The last of the air-cooled Porsches, the 993 generation of the iconic 911 is seen by some hardcore Porsche purists as the last truly great model in its long lineage, despite the fact that in terms of performance, comfort and safety it has been obviously surpassed by all subsequent generations. Launched at the end of 1993, it was the third all-new 911 in the history of the Zuffenhausen sports car maker, albeit it did feature some carryover parts from the 964 generation.

Penned by Tony Hatter, who is still working at Porsche and recently penned the second-generation Cayman, the 911 (993) brought an air of modernism at the German carmaker, especially when seen from the rear. Featuring wider wheel arches but a much more subdued and somewhat slippery overall look, the model was still very much part of the classic 911 lineage in terms of styling, although sprinkled with many contemporary design motifs. It was under the body shell where most of the novelties resided, with the model featuring a revised flat-six engine lineup and an entirely new suspension that worked to reduce much of the snap-oversteer tendencies of its predecessors.

Built over a span of just under five years, the 993 family featured three body styles, two types of traction and at least six official engine variants. The base model, christened 911 Carrera Coupe, was equipped with an evolution of the 3.6-liter, boxer engine from the 911 (964), first offering 272 horsepower and then 285 horsepower after Porsche upgraded its induction system to VarioRam in 1995. The most powerful variant of this flat-six was found in the hardcore GT2 and the 911 Turbo S, which came with a more-than-satisfying 450 horsepower.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche 911 (993).

  • 1993 - 1998 Porsche 911 (993)
  • Year:
    1993- 1998
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    flat-6
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    272 @ 6100
  • MPG(Cty):
    15
  • MPG(Hwy):
    23
  • Torque @ RPM:
    243 @ 5000
  • Displacement:
    3.6 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5.4 sec.
  • Quarter Mile time:
    13.8 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    168 mph
  • 0-100 time:
    12.4 sec.
  • Price:
    70000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

1993 - 1998 Porsche 911 (993) High Resolution Exterior
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1993 - 1998 Porsche 911 (993) High Resolution Exterior
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1993 - 1998 Porsche 911 (993) High Resolution Exterior
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On the rear is where things got interesting, with the bumper being much wider and the taillights sitting quite a bit higher than on the previous generation.

Instantly recognizable as a Porsche 911, the 993 did feature some rather distinctive design details that have remained carved in the memory of most people who lived in the 1990s. Without losing even one bit of the 911 identity, the model featured an all-new body that was much sleeker and had better aerodynamic properties than the somewhat brutish-looking 964 generation, even though the doors and greenhouse were largely identical between the two models. Up front, the headlights were much more swept back, less bulbous and were better integrated into the body, a feature also shared by the new bumpers.

The side view was nearly identical with the 964, with the exception of more aerodynamic mirrors, which were finally standard on both sides and much flatter overall profile. On the rear is where things got interesting, with the bumper being much wider and the taillights sitting quite a bit higher than on the previous generation. The rear hood has a standard retractable spoiler with integrated cooling vents, while more powerful variants like the 911 RS, Turbo/Turbo S and the mighty GT2 featured a fixed rear wing.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 89.4 Inches
Length 1993-95: 168.3 Inches
1996-98: 167.7 Inches
Width 1993-95 Coupe: 65.0 Inches
1993-95 Convertible: 69.9 Inches

1996-98 Coupe: 68.3 Inches
1996-98 Convertible: 70.7 Inches

Height 1993-95: 51.6 Inches
1996-98: 51.8 Inches

Interior

1993 - 1998 Porsche 911 (993) High Resolution Interior
- image 609688

Unlike the much friendlier exterior, the interior of the 993 was largely kept unchanged from the 964 generation, with most of the differences residing in a new steering wheel, restyled door handles and new seats. Apart from that, the instrument panel could easily be exchanged between the 993 and 964, as could most other interior parts since the interior volume was nearly identical. Speaking of volume, the luggage compartment is another difference, as it is about 20 percent larger in the 911 (993) thanks to a redesigned front suspension.

Drivetrain

1993 - 1998 Porsche 911 (993) Drivetrain
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The biggest novelties consisted of an all-new engine control unit and a dual-flow exhaust system that now came with two catalytic converters instead of only one on the 964.

Even though the base six-cylinder boxer mill was pretty much kept from the 964 and it was in many ways based on the original 2.0-liter from the 901 model back in 1963, the last air-cooled Porsche engine did feature a number of improvements. The biggest novelties consisted of an all-new engine control unit and a dual-flow exhaust system that now came with two catalytic converters instead of only one on the 964. For the first time ever, the 911 (993) came with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with almost every engine variant offering an optional four-speed Tiptronic automatic on rear-wheel-drive models.

As with the previous-generation 911, the 993 offered both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive variants, with the all-wheel-drive system being a simplified version of the one found in the 959 supercar. Using a viscous coupling unit instead of a center differential, these versions managed to pose a much lower weight gain. Similar system were used in almost all subsequent generations.

The engine in the base Carrera Coupe, Cabrio and Targa models first had an output of 272 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, but those numbers were increased not even two years later when Porsche introduced the so-called VarioRam variable-intake system. After 1995, the least powerful 993 models offered 285 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque, making for a rather quick base model.

Drivetrain Specifications - 993 Carrera

993 Carrera 993 Carrera 4 993 Carrera 4S
Type Flat-6 Flat-6 Flat-6
Induction Normallly-aspirated Normallly-aspirated Normallly-aspirated
Cooling Air/oil-cooled Air/oil-cooled Air/oil-cooled
Valvetrain Single overhead camshaft Single overhead camshaft Single overhead camshaft
Injection Port injection Port injection Port injection
Bore x Stroke 3.94 in x 3.01 in 3.94 in x 3.01 in 3.94 in x 3.01 in
Displacement 3,600 CC 3,600 CC 3,600 CC
Horsepower 272 HP @ 6,100 RPM 272 HP @ 6,100 RPM 285 HP @ 6,300 RPM
Torque 243 LB-FT @ 5,000 RPM 243 LB-FT @ 5,000 RPM 250 LB-FT @ 5,250 RPM
Transmission 6-speed manual, 4-speed Tiptronic 6-speed manual 6-speed manual
0 to 60 mph 5.4 seconds manual/6.4 seconds Tiptronic 5.2 seconds 5.2 seconds
Top Speed 168 mph manual/165 mph Tiptronic 171 mph 168 mph

Drivetrain Specifications - 993 Turbo

993 Turbo 993 Turbo S
Type Flat-6 Flat-6
Induction Twin-turbocharged Twin-turbocharged
Cooling Air/oil-cooled Air/oil-cooled
Valvetrain Single overhead camshaft Single overhead camshaft
Injection Port injection Port injection
Bore x Stroke 3.94 in x 3.01 in 3.94 in x 3.01 in
Displacement 3,600 CC 3,600 CC
Horsepower 408 HP @ 5,750 RPM 424 HP @ 6,260 RPM
Torque 398 LB-FT @ 4,500 RPM 423 LB-FT @ 4,500 RPM
Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed manual
0 to 60 mph 4.4 seconds 4.4 seconds
Top Speed 180 mph 183 mph

Prices

1993 - 1998 Porsche 911 (993) High Resolution Exterior
- image 609667

When it was introduced at the end of 1993, the Porsche 911 (993) was surprisingly not the most expensive model in the carmaker’s lineup, as that place still belonged to the front-engined 928 flagship. With that being said, the 911 has never been what you would call a bargain sports car, with starting prices when new being approximately 40 percent higher than on a Chevrolet Corvette from the same years. Apart from special models like the Turbo, Carrera RS or the bonkers GT2, you can find a well-maintained 911 (993) for under $50,000 if you look hard enough.

Competition

1994-1999 Ferrari F355

1995 - 1999 Ferrari F355
- image 86997
99

Launched almost a year later than the Porsche, Ferrari’s F355 was also an extensive evolution of a car that was built before it, the 348. The 355 sported a mid-mounted V-8 with a stratospheric redline and a howling exhaust that sounded like no other road car of the time. Speaking of its engine, the F355 was the first Ferrari with a five-valve cylinder head, increasing the power plant’s complexity but also giving it a much better efficiency.

Available as either a coupe, a cabrio or a "targa-style" GTS, the F355 was the best-sold Ferrari model of the 1990s, having been the cheapest way to enter the Maranello family of sport cars. Despite being an entry-level model, it was still much more expensive than the equivalent and more usable Porsche 911 (993), which also offered two extra seats.

1983-1996 Chevrolet Corvette C4

Evolution of the Corvette and the Crossed Flags Logo Exterior
- image 478412

The first fully redesigned Corvette since the 1963 C2 model, the fourth-generation Chevrolet Corvette was at the opposite spectrum compared to the Porsche 911 (993), but that didn’t stop just about every media outlet from pitting them against each other. Having been launched into production as early as 1983, back when the classic 911 was still being sold, the Corvette C4 was also available in more than one body style, with both a coupe with targa-style top and a convertible being offered.

Still using a front-midship engine positioning and a body made from sheet molding compound, the fourth generation of "America’s sportscar" featured a 5.7-liter V-8 to spin the rear tires, battling the Porsche 911 (993) with lighweight and pure brawn. Having been launched a great deal before the 993 came to be, it also featured what some would call ancient technology to prove its point, which is also why it was almost half as cheap as the least-expensive Porsche 911 of the time.

Conclusion

1993 - 1998 Porsche 911 (993) High Resolution Exterior
- image 609690

Launched in a time when Porsche was still recovering from a rather severe financial crisis, the 993-generation 911 came at the right moment and offered the right package for most 1990s yuppies and Porsche purists. Although almost completely restyled when compared to the classic 911 and offering a wide array of modern features including much better performance, the 993 was also signifying the end of an era for the carmaker in Zuffenhausen. In fact, with the model sporting the last-ever air-cooled engine that Porsche ever built, the 993 can be also seen as a rolling bridge between the old and the new.

With a model range comprised of a Coupe, a Convertible and a Targa variant, with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, naturally-aspirated or turbocharged engines, and with either scary handling or family car safety, the Porsche 911 (993) arguably offered the most complete sports car lineup of the mid-1990s.

  • Leave it
    • * RWD models need good drivers
    • * Not cheap on the second-hand market
    • * Not blistering-fast by modern standards
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