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    1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles



    Baby's got back:



    And lovely curves all over the place:



    A beautiful car on a gorgeous day:



    In the past month I've driven the car on main roads, back roads, canyon twisties, in the rain, in the heat, and in all sorts of traffic conditions. It's one of those cars that is never flustered, and lets you know that it is more capable than you are, which is a hallmark of Porsches. I took it easy to break it in, but the mechanics at two Porsche dealers in the area said that doing so wasn't really necessary, and to go for it after 1000 miles. I did, and it's quite the car.

    Acceleration

    Quite good, to the point where illegal speeds are reached in no time. Where it differs from most Porsches I've driven is that it can pull quite nicely from low RPMs, with low-end grunt that reminds me of the 928 S4 I used to own. Pretty amazing considering that it's still a relatively small 6-cylinder normally aspirated engine.

    Brakes

    The car came with PCCB and at first I thought that this was an option that I'd leave off if I were to order one. After using them for a month, I realize that I was in error and that these are truly marvelous brakes. With the same tires I think that this car might give my GT3 Cup car a good run in terms of braking. Are they worth the price? Perhaps not, but I'd want them if I didn't have them.

    Handling

    So far it hasn't been on the track, but the handling of this car is quite amazing. With the street tires it is running it feels as planted and sharp as my 993 C4S and Boxster did with DOT track tires. It's also very neutral, feeling more like a well-balanced car such as the Boxster than a rear-engined car has any right to do.

    Shifting

    Very nice, probably the best shifter I've ever felt in a car. There is a weight to it that I like, with short and precise throws that feel quite different compared to the stock "floppy" shifters on the 996/986. I've also grown to like the shape of the shifter, which seemed "retro" when I first got the car.

    PASM Normal vs. Sport

    The normal mode is what I keep the car in most of the time, only switching to sport mode if I am about to hit some twisties. It's not racecar rough in the sport mode, but it is quite a bit stiffer and not much fun if the road is rough. Being able to switch without getting out of the car to fiddle with the suspension settings is quite nice, and if anything Porsche should give the user even more control from the cockpit. The normal mode isn't exactly soft, but it is more compliant and you don't get bumped around on rough roads. As with PCCB, I'd get this again if I were ordering a 997, and it's well worth the money.

    Sport Chrono

    The lap timing function is of little use as it requires the driver to click off laps and is not accurate. However, the "sport" mode that changes the engine characteristics makes this option well worth it! Why Porsche bundles these two together is a mystery as the two have nothing to do with each other, at least that I can tell. I use the sport ECU setting more often than the sport PASM setting.

    Adaptive Seats

    Excellent seats, no two ways about it, and every passenger I've had in the car has commented on them. I also like that they're lower than those in the 996/986, making it feel more like you're in the car. It hasn't been cold enough to try out the heat yet, but they should be nice over the winter.

    PCM

    Like many people I was at first dismayed by "all the buttons", but anyone who is smarter than a chimp will have no problem with them. The radio reception is good, seeming to be better than in my other Porsches, and the sound is quite nice for an OEM system. It needs a CD changer, which I'll add, and it's funny that the launch cars didn't have them. I haven't used the sat nav a whole lot, but it seems to work as well as others I've seen, and is far better than the one I had in a BMW a few years ago.

    Controls

    I love the feel of the steering wheel, but it's looks haven't really grown on me. The round center and aluminum bits on the edges just doesn't look good to my eye. The stalks are much nicer than those in the 996/986, having lost that cheap and flimsy feel that those cars suffered so much from. These aren't quite as "damped" as the ones in a Lexus, but they don't feel like they'd snap off under heavy usage either. I have big hands and haven't had any problems with the buttons, levers, handles, etc. in the car.

    Climate Control

    A weird one to write about, but this car has a very good system that is a joy because I don't have to fiddle with it. In the Boxster I was always adjusting the temperature, taking control over the "auto" mode to get it to cool or heat the car well, and was generally a pain. The 997 has a system that I'd rate as being on par with that in an Audi, BMW, etc.

    Storage

    It's not a big car and doesn't have much in the way of storage space, but it's enough that I can pick up groceries and so on with no problem. I'd like to see Porsche dispense with the vestigal rear seats and make it a hatchback to allow easier access to the rear area. 924/944/968 and 928 owners know how nice that this can be. The trunk is decent sized, although the elimination of the space-saver spare doesn't make that much difference. It is nicely trimmed, which is quite a change for the better.

    Fuel Economy

    I've been getting around 20 MPG in mixed driving, including frequent spirited acceleration. When cruising at highway speeds the trip computer indicates that it's getting 25 or more MPG, which isn't too bad for a car like this.

    Appearance

    It's a beautiful car, and everyone who sees it in the metal loves it. Many will say that "it looks much better than in the pictures", and most of them also like the controversial wheels. If I could change only one styling element it would be the rather tall rear end as compared to a 993. I think that the front end looks better than the 993, which is a surprise.

    Quality

    Very good, seeming to be on par with that of other German cars, and better than with the 996/986. Is it up to 993 standards in terms of fit, finish, and overall solid feeling? I'm not quite sure, but it seems to be more in line with the 993 than the 996/986.

    Creaks and Squeaks

    I've had a creak in the gauge cluster that I've temporarily solved with a wedge of paper. A piece of black felt or some "gummifledge" might be the longer term solution. There was a rattle in the right rear that drove me nuts for a while, but it turned out to be the passenger belt buckle banging against the hard back of the sports seat. Easily remedied with a twist, but longer term it might be nice to have clip or something for it. I've also heard a rattle from somewhere on the right side of the car, either glovebox or door, but it has only happened twice and seems to have disaappeared. It could be sunroof-related, which you'll read about next.

    Sunroof Problem

    After washing the car I noticed that there was a drop of water on the window sill of the right rear passenger area. I looked and felt around, finding that the roof liner in the right rear corner was damp. The dealer found that someone at Porsche had not assembled the sunroof drain tubes correctly, so they fixed it. Probably a quality control slip, but not a bad one. I'm thinking/hoping this may have been the source of the mystery rattle.

    System Faults

    This has happened three times now, where I start the car and it beeps and displays the message "System Fault: Visit Workshop". I have, and the dealer has found it to be an electrical/software problem, not something really wrong with the car. It may have something to do with the steering angle sensor, but the dealer isn't really sure yet and has asked Porsche for more information. The car drives perfectly well, with only the little red exclamation point being a bit annoying. I've been told it took a while to sort out the Cayenne, and this is probably the same sort of thing. It's a minor annoyance for sure, but the key word here is minor, and it doesn't keep me from enjoying the car.

    Summary

    An excellent car, the best that I've ever owned, and I think that Porsche has a winner on its hands. It's fast, comfortable, capable, smooth, fun to drive, great looking, and an all around champ. Is it perfect? No, but it's about as close as it gets.

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Cool Pics and report, thanks

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Great review

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Skip,

    Lovely set of curves! The 997 Carrera is going to go down as a classic Porsche in my humble opinion. Thanks for the pictures and review. Would you please compare and contrast the variable-ratio steering to your other Porsches? Thanks.

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Nice write-up Skip. Do you have a US source for the European side markers? The car looks great.

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Thanks for your great report Skip,its gonna be a long 2 month wait for me now ,but well worth it

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    What a beautiful C2S...And the brief summary is informative too..Thanx for sharing!!

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    very nice report skip ,and a beautiful car,concerning the steering angle sensor ,this message can be displayed if the battery in running low ,(it happened with my 997s when i was taking delivery)they erased the fault ,recharged the battery and everything is ok since that day.another tip if something happens again ,if you remove the battery cable for 10 minutes the whole electronic system reset to factory settings,i sometime use it on my wife's cayenne to solve some minor electronic bugs

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    I have been yesterday evening at the official presentation here, and I must tell following: The photograhs doesn't shows how much beautifull is this new 997S. It's wonderfull. I will have a test next weeks. My next goal is buy to buy one if the test is OK.

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    thanks for posting skip!!

    very interesting and enjoyable read! great!

    until now, porsches have been kind of free from electronic defects like your "System Fault: Visit Workshop"... hope that they don't go the beemer-merc-way now...

    regards, sönke

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    great review skip - can't wait for mine

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    thanks for the pics and post - great read
    black on black - nice one

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Great review
    I see you got the car from Stamler imports, I was in Boulder in late August and had a look round their showroom at the black 997 they had in stock, since I could not get to see one in the UK until mid september and I had a black one on order (Oct build but no exact date yet) would it be your car I was sitting in?

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Great review--happy & safe driving!

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Maverick, I honestly haven't noticed the variable ratio steering, which I consider a good thing. It feels as direct and "connected" as any other Porsche I've driven, and doesn't seem to suffer from the problems that BMW and others have had with similar systems. I need to go out and see if I can detect any odd feelings in the steering, but the fact that they don't jump out at me is a good sign.

    vtrader, no, I got mine from Gert at Carnewal.com, along with the colored wheel centers. They're easy to install, taking no more than a minute or so.

    dhayek, thanks for the tips. I tried disconnecting the battery, but didn't leave it off for long and didn't try to charge it up. I'll do that over the weekend and hopefully it will clear things up.

    zzboba, I think that this is just the price we'll have to pay for modern cars, and hopefully Porsche will work hard to get things right. I wouldn't say that all previous Porsches were free of them as my 928 S4 seemed to have it's fair share!

    JohnA, yes, that's the car. I probably just missed seeing you as it wasn't in the showroom for long.

    All, thanks for the compliments! There are a few more pictures on my website.

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Hi Skip,

    indeed a very nice car. How did you get the PCCB-equipped vehicle that fast?

    Is it std. black or the metallic variant?

    Enjoyed the pics on your website, by the way!

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Enjoyed your review. Found myself agreeing with so much of what you wrote, including your answer to maverick on the variable ratio steering.

    Carry on enjoying your new car!

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Quote:
    Skip said:
    PCM

    Like many people I was at first dismayed by "all the buttons", but anyone who is smarter than a chimp will have no problem with them.



    There you go, MaxErnst, take that as a challenge!

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Quote:
    Skip said:
    PCM

    Like many people I was at first dismayed by "all the buttons", but anyone who is smarter than a chimp will have no problem with them.



    you da man skip i hate it when people whine about such minor things and make it out to seem like they are major design flaws.

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Quote:
    fritz said:
    Quote:
    Skip said:
    PCM

    Like many people I was at first dismayed by "all the buttons", but anyone who is smarter than a chimp will have no problem with them.



    There you go, MaxErnst, take that as a challenge!



    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Great review Skip, thanks!

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Great post. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

    And congratulations on the car!

    Chimp Buttons are Just Average

    Quote:
    fritz said:
    Quote:
    Skip said:
    PCM

    Like many people I was at first dismayed by "all the buttons", but anyone who is smarter than a chimp will have no problem with them.



    There you go, MaxErnst, take that as a challenge!



    I never disputed the "intuitive" (read: "logical") lay out of the buttons and screen.

    I just said they are darn ugly! Anybody with a design sense can tell Porsche really dropped the ball with that center console look.

    The rest of the car (except the S wheels) is gorgeous. One of the main foci of your driving experience: the center console is just less aesthetically than it could have or should have been.

    As for the wheels, can anybody see anything in them that is gorgeous, or beautiful in a way that is comparable to the rest of the car?

    Put it another way, if you had a choice of other more sculpturally pleasing wheels would you choose _those_ S wheels for the car?

    How can Porsche evolve absolutley gorgeous aesthetics of the 911 and just throw in a center console that is so-so (like the Cayenne). Something a chimp would be happy with?

    Re: Chimp Buttons are Just Average

    Great pics and even better report...very informative...many thanks Skip.

    Woshhhhhhh

    Re: Chimp Buttons are Just Average

    So now you only have to be an average chimp, even.

    So how many of us have problems with that?

    To quote Abraham Lincoln:
    "You can please some of the people all of the time, and you can please all of the people some of the time, but I just give up on MaxErnst":

    So Porsche just didn't have a chance.

    Designers AT Porsche are probably not completely happy.

    Quote:
    fritz said:
    So now you only have to be an average chimp, even.

    So how many of us have problems with that?

    To quote Abraham Lincoln:
    "You can please some of the people all of the time, and you can please all of the people some of the time, but I just give up on MaxErnst":

    So Porsche just didn't have a chance.




    I don't know WHAT the big deal is. If you re-read my posts they are all level-headed and not a problem in casual conversation. There are two things I really don't like about the car (I will buy it anyway) and so what?

    The wheels look "funny" on the car and the buttons are ugly and could be nicer looking.

    I'm sure there are Porsche employee guys who actually worked on the design team at Porsche who have things about the car THEY don't like. It's all a compromise.

    Re: Designers AT Porsche are probably not completely happy.

    Quote:
    MaxErnst said:
    Quote:
    fritz said:
    So now you only have to be an average chimp, even.

    So how many of us have problems with that?

    To quote Abraham Lincoln:
    "You can please some of the people all of the time, and you can please all of the people some of the time, but I just give up on MaxErnst":

    So Porsche just didn't have a chance.




    I don't know WHAT the big deal is. If you re-read my posts they are all level-headed and not a problem in casual conversation. There are two things I really don't like about the car (I will buy it anyway) and so what?

    The wheels look "funny" on the car and the buttons are ugly and could be nicer looking.

    I'm sure there are Porsche employee guys who actually worked on the design team at Porsche who have things about the car THEY don't like. It's all a compromise.


    level headed?
    liking the wheels or not is a matter of personal taste ,but for the statistics ,apparently people liked them ,since production dates could be delayed because of those wheels ,demand is too strong for them..

    Re: Designers AT Porsche are probably not completely happy.

    It's all a matter of opinion isn't it. I thought the S wheels were a bit odd initially, but now like them a lot. I've always liked the centre dash, much preferring it to the i-drive solution adopted by BMW.

    Re: 1 month, 1241 miles, infinite smiles

    Great car, great pics and excellent write up!
    Thank you very much and congrats!

    Re: Designers AT Porsche are probably not completely happy.

    Quote:
    dhayek said:
    liking the wheels or not is a matter of personal taste ,but for the statistics ,apparently people liked them ,since production dates could be delayed because of those wheels ,demand is too strong for them..




    Wheel shortage could be caused by many factors. Too many S versions ordered, guys wanting the S wheels to "pose" or to have the 19s.

    I doubt the wheels are in demand because of their aesthetics.

    Not a matter of personal taste, probably the lack of personal taste because if you look at the car as a whole, the wheels do not "match" any of the car's other design elements. Maybe the excessive notchiness and perforations of the wheel refer visually back to the buttonage of the center console? I dunno.

    very odd, maybe they look appropriate for autocross, or SUV sturdiness. But nobody will ever call them elegant or beautiful.

    Odd looking and hard to connect them visually to the rest of the car.

    Kinda like a gorgeous woman in a beautiful party dress who, you do a double take on because she accessorised a bit oddly. yeah, you can learn to like her choice, but it will take a little work... but, may be well worth the effort.

     
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