Doing a head-to-head between two incredible Porsches is always hard, especially when discussing the Porsche 964 vs 993. Two incredible cars in their own right that most car enthusiasts would be more than happy to own.
That being said, we will still push them to their limits and see which comes out on top. Because it’s fun, so why not?
This blog post will summarise the Porsche 964 vs 993, compare their speed, power, performance, practicality, value for money, and ultimately decide which is best.
Or, rather, give you all the information so you can decide which you think is best. So, let’s jump right into it together.
Porsche 964 vs 993 – Decision
I think if you look at it objectively, when comparing the Porsche 964 vs 993 and using the criteria we will discuss below, the Porsche 993 is the better car. Maybe it doesn’t look quite as cool, and it isn’t perhaps as iconic.
But it drives better. It’s faster, quicker off the line, more powerful, and surprisingly more often than not, quite a lot cheaper.
Sure, the 964 has a little more legroom, and there is room in the trunk for more than just a briefcase.
And sure, the 964 is more likely to increase in value and could almost be considered an investment. But that doesn’t necessarily make it the best.
The best car is, more often than not, whichever car you prefer. And the only person who knows the answer to that question is you.
Below I have summarized some key points following my interviews with owners of both the 964 and 993.
Being a Porsche owner myself, it allowed me to get some honest personal insights from them, which they probably would not have shared.
Porsche 964 vs 993 Overview:
- 964 launched in 1989, combines modernity and classic elements.
- 993 produced between 1993-1998, last air-cooled 911 model.
Handling and Mechanical Characteristics:
- 964 offers classic handling with a lower limit.
- 964 is preferable for future modifications due to its crankshaft and rods.
- 964 has coilover suspension and torsion bars.
- 993 features a multi-link lightweight rear end.
Performance and Amenities:
- 993 boasts greater initial performance, especially in Varioram versions.
- 993 has modern amenities and upgrades over the 964.
- It is considered safer and less temperamental than the 964.
- 964 produces 247 brake horsepower
- 993 produces 281 brake horsepower
Drive and Feel:
- Some believe the 993 drives better than the 964.
- Others argue that the 964 feels faster due to more maximum torque.
- Mint condition 993s are rare finds.
- Approximately 68,029 units of the 993 model were produced.
A Summary of the Porsche 964
The Porsche 964 has cemented itself as one of the most iconic 911s ever made. For a few reasons. First, the 964 looks simply incredible.
Second, it was one of the first Porsche vehicles to offer all-wheel drive and power steering right from the get-go as standard.
We all take power steering for granted now, but way back when driving was a much different experience. It was hard work but for traditional drivers of sports cars, it was also fun. The 964 came out between 1989 and 1994.
This means the 964 was the first 911 you could argue was easy to drive.
The Porsche 964 can go from 0-60 in around 6 seconds and has a top speed of 162 miles per hour.
This 12-valve, 6-cylinder, 247 brake horsepower, 5-speed manual transmission, and a beast of a motor leaves little to be desired in the engine department.
But that does not mean it doesn’t have it’s problems.
Porsche 964 Problems
Engine and Mechanical Issues:
- Engine oil leaks are common.
- Dual mass flywheel (DMF) failure, especially in early models with the Freudenberg DMF.
- Porsche transitioned to a more reliable LUK-manufactured DMF in 1992.
- The early 964s lacked a seal between the cylinder head and cylinder, leading to potential issues.
- The 964 was the inaugural model to feature Porsche’s Tiptronic gearbox: an automatic with manual control.
Drive System and Control Issues:
- Issues with the four-wheel drive system, specifically the diffs.
- Heater control and rheostat problems.
- Faults in the ABS brake system.
- The bodyshell is prone to severe rot.
- It’s crucial to monitor body condition as neglect can result in expensive repairs.
A Summary of the Porsche 993
The Porsche 993 was the successor to the empire created by the 964, and it carried on the torch admirably. Just as the 964 saw the first instances of all-wheel-drive power steering, the 993 saw the end of air-cooled 911s.
The Porsche 933 is one of the most beloved coupe 911s, and it is not without good reason.
This 12-valve, 6-cylinder powerhouse of an engine is capable of producing 281 brake horsepower as standard and can get from 0-60 miles per hour in just over 5 seconds.
The Porsche 993 has a top speed of about 168 miles per hour, but with some very minor aftermarket modifications, many owners could quickly get that too well into the 180s.
Pretty quick for the mid-90s, right? But before you get excited, you should know there are also some common problems with the 993.
Porsche 993 Problems
Engine and Oil Issues:
- Engine “incontinence”: The main seals and valve covers can leak, and heat exposure can warp the covers.
- Engine can experience oil leaks, excessive oil consumption, and smoking on startup.
- Issues in valve guides, rear tire wear, and control arm bushings.
- Secondary air injection issues in naturally aspirated 993 engines, particularly the OBD-2 1996-98 models.
- Electric window and seat height adjuster motors can malfunction but are typically inexpensive to repair.
Other Mechanical Issues:
- Rear tire wear problems.
- Driver door restraint mechanisms can be problematic.
- Steering rack leaking.
- Creaking windshields.
- The Porsche 993 was the last air-cooled Porsche model.
- Produced from 1993 to 1998.
- Mint condition 993s are rare on the market.
- With proper care and maintenance, a 993 can exceed 100,000 miles.
Porsche 964 vs 993 – Which is faster?
The Porsche 993 is a touch faster purely because it’s newer. That honestly is all it comes down to. While the 964 is by no means slow and can get from 0-60 in 6 seconds with a top speed of 162, the 993 just edges it out slightly.
The few years of mechanical development between the 964 and the 933 allowed the 993 to get an extra 6 miles per hour on its top speed.
But more impressively, it saw about a 15% increase in acceleration off the line, massively reducing its 0-60 time. The 993 is unequivocally faster.
Porsche 964 vs 993 – Which is More Practical?
And most importantly, mid-90s sports cars. That being said, neither is overly impractical. No more so than any other Porsche.
If we want to compare their practicality in the modern day, the winner would have to be the 964. It is slightly more spacious and has a fair amount more room in the trunk. Although, both cars have nearly identical amounts of space in the car.
Neither is the kind of car that gets requests to help people move house, like driving a pickup, but they do okay.
If you want an everyday driver that is more accommodating, the 964 is the best way to go. It might be a little older and a little slower, but the extra storage space makes a slight difference.
Porsche 964 vs 993 – Which is Better Value for Money?
There are kind of two answers to this question. The first is that the better value car is whichever you decide you prefer.
If you prefer the newer 993 and enjoy the extra power and performance you get for your money, then that’s more than fair.
However, you can certainly argue that, objectively, the 964 is a better value for money purely because it is so desirable.
The 964 will continue to increase in value (so long as it is well cared for) because it is already greatly in demand.
And there are very few of them around. There aren’t exactly going to be any more of them, are there?
Conversely, you could also argue that since the 964 is so expensive due to its rarity and visual appeal, you would get more bang for your buck with the 993.
Porsche 964 vs 993 – Final Thoughts
Hopefully, you found this blog post comparing the Porsche 964 vs 993 as entertaining and informative to read as it was to write.
It isn’t really possible to say that any one car is definitively better than any other because better is subjective, and we all have different opinions.
For the most part, I mean we can all agree that a Porsche 964 is better than a three-wheeled-deviant (Reliant Robin). But is it better than a Porsche 933? That’s up to you to decide.
Hopefully, if you were on the fence when deciding one over the other, this article helped make your choice a little easier.
And if you already knew which car you thought was best, we are sure that this blog post will have only solidified your opinion.
As always, thanks for reading, and be sure to check back in with us soon, as we are constantly coming out with new and interesting content. Cheers!
I’m Daniel, the founder of YSM Motors. I’ve been living and breathing cars since I was born and got into the online space when I was 16, writing about cars.
My unique view comes from owning several interesting cars, ranging from a Volkswagen Golf R, BMW M3, and, more recently, my Porsche Spyder. Owning these cars and a few others has allowed me to become close friends with other car enthusiasts giving me insight into rarer and more exotic cars such as Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche GT cars, and more.
I’ve been lucky to experience and maintain such a vast range of exciting cars, and in the process I’ve become close with a few car dealers and high-end workshops, which has allowed me to pick their brains on topics you can’t find info about online.
My eye for detail stems from my full time career as a Business Analyst. This all started when I studied a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Information Systems, leading me into my 13-year career.
After honing my online skills with various projects and immersing myself further into car culture, by 2019, I decided to dedicate myself to YSM Motors in my spare time and purely focus on my passion for cars and everything to do with them.