TIME MACHINE APRIL 2000 (ISSUE 73)
Editor Bennett peruses the archives of 911 & Porsche World from days gone by. What’s changed? That will be everything and nothing...
Biggest ever issue – 132 pages! And if the promise of lots of pages didn’t encourage the magazine buying public of the year 2000, then surely the Speed Yellow 996 Turbo would. Or the Guards Red 944 Turbo for that matter, a duo that we suggested had more in common than you might think, despite being separated by £90,000. The premise, you see, was that the 944 Turbo offered similar explosive acceleration to the 996 Turbo, which it did, but we’ll come back to that.
Of course the 996 Turbo was a big, big deal, being the first of the modern water-cooled 911 Turbos. Editor Horton took the ‘First drive’ ticket to Spain, where the fleet of Turbos attracted considerable attention from the local teenagers in the small towns and villages near Andalucia. Seven years later on the 997 Turbo launch, also in Spain, I experienced exactly the same thing as crowds of boisterous, but harmless, local kids surrounded us. Maybe Porsche bunged them a few Euros to add a little local colour...
Seventeen years on and the 996 Turbo still packs a punch, but it’s telling that the current 991 version has added another 100bhp to the engine spec sheet. The 996 Turbo’s 420bhp now merely matches a 991 Carrera S, which itself is now twin-turbocharged.
As ever the 996 Turbo drew praise for its all-round abilities and while many would protest, Chris was probably spot on in preferring the Tiptronic version to the manual. The Turbo had the ability to fill in any gaps in the five-speed auto ratio repertoire. Funnily enough, on the 997 Turbo launch, Walter Rohrl was of much the same opinion, as he dished out demo rides on a loose surface track in a Tiptronic.
And the 944 Turbo? Electronic jiggery pokery from DP Motorsport in the shape of an A’PEXI’ boost control unit, boosted power to 350bhp from 1.3 bar, or in other words 100bhp above the standard 944 Turbo’s output. “Blindingly, devastatingly, almost terrifyingly quick,” is how Chris described it.