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During 1999 and 2000, the 911 purists were going mad! The Porsche 996 was introduced to the world as the new flagship model for the Porsche family.
Featuring the first new chassis since the original 911 was released, the car now looked sleek and more modern compared to its predecessor in many ways.
Not only that, but the 996 also had the first water-cooled engine of any 911. This leads me to wonder, why was everyone kicking off 20 years ago about these modifications? Surely the car is now better?
Let me put this to you, if you’re thirsty, hot and bothered, and trying to cool down, what’s the quickest way? Would you walk outside into the sun and cool yourself down? Would you try and drink a nice cold, refreshing glass of cold air? Or could you get some ice out the freezer and get some water down you, or even hose yourself down outside with some of that sweet sweet H20?
I think the latter would be a better option. Let’s look at the numbers quickly. From an air-cooled 993 to a water-cooled 996.
So on the face of it, the 996 is by far the superior performance car you could ask for. Also, this 911 with much better handling that diminished any chance of oversteer from its predecessors. The all-wheel-drive format allows for better steering and balance all around.
Let’s get back to the cooling system notion of the argument. Many 911’s, if used as a daily driver in traffic, succumbs to overheating the engine quicker than usual. But the 996, with all that ice-cold water running through its veins, does not suffer the same problem.
The cockpit too is more ergonomic, further signalling that modern approach Porsche was taking to keep up with the rivals.
Personal tastes come to the forefront when looking at the 996 compared to its predecessors. Yes, the round headlights are gone and modern Xenon lights take their place (which are better at driving in the night time by the way), but the overall shape leaves a more sleek, cohesive sense of yourself sitting in a flagship sports car.
I guess it all gets down to what you really want? There is no doubt the older 911’s are somewhat better looking and offer a more authentic driving experience, but at the end of the day, the 996 is still a 911 and a ‘flippin’ good one at that too. By the purists hating on the 996 so much, it benefits the market of people who actually want to own one – decreasing the value that really makes this car a bargain for the performance you are getting.
I’m thirsty now after that, it’s hot outside so I think I’m going to get some water!
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