There have been several questions posted on Pistonheads and 911 forums recently querying what their first Porsche 911 should be with a <£30k budget. Continue reading 997 Carrera S or 996 Turbo – Fight
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.
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.
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).
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.
1st stop Chateau Grand Barrail, Saint-Emilion
2nd stop Le Manoir Les Minimes, Amboise
Convertible provided more picnic space than a Turbo or GT spoiler.
Leonardo Di Vinci exhibition at Chateau du 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.
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.
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.
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.
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