Know Your 911: Part 4 - the 993

Know Your 911: Part 4 - the 993

In the fourth edition of the run-up to the 911’s eighth generation, we have a look at the last of the air-cooled 911s, the 993.

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993 Porsche 911
993 Targa

You know Porsche kept saying things were 80-percent-plus new in the G and 964 and you couldn’t really believe it because they looked so similar. Well this time, you can believe it. A bit. Apparently the only thing that stayed the same was the roof. And even then, if you bought a Targa, the roof style changed.

When the car first launched in 1994, you could choose between the Carrera and the Cabriolet. The reason for just two bodystyles would later become clear – the Targa’s roof was re-engineered into a glass canopy that slid down under the rear window.

The Carrera 4S and S introduced the wide-boy turbo rear guards to naturally-aspirated 911s and you could again choose between rear and all-wheel drive.

The new body feature the new layback headlights, possible through new lens technology known as polyellipsoidal. The design looked pretty fresh, actually and is probably the nicest mix of old and new, with better integrated bumpers, flush glass but that same iconic silhouette.

Interestingly, the 911 became the Formula One Safety Car after it was discovered that perhaps a clapped-out Alfa 75 wasn’t quite up to the job.

Air-cooled flat-six for the win

The last of the air-cooled flat-sixes sat behind the rear seats. The 3.6-litre M64/05(06) (great name) chuff-chuffed 200 kW (272PS) at launch. The snappy titles continued a year later when Porsche added VarioRam technology to make the M64/21(22). Power rose to 210kW (285PS) and top speed to 270km/h. Later you could option a 221kW (300PS) unit.

A six-speed manual was standard and Tiptronic made a return though still with just four forward speeds.

The 911 Turbo shipped with twin KKK turbochargers (not that kind of KKK) known as K16s. Power rose to a wild 300 kW (408PS), then 316kW (430PS) and finally 331kW (450PS) in the GT2.


993 Porsche 911

Underneath was an aluminum chassis and the rear suspension was an all-alloy multi-link arrangement. The latter came from the 989 project which has always fascinated me.

The 959’s three-differentialled all-wheel drive system was replaced with a simpler system. The centre diff went and was replaced with a viscous coupling, knocking off some of the previous system’s weight.

Bigger brakes, improved power steering and a new exhaust system completed the picture.

The 993 sold almost 65,000 units in its four years on sale to 1998.

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