Category Archives: Porsche

Cayman R and 911 SC Comparison

After supplying OPC Kendal with my fully restored 911 SC for the launch event of the new 991 series 911, the ever helpful Simon Parker offered me the loan of a new Cayman R for the duration and very kindly had the tank brimmed to the top.

911 SC

Now, seeing as I live up in Carlisle, which is around 50 miles away, my car will be away until Wednesday the 14th so I’ve got a bit of time to get to know the car.

The car is black with silver proto stripes and fitted with a rear wing, lightweight 19″ alloys in silver, lightweight bucket seats, sports chrono, sat nav and that’s about it I think.

First impressions? What a car!

For all my air-cooled passions, I’m still a guy who very much appreciates the modern stuff, as I’ve said a few times the Boxster Spyder is probably the best suited car for me that Porsche make today and a lovely looking thing it is. What, with my love of track days and ring trips can the Cayman be even better?

Bringing it home over the A6 the car instantly gives confidence; the road is a mixture of tight and twisty with some epic 4th gear sweepers to really get you in the mood. Over a sharp summit there was plenty of snow around so we weren’t fully on it being 2.5 degrees outside with wet and greasy tarmac, but the wider footprint of the Cayman over the 911 certainly gives it that planted feel.

It’s plenty powerful enough, especially after getting out of a 204bhp 911, it feels pretty light on its feet for a modern car. Coming from the none assisted steering of the 911, that I still haven’t fully gelled with yet, you tend to turn in more than you need! I’m not sure if the sport button alters the power steering as well as the throttle response but it’ll just take a bit of getting used to. The engine note is just sublime! No switchable sports exhaust on this one but unbelievably I don’t think it needs it. Yes I know they tune these things these days opposed to the equally sublime but plainly more mechanical sounding air-cooled engines, but they don’t half make a good job of it.

The lightweight buckets are superb but the misses doesn’t like them, also on pulling up at work a mate who was arriving had a sit in the car. Now Chris is a good 6 foot odd and built like a rugby player but he just couldn’t fit in them and his head was brushing the ceiling. He said it felt like sitting in a go kart, it just wouldn’t do for him at all (he drives an Audi s5 cab). Interesting considering all the internet waffle that says any Cayman R/Spyder/GT3 that doesn’t have the buckets isn’t a real Porsche!

Other negatives? The wing mirrors seem comically huge! They obviously give great rearward vision, surely their point after all, but they create a massive blind spot at front quarter, the steering wheel seems to be way too thick, which reminds me of my old CSL but most annoying is the secondary ride quality with those 19″ wheels. Even on smooth roads the car seems to pitter patter over every tiny imperfection and on local roads I wasn’t even aware that there were any. This was probably exaggerated by the hard cushions of the bucket seats.

Let’s not dwell on the minor imperfections and to be fair every modern car has sprouted massive wing mirrors & wheels these days so it’s a little unfair to single out the Cayman for these.

I’ve got a brand new Porsche I could never realistically afford and 3 full days with the north’s best driving roads. Epic.

Cayman R
Cayman R
Cayman R

Stats (SC figures first):
Engine: 3.0L flat 6, 204bhp. 3.4L, 325 BHP
Performance: 0-60 in 5.7 and 146 mph. 0-60 in 4.7 and 174 mph (Cayman R with PDK)

Porsche 911 Carrera S

After pondering £30k cars for some time now, a change from my usual BMW M3 camp was iminent.

Requirements include hair raisingly fast and exciting through the corners but reliable and well built, a Porsche 911 seemed the way to go! The purchase however, was quite random. Dropping off the M3 to have the rear tyres changes at Guildford tyres, I took a wander to Porsche Centre Guildford while I had an hour to kill. It was this or sit in Frankie and Bennys.

Porsche 911 Carrera S

I took an immediate fancy to an Artic Silver 997 Carrera S Cabriolet with a 6 speed manual, 19’s with 295’s on the rear, iconic red calipers, Bose, NAV and a very swish contrasting dark navy interior and canvas roof. With 35k miles (and the same in £’s), 2 owners and 6 years old, there was not a stone chip, scratch or dent in sight. I kept noticing people walk over and look at the price and take a seat in what I was already calling my car, so a test drive was scheduled in straight away.

Porsche 911 Carrera S

Setting off very gingerley towards the A3 the first thing I noticed was how planted and solid the car felt and I’m coming from an M3, not a floppy Citroen. The peddles, steering and gearbox all required more pressure and there was nearly no body roll. Turning off the A3 onto the country roads towards Clandon the sales guy pushed the suspension button, which hankers down 10mm and firms everything up. From standstill I floored it in 1st, no traction control lights, no slip, just amazing acceleration and a racing car feel. The M3 wouldn’t do this, maybe 295’s are required on all cars or maybe its the weight over the rear. The power just builds and builds and hitting the limiter in 2nd felt odd as the power wasn’t tailing off. The engine and exhaust note is much better than the M3, it sounds like a supercar, it sounds expensive. I can’t imagine what you have to do to get this car to slide as 50mph around a small rounabout didn’t even produce a tyre squeal. If Top Gear give the M3 15/20 in the new car section, surely this is a 19/20. By far the most accomplished car to drive on the roads. Effortless at low speeds, epic at high speeds and corners, buttons to firm up the suspension when required and roof down blasting when it’s not raining. Boot isn’t bad either but don’t think anyone will be sitting behind me.

The main thing I missed about my old Corrado VR6 was the button that made the spoiler go up and down and the 911 has this also.

By far my favourite automotive purchase.

Engine: 3.8L 6 cylinder, 355bhp
Performance: 0-60 in 4.7 and 188 mph
Time owned: 10/2011
Purchase Price: £34,500
Mileage owned: 35,000
Parts/Servicing costs: TBC
Insurance: £890 with 6 year NC

Porsche 911T

During my tour of Southern Germany and attending 125 Years of The Car I was fortunate enough to pilot a Porsche 911 old timer (the German term for classic cars).

Porsche 911T

Porsche 911T

This was one of my favourite parts of the week and very unexpected. The cars in the rally included a Mercedes 280 SL, Alfa Romeo GT Junior, Porsche 911’s and 914. I opted for the 2.0L flat 6, 1968 110 bhp, Porsche 911 in a vintage shade of orange. This featured a dog leg gear box (1st is where you’d expect 2nd) non-assisted brakes and the longest 1st gear I’ve ever used – 50 km/h was about 3000 rpm and made hill starts quite exciting. The model I drove showed 900 km on the clock and was insured for 58k euros so I didn’t want to scratch it. The old timers and their drivers headed on a country road convoy to a very fancy restaurant in the hills. Once arrived, we shared stories of other motorists stopping midway around roundabouts to let us go and countless admirers and waves on the way. These cars might not be fast, luxurious or easy on the driver but they are fabulous never the less. Driving back I knew that you needed 4000 rpm to setoff from a standstill and that you needed to break with the gears and all your force on the pedal. The 911 includes no stereo because Mr Porsche would like you to listen to the engine note but the conversation was good with Germanys finest tour guides.

Porsche 911T

Porsche 914

Porsche 911T, Porsche 914, Mercedes 280SL, Alfa GT Junior

Engine: 2.0 6 cylinder, 110bhp
Performance: 0-60 in 8.3 and 124 mph
Value: 58k Euros insurance value

Ruf Porsche 911 Electric

Well the times are a changing as they say, many a Porsche fan will acknowledge the last proper 911 as the 993 model due to the fact it was air cooled. The 996 isn’t that popular in the styling front with the oversized headlights and numb steering but the 997 seems to have pulled back the majority with the original 911 style lights and some improvements on the handling front. Those of you who like your German tuning companies such as Hamann, Dinan and Ruf will know these are the ultimate in performance upgrades. So why on earth have Ruf produced an electric 997?! The name appears to be something along the lines of eRuf Greenster, Bon Choice…

Walking to Tower Bridge, London on 13/10/09 I was suprised to see a dark green 911 with what looked like a cheap, clear plastic convertible roof pinned in place, German plates and a film crew. After a search on the net I’ve found some more info: –

eRuf Greenster 997

“This isn’t just some farfetched concept as RUF full intends to start selling its electric vehicle as early as next year.

The electric powertrain, called eDrive, was developed by technology company Siemens and consists of an integrated electric motor and generator, electronic control module, and a lithium-ion battery array. In the Greenster, the powertrain is rated at 362hp (270kW) and 700lb-ft (950Nm) of torque and is mated to an automatic gearbox with only forward and reverse gears. The entire vehicles weighs in at 1,695kg and can accelerate to 100km/h from rest in just five seconds. Top speed meanwhile, is a claimed 320km/h.”

Porsche best moments

The latest news I read from Porsche is all to do with their hopes of buying Volkswagen, then getting into too much debt, being refused a loan by the Government and then selling back up to Volkswagen. Not to distract away from their business as a stock broking company, we have seen some real dogs released such as the Panamera and the new Cayenne. Lets try and breath some racing pedigree back into the name and look at the best moments by one of my favourite sports car makers:

911 Turbo (930 LE)

The movie Bad Boys really showed off the perfectly spec’d 964 turbo in black with the Porsche Cup splits. A close competitor to the 930 in terms of Porsche’s finest moments:

911 Turbo (964)

The porsche 968 one of the favoured starts to Porsche track days due to a near 50/50 weight distribution, front engine rear wheel drive layout and exceptional handling escpecially in Club Sport spec. A brief spell of motorsport in a turbo spec club sport brought a very limited run of the 968 turbo:

968 TurboPicture from Carfolio

Ah the Carrera GT:

Carrera GTPicture from Porsche

Let us hope Porsche start producing more cars like these worthy of the bedroom wall poster caliber!