The most hated 911 generation may have some hidden potential.
Here is a quick rundown of the 996 generation of the 911. The 996 was sold from 1999 to 2005. The generation was the successor to the much loved 993. Unfortunately for Porsche, the 996 had difficulties living up to the standard that the 993 set. Diehard Porsche fans were outraged that the company was ditching the classic, air-cooled engine for a water-cooled design; the decision was made in order to meet stricter guidelines for emissions and noise regulations as well as a higher expectation for performance.
Porsche fans were also disappointed by the oddly shaped headlights that are still the only non-circular units to ever be put on the 911. The inherent hatred from Porsche fanatics and catastrophic IMS issue make this generation of the 911 by far the cheapest on the market today. Even the powerful Turbo model is quite affordable. This is where the 996 generation can be redeemed in the future. Other generations of the 911 Turbo have skyrocketed. The 930, 964, and 993 generation Turbos are now worth a ton of money. However, this crazy appreciation has not yet affected the 996 generation of cars. Prices range from the high $60,000 range for a perfect example, to just under $40,000 for one with some miles on the odometer (around 60,000).
This makes the car a substantial deal at the moment. When you realize that you are getting a twin-turbocharged Porsche with over 400 horsepower for the same price as a base BMW 328i, the 911 Turbo starts to make sense. Although the 996 Turbo's interior seems incredibly basic by today's standards, the lack of technology may actually help this car's value in the long run. Think about the last time you tried to use a computer that was made in 2001; it is completely out of date. The 996 911 had a very basic interior, which means you won't have to deal with completely antiquated infotainment when you drive your car. Fortunately, the performance technology found in this car is far from ancient. The 996 Turbo is incredibly fast even by today's standards.
With the six-speed manual transmission (which is the one you should buy), the 911 Turbo could hit 60 mph in just four seconds and had a top speed of 190 mph. Can you think of many other cars that are THAT fast for less than $40,000? The 996 Turbo also featured a different engine design than other 996 911s and did not suffer from the IMS issue. Although the 415 horsepower of the 996 is less than the modern day Carrera S, it costs less than half of the 2016 model's base price of $103,400. For a car that once had a starting MSRP of $152,095, it is staggering that they are now available for less than the price of a sport sedan with no options. Once you buy this car, you can laugh at the poor fellow who actually paid that price when it was new.
The headlights may be odd, but we think that will actually help the value of this car long term. The automotive world is full of cars that were thought to be ugly when they were new, but appreciated over time. This 911 generation may surprise a lot of people when the special models like the GT3, GT2, and Turbo are no longer affordable. No one thought the 964 generation would ever appreciate, and now those same people question the 996. If you can buy any of the special 996 generation cars, know that your money is going into a good investment!