1999 Porsche 911 Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Fine-tuned to perfection. Excellent suspension, motor and brakes.
  • Character seems diluted when compared to the previous model.
List Price Estimate
$8,685 - $19,012

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Vehicle overview

Thirty-four years in preparation, Porsche has evolved to the next level in the age-old pursuit of building the supreme sports car. The all-new 911 is improved in every way over the last-generation supercar of the same numeric designation. Zero-to-60 in under five seconds. Top speed of 172 mph. The performance numbers are not extraordinarily better than the previous 911, but this car was not just improved with minor modifications. Not one component is shared with the previous-generation 911, yet the car is somehow better in every way.

The new design had to keep trademark 911 themes while becoming entirely different. The car's profile, wheel arches and C-pillars hark back to the original design while creating a fresh new appearance. In fact, says Porsche, the clay modeler who specializes in sculpting the C-pillar area has been with Porsche since the 1950s, shaping the C-pillar on the original 911. How old is that guy, anyway? Even a design touch as basic as the air grille is a remnant of previous generations, since the new 911 no longer needs one: the engine is now water cooled.

Still mounted behind the rear axle, the new engine is otherwise different in every way. The 3.4-liter flat-six double-overhead-cam motor puts out 296 horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque, and its new cooling system helps optimize power all over the rev range. The improved suspension is derived from the 928, and it's designed to protect the car from oversteer while cornering at the limit. Huge brake rotors and GT1-inspired monobloc calipers make slowing down even easier than accelerating.

The 1999 911 is wider than the previous car to compensate for the widened track. It's longer than the previous car, allowing for a more steeply raked windshield and better aerodynamics; the 911 now slips through the wind tunnel with a .30 coefficient of drag. The extra length also allows for a longer wheelbase that improves handling and traction while allowing engineers to design a more spacious interior.

While we love to row the gears the old-fashioned way, even the automatic transmission is perfectly acceptable in this car. Porsche's Tiptronic S is a five-speed automatic with steering-wheel mounted Formula-One-style paddle shifters. Push either button up or down, and the transmission changes gears accordingly, in about the time it takes to bat an eye. The Tiptronic is fool-proof, not allowing the performance junkie behind the wheel to downshift into redline, and upshifting just when you've forgotten what redline means.

Slowly rolling out new variants, the 911 started its 1999 production run early on as a coupe, but the 911 Cabriolet emerged soon thereafter. The Cabriolet features a top that opens or closes in 20 seconds, and a removable aluminum hard top is standard. The 911 Carrera 4 permanent four-wheel drive model begins its production in October 1998, and features a new variable power system, available Tiptronic transmission, distinct wheel design, and a new stability control system to keep the rear end from sliding out.

What's not to like? Critics will complain that the new 911 looks too much like the not-so-serious Boxster, and we see their point. Several components are shared between Porsche's two-car lineup in an effort to reduce costs and improve future development for all Porsche cars (including front fascia, rear taillights and several interior components). But make no mistake: the new 911 is the most advanced car Porsche has ever built, and it's one of the best sports cars in the world.

1999 Highlights

Everything just got better with the totally redesigned 1999 Porsche 911, internally named the 996. The 911 Coupe, Cabriolet and Carrera 4 (available as either a coupe or cabrio) are all available for the 1999 model year.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Porsche 911.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

1999 Carrera
David,12/02/2008
I have owned many Porsches, including a factory Slant-nose turbo and a 930. I have also owned 3 Ferraris (a 250 GT, a Lusso, a 330GTC). I have driven many other fine and classic sports cars including XK-Es, Alfas,Maseratis. I have owned my 1999 Carrera convertible since new. For many years it was a third car, but since the kids are older and I don't need to drive them all over town as much any more it has been my daily driver for the last two years. While newer Carreras are prettier and slightly faster, this Porsche has been the best and most reliable sports car that I've ever owned. While Ferraris are great, they are a maintenance headache; they break! (don't let anybody tell you differently
1999 911C2 Cab
JD,01/13/2007
Overall my 1999 911 C2 cab is awesome. It is a second car for me. I just drive it on nice days. This is the best overall performing sports car I have ever driven when you factor, handling, speed, performance, and not to mention style. You can buy a warranty form your local Porsche dealer for about $2,500 for four years / 48,000 miles. It is well worth the money as the dealer is not cheap and don't trust local mechanics to work on this machine.
Lovely sports car with a major engineering fault
george morrissette,01/06/2018
Carrera 2dr Convertible
The Achilles Heel of this great car (1999 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 cabriolet . 6 speed manual and black on black) is the IMS problem coupled with leakage of the rear main seal .. I f the IMS has been retro-fitted with an aftermarket kit (barrel rollers and an oil conduit instead of the original poorly wearing and poorly lubricated ball bearings which can cause a timing problem and catastrophic engine failure). the timing chains and timing chain adjusters are in good working order and rear main seal is not leaking or has been recently changed ,you should have a virtually trouble free car and probably at a greatly discounted price..I recommend this car but with those reservations . This car performs , steers and handles like a dream since I addressed those problems ( it wasn't cheap to do but worth it ). Happy shopping! ...George Update July 2018...No new problems ..The car performs 100%. Love It !! George Update July 2019 ..so far no new problems as the car runs like a charm on 93 Octane. Resale value remains poor but makes this model a real bargain. Got rid of the fried egg headlight look with black 3 M "eyelid" appliques that makes it look like a 997. You can find them on Amazon. George
Love This Car
First Porsche,11/02/2010
This was the first Porsche that I have owned and would buy another one in a second. I have have had no issues with the Porsche and found it to be extremely reliable and problem free.

Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
6-speed manual
Gas
296 hp @ 6800 rpm
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 0
6-speed manual
Gas
296 hp @ 6800 rpm
See all Used 1999 Porsche 911 features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1999 Porsche 911

Used 1999 Porsche 911 Overview

The Used 1999 Porsche 911 is offered in the following submodels: 911 Coupe, 911 Convertible. Available styles include Carrera 4 2dr Coupe AWD, Carrera 2dr Convertible, Carrera 4 2dr Convertible AWD, and Carrera 2dr Coupe.

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 Porsche 911?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Porsche lease specials
Check out Porsche 911 lease specials