1998 Porsche 911 993 Twin Turbo 3.6 litre horizontally opposed, 6 cylinder


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.

General Comments:

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

22nd Sep 2005, 03:16

You're a lucky man, you have a Very Sexy yet brutally fast car.

I DO Love the 993 turbo..

Nice review as well.

10th Oct 2005, 04:37

Great review, but just want to point out that a good hot hatch will keep up with a litre sportsbike on a suitably winding road. The reason being quite simply that bikes are crap around corners.

I have a ZX-7R which will not cover one of my favourite stretches of road any quicker than my old Peugeot 205GTI. This despite being over 50 mph quicker at one point!

24th Oct 2005, 17:48

Agree with 205/ZX7R comments, but I used to ride a '98 Blade so I know the bike side too.

This car is the only thing I've ever had that will keep up with the litre boys on a fast A road, where every corner on the bike is taken at 80mph or more - not many road cars can do that.

Thanks for the earlier comment too, yes it's a wonderful car and I do feel very lucky to own my dream car at 29. It's my 30th car in 12 years, and I can't think of anything else i'd rather have at any price. Went to look at a 550M a few weeks ago and was bitterly disappointed. Now if only I could find a sports exhaust I was happy with...

30th Mar 2006, 07:49

The 993 turbo is the holy grail of sports cars in my opinion.

The build quality will not be repeated. Too expensive for any manufacturer. Thus it will stand the test of time.

The new breed of porsches are great, but the 993's are king.

23rd May 2011, 15:42

The 993T is the last king in the Porsche Kingdom. There will never be a Porsche even close to the 993T.

1998 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.4


Needs to feel more stirring


Paint quality issues: When the car was delivered the dealer explained a very obvious paint blemish on the passenger door would be fixed under warranty. It never was.

Sunroof: The roof pulsed at exactly 30mph when fully open. Brilliant. You had to adjust the size of the aperture depending on how fast you were going.

Switchgear: The driver window switch packed up. The tachometer was replaced at first service to cure a wagging needle.

Brakes. I was never satisfied with the jittery braking of the car at low speeds and continually pestered for something to be done about it. Having read reviews here and magazine comments I realise it's a quirk of the car. Some quirk!

Headlamp assembly covered in condensation first morning after taking delivery. Engine bay looked filthy dirty after 100 miles. Shoulder of front passenger tyre showing signs of wear by the time I sold up.

General Comments:

Drive the dream... or not. The 911 is icon but the 996 is not the car you think it is. It's quick but doesn't transmit any feeling of speed. It's a status symbol but now commonly seen ferrying kids to school. You can fork out for the hi-fi stereo upgrade and revel at the background thrum of tyres and engine. I can still remember the feeling of being frazzled after long journeys.

As mentioned in other reviews here, the quality of the cabin really lets it down. For reasons given above the Carrera is no longer a sports car and at £60,000 there's no excuse for such a spartan interior.

To sum up, it was a let down and I never felt as though I was treated properly by the dealer. A top of the line Beamer is a far better, safer, quieter, more comfortable, all-round bet. And just as fast. And with better brakes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th January, 2003

7th Sep 2005, 05:54

I appreciate this review if only because there are relatively few negative reviews of the 911 and I really want to know what the issues are.

Having said that, I can't see how you could possibly compare a 911 to a "top of the line" BMW. Presumably you were referring to an M3 or M5 as opposed to a 7 series. And you would have a point. But lets face it: no matter how good a BMW may be, it won't be a Porsche!

1998 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 3.4


Noisy and lacking comforts. For dry weekends only

General Comments:

Although the 911's boxer engine has a unique whirr to it, it's too noisy on the outside and tyre roar is numbing on longer journeys.

The rear engine, rear drive layout takes some getting used to, and at times seems like a design flaw rather than a feature.

For an expensive performance car, the cabin is extraordinarily cheap: the indicator and light stalks feel fragile, the plastic is cheap and squeaks down bumpy roads. The switchgear is also nasty.

The car is also not as exclusive as dealers would have you believe. Both Boxtsers and 911s are everywhere on British roads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th March, 2001

29th Mar 2001, 08:44

If you want a luxury car buy a Jaguar or Rolls. Porsches are for drivers and race tracks.

2nd Apr 2001, 16:29

I have a '72 911. This comment merely demonstrates where Porsche have gone wrong with the 996. It attracts the wrong sort of buyer - really they want an XK8 but like the idea of a Porsche.

With a 993 you were in no doubt as to where you were - pure sports car and enthusiasts with the money bought them. The 996 just seems to capitalise on the Porsche image to create a high speed luxury cruiser with a mere nod to its heritage.