Porsche 996 Turbo – 10 reasons you need one

The Porsche 996 Turbo: the most practical and best value supercar out there

The Porsche 996 Turbo is a car that’s always astonished me, from the days it was a new and current model, right through to today when it’s a great used buy. Every time I drive a 996 Turbo I’m never failed to be excited and impressed by it.

Here, then, are 10 reasons why you need a Porsche 996 Turbo:

1, When new it was mooted by many as the best car in the world.

2, With a 420bhp engine, it has a top speed of 190mph and reaches 62mph in just 4.2 seconds.

3, That engine is an evolution of the famed Metzger found in the GT1 racecar and has none of the supposed weaknesses associated with the quite different 996 Carrera engine.

4, With four-wheel drive, Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and superb brakes  it’s an astonishingly capable yet easy car for anyone to climb into and drive fast and safely. It’s hard to get into trouble in a 996 Turbo.

5, It offers 90 percent of the performance and handling of the 997 Turbo that followed for 50 percent of the price.

6, It’s a supremely practical car you can use every day all year round. You can take it to the supermarket, cruise across Europe for a skiing holiday (a roof rack can be fitted), or have fun on the racetrack. There’s even room in the back for the kids and a decent luggage compartment.

7, It’s an affordable car to buy, run and maintain, with none of the hyper-costs associated with other sportscars with similar stellar performance.

8, With its wide rear arches and massive intakes in the front bumper and rear wings, it’s a muscular and great-looking Porsche.

9, The interior is comfortable and practical, with a great specification as standard, including Bose Sound Pack and sunroof.

10, If you want even better performance and handling, there’s a range of aftermarket upgrade options for the 996 Turbo’s engine and suspension.

The key to buying a Porsche 996 Turbo is to get a good one. You do seem them in the classifieds for under £25,000 and as low as £20,000 but you need to tread carefully. At that price, there’s a fair chance you’re going have some hefty bills to get the car up to a decent standard. Turbo pipework can fail, while the front-mounted radiators and condensers corrode (and are more expensive to replace than those on the standard 996). Also, dampers wear out, as do brake discs.

And as the cars get cheaper to buy, they fall into the hands of people who fancy the idea of a 911 Turbo but can’t afford to maintain it properly, and so begins a downward spiral of neglect and bodged maintenance.

Far better, then, to pay a bit more and buy a properly maintained and loved example that will give you a good start to 996 Turbo ownership.

What about the 997 Turbo?

But is it better to pay more and buy a newer Porsche 997 Turbo instead of a 996 Turbo? Good question and, if money was no object then, yes, go for a 997. However, as I said above, the 996 Turbo offers 80 percent of the performance of the 997 Turbo for far less money so it’s a no-brainer if you want a great deal.

Also, although many argue that the 997 Turbo is the better looking car, I’m not so sure. The 996 Turbo has a purity of shape while the 997’s lines are more fussy and the polished 19-inch wheels and LED front indicators are, well, a bit blingy. Those big wheels on the 997 Turbo, by the way, give a harsh ride and create a lot of road noise. On the plus side, though, the 997 offers a slightly more involving drive.

I also like the 996 interior. It’s less contrived than the 997’s and seems to wear better too.

The Porsche 996 Turbo has a luxurious yet practical interior

So, there you go. What more reason do you want for buying a Porsche 996 Turbo?

Check our stock list for 996 and 997 Turbos for sale. 

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Kieron Howard

    So is a 996 Turbo 80 or 90% of a 997 Turbo? 😉

    Never realised these had a got so cheap! Lot of car for the money.

    1. Phil

      I mean 80% of the car, not 80% of the value. 🙂

  2. Deano

    I agree with you completely. I have the 996 tt for 6 months and enjoyed every minute in the car. I suppose the 997 turbo is nice too, but at nearly double the price for a 10-20% improvement , that’s a tough call.

  3. julian Pirog

    You can easily tune the 996 TT to 500-800 bhp and the Mezger 964 block will cope very well and still be ultra reliable. The engines are very well built and many now feel the newer engines are not near as good as they were built to budget. I love my 996 TT and had it tuned to 540 bhp with similar torque figures. I have a car that is better and more reliable that the gen 2 997 TT. No leaks or bore scoring. Worth the money but, as Philip ays, make sure you buy well.

  4. henry

    I’ve had a 996 turbo for three yrs. Engine modified to 550 BHP and suspension to Turbo S spec. Unbelievable torque, and handing as good or poss better than 997, bargain of the century. I have driven both cars and I prefer the power delivery and aggressive looks of the 996. The 996 was developed over 10 yrs before production, and rated at the time as the best sports car in the world by Clarkson and Tiff Needall

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