Philip Raby Porsche

Porsche Sales and Service


Porsche M96 and M97 issues explained in GT Porsche

I had a visit from fellow GT Porsche contributor Peter Morgan last week and, as ever, we had a good chat about the world of Porsche. Peter mentioned that he’d recently written an article on the M96 and M97 engines used in the Porsche 996, 997, Boxster and Cayman up until around 2008. Peter and I agreed that a lot of nonsense had been written about these engines and their supposed issues – mainly with bore scoring and IMS (intermediate shaft) failure – have been blown out of all proportion. I’ve addressed this in a previous blog post and, naturally, I was keen […]

Top Gear and the Porsche 996

One of the most memorable episodes of Top Gear was when they took a Porsche 911 Carrera, BMW 645Ci and Jaguar XKR to Pendine Sands in Wales. The filming was sublime, the commentary entertaining and the sideways action hilarious. I found the footage online recently and what really stuck me was how enthusiastic Richard Hammond was about the 911 calling it, among other things, “rare, visceral and exciting” and “a great car”. He just couldn’t stop gushing over it. You can watch the full feature at the bottom of this page. What’s odd about that, you may be thinking, as Hammond […]

Why the glass-roofed 911 Targas are great

A lot has been written about the latest Porsche 991 Targa and, I have to admit, I do like the way the new Targa apes the appearance of the classic 911 Targa, with its wrap-around rear window. It’s a good looking car in a retro way. However, what I don’t like about the new Targa is the overly complex way the roof is opened. The entire rear window opens, the Targa panel drops down under it before the window returns into place. Sure, it’s a triumph of engineering but it’s not an elegant solution and, unusually for Porsche, it’s a […]

Why the Porsche 996 has the best 911 interior

Some say that the Porsche 996 interior is dull and poorly made. I disagree. For the first time in the 911’s long life, when the 996 came along it had an interior design that matched the car’s curvaceous body shape. Where previous 911s had angular sharp lines in the cockpit, because of historic manufacturing demands, the 996 has beautiful flowing curves which modern materials and construction allow. There is a nod to 911s of old – the five dials with a tachometer at their centre remain, and there’s a hint of the old crease across the full width of the dashboard […]

Porsche 911 Turbo – fuel economy vs depreciation

New Porsches offer remarkable fuel economy, a fact which fellow motoring writer Richard Aucock today flagged up on Twitter with this photo (above) of a Porsche 991 Turbo which he’s been testing and managed to eek 34.4mpg from on a daily commute. It’s an astonishing achievement for a supercar that packs 520bhp, and one that Porsche’s engineers should be applauded for. Making cars more frugal has to be better for the world (and for us) in the long term. But in the short term is it better for your wallet? I’ve done a few rough calculations on the back of […]

Porsche 997 Sport Classic wanted

People often ask me what my favourite Porsche is, and it’s a question I struggle to answer. I like them all and my favourite is often the one I’m driving at the moment, whether it be a humble 911SC or a mighty 997 GT2. However, there is one Porsche which I’ve always had a particular soft spot for, and that’s the 997 Sport Classic. The 997 Sport Classic was a limited-edition run of just 250 cars and was not sold in North America. It was based on a rear-wheel drive 997 Carrera S but with the wide rear arches of the […]

When is a Porsche 911 not a 911?

I just spotted a comment on Facebook saying that the Porsche ‘991’ is a stupid name and ‘911’ was much better. It’s not unusual for people to get confused by Porsche model numbers as they don’t seem to make sense to anyone not familiar with Porsches. So here’s a quick lesson in 911 maths! First of all, the rear-engined, flat-six Porsche made from 1963 to the present day is a 911. Period. Even though it may be badged ‘Carrera’ or ‘GT3’, the basic model is a 911. However, there have been many different versions of the 911 over the last […]

Porsche 997 Carrera GTS or 991 Carrera?

There’s much talk at the moment about the Porsche 997 GTS. You see, there are still a few brand-new examples in dealers and buyers are wondering whether to opt for one of these over the new 991 Carrera. It’s easy to dismiss the GTS as a badge-engineered run-out special but it’s much more than that. Like the limited edition Sport Classic, the GTS combined the wider rear end of the Carrera 4 with a rear-wheel drive powertrain, plus the Powerkit which increased the 3.8-litre engine power to 408bhp. In addition, there were black 19-inch RS Spyder wheels, SportDesign front apron, new […]

Review of the 3.4-litre Porsche 991

  There’s a misconception that the most expensive most powerful version of a car is always the best. However, I’ve long maintained that this is not always the case. Take the Gen1 Porsche 997, for instance; the smaller 3.6-litre engine was a free-revving and eager unit that, for me, made the car more fun and more, well, 911-like than the larger 3.8 engine used in the Carrera S. My friend Kevin Yeung in Hong Kong came to the same conclusion, not only with the 997 but, interestingly, also when he test drove the new 991. He found the base 3.4-litre […]

Porsche 997 and the Great War

I’ve just had a visit from an Australian chap, who is on holiday in the UK and wanted to drop by for a chat. We spent a pleasant hour or two sitting in the garden, drinking coffee and talking cars. I was touched when he told me that he really enjoyed a magazine feature I wrote some time ago. It was about a trip I made to France in a Porsche 997 to discover the grave of my great uncle, William Wise, who was killed in the First World War. It’s a story that’s stuck in my mind – mainly […]