The Porsche 911 996: The Everyday Super Car
The Porsche you never knew you wanted or could actually have!
If you are looking for an "affordablish" sports car and a hallowed badge, then now is the time for you to go looking for a Porsche 911 996!
Why the Porsche 911 996, I hear you ask? Well, the reality is that car enthusiasts and badge buyers love Porsche, but the 911 models leading up to the late ’90s have skyrocketed in value, and new models trade well into the millions. This leaves a nice little sweet spot, the 996 generation 911.
When the 996 generation 911 was launched in 1998, many purists turned up their noses at Porsche’s latest attempt to keep the 911 badge alive. Some hated the “melted” headlamps, while others hated the fact that the traditional air-cooled motors were replaced with water-cooled boxer options…some just hated it all.
That does not sound very promising but hear me out. The 996 still had the classic 911 shape, a flat-6 boxer engine in the back that gave off that glorious Porsche sound, and being water-cooled, it was more fuel-efficient than the older models. For those who can’t get past the headlamps, now would also be a good time to tell you that in 2002 Porsche gave the car a facelift with a more aggressive front-end.
Now that I have convinced you to go out and get your hands on a 996, you may be overwhelmed by the number of variants you will find for sale. Well, here is the simple solution; think of them as ranging from mild to XXX Peri-Peri!
For the entry-level buyer, a mild 911 996 Carrera is the starting point. This model trades between mid R300,000 and R600,000 and is available in; rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive (really helps with handling), wide-body and narrow-body, manual or Tip-Tronic automatic, and convertible or coupe! That’s a massive assortment and perfect for you when looking for an affordable sports car or just an entry point into Porsche ownership!
If you have more cash to spend and you want a legend living in your garage, then throw all caution to the wind and get yourself the peri-peri Turbo, a 309kW, four-wheel drive, twin-turbocharged beast of a car wrapped in that classic Porsche silhouette! Want to know the best part of the 996 Turbo? The price! You can get all that car for around R700,000 to R800,000, which is cheaper than a new fully loaded Golf GTI Mk8, and you will probably never see two of them parked next to each other in the parking lot at the mall. As for the people who will complain that it’s a 20-year-old car, I ask you this; what other cars can you buy for that price with a top speed of over 300km/h and such an iconic shape?!
For those with deeper pockets and a far more hardcore approach to driving, there are the XXX Peri-Peri GT cars, the GT3 and GT2. These variants of the 996 are aimed at the REAL enthusiast; if you want comfort, they’re not for you! If you are looking for track cars for the road, a GT3 or GT2 is right up your alley with racing seats, an optional roll cage, and aggressive body kits that still look good 20 years later. The GT3 is essentially a lightweight version of the Carrera with 265kW and the ability to hit 300km/h!
The big boss is the GT2, a lightweight rear-wheel-drive variant of the Turbo model with 355kW, improved brakes, stiffer suspension and a top speed of 315km/h!
The GT variants are authentic supercars, so expect supercar prices as collectors fight to get their hands on them, and with prices from around R1,000,000 to R2,200,000 depending on the model, year and mileage, it may seem steep. But don’t forget; the value of these cars is climbing, and they will be worth more than what you paid for them in several years!
The Porsche 911 996 is a genuine diamond in the rough, and with prices still ranging between civilised and sensible, now is the perfect time to get your hands on one and enjoy the last true analogue Porsche!