Porsche 911 vs. Carrera Buying Guide

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Porsche 911 vs. Carrera Buying Guide

The Porsche 911 is a classic sports car that has changed relatively little since it was introduced in 1963. The winner of numerous awards, the 911 has given rise to various other Porsche models, one of which is the Porsche Carrera GT. The Carrera GT was produced for just three years, from 2004 to 2007. However, in that time, it garnered a loyal following.

Buying a Porsche for many people is a lifelong dream. When the moment arrives to start shopping for a Porsche, it is easy to be torn between two or three different vehicles. Each one has a unique feel and personality that can be hard to pin down on paper. However, the first step is to get to know each vehicle's specifications and capabilities. After comparing specs, a shopper can look for used vehicles online to take for test drives. By becoming knowledgeable about the differences between the Porsche 911 and the Porsche Carrera GT, one can buy the car of one's dreams with no regrets.

Porsche 911 Overview

The Porsche 911 was made in 1963 to replace the company's first car model, the 356. The 911 was bigger and more comfortable, and of course more powerful as well and classified as a grand tourer. There have been six more generations of 911 since that time, although the basic concept and layout are the same as the classic 911. The 911 had an air-cooled engine until 1998, when Porsche switched to a water-cooled engine.

This new 911 had the internal model number of 996, and represented the first major change to the 911. Besides the water-cooled engine, the 996 also had new body work, a new interior, and a new drivetrain. The next major change came in 2012 with the seventh generation of the Porsche 911, internally labelled the 991. This two-door coupe/convertible has a 3.8-litre flat-six engine that gives 395 hp, a seven-speed manual gearbox, and a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Other new technologies include electro-mechanical power steering, and an optional stop/start system.

Porsche Carrera GT Overview

The Porsche Carrera GT has a rear mid-engine and rear wheel drive layout, and has also won any awards. It placed first in Sports Car International's list of Top Sports Cars of the 2000s, and placed eighth in the list of Top Sports Cars of All Time. It has many features in common with the 911, in particular the 911 GT1 which was designed for racing. It was originally designed with a turbocharged flat-six engine like many 911 models but was later redesigned to use a 5.7-litre V10 engine which produces 612 hp. Porsche started production in 2004 but ended it in 2006, after making only 1,270 vehicles. Porsche stated that production was being discontinued due to a change in airbag regulations in the United States.

Porsche 911 and Carrera GT Specifications

Before taking the cars for a test drive, it is important to know the differences in specifications between the 911 and the Carrera. This is crucial so that one can understand why each car handles the way it does and what the limits to its performance are. The three main areas to compare are the engine and powertrain specs, the body and size, and the performance.

Engine and Other Powertrain Specs

The 612 hp engine in the Carrera is far more powerful than any of the 911 models except for the 911 GT2 RS 3.6 which was made in 2011. This special 911 model produces 620 hp and is the fastest most powerful 911 ever to be sold to the public. Despite having only six cylinders, the 911 GT2 RS uses a turbocharger and a redesigned expansion intake manifold to reach 620 hp. Most other 911s produce around 350 hp and the 911 Turbos produce around 480 hp. Of course, classic 911s from the 1960s and 1970s produce much lower horsepower. In terms of torque, the 911 beats the Carrera. The GT2 RS has a torque of 700 Nm at 2250 rpm as opposed to the Carrera's 590 Nm at 5750 rpm.

Both the 911 GT2 RS and the Carrera GT have a six-speed manual transmission and ventilated disc brakes. The 911 has much better fuel economy at 17.9 litres/100 km in the city than the Carrera's 28.3 litres/100 km. The Carrera's compression ratio is 12:1, while the 911 GT2 RS has a ratio of 9:1. This directly affects the redline, which is much higher for the Carrera. It has a redline of 8000 rpm, as opposed to the 911's maximum of 5500 rpm. The 911 GT2 gets closer to the Carrera's redline than the GT2 RS, at 6500 rpm with a compression ratio of 9.4:1. The engine position is also a determining characteristic of the 911 as no 911 model sold to the public was ever made with a mid-engine like the Carrera.

Body

The Carrera GT is a cabriolet with distinctive oversized side inlets and air dams. Much of the car is made of carbon fibre to reduce the weight, including the seats which weigh half what 911 seats weigh. The wheels are made of magnesium instead of aluminium, and other parts are made from aluminium instead of steel. However, the total weight still comes to 1380 kg with a maximum weight of 1600 kg. This was due to the need to stiffen the chassis to allow for the cabriolet design. Also adding to the weight are three large radiators in the front of the car. The Carrera has 76 litres of cargo volume and a road clearance of 86 mm.

Porsche 911s in the sixth generation, in contrast, ranged from a mere 1200 kg to 1615 kg. All of these were coupes. The cabriolet versions added around 85 kg and Porsche's dual clutch transmission (known as PDK) added around 30 kg. The seventh generation, known internally as the 991, added more aluminium and composite materials to lower the weight but still comes in at 1450 kg for the cabriolet with manual transmission and 1470 kg for the cabriolet with PDK transmission. On the other hand, many 911 coupes have more cargo space. The 911 GT3 has a minimum boot volume of 110 litres.

Performance

In terms of performance, the Carrera GT and the 911 GT2 RS clock in with a maximum speed of 330 km/h. However, most 911s come in well below that speed. In the sixth generation of 911s, top speeds ranged from 284 km/h (the 911 Targa 4) to 312 km/h (the 911 GT3 and 911 Turbo). Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 3.9 seconds in the Carrera and 3.5 seconds in the GT2 RS. The sixth generation 911 Turbo can match that, and even the 911 GT3 RS clocks in at 3.8 seconds. Braking power is comparable in the Carrera and the GT2 RS, with distances of 31.6 m and 34.5 m respectively when going from 100 km/h to a complete stop.

The table below summarises the differences between the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, which is the 911 model closest in performance to the Carrera, and the Porsche Carrera GT. Other 911s can be expected to lag behind these two vehicles in most areas. The second-best 911 would be the 997 Turbo models.

Criteria

Porsche Carrera GT

Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Engine

5.7L V10 aluminium engine

3.6L flat-six Biturbo Boxer

Power

612 PS at 8000 rpm

620 PS at 6500 rpm

Torque

590 Nm at 5750 rpm

700 Nm at 2250 rpm

Weight

1380 kg

1445 kg

Top Speed

330 km/h

330 km/h

Acceleration to 100 km/h

3.9 seconds

3.5 seconds

Braking from 100 km/h

34.5 metres

31.6 metres

Transmission

manual six-gear

manual six-gear

Body type

cabriolet

coupe

Fuel economy (urban)

17.8 L/100 km

11.9 L/100 km

This summary shows the strengths and weaknesses of each model. The 911 model in the table has a slight edge as far as accelerations and power, but the GT2 RS is the only 911 model that even comes close to the Carrera GT. The 911 Turbo and GT3 get closer than other 911 models, but the power and speed of the Carrera GT are not to be underestimated and in general, leave other 911 models in the dust.

How to Buy a Porsche on eBay

Finding a Porsche on eBay is an excellent way to get a feel for the market and check out some cars near you. To find a Porsche Carrera GT or a 911 of any generation on eBay, just go to any eBay page and enter the model you want in the search box. To let you narrow down the results to only those most relevant to you, eBay offers several useful search filters to refine the search. Filters include model, year, mileage, and price. Location is also a useful criterion. By setting these parameters, you can avoid wasting time on listings you are not interested in.

Once you have found a vehicle you are interested in, check the seller's feedback score by clicking on the number next to the seller's name. This allows you to view feedback left for the seller by previous buyers and makes it easy to find reputable and professional dealers.

Conclusion

When the dream of buying a Porsche becomes reality, the first thing buyers need to decide is which Porsche model they want. Many people have their heart set on a single model, but others may be torn between two or more Porsches. The 911 is a Porsche that goes all the way back to 1963 and represents everything Porsche stands for. On the other hand, no one can deny the powerful attraction of the Carrera GT, a model that was only made for a few years but won a devoted following.

The 911 GT2 RS is the only 911 model that can match or surpass the Carrera GT in terms of power and speed. However, there is no way to match the Carrera's looks and sound. When the rich history of the car is the most enjoyable part of owning it, the 911 is probably the right car. If looks, sound, and power are the driving motivation behind the purchase, the Carrera GT is likely to satisfy the driver more. In the end, learning about and shopping for these beautiful sports cars is a large part of the fun. eBay makes it easy to find and buy Porsches of every model and year.

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