The 996, the fifth generation of the near 40 year old 911, attracted mixed feelings on its 1997 launch. The impression was of a car 'softened' to be more GT than raw sports car. While this may be partly true, the water cooled 996 was in fact faster and better handling than it's predecessor the 993. Ride quality was superb and the bane of the 911 since its creation, the cabin, was revamped making it roomier and more ergonomic in design.
The 2 wheel drive 996 was quickly followed by the Carrera 4 with 4-wheel drive and the superb PSM stability system, offering unobtrusive 'foolproof' handling.