveness and even demonstrates above-average efficiency for a model in this class. With so many attributes still going strong, who could argue with its success?
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