Buying Cars

Pgl After 12 years on an Italian-fci-^i only diet of Ferrari (355 and 456), Lamborghini (Diablo VT and 6.0 VT) and Maserati (Ghibli Cup, 3200,4200, QP), I now feel just that tad too old, fat and bald to get away with this sort of car. So three months ago I succumbed and bought a 911.

Not wanting to get in too deep too early, I plumped for a facelifted 3.6-litre 996 Carrera 4 at £20K. And blow me down, I love it. Fast, easy to drive, easy to clean, cheap to insure/service/run, etc, I use it as my everyday car.

So, with the Porsche being such a success, I can justify throwing another £ I OK into the pot. My question is, should I buy a 996 Turbo or an early 997 Carrera?

By the way, it has to be the Tiptronic version as my wife uses it occasionally and only has an auto licence - Ewan Clark

An early 997 Carrera is a great car, but it isn't a patch on the previous-generation Turbo, which remains one of the best road cars the company has built. The key to this is die Turbo's engine - this is the original Metzger-designed motor and it makes the 'ordinary' flat-six used in the Carreras seem a litde flat and unexciting. Okay, the 996 interior now looks pretty dated, but it's tough enough and, as you've discovered, surprisingly practical.

How does the 996 Turbo beat the later 997 Carrera as a driving tool? Torque is the key. The Turbos blown six is pretty much lag-free. Thank relatively low boost pressures and quite high compression (9.4:1) for that. A 996 Turbo has a 1001b ft advantage over a naturally aspirated 3.8-litre 997, and you feel that advantage the whole time.

For you there is just one uncomfortable aspect: transmission choice. I ran a 996 Turbo in 2006 for 5000 miles and loved every second of it, but mine was a six-speed manual. I never enioyed the Tiptronic version because it robbed the car of precision, performance and overall enjoyment.

So the course of action is simple. Select a nice, clean 996 Turbo, and give your wife some driving lessons in a manual! - Chris Harris

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment