Went to Porsche today - Got lucky, superb experience.

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Hi there


Arrived at Porsche at dinner time, was greeted by a lovely young lady and sat down in a waiting area where two customers quizzed me about the EVO X and how much they liked it and what I thought to it. They were waiting for something to be done with a 911, was surprised about 911 owners liking EVO's but Porsche themselves and the instructor also had a lot of respect for it, though mentioning GTR's seemed a bad word at Porsche which was met with silence, anyway moving on.

Sat down with salesman and he said what do I want and I told him how I'd got lucky to drive a friends 997 Turbo TIP earlier and loved it and that I *might* stretch to one used at the right money if they could source one around 50k with OPC warranty and to my surprise they said if I was happy with Cobalt blue they probably could do so as thats my favourite colour, but according to Porsche it was the least common colour. I said I wanted to check out a Cayman S gen2 and a 911 C2S.

Unfortunately they had no used Cayman S gen2 or a demo, they offered me a Boxster Spyder instead but I looked at it and said I want a roof so dismissed taking that out.

So they let me in the newest used Cayman S which was a 2009 manual with 290BHP, it had only done around 11,000 miles and felt very new. Driving this was very easy, infact the car was absolutely stunning to drive, it felt so pointy and very lively on its feet. The salesman took me around some excellent country twisty roads, roundabouts and dual carriage ways so I could really drive the car in all types of driving.

The steering on the Cayman S was razor sharp and I'd say medium ish weighted, I found the car superb and so so planted. The communication from the steering and all 4 wheels was immense and it really did make driving it a pleasure. The gearbox was simply gorgeous, changing gear and rev matching was a breeze. Performance wise the Cayman S needs revving, sub 4000rpm its quite flat but beyond 4000rpm you hear the engine come on cam and it pulls really well, infact when on the boil I was amazed by how quick this car was for a sub 300BHP car I've not driven anything faster. The Impreza I drove a few weeks back that had 330BHP would be left for dead by this Cayman S beyond 60mph as the acceleration once moving seemed very very strong, surprisingly good. Handling wise the car seemed perfect, I pushed the car a bit and really piled it into some roundabouts expecting it to push wide but nothing happened it just went where pointed with no fuss, the only issue was my body trying to fight the G-forces. The Cayman S seemed perfectly balanced no understeer or oversteer, I never found its limit so at the limit am unsure how they handle. But I was quite taken by the Cayman S it was easy to drive quick and it felt on rails and very much a drivers car full of communication.

The 911 C2S I got very lucky, a customer had booked driver truition with a Silverstone instructor but cancelled so the sales guy asked if I'd like to go on the driver tuition drive with the instructor in the 911 C2S, off course I said yes. Had a good chat with the instructor regarding previous cars, trackdays etc at which point he said excellent, someone who knows about cars and buys them to drive them, not pose in them. He gave me the keys and said I probably know where the better roads are so left me to drive where I wanted, so I took the country roads between Wilmslow and Macclesfield and back on some dual carriage ways with many roundabouts to play with. This was a 2006 911 C2S with Porsche exhaust. The first thing I noticed is the 911 feels larger car but still shrinks around you and sub 4000rpm the 911 had a lot more grunt without a doubt. Accelerating hard though the 911 C2S did not seem really any quicker than the Cayman S, power wise top end they felt similar, it was the 911's torque at lower speeds which was very noticable and out of corners in higher gears when not on the boil.

Steering wise the C2S had the lightest steering, still loads of feel and very sharp, but attacking narrow bumpy roads what I did notice is how the 911's front end got light/floaty, even sometimes skipping across bumps. The instructor said all RWD 911's do this and the tactic is to not fight it just be relaxed and go with it as the front end will never move much, they move around and its something you just get used too. At no point though in this 911 did I ever feel it was gonna kill it me, the rear-end always felt glued down, even when booting it in 1st off the mark and out of corners in 2nd gear, infact the instructor said I am impressed that an EVO driver is driving a Porsche so well and is not treating the inputs like a hammer such as most EVO drivers do, haha.

The winning point for me of the C2S was the noise, at 6500rpm the note from the cabin/exhaust was simply amazing, truly WOW. There was a long sweeper and the instructor said apply power at the start and don't let off and you will see the 911's party piece, the backend just gripped the tarmec and catapulted out the end at crazy speed with no issues, the rear was so planted. The gearbox on this was not as good as the Caymans but that could be the fact this car was 3-4yr older as well. In comparison between the 911 and Cayman S I'd say the Cayman S felt more go-kart like and actually felt like a better chassis and certainly better in tighter corners and once moving the fact it only had 290BHP seemed not to be an issue, it was certainly noticably quicker than the 330BHP STI I drove by some distance. The 911 though did have more grunt low down and up top I'd say it would slightly edge the Cayman S but not by much, the 911's party piece of acceleration of the mark in 1st gear, it just nails it down and goes, thats engine in the boot for you. The main concern was front-end lightness and it skipping over bumps and I think because of that the car does require a different driving style as the driver needs to drive the car to dial out that understeer.

Both the Cayman S and 911 C2S had the gorgeous turbo wheels fitted and both were Basalt black, looked stunning clean. The 911 had better looks, sound, grunt low down and better of the mark with handling that felt great especially when on the power out of corners with delightful steering. I'd say the Cayman S had slightly better weighted steering and felt more tighter in tight turns and roundabouts and its front-end never skipped over bumps and it never pushed wide and its rear-end never budged, but it had less grunt, did not sound as a good but seemed practically as fast once on cam (above 4000rpm) with a better gearbox. Plus the sound on cam was addictive so with a Porsche exhaust might be very nice.
The instructor did assure me new 911s are not like ones of old, if you hit brakes mid corner or have to adjust line they won't bite you like old ones would, but he did say driving a 911 too its true ability and well is a smooth affair.


I also got lucky to meet up with a friend who owns a 997 Turbo Tiptronic and he gave me the keys. Now some of the Porsche purist may find this surprising but I felt the turbo had the better steering feel and out of all three cars it had the heaviest steering which I liked, maybe this is the diffs in the front? However the car never once felt like it was AWD infact it always felt RWD and my god that bose sound system is bloody amazing.

I found the power delivery and performance mind blowing and its certainly more shove in your seat and far quicker than the EVO everywhere in the rev range. The only good thing about the tiptronic for me was traffic light grandprix, all I had to do was stomp the loud pedal and what felt like 2s we were doing 60mph, it was mind blowing off the mark and so easy. Booting it at 50mph and again what felt like 3s had you in license loosing territory and it felt damn quick too with the turbos pushing you back in the seat. Though out of all three cars the turbo sounded the tamest, very quiet in the cabin, infact too quiet for a car of this genre.

Now the 911 turbo is the only one I felt that rear-end move, I purposely found a corner that was wet and eased in the power and purposely got on the power a bit too early to see how the rear moved and as expected it stepped out and a quick flick of the steering it was all in line with no drama but a lot of fun, did I correct it or did the computer, who knows but it was fun and felt safe. On bumpy twisty roads the turbo did not seem to float/bounce on the front-end like the C2S did, infact the Turbo's front end felt more planted, I am not putting this down to the 4WD but to the extra weight of the turbo and more weight over the nose.

I've driven 3 cars, all with turbo wheels and feel for me out of the Porsche fleet its gonna either be a Cayman S gen2 PDK or a 997 Turbo manual. I am possibly dismissing the 911 C2S because I felt it did not feel particulary quicker than the gen1 Cayman S once moving and the floaty front-end was a little off-putting. I am not dismissing the 911 C2S and may arrange a test drive in another one before I dismiss them or even try the C4S.

Before I forget the brakes on all three were fantastic and so so feelsome, they were very un-assisted and felt great, at first they felt weak but because they are not over-assisted you do have to push quite hard at which point they are very strong.

I am looking forward to getting an extended test drive in the Cayman S PDK as with 320BHP and PDK transmission I think that will have the grunt/performance to beat a 911 C2S once moving and if anything it will only handle better been a newer car, but the Cayman S was an epic joy to drive.

If I can find a 911 turbo for the right money it will be my favourite choice, its got the looks, immense performance, traction and feels so damn quick so I'd not bore of a lack of vroom vroom and if I did the turbo is hugely tunable relatively easily. Porsche did confirm any turbo they supplied even if old would have 2yr OPC warranty which would cover engine, box, differentials, basically anything expensive that breaks as they did mention engines popping/breaking are 10k plus bills so that warranty is a must.

So if I can stretch it right now I am wanting a 997 Turbo manual in cobalt blue as its got the power and looks, the only area it might be a bit weak is real bumpy and twisty b-roads which would mean driving it kind of just how I drove the Mustang and learn how to drive it properly.

Though I am very interested to see how a gen2 Cayman S with PDK drives, with the PDK and extra power it could just tip me in its favour. :)


Tomorrow I am off to Middlehurst to test drive an R35 GTR and then next weekend an BMW M3. :D
 
Caporegime
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if you can stretch to a 997 turbo i don't think you'll be disappointed. Tough choice between an E92 M3 and an R35 GTR.

M3 has that v8 exhaust note, comparatively modest running costs (against the GTR and 911 Turbo) but then not as fast.

Oh to be in your position :)
 
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if you can stretch to a 997 turbo i don't think you'll be disappointed. Tough choice between an E92 M3 and an R35 GTR.

M3 has that v8 exhaust note, comparatively modest running costs (against the GTR and 911 Turbo) but then not as fast.

Oh to be in your position :)

Running cost wise from what Porsche showed me a 911 and Cayman S is quite a but cheaper than the M3 on servicing. And the turbo is just a little more expensive. :)

GTR however via Nissan is very expensive, but Litchfields can service the GTR as well which makes it no more expensive either and due to new laws Nissan still have to honor warranty. :)

I am driving the M3 DCT as I don't want to dismiss it, but my god its going to have to be amazing after driving these Porsches and from what I remember of the GTR. As like you say the M3 does not have the power of the Porsches/GTR or the grip.

But yes M3 with exhaut makes the best noise without a doubt and is also the cheapest to buy used with DCT's going from 35k. :)


I was very impressed with Porsche service though, they were never pushy and happy to let me pick and drive anything along with answering all questions and I was impressed to see them filling up with Vpower too. :)

Question is does Porsche Wilmslow have good after service too?
 
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997 Turbo.

Agreed I want it for looks, power, the class and the fact its a 911, plus its grown up.

My one and only fear is will it be a handful cross country or should I say slower than what the EVO or a GTR would be, I know cars aint all about pace as its also about the fun too, but I do love grabbing the EVO by scruff of its neck at times and just chucking it about, now the Cayman S felt like one could do the same, but maybe in a 911 it would become angry and kill me?

What the instructor did say if I do buy a car and to keep it hush but request they throw a free driving day in at my choice of track to safely learn how to control the car on its limits and one an icepad. :)
 
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Seeing as though you are financing half of it... stop being such a wuss!

http://pistonheads.com/sales/2341945.htm

Dont do that, its confusing enough choosing between these cars without another one thrown in, did not realise new GT3 had gone sub 60k. :eek:

Question is I am wary of a 911 Turbo / C2S, is the GT3 maybe not a bit too hardcore/purist for my first 911 as surely out of all the 911's the GT3 is the one most likely to bite and hard?
 
Godfather
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Here's some pics of my old 997 T.

turbo18hp3.jpg


turbo19fb7.jpg


turbo20kz0.jpg
 
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I must say, the Cayman is the only Porsche I genuinely like the looks of

In pictures I think it looks rather pap, but in the flesh I was like thats nice with stunning lines, though I do preferre the 911.

One thing I did notice driving these Porsches is you feel like Brad Pitt, haha, the amount of stunning women all of a sudden checking you out because you drive a Porsche. :)
 
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For me the 911 proportions are just out, it looks a bit big.

The cayman on the other hand looks small, which I like in a sports car.
 
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Dont do that, its confusing enough choosing between these cars without another one thrown in, did not realise new GT3 had gone sub 60k. :eek:

Question is I am wary of a 911 Turbo / C2S, is the GT3 maybe not a bit too hardcore/purist for my first 911 as surely out of all the 911's the GT3 is the one most likely to bite and hard?

Housey will answer that in depth no doubt. I've only got extended passenger experience so whatever I say means squat. But I was in one being driven very very hard and at no point did I feel that the car was going to come off the road and end up in a ditch. The levels of grip are phenomenal. The car was running on Pilot Sport 2s.

Seriously. For this amount of money, don't dismiss it.

And you're a driver, not a poser.. don't worry about it being hardcore. It'll come with some luxuries and a nice stiff suspension :p
 
Godfather
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The GT3 is a great car but you'll tire of it. Great on a track but on UK roads I can think of a lot more cars I'd rather drive.
 
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Housey will answer that in depth no doubt. I've only got extended passenger experience so whatever I say means squat. But I was in one being driven very very hard and at no point did I feel that the car was going to come off the road and end up in a ditch. The levels of grip are phenomenal. The car was running on Pilot Sport 2s.

Seriously. For this amount of money, don't dismiss it.

And you're a driver, not a poser.. don't worry about it being hardcore. It'll come with some luxuries and a nice stiff suspension :p

Yeah all three of these Porsches I drove all had Michelin PS2's fitted, seems a favourite tyre on Porsches but the PS2 is an epic tyre.

I don't want to spend much over 50k (max) really so pushing another 10k on top even though I can afford starts to get uncomfortable in regards to finance.

As daft as it sounds the 911's had more of a Mustang feel to them, get sight of the apex and apply more power as your unwinding the steering and feel the rear-end squat. Wheras the Cayman S in comparison seemed more nimble and chuckable like an EVO but with all the involvment and feedback of a Porsche. :)

I feel a Cayman S gen2 PDK I might really like all it will lack is the turbos performance but if anything be quicker on twisty stuff and easier to drive as such, though at the same time the 911 did feel bloody awsome when powering out of corners but I liked the Cayman for its quick in approach and the fact it had no understeer. Though the Turbo did feel less understeery than the C2S and the power addictive and more power comes just by adding packets of crisp in the footwell. :D
 
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ultimately i can't contribute much to this conversation as i'll be lucky to drive one of the cars mentioned above, let alone own one.

But i'd be deciding between the 997.1 Turbo or the E92 M3.
 
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ultimately i can't contribute much to this conversation as i'll be lucky to drive one of the cars mentioned above, let alone own one.

But i'd be deciding between the 997.1 Turbo or the E92 M3.

Right now I feel I'd actually take any of the Porsches over the M3, but next weekend I may have a different oppinion. I just can't see the M3 been anywhere near as sharp as the Cayman S but lets wait and see. :)
 
Caporegime
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The M3 has so much going for it

That V8
DCT gearbox (you won't get a 997.2 Turbo PDK for your budget)
wonderful interior
cheaper
cheaper to run (than GTR and 911 Turbo)
sold reliability (vs IMS worries with 911 C2S for example)

and with it being an M3, the world is your oyster when it comes to tuning. Tons of companies out there making all the after market products you can think of. All without the porsche tax. (tuning porsche's seems extraordinarily expensive for what they offer)
 
Soldato
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Um ...
Porsche - Sports car, but is putting on the weight (sub 1500kg though)
BMW M3 - Big, heavy saloon. Over 1600kg ...
 
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