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