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Just had a Carrera 4S for the day....

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by PNH80, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    Lads, lasses....

    I know this is totally non Audi related (well...other than i own an Audi and Porsche now own most of Audi!), but for the last 24 hours i've had a relatives Carrera 4S to borrow. Ice blue (special order), anthracite wheels with polished rim, charcoal leather etc. Basically £80K's worth of car :hubbahubba:.

    Ok now here comes the Audi related part....
    I own an A3 (see my signature for model) and to be brutally honest, the cabin in the carrera left me quite uninspired. Doesn't feel any better quality overall considering price. Alright sure, the money has got to be spent somewhere so the fixtures and fittings are bound to be better....but it just didn't FEEL it, and thats what a cabin is all about for me, being surrounded by the car and it being a nice place to be for any length of time.
    I have a little issue with the engine sound as well, from outside the Carrera sounds phenomenal but from inside it's all very 'whiny'. There's actually more road noise from the back tyres than roaring engine sound. Maybe Porsche have tried to make the car too driver friendly and refined for every day use and actually lost some of it's better qualities in translation?
    Clutch and gear change has a more solid, abuse-proof feel than my Audi (hey, it should do!). Acceleration at low revs about town is quite similar strangely. Very controllable and doesn't actually feel that rapid until you plant your right foot into the shag pile. Similarly, the brakes are pretty unresponsive til they get warmed up ( few nervous moments approaching roundabouts at 70mph:scared2:)...but i expected that and it's no detriment to the car, more my inexperience as a driver of exotic motors!

    Don't get me wrong, it's a beautifully made and engineered car but considering i own an A3 (costing 27K), i should be gettin into the Porsche (costing 80K) and saying "holy mother of god this is a seriously incredible machine" , then getting back into my Audi and thinking "this feels cheap and nasty". Not the case. I was left a little flat to be perfectly honest. Such a smooth, responsive car on the open road and the power delivery in mid to high revs is pant wetting. I found myself driving everywhere with the windows down just to hear the exhaust note, but then when you remember the price tag it's just not enough.

    Another surprising thing is the number of glances the car gets. Yes, it gets a good few looks but not as many as an 80K car should get! People would be breaking their necks if it was an Aston, Maseratti, R8 etc etc. I squarely blame porche's design ethic for this. They've made the Cayman and Boxter way too similar to the Carrera and it's almost turned what was a special car into something quite common and ordinary.

    My point is, i'm comparing certain aspects of the car to my S-line A3, and it SHOULD be impossible to do! But it's not. There is no way on earth a Carrera can possibly be better than the R8. I haven't driven an R8 but christ on a bike it must kill the Carrera in every department. And have you seen the new Maseratti Grandturismo? Porsche have got work to do on the next Carrera, in fact it better be the best one ever. In my opinion it needs redesigning from the ground up and almost throw away the expected carrera shape.

    So to clarify...Carrera 4S is a superb everyday semi-supercar. Beautifully engineered and a simply magic engine... but as a package a little bit blunt and uninspiring. Most people used to driving fast cars will get bored before too long. I'm betting the GT3 would be a MUCH better shout. Infact i'd imagine the old 996 would be a more thrilling drive.
    Basically (IMHO) if you've got £80K lying about and only want 1 car to serve all purposes....Spend it with Audi (R8, RS6...can't go wrong)

    Like i say... Not really Audi related but there's been a lot of Porche talk on here lately comparing TTS to Cayman etc etc so thought i'd share my opinions on the car!

    Cheers!

    Paul :salute:
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  3. Matt
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    Matt Active Member

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    you are going to be crucified for saying that :lmfao:

    not been in a 911, would love to and would love to own one
    #2
  4. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    No question, you'd love it. Such a solid, useable car and the power is delivered in perfectly controllable amounts. No problem at all reverse parking and about town. I'm not 'really' faulting the car, it is what it is. Porsches are never going to be inspiring, they're too clinical. All i'm saying is that after driving one my money would be going on an R8.
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  5. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    Paul that is a wonderful post and great to read. I can imagine where your coming from. If I could have anycar, anycar at all. It would have to be the R8. I saw my first R8 (at night) in Manchester city centre last night and WOW! The presence is unreal. So Gallardo like, combine the power, handling, looks with build quality and class and it really is game over imo.

    Well done Audi, I knew I made the right choice moving to the 4 rings :kissmyrings:
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  6. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    Don't get me wrong N8, i'm not knocking the Carrera, it's an iconic car. It just doesn't make the pulse race at any point (other than when you lose the back end). It's just not passionate and exciting enough for the price tag in comparison to it's direct competitors. It's a very sensible, usable car and not as flash as an R8 (no fairy lights). The Carrera looks stunning when you look at it on it's own but next to an R8 it looks like it was designed in the dark ages, which to be fair it almost was! For those of you who saw Top Gear, you'll know what i mean.
    I'm really hoping that Porsche pull out all the stops for the next Carrera, get the engine in the middle, get rid of the back seats (pointless) and just give us a car which makes 'Carrera' an iconic name again. It should be fascinating if they knick any ideas from Audi (4WD diff systems etc) now that they practically own the company.
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  7. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    I know what your saying, I do love porsches as well. Esp 997 Turbo
    #6
  8. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    Audi Build quality?

    Have you read the posts about sqeaky brakes, dodgy MAF's, leaky diff's, dual mass flywheels?

    Not to mention the piece of garbage Audi call my car, build quality is BS
    #7
  9. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    Oh dear, here we go. I'm the sort of person who says what i see and doesn't follow opinion. We all know your car was a bag of steaming **** and i'm honestly sorry for you. But mine isn't.
    These are simply my opinions about getting out of my 27K Audi into an 80K Porsche and therefore assuming what an 80K Audi must be like in comparison. Remember, this is 'opinion' not science fact.

    Keep your wig on.
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  10. julians
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    julians Member

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    I would imagine that the materials used in the cabin of an R8 dont differ too much from your A3, so from that respect I would imagine that you wouldnt see much difference there either.

    IME, once you get past £30k or so for a car, there is no huge jump in interior quality, certainly not with the mainstream expensive car manufacturers. What you do get IME is less reliability, disproportionately more costly running , worse service from the dealer, but a faster and better handling car.
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  11. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    Agreed..Thanks for actually understanding the point of my thread! I've never driven an 80K car for that length of time before and so i was surprised at how little jump in quality there is. It threw up all sorts of questions for me. Quite educational actually.
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  12. reubs1981
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    reubs1981 Yellow peril

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    I'm really hoping that Porsche pull out all the stops for the next Carrera, get the engine in the middle, get rid of the back seats (pointless) and just give us a car which makes 'Carrera' an iconic name again.

    They did it; it was the Carrera GT, a pinnacle of supercar design.

    Seriously, I know that was £325,000 of motor car, but putting the engine in the middle means it's not a 911 so for one I really hope they don't go down this route.

    For me, Porsche is the only car i actually dream of owning; the quality, the precision (in everything to do with the driving experience), the sheer clinical excellence. For me, that's why they remain the ultimate, and why for others they leave them cold. And I know that there may still be problems with the image (wideboys, city boys, etc) and I also know the dealers are still stealers, but to have one of those motors for use at any time, that would make it all worthwhile.
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  13. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    Carrera GT is awesome
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  14. reubs1981
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    reubs1981 Yellow peril

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    ^^^ They are awesome; one destroyed me on the M6 one day. One of the greatest things I've ever seen on four wheels.
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  15. Kontraband
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    Kontraband Active Member

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    interesting write up :)

    I can understand it totally. They are all over the place now porsches... and having not changed much on the outside its now getting old and dated. But us 30 somethings are the ones that will be looking to buy these sometime soon Id imagine... so they need to kick themselves up the backside and shake things up again to bring a bit of fire back. Its far to easy to go spend your hard earned cash on summat else, though I certainly wont be touching an R8.

    Glad you had the opportunity to drive it and get a feel. You would have rightly thought £50k would buy you a big ******* smile about everything but clearly it doesnt... maybe you'd need to spend £300k ;)
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  16. phantom
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    phantom On Boost

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    Not sure on the looks of the GT ( not saying i wouldn't have one as a gift ) a bit flash for me! Now the 911 turbo S....thats of me a bit me that!

    p
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  17. reubs1981
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    reubs1981 Yellow peril

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    I think the Carrera GT looks amazing in pictures, but when you see one in the metal going down the road...Out of this world! So low and wide, it looks like a spaceship. And with the spoiler extended it really looks like it means business.

    Anyone seen this month's evo; Porsche super grouptest. 993 GT2 (original widowmaker), 997 GT3 RS, Carrera GT and 997 Gt2. Probably about £580,000 worth of Porsches there, and I'd sell the wife to have any one of them.

    (Offers by pm, lol!)
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  18. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    [Apr 3, 2008]

    Read any motoring review or talk to anyone who's driven both and they'll tell you the R8 just kills the Carrera on all of the points you mention. It will always be the benchmark for sensible, understated, bomb proof supercars but you just don't see one and think.... "f**k me thats motoring pornography". For £80K thats what i want and in the Aston AMV8, Maseratti Grandturismo and Audi R8, thats what you get.
    Jeremy Clarkeson has driven every performance car on the planet, on road and track and he says the R8 is (apart from the fairy lights) absolutely faultless. Lets be honest...Thats real precision. In fact if we're splitting hairs...The new Nissan GTR is a more perfect and precisely engineered car than the 911! (not that i'd buy one).

    Don't get me wrong though. The Carrera is a wonderful car which anyone would be grateful to own.... But given the chance to spend 80K of my own hard earned money, it would probably go elsewhere.

    When you consider the cars which have been released since the new shape Carrera... BMW M6, AMV8, R8 etc etc...The next Carrera has literally got to be the best car Porsche have ever made, and i believe it will be.

    Anyway i could ramble on about it all day but i'm not in a position to buy any of these cars, just been lucky enough to borrow one and give my thoughts!
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  19. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    Well no you see this is the point, and the question which borrowing the car has thrown up...and my reason for posting the tread... What do you really gain, the more you spend? Handling? Speed? Build Quality? Prestige?.... Personally i think if you spend any more than 70K but any less than 200K, all you're gaining is status and superiority. Definitely not a 'better' car.
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  20. Kontraband
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    Kontraband Active Member

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    I am agreeing with you... I would have 'thought' that too... but really it i.snt... which is why I said £300k to add to your £27k to take you to a Carrera GT... theres one knocking around in Sheffield Ive been behind a few times.... the wheels are soooooo wide its brilliant!!!
    #19
  21. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    forget the turbo (that is way to clinical) I would get either the GT3 (RS or not doesnot matter) or the GT2...

    Pedro
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  22. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    Was it an 'Asian' guy driving it?
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  23. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    100% agreed, the GT3 eliminates most of my complaints about the 'standard' Carrera. Looks so much more special and not as 'safe'

    Paul.
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  24. reubs1981
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    reubs1981 Yellow peril

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    It was a great review. Either way, R8 or C4S I wouldn't feel shortchanged, but I think my money would still go to Stuttgart rather than Ingolstadt (though as Porsche plan on owning pretty much all of Germany's motor industry the success of the R8 may not be too painful).


    #23
  25. Kontraband
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    Kontraband Active Member

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    [Apr 3, 2008]

    cant remember... it was on eccy tho.
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  26. CJP80
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    CJP80 987C

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    I'm waiting on Glen to read this.....

    I take it this car was a 997?
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  27. reubs1981
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    reubs1981 Yellow peril

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    #26
  28. phantom
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    phantom On Boost

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    Yeah but if you were saving up out of your OWN money , would you not like a decent cabin and some toys? i know i would , unless i was SO rich it was a plaything/weekend car!

    Thats what makes the S3 so special to me ( in my price range ) it has decent performance/handling , lovely understated looks , and a luxury interior....it's a all weather allrounder!:happy:

    If i just wanted speed/handling i'd buy a FQ 400 , if i just wanted luxury i'd buy a 3 series coupe.

    p
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  29. CJP80
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    CJP80 987C

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    The GT3 has all the toys.

    You're thinking of the RS.
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  30. reubs1981
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    reubs1981 Yellow peril

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    Yes, surely the GT3 is enough toy in itself?

    I think it comes with the Clubsport pack as standard, doesn't it?

    I've sat in 997s and I have to say, I think it is incredibly well put together and think it also looks gorgeous (Alcantara etc).
    #29
  31. phantom
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    phantom On Boost

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    LOL yeah your right.

    p
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  32. lil_coz
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    lil_coz Active Member

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    Good post this one. I once saw a yellow Carrera GT and I was left with my mouth open. I heard the thing before I saw it! I head its distinct tone and I knew that there was one somewhere. By the time I looked up it was blasting its way into the distance! Such a nice sound!

    About the new Carrera.... I remember reading somewhere that there are rumours that prosche are going to drop the straight 6 and going for an 8 cyl engine. Think it may be a straight 8 but not sure. It deafinately suprised me tho!
    #31
  33. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    says what you see eh?

    Me too, you seem to think anything with an Audi badge on it is superior in build quality, which is bo77ocks

    If you are sorry for me, don't be, I don't really care

    Keep my wig on? seems you are the one that needs to chill out dude, Everytime someone bangs on about how relaible Audi's are, I'll be there saying that they're not, get used to it and keep your's on
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  34. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    nice write up

    just 2 questions - you say you'd plough the money into an R8 but you've not driven it??!!?? bit of an odd statement. Also, isn't a GT3 more comparative in price to an R8 seeing as they're both £80k?



    kettle type pork is ok in standard form but the hotter versions are totally different - try a GT3 as a comparison

    if you can try an air-cooled RS if you want to see what all the fuss is about
    #33
  35. sleep envy
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    [Apr 3, 2008]
    nope! no central locking, wind up windows, no A/C, no sound deadening, no rear dimist, not much else either

    still drive all over the continent in mine every year - love it!
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  36. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    [Apr 4, 2008]
    Right, a few responses to get through...

    I know of a guy who lives up Broomhill, his name's Bo, got alsorts of ridiculous exotica. Hummers, Gallardo, Diablo, Ferrari F40, 3 Dino's etc etc. Also i've seen Prince Naseem and his brothers knocking around in some insane cars over the years...Stretched Range Rover sport? Stylish!

    New shape 57 reg Carrera 4S.

    Like i said above, i think Porsche are going to ditch a lot of the 'classic' features the car is famous for. There's no doubting it's a superb car in every respect but I think Porsche have taken their eye off the ball a bit with the Cayenne and new 4 door saloon monstrosity and need to get back to making the best sports cars in the world. Which i honestly think the next generation Carrera will be.

    Erm, yeah alright.... Clearly not really understood the thread or any of the points i'm making. Don't think anyone banged on about Audi reliability or said that they're built better than anything else? Confusing :uhm:. Anyway good luck to you...Hope you find happiness soon.

    The 80K i'm quoting is for this particular car with all extras, special order paint, wheels etc. Not the standard Carrera. To be fair if you were buying one without placing an order you'd be comparing the R8 to the 911 turbo price wise. Don't think the GT3 has enough luxury to be compared to the R8. I know what you're saying though.
    You're right, i haven't driven an R8 so obviously my judgement could be a little hasty. Although my opinion is based on getting out of my S-line A3 into a Porsche then back again. Not in a million years am i comparing the 2 cars directly (that would be ignorant to say the least!) , just saying the Porsche didn't 'feel' like 55K more of a car. Clearly it IS a better built and engineered car but i'm looking at what you get for your money.
    So there is a lot of assumption on my part that an 80K Audi must be very very impressive to say the least!


    Just to clarify the point of the thread though...It's one of the best days motoring i've ever had. Seriously, the car has such refined, controllable power it's a credit to Porsche's engineering. Ferrari's are notoriously 'hard' to drive but this thing was as easy to drive as my A3.
    Would i have one? Hell yes in a heartbeat. It's so useable and understated (within reason!) when you need it to be. The car was everything i thought it would be.
    It just comes down to spending around £80K on a car. Some people may be happy with just having a smug grin and getting nerdy about 'engineering' precision (thats what's given beamer drivers a bad name), the car is technically phenomenal, no question. But is that enough for that amount of money? Personally for me...No. I want to look at it inside and out and see it as a thing of beauty. You know that feeling you get in your chest when you see something so desirable you can't believe it....Never got that once during my time with the car. But i got that immediately when i saw my first R8 or Aston for example. But that's just me and my taste.

    If i had to sum it up i'd say the Porsche commands total respect and admiration for what it is as a machine, incredible. But it never gave me any reason to fall in love with it.
    Is is however worth saying that the owner won't drive anything other than Porsche (and he can afford anything) so that speaks for itself.

    There's also the tiny matter that i have the option to buy this car at a very favourable price in just over 18 months when the owner buys a new one. Let me tell you... At RS4 money, this car is a VERY different prospect entirely...
    #35
  37. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Apr 4, 2008]
    fair call!

    hope you get to own either one day!
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  38. Ess_Three
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    [Apr 4, 2008]

    It's his point of view...and to be honest, nothing less than I expected from a current Audi driver..by that I mean someone who expects the car to reveal itself in 2 mins.

    The interior points are fully valid. I've never thought any different, however, anyone with a pulse will appreciate how a C4S drives when you push on - and all thoughts of the interior vanish soon after.

    Brakes...they have what's called feedback...and can be modulated by either the left or right foot, to the ABS point, wet or dry...something you can't do in an Audi.

    As for getting looks...I imaging the majority of Carrera drivers don't need the admiring looks of the great unwashed to massage their egos. I don't.
    I spent my £80k where I wanted and on what I wanted...there were plenty of other cars around to impress passers by...

    The Carrera is a car that takes learning...after 3 years I'm still getting used to what mine can/will do. It took me all of 2 weeks with the Audi.
    If you don't put the time in, you'll not get the rewards out.

    It's a personal choice think...I could have bought a new 996 GT3 for the money mine cost..but try driving a GT3 on a wet/snowy day in te NE of Scotland..and yes, the C4S does get driven on days like that...and it's unstoppable and faster point to point than a GT3 in those conditions.

    At the end of the day...not everyone 'gets' Porsches, even less the 911.
    If you don't like it..don't buy it. Simple really.
    The whold rear engine thing takes a complete re-calculation of your driving style and perception of grip and traction...some people just can't/won't accept it.

    For me, a car like the C4S is for pleasure...for driving. Interiors have about as much appeal as Jabba the Hutt...it's all about involvement..and if you don't put the hours in, you aren't involved.
    The C4S - and most other recent 911s - come alive where the Audi looses the plot.

    Horses for courses, and all that...
    #37
  39. StevenAFC
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    [Apr 4, 2008]
    Just to say, I havent read through all the thread but the Carrera, is more like the lotus elise, in that it's not really designed to be great inside, my expectation of the interior would be pretty low.

    However I did drive a Ferrari 360 Modena, and the interior quality was not better than my A3, but the use of leather/crome was far better etc.

    I think Audi have the best mid-level (i guess you call it that) interiors out there, I sat in the BWM Z4, as I was considering going to a TT or a Z4 Coupe, and the interior in that was pony. Had a very cheap nasty (renault-like) feel. Not good!
    #38
  40. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Apr 4, 2008]
    you big gayer!! ;)

    I've had great fun in the snow in my RS
    #39
  41. t&biskits
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    t&biskits it`s all black

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    [Apr 4, 2008]
    from personal experience of driving an R8, yes its was effing quick, sounds amazing inside when you are hitting 8000rpm in 2nd & 3rd, looks stunning inside, but i still couldn`t quite see where 90k was in the car, it was just as practical to get in as a 911(no special manouevres required to enter), but it didn`t quite seem special enough, also done a lap as a passenger in a 997 gt3 rs around the nurburgring, same with that , when you are in it i didn`t feel no sense of `wow`, but i think it`s down to personal choice. i would personally have a 911 for the the look, the r8 is v,nice , but its the car of the moment. there will be something new around the corner(nissan gtr), & as i cant afford any of the above i will just have to make do with the s3.(it`s a hard life!).:racer:
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