The 1998 arrival of the water-cooled 996 was controversial.
The 911 gained its first major style change, notable for its non-elliptical headlights.
The 996 also marked the exponential growth in 911 variants, but that also goes hand-in-hand with the first-ever GT3 being launched.
First GT3 (355bhp) landed in ’99; GT2 (462bhp, rear-drive, carbon brakes, no traction control) followed in 2001.
The Targa open-topped model returned, this time with a large glass roof that slid under the rear window. The expensive air-cooled 993 Targa had a limited production run between 1996 and 1998.
The 996 received a big change in 2001.
The 996 also marked the arrival of another 911 GT2, a 196mph, turbocharged 911 without the safety of a four-wheel-drive system.
GT3 lost its split rims but gained 20bhp and a squared rear wing. The GT3 RS featured ’73 RS-style graphics, plastic window, and carbon bonnet. Turbo was available with an optional 444bhp X50 power kit.
In 2004 the round headlights returned.
The new 911 generation had a shape similar to the 996. All had more than 300bhp, while a new GT2 entered the unchartered territory with 530bhp.
Initially, two versions of the 997 were introduced— the rear-wheel-drive Carrera and Carrera S. While the base 997 Carrera had a power output of 325 PS (239 kW; 321 hp) from its 3.6 L Flat 6, a more powerful 3.8 L 355 PS (261 kW; 350 hp) Flat 6 powers the Carrera S. Besides a more powerful engine, the Carrera S also comes standard with 19 inches (48 cm) “Lobster Fork” style wheels, more powerful and larger brakes (with red calipers), lowered suspension with PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management: dynamically adjustable dampers), Xenon headlamps, and a sports steering wheel.
More efficient direct injection engines showed a switch into more environmentally caring 911s, while the PDK twin-clutch gearbox arrived.
The GT2 RS develops 620 PS (456 kW; 612 hp) and 700 N⋅m (516 lb-ft) of torque and weighs 70 kg (150 lb) less than the standard GT2, allowing for a top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph) and the 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time of 3.4 seconds.
An important change is the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch ‘box for Carreras and Turbo, which is up to 493bhp, or 522bhp in the 2010-on Turbo S.
GT3 a 429bhp 3.8; RS’s 3.8 pushed that to 444bhp. Legendary GT3 RS 4.0 got 486bhp still without turbos.
The 991 arrived in 2011, and while it seemed the prettiest 911 model in decades, the new electric steering was controversial.
The Carrera is powered by a 355 PS (261 kW; 350 hp) 3.4-liter engine. The Carrera S features a 3.8-liter engine rated at 406 PS (299 kW; 400 hp).
A Power Kit (option X51) is available for the Carrera S, increasing power output to 436 PS (321 kW; 430 hp). The new 991’s overall length grows by 56 mm (2.2 in) and the wheelbase grows by 99 mm (3.9 in).
The 911 GT3 RS now has a 4.0-liter unit that has a power output of 500 PS (368 kW; 493 hp) and 460 Nm (339 lb-ft) of torque. The transmission is PDK only. The car accelerates from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds.
2015 marked a new milestone in Porsche’s history with the development of a turbocharged flat engine that gave it a boost in power as well as considerably lower fuel consumption.
The Carrera and Carrera S models also had flat-six turbo engines.
The 991 GT2 RS was presented in 2017, powered by a 3.8 L twin-turbocharged flat-6 engine that produces a maximum power of 700 PS (515 kW; 690 hp) at 7,000 rpm and 750 N⋅m (550 lb-ft) of torque, making it the most powerful 911 ever built.
In 2018 Porsche unveiled the Speedster variant of the 991 generation for the 911.
Utilizing the chassis of the GT3 and the body shell of the Carrera 4 Cabriolet, the Speedster includes the GT3’s 4.0-litre naturally aspirated Flat-6 engine generating a maximum power output of 500 PS (368 kW; 493 hp) and having a red-line of 9,000 rpm coupled with a 6-speed manual transmission and titanium exhaust system which is claimed to be 4 kg (9 lb) lighter than the 7-speed manual transmission found on the standard 991 models.
Carrera S and 4S PDK models have 444bhp from the engine much like 991.2.
The basic silhouette hasn’t changed much, but there’s a big styling leap in the shape of the long light bar at the back and full track widths for all models, not just the four-wheel-drive and motorsport cars.
Through the years, and at least seven generations, the Porsche 911 has been a beautiful and powerful sports car, adapted to its times, experiencing changes in technology while still maintaining its basic concept of elegant style and freedom. As always, we can expect more changes coming in the future, possibly including hybrid versions.