Porsche 996 Carrera 4S – a classic 911 in the making

Rear ends don’t get much better than this!

I don’t hold with the argument that the Porsche 996 is ugly although I can see why some people find it a bit bland-looking. However, the wide-bodied 996 Carrera 4S addresses that criticism fair and square – I think it’s one of the best-looking 911s and many others think so too.

Built from 2001 to 2005,  the 996 Carrera 4S follows on from other wide-bodied 911s including the Carrera Turbo-Look of 1984, and included the 993 Carrera 4S.

The Carrera 4S is essentially an all-wheel drive Carrera in in a 911 Turbo bodyshell, albeit without the  Turbo’s air intakes in the rear arches ( the non-turbocharged engine didn’t require them) or the part-fixed rear spoiler, relying instead on the standard Carrera’s fully retractable item..

The 65mm wider Turbo rear body gives the 996 a more sensual and aggressive look from the rear, and this is enhanced by the  full-width rear reflector – the Carrera 4S was the only 996 to feature this classic 911 trademark. I challenge anyone to look at the back of a Carrera 4S and not feel moved by it. It’s wide, chunky, curvy and aggressive!

But there’s more to the 996 Carrera 4S then simply good looks. It’s also fitted with the 996 Turbo brakes, suspension and 18-inch wheels. This makes the 996 ride and handle so much better; it changes the character of the car for the better, making it feel tighter and so much more refined. It’s a car you can cruise comfortably in all day, and also have fun pushing to the limit on winding roads.

The Porsche 996 Carrera 4S’s combination of looks, handling and performance creates an irresistible package. And I’m not alone in thinking this, either. Values of 996 Carrera 4Ss have held up well compared with those of standard 996s and it’s on target to be a classic Porsche 911. If you want a wide-bodied non-Turbo 911, then the 996 Carrera 4S is an affordable and more practical alternative to a 993 Carrera 4S, prices of which are climbing steadily.

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