The Porsche 996
Ahh, the 996. Controversy from the beginning. Love it or hate it, this is the new Porsche flagship for many years to come. This new model is known as the 996, but it will replace the 911, and be called a 911. BE ADVISED, THIS 996 IS NOT A TRADITIONAL 911. IT IS NOT AIRCOOLED, IT DOESN'T DRIVE LIKE A 911, AND IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A 911.
HOWEVER, Porsche will produce this car as their only offering other than the Boxster, and will call it a Nine-Eleven.
That said, I want to bring you to the discussion of what this car is all about:
First off, Porsche abandoned it's 34 year tradition of using engines that are aircooled. This step was taken for emissions reasons and efficiency reasons. Second, Porsche abandoned the classic 911 shape of the 34 years passed. There are no such things as round headlights or flared fenders anymore. No taillight bar, no 5 gauge dashboard. All is gone.
But, what they have produced is undoubtably a better, faster, more efficient, quieter, quicker, slipperier 911 replacement. Is this what we all wanted? Only time will tell.
Bottom line is that it's a totally new Porsche, and definitely the nicest and most efficient Porsche ever built. The wheelbase has increased by 3.1" from the 911. The car in general is about 7" longer.
Horizontally opposed 6 cylinder, DOHC 4 valves per cylinder, all aluminum
Bore and stroke: 3.94" x 3.01"
Displacement: 3.4L. or 3,387cc
Horsepower: 296@6,800 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @4,600 rpm
Compression ratio: 11.3:1
Fuel system: electronic, sequential port FI
Induction: 2-stage resonant induction, w/Varioram
6 speed manual or 5 speed Tiptronic
FRONT: MacPherson struts, lower lateral links, coil springs, semi-trailing links, anti-roll bar
REAR: 5-link, coil springs, tube shocks, anit-roll bar
Curb weight: 2920 lbs
Brakes and Wheels:
Dual circuit, power assist, internally vented and cross drilled discs, Bosch ABS
225/40 ZR18 front, 265/35 ZR18 rear
0-60mph: 4.6 seconds
0-1/4 mile: 13.2s
Top Speed: 175 mph
The body of the 996 looks just like the Boxster's, except in coupe design. Porsche swears the Boxster is based on the 996, even though the 996 came out last. Underneath the skin they share many of the same frame components, as much as 40% of it is interchangeable. The headlights are identical to the Boxster's. Now that the car is in production form, we finally can see just what Porsche has done in terms of extending or ending the 911's life. The design of the new 911 is very plain compared to older 993 type's flowing and flared fenders.
Everyone that has driven one agrees that it is far better than the 'old' 911. It is much faster, and goes faster much easier. The body is much more aerodynamic, and the engine is marvelous. Not ONE person has argued that the car is not an excellent mechanical marvel--it is! I have yet to experience it, but from what I hear, its simply wonderful. I cannot wait to get my hands on one when they get to America!
The only complaint I hear is that the 'real' 911 is gone after 34 years!
Times change, I guess, and so do interests. But sure as the sun rises, everyone should grow into this new 911 and understand the conversion to water-cooling. The car will definitely sell. Die-hard 911 over or not, you must agree that this car is an outstanding performer and pleasing to drive.
Release dates have been scheduled as follows:
996 Carrera 4 (Coupe and Cab) July 1998
996 Targa (2wd) Jan 1999
996 Twin Turbo Sept 1999
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