Itís always a treat when the German automaker, Porsche releases a new 911 model just from an engineering standpoint; I am constantly amazed how after over four decades of production of this iconic speedster Porsche always seems able to deliver something that we havenít seen before. It is almost like they are the NASA of the automotive world, constantly introducing true innovations to the automotive industry.
The new bodyshell for the 911 is dubbed the 997 and gives us the sexy smooth styling of the 996 body series but is blended with the retro chic look of the earlier 911. The front of the body features rounded lights and independent parking and fog lights. This modification coupled with the wider hip adjustment brings to mind the earlier and now extinct air cooled 911 body which was called the 993. The new look also introduces a new door handle style, wing mirrors, and the rear wings are integrated into the bumper.
The 997 bodyshell while resembling the 996 is almost 40mm wider and makes for a more forceful looking appearance without dramatically altering the styling of the car. Another key issue with the German car maker is to always try to reduce the drag in order to make the vehicle cut through air with the least friction possible and they have done it again with the 997 bodyshell. The drag co-efficient has been reduced from .34 in the 993 to .28 now in the new 997. This is one of the engineering marvels that is just mind blowing to me. How can they take a car that already has one of the lowest drag co-efficients and make it even lower?
The advances in the structural engineering and suspension have created a Porsche that handles better than ever with improved rigidity in the torsion bars and nearly forty percent more flexural strength.
Improving crash safety was a key desire for the new 911, hence two new airbags are now located in the side of each front seat back rest which are made to protect the thorax area of the body. This new addition along with the two front and two side airbags brings the tall up to six.
The new stronger bodyshell also employs more super high strength steel than ever before which makes it over 100 lbs heavier than the 996 before it, but the reason is to meet the newer crash safety standards. Despite the additional weight, the advances in aerodynamics help it to match the performance of the 996 themed 911.