Astonishing blend of performance and usability - the ultimate super-car you CAN drive every day
It's an air-cooled 911, so mercifully nothing has gone wrong with it. It's my third 911 (993) and none of them have suffered any "failures".
This was the end of the breed, a mid 1998 993 turbo (arctic silver with black leather). Left hand drive, German sourced car. I prefer the pedals and steering in the left hand drive air cooled cars to the right hand drive air cooled cars.
Utterly standard power wise, with 408bhp and 398lb/ft. Wonderfully quiet engine (too quiet I think), responsive even when off boost and immense torque above 3k rpm. Slick 6 speed manual gearbox is a jewel, and the 4wd system retains a largely rear wheel drive bias, thus enabling power slides (given enough space) and yet maintaining some sense of security in wet conditions. It doesn't pay to use full boost in any gear short of 5th in the wet though, even in a straight line! Brakes utterly astonishing for feel and capability.
Comfortable heated and electrically adjusted seats are comfortable, though very heavy and do not provide enough lateral support for the cornering ability of the car. Unique (in the super-car world) visibility - yes, you can actually see the outside world in every direction! Makes parking easy. The car is not particularly big either, barely over 4 metres long i'd say (less than 14 feet).
Don't get it serviced at a main dealer, use a well respected independant instead. 12k miles means a £200 oil change, 24k miles means a more thorough £420 service. Tyres go at the rears every 6k miles (£400), all four at 12k miles (£650). I use either Continentals or Bridgestones, the Pirellis don't afford the appropriate grip and the Michelins are noisy.
I have put a GT3 clubsport seat in place of the driver's seat, retaining the diagonal belt for normal use (commuting, etc.) but I have also added a 6 point Willans harness for "spirited driving" and track days.
I even have a roof rack for those odd occasions when I need to carry something bigger, like my mountain bikes!
Autocar tested this version of the 911 back in May of 1998, and achieved 0-60mph in just 3.7 seconds. I haven't managed that myself (nor am I likely to try given their rather brutal methods), but I am capable of achieving 100mph in 10 seconds (with a relatively gentle start). Subsequently I can keep up with Fireblade/R1/GSXRthou riders without too much trouble in almost all situations. This car covers ground across country every bit as quickly as my Fireblade did (i have sold the bike now for personal reasons).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th September, 2005