Auction Pick of the Week: 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo Tiptronic
The Porsche 911 Turbo has long been a member of the sports car pantheon. In the ’70s, original Turbo gained legendary status thanks to its turbocharged flat-six engine, which provided immense thrust. As of 2023, most generations of 911 Turbo have seen a strong uptick in value. But the 996-chassis cars (2001–2005) have lurked under the collector radar until only recently, and they are still performance bargains.
If you want the turbocharged Porsche experience on a budget, check out our Hagerty Marketplace auction pick of the week, a 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo Tiptronic offered at no reserve.
In 1997, Porsche introduced the 996 generation of its 911 sports car. This was the first iteration to receive a new chassis platform since the original, which debuted in 1972, and the first to cool its engine with water, not air. Purists weren’t sure what to make of the new headlights or the water-cooled engine, but the more open-minded commended the Porsche designers for trying something new.
The Turbo made its return in 2001, sporting a unique water-cooled engine derived from that of the 911 GT1 race cars. Known as the Mezger, the 3.6-liter flat-six engine produces 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque with the aid of two turbochargers. Because it was based on a racing engine, the Mezger has a reputation for being stout, and it wasn’t plagued with the issues of regular 996 engines. The Turbo’s sophisticated all-wheel-drive system is adept at putting the power down. This generation of 911s received a minor mid-model refresh in 2002, and these cars—like our pick of the week—are known as 996.2s.
Yes, Tiptronic means automatic, but the Mercedes-sourced transmission found in the 996 Turbo is a smooth shifter that will listen to your commands via steering wheel–mounted buttons. The Tiptronic Turbos are actually faster than the manual cars by a tenth of a second. Car and Driver reported a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.2 seconds for the Turbo Tiptronic in a period magazine test. Plus if you live in an area with heavy traffic, or your left knee isn’t what it used to be, the lack of a clutch pedal could make your commute easier.
Our feature car is a clean, black-on-black 996.2 that has seen a little over 135,000 miles. The car is mostly stock, but it has a handful of tasteful modifications like 19-inch BBS wheels and Bilstein PSS10 coilovers. With that many miles, the car has some expected wear and tear to the driver’s side bolster and kick plate. Also, please note that Carfax identifies a “Damage Report” on February 1, 2009. Additional comments from Carfax indicate that there was damage to the right front and that the airbags did not deploy.
To quote Car and Driver‘s review of the car, “Just put it in ‘D’ and off you go—as fast as you dare.” If that gets your blood pumping, give this 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo a look. Bidding ends Thursday, February 2, at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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My personal experience with the tiptronic on a 996 era Carrera S was it worked just great. Car was still very fun to drive.