Monday, 12 August 2013

Porsche 911 First Drive - Initial Impressions of a 996 Carrera 2 Coupe

We bought the Porsche 911 (manual 996 model Carrera 2 registered in 2001) so I thought I would give some impressions of the drive after the first few trips in the car.

A lot of professional reviews remark that the Porsche 911 / 996 model has lost a lot of its character with the introduction of the water cooled engine compared to the previous air cooled 993 model. My experience is that the 996 Porsche still has bags of feel and a distinctive engine note that is unlike any other car I have owned. The 911 Carrera still has more than enough character for me!

Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe - interior photo
Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe - interior photo
The seats are very supportive and comfortable with driving position adjustable for height and steering wheel also adjusting for rake not reach.

Porsche 911 First Drive - Initial Impressions of a 996 Carrera 2 Coupe
Porsche 911 First Drive - Initial Impressions of a 996 Carrera 2 Coupe
The instrument cluster is dominated by the rev counter with the analogue speed readout taking a secondary position to the left. There is a digital speed reading directly below the rev counter.
Side shot of the 2001 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe in silver
2001 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe in silver
Side shot of the 2001 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe in silver. This model has the manual gearbox rather than the more common Tiptronic auto box.
At startup you get the distinctive noise of the flat six engine and exhaust. Gear selection in the manual version can be stiff at startup but is much smoother once the engine has warmed up. The gearbox oil is due for a change very soon so it will be interesting to see how much difference that makes to the gear shift.
Once you are on the open road or motorway the performance from the 911's 3.4 litre engine is stunning. With 300 bhp on tap and a 0 to 60 speed of 5.2 seconds the car feels as quick as it appears on paper. The engine and exhaust sound add to the sense of speed even at lower speeds in town. The acceleration is effortless but you always know that the engine is there - unlike some other cars that are now so quiet that you barely can hear any noise from the engine even at motorway speeds.
The steering is very sharp and amazing how responsive it is - you only need a slight turn of the wheel on the motorway to be able to change lanes. The ride on the M030 sports suspension is hard but the Porsche 911 is a sports car so you expect that!
Overall the driving experience in the Porsche 911 has been everything I expected. The only item that has slightly surprised me is the difference in gear change between the car being cold and warmed up after a journey. I understand from friends with other sports cars that this is normal behaviour but it is noticeably different from driving my VW Golf!


  1. Nice car. I have a 2000 C4 in silver. Really enjoy it!

  2. Thanks, getting used to driving the car now and enjoying it even more. Off to Germany to give it a real test soon!

  3. Nice car, nice blog, turns out I'm doing something very similar with a 2002 996tt, blogging about it over at

    1. Thanks Fred, good to read your blog about your experiences. I've now gone down the 1980s retro route and am running a MK2 VW Golf GTI. Nowhere near the power or comfort of the 996 but heaps of fun!