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Welcome to the 996 Porsche 911 Car Bible. As you scroll down, you’ll learn all about this vehicle’s qualities, features, finer points, and shortcomings. If you’re thinking about buying one of these, want some help maintaining or modifying one, or just want to deepen your knowledge for the next round of car trivia, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will focus solely on the U.S.-market 996 911.

This is a living document that’s updated as we learn (and confirm) new valuable information. Got something to add? Drop a comment or send us an email. Don’t be shy; the more dialogue we have, the better this Car Bible will get.
–Andrew P. Collins, Car Bibles Editor-In-Chief

(Disclaimers, Disclosures: Some Car Bibles will have links to specific forums, groups, brands, shops, or vendors for parts shopping and such. We have no sponsorship deals or official affiliation with any of them unless explicitly stated. We also have to explicitly state that you should work on your own car and follow our advice at your own risk.)

Contents

There’s a lot of info packed into this Bible. If you’re looking for something specific, hit command/control-F, type one of these terms, and your browser should bring you straight in.

  1. The Short Story
  2. Pictures
  3. Fast Facts
  4. Spotter’s Guide
  5. Rarity
  6. Check This Car Out If …
  7. Important Trim Levels and Options
  8. Year-To-Year Changes
  9. Obscure Details
  10. General Reliability and Ownership Costs
  11. Red Flags and Known Issues
  12. Recalls
  13. Where To Buy Parts
  14. Aftermarket Support
  15. Popular Modifications
  16. Key Technical Details
  17. Fluids, Filters, and Capacities
  18. Factory Service Manuals
  19. Other References and Resources
  20. Professional Reviews
  21. Owner Reviews
  22. What They’re Worth Now
  23. Where To Find One For Sale
  24. What To Ask A Seller
  25. Competitors To Consider
  26. Photo Galleries
  27. Pop Culture References
  28. Enthusiast Inquiries
  29. Downloadable Paperback Car Bible
  30. Comments Disclaimer

The Short Story

The Porsche 996 is an icon in several ways. It’s the first 911 on the consumer market to feature a water-cooled engine, after 30-plus years of famously running an air-cooled engine behind its rear wheels. It also features styling with significant changes over its 993 predecessor and previous-generation 911s in general. But it’s a good change that brought the brand into the 21st century. 

Luckily, Porsche sold so many 996s in the U.S. that they’re widely available, ready to put a smile on new owners’ faces. Produced from the model year 1998 until 2005 (but not in the U.S. until 1999), more than 175,000 996s were built for the entire world. This is significantly more than the previous 993 generation’s 68,881, so a potential collector tax might not be as much of a thing as clean, well-cared-for examples get older.

Not everyone’s keen on its “runny egg” headlights, named for resembling, well, runny eggs. But it’s a styling cue first featured on the late-1990s Porsche 911 GT1 race car, which makes it kind of cool.

They have some maintenance concerns, but what enthusiast platform doesn’t? Most important is the rear main seal issue, which keeps new 996 owners up at night.

The Porsche 911 in general is an enthusiast institution. Small dimensions, brilliant handling, fun flat-six engines, sturdy German engineering, at home equally on the street, highway, and track. What’s not to love?

Pictures

We’ll link to some galleries in another section, but here’s a little collection of some great 996 shots to get you excited.

Fast Facts

  • The 996’s M96 flat-six engine is shared by its smaller sibling, the 986 Boxster but with more displacement here
  • There were some significant changes to the 996 over its tenure, with first-year models featuring some truly enthusiast-centric tech, such as throttle-by-cable
  • The S trim is only available on Carrera 4 (all-wheel-drive) models, not on RWD models
  • The 996 Turbo’s engine features a twin-turbo setup and has been well regarded as a tough powerplant that can produce much more power than factory output
  • The track-centric 996, the GT3, features a lower curb weight, stiffer modified suspension, and other nice modifications to make it a circuit beast
  • The 996 911 and 986 Boxster share the same headlights but different bumpers, despite looking quite similar. The glorious 911 GT1 race car possesses these headlights as well.
  • On paper, the 996 was a far better car than the 993. The base 993 Carrera made 268 horsepower out of its 3.6-liter flat-six, the base 996 made just about 300 horsepower from its smaller 3.4 liter flat-six. In addition to weighing slightly less, this made it 0.7 seconds faster to 60 mph than the 993.

Spotter’s Guide

The 996 signifies a significant shift in 911 styling: slightly longer looking, sleeker, a more 21st-century design. But there’s no denying that it still looks like a 911. Slightly more overhang behind the rear wheels to accommodate its rear engine, smooth front end with runny-egg headlights, and a big greenhouse make it immediately stick out among other sports cars.

It looks somewhat large in photos, but it’s actually pretty small in person — truly a far cry from more modern 991 and 992 911s.

Rarity

The 996 is one of the least-rare 911 generations with more than 175,000 sold worldwide. The vast majority are the base rear-wheel-drive Carrera in either coupe or convertible. Because of this and some other minor factors and because it’s viewed with some animosity by enthusiasts, its price stays reasonably low compared to other generations. Higher-end trims such as the GT2 and Turbo S are quite rare and collectible.

Check This Car Out If …

You want to experience a Porsche 911 in a relatively budget-friendly way, appreciate OBD-II maintenance (a diagnostic system for the car’s computer), enjoy European sports cars of a bygone era, and you want something with joyous inputs, fun torque, and solid handling. You ought not be afraid of scheduled maintenance, increased consumables costs (oil, brakes, coolant, etc.), and reliability modifications. 

Enthusiasts seem to agree that it’s the one of the most DIY-friendly 911s ever, especially compared to newer generations. If you’re keen on getting your hands dirty and gaining your own intimate, mechanical knowledge of a Porsche, this is the generation for you.

Important Trim Levels and Options

There are several different flavors of the 996. The Carrera 2 (RWD), Carrera 4 (AWD), Carrera 4S (more aggressive AWD trim), Turbo, Turbo S (more powerful Turbo), GT2, and GT3. The Carrera was available in both cabriolet (convertible) and targa.

Even the most base-spec 996s were well appointed, but certain popular options made them even better. For taller people, a sunroof delete option was available for a time. A limited-slip differential was also an option on the Carrera 2, the last non-GT model to get one from the factory. There was also a full-leather interior option that holds up well and makes it quite a nice place to be.

For more information on options or even decoding a 911’s options, check out The Original Porsche Option Decoder.

Year-To-Year Changes

1999: The 966 Carrera 2 (RWD) and Carrera 4 (AWD) debut, with the 3.4-liter flat-six engine and a cable-operated throttle body. Some enthusiasts point to this as the last truly enthusiast-centric 911 because of its throttle-by-cable instead of an electronic version on later models. It’s also the year with the lightest version, the Carrera 2 six-speed manual, which tips the scales at just over 2,900 pounds.

2000: Switch to an electronic throttle body.

2001: The 911 Turbo debuts.

2002: The mid-cycle refresh happens, which enthusiasts refer to as the 996.2 until its end in 2005. Most noticeably, new headlights and a new bumper are added, and more wheel choices are available. The 911 Targa and Carrera 4S are now available. 

The RWD, twin-turbo GT2 is also available, but only 194 were sold in the U.S., so it’s by far the rarest.

2003: No major updates.

2004: The only year that the GT3 is sold in the U.S.

2005: The Turbo S is available, which is incredibly rare today and a total monster for its time.

Obscure Details

In addition to certain red flags detailed below, another thing to note about 996 maintenance (as well as maintenance on other Porsches) is the air/oil separator. This pulls oil from gases inside the crankcase, and re-circulates it to the sump while it injects the gases back through the combustion process. Failures cause catastrophic engine damage. The service interval is pretty long, although a motorsports-grade one ought to be upgraded to if the car sees any regular performance driving, whether on an autocross course or on track.

General Reliability and Ownership Costs

The 996 is among the least expensive 911 to own, but it’s still a Porsche. The “Porsche tax” on quality replacement and aftermarket parts is very much a thing. Consumables like brake pads and oil can be expensive. It also requires a lot of oil: 10 quarts. Suspension bushings are normal wear items and are more expensive than usual, too.

Service bills at specialty/German repair shops can be high as well. These cars are packaged pretty well but are still rear-engine and require a little more time than usual to do any type of work beyond oil and coolant changes and brake jobs.

In general, the 996 911 will cost more to maintain than any of its American or Japanese competition. However, it is very sturdy, and when known issues (especially engine-related problems) are addressed it’s very reliable.

No matter the trim, all 911s have staggered OEM wheels. If owners select aftermarket wheels that are staggered, then wheel and tire costs might be a little more than average. However, a lot of enthusiasts say a square-type setup, where both the front and rear wheels are the same size, is a good alternative and has some front-end grip benefits.

Red Flags and Known Issues

  • IMS bearing failure: This is a common issue on all pre-2006 M96 engines. It’s not a common issue per se, but enough have failed to raise alarms across the world. It’s a recommended preventative maintenance/fix by pretty much all Porsche enthusiasts. Most Porsche/German shops have a set fee for doing this service and are well versed in the procedure. Several companies make DIY kits for driveway wrenchers. The 1997-2000 models had a dual-row IMS bearing, whereas 2001 and newer models had a single-row IMS bearing. Enthusiasts report that the older ones have a lower failure rate than the newer ones.

It should be noted that many enthusiasts have never had any issue whatsoever, and some believe that a Porsche that’s driven enthusiastically or on the track has less of a chance of having IMS issues. Do your research, and as always, you’re better safe than sorry.

Turbocharged 3.6-liter engines, as well as the non-turbo engine in the GT3, do not suffer the IMS bearing issue. These are known by enthusiasts as Mezger engines, which feature oiling technology taken from motorsports. This Motorsports Magazine article by Andrew Frankel is an excellent deep dive into the origins of the Mezger name.

  • Intermediate shaft bearing failure: This is located under the rear main seal, and it’s a good idea to replace it when the transmission is off and either the clutch or IMS bearing are being replaced.
  • Leaky front steering rack: This is easy to inspect. The boots and connections wear over time and cause leakage.
  • Worn switchgear: Over time some interior switchgear is known to wear away, fade, or fail.
  • Overheating: Cooling systems in poor shape can lead to overheating, which causes cylinder liners to crack, requiring an engine rebuild or replacement. Aftermarket cooling upgrades are always recommended.
  • Coolant expansion-tank cracking: The coolant expansion tank can crack over time and leak coolant.
  • Interior discoloration: Interior panels can fade and crack pretty fast. Luckily, used parts in good shape are plentiful.
  • Driver-seat wear: The driver’s seat materials wear out fast and start cracking/splitting, requiring a visit to an upholstery shop, aftermarket seat, or quality replacement. Leather treatment solutions help prolong their life.
  • Transmission wear: The second gear in manual transmissions is known to wear quickly if treated poorly. This isn’t a widespread issue but something to keep in mind while test driving one.

Recalls

The NHTSA details what sort of safety recalls the 986 has experienced. There weren’t very many over the course of the generation’s production , and they all seem to be pretty minor. Be sure to select your individual year and trim on the NHTSA’s website.

Where To Buy Parts

The sky’s the limit with Porsche parts sellers, but Pelican Parts (they’ve also got great DIY articles), ECS Tuning, and FCP Euro are three of the top sources.

Aftermarket Support

The aftermarket is still quite healthy for the 996, despite the fact that it hasn’t been in production for more than 15 years. Pretty much all aftermarket suspension companies offer handling and grip upgrades, there are many performance brake pad options, and more. Also, many companies offer products and services for preparing 996s for wheel-to-wheel racing, such as the Spec 996 class, as well as GT2 and GT3 classes in club racing.

Like all sports cars, playing to the 996’s strengths such as its suspension and grip goes a long way for vehicular enjoyment. Bolting on aftermarket suspension, wider wheels, and stickier tires make them handling monsters. There are a decent amount of intake and exhaust modifications out there to up the power a decent amount, too. Doing substantial changes such as boring and stroking the engines to 3.8 or more liters isn’t unheard of.

Key Technical Details

Engine: flat-six boxer engine, naturally aspirated or twin turbocharged

Drivetrain: rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive

1998-2001 996.1 Carrera 2 and Carrera 4 (AWD): 3.4 liters, 296 horsepower, and 258 pound-feet of torque

2002-2004 996.2 Carrera 2, Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S (AWD): 3.6 liters, 320 horsepower, and 273 pound-feet of torque

2004 996.2 Carrera GT3: 3.6 liters, 380 horsepower, and 284 pound-feet of torque

2001-2004 Turbo (AWD): twin turbo, 3.6 liters, 415 horsepower, and 415 pound-feet of torque

2002-2005 GT2 (RWD): twin turbo 3.6 liters, 456 horsepower ,and 457 pound-feet of torque

2005 Turbo S (AWD): twin turbo 3.6 liters, 444 horsepower, and 457 pound-feet of torque

Transmission: Getrag G96/00 six-speed manual, Mercedes-Benz 5G-tronic five-speed automatic, ZF 5HP 19HLA five-speed automatic (996.2 only)

Suspension: Independent wishbone/A-arm

Weight distribution: 39/61 for Carrera 2

Wheelbase: 92.6 in

Overall length: 174.5 in

Carrera 4S and Turbo: 174.6 in

Overall width: 1999–2001: 69.5 in

2002–2004: 69.7 in

Carrera 4S and Turbo: 72.0 in

Curb weight: 2,900-3,500 pounds

Excellence magazine has a great resource of even more specifics.

OEM tire sizes: There were a bunch of tire sizes installed on 996s, with the most variety in width. This handy guide is a good reference for OEM sizing, whereas this guide from Apex Race Parts discusses great alternatives, particularly for track work.

Fluids, filters, and capacities: The nice thing about these is a lot of them are the same across all 996 and 986 Boxster trims. The M-series engines all share basically the same block and a lot of the same capacities and replacement part numbers.

Fuel: 91 Octane

Battery size: BCI Group 48 (12.1 x 6.9 x 7.6 inches), Ah/A 60/280 for manual transmission, Ah/A 70/320 for tiptronic transmission. Enthusiasts report that a Bosch model is a good upgrade: 48-700B 700CCA

Engine oil: 10 quarts of 0W-40 synthetic, enthusiasts recommend high-quality brands like Liqui Moly or Ravenol and recommend replacing every 5,000-7,500 miles

Oil filter: OEM Porsche 99610722553, 18 x 24 crush washer, replaced with oil

Air filter: OEM Porsche 99611013104, replace every 15,000 miles

Air oil separator: Porsche OEM 99610702304, this is a Porsche revision that works on all engines, replace every 90,000 miles, there’s also a high-performance version that requires minor modification

Cabin air filter: OEM Porsche 99657221902, replace every 15,000 miles

Manual transmission oil: three quarts (2.8 liters) of OEM Porsche 00004330549 75W90, fill until it runs out of filler hole, replace every 30,000 miles, other high-quality gear oils by Liqui Moly and Motul are also great options

Automatic transmission (tiptronic) fluid: three quarts, enthusiasts recommend Red Line D4 ATF, replace every 30,000 miles

Transmission filter: Porsche OEM 98630740300, replace with fluid

Differential oil: 75W90, the manual transmission’s fill accounts for its built-in differential, however, the automatic must be filled via a separate hole; fill until it runs out of the filler hole

Coolant: Porsche OEM 00004330575, replace every 60,000 miles

Power-steering fluid: 1 liter of Pentosin CHF 202, replace every 40,000 miles, fill until reservoir indicates full

Brake fluid: three 500ml bottles of Motul RBF 600, replaced every 30,000 miles; if the car is tracked or autocrossed, every 15,000 miles

Clutch fluid: Same as brake fluid

Spark plugs: six Bosch 99917020190KT1 and six X Porsche OEM 99610532552 spark-plug tubes; 2000 and older, replace every 30,000 miles; 2001 and newer, replace every 60,000 miles

PCar Wise has a great write-up on more about scheduled maintenance on their site.

Factory Service Manuals

Factory service manuals, as well as those published by reputable companies such as Bentley are victims of the Porsche tax, with the latter fetching as much as $150 used. Both of which are pretty rare. Many sites and enthusiasts have scanned and uploaded a lot of the factory service manuals.

Other References and Resources

The PCA has all kinds of resources on their site, as well as the Rennlist forums. Pelican Parts has also come in clutch with some thorough technical guides.

Joining any Porsche enthusiast group is a solid way to socialize and nerd out with fellow Porsche fans. It can also be a handy resource for parts and knowledge. If you’re in SoCal and interested in doing any form of performance driving with your 996, check out Porsche Owners Club’s website.

Professional Reviews

Jethro Bovingdon for Evo magazine, February 2021:

“Of course, the biggest change of all was the switch to water cooling for the flat-six engine. History has been rewritten to such an extent that you’d imagine this caused outrage amongst Porsche guys and girls everywhere … but these were different times. Porsches didn’t command quite such the fetishistic devotion that they do nowadays. Oh sure, people loved them and they tended to clean up in magazine group tests, but journalists and buyers seemed to largely treat it as another step in the 911’s relentless evolutionary march. The new 911 had a 3.4-liter flat-six that revved higher and produced 300 bhp, the car was lighter at 1320 kg, and in every measurable way it was faster and more capable than the model it replaced. There were — from memory and looking back at contemporary reviews — very few tears shed over the 993’s passing.”

“Anyway, that’s all ancient history, and there are bits of the 996 that feel ancient, too. I happen to love the beautifully simple soap-bar lines, but recognize that when you pull open the door and slide into the driver’s seat, it’s not all rosy. You sit a little too high even in these optional hard-backed sports seats, the steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach and always feels a stretch too far, and whilst the Metropole Blue leather is kind of funky, I suppose, the 996 will never win any awards for its interior architecture or the feel of some of the hard plastic buttons and surfaces. Having said all of that, the 996 is extremely compact, and the good visibility creates a sense of lightness even before you get going.”

Twist the key and the flat-six catches with a lovely dry howl that’s evocative of the older cars, but there’s a crispness to the way it revs when you go to the throttle that’s a marked improvement over the sometimes stodgy delivery of a standard 993. Select first and you’ll notice a long throw and an extremely light gearshift action. It’s almost as if the lever isn’t connected to anything below and, honestly, you get the feeling the ’box will require little effort but also offer little reward. I should probably stop referencing the 993 … but it’s interesting that Porsche should stray so far from its heavy, deliberate shift. It’s perhaps a metaphor for the whole car. The 996 is all about a sense of easy-going precision rather than hewn-from-granite stability.”

“Grip levels are simply not in the same league as those of a modern Porsche — or indeed a modern hot hatch — but the 996 gives you the tools to exploit all it has and is so mannered when grip runs out that you never feel like you’re missing out in corners. … It simply doesn’t feel that fast or indomitable judged by 2021 standards, [but]the balance of each element of its dynamic makeup is so wonderfully wrought that the feeling of absolute cohesiveness runs just as strong today as it must have in 1998. … So, maybe it’s not awe inspiring, but boy, does it feel alive, accessible, and absolutely set up to entertain.”

Larry Webster for Car and Driver, October 2001:

“There’s enough low-end grunt that we rarely felt the need to downshift the beefed-up six-speed manual transmission. For shiftless folks, Porsche borrowed the stronger five-speed automatic transmission from the 911 Turbo to handle the extra power. The four-wheel-drive system of the Carrera 4 is unchanged.”

“We won’t be surprised if the more powerful 911 Carrera coupe sprints to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds — 0.2 second quicker than the current one. Porsche figures the new car will reach 177 mph, a figure we have not verified, but it sounds reasonable.”

“Porsche says we’ll be more comfortable pushing the car to top speed because new front bodywork reduces front lift by 25 percent and a new rear bumper reduces lift by 40 percent for increased high-speed stability. If you’ve ever seen Mercedes-Benz Le Mans racers doing backflips at the Circuit de la Sarthe, you know less lift is a good thing. Both coupe and convertible models also benefit from reinforcing the side sills, roof frame, and floor pan. Torsional rigidity is thus up by 25 percent for the coupe and 10 percent for the convertible.”

“It’s cool that the new bodywork is functional, but the broad horizontal front slots and new headlights with 911 Turbo styling make the 911 look better, too. We’ve always thought the 911 looks too much like the Boxster, and here’s a small step in the right direction. New standard 17-inch wheels with 10-spoke units save a total of eight pounds over last year’s wheels. The optional five-spoke, 18-inch wheels are an inch wider than before, yet save a total of 23 pounds over last year’s 18-inchers. Although spring rates stay the same, the shocks have been tuned to complement the stiffer structure.”

“Inside, however, you’ll still be hard pressed to differentiate a Boxster from a 911. Porsche did see fit to add a passenger-side glovebox and — brace yourself — cupholders. Unfortunately, they hold only a 12-ounce can, which then blocks a significant portion of the dash. Don’t fret about Porsches going too mainstream; the Le Mans-inspired left-side ignition switch is still there.”

Owner Reviews

Kenneth Wiedel, 2002 C2, 20,000 miles, lightly modified , owned six months:

“A 911 has always been on my short (long) list of cars to own, and I’ve passed on several over the past 19 years in favor of a long line of Mazda Miatas, other Japanese sports cars, Chevrolet Corvettes, etc. In December 2020, the right one finally arrived in my sights, though, and after the all-important PPI, subsequently in my driveway.

“I wasn’t instantly in love with the car, and despite how truly good it is, I’m not quite sure I’ll ever covet it in the same way I have my Japanese toys. It’s a distinctly German experience, but a nearly 20-year-old one, and with its age and some missteps on behalf of Porsche come some lurking and potentially costly issues. Despite knowing the previous owner had the IMS bearing upgraded a few thousand miles ago, I can’t help but worry about an unexpected catastrophic failure. If you’re an automotive worrywart, a non-Metzger 996 might not be the Porsche for you.

“Despite the preceding paragraph, I’m learning to love the car. It’s a totally different driving experience compared to other cars of its era. The 996 is tight and responsive, with just enough torque and horsepower to have some oomph but not so much that you need be afraid of it. It effortlessly carries speed on the backroads and highways and always does exactly what you want it to without drama or complaint.

“A 911 is an itch that needs to be scratched in the minds of many automotive enthusiasts, and the 996, despite its idiosyncrasies, might just be the best way to do so with a reasonable budget.”

What They’re Worth Now

These figures seem to vary quite a bit depending on where they are in the country, and if they’re sold from private parties on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or sold on used-car lots.

The prime example: A 3.4-liter Carrera in prime or even collector-worthy condition with very few miles fetches around $25,000-$30,000. The 3.6-liter will go for maybe $1,000-$2,000 more, and higher trims will go for even more. 

Up at the very top, GT3s never seem to drop below $65,000, regardless of mileage or condition. Similarly, Turbos never seem to drop below $38,000, regardless of mileage or condition.

A very clean driver: An example that’s clean with less than 90,000 miles will start around $20,000 for a Carrera and go up from there, depending on the trim.

An honest car: Let’s say this is a model year 2003 or newer, with anywhere from 80,000 to 150,000 miles. It might have some paint chips and aftermarket wheels, but it’s in good shape otherwise, especially mechanically. These seem to start at $16,000.

The budget option: Any year car that’s in decent shape, 150,000-plus miles, a not-that-great-interior, and has some semblance of service history seems to start at $14,000

A roach: Salvage title, rough body, very high mileage, a ratty interior, base wheels, etc. These often seem to be automatic, unfortunately. But they can be great projects, track-only sleds, spec 996 build projects, etc., and go for as little as $10,000.

Where To Find One For Sale

The 996 is a car that’s best bought from a responsible enthusiast who can produce service history documentation. Luckily, they change hands between enthusiasts quite a lot and can be found on Craigslist or any Porsche-centric classifieds like PCA. Excellence magazine also has a large classifieds section.

Otherwise, clean examples show up on higher-end used-car dealership lots all the time. Facebook Marketplace and Offer Up are sources, too, but stay especially vigilant in regards to giving them a good look over, doing a pre-purchase inspection, etc.

Enthusiasts and owners groups are very serious about the importance of a pre-purchase inspection. It’s best to avoid any potential maintenance headaches and get one done by a knowledgeable performance shop . Sure, a fixer-upper is a fixer-upper, but you want to know everything about a candidate up front, so you know how much fun you’ll be able to have and when.

What To Ask a Seller

Focusing on the 996’s red flags is crucial when you’re looking at a used one to potentially buy. Ask:

  • Has the IMS bearing been replaced?
  • Has the engine ever been replaced?
  • When was the air-oil separator last replaced?
  • Have you ever autocrossed or tracked it? (This isn’t necessarily bad. Again, enthusiasts often take really good care of their cars and replace fluids more frequently.)
  • Have any suspension bushings been replaced?
  • Have you ever replaced the radiator or any oil coolers?
  • Have you done any aftermarket cooling upgrades?

Competitors To Consider

Pretty much any other modern rear-wheel-drive sports car. Honda S2000, Toyobaru, E36/E46 BMW M3, BMW 128i/135i, Mazda RX-8, and more. It should also be said that the 987 Boxster and its hardtop sibling, the Cayman, ought to also be considered, especially if your budget is around $20,000. They’re more modern and usually better appointed than any 996.

Newer 997 911s are decreasing in price for sure, but clean examples are still noticeably more expensive than 996s.

The 986 Boxster is another solid option with lower maintenance costs and slightly better fuel economy. Plus, since its a lower model in the lineup, you could get a lot more for your money.

Photo Galleries

FavCars.com has us thoroughly covered here.

Pop-Culture References

While the 996 has had some pretty neat roles in films over the years, its best by far is in “Taken 3” (2015). The main character Bryan, played by Liam Neeson, steals a blacked-out 996 in downtown Los Angeles to chase down the evildoer who’s captured his daughter. The soundtrack is brilliant; it truly sounds like a Porsche flat-six. The sequence ends at an airport, where he uses the 996 to ram the captor’s plane and disable it before it takes off. (Crazy, right?) It’s a bummer that he kills the 996, but it is kind of the unsung hero of the day.

The 996 in “Fast Five” is supposed to be a GT3 RS. (It’s actually a humble version in a costume.) But here’s a fun video on that prop car.

My editor is insisting that I also mention his version of the ultimate 996 movie appearance: Sally Carerra (voiced by Bonnie Hunt) from Cars and its sequels.

A 996 Carrera 2 is the first car stolen in the 2000 remake “Gone in 60 Seconds,” starring Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Robert Duvall, and more.

Porsche 911 996: The Car Bible (1999-2005)
Image: Touchstone Pictures Screenshot

Enthusiast Inquiries

Check back with us here. We’ll start to populate this section if we start to see any specific questions pop up over and over.

Downloadable Paperback Car Bible (Coming Soon)

If you’re old school and like to keep reference notes on paper, or you’re just a completionist and want a free accessory for your 996 we’ll have a printable paperback Car Bible for you soon.

Think of it like an owner’s manual supplement. Keep it in your car and your days of waiting for slow internet on your phone at the auto-parts store are over.

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