Despite values changing on an almost monthly basis in the current market, there are still ways to experience the magic of the Porsche 911 without substantial investment. The answer for many buyers is a 996 or Gen1 997 fitted with the M96 and M97 engine respectively, yet while these cars offer terrific performance for the money, there’s also plenty of extra potential just waiting to be unlocked.
And no matter which aspect of your car you’d like to improve, there’s an absolute wealth of choice out there. It needn’t be a prohibitively expensive exercise, either; whether you’re looking to spend a few hundred or a few thousand pounds, you can make changes and adjustments to the engine, exhaust, brakes, and suspension that will transform the way your cherished Porsche 911 drives.
Here’s our top ten countdown of must-do modifications in no particular order, as advised by some of the industry’s leading specialists – such as Autofarm’s Mikey Wastie, RPM Technik’s Darren Anderson and Pete Twyman at Paragon Porsche – to help you get the most from your 996 or Gen1 997 Carrera.
The way that you interact with your Neunelfer is just as important as its outright performance, and while the gear change of a 996/997 is slick and accurate, there’s always room for improvement. A short-shift kit can transform the feel of every ratio swap and the DesignTek item in particular is a direct, bolt-on replacement for your 996 or Gen1 997.
Manufactured from stainless steel and aluminium, the short-shift kit includes all the clips and bushings you’ll need and fitment is a DIY task. Careful counterbalancing ensures the ultimate in slick shifts, and you can retain the standard gear knob, too. This is a cheap way to improve driving satisfaction.
Improves: Gear changes
Cost: From £138.50 (Design 911)
We’re big fans of RPM Technik’s CSR products, and swapping your car’s standard flywheel and clutch for their lightweight items will really change its character. Available for both 996 and Gen1 997 models, you’ll quickly notice the engine’s improved eagerness to rev and “heel-and- toe downshifts are sublime”, according to RPM Technik’s Darren Anderson.
It comes as a complete kit with custom friction plate, pressure plate, release bearing and flywheel bolts. They do recommend using a clutch friction plate with a sprung hub, though; the lightweight flywheel can be fitted without it but the upgraded item will help minimise any chatter at idle. Having the parts fitted to your 996 will cost £2,128 including VAT, and just over £2,200 for a 997.
Improves: Heel-and-toe gear changes
Cost: £1,540 (parts without fitting)