Porsche 911 996 - Best Euro Buys #2

By: Unique Cars magazine

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porsche 996 911 onroad porsche 996 911 onroad
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In the world of Porsche, the leap from air-cooled 993 series to liquid-cooled 996 was both inevitable and earthshattering

Traditionalists didn’t approve and you can kind of see why, but in reality the parent company had no option.

The chassis gained a torsional stiffness increase of 45 per cent, with a 50 per cent increase in extra bending stiffness, and its softer looks reduced its drag co-efficient from 0.34 to just 0.30.

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Meanwhile the liquid-cooled and wet-sumped engine had liners cast into the crankcase, and was far less susceptible to overheating – particularly in traffic. However there were some reliability issues: intermediate shaft (IMS) bearing failure, along with cracked heads and liners. These should be well and truly sorted by now.

| Read next: 1999-2004 Porsche 996 911 review

The new M96 engine found in the rear of the 996 is actually a far more rev-happy unit in comparison to the 993’s M64. In terms of chassis dynamics, the 996 was a far more modern unit – and gave birth to the track-focused GT3 model which remains one of the best driver’s cars today.

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The 996’s larger dimensions allowed for a more comfortable setting for its occupants. Placement of controls was more logical, and the switchgear and button layout was a marked improvement over the previous generations’ random scatterings.

| 2019 Market Review: Porsche 911 993/996/Boxster 1988-2008

Look across the range and there is a huge amount of choice, turbo and non-turbo, roadster, coupe, rear-wheel-drive or all-paw, with lots of combinations on offer. Get the right car and they are a compelling drive with heaps of performance, and more forgiving handling than a lot of their forebears.

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Lots of performance and a cockpit to match

We reckon there’s strong value on offer. For example we recently spotted a 2000 Carrera six-speed manual with a local service history for $70,000. Potentially a lot of car for the money.

Our top 4 Best Euro Buys:

#1 - BMW E36 M3

#2 - Porsche 911 996

#3 - Peugeot 205 GTi

#4 - Fiat 124

#5 - Mercedes-Benz W124 E280/300/320

 

From Unique Cars #442, July 2020

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