what is an 'early' 3.4 996?

what is an 'early' 3.4 996?

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Discussion

Filibuster

1,846 posts

182 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
Scho said:
Lads, with all due respect you are tripping if you think a 996 c2 is better looking and a 993 c2.

That’s coming from a 996 fan!
I really do think the 996.1 C2 is the better looking car than the 993 C2.

ooid

2,591 posts

67 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
Filibuster said:
Scho said:
Lads, with all due respect you are tripping if you think a 996 c2 is better looking and a 993 c2.

That’s coming from a 996 fan!
I really do think the 996.1 C2 is the better looking car than the 993 C2.
Sorry gents, Scho has a point. 993 is a timeless/classic design. The side view of 996 is like a horribly deformed blobby 90s CAD model of a 993 template.




I would not spend anything over 35k on a 993c2 though, that's another story about crazy values... hehe

Filibuster

1,846 posts

182 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all




Well, there is no right or wrong answer. The 993 is the last evolution of the original design, with modern touches added.
The 996 on the other hand is the first iteration of the modern 911 design (996-991; 992 is already too far away from the 996).

To my eyes, the 996.1 (personally I don't like the 996.2 headlights) is the better design than the 993.



ETA
3/4 rear view for comparison

Edited by Filibuster on Tuesday 8th June 11:24

shalmaneser

4,833 posts

162 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
ooid said:
Filibuster said:
Scho said:
Lads, with all due respect you are tripping if you think a 996 c2 is better looking and a 993 c2.

That’s coming from a 996 fan!
I really do think the 996.1 C2 is the better looking car than the 993 C2.
Sorry gents, Scho has a point. 993 is a timeless/classic design. The side view of 996 is like a horribly deformed blobby 90s CAD model of a 993 template.




I would not spend anything over 35k on a 993c2 though, that's another story about crazy values... hehe
For me there is just too much front overhang on the 996 to really make it good looking. The lights I think are starting to look good but if the front wheels could have been pushed forwards 100mm...

GR_TVR

586 posts

51 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
It's all just opinions at the end of the day.

For what it's worth, to my eyes the 993 is the "worst" looking of all the 911's. But the 996 takes second place, and that's from someone who owns one.

nunpuncher

2,272 posts

92 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
Scho said:
Lads, with all due respect you are tripping if you think a 996 c2 is better looking and a 993 c2.

That’s coming from a 996 fan!

Edited by Scho on Tuesday 8th June 06:59
Better looking, prettier etc probably isn't the correct term. To me the 993 is the least cohesive 911 design.

The front wings in particular put my teeth on edge. They look like they were designed to house the 996 headlights then they realised they didn't have the money for the tooling. The wing is a very odd shape that sits uncomfortably with the front edge shut line of the bonnet. The rear shoulder line is too low compared to the more sloped (than the 964) front making it look bent in the middle (the lower rear works on the older cars as the front is more upright at an angle similar to the a pillar giving it a swept back look).

It's just such a compromised unresolved design to my eyes. It's like they started at the front designing an all new 911 then by the A pillar the accountants told them they had to use as much 964 as possible. I just see something a bit off from every angle.

ooid

2,591 posts

67 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
They lost the "compact" look of 911 with 996. You could see the evolution here clearly, with 997 they tried to clean the front mess but overall since than 911 lost its "compact" look, and got fatter and blobbier.



993 styling is neat, and follows what's underneath properly.


ferrisbueller

26,676 posts

194 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
The 993 is possibly peak 911 for me (in terms of appearance of standard offerings). A friend had a red 993 RS which still weakens the knees many years after he sold it on. Another recently sold his 993 C2 simply because the numbers involved were too good to refuse. He built half a house with the proceeds. I am doubtful that I will ever own any 993!

Dammit

3,676 posts

175 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
ooid said:
They lost the "compact" look of 911 with 996. You could see the evolution here clearly, with 997 they tried to clean the front mess but overall since than 911 lost its "compact" look, and got fatter and blobbier.
Have to say I disagree with this - the design direction is clear from G-series to 964, to 993 and then 996.

Each iteration was an evolution of what had gone before, starting from totally separate lights:



The 964 saw the design team arranging what had been separate in the G-series into a row beneath the main circular light:



Then the 993 updated to (more) modern lights but kept what was essentially the same design:



Which leads to the final evolution of what had started with the 964 when the row of lights that had been in the bumper were integrated with the main headlight, and by moving that strip up from where it had been in the bumper there was room for the air-intakes required by the new radiators:



Then Porsche totally lost their nerve and ran straight back to the 993 design - reversing the design direction that they had been following and descending into the realms of pastiche:



So saying the 997 is cleaning the front up is, I submit, an observation that is 180 degrees from what we can see when we look at the pictures above.



Filibuster

1,846 posts

182 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all

As a side note: I love this thread!!!

ooid

2,591 posts

67 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
The fried egg situation is there, and it is pretty awkward to be honest, and I meant mostly about lights and front, and geometry is quite messy comparing to Air-cooled models.



It's just they did not have proper resources to pull this through (even though they had developed 959 previously). The main designer of 996/986 mentioned this too, just posted below. It was a massive cost-cutting experiment model. They are great value at the moment for what they can offer but styling and mechanical credence can't compete with 993 imho.

"...Back in the days in the early 90s in Weissach, it was nothing but dark and clowdy days as the 986/996 came to being.. in such a finacial meltdown inside Porsche..a couple of my designers had to be sent home dispite voluntarily offering my salary cut. It wasn´t about a choice of doing the 996 as it is, it was a daily struggle especially with the controlling which was equivalent to bean-counter, the design of the initial 996 wasn´t even allowed to have any moving spoiler, because there was just not enough budget in its development, amidst many other minor downside conditions which could be summed up as a very design-hostile environment. Nobody really care and nobody wanted to know once the 996 was launched ...fast forward to what I wanted to say here, it was about creating the maximum bang for the buck the company was spending as it was our last bullet..." - Pinky Lai

Filibuster

1,846 posts

182 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
Dammit said:
Have to say I disagree with this - the design direction is clear from G-series to 964, to 993 and then 996.

Each iteration was an evolution of what had gone before, starting from totally separate lights:



The 964 saw the design team arranging what had been separate in the G-series into a row beneath the main circular light:



Then the 993 updated to (more) modern lights but kept what was essentially the same design:



Which leads to the final evolution of what had started with the 964 when the row of lights that had been in the bumper were integrated with the main headlight, and by moving that strip up from where it had been in the bumper there was room for the air-intakes required by the new radiators:



Then Porsche totally lost their nerve and ran straight back to the 993 design - reversing the design direction that they had been following and descending into the realms of pastiche:



So saying the 997 is cleaning the front up is, I submit, an observation that is 180 degrees from what we can see when we look at the pictures above.
For me, what the 997 did really well and the 993 really struggles, is the area where the bumper, the front wings and the bonnet meet.

The 993 has a straight hood (like the classic short nose 911 - 964 and now the 992) but rounded off edges of front wing. This never seems right with me.
On the other hand, the 997 (basically a 996 with styling clues from the 993) has a rounded off bonnet and sharp edged front wings. To my eyes this is much more pleasing. The 992 is again an evolution of the classic edged bonnet, but without no rounded wings, much like the pre-993 911's.

BTW, I really hate when JC and others claim Porsche designers to be lazy. There are so many details and interpretations to the design of a 911. Sometimes they try something new and abandon it afterwards, only to take it back newly interpreted a generation later.

Dammit

3,676 posts

175 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
@Ooid - you've got the 996.2 "surrender" headlights in there, rather than the 996.1, and I think there's a big difference between them in terms of design coherence. I absolutely accept that Porsche head close to no money in the run up too the launch of the 996 - but good design is no more expensive than bad design, and vice versa. The 996.1 lights take the headlight and wing shape of the 993 and use it to integrate all the required lights, *and* make the assembly a single item that could be installed in seconds, saving vital time on the production line.

You could argue that the 997's problems, design wise, stem from Porsche having money again and losing the focus that resulted in the 996.1.

jonny996

2,332 posts

184 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
who would have thought 2-3 years ago that we would be discussing the merits of the 996 looking better than the 993 in 2021!
The simple lines of the 996 are starting to shine

monthefish

19,906 posts

198 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
Scho said:
Lads, with all due respect you are tripping if you think a 996 c2 is better looking and a 993 c2.

Pointless discussion is pointless. Entirely subjective.

Filibuster

1,846 posts

182 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
monthefish said:
Scho said:
Lads, with all due respect you are tripping if you think a 996 c2 is better looking and a 993 c2.
Pointless discussion is pointless. Entirely subjective.
While you are right that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the discussion is far from pointless. It is rather interesting going into the finer details of the differences and evolution of one of the most iconic design object in recent history!

nunpuncher

2,272 posts

92 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
ooid said:
The fried egg situation is there, and it is pretty awkward to be honest, and I meant mostly about lights and front, and geometry is quite messy comparing to Air-cooled models.



It's just they did not have proper resources to pull this through (even though they had developed 959 previously). The main designer of 996/986 mentioned this too, just posted below. It was a massive cost-cutting experiment model. They are great value at the moment for what they can offer but styling and mechanical credence can't compete with 993 imho.

"...Back in the days in the early 90s in Weissach, it was nothing but dark and clowdy days as the 986/996 came to being.. in such a finacial meltdown inside Porsche..a couple of my designers had to be sent home dispite voluntarily offering my salary cut. It wasn´t about a choice of doing the 996 as it is, it was a daily struggle especially with the controlling which was equivalent to bean-counter, the design of the initial 996 wasn´t even allowed to have any moving spoiler, because there was just not enough budget in its development, amidst many other minor downside conditions which could be summed up as a very design-hostile environment. Nobody really care and nobody wanted to know once the 996 was launched ...fast forward to what I wanted to say here, it was about creating the maximum bang for the buck the company was spending as it was our last bullet..." - Pinky Lai
You've completely misunderstood that statement and read your own justification in to it.

Speaking as someone who has worked as a professional product designer for more than 25 years I can confidently say that ALL designs are a compromise between form, function and cost as Pinky Lai says. It is unheard of in the industry for a designer to be told "there is no budget".

The 996 headlight units and indeed many parts of the 996 design were a product of trying to increase manufacturing efficiency and reduce production costs while increasing profitability. I don't think anyone would argue it's a product of cost cutting. They may not be aesthetically pleasing to many but they are a very clever piece of product design. A single light unit that houses all necessary lights. It can be removed as a whole using a single tool which allows replacement of any and all bulbs in minutes. Even today there are few cars that have a more easily serviceable light unit. It may not be a beautiful design but it's certainly a very clever one.

As for your comments about "geometry" and "messy" front ends. Design is definitely subjective but again, as a professional designer I would find it impossible to build a rationale for how any other generation headlight is better integrated into the car as a complete element of the design than the 996.1 headlight (not the .2 shown above). Just look at how the line of the front bumper cover follows from the wheel arch separating the indicator from the upper light then flows directly into the bonnet shut line. Contrast that to how nothing at all lines up on the 993, 997 and 991. They are visually jarring once you pay attention to these lines.

nunpuncher

2,272 posts

92 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
Filibuster said:
Sometimes they try something new and abandon it afterwards, only to take it back newly interpreted a generation later.
I find it interesting when you look at the evolution of Boxster/Cayman, Cayenne, and Panamera headlights. Even today they are more like a softened version of the original 996 headlights. More like a triangle with large radius corners than the now stretched oval 911 headlights. I don't believe this is because they are protecting the 911 identity. Its simply a more effective and efficient shape for a headlight.

Pinky got it right.

Filibuster

1,846 posts

182 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
nunpuncher said:
ooid said:
The fried egg situation is there, and it is pretty awkward to be honest, and I meant mostly about lights and front, and geometry is quite messy comparing to Air-cooled models.



It's just they did not have proper resources to pull this through (even though they had developed 959 previously). The main designer of 996/986 mentioned this too, just posted below. It was a massive cost-cutting experiment model. They are great value at the moment for what they can offer but styling and mechanical credence can't compete with 993 imho.

"...Back in the days in the early 90s in Weissach, it was nothing but dark and clowdy days as the 986/996 came to being.. in such a finacial meltdown inside Porsche..a couple of my designers had to be sent home dispite voluntarily offering my salary cut. It wasn´t about a choice of doing the 996 as it is, it was a daily struggle especially with the controlling which was equivalent to bean-counter, the design of the initial 996 wasn´t even allowed to have any moving spoiler, because there was just not enough budget in its development, amidst many other minor downside conditions which could be summed up as a very design-hostile environment. Nobody really care and nobody wanted to know once the 996 was launched ...fast forward to what I wanted to say here, it was about creating the maximum bang for the buck the company was spending as it was our last bullet..." - Pinky Lai
You've completely misunderstood that statement and read your own justification in to it.

Speaking as someone who has worked as a professional product designer for more than 25 years I can confidently say that ALL designs are a compromise between form, function and cost as Pinky Lai says. It is unheard of in the industry for a designer to be told "there is no budget".

The 996 headlight units and indeed many parts of the 996 design were a product of trying to increase manufacturing efficiency and reduce production costs while increasing profitability. I don't think anyone would argue it's a product of cost cutting. They may not be aesthetically pleasing to many but they are a very clever piece of product design. A single light unit that houses all necessary lights. It can be removed as a whole using a single tool which allows replacement of any and all bulbs in minutes. Even today there are few cars that have a more easily serviceable light unit. It may not be a beautiful design but it's certainly a very clever one.

As for your comments about "geometry" and "messy" front ends. Design is definitely subjective but again, as a professional designer I would find it impossible to build a rationale for how any other generation headlight is better integrated into the car as a complete element of the design than the 996.1 headlight (not the .2 shown above). Just look at how the line of the front bumper cover follows from the wheel arch separating the indicator from the upper light then flows directly into the bonnet shut line. Contrast that to how nothing at all lines up on the 993, 997 and 991. They are visually jarring once you pay attention to these lines.
Harm, is it you??

I loosely remember reading something very similar from Lagaay, regarding the design of the front lights. And you are absolutely right. It is a very coherent design. (as you say, the 996.1 is!)

ferrisbueller

26,676 posts

194 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
I assume if there hadn't been the budget for the moving wing, it would have a fixed one. They could have bunged a ducktail on it from the factory.