1994 Porsche 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera CabrioletEnlarge Photo
The 911 with the internal design number 993 remains the one true love of many a Porsche driver. The remarkably pleasing design has much to do with this but also the car's performance and ability to overcome much of the competition.
The integrated bumpers underscore the smooth elegance of its styling, along with the classic lines that have featured on every 911 model.
The front section is lower-slung than on the earlier models, made possible by a switch from round to polyellipsoid headlights.
The 993 also quickly gained a reputation for exceptional dependability and reliability.
It was also agile, as the first 911 with a newly designed aluminum chassis.
The Turbo version was the first to have a twin-turbocharged engine, giving it the lowest-emission stock automotive powertrain in the world in 1995.
The hollow-spoke aluminum wheels, never before used on any car, were yet another innovation of the all-wheel-drive Turbo version.
Meanwhile, an electric glass roof that slid under the rear window was one of the innovations of the 911 Targa.
Finally, the Porsche 911 GT2 was aimed at the sports car purist who cherished the thrill of high speeds and today is extremely rare.
However, the real reason dyed-in-the-wool Porsche enthusiasts still revere the 993 is that this model, produced from 1993 to 1998, was the last 911 with an air-cooled engine.
1999 Porsche 911 Carrera 4Enlarge Photo
The 996, which rolled off the assembly line from 1997 to 2005, represented a major turning point in the history of the 911. It retained all the character of its classic heritage, but was an entirely new automobile.
This comprehensively redesigned generation was the first to be driven by a water-cooled boxer engine. Thanks to its four-valve cylinder heads it achieved 300 horsepower and broke new ground in terms of reduced emissions, noise, and fuel consumption.
The 911 GT3 became one of the highlights of the model range in 1999, keeping the tradition of the Carrera RS alive. The 911 GT2, the first car equipped with ceramic brakes as standard, arrived in 2000.
The 997 (2004)
In July 2004, Porsche unveiled the new generation 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S models, referred to internally as the 997. The clear oval headlights with separate blinkers in the front apron were a visual return to older 911 models, but the 997 offered more than just style.
It was a high-performance vehicle, with a 3.6-liter boxer engine that turned out 325 horsepower while the new 3.8 liter engine of the Carrera S managed an incredible 355 horsepower. The chassis was also substantially reworked, and the Carrera S came with Porsche Active Suspension Management as standard equipment.
In 2006 Porsche introduced the 911 Turbo, the first gasoline-powered production automobile to include a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry. A model update was introduced in 2008, followed by the GTS special edition and a new GT2.
2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 CabrioletEnlarge Photo
This car, known internally as the 991, represents the greatest technical leap in the evolution of the 911. Already the class benchmark for decades, the new 911 generation raised performance and efficiency to new levels.
A totally new suspension with a longer wheelbase, wider track, larger tires and an ergonomically optimized interior--it all adds up to an even sportier yet more comfortable driving experience.
The design of the 991 has likewise met with high critical acclaim. With its flat, stretched silhouette, exciting contours, and precisely designed details, the seventh generation of the Porsche 911 Carrera remains unmistakably a 911 that has once again succeeded in redefining the standard for automobile design. It is the best 911 of all time--until the next generation.