| Posts: 1
| Joined: 08/07
Ask any Porsche fanatic or purist, and you'll get a three hour lecture about the huge differences between the 993 ('93-'98) and the 996 ('98-'04). Suffice it to say that, if you're buying a Porsche for the style/image/novelty, anything will do--you'll just have to decide of the interior refinements of the 996 are a good enough reason to go for a more expensive, newer model.
But if you really enjoy flinging your car around corners and accelerating hard to redline, then there's a great big difference between the 993 and 996, and for many, those differences can make or break the desirability between the two.
The 993 is the last of the "classic" 911's. It's the last air-cooled porsche, the last to retain a spartan, no-nonsense interior, and the last to retain a bit of that challenging rear-engine handling that can really flummox the ham-fisted, and reward the skilled. If you want luxury, refinement, and easy-going handling, look elsewhere. But the "flaws" of the old air-cooled Porsches also endowed them with character. Nothing sounds like an air-cooled Porsche flat 6 warbling away behind you, and then roaring to life and smoothing-out at high RPM. Nothing smells like delicious hot and burning oil the way all air-cooled Porsche's do. And nothing beats the old porsche's feeling of utter mechanical simplicity and directness. The 996's aren't floppy or detached, but the old ones really feel like extensions of your own limbs when you give them the stick.
Quantitatively the 996 is superior in many ways. It handles better, it's quieter (when you want it to be), it has a vastly more refined interior, and has more power. For Porschephiles, this presents a problem. The 996 introduced water-cooling, a modern interior full of buttons, switches, and digital readouts, and handling that went a long way towards masking the inherent quirkiness of its rear-engine layout. Everything but the basic shape and basic engine/transmission layout was different, more refined, and faster. 996's aren't boring--make no mistake. But what is it about Porsche's that you like?
Personally, the 993 is my favorite of all 911 incarnations. I'm not an owner, but I try to drive them as much as possible, and my Uncle's now driving an '89 964. It's such a pure driving experience, I can't imagine having it any other way. Then again, to appreciate a 993, you have to be dedicated to the "purity" of the Porsche experience, which is all about handling, braking, and those wonderful and unusual noises. If you're intimidated by sometimes-spooky handling, or if you prefer the modern feel and convenience of a more luxurious 996, then that's what you should buy.
BTW, why'd you get talked out of a Boxter S. It's on a different level than the 911, but consider this. It's just as fast as a 993, and it's a great way to split the difference between the 993 and the 996. It's got the same modern interior as the 996, but offers a bit more viceral thrill than the 996 in certain circumstances. Take one out, top down, and rev it to 7000 under an underpass. It's a glorious noise, and pretty much worth the $40K alone.