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The 997 was launched in September 2004 in Carrera and Carrera S forms. The Carrera has a 321bhp 3.6-litre water-cooled version of the flat-six from the 996, whilst the 'S' had a 3.8-litre version of the same engine developing 350bhp. Later, models were expanded to include other variants, but the focus is on these two.

There were 3 times as many 'S' versions sold as the regular Carrera but the 3.6 engine model has serious grunt and would be ideal for novice 911 Porsche owners or those not familiar with high performance sports car motoring. It'll be a car that's a little cheaper to acquire and run too.

[FONT=verdana,geneva"][FONT=verdana,geneva"]2005 Carrerra 2 'S'[FONT=verdana,geneva"]
The 'S' model was produced with the new PASM system and offers switchable adaptive damping as standard. Both models have variable-ratio steering and PSM stability control. The Sports Chrono package was an option that provides a dash-mounted stopwatch and, more importantly, a Sport button with improved throttle control and damping. There was also a factory fitted Sports chassis option available which lowered the ride height by 20mm and provided a limited-slip differential. Gearbox choices were a new six-speed manual or the old-time five-speed Tiptronic auto.

Improvements in the chassis elements were noticeable when switching the PASM to its firmer setting, whilst pressing the Sport button sharpened the vehicle's dynamics. Porsche Communication Management (PCM) is another worthwhile option to look out for, combining an improved hi-fi system with factory-fitted satnav (although you'll find this rather outmoded compared to the latest offerings). All-wheel-drive Carrera 4's and 4 'S's arrived in November 2005, but some drivers prefer the 2WD versions, as they seem sharper and are lighter. The Turbo and GT3 derivatives were made available in 2006, also Targas and Cabriolet variants. The Gen 1 Turbo retained the Metzger designed dry-sumped flat 6 engine, originally manufactured for the GT1 Le Mans race car and many purists mourned its passing, which was necessary due to new emission regulations and rising manufacturing costs, when the Gen 2 Turbos were launched.

Gen 2 arrived for the 2009 model-year and the engine was almost completely revised with direct injection and VarioCam Plus valve gear. Power was now up to 380bhp for the Carrera S and this raised the top speed to 186mph with a 4 second 0-60 time. Transmission was also transformed with the arrival of the PDK twin-clutch auto gearbox as an option.

If the budget is below £25K, you're looking at a Gen 1 997 and you would be well advised to buy one from a dependable source or, if buying privately, having an independent expert carry out a thorough inspection. The charge is likely to be around £350 for a full work-out.

An official Porsche warranty is available for cars up to 15 years old or 125k miles whichever comes sooner, but it needs to be submitted for 111 point check to a Porsche Centre. The current cost of this is £180+VAT. The check can only be commissioned if you have owned it for a 90 days or more. So ask your seller to get it done as part of your purchase agreement. The warranty is around £1100 for the year (£1920 for 2 years), excluding the cost of the inspection. The vehicle will also need to be in completely original factory spec in order to comply with the terms of the policy.

Nice overview Clive!

Just wanted to add that the gen 1 3.6L Turbo and GT2's engine won 'international engine of the year - best performance engine' in 2008 and Porsche haven't won it again since (last 5 years have all been Ferraris). So gen 1 Turbo/GT2 are very special cars indeed, and given the current prices of the Turbos (which are now starting to go back up) are an absolute steel!

I would recommend checking a few things though on a Turbo/GT2 like:

* If there are battery powered TPMSs in the tyres, find out when they were last changed - mine lasted about 6 years, and are not cheap to replace.
* Also ceramic brake replacements are going to cost a pretty penny (on any 997) so check their levels of wear too.
* Condition of the front radiators are also worth checking on Turbos given there are 3 at the front of the car with no protection mesh from the factory
* Stick the car in top gear on a fast open road and accelerate hard from about 1900 rpm to see if you get any clutch slippage. If it slips (more prevalent in cold weather) then you will be needing a new clutch soon!

Finally, after you buy it, take it up to Chris Franklin at Center Gravity to get it's geometry set up perfectly to your liking. Easily the best couple of hundred quid you can spend on any Porsche...
A very useful overview Clive.

One or two details to add
  • Cruise control can be retrofitted (useful in this average speed scam world) circa £500
  • PCM3 may still be upgradeable to 7 digit postcode. Circa £150
  • Early PDK was not as sophisticated as later versions and the 6 speed manual may be a better bet.
  • Early cars will be close to the end of warranty. There were plenty of recall campaigns during the model life and it would be worth checking to make sure all is up to date. (Reg Sec note: You can check this at the Porsche site, see our technical section index for the link - you need to be a registered member to access this).
This is good Clive, perhaps it should be pinned to the top, if it isn't already. Perhaps it could be expanded to include:

More about the headline models like the gen 1 GT2, gen 2 GT2 RS
More about the gen 2 range such as the uniqueness of the Carrera GTS being the only widebody RWD Carrera.
Some of the specials such as the Sport Classic and GT3 RS 4.0 (the latter being the only 4.0 litre Porsche flat 6 to hit the road.

I thought £1400 was closer to a 2 year warranty. Have they put the prices up?

Thanks Clive
Thanks for your kind remarks and suggestions.
I intended this just as a simple guide for those thinking of embarking on their first Porsche 911 997 adventure.
It is by no means intended to be a comprehensive reference chronicle, as I assumed those looking at the more focussed models would already be familiar with the marque and could carry out their own investigation of these from the wealth of information already out there.
The warranty cost includes a mandatory 111 point PC inspection.

Clive great overview,
Im looking at buying a 997.2 Carrera 4 for my wife, who has developed PWS. (Porsche withdrawal Syndrome)
it is a 2010 with 18k on the clock, comes with a 2 year Porsche warranty, is there anything I should look out for or just go for gold and let her carry on. She is too nervous to drive the 458, I mean I'm too nervous hee hee hee.
Ferrari and Porsche in the same household - sounds pretty much ideal to me! [;)]
With the 2 year Porsche warranty you should be OK. Take a look at tyres for uneven wear and brake pads for wear, particularly rears if the car has PTV.
Rads are prone to corrosion so look around the front end for signs of coolant leakage. If possible have the front PU removed and clean out the debris, particularly between the side rads and condensers. This is where the problems usually start. Spray those rads with anti-corrosion protection prior to refitting the PU.
(Just love the new 488 BTW [sm=kiss.gif]) Good luck.

That 2s was my frst 997.....same colour too

4 997's ater and still with the 458.....cant think of a better combo

Now looking for a 997 gen 2 cab in grey as well

I am an aspiring 997 cabriolet owner, and would appreciate advice on budget and where to purchase. The prices I have seen even for Gen 1 cabriolets have been beyond £30,000. Is it possible to find examples below this figure, but still minimise the risk of significant maintenance bills? With the age of such cars likely to take them beyond Porsche warranty from Porsche Centres, should I rather consider an independent specialist, and if so have you any recommendations? Both 911 Virgin and Paragon have caught my eye.
Hi before you buy,have you seen the gen 2 4s i have for sale at Silverleaf cars at 39k and only 14000 miles bargain of the year.Nathan
I have a 9 yr old C4S cab with 44k miles which I've owned pretty much since new and recent service has shown up coolant pipe leaks and corroded front shocks. The cost to repair is not insignificant but must be done. I also had corroded brake pipes replaced last year. There seems to be a sizeable used car price range and I suspect many "bargains" may not be all they seem - certainly worth an inspection or purchasing with a good warranty so you can enjoy the car with piece of mind.
I too am looking to purchase my first Porsche - curtesy of an inheritance from my F1/Sportscar loving mother.
I am looking for a Gen2 C2S PDK
I have been told the following :-

Main Dealer history
Tyres - all same make and wear, use anything else as a bargaining tool
Steering geometry - 4 wheel alignment check
Lower control ams - probably need replacing every 4 to 5 years
Brakes - discs and pads, check for wear especially the inner surface of discs
Radiators - water and aircon, look for dark spots indicating leaks
Over rev report - This needs careful interpretation
Battery - How old, should be replaced every 5 to 6 years for best performance
Electrics - DOES everything work ?
Bodywork - usual checks, accident damage, stone chips etc
Mileage - too low or too high = possible problems

In theory PDK cars shouldn't get any over revs - but they do! Only ranges 1 and 2 though when they bounce off the limiter (in manual mode when you forget to change up!)
I forgot to add :-

Coil packs - probably need changing every 5 to 6 years
Depending on age - belts and fluid services
Navigation version update

A LOT to check !

997man your list seems quite thorough. I'd also check the rear light clusters for condensation - several have been replaced under warranty (I've had one) but word is Porsche are rejecting claims.
I'd echo tscaptain's note about PDK rev ranges - mine is littered with them in R1 and R2 and always gets a new extended warranty okay.
If you're asking vendors for additional photos, get one of the centre console including all the switches behind the gear-shifter. This is the best way to confirm the actual options on the car, e.g. heated seats, switchable exhaust, sport mode etc. All the Ss have the spoiler lift, PASM and PSM OFF buttons as standard. Anything else is a bonus!
If the car has a Porsche extended warranty it will have a Porsche battery and I'll be staggered if it has lasted 5-6 years! Non-Porsche ones may well do, but my experience is the Porsche battery comes with 2 years warranty and according to my car's history file, fails every 3 years...
If you go to view a car, ask the vendor to show you the oil-level. It's a digital display only. If they fumble with the stalk/display, or try to check it with a cold engine it might suggest they don't check it regularly! Mine uses oil between services, so it should be checked. Also don't be too alarmed if it's recently been serviced and the oil-level gauge goes off the top of the scale - mine always come back from OPC like this!
Happy hunting!

millerp said:
If the
car has a Porsche extended warranty it will have a Porsche battery and I'll be staggered if it has lasted 5-6 years! Non-Porsche ones may well do, but my experience is the Porsche battery comes with 2 years warranty and according to my car's history file, fails every 3 years...

Not wishing to tempt fate but mine is 6 years old in March. It has spent it's whole life on a conditioner in between drives though.

Okay, perhaps we should agree that a battery is a consumable like a tyre and it's longevity will depend on how it is used, and more importantly, looked after!
OK - now we have a list of possible things to go wrong - which are covered by the 2 years Approved Warranty with used vehicles ?

I'm guessing the following are considered consumables and are not covered - Tyres, Battery, discs and pads

NOW ! - are control arm bushes, coil packs, radiators covered ?

Is there someone out there with their Warranty paperwork ?

I have found a vehicle - I can get 4k off if I don't take the 2 year warranty ! - worth doing ? and keeping the 4k as my own safety net ?
I don't have the Porsche extended warranty docs in electronic form but I've recently renewed mine for 2 years and it cost less that £2k so your £4k discount seems like good value!
In my experience, the items you've mentioned are covered if it can be proved they were faulty or have failed prematurely. They won't be covered of course if they've simply worn out!
It helps to build a rapport with your OPC service team because they can be quite helpful when it comes to warranty work. I guess they get 'paid' by the insurance company, so warranty work is good for their workshops! For example, I had an O2 sensor fail. It was replaced under the extended warranty and so was the other one on the other side which was okay. If I didn't have the warranty, I'd have had to pay for the faulty one and probably not bothered with the other one.
Last time it was in they spotted a leak from a radiator hose. They replaced the hose and all the clips under warranty. I only live 10 miles from my OPC so it's no problem taking it in. These are all factors you'll have to weigh up.
Let us know if you went through with the purchase/warranty!

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