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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. PTTM
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    PTTM Pedal to the Metal!!!

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    Dunno how many of you guys have been in The Carrera range (997). Ive been lucky enough to be in C4S, GT3 and Turbo.

    C4S-
    Lovely car inside and out, but as everyone says not that much, if any, more special than S-Line A3 interior. £53k difference should surely get you some sort of space material thats not on an average car.

    GT3 -
    The GT3 is also a really nice car, but lets be honest, a typical race track car meant for nothing other than race days. Also obviously for burning every chav in his suped up saxo off the lights without even touching the accelerator pedal. Not that you couldnt do this in any of the other porsches.
    Losing the two seats and pretty much everything from the interior is a big downer, even if it does mean you get 0.2s off 0-60 time.

    Turbo -
    The turbo is basically a C4S with a turbo-charger. The interior is basically the same except for the fact it says turbo on the dials.
    It does cost 18k thereabouts more, and is it worth it? I think so....
    The power is unbelievable and similar to what it would feel like if you screwed a 747 jet engine to your car. 0-60 full second faster than C4S in 3.7. What a feeling ;)!

    IMO, the C4S is basically that one step down from the turbo. Its like a ham sandwich without the mustard or 2.0T to a S3. There is a significant gap in power throughout the rev range in comparison. Not knocking how quick the C4S is, but its very noticeable when sitting in a turbo immediately after being in the C4S.
    The GT3 needs to be revved for a full smile to be put on your face. Trust me it does, however the loss in interior goodies would put any everyday car lover off buying one. The simple fact is you couldnt use it everyday.

    So for pure pleasure my choice would be a Turbo as if you can afford a C4S why not save up a touch more for the full monty. However if you want to race at a track every other weekend and have no kids or gadgetery know-how get the mighty GT3.
    #41
  2. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    That's me!
    I don't turn the PSM off either..


    Ahh..it's a fine line between fun and fast point to point...the C4S will be quicker in the manky conditions...of that I have no doubt...but more or less fun?
    That probably depends on the size of your balls and your liking for oversteer!
    #42
  3. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    I find the Porsche interiors (well, the Carrera, Boxster and Cayman) pretty poor...not as well styled as theAudi interiors...which for me, isn't an issue as if I'd wanted a posing chariot and not a drivers car, I'd rank the interior higher up the 'required' list...what is poor though, is the quality of some of the materials.
    Not really acceptable for a car costing £80k.

    But...when you really drive the damn thing...I couldn't care about the interior...or the oil leaks, the RMS failures, the porous radiators etc
    I wish I could fall out with my C4S as it's been the least oil and water tight car I've ever owned...but I can't...it's just sooooo good to drive that I forgive all the rest.
    #43
  4. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    Sadly, point to point, on real roads...there is very little between a C4S and a turbo.
    If I'm brutally honest, there is little between a 2.7 Boxster and a Carrera of any type, if the helmsman is good enough...this has been proved by runs I've been on, over and over again.
    The turbo is obviously faster...but 4-6 car lengths over 20 miles over twisty roads?

    The problem with the turbo for me, is that you don't have to work hard at clicking with the car..you bimble round the corners and engage warp drive on the straights...and sadly, this is how most turbos get driven. Hence a well driven NA Carrera will 'keep up' on twisty roads.


    I disagree..you could use it in the same way as any Carrera...if you can suffer the hard ride and are a well above average driver. I'm not..I'd crash a GT3. Simple as that..
    I had the choice (new GT3, new C4S with plenty of options to 'harden it up' or a year old turbo) and I took the C4S.
    Every week I wonder if I'd prefer a GT3/turbo parked in the garage...but for maintenance costs and usability in all weathers...I'd still take the C4S.
    A compromise indeed..
    #44
  5. reubs1981
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    reubs1981 Yellow peril

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    I disagree..you could use it in the same way as any Carrera...if you can suffer the hard ride and are a well above average driver. I'm not..I'd crash a GT3. Simple as that..


    I love this honesty, speaking as someone who has crashed a Boxster. Was not a nice experience. I can only imagine what a 'lunatic' 911 is like...
    #45
  6. CJP80
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    CJP80 987C

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    I'd love a cayman/boxster with a GT3 engine. Now that would be an awesome car! I think the turbo with the torquey mid range is not as well suited to the 911 driving experience as a high revving NA powerplant.

    I'm also having great fun driving the Boxster. It's actually a very easy car to control. I've never really had any problems controlling the car during high speed cornering. I imagine this is due to the fact it's better balanced and has no LSD. Do all 911's have a LSD?

    As for the comments about the interior. I'll agree that the 987/997 interiors are not as "flash" as the Audis, but they are certainly made with higher grade materials and feel better screwed together IMHO.

    More importantly, there's one tactile aspect of the driving experience that Audi cannot match and that is feedback....

    I would agree with EssThree that you need more than a single day to get an idea of just how capable the car is. As my confidence begins to grow in the BS I am finding out just how brilliant this car is and just how far my confidence threshold is from what the car is actually capable of.

    p.s. If I could move into any other car from here it would be a 997 C4S with the powerkit.
    #46
  7. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    I've had the PSM and 4wd save my arse many times on my C4S..
    Not so much in the first year as I was frightened of it...but as I got cocky and thought I'd mastered the 911...it would bite.
    Now, after 3 years + I feel confident...but still have a healthy fear of/respect for it. There is barely a journey goes by that I don't learn something about the car...and I think I'm up around 75% of what the car is capable of now (as opposed to 100% of what the S3 could do after a month or so)
    I still get caught out...when I get to the point that I no longer cock things up, and feel confident to turn the PSM off..I'll consider a lunatic RWD 911...

    I reckon the 997 GT2 will be in my price range by then...and it has an electronic safety net!
    #47
  8. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    I agree...
    A 997 GT3 engine in a C4S would be my choice...


    No..only some 911s do.
    GT3s and those C2s ordered with it as a factory option.


    Possibly true..
    Sadly, not so the 996/986s...lesser quality plastics and carpets etc. Very well screwed together though.


    Feedback...
    Involvement...
    Fun?


    I've used mine a lot over the last week or so..wet and dry...and it still amazes me with it's sheer pace...although I think I need some new front tyres sooner rather than later (3-4mm...but letting go too often now) the driving experience is still getting better and better.
    #48
  9. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    except it has a totally different engine, based on the old competition GT2 block which is why they and the GT based engines don't suffer from RMS failure
    #49
  10. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    I love a bit of massochism :yum:
    #50
  11. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    Ess_Three : I do get the feeling you may have slightly taken the point of this the wrong way. Nowhere in what i've written have i said the carrera is a bad car in any way. I've been nothing but complimentary! I know enough about cars to know it's a legendary piece of engineering. I won't repeat everything i've already said because it gets a little repetitive! You can scroll up and read it for yourself.

    You are absolutely bang right in what you say though... Any car cannot be judged in a day, let alone a car with the capabilities of the Carrera. Although i only had it for a day so therefore thats all i have to judge it on... And it's not mine so 'pushing' it was totally out of the question!
    To say some people don't 'get' the 911, don't appreciate it's qualities etc etc etc, is to be fair a little patronising. The owner of this car (my uncle) has had porsches for the last 20 years (i'm 27) and i've extensively been in all of them on road and track so i've grown up with 911's and ironically it feels that the 911 itself has grown up a lot in that time. I remember a white 911 turbo ('88 i think)...proper 'widow maker' with the big whale tail etc....That thing was extreme. So involving and constantly on the edge. You had to have total respect for it at all times. The newer Carrera's are very much more useable, controllable, refined and basically dulled down (at lower speeds anyway).
    I think you also took what i said regarding the amount of attention the car get in the wrong way... As i said, this isn't the fault of the way the car itself is designed (it's the best looking Carrera yet in my opinion) but it's a complaint at Porsche's design philosophy throughout the range. E.g. Ferrari make every model a totally individual car in it's own right sharing little in common and therefore making each one special with it's own personality. Porsche don't. They have this corporate front end throughout the range and it cheapens the higher level cars in my opinion and makes them 'normal' as to the untrained eye, from the front it could be a Carrera, Cayman or Boxter. So no, nothing to do with having an Ego whatsoever, just wanting the Carrera to be viewed as something a bit rare and special and again.

    Don't misunderstand me though.... This is still one of my favourite cars of all time, and always will be. I'm simply pointing out observations i made during my day with the car. Some complimentary, some not so. No car is perfect or exempt from criticism.
    As i am in the process of going self employed and only having one car, image, useablity, reliability and a certain level of understatement is essential. For that reason alone, despite my complaints of value for money... Ironically the Carrera would be my only choice in this bracket and come the time when this car is up for sale i'll be looking at my finances with regards to buying it.

    Anyway thank you for all the feedback, it's appreciated whether you agree with my comments or not, especially from actual Porsche owner (Ess_Three etc), always interesting to hear.different opinions.
    If there's any interest, i'll post up some photos of the car. Got a few this weekend along side my A3 while i was giving her a good wash!

    Paul.
    #51
  12. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    I've not taken it the wrong way at all...but a car like that takes years to really get to know, so it's usual for something like that to feel alien when first driven...the opposite of a user-friendly current Audi which is very easy to drive from the first turn of the key.

    Things like the brakes etc feel awful at first...but soon become perfect...and all others feel over-servod and dead by comparison.


    Not so..
    I know Porsche owners who don't 'get' the Carrera. It's not a car for everyone.
    It's not patronising at all...some like the way it moves/behaves...some don't.
    That's real life...not patronising in any way.
    Some just don't click with a Carrera, whereas a Boxster/Cayman is much more natural feeling to drive.



    I didn't take it the wrong way...the prospective owners are generally poles apart.
    Few Porsche owners aspire to the showy Ferrari approach...many prefering the more subtle Porsche ethos.
    Probably why so many Carreras are non-aerokitted cars in black/grey/silver/dark blue .

    Polar opposite cars for different owners.

    The people I know fit into one camp or the other...Ferrari drivers want to stop traffic, Porsche owners get knowing nods.


    My brutally honesy opinion is that my Carrera is the best car I've ever driven...but it's not as reliable, or built with the standard of materials as I'd expect from a car that cose £80k.
    I'd also not dare take it out of the garage without an extended warranty.
    That's says a lot...

    But I'd still not swap it for anything else...(anything else I could afford that is) and untll I learn it properly and find the limits of the car (not looking likely anytime soon) I'll not be thinking of changing at all.
    #52
  13. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    Ess_Three, i agree with pretty much everything you're saying. The only thing i'd disagree with is that i don't find the porsche harder to drive than my Audi or any other average daily car. In fact i couldn't believe how commuter friendly it it. But that's a credit to Porsche. The power is so controllable at low speeds and the clutch doesn't break your ankle like i thought it would. A traffic jam isn't the horrific ordeal i expected!
    My point on Ferrari wasn't about the image or actual design of the cars i just meant every car in the range has it's own individual identity and can never be mistaken for one another.... Just like Porsche's used to be with the 944, 928, 911...all very different animals and totally unmistakable. Sadly no longer the case. Good for Cayman and Boxster owners but not so for 911s.
    #53
  14. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    Pottering about, I agree.
    I was referring to the fact that you can jump into pretty much any Audi and drive it to 95% of the cars limit, quickly and with minimal fuss...RS4/R8 included. They are easy cars to learn, they have no really strange handling traits and are very accessible.

    911s aren't..sure you can get in one and drive fast...but you will be nowhere near the limit of the car...getting from 60% to 95% takes years, in my experience.

    Harder to drive, may not have been the best phrase.
    Harder to push hard in, may be a better way of describing it.
    #54
  15. L60N
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    L60N Guest

    See this is where I find the whole "this car is great, this car is ****" idea a bit of a nonsense.

    Example...

    Jezza gets his hands on a rageing fast ferrari. Thrapes it round a mountain, gives it to the tame racing driver, then afterwards sums it up by saying something like "Awesome car but dont over do it because you'll end up in a hedge"

    So your left thinking "Hmm, why didnt Ferrari sort this under/over steer out"

    Then Jezza gets his hands on an R8, thrapes it around similar beautiful backdrop, hands the key to the stig, then sums it up by saying somthing like "Awesome car, just a little too perfect, theres no tail out excitement etc"

    *He didnt say these things im just tyring to illustrate my point*

    It leaves me thinking how are they ever supposed to get it right?

    Then i realise, hmm, its all just marketing ******, the reviewer can never say "perfect", they need to keep the marketting machine in motion etc.

    Further I realise, Its down to the individual to decide what he wants in a car. Furthermore, who are we to criticize a mans choice in what he drives? He may love it to bits.

    In a nutshell, I guess im saying, like your car, hate your car, but don't try to force your opinions on to other people.
    #55
  16. CJP80
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    CJP80 987C

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    I don't think anyone is trying to force opinions in this thread. It is merely conveying objective opinions on what the 911 is like to drive. Everyone will find attractive different aspects of any car. What I will agree with is Glen’s assessment of the time required to get a true picture of what a car is really like. The comments about the aesthetics aside, a truly objective view on a vehicle cannot be had from a single days driving.

    Is this not why we see car magazines reversing their opinions on cars time and time again.
    #56
  17. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    But unfortunately we normally decide in a couple of hours that we will/wont buy a car...

    J.
    #57
  18. siu00adg
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    siu00adg Member

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    Good call. People seem desperate to prove their cars are the best. I love my S3 but I'm under no illusion that its nothing more than a quick hot hatch. No matter what car you have it won't be everyones cup of tea. I think it's because people spend so much money on cars they kid themselves into thinking it was an amazing investment. Basically as you say L60N, if you like your car then great, but don't impose your opinion on everyone else and don't discredit another mans car, thats just rude.
    #58
  19. CJP80
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    CJP80 987C

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    Which is why so many of us change way too often!

    Maybe a manufacturers ploy? Perhaps this is why Manufacturers who produce truly great drivers cars offer extended test drives....?
    #59
  20. L60N
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    L60N Guest

    Maybe i should have said it but im not pointing any fingers, just airing my thoughts :thumbsup:
    #60
  21. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    You need the odd bad one so you can appreciate the good ones?
    #61
  22. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    I test drove mine for 2 hours, placed an order and than had a demo for the day.. Guess I should have done that differently...
    #62

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