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From 997 to 996


Well-known member
6 Jan 2011
For various reasons, I'm looking to sell my 997 soon and downsize a bit (in financial terms), and one of the cars on my radar is a 996. I'm assuming there must be a few folks on here who have gone from 996 to 997, so I was wondering if I could pick your brains a bit?

From a purely driving perspective, how does the 996 compare with a 997? I'm not looking to differentiate between models, I'm after any and all kinds of ownership views on any 996 anyone may have driven. I probably won't go for a 4WD car unless it's a turbo, but anything from a 3.4 to a GT3 has yet to be ruled out.

Are they fun? Do they 'feel' quick? Handling comparisons especially would be very useful, whether it's between flavours of 996 or between 996 to 997. Not worried about the mechanical side of things as my research is pretty sound on that, it's more the actual driving bit I'm interested in. How does the manual gearbox feel? The same as the 997, or a bit slacker?

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated folks.
Can't say from a performance perspective as I gave the 996 a miss purely on cosmetic grounds..

The headlights suck big time... :nooo:
I had a 996 tt and drove recently a 997 turbo (first generation) and in terms of driving experience I did not feel any significant difference. I think the 997 turbo engine has more bhp but both cars seemed the same. Both cars were manual and I did not drive them hard or on track. The interior of the 996 tt however feels seriously outdated but this is not your question. I still prefer the 997 turbo even if the premium for a good one compared to a good 996 tt is £10k or more
Had a 996 4s prior to the 997 & found the seats quite uncomfortable.

Having a bad back doesn't help mind, but even with adjustable lumbar support, its still not a patch on the 997.

Sitting in the passenger seat I did find that you really felt every dip in the road & every drain cover.

I liked the car, even the headlights, but could never say I loved it!

Interior was dated, but it drove well.
infrasilver said:
They feel like a 997 but lighter. :wink:


Had a 996 previously. Lost the feeling of nimbleness in my 997 but that could be due to the fact my 996 was RWD as opposed to my current AWD car. So, yes they are fun, the early RWD 996 cars come without any driver aids whatsoever (except ABS, of course) and they are slightly more economical owing to the lighter mass. However, the M96 engines will not be as good as your current MA1. But then for £10k, who cares about that?

~ Maxie
I've never owned a 997 but I have driven Carrera and Carerra S versions a couple of times. My regular car is a basic early 996 3.4. It's fifteen years old now but I've kept it in 'as new' condition.

My 996 has an after market sports exhasuit which does give it a slightly wilder vibe than what it had when standard. So that might have influenced my senses a bit.

Generally I didn't think there was much in though. The 997 felt better and of course, fundamentally each 911 model is always going to be a bit better than the one before. But the changes were more on the luxury, interior, refinement side of the spectrum. From a speed, agility and drivability point of view, I didn't feel like the 996 ad been left behind in any way. If anything, it felt a tad lighter, more nimble. A little more intimate maybe.

It reminded me of the sensation of getting out of a 993 and into my 996. There was an immediate sense of lightness and tactileness about the 996.
I hope this doesnt cause too much controversy
But if i was going to down size froam a 997 i'd go to a 987 Cayman S or Boxster S
Interesting, that's quite a few of you that have commented on the car feeling lighter, which I must admit was something that I'd not really considered. Certainly I see that as a positive thing, and I reckon this could well be a route worth pursuing if that's the case.

I've read before about the seats in the 996, however I suspect that I could fit something to sort that. Changing the suspension too should help, I think. I tend to agree that a 996 isn't as pretty as a 997, either inside or out, but could I live with it? I think I could.

@Mark: Not controversial at all matey, and tbh it would be a sensible move. The trouble I have is that I'd always feel like it was almost too similar (as the inside is 95% the same) but not special enough. To put it into context my brother owns a Cayman R which is probably the best handling car Porsche have made in recent times, and yet whenever I drive it it doesn't feel as 'right' for me as my own bog standard 911 does. It's very hard to explain, and by any amount of logical reasoning the 987 would be a better step, I just can't make that leap in my heart.
Weight is such a critical thing. I dont think I'd be far off the mark in saying that the 996 Carrera C2 still has on of the best power to weight ratios of any 911 over the last couple of decades. And we all know the law of diminishig returns of power, the huge amounts needed for relatively small gains in performance. I think the 996 was possibly the sweet spot if you're into the driving side of things unless you go quite far back early RS cars. It'
s leap in performance over the 993 was more to do with the reduced weight than the extra engie power.
If you think about it, 0-60 in just under 5secs, still compares incredibly well with modern machinary. I'd be fascintated to see how much distance a new 991 would pull on an early 996 on twisting country roads., and also on a circuit. There's a price to be paid for all that beautiful leather!
I have said on several occasions that I think, in hindsight, I would have kept my 996 C4S (with PSE) over my 997.2 C2 (with PDK). I always thought there was more sense of occasion driving the C4S, just more raw and I felt better connected to it - maybe it was just the difference of going manual to PDK, I don't know. I feel that the 991 has lost that feeling even more, lovely cars but I could be in any GT car when I drive one of them.

Personally, I wouldn't go to a Cayman or Boxster - nice cars, great to drive but not quite a 911 and that's what most people think, particularly about the Cayman.

I think there are some lovely C4S cars coming up at reasonably prices now so that's where I'd be tempted to go.
Having gone from a 996.2 to 997.2 I can understand the comments about the 996 feeling "lighter". In my case I'd also say it felt looser and harsher than the 997 - or to turn that around the 997 feels tighter and more together but without bouncing me about as much. But it could be that was partly about worn suspension that could have been fixed/ upgraded.

Seats comment also +1. I had to use a small rolled up towel for lumbar support on 996 - have not felt the need on the 997.
I have made the move you are looking at, I sold my 997 C2, as I had done 1800 miles in 2 years of ownership.
To fill the gap in my life I then bought a 996 1998 c2, sorry to say that in my eyes it felt like an old car which no matter what I did (upgraded head unit etc), it wasn't a patch on the 997.

I consequently sold the car inside 6 months and got back into a 997.
I think if I had the 996 first then it would have felt like a much better car, problem is it is natural to make comparisons between the 2 models and as the newer car the 997 will always win.
I think you'd regret going back to a 996. If you have to sell the 997, why not consider a higher mileage 997.1, or even a 993.
I'm here to offer financial advice :lol:

If you're happy with a 996, I'd understand why you'd not want to upgrade to a 997. But to go from 997 to 996 doesn't add up.
You run the risk of losing out on any financial gain by buying a car "unknown to you". You're already thinking seats/and suspension even before you've found a 996.
Unless you suspect your car has upcoming issues, your better of sticking with the devil you know. :thumb:

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