1998 Porsche 911 996 Carrera 2 Convertible 3.4 from Germany
Practical super-car, I think so
Nothing - still early days.
This car exceeded my expectations in just about every way. Previously I had an M3 E36 and I thought I would have to compromise cabin ergonomics and comfort, especially having been in 911's, 964's and a 993 before, which frankly have solid, but slightly agricultural feels to them. I was wrong. The build quality and detailing is excellent, the controls thoughtful and ergonomic. The M3 looks dated and inferior quality both inside and out in comparison. It's easy to drive with no nasty quirks, and the limiting factor is you, not the car.
And the performance. On paper similar to the M3 but in reality massively better in terms of handling, driving sensation and not being geared to 155 mph, almost unending acceleration. It's the difference between feeling like you're in a performance car, and a super-car - maybe a bad analogy, but it's just in a different league.
Based in Germany I have the luxury of being able to drive fast. Without trying you can reach 170mph (c.270kmh). No dramatics, no "land speed record" scariness (you have to do it with your new car), it really is that effortless. The handling was still rock solid.
On B roads this car is incredible fun.
Maybe muted compared to previous Porsches, but relative to BMW's and other makes, the engine sounds great. I'm still at the stage where I turn the stereo off and put the window down every once in a while to get the whole effect.
Again, with CD and D-S-P the stereo is excellent quality and easily comparable to (say) BMW's E40 H-K sound upgrade.
The hard-top is not quite as quiet as a coupe, but it's certainly still a pleasure to drive at speed on the autobahn, still hear the stereo or have a conversation. For the most part it feels like a coupe, although there are probably a few more creaks.
It's definitely not a raucous racer, it doesn't have the rawness of a Ferrari 355 or T.V.R., and it won't give you the go-kart feel of a Elise. But I drive this to work every day, service it once every 12 months, and look forward to driving it at the weekends.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th February, 2004
Comprehensive review. Your English is pretty good for a German bloke as well!
Have you had any problems with the soft top?
This has to be the sexiest car for the money.
Interesting assumption that a review on a German car from someone living in Germany, would necessarily lead to believe that they are German.