In 1999, Porsche unveiled the first clean-sheet 911 since inception. To go with the new look, this 996 generation featured a water-cooled flat-6 for the first time. Along with upsetting Porsche air-cooled purists, the new motor had teething issues in the form of a failure-prone IMS bearing. However, the Turbo variant that landed in 2001 had no such problems. Sporting a competition-bred Mezger mill with dry-sump lubrication and beefed up internals, the 996 Turbo is a base 911 on steroids.
The cabriolet arrived in 2003 with a power-operated top that could be dropped in about 20 seconds, giving owners one of the fastest, most satisfying wind-in-the-hair sports cars on the market. Like the Turbo coupe, it features the broad rear haunches, fender intakes and 959-esque rear vents that give away its tremendous performance.
Metrics like the quarter-mile in about 12 seconds and a nearly 190 mph top speed are no less impressive today than they were 20 years ago, but this car is about more than just pure power. Rally legend and Porsche aficionado Walter Röhrl summed this sentiment up in 2020 when he said, “…it’s still a very fast sports car that is completely suitable for everyday driving.”