996 Porsche Carrera


I enjoy cars with inspired designs, something that sadly seems lost upon Detroit auto makers today. On the other hand, below are pictures of a 2003 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. The "4" stands for all wheel drive. Despite its 320HP, stepping on the gas translates into rapid forward acceleration with little or no loss of traction. The gas pedal is drive by wire, meaning it's essentially a joystick that actuates a throttle mechanism. By tradition, the 911 engine is located in the back of the car. This model is a 5 speed automatic with shift buttons located on the steering wheel. 2009 introduces a 7 speed automatic "PDK" transmission that consists of two 'partial' transmissions - one handles the odd gears (1,3,5,7) the other the even gears (2,4,6). As the car accelerates, the second partial transmission locks into the next gear before the first partial transmission releases the prior gear, meaning uninterrupted power from the engine to the wheels. The PDK transmission provides better acceleration than can be obtained with a manual transmission. Most Carrera's have a rear spoiler that activates when speeding past 75MPH to provide greater aerodynamic downard force as the car continues to move faster. The spoiler retracts when slowing down below about 50MPH. Base Carrera's are equipped with massive breaks, and more expensive models upgrade stopping power. While the base models offer very spirited driving, much more expensive models exist, starting with Turbo, followed by GT3 and GT2 versions.


Ready to go, with open Colorado highways ahead.



North of Tucson, enjoying a winter day as snow covers Mount Lemmon.



Sunday drive in Oracle, Arizona (photo: Mark Chimene).



The drive from Colorado Springs to Durango was extraoridinarily scenic. Far below is our eventual road.



High above Tucson, on Mount Lemmon Highway.



Mount Lemmon Highway.



Oracle Highway.



This is the narrow body version of the 996, the C4S sports an even wider stance. In this picture, the spoiler is manually raised.



Massive breaks, all around.



Enjoying top down drive during Arizona's mild Winter climate (photo: Mark Chimene).



Front view.


Exploring Petrified Forest National Park.



Garaged, ready for the next ride.



Slow exposure, zooming in.



The cool pines of Pinetop.



Salt River Canyon

© 2008 John Miranda