The 993 was much improved over and quite different from its predecessor. According to Porsche, every part of the car was designed from the ground up, including the engine and only 20% of its parts were carried over from the previous generation. Porsche refers to the 993 as "a significant advance, not just from a technical, but also a visual perspective." Porsche's engineers devised a new light-alloy subframe with coil and wishbone suspension (an all-new multi-link system, Weissach axle), putting behind the previous lift-off oversteer and making significant progress with the engine and handling, creating a more civilised car overall and providing an improved driving experience. The 993 was also the first 911 to receive a six-speed transmission.
The 993 had several variants, like its predecessors, varying in body style, engines, drivetrains, and included equipment. Power was increased by the addition of the VarioRam system, particularly in the midranges, and also resulted in more throttle noise at higher revolutions; as a consequence, it resulted in a 15% increase in power over its predecessor.
The external design of the Porsche 993, penned by English designer Tony Hatter, retained the basic body shell architecture of the 964 and other earlier 911 models, but with revised exterior panels, with much more flared wheel arches, a smoother front and rear bumper design, an enlarged retractable rear wing, and teardrop mirrors.
It was equipped with the naturally aspirated 3.6-liter M64 engine, further developed from the 964, and combined with a new dual-flow exhaust system now incorporating two catalytic converters. The 993 Carrera originally was equipped with orange turn indicators on the front, side, and rear, black brake callipers, black Carrera logo on the rear, and 16-inch alloy wheels with black Porsche logos on the centre wheel caps. The 1994 coupé version had a curb weight of 1,370 kg (3,020 lb) (basic unladen weight of 1,270 kg (2,800 lb)). This model's ground clearance was 110 mm, except for the US version, which had a ground clearance of 120 mm. This was further lowered with the M030 sport chassis option to 90 mm. The coupé is the stiffest, tightest, most solid, yet lightest of the 993 models.