Porsche 993 Carrera S: end of an era
The letter ‘S’ has a distinctive place in the 911’s legacy unlike any other symbol in the Roman alphabet. First introduced on the charming yet potent (for its day) 911S in 1967, this curving character represented increased speed and increased specialness until it was usurped atop Zuffenhausen’s production sports car tree by the Carrera and Turbo monikers in 1973 and 1974 respectively.
After leaving the line-up altogether in 1977, the 911 range was simplifi ed during the SC and 3.2-litre Carrera years before a proliferation of models entered OPCs during the 964 era.
Yet, despite the release of a Turbo S in 1992, the revered ‘S’ badge was not to return to the decklid of the naturally aspirated 911 until the 993 Carrera 4S was rolled out in 1995.
This Turbo-inspired sports car was by no means the first production 911 to embrace the wide-body philosophy, although it did set out the basic formula that still lives on to this day with the current 991 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S.
However, to find the true spiritual successor to the original 911S that enthralled me so much back in issue 114’s head-to-head feature, Porsche enthusiasts had to wait until 1997.
With the 993 Carrera S, Porsche had created a rear-wheel-drive 911 whose name referenced the range-topping models from the preceding 30 years. Despite the lack of the Turbo’s trick rear suspension or the ‘Big Red’ brake package (both of which made it onto the Carrera 4S), the 993 Carrera S’s massively flared haunches add enough aesthetic appeal to differentiate it from the standard 993 Carrera.
In fact, where the base car can often look flabby and bug-eyed thanks to those swooping, sloping front wings, the extra beef at the S’s rear-end, coupled with the iconic ‘Turbo Twist’ alloys – these ones solid-spoked compared to the Turbo’s hollow originals – provide a visual spectacle, even at standstill.
The optional (yet popular) aerokit on the particular example before you provides yet more muscle, even if an unadorned car is perhaps more appealing for its purity.
To read more on the last air-cooled Porsche 911, including our thoughts behind the wheel, pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 118 in store and online now. Alternatively, for an immediate Zuffenhausen dose, you can download it.