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So I drove one of these yesterday evening.  No, I don't need another car, but my friend is buying it and wanted someone who knows 911s to give an opinion.  After we had completed a decent test drive he promptly jumped out and proclaimed to the vendor that he was buying it, so whatever I thought turned out to be somewhat irrelevant, but it was an interesting way to spend an hour or so.

What did I think?  I came away in two minds and slightly surprised in ways I didn't expect.  Maybe it was the weight of the 4wd system or the fact that we were 3 up, but it didn't feel as quick as I expected.  Or as torquey as I thought a 3.4 would be.  I had the opportunity to benchmark it before and after with my 987 and that had more throttle response, more midrange pickup and more top end zing.  Not a lot more, but noticeable.  I guess mine is a good bit lighter.  On the plus side, it sounded decent on its 100% std exhaust system and louder in the car than I expected.  It wasn't slow but just felt a tad off the pace I would want.  And I had always been a little tempted by the 996C4 option because it on paper has some pluses over the C2 in the real world and always got good reviews back to back with the C2s.

It also felt small.  I guess objectively, these are small cars compared to modern stuff, but the 987 cabin felt wider.  It isn't.  I think.  And I should be familiar with the architecture from the 996TT, so I don't fully understand the feeling.

Overall, its still a fairly nice drive.  Standard suspension at 74k miles feels relatively tight, but with just a hint of legginess.  There is a little initial body roll as it settles into what would feel stiff compared to 99% of cars on the road, but felt sloppy compared to my fleet.  The downside is that to get back to 100% fitness, you likely need dampers, coffin arms, tuning forks and front top mounts.  That's a fairly big bill or you just go straight to coilovers if you want OEM plus tending to fast road use and a lower ride height.  My friend will eave it alone as its good enough for him on his "challenging" drives to the golfcourse.  Steering feels nice though - much like the 987 unsurprisingly.  The wheel not adjustable for reach bugged me, but I know I got over that in my 6TT.  The brakes felt a little better than the std 987 brakes, though they should be identical.  Still suffer from a lack of initial bite.

And the killer for me - a nice standard 996C4 now costs more than I am into the 987 for with all the modifications.  And the 987 with zero mods was a pretty well judged package to start with - it impressed me (or maybe exceeded my expectations) from day 1.  So the VFM doesn't quite stack up for me in the way they did a couple of years ago.

The dealer also had a 6TT for sale at a decent price.  I started thinking that I could quite easily be tempted with another one of those at some point.  But it was a tiptronic and as much as the tip works well in the turbo, it ultimately isn't for me.

Just thought I would share all of that.  For no good reason, other than its nearly lunch time, so why not.

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9 minutes ago, Richard Bernau said:

I came away in two minds and slightly surprised in ways I didn't expect.  Maybe it was the weight of the 4wd system or the fact that we were 3 up, but it didn't feel as quick as I expected.

You wouldn't add  much to the equation :P

It also felt small.  I guess objectively, these are small cars compared to modern stuff, but the 987 cabin felt wider.  It isn't.  I think.  And I should be familiar with the architecture from the 996TT, so I don't fully understand the feeling.

Were you sat in the back?

Just thought I would share all of that.  For no good reason, other than its nearly lunch time, so why not.

Reads this while having lunch 😎

 

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I've never been in the back seat of a 996. Are they any better than the back seat of an IB?

To me, for sensible height adults, the back seats on our cars are the equivalent of a spare tyre. Kids fine but adults, non.

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Nice review RB. I’ve had a few goes in a mates jubilee 996 and that in all fairness feels pretty quick and sounds lovely. Could be the X51 power pack with the modified exhaust, air box etc.

I had a little go in a 718 Cayman on Tuesday. A friend has their car at OPC and it was a loaner. The 2.0 turbo model. 

Looked drop dead gorgeous in a navy metallic with the black trim and leather. No chrono, pdk. lol the other toys inc paddle shifters.

it certainly felt quick. Effortlessly quick really. Banged up through the gears and used the paddles to pull a gear down for a bend, 

Sounded far from sporty. Had a sports exhaust but it just sounded bland compared to a flat six 987.

Suspension didn’t feel improved at all from a 987. Cornered well. They always did.

No real lag. Power always there.

Nav radio etc all looked quality. 

It all just felt so easy to be honest. No drama, no theatre no nothing. Could have easily have been a hot hatch as a Porsche. 

We old school peeps like to earn our pleasures. With the latest porkers, the pleasures are spoon fed. Lovely car which with a nice engine, would be coveted I’m sure. But they dropped the ball on this one - for me in any case. My mate called it a fast dyson 😂

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On 7/4/2019 at 8:19 PM, Busybee said:

It all just felt so easy to be honest. No drama, no theatre no nothing. Could have easily have been a hot hatch as a Porsche. 

We old school peeps like to earn our pleasures. With the latest porkers, the pleasures are spoon fed. Lovely car which with a nice engine, would be coveted I’m sure. 

I had the pleasure of putting a 718 Boxster GTS through its paces, its surprisingly quick and agile, interiors has a quality feel, all the toys, but the sound is disappointing, yet livable with if its your daily.

As you mentioned there is no drama, it's so easy to drive very fast, but who's driving who!  

 

 

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I really enjoyed my 3.4 996 C4. Just a shame it was wasted on the Station run and it stopped me getting the IB out of the garage when I should have. 

 

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I have been thinking I need to revisit the 996C4 when my friend collects it.  I really want to like it.

Re 718s - heresy, but I kind of wonder what's the point when you can get a Golf R for less than half the price and get a similar quality of driving experience (if the journos are to be believed about how real world good a Golf R is).  And stage 1 chip tune gives 365hp in an R.  Thinking of an R as a daily BTW.

On 7/4/2019 at 8:14 PM, ALEX P said:

I've never been in the back seat of a 996. Are they any better than the back seat of an IB?

To me, for sensible height adults, the back seats on our cars are the equivalent of a spare tyre. Kids fine but adults, non.

Seat is bigger, but nowhere for your feet under the front seats.  Headroom similarly compromised.  I am small, so I can fit in either just about.

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I bought a 2003 996 gen 2  C2 manual  just over 2 years ago - purely to squirrel away and then sell when the prices sky-rocketed .. which they didn't  😞

I used to use it once a week just to keep it ticking over and then found myself using it more and more ... to the extent I have decided not to sell it and now use daily for my 20 mile commute to work leaving my 4x4 at home instead . A quick change of wheels and some covers for the headlamps  ( the shape and style was never to my taste ) together with a dateless plate and I am happy with the result.

Its agile , quick enough and, I think , more enjoyable to drive than a lot of new cars for a very reasonable price . I could sell tomorrow for what I paid for it so its a win win situation in my opinion.

I will be the first to admit I had previously never been a fan of the 996 but have definitely changed my mind  ..... 

 

996 072019.jpg

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I used to think the same about the headlight, but they been growing and growing on me. Now I really like them :)

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26 minutes ago, Sidewaysfun said:

I used to think the same about the headlight, but they been growing and growing on me. Now I really like them :)

Gen1 look so much better than Gen2 in my opinion which is not what you would have said 17 years ago! 

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20 hours ago, Richard Bernau said:

Re 718s - heresy, but I kind of wonder what's the point when you can get a Golf R for less than half the price and get a similar quality of driving experience (if the journos are to be believed about how real world good a Golf R is).  And stage 1 chip tune gives 365hp in an R.  Thinking of an R as a daily BTW.

I had the latest Golf R as a hire car for 4 days in the back roads of northern Germany last weekend. I couldn’t fault it, great car. I think it would be great on a track day as well. 

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I should start another topic, but its an interesting conundrum looking at £20-something thousand cars for a daily.  You can get some tasty practical stuff in the hot hatch space - which is likely the best fit for what I want from a daily that will see weekend second car duty and station carparks during the week.  Or you are into some proper fast stuff like an F80 M3, RS4 etc, which apart from fuel economy is also very practical.  Or some tasty 996/997 era Porsches, which are clearly less practical and higher maintenance as they are older and, of course, is much closer to the 987 in terms of driving experience and so begs the question of why have 2 similar cars.  Also, driving the 930 yesterday, I had a slightly revelatory moment that mid engine is generally better than rear engine - it just struck me in the middle of some corners that 911s do force you do make driving style compromises or adjustments and that 20+ yrs of learning to drive 911s had made me block that from my conscious thoughts.  This is beginning to sound far too much like a mid-life crisis post :) .  Also, first world problems.

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On 7/10/2019 at 8:39 AM, Richard Bernau said:

This is beginning to sound far too much like a mid-life crisis post 

Rocking chair, slippers and pipe at the ready!

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