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JohnC

My wheels for the next 3 weeks

I had a 35 mile country road blast bringing this back home last night. I have full use of the car for the next 3 weeks whilst my friend is on holiday, so I intend to do a few longer trips to explore its capabilities a bit more.



First impressions are that performance isn't greatly different to my car although it probably has a bit more go over 6500rpm. However it has plenty of torque to allow a stress free cruise on A roads with only a bit more than 2000rpm showing. The automatic downshifts in Sport mode are great with a blip of the throttle and the manual shifts using the steering wheel levers are extremely swift.

However the dashboard is a nightmare of buttons and all the things I can do from the steering wheel of the BMW, I have to search for a button or a switch which is a bit more difficult than it sounds unless you have studied it well beforehand.

At slow speeds the ride is pretty fidgety but once the speed builds a bit it improves massively with great comfort and control. The car also has massive grip although a small amount of rear end movement could be felt exiting a couple of roundabouts. The steering is heavier than I remember from the last time in a 911 but on the move it feels very connected and the response is immediate with good feedback.

Aural delight is one of this cars biggest trump cards with a really nice bark when the sports exhaust button is pressed. It adds a missing dimension from the experience my car can provide (even though it has a nice growl) and that feeling is heightened when the roof is down. I think you would need to be getting pretty old or just tired of life before you wanted to hear less of that flat 6 howling. The downside of course is that every Policeman for 5 miles around will hear you coming.

Mpg on the way home was a very respectable 24.6mpg but on the way to work this morning through light traffic and a few traffic light stops it was 17mpg.

This car is a 991 Carrera S and the body control (especially the front end bobble) is a massive improvement over the 996 and older 911's I have driven. The 997 was a lot better in this respect but in the 991 I couldn't detect anything I felt was confidence sapping at normal road speeds. This is an altogether better car IMHO than the older versions for fast road progress without some of the unnecessary drama. My worst experience in a 911 was a Carrera2 from around 1993/94 which bounced so much at the front on a fast right hander that I thought we were going to lose all steering contact with the road. More throttle sorted the problem but I felt as though I had no more options if that didn't work: that was not a car to push near the limits on the road.

I will try to post some other comments as I get the miles under the wheels.
Twelfth Monkey

A good friend to have, eh?  Does yours rev to 6,500?
Martin

Lovely car, I have serious want for a 991, even the coupe if it had a sunroof.  Be interesting to hear more about how you get on with it.  What's the buffeting like at motorway speeds, is the electric wind deflector (A good feature) effective?

An all beige interior would be a deal breaker though.
PhilD

Martin wrote:
Lovely car, I have serious want for a 991, even the coupe if it had a sunroof.


Do they do a glass roof?
Martin

You can have either a glass or metal sunroof
JohnC

Martin wrote:
Lovely car, I have serious want for a 991, even the coupe if it had a sunroof.  Be interesting to hear more about how you get on with it.  What's the buffeting like at motorway speeds, is the electric wind deflector (A good feature) effective?

An all beige interior would be a deal breaker though.


The wind deflector is great. You could happily sit on the motorway with the roof down and only get your hair gently ruffled. My friend came to get me last night, we went back to his house and then I drove back to mine. That was over 70 miles with the roof down and not once did I feel I was being buffeted. I didn't get home till about 10pm by which time is was getting a bit cool but with the blowers and heated seat on, I had no inclination to put the roof up.
JohnC

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
A good friend to have, eh?  Does yours rev to 6,500?


No mine will only get to about 5,500 but the only time the Porsche feels as if it has more "go" is once it is over about 6,500. It has a step up at about 5,000 and then another at 6,500 through to the red line at 8,000.
Martin

Sounds similar to the Boxster, which is impressive given it has space behind the seats.  I can talk on the phone without people knowing I've got the roof down up to about 60mph, as long as I switch the exhaust off and keep it under 4,000rpm (as the valves open up at that point when it's off). Heated seats and a good heater mean the roof only needs to be up below 5c and that's more about protecting the roof than being too cold.
Roadsterstu

What a good mate! Enjoy your time with it!
PhilD

JohnC wrote:
Twelfth Monkey wrote:
A good friend to have, eh?  Does yours rev to 6,500?


No mine will only get to about 5,500 but the only time the Porsche feels as if it has more "go" is once it is over about 6,500. It has a step up at about 5,000 and then another at 6,500 through to the red line at 8,000.


Or to put it another way it has more go and you need to remember you are not in a diesel and to use the correct gear!  

Lovely car and good on you for keeping the roof down.
Michael

What a nice friend to have! I love the 911 and I will have one, one day.
PG

Quick. Move house in the next three weeks.......
TreVoR

While I love the 911, I don't think they look quite right in convertible form. Generous friend though!
PhilD

TreVoR wrote:
While I love the 911, I don't think they look quite right in convertible form. Generous friend though!


I kind of agree though the 991 is a lot better than previous models.
Martin

PhilD wrote:
TreVoR wrote:
While I love the 911, I don't think they look quite right in convertible form. Generous friend though!


I kind of agree though the 991 is a lot better than previous models.


+1

The targa would be my preference but they're a bit expensive still
franki68

I think the targa is amongst the very best looking 911s ever.

The engine is a bit flat in the 991s ,you really need to smash the rev limiter to make it go I thought.

Fabulous cars though ,more of a gt now than sportscar though.
Chip Butty

Very trusting friend.

I'd be cacking myself about it being whacked in a car park whilst in my care (I wouldn't bend it, being a driving god and all....).
Nice Guy Eddie

The 3.6 should go well but I've driven a 3.4 with the targa and it needs a bloody good thrashing to get the car to move.

With modern Porsches I'd take a Cayman over the vanilla 911. The GTS was fabulous but its really not a cheap car once a few options are thrown at it.
JohnC

Chip Butty wrote:
Very trusting friend.

I'd be cacking myself about it being whacked in a car park whilst in my care (I wouldn't bend it, being a driving god and all....).


Very trusting friend indeed and I won't be using it for the supermarket run or anywhere I think it might get hit.
Nice Guy Eddie

Great friend, you sure you haven't got a job at Edinburgh Airport as a valet parker? Looks your going to have to do a Ferris Bueller and drive the car everywhere in reverse for the next few weeks to get the mileage back off the car.
Martin

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
The 3.6 should go well but I've driven a 3.4 with the targa and it needs a bloody good thrashing to get the car to move


Slight exaggeration for a sub 5 secs to 60 car, but isn't that a good thing (within reason) for a sports car you want to be able to enjoy in the road?
Nice Guy Eddie

No exaggeration, the Targa adds a significant amount of weight I understand and even the guy at Porsche ran out before I set of and made sure I had all the sport settings turned on. In his words it'll fail to pull the skin off a rice pudding without it. It felt slower than my 911
Martin

I'll strike that off the list then.
Nice Guy Eddie

I wouldn't, just make sure if its a Targa you go for the GTS. Lovely bit of kit
Tim

Nice.

I saw a brown 991 Targa a few weeks ago and thought it looked awful - not the brown as such , more the black wheels, brown paint, silver roll hoop and the grey/black roof.
It was an uncohesive (?) mess.
Martin

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
I wouldn't, just make sure if its a Targa you go for the GTS. Lovely bit of kit


I meant the Targa 4 specifically.  A GTS would be fantastic, but that's way above budget at the moment and will be for a few years at least.
PhilD

911s are now all turbos so I assume the "it's a bit slow" argument has gone away?
JohnC

My weekend thoughts are that there are some aspects of the car I love and some I don't really like.

If I start with the negatives, the steering wheel stalks feel cheap and bendy and are nowhere near as solid as those on the BMW - this is the wrong kind of penny pinching or weight reduction. The ride around town is really quite tiring after a while and I certainly wouldn't want to use it around town on a regular or daily basis unless someone fixes all the crap roads.

On the plus side, I love the way that the seat moves back (electrically) automatically and the steering wheel moves up when you take the key out and are getting out of the car. I love the sound of the engine when you get a chance to extend it a bit and I love the poise and steering feel when pushing on a bit on an A road - this is what the car was designed for and it is really very good at it. The front end is planted and turns in accurately and quickly and if you get on the throttle early, the poise and pace out of a corner is amazing. Once over about 3,500rpm, the engine gives instant power and just piles on the revs but anything more than 2nd and 3rd gear is going to get you in to trouble unless you can find some nicely deserted roads.
Martin

Sounds pretty good overall then.

I'm not sure if it's still he case, but ours has Audi stalks and they're not a highlight, especially the awkward / basic cruise control, but I don't use that very often.  I agree that the steering wheel moving out of the way is a nice little feature, the 5 series has it.

Does is have std PASM or the lowered version?  You can tell by the front spoiler, the lower version has an extra lip.  From what Stuntman has said and what I've read, I'd hoped PASM would turn the low speed ride from surpringly OK, to very good.
JohnC

Martin wrote:
Does is have std PASM or the lowered version?  You can tell by the front spoiler, the lower version has an extra lip.  From what Stuntman has said and what I've read, I'd hoped PASM would turn the low speed ride from surpringly OK, to very good.


I don't have a clue!! The only button I have played with is the sports exhaust but I will have a closer look tonight. Does PASM stay on all the time or is it switchable?
Martin

It's switchable, I assume it starts off in comfort, but don't know.  You need to press the button with the shock absorber on it to the left of the gearstick.  If it doesn't have one then it doesn't have PASM.  Looking at the picture, it has either passive or standard adaptive suspension.
JohnC

It's certainly got the shock absorber button so I will play with that later.
Martin

Have fun!
JohnC

I should add that it is a twat magnet.

I don't think I have had so many small cars (i20 this morning) gluing themselves to the back bumper and driving aggressively when in reality if I put my foot down they would lose instantly. Is this some kind of primeval instinct being awakened in the same way that early man only found out that crocodiles bit when he tried to hit them with a stick?
Boxer6

JohnC wrote:
I should add that it is a twat magnet.

I don't think I have had so many small cars (i20 this morning) gluing themselves to the back bumper and driving aggressively when in reality if I put my foot down they would lose instantly. Is this some kind of primeval instinct being awakened in the same way that early man only found out that crocodiles bit when he tried to hit them with a stick?


Wasn't me guv!!  
Martin

Must be a Scottish thing.  Wee man syndrome?
Twelfth Monkey

It's not just a Scottish thing.
Martin

Of course not (missed the winky face).  But I'm surprised it's that noticeable after just a couple of days.  I expected a bright red convertible, that has the roof down most of the time, to be a real magnet, but it's very rare.  I get way more positive than negative behaviour.
Boxer6

Martin wrote:
Of course not (missed the winky face).  But I'm surprised it's that noticeable after just a couple of days.  I expected a bright red convertible, that has the roof down most of the time, to be a real magnet, but it's very rare.  I get way more positive than negative behaviour.


Maybe it's just that John's uglier than you!    
JohnC

Boxer6 wrote:
Martin wrote:
Of course not (missed the winky face).  But I'm surprised it's that noticeable after just a couple of days.  I expected a bright red convertible, that has the roof down most of the time, to be a real magnet, but it's very rare.  I get way more positive than negative behaviour.


Maybe it's just that John's uglier than you!    


Quite possibly but I have never had so much smiley attention from the daughter of our next door neighbour as I got at the weekend when she arrived to see her Mum and I was washing the Porsche.

For some women I don't think it matters what you look like as long as you have a big fat wallet.
PhilD

Boxer6 wrote:
Martin wrote:
Of course not (missed the winky face).  But I'm surprised it's that noticeable after just a couple of days.  I expected a bright red convertible, that has the roof down most of the time, to be a real magnet, but it's very rare.  I get way more positive than negative behaviour.


Maybe it's just that John's uglier than you!    


Martin neglected to say the attention is from men...
Martin

I wasn't talking about me getting attention!  Lindsay does get some of that unfortunately, a couple of times it has been very uncomfortable.   I meant behaviour from other drivers on the road plus "nice car" comments in petrol stations and when driving through the town.  School kids are particularly enthusiastic.
PhilD

Martin wrote:
I wasn't talking about me getting attention!  Lindsay does get some of that unfortunately, a couple of times it has been very uncomfortable.   I meant behaviour from other drivers on the road plus "nice car" comments in petrol stations and when driving through the town.  School kids are particularly enthusiastic.


I know!

Boxsters aren't going to get the same attention as proper Porsches though are they?
Roadsterstu

PhilD wrote:
Martin wrote:
I wasn't talking about me getting attention!  Lindsay does get some of that unfortunately, a couple of times it has been very uncomfortable.   I meant behaviour from other drivers on the road plus "nice car" comments in petrol stations and when driving through the town.  School kids are particularly enthusiastic.


I know!

Boxsters aren't going to get the same attention as proper Porsches though are they?


Oooh, hark at him!
Martin

I've taken it with the usual helping of salt

He lives in the suburbs so thinks a Cayenne is a proper Porsche.
Roadsterstu



I'm just going to sit back and watch how this pans out.
Michael

Martin wrote:
I've taken it with the usual helping of salt

He lives in the suburbs so thinks a Cayenne is a proper Porsche.


Good comeback.
PhilD

Martin wrote:
I've taken it with the usual helping of salt

He lives in the suburbs so thinks a Cayenne is a proper Porsche.


touché



It's tragic how many Cayennes there are round here. I'm even beginning to like them  
Martin



They're very nice inside, there's a lot to like about the latest version.
franki68

If my wife let me drive hers ,I would do a review.
Stuntman

With PASM, it's not switchable in the sense that the dampers are passive and can then be switched to active - the dampers are adaptive all the time.  

The different modes (usually just two; Normal and Sport) just change the range of firmness over which the dampers can adapt.  The two modes overlap; if you drive the car quickly and/or over smooth roads in Normal, the dampers will be stiffer than if you drive slowly and/or over bumpy roads in Sport.  

The car takes a short while to adapt, which is why to start with, switching to Sport will make the car feel very crashy but after a while the damping will adapt to the softer end of its range if need be.  I once drove the Cayman S for about 40 miles in Sport because I forgot to switch it back to Normal and I genuinely didn't notice!

The PASM on 991 and 981 models is apparently much better calibrated than on 997 and 987 models.  That said, Normal mode is really nice for the road and if you never put it into Sport that wouldn't mean missing out.  Certainly worth some research though John!
PhilD

franki68 wrote:
If my wife let me drive hers ,I would do a review.


I've lost track of all the amazing cars you have had Franki but I think there has been 911, Lambo, R8 and Aston?  Which one received the most negative attention, which one the most positive and which (if any) flew under the radar?
JohnC

Stuntman wrote:
With PASM, it's not switchable in the sense that the dampers are passive and can then be switched to active - the dampers are adaptive all the time.  

The different modes (usually just two; Normal and Sport) just change the range of firmness over which the dampers can adapt.  The two modes overlap; if you drive the car quickly and/or over smooth roads in Normal, the dampers will be stiffer than if you drive slowly and/or over bumpy roads in Sport.  

The car takes a short while to adapt, which is why to start with, switching to Sport will make the car feel very crashy but after a while the damping will adapt to the softer end of its range if need be.  I once drove the Cayman S for about 40 miles in Sport because I forgot to switch it back to Normal and I genuinely didn't notice!

The PASM on 991 and 981 models is apparently much better calibrated than on 997 and 987 models.  That said, Normal mode is really nice for the road and if you never put it into Sport that wouldn't mean missing out.  Certainly worth some research though John!


I had a play last night although it was a bit wet. The dampers button did indeed give me the choice of normal and sport and on smoother roads with reasonable speed I didn't notice a great deal of difference except for apparently firmer damping especially on rebound.

The Sport button seems to sharpen up the throttle, makes the engine sit in a lower gear and opens up the exhaust flaps. It also adds nice downshift blips on the throttle. On the open road I would probably just keep the sport button pressed.

There is a massive transformation for me once the speed is up to about 45/50mph, it is almost as though the chassis loosens up a bit, in the same way as an elite athlete loosens up and gets ready for action: it becomes more supple but remains in complete control and just keeps delivering as the speed increases.

There is also a button for the exhaust which just seems to make it noisier without doing anything to the throttle so I haven't pressed that one often.
I really need it to dry up and then get out for a good drive to somewhere like Crinan.
Stuntman

So by the sounds of it, your friend's car has PASM, Sport Chrono and the sports exhaust (PSE).  

The Sport button on non-GT Porsches comes as part of the Sport Chrono package (the car will also have a clock/stopwatch thing on the top of the dashboard in the middle).  The Sport button does indeed sharpen the throttle response by increasing the amount of throttle for a given amount of pedal travel, and it also relaxes the stability control thresholds and makes the rev limiter 'hard' rather than soft, thereby making a couple of hundred more revs available apparently.  It also gives you the auto blip on 991/981 cars, this wasn't a feature in the 997/987 cars.

The Sport mode transforms my Cayman S on a spirited drive from a car with not quite enough oomph and zing into one that's very sweet when you work it.  I have it in PASM Normal and SC Sport.  Press the Sport button and then press the Damper button (to put PASM back into Normal).

On the GT3/RS and GT4, the Sport button only activates the auto blip and makes no difference to either throttle or stability control.  Ordering Sport Chrono on these GT cars gives you the clock/stopwatch and also gives you some additional electronic menus and data that you don't get as standard.  None of this was in the brochure, otherwise I might have optioned it for the extra data and menus (G force, gear change assist, mapping of race circuits etc).  

Doesn't affect the dynamics at all, though, so it's not as if I'm missing out on a sharper car.
Stuntman

Also - from your description I imagine that the Sport button will be doing something to the PDK gearchange mapping too, but my cars are in Luddite-spec so I wouldn't know for sure
JohnC

Stuntman wrote:
Also - from your description I imagine that the Sport button will be doing something to the PDK gearchange mapping too, but my cars are in Luddite-spec so I wouldn't know for sure


Yes, with the Sport button pressed the gear changes are near instant although they are hardly slow in normal mode. It also pops and snarls a bit on the over-run and then jumps straight back to life the instant you hit the throttle.

If you were deaf you would lose so much of the enjoyment from this car.
Martin

That's why the Sports Exhaust is an essential option imo, especially on a convertible.
Martin

That's why the Sports Exhaust is an essential option imo, especially on a convertible.
Stuntman

^^^ Saying it twice for the hard of hearing?  
Martin

No, just using my phone for posting these days!
JohnC

I drove about 220 miles at the weekend, 45miles of it on the average speed camera'd A9 and at 70mph the car returned 33.8mpg. My wife remarked that was better than she could get in hers, especially when I had gunned it a few times having been slowed down by overtaking lorries and a particularly annoying French registered old Peugeot who thought the outside lane was for doing 30 to 40mph. He caused bloody chaos.

One thing that was very noticeable at the weekend, probably to do with the level of the sun, was how badly the dashboard reflects on the windscreen. At times it almost made vision impossible until I put on a pair of polarised sunglasses and that sorted the problem. It might be the cream colour of the dashboard is worse than black but I would not want to be on a bit of a mission and come round a corner to find I could hardly see anything.

I awoke this morning with forearms that feel slightly sore and I am wondering if this has anything to do with the weight of the steering which I mentioned in a previous post, is far from light. However what it does do is communicate exactly what the car is doing and I can't say that I have felt as much a part of the car on the road for a long long time, as I do when I am in the 911. It is so easy to place the car accurately and if you can find somewhere that allows it, the sensation of blasting from corner to corner with the engine buzzing between 6K and 8K is just electric. In that power band it has the 435 well beaten and when allied to the massive grip it is super quick across the ground. I didn't once feel that the car was anything other than completely planted and when allied to the suspension's remarkable compliance and control it allows you to cover ground so easily that you feel you are hardly trying.

We came across a Rover 200 (the one with the orange grill) who tried so hard to stay ahead, so much so that he understeered on to the wrong side of the road a couple of times and yet in the 911 everything was so relaxed, in control and no where near the limit.

My wife isn't convinced about it (probably not helped by the fact it hasn't stopped pouring and we can't get the roof down) but I am growing to love it more and more each day.

When we got home with the hot tinkling exhaust the car was showing an exceptional 28mpg and I wasn't on an economy drive at all.

I should probably have politely declined the offer of this car because the 435 now feels a bit ordinary.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

JohnC wrote:
I should probably have politely declined the offer of this car because the 435 now feels a bit ordinary.

Yes, but if you'd declined the offer you would't now know that !
Martin

That is always the risk, but better to have loved and lost and all that.

I occasionally get slightly sore forearms, but only when really pushing on, which I'd put down to tensing my arms more than the steering weight.  Are there any tunnels you can try while you still have it?  We went through a couple on Saturday and I thought all the hairs on my arms and neck had extracted themselves.

You'll soon get used to the 435 again.
JohnC

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
JohnC wrote:
I should probably have politely declined the offer of this car because the 435 now feels a bit ordinary.

Yes, but if you'd declined the offer you would't now know that !


Yes but this is a bit more like living near a beautiful girl that you see regularly, occasionally fantasise about and then forget. But one day she not only asks you out but makes you realise she is every bit as special as you had dreamt. Now you can't just forget about it!
JohnC

Martin wrote:
 Are there any tunnels you can try while you still have it?  


There are a couple but I don't know if I will be able to get the full effect in a 30mph limit! However I have heard it in the open and that is a wonderful sound. No wonder the salesman called the Sport button the Smile button.
JohnC

Martin wrote:

You'll soon get used to the 435 again.


The 435 is so much more practical and to all intents and purposes, just as fast in everyday use. It carries 4 people easily, has much better placed controls, SatNav and connectivity and far more useful storage. The slow speed ride is much better and the boot cavernous by comparison.

I think it's time for another line on the lottery or a few £'s on BOTB.

I think I would take the Targa but I bet a 6 cylinder Boxster S or GTS would give just about as much pleasure.
Martin

The 535d felt extra comfortable and near silent on the way to work this morning.
Nice Guy Eddie

In my experience the Cayman is a better car than the 991 in all but GTS and GT3 models and a useful chunk of change cheaper.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

If the steering's giving you sore forearms, I can recommend a C-Max or Fiesta (or Ka)..... never had any issues with them !
JohnC

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
If the steering's giving you sore forearms, I can recommend a C-Max or Fiesta (or Ka)..... never had any issues with them !


I think I'll take the other option and break out the dumbbells.
Stuntman

I await the 'Just bought a 911' thread with some interest...
PhilD

JohnC wrote:
Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
If the steering's giving you sore forearms, I can recommend a C-Max or Fiesta (or Ka)..... never had any issues with them !


I think I'll take the other option and break out the dumbbells.


Oh come on Johm, you said: "The 435 is so much more practical, it carries 4 people easily, has much better placed controls, SatNav and connectivity and far more useful storage. The slow speed ride is much better and the boot cavernous by comparison"

The C-Max, is all of that and more so!

Alf McQueef

Only seen this today, it sounds like you are enjoying it! I'm another one that really likes 991 porkers, and personally I've always had a soft spot for the 911 cabrio, even though I'm not really a cabrio person. They are like SUV's for me - I think I like them, then when I go in one I don't. Though I'd have a Boxster, as a fun car...
JohnC

Well, the 911 has gone home with a degree of sadness.

It has been interesting driving it and comparing it to mine.

As soon as I got back into mine, I couldn't believe how light the steering felt and how disconnected I felt from what was going on at the front end. I have commented before that I had grown used to my car and I am going to have to do that again. I am beginning to feel a bit more feedback now and get used to it again but I can see why journalists who step out of a Porsche or similar and get in to something like mine, can be enormously critical.

The steering on the 911 communicates all the time and requires your attention (a bit like my daughter in the back seat) but the BMW feels like the whispering sister who you don't even hear until you fully tune in and start listening. The BMW will never hold a candle to the Porsche in the steering feel department but it is much better than may appear if you just jump from one into the other.

In a straight line, the BMW would give the 911 a good tussle prior to the speeds getting to jail time levels and in everyday driving the BMW is easier to pedal faster without attracting unwanted attention from using the red line all the time.

The biggest plus for me though is the way the Porsche operates at levels that ordinary cars can't reach when it comes to chassis control, absolute grip and just the poise and fluidity from tackling several fast corners in a row. To keep up through the twisties in the BMW would have me concentrating hard and no doubt having the chassis move about underneath me a bit. In the Porsche, a similar me would be relaxed and enjoying the interaction with the road, in the knowledge that the chassis still had loads in reserve.

The two cars are much further apart that I had imagined before I started this. The BMW is much easier to drive, is more comfortable and practical, has nicer feeling controls and a much better designed dashboard and multi function steering wheel. It also offers 90% of the straightline performance for 50% of the effort and it can access that performance much more readily using about 40% less fuel.

That's not what the Porsche is about though - it is for the sunny days when you just want to go for a drive, when you go somewhere just because you can and along the way, it gives back some real interaction and enjoyment for the driver. I also really enjoyed the little rain free time I had with the roof down because it brings the driver closer to the sound of the glorious engine and the elements and smells. I think I would buy mine in the new Targa format if I was ever lucky enough to have the money.

I've heard it said that a 911 is all the car you ever need and to some extent that's true. However for travelling to the office or going to Asda for the shopping, the BMW wins every time unless of course you can find an Asda 20 miles away and your office just happens to be at the end of 20 miles of twisty A roads!
Stuntman

Very interesting write-up, thanks John.  

JohnC wrote:
The steering on the 911 communicates all the time and requires your attention (a bit like my daughter in the back seat) but the BMW feels like the whispering sister who you don't even hear until you fully tune in and start listening. The BMW will never hold a candle to the Porsche in the steering feel department but it is much better than may appear if you just jump from one into the other.


I agree with this (Caymanwise rather than 911, obviously), and also your comments on the chassis differences.  The Porsche inspires more confidence when you're out for a proper drive.
Martin

Nice write up.  Hasn't dulled my desire for a 991.....

You mention how it comes alive at speed, didn't you feel he different at lower speeds as well? I love the way the Boxster just pivots around corners (mid engine may be the difference) and the feel of the steering whatever the angle (hydraulic of course).  Agree with you on how much more enjoyable it is driving with the roof down, I hardly ever drive with it up, as I choose the days I use it based on the weather!

I'm very happy with my garage combo, it's near perfect for us.  A 991 Targa GTS would improve it further, maybe with a new V8 diesel Panamera estate alongside.  Not keen on the matching car thing though, so might have to give it some more thought!
Alf McQueef

Interesting write-up!

I have yet to properly pedal a Porsche, but from the passenger seat I'm always amazed at how grippy, neutral, and yet supple they are. They are on of the few road road cars I have been in, that feel good on the road and also don't get totally out of their depth on track.

I need a rich friend who travels a lot...
gonnabuildabuggy

Interesting write up and pretty much as I'd expect.

It's lacking anywhere near the power, but when it comes to handling and smiles then I can recommend a MK1 MX5 for those with smaller budgets.

I don't think I've got the balls to track or autotest a 911 too!
JohnC

Martin wrote:
You mention how it comes alive at speed, didn't you feel he different at lower speeds as well?


It depends where you define lower speeds. Certainly at 30mph or thereabouts it handled roundabouts with ease but the steering was heavyish at those speeds (although, from memory, no worse than my first Mk2 Golf GTi which didn't have power steering). It changed direction every bit as easily at those speeds as it did when going faster but there was a bit more effort required on the wheel.

I would say once you are at 40/45mph plus, the weight of the steering no longer enters the mind and the car is much more an extension of the driver with movement round corners requiring almost no physical effort and so little input that it just happens in one flowing movement. It's very hard to describe but it reminds me of a couple of races I did in a friend's Radical and the cornering on that was almost telepathic. The Porsche gives that same confidence as the speed increases.

I have never driven a Cayman or a modern Boxster (drove one of the first non S models years ago and thought it was OK) although I have been a passenger in them but I would like to try an S or a GTS and see the difference.

With the sound of your proposed garage, the new job is obviously going well Martin!
Martin

It's a bit more of a dream garage, but not completely unattainable and I'm very happy with the current fleet.  Maybe when I stop paying maintenance.

It's legal A road speeds I was thinking about, so 40-60ish rather than around town.
PhilD

JohnC wrote:


The two cars are much further apart that I had imagined before I started this. The BMW is much easier to drive, is more comfortable and practical, has nicer feeling controls and a much better designed dashboard and multi function steering wheel. It also offers 90% of the straightline performance for 50% of the effort and it can access that performance much more readily using about 40% less fuel.



Nice write up.

What are the return stats? You say the two cars are far apart but the 911 is no Elise so is it 90% as easy to drive, comfortable and practical?
JohnC

PhilD wrote:

What are the return stats? You say the two cars are far apart but the 911 is no Elise so is it 90% as easy to drive, comfortable and practical?


It is a totally different car to drive and for two people it is very practical. The boot is remarkably big and will take a decent amount of shopping or two good sized holdalls. The rear seats will fit someone up to about 5 ft tall but you wouldn't want a driver any taller than about 5'8" if you were going to sit behind, so it is probably better to consider the rear seats as being additional storage.

With our crappy roads, the low speed ride is very firm and a little tiresome but it does improve significantly as the speed builds. At speed, the Porsche is the easier car to drive fast but if you want stats, it is about 50% on the practicality stakes when compared to the BMW, about 40% on the low speed comfort stakes and about 80% when the speed increases. However if you are pushing on and exploring the depth of the Porsche's abilities then the Porsche turns the tables and the BMW is only 75%/80% of the Porsche when it comes to chassis control, poise and ultimately driver comfort. You are at that stage though, likely to lose your licence.

The Porsche is a car you can enjoy for the way it communicates everything back to the driver, the beautiful chassis and the top end punch. Driving at 60 or 70mph on an A road, the Porsche would give more enjoyment to the driver. It wouldn't be as comfortable, the controls wouldn't be as good, it would be noisier and there would be less space everywhere but the driver would feel connected to everything going on and if he/she is like most of us, he would feel very content.

The two cars are very different. The BMW does so much of the everyday stuff much better and the passengers would also feel much more comfortable. But the driver of the Porsche would return with a much bigger smile on his face.

The enjoyment of a car is so multi dimensional and I suppose lots of different people enjoy different dimensions of a car's performance.

If I could only have one car, I would probably keep mine because there are times I need to carry 4 adults and a set of Golf Clubs and times when you need to sit on the motorway for hours and times you need to get 45+mpg. I would be sad though because I really connect with what the Porsche gives back to the driver when you get a nice clear A road and no matter how good the BMW is, it will never be able to match the Porsche in that respect.
PhilD

Sounds like the 911 needs a good diesel engine!  

Even though you say it's compromised, it's much less so than any other sports car I can think of and you can see why it's been so successful for so long.
PG

Great write ups. Are you going to be encouraging your friend to take lots of long trips away now?

JohnC wrote:
If I could only have one car, I would probably keep mine because there are times I need to carry 4 adults and a set of Golf Clubs and times when you need to sit on the motorway for hours and times you need to get 45+mpg. I would be sad though because I really connect with what the Porsche gives back to the driver when you get a nice clear A road and no matter how good the BMW is, it will never be able to match the Porsche in that respect.


So what you need is a Panamera diesel.
JohnC

PG wrote:
Are you going to be encouraging your friend to take lots of long trips away now?

So what you need is a Panamera diesel.


I am hopeful that I might get a few more custodial opportunities.

Not sure I could do a Panamera Diesel though. It would have to be mine and a 911, Boxster or Cayman!!

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