Tina – 1996 Porsche 911 4S Coupé (993)
The last of the air-cooled Porsches, the 993 generation of the iconic 911 is seen by some hardcore Porsche purists as the last truly great model in its long lineage. Launched at the end of 1993, it was the third all-new 911 in the history of the Zuffenhausen sports car maker, albeit it did feature some carryover parts from the 964 generation.
It was under the body shell where most of the novelties resided, with the model featuring a revised flat-six engine lineup and an entirely new suspension that worked to reduce much of the snap-oversteer tendencies of its predecessors.
Even though the base six-cylinder boxer mill was pretty much kept from the 964 and it was in many ways based on the original 2.0-liter from the 901 model back in 1963, the last air-cooled Porsche engine did feature a number of improvements. The biggest novelties consisted of an all-new engine control unit and a dual-flow exhaust system that now came with two catalytic converters instead of only one on the 964. For the first time ever, the 911 (993) came with a six-speed manual transmission as standard.
Tina is a 1996 Porsche 4S Coupé producing 285 horsepower sent to an all-wheel-drive system being a simplified version of the one found in the 959 supercar.
Countless writers have waxed poetic on the peculiarities of old 911s, but you can’t appreciate just how weird these cars are until you’ve driven one. Your first time is sensory overload. Rounding a corner and realizing all of the weight is behind you. Feeling the übercommunicative steering. Adapting to a windshield that’s inches from your nose, an ignition mounted on the left, and pedals hinged at the floor (like its ancestor the 356), all of which are archaic yet somehow awesome.
That’s a good description of old Porsches, actually. Archaic yet somehow awesome. Because. Air-cooled.
We know it was made for much nobler (and faster) things, but the 993 is really a terrific little urban runabout. It’s tiny, easy to see out of, fast, and feels tough as nails. Like wearing a watch whose depth rating is overkill for sitting at a desk, the Porsche’s “density”, substance, and ability make the most mundane tasks feel just a little bit special.