When the 1999 porsche 911 was new, it had a lot going for it. The car was a huge step forward from the air-cooled models that had preceded it, with a lighter, sleeker body and a water-cooled engine. It was also a faster, more capable machine, able to accelerate from zero to 70 in just over four seconds and do the quarter mile in about 13.2 seconds.
Unfortunately, the new car's many unforeseen problems would ultimately spoil its reputation and destroy Porsche's goodwill with its customers. Over a decade, the automaker worked with dealers to deny warranty claims, blame owners, and withhold knowledge of fixes. These practices were especially destructive of a car as expensive and prestigious as the 911.
Despite the troubles, the 996 is still an excellent performance car. The car handles fast roads well, and its 3.4-liter flat-six makes the 911 one of the fastest cars you can buy for its price. The car is stable and comfortable at highway speeds, and its traction control can help you maintain your composure when you get on the back-side of an SUV.
But the happiest place for a 911 is on the race track, where the car's suspension and powerful brakes give it amazing capabilities. During a track day at Portland International Raceway, the car stayed calm and composed while we ran it to its 7,300 r.p.m. limit in every gear. The only thing that kept us from doing a few more laps was the brakes, which finally began to wear out.