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      04-13-2018, 08:24 PM   #1
scoale
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Unconvincing 911

Found myself thinking about a 911 lately and infection set in and I developed new car fever. This, of course, led to a trip down to my local Porsche dealer in search of a cure.

Turns out a few extended test drives cooled the fever considerably and I left without buying. The cars I drove were a 991.1 CS manual and a 991.1 CS pdk. Both cars featured sport exhaust and the PDK came equipped with sport chrono.

The suspension was NOT a compliant as reviews had led me to believe. You definitely feel and hear the impact when the heavy rear end finds the bottom of a manhole cover, and road imperfections are definitely felt in the cabin. I do not consider the suspension tuning harsh, but it certainly isn't smoothing out road imperfections to the degree I expected. The M3 (27k miles) seems at least as compliant to me.

Steering is responsive and well weighted, but not overly sensitive. M3 more engaging, whether or not it is actually superior.

Acceleration is solid; you definitely feel the rear tires hookup. Turbo must be unbelievable...and unusable.

PDK as advertised, but I still preferred the manual. The 7MT is very good...but the Boxster's 6MT is even better, in my opinion.

Sound is appropriately engaging. PSE is subdued when cruising and escalates appropriately when accelerating. Prefer Boxster though. And M3 is, uh, no slouch in this department.

Car feels heavier than expected. The M3's curb weight is the single biggest factor putting it at risk of future replacement, and the Porches' curb weight is the single biggest draw. But the gap didn't feel as big as I had expected. I suspect this has to do with weight distribution. My Boxster, by comparison, definitely feels more tossable and more visceral at moderate speeds.

Handling is beyond any ability to exercise on public roads. Takes a lot to "wake the car up". Boxster definitely more engaging and M3 is too.

Interior/exterior fit and finish is outstanding. Heirloom quality.

Great car, no doubt. But surprising to me that even though I'm primed to buy it's just not feeling compelling.

YMMV
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      04-13-2018, 08:46 PM   #2
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A friend recently bought a 997 Turbo to complement his E92 M3. The Porsche is fast but initial reviews weren't stellar comparing to his M3. Maybe it takes a while to get used to it.
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      04-13-2018, 09:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redd View Post
A friend recently bought a 997 Turbo to complement his E92 M3. The Porsche is fast but initial reviews weren't stellar comparing to his M3. Maybe it takes a while to get used to it.
I was thinking the same thing. I'm sure you have to get past the differences before you can judge it on its own merits. It definitely wont be my last 911 test drive.
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      04-13-2018, 09:15 PM   #4
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I too prefer the boxster/cayman over the 911 based on similar test drives. Not enough to get rid of the E92. Likely the N/A GT cars are another story.
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      04-13-2018, 09:44 PM   #5
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Drive an older 911 if you want engaging. Mine has coilovers, trans mount, etc so its not as cushy as stock but I have also driven a stock 997.2 turbo with PDK and while fast I would not trade mine for it, or anything for that matter. I have not driven a 991 but I can only imagine they are even more on the cushy side.
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      04-13-2018, 10:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aktavate View Post
Drive an older 911 if you want engaging. Mine has coilovers, trans mount, etc so its not as cushy as stock but I have also driven a stock 997.2 turbo with PDK and while fast I would not trade mine for it, or anything for that matter. I have not driven a 991 but I can only imagine they are even more on the cushy side.
I agree. Unfortunately, it seems that all manufactures are following this new model of making comfortable marshmallows with gobs of power. Don't even get me started on the 7MT poppycock...

The new M3/M4 is blazingly fast but not as engaging as the older M models. The Focus RS is fast as hell but I actually had more fun in an old SVT Focus - way slower but way funner. For me, a sporty car should require 100% of your attention to drive with spirit. Some of these new creations just do not seem to ever be on the edge. Might be they are just getting so good that they have pushed the edge way past my comfort zone. Or it may be that the engineers have made sure there is so much understeer/electronic aids included so that tank slappers are just not possible anymore.

Either way, I agree. Older 911s (993 and older) will actively try to kill you if you do not treat them with the respect they deserve! Possibly not for everyone but I really had a lot of fun in my buddies 1979 911.

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      04-13-2018, 10:09 PM   #7
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I have only driven a 991 GT3 PDK and it was the best car I have ever driven on track.

To give you some context I have driven Ferrari F430, 458, Lambo Gallardo, Huracan, Nissan GTR on track, among others.

Idk how to describe it, but the 911 GT3 does it for me.
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      04-14-2018, 12:22 AM   #8
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A 991 is "next level" all around. Perhaps the OP didn't push it hard enough to notice the superb dynamics and handling.
That said as a 911 owner I'm looking to get into an M3 because it's a great all around car and I got to get the V8 out of my system.
Given the option, I would recommend one of each!
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      04-14-2018, 01:18 AM   #9
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I’m guessing you need to push it to feel the difference. Otherwise, yeah boring. Cars are just too capable these days.

Torque and turbos are fun at lower speeds though. I’m guessing you would enjoy the 991.2 test drive much better.
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      04-14-2018, 09:31 AM   #10
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Weight is what would cause me to sell the E9x. Lower speed tight turns with lots of switching you can really feel it. I'd take a Cayman S/GTS but the lack of seats is a problem. If I had somewhere to park I'd love to compliment the M3 with an Elise or even a Miata for something lightweight and fun.
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      04-14-2018, 10:36 AM   #11
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This has come up before here. The 911 seems to be a logical next step for an enthusiast, kind of like many us of here previously owned a WRX.

Heres the deal. 911s dont impress on test drives. They just dont. It took me a couple of months to love my 997. The rear engine makes you nervous to push and find the limits of the car, because youre never quite sure the point at which the dynamics will cause the car to bite back. Theres also a lightness to the steering feel, especially when accelerating out of a corner which can be unnerving.

I love my E93 and that V8 is seductive. But 911s are next level. They just take a little acclimatization.
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      04-14-2018, 01:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montaver View Post
Weight is what would cause me to sell the E9x. Lower speed tight turns with lots of switching you can really feel it. I'd take a Cayman S/GTS but the lack of seats is a problem. If I had somewhere to park I'd love to compliment the M3 with an Elise or even a Miata for something lightweight and fun.
You're right about the weight but in a strange sort of way I like how it makes the car feel "authoritative!"
If the choice were an M3 or a 911 and finances were not a problem, the deciding factor probably becomes the overall desired ratio of usability/sportiness/driving demands.
The M3 leans towards everyday comforts with serious performance capabilities.
A 911 is a sports car, masquerading as a comfortable "do it all" but fire and fury lurks beneath the surface and impossible to ignore. It bullies you but will ignore you, if left alone. Piss it off by flipping the sports button and you better get ready for a fight. Man vs Machine at its most visceral. You, the driver, are the limit...
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      04-14-2018, 04:36 PM   #13
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I had a 991 C4S, which was a great car. It really came alive in the higher rpm range and hitting turns at the track. The GT3 is on a whole different level.
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      04-14-2018, 08:13 PM   #14
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I had test driven lots of Porsches in the past, a Cayman R, 997 GTS, 991.1 4s, and a 981 Cayman S. Although I always preferred the Cayman to the 911 I never really felt the 'upgrade' was enough over my E92 M3 (in the end I had a tune, test pipes and MCS suspension).

I was in Germany last fall and rented a 991.2 GTS for a day from Porsche Drive in Stuttgart. We ended up spending the day in the Black Forest with it and I can tell you it was the most fun I have ever spent in a car off of the track. The car was a blast in all respects. Handling, power, refinement etc. Amazing.

My first day back from Germany I started looking at GTS's, and within a month bought a 991.1 GTS. I love this car! I think you need to spend a bit of time in these cars to truly appreciate them, and a 20 min test drive on city streets does nothing for getting a feel for it IMO.

Another thing to consider is stock tire pressures in the 911 at least seems extremely high for daily driving, something like 37,42?? Most people drop them to 32/35 for normal driving which really improves ride compliancy. This might have factored into the OP's feelings on harshness.

I think the E92 is an amazing car and great overall value/utility for the track and spirited driving. You can't go wrong either way.
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      04-14-2018, 09:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gripster View Post
This has come up before here. The 911 seems to be a logical next step for an enthusiast, kind of like many us of here previously owned a WRX.

Here’s the deal. 911’s don’t impress on test drives. They just don’t. It took me a couple of months to love my 997. The rear engine makes you nervous to push and find the limits of the car, because you’re never quite sure the point at which the dynamics will cause the car to bite back. There’s also a lightness to the steering feel, especially when accelerating out of a corner which can be unnerving.

I love my E93 and “that V8” is seductive. But 911s are next level. They just take a little acclimatization.
This may be a stupid question, but here it goes... Can you rotate a 911 with the throttle? I almost never see a 911 drift the tail to square off a corner. Maybe there's too much grip, or maybe it's the old "slow in fast out" approach? And I know it's not always the fasted way around a corner, but the M3 is just about the most rewarding car to steer with the throttle. Love to know your thoughts.

Edit: The light steering out of a corner and the need to maintain constant attention to the rear grip is very much like riding a sportbike. And talk about bite when you get it wrong!

Last edited by Pig Farmer; 04-14-2018 at 09:14 PM.
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      04-14-2018, 10:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bemo View Post
You're right about the weight but in a strange sort of way I like how it makes the car feel "authoritative!"
If the choice were an M3 or a 911 and finances were not a problem, the deciding factor probably becomes the overall desired ratio of usability/sportiness/driving demands.
The M3 leans towards everyday comforts with serious performance capabilities.
A 911 is a sports car, masquerading as a comfortable "do it all" but fire and fury lurks beneath the surface and impossible to ignore. It bullies you but will ignore you, if left alone. Piss it off by flipping the sports button and you better get ready for a fight. Man vs Machine at its most visceral. You, the driver, are the limit...
I have a fair amount of seat time in the 991.1 C2S. Loved the way it drove and sounded, theres been a few threads like this recently where I've posted a longer comparison and thoughts. It's a step up from the M3 in terms of dynamics, no question. If it had usable rear seats I would happily own one.
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      04-15-2018, 01:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pig Farmer View Post
This may be a stupid question, but here it goes... Can you rotate a 911 with the throttle? I almost never see a 911 drift the tail to square off a corner. Maybe there's too much grip, or maybe it's the old "slow in fast out" approach? And I know it's not always the fasted way around a corner, but the M3 is just about the most rewarding car to steer with the throttle. Love to know your thoughts.

Edit: The light steering out of a corner and the need to maintain constant attention to the rear grip is very much like riding a sportbike. And talk about bite when you get it wrong!
The answer to everything in a GT3 is 'more throttle', so there is very little adjustability
At the track, gt3 drivers tell me they don't understand how I can move the car so much... because adjustability built into the M3. This is key to being fun - at least for highly cretinous people like myself

I drive a lot of Porsches on track as an instructor. You'd have to pay me to swap the M3 out. If someone gave me a 991 GT3 I'd sell it and get two E9X M3... or get an E9X, strip it out and be renamed 'the joker' because of my giant shit-eating grin I'd have in track days (credit to bigjae1976 for the reference)

I'm always confused when I read about people's adoration for Porsches on the forum. I suspect a large part is badge envy.
I've spent such a massive amount of seat time in 997.2 GT3s and Caymans and I wonder if I'm taking crazy pills... I would never trade.

I preferred my 330 to my girlfriend's '99 Boxster, i preferred my 150k mile E46M to my housemate's 996 Carrera S, and the list goes on and on and on.

I know the 997.2 does nothing for me. Everyone spends their day talking about 'built for the track', 'mezger engine' and blahblahblah, but my primary student's 997.2 gt3 is still slower than my almost 100% stock E92 M3 and i've been in the gt3 while it overheats at WGI where my E92 can take an hour of laps 10 seconds faster at a time without overheating.

At this point I have hope that maybe one day I'll drive a 991 GT3 and be moderately impressed. Any day now!!

Last edited by SYT_Shadow; 04-25-2018 at 10:15 AM.
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      04-15-2018, 02:03 PM   #18
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That doesn't seem right, 10 seconds faster than gt3? Was it a first day student driving?
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      04-15-2018, 07:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MOREMOD View Post
That doesn't seem right, 10 seconds faster than gt3? Was it a first day student driving?
Black level student. That's the highest you get in PCA

The point isn't how fast this person was or wasn't. The point is the oil overheating on a car that, to the closest approximation reading this forum, is the vehicle God created. And not running 'fast'.
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      04-15-2018, 08:22 PM   #20
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Didn't know that was ever an issue with a gt3
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      04-16-2018, 06:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYT_Shadow View Post
The answer to everything in a GT3 is 'more throttle', so there is very little adjustability
At the track, gt3 drivers tell me they don't understand how I can move the car so much... because adjustability built into the M3. This is key to being fun

I drive a lot of Porsches on track as an instructor. You'd have to pay me to swap the M3 out. If someone gave me a 991 GT3 I'd sell it and get two E9X M3.

I'm always confused when I read about people's adoration for Porsches on the forum. I suspect a large part is badge envy.
I've spent such a massive amount of seat time in 997.2 GT3s and Caymans and I wonder if I'm taking crazy pills... I would never trade.

I preferred my 330 to my girlfriend's '99 Boxster, i preferred my 150k mile E46M to my housemate's 996 Carrera S, and the list goes on and on and on.

I know the 997.2 does nothing for me. Everyone spends their day talking about 'built for the track', 'mezger engine' and blahblahblah, but my primary student's 997.2 gt3 is still slower than my almost 100% stock E92 M3 and i've been in the gt3 while it overheats at WGI where my E92 can take an hour of laps 10 seconds faster at a time without overheating.

At this point I have hope that maybe one day I'll drive a 991 GT3 and be moderately impressed. Any day now!!
I am no racer (yet, lol) but people who have driven M3s and 911s professionally (Taniguchi-san, Super GT) told me that M3s weight distribution actually helps go through the corner faster with confidence than rear biased 911s. Where 911s shine are quick straight line grip with engine sitting on the rear wheels and braking due to lighter weight.
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      04-16-2018, 07:15 AM   #22
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There are track tests showing the 991 GT3 to be significantly faster than the E9xM3 around the track. R&T and C&D do best drivers car tests and have data going back years.
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