View Full Version : Porsche 911 (996) Carrera 4 Tiptronic

07-24-2006, 05:32 PM
Porsche 996 Carrera 4 Tiptronic

http://img109.imagevenue.com/loc592/th_58301_019_592lo.jpg (http://img109.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=58301_019_592lo.jpg)http://img126.imagevenue.com/loc351/th_58316_031_351lo.jpg (http://img126.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=58316_031_351lo.jpg)http://img154.imagevenue.com/loc450/th_58334_038_450lo.jpg (http://img154.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=58334_038_450lo.jpg)
Quite ashamed to only post 3 pics, but I am tired and just wanted to write down my impressions, for once, right after the drive.


Engine - Flat 6, 3400 cc
Power - 300 hp / 6800 rpm
Torque - 350 Nm / 4600 rpm
Weight - 1370 kg
Max Speed (declared) - 275 kmh
Acceleration (declared), 0-100 km/h - 6.2 s
Fuel economy (out of town / town / mixed) -
Tranny - 5 speed semiauto

Seats - 2+2
Doors - 2
Lenght / width - 4430 / 1765 mm
Boot - small


Uhm... I am one of those that consider the 996 damn dated now that the 997 hit us, and not vintage enough to be interesting. In the basic forms is plain, dull and boring IMO. Maybe because there are so many Carrera 2 and 4 around here :bah: I dunno, but for sure I stopped taking pics of basic 996 long time ago.
And yet, when you are given the keys for some days, I swear you'll try to dig deeper under the first glance.
In the end when you see the car in your garage, it can still thrill you. It has those typical 911 proportions and although some parts are overbulky and the front lights still not perfect IMO, you can easily spend some long minutes walking around it to catch a glimpse from every angle.
Only terrible thing are those radar sensors at the back, popping out of the bumper like a disease :roll:
Oh yes, my uncles "square" plate doesn't suit that ass, she begs for a longer one.
The wheels it has are bad, really bad IMO and look sooo yesterday :bah: too bad. I'd take a set 1 inch bigger and drop the suspension a bit.


Inside, a 911 is always a 911 and even if the 997 moved the game forward as far as quality, precision and ergonomics go, you still feel at home and if you happened to be already in some of the other 911 models, you'll find all the stuff you need where you will look for it.
The central rev conunter, evocative, the fat steering wheel, the PSM button...
The seats are a bit small for me, weird, but near the bottom of my back they feel cramped.
Also, the button to manually open the rear wing is placed near your left foot, very weird.. can't remember for sure but I think in the 997 they moved it back to where it belonged before: center console, near the gear stick somewhere.

How does it drive?

Pretty well actually. Yes it's a tiptronic, but once you get used to its shifting times it can be driven quickly and precisely. I prefer to slightly lift the right foot when upshifting. First because it gives you sort of a manual feeling and second because I am sure the tranny will say thanks.
I just did a short test in full auto and it's good just for relaxed driving: shortshifting to 4th at 50 kmh alaready, no downshifts when braking... not good.
Manual mode is much easier to handle. Shifting time are not F1 stuff but plenty acceptable and the fact you can both upshift and downshift with both hands can be usefull in some situations.
The steering is a pleasure: heavy, precise, quick and direct. The gas pedal is well judged and only a pretty heavy brake pedal makes you realize you need to be careful at the wheel of this car.
300 hp today doesn't seem much, but in the 996 they are already enough to carry some serious speed along country roads.
Second gear is a killer on the twisties, stretching probably too far (for sure above 100 kmh, but didn't check)!
I didn't take it to the limit, but grip is very high and I only saw the nose washing wide (slowly and predictably), a couple of times.
Even bumpy corners are swallowed with no sweat from the car (a bit different for me ;)).
Leaving a junction with PSM off and some ankle's flexing produces some nice 4 wheel powerslides which are always a pleasure.
I'd like to have time to go to Germany and do a top speed test, but no luck.

BTW, side story: today I got lost while coming back home using a new route. I was followed by a DB9 cabrio with german plates. Obviously he was lost two. We ended up in the same place 3 times, unable to leave it for good. in the end i went to the DB9 side and lowered my window. Inside there was a young guy in his 20 (like me, maybe younger), playing it cool and completely at ease in a car I think he really owns (not dad's or uncle's in his case)
We chatted for a while in english. He admitted he was lost but that he was just cruising with no aim. Then when I told him "what a bloody nice car", in the same exact moment he said "nice car dude!" LOL! I am not used to such things when driving my BM, and honestly, even in a 996, when coming from a golden boy in a black/tan DB9 cabrio, it just sounds weird.
I was so shocked I didn't realize I could set up a quick photoshoot, what an asshole :roll:
What are the most positive features of the car?

The 4000 rpm zone where the flat 6 transform from a muted vacuum cleaner to a real car
The aura around the badge
DB9's owners actually think your car is cool ;)

What are the most negative features of the car?

The useless sound at low speed
Tiptronic's auto mode
It already shows its age

How do you think this car compares to its direct competition?

Well, pretty damn well. We know the 911 is the leader of its class with every incarnation. It's a quick car, rewarding, still practical, not a nightmare to run... it's really close to perfection, rear engine or not!


Can't wait to pick it up tomorrow to go to work, and will spend the day in the office dreaming about the drive back home.
Might be one of the worst looking 996, but a 911 is still something special, it really does it when you turn it on and attack your favourite strip of tarmac!

07-24-2006, 06:15 PM
Thank you TT :D Nice detailling of your driving, as usually I really appreciate it :wink: And the meeting with the DB9 is a cool add-on to the test :P

07-25-2006, 02:37 AM
Awesome write-up! Can we expect more pictures in the near future or not? Have fun with it today :P

07-25-2006, 04:29 AM
Awesome write-up! Can we expect more pictures in the near future or not? Have fun with it today :P

Sure, I have plenty to edit and tonight I'll shoot some more she is waiting for me with tripod and suction mount already in the passenger seat ;)

07-25-2006, 04:30 AM

07-25-2006, 05:18 AM
very nice review TT, looking forward to see the rest of the pics

btw: the aura around the badge you've mentioned
it's really unbelievable, i never thought it until i got my own porsche last year. i've never expected that much interest, how many people on the street turning their heads, give a statement to the car while stepping out on the parking lot, giving signs when passing by on the street... great!

07-25-2006, 05:47 AM
Dude, come down to Lugano and we'll do a nice photoshoot with both cars ;)

07-25-2006, 06:10 AM
oh i will, i guess i'll be down there in september to visit my family and lovely lugano.
we talked about a photoshooting a long time ago but i've never had the time to drive down to the lausanne region.

07-25-2006, 06:21 AM
No kidding! Would be cool! I work in Lugano and live in Mendrisio, so it's perfect! Don't forget to let me know when you'll know the exact dates. Sadly beeing in the office untill 1730 - 1745, in September light could be an issue, but a tripod can always fix this problem ;)
I would let you know if I'd come near you, but never the case lately :roll:

07-25-2006, 09:11 AM
Completely agree with your thoughts on looks, but it is still a 911 afterall so its definately desirable. :D

Nice review, shame it wasn't a manual.

Is this the family members car you mentioned/drove a while back too?

07-25-2006, 09:37 AM
Yup dingo, same one

07-26-2006, 02:45 AM
So, third day with the car, I am still in love with it. Not wanting to repeat myself, but it's really a practical car, I managed to load quite a few things in it, to drive through terrible potholes or speed bumps, narrow villages, and it always felt relaxed.

I'd really like to stretch its legs to see if it can really top close to 280 kmh but can't go to Germany and around here it would be suicidary (80 kmh limit this week on the highway because of very high ozone level in the air :()

I saw some 120-140 on normal roads and again, the car feels perfectly at ease.

A tank is good for some 400 km of overexcited driving, I reckon it would probably bump up to 500 when driving more relaxed .

Only minor "fault": whenever I accelerate hard in 1st or 2nd gear, and also under high lateral acceleratin through tight bends, two warning lights light up in the dashboard: PSM OFF and ABS OFF. Weird, and they won't go away untill you'll turn off the car ence reset the system.
I didn't try yet to see if they are indeed turned off, would be especially easy to see if the wheels lock themselves or not, but I doubt this is normal.

07-26-2006, 03:22 AM
Nice to have a 911 as a everyday car, eh? :D

And sometimes it's quite nice with an auto' box, comfortable and relaxing, otherwise you might grown horns on the side of your head and always use the B-roads? ;)

nice review!

07-31-2006, 02:49 PM
New pics in yet?