Category Archives: Porsche

Porsche Experience Center – 991 Carrera 4

Attended the 991 Carrera 4 event at Silverstone today. First visit to the Porsche Experience Center and very impressed. Compared to the MB World in Brooklands it is much smaller, however it is also personal with more exciting driving facilities and a wider track allowing for overtaking. Richard Attwood was present, however I did need to look him up.

991 Cabriolet

The purpose of the day was to compare the C4 991 against the C2 in poor conditions. Cars ranged from C2-C4S with PDK or 7 speed manual. My first car was a gold C2S with PDK, sports exhaust and all the options.

The handling circuit was predominantly a 3rd gear track for me but the main differences I noticed to my 997 C2S were less understeer and better cornering, amazing exhaust noise, which I actually preferred the sports exhaust turned off. The crackles and burbles were fantastic.


Onto the low friction areas including the kick out plate. Couldn’t tell the difference between stability on and off in the C2S but the car felt like it went 90 degrees before correction – great fun. The accelerating up a slope however had vast differences using the driver aids. Without, I was slowly moving backwards down the hill.

Porsche Circuit

Onto the C4S with sports exhaust, 7 speed manual but no electric/heated seats and generally lighter specified. I found this car much more involving to drive on the handling circuit but this was mainly due to the manual box and heavier steering. According to the instructor, you can request extra assisted steering that was present in the C2S I drove previously.

The exhaust sounded better even in my preferred off position and the mechanical traction was evident on the low friction slope and kick out plate. Both cars on summer tyres however the angles on the kick out plate couldn’t have been more than 20-30 degrees and you actually feel the front wheels pulling you back into check.

Personally I didn’t enjoy the feeling of the driven front wheels in a 911 scrabbling for grip and pulling the car straight. I’d compare this to the feeling of accelerating hard in an over powered fwd car.

Driver tuition was spot on and while its not my first track day, it is my first 911 track day. I’d heard the slow in fast out approach but understanding the reasoning made this clearer. Braking before and into the start of the corner keeps the weight on the front wheels, which assists the steering. I usually do all my braking before the corner, maintain power and accelerate while straightening the wheel on exit. This doesn’t work on a 911 and promotes understeer.

So my conclusion and all in my opinion:
991 is a step forward from the 997 in terms of interior luxury, gadgets, engine noise and cornering.
The steering is excellent without the extra assisted steering – I’m not 100% sure that there is this option and it’s not just car related?
Still prefer manual over PDK, although this is around a track where I had some unexpected change downs in the PDK.
No need for the sports exhaust, already sounds amazing.
The manual gear box was much slicker than mine in the 997 and not at all notchy. The engine blips as you change gear to reduce any jurkyness, sounds good also.

My next car:
I’m no longer saving for a 997 GTS, I’d like a speed yellow 991 C2S, manual and that’s all the options I need. Fantastic!

My conclusion on the 911 evolution:
I prefer each revision over the previous (from what I’ve driven).

France Road Trip – 997 Carrera S

It’s 1 year on since the purchase of my 997 and on the realisation that I had only covered 1,476 miles between MOT’s, it’s about time a road trip was booked.

There is now a requirement for high vis and breathalisers along with the usual check list but adjustable head lights for driving on the continent saves one cost at least.

The plan was Guildford to Saint-Emilion via the tunnel taking the quickest route possible and enjoy the back roads on the return journey.

997 Carrera S

1st stop Chateau Grand Barrail, Saint-Emilion
Grand Barrail

2nd stop Le Manoir Les Minimes, Amboise


Convertible provided more picnic space than a Turbo or GT spoiler.

997 Picnic



Leonardo Di Vinci exhibition at Chateau du Clos Luce

Clos Luce

So, a year on with the 997:

Luggage space surprisingly good and the wind deflector kept the cabin quiet at motorway speeds.

Sat Nav never let us down but we did get through the cd changer – ipod/iphone compatibility would make a good addition.

I bought this car for fun, back road blasts and the fact that I’d always wanted a 911. As a long distance cruiser the Panamera would have been much more comfortable but every time we hit a B road I forgot about that.

More details on the 997 Carrera S Cabriolet.

Out – A28, A10 through Le Mans and Tours, 650 miles, 65 euros tolls.
Return – Back roads, 3 night stop in Amboise (Loire Valley), no tolls and nearly 1000 miles but much more enjoyable.
MPG – 26.7 reported with a real mix of driving.

Porsche Panamera

My poorly 911 Carrera S has gone for some major work including a new gearbox and front suspension. However I have a very fancy courtesy car, the Porsche Panamera. Initially I was disappointed to find out it was going to be a diesel but 2 days in, there is no tractor noise on startup even in 2 degrees C. The rev range is as short as you’d expect but with an 8 speed gearbox there is adequate acceleration for such a big car.

Not entirely sold on the Cayenne or Panamera when you think of what Porsche should be i.e. performance sports car manufacturer, but, I do see the point. The Panamera is loaded with tech – 8 speed gear box, Mercedes style electric raising and lowering boot, touch screen navigation, Bose and Bluetooth. Auto lights, wipers, rear view mirror and AC. As you can see from the centre console there is no shortage of buttons and the interior is very luxurious with leather everywhere.

Porsche Panamera

Porsche Panamera

The Panamera is no 911 and is completely different to what I expected, which was a stretched 911 in looks and feel, this is more like a big Mercedes. If I was thinking of a 4 door the 5/7 series, E/S class, Rapide, Quattroporte and Range Rover would be near the top of my list, however a few days with the Panamera and I see the point. This is as luxurious as a Mercedes with the handling of a BMW, a lovely place to be but maybe not to look at.

Engine: 3.0L V6, 250bhp and 550nm
Performance: 0-60 in 6.8 and 150 mph