Porsche 996 – The Pivotal 911

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Once quite controversial and unloved for long, Porsche 996 911 has now reached a make-it-or-break-it age as a collectible. While the 996 is highly unlikely to reach stardom among the Porsche enthusiast, it’s a car that shouldn’t be completely written off in the future years, albeit more as a rewarding usable classic than an investment material.

Superficially, the 996 is a flawed car as far as 911 goes, but underneath, it hides more than a few virtues. Between the air-cooled legends and universally embraced modern 911s, is there any love left for the 996? We think there is, so let’s begin the journey and see why.


The early nineties were pivotal for both Porsche as a brand and 911 as its trademark product. Both popular, both respected, but both visibly aging. The Stuttgart-based company and its legendary car were in dire need of a complete overhaul.

Then, Porsche was recovering from the financial failure of the 959 and the crippling economic recession, but at the same time, it enjoyed cult status among enthusiasts.

1987 Porsche 959 Komfort 
Darin Schnabel ©2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Still, despite all novelties like the new aluminum LSA chassis, twin-turbocharging in the 911 Turbo version, and rear multilink suspension, the 911 was reaching its limits. The 993 generation 911 still used air-cooled engines, which were on the verge of non-compliance with increasingly strict emission regulations, especially in the USA, Porsche’s most aspirational market.

In addition to being faced with financial hardships leading to many industry giants looming around waiting for the perfect moment for a takeover, Porsche was in another trouble. The company grew just enough to seriously start considering cost-cutting to increase profits, eventually enduring this tough period.

The first step towards reinventing the 911 was reinventing Zuffenhausen. Amidst takeover rumors, Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking executed a plan to save the company by reaching to Toyota for much-needed just-in-time, lean manufacturing know-how.

Source: Porsche AG

Time, energy, and cost efficiency were crucial elements for a new, better, and more progressive Porsche. They were able to reinvent its manufacturing process and employ part-sharing technology that the Japanese giant embraced long ago. This program started in 1992, and the Zuffenhausen plant was under Toyota’s supervision in the following years.


The development of the 996 started alongside another

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By: Djordje Sugaris
Title: Porsche 996 – The Pivotal 911
Sourced From:
Published Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2021 08:17:31 +0000

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