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    Is the 997 too perfect?

    I recently got to drive an early 911 c. 1973 and was really shocked by the immediacy of the experience. It really felt as if you were hard-wired into the thing. At 50 mph it was fun, at 60 exhilarating, at 70 it was thrilling.

    It got me thinking...at 70 mph the 997 has not gotten even close to breaking into a hint of a sweat. In other words it's boring. Get it onto a track and it's a lot of fun, but on the road it requires no effort at all to drive it even into triple digits.

    So has Porsche made the 997 too perfect?

    Should they bring out a replica of that 1973 model with a flat-6 of only 2.4 liters and around 200 hp? Should they leave off the power steering? Should they dump the sound deadening? Should they have a proper switchable PSM?

    Thoughts?

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Sounds like you need a Cayman. I've been reading it's a more focused driver's car, what the 911 once was.

    David

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    speedster .... a striped down no frills fat a__ speedster

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    There was a recent article in a Porsche magazine (Excellence?) about replica cars for those that feel the same way. You're certalinly not alone in your feelings.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    I think if you drive any decent handling car from 30 years ago you will get more of a thrill at lower speeds. These cars make you feel more involved because they are more mechanical with few of today's safety aids and have less sound deadening which channels more road/tyre/engine noise into the cabin. This gives you a greater impression of speed. The majority of modern cars are engineered to comply with noise, safety and emissions regs that all contrive to make the car less involving at lower speeds. The upshot bizzarely is that you need to drive faster and more aggresively if you want to get the same buzz which kind of negates the safety issues.

    Some of the best fun I've had in cars has been in small engined little Italian hatchbacks such as a Fiat 127 GT and an Alfasud 1.3 Cloverleaf nearly 20 years ago now. They had a combination of good handling and compact size which more than made up for their lack of grunt. I've never had the opportunity to drive an old 911 but I'm guessing that they provide a real rush as well. I remember getting a ride as a passenger in new 911 around 20 years ago and being gobsmacked at the feeling of speed in it.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Hey Le Chef... you want immediacy, you want THRILLS at lower speeds??? Buy any car built between 1915-1930!! At 50 mph, you'll turn white as a linen sheet, and feel like you've never gone faster in your entire life!!!! Trust me on that!! Or as Jay Leno just said on this week's episode of My Classic Car (which I am in by the way, in the Eastwood Garage segment) as he was driving Dennis Gage around LA in his Stanley Steamer race car, "It's like driving your own coffin!!"

    As many here already know, I have alot of older cars. Archaic design, build methods, engineering methods (or total lack of engineering attention or motion control to the extent we do it today), all make for a more primal, primitive experience. Hence, things are more "thrilling" and you perceive more "immediacy" at lower speeds. It's not because they had it right back then, it's because they were only beginning to pay attention to things and take advantage of advancements that we take for granted today. Yes, it's invigorating to ride in the older cars. It's a total blast to drive them, and step backwards into time. But once the novelty wears off, you realize the huge trade-off. You wouldn't want to step into that '73 911 every day, year after year. Or maybe you would, if you're one of that rare breed that thrives on such things, and rejects progress that may filter and over-sanitize certain experiences. I love them both. I love the primitive thrill and rush of taking an old car down the road. But I also love and appreciate the amazing advances of technology and engineering in modern cars. For me, a new Porsche for daily driving, and an old anything for occassional stress-therapy, is the way to go. After you get used to, and accustomed to, the older car, all the shortcomings catch up to you. Especially as you're hanging on for dear life through a LH sweeper, screaming back & forth with your passenger so you can hear each other over the noise, sweating like Alabama pig farmers, hoping nothing darts out in front of you forcing you to test those spooky brakes, and then a new 997 comes flying past you like you're standing still, such that the draft pushes you 6 inches off your line and makes your butt pucker as the tail acts like it wants to pass you too.

    Hey, if you REALLY want to get close to the bare-bones driving experience, get into go-kart racing. There's nothing else that comes closer to feeling the rubber against the road, and building g-forces.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Is a 997 too perfect? If it was perfect it would have to have the same build quality, be open topped, mid engined and less expensive so lower orders like me could afford one. They could probably give it a name like "Boxster".

    Sour grapes - I'd love a 997S!

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    they're overweight,

    just like me...

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Quote:
    Le Chef said:
    I recently got to drive an early 911 c. 1973 and was really shocked by the immediacy of the experience. It really felt as if you were hard-wired into the thing. At 50 mph it was fun, at 60 exhilarating, at 70 it was thrilling.

    It got me thinking...at 70 mph the 997 has not gotten even close to breaking into a hint of a sweat. In other words it's boring. Get it onto a track and it's a lot of fun, but on the road it requires no effort at all to drive it even into triple digits.

    So has Porsche made the 997 too perfect?

    Should they bring out a replica of that 1973 model with a flat-6 of only 2.4 liters and around 200 hp? Should they leave off the power steering? Should they dump the sound deadening? Should they have a proper switchable PSM?

    Thoughts?


    Le Chef - you need to buy a 73 911S (or RS or replica) to go with your 997 - then you'll be ready for any occasion

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    I was surprised to read this thread because I have being thinking about this very topic for the last few months. My first Porsche experience was in 1973 when my father bought a beige-grey 911T. Perhaps it's just nostalgia but the visceral excitement of that car remains with me. I of course only drove the car with him in the right seat! My father still regrets selling that car, particularly since it led to a 1977 9llS which, sadly, ruined the marque for him (you can well guess why). The 77 S led to a Mercedes 380SL which he gave to me after my Boxster left in 03. The SL is not, nor ever would be, any Porsche, but there isn't a recent Mercedes made at any price that shuts its doors like that 107 SL. I am hoping that the Cayman may conjure some of that nostalgia, but frankly I'm still considering a 993 as a possibility. Another 73 911? Guess I'm afraid to spoil the past!!

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Quote:
    69bossnine said:
    Archaic design, build methods, engineering methods (or total lack of engineering attention or motion control to the extent we do it today), all make for a more primal, primitive experience. Hence, things are more "thrilling" and you perceive more "immediacy" at lower speeds. It's not because they had it right back then, it's because they were only beginning to pay attention to things and take advantage of advancements that we take for granted today. Yes, it's invigorating to ride in the older cars. It's a total blast to drive them, and step backwards into time. But once the novelty wears off, you realize the huge trade-off.



    Extremely well put and right on the money!!!

    I can't add a thing.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Le Chef, the immediacy you felt can be partially added to your 997 by converting your dual mass flywheel to a single mass unit and by going from hydraulic to solid motor mounts.

    You cant do much about steering or weight of your car versus a 73 911,but a change to a single mass flywheel
    and solid motor mounts will give you that hair trigger
    throttle response you felt. If you also want the sound,
    headers, sport cats and a sport exhaust will provide that.

    But there is no way to make a 997 shed 1000lbs to be close to the weight of a 71-73 911. The amount that you would pay for all of that could quickly add up to the price of a decent 71-73 911.

    Early 70's 911's do very well in modern traffic. Their raw feeling and lightness is fun. A 997 is so competent and so powerful that it feels effortless to drive one, while with early 911's its fun to whip the last ounce of performance out of them, and you can do that at speeds that wont send you to jail.

    Get one, you wont be sorry!

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?


    I think I know what you mean by "too perfect", but I would disagree with regard to the 997.

    Hope this makes a wit of sense, but I think my former 2003 BMW M3 cabrio would fall more into the "too perfect" category. I read an M3 critique recently which opined the car may be a bit "soulless" as it painstakingly over-manages itself to safe, sanitary high performance numbers. The 997 (granted, test drives only--S coupe is arriving next month) has TONS more personality and visceral engagement than my admittedly superb M3 cab ever did. Subjective terms all-- the 997 is simultaneously sharper, more fluid, grittier...and unlike the M3, not afraid to jostle you a bit (a la Sport mode PASM).

    May sound peculiar, but the 997 is one of those rare cars which I personally found almost ENJOYABLE to drive on mildly rough/washboard road surface occasionally, just because it is so satisfying to feel that amazingly connected suspension do its work.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Hey Boss9, I watched part of the show sunday but I didn't catch your segment. Will that be on again this week? I sure loved the horn on the Stanley.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    It's all relative. In 1973, enthusiasts probably thought that the 911 was "too perfect" compared to a bathtub Speedster. I think that the modern 997 is a wonderfully involving machine. But when you step into a '73 cold-turkey, it'll toss your perspective a curve-ball. That's why it's fun to just own both. Classic Porsches like a nice late-60's or early-70's 911, are pretty damned reasonable and accessable, for guys who have eightly large to justify for a daily beater. You wouldn't bat an eye at spending $20K on a modest boat. You'd get a hell of a lot more use out of a $20K classic 911, and unlike the boat, it would actually hold its value!!! So in effect, it's a toy that costs NOTHING to own beyond gas, occassional repair, maintainance and insurance. You may even make a buck or two if the market continues to trend northward.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Quote:
    LowPolarMoment said:
    Hey Boss9, I watched part of the show sunday but I didn't catch your segment. Will that be on again this week? I sure loved the horn on the Stanley.



    It airs again on Thursday, 8:30 AM in the morning. So if you work for a living, you better Tivo it. I'm in the Eastwood garage segment, talking about proper restoration hardware.

    I love Jay Leno's attitude and enthusiasm for cars. He has an eclectic appreciation for EVERYTHING, and he's not just collecting for status and ego, he truly is involved and interested in the history, how things were manufactured, and how they operate. I imagine that when he retires in a few years, he's going to throw himself full-time into the hobby.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Quote:
    69bossnine said:
    Quote:
    LowPolarMoment said:
    Hey Boss9, I watched part of the show sunday but I didn't catch your segment. Will that be on again this week? I sure loved the horn on the Stanley.



    It airs again on Thursday, 8:30 AM in the morning. So if you work for a living, you better Tivo it. I'm in the Eastwood garage segment, talking about proper restoration hardware.

    I love Jay Leno's attitude and enthusiasm for cars. He has an eclectic appreciation for EVERYTHING, and he's not just collecting for status and ego, he truly is involved and interested in the history, how things were manufactured, and how they operate. I imagine that when he retires in a few years, he's going to throw himself full-time into the hobby.


    Oh for sure. He's obviously quite the car/bike nut and a real down to earth regular guy. His collection is one of the neatest. McLaren F1, Duesenbergs, Lambo's, 700+ hp 1966 Toronado, 620 hp 56 Buick, old Indians and Harleys, old fire engines, etc. Yeah, imagine if he had more time. He's got all the toys. I work out of the house and was planning on being home thursday morning to watch the F1 practice anyway so I'm sure I'll catch you on the tube. Perfect.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Quote:
    69bossnine said:
    Quote:
    LowPolarMoment said:
    Hey Boss9, I watched part of the show sunday but I didn't catch your segment. Will that be on again this week? I sure loved the horn on the Stanley.



    It airs again on Thursday, 8:30 AM in the morning. So if you work for a living, you better Tivo it. I'm in the Eastwood garage segment, talking about proper restoration hardware.



    Marked on my calender to check out the bossman.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    no power steering!? are you mad? I'm 22, I have driven two vehicles without power steering, and it's pretty difficult. 1- my friends jeep (where I first learned how to drive manual) and 2 my friends old ass honda (again a manual.. but no power steering). I tried BRAKING and STEERING at the same time with that guys honda.. IT WAS NEARLY impossible at certain times to turn the wheel enough to get it to do what I wanted it to do. When I had an M roadster, my battery cut out (new battery, the negative simply slipped off the contact.... and SWEET JEEZUS.... (the m's tires in the front are already to big for the car as it is... if you turn the wheel too hard the tires will rub on the wheel well).. TALK about impossible to turn, I damn near had to break my arm to turn the wheel when that incident occurred. And no anti lock brakes?!... the thing would be a death trap on the modern road.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Quote:
    killer said:
    no power steering!? are you mad? I'm 22, I have driven two vehicles without power steering, and it's pretty difficult. 1- my friends jeep (where I first learned how to drive manual) and 2 my friends old ass honda (again a manual.. but no power steering). I tried BRAKING and STEERING at the same time with that guys honda.. IT WAS NEARLY impossible at certain times to turn the wheel enough to get it to do what I wanted it to do. When I had an M roadster, my battery cut out (new battery, the negative simply slipped off the contact.... and SWEET JEEZUS.... (the m's tires in the front are already to big for the car as it is... if you turn the wheel too hard the tires will rub on the wheel well).. TALK about impossible to turn, I damn near had to break my arm to turn the wheel when that incident occurred. And no anti lock brakes?!... the thing would be a death trap on the modern road.



    Killer, both the Jeep and the Honda have the engines over the front wheels, which greatly increases effort in turning the front wheels. HUGE DIFFERENCE. Furthermore, if either of those vehicles originally CAME with power steering, but the equipment had been later removed, the steering ratio within the gearbox is not a ratio conducive to manual steering.

    Regarding your stalled-out M Roadster, the reason the car was so difficult to steer when you stalled is because the steering system on the car is a pressurized fluid-powered system. You were not so much struggling to steer the wheels, as you were struggling and pushing against power steering fluid trapped in the system. It is fluid that turns the wheels on a power-steering equipped car, and when the pump is not spinning, you become (in effect) the pump. Any car that is equipped with power steering, is an absolute bear to steer when the motor is not running. This is not the case with a proper manual-steer car.

    An early 911 being so light, especially in the front, with most of its weight over the rear wheels, really didn't NEED power steering at all. You're little sister could drive an early 911 with ease.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Yes and no.

    One of the 997's advantages is its great refinement. A lot of people want a car that's very capable dyamically and fun to drive, yet is civil enough for every day usage and for when they are not in the mood.

    See my post about horses for courses in the Radical thread. To gain refinement, sometimes you lose some sportyness or immediacy. What makes track day specials so fun to drive is their focus. Improvements in techonlogy have allowed Porsche to blend refinement and sport into a great package. It the broad spectrum it's still no luxury cruiser, but it may be the most refined 911 yet. And it goes well too.

    But still want immediacy, more rawless, and steering feel?
    Go for a drive in a Noble M400, Caterham, Ariel, Lotus Exige, etc. Porsche makes the GT3 and Ferrari makes the Stradale for this reason. You get some of the immediacy of days gone by, but in a throughly modern package.

    So it's not that the 997 is too perfect. It's that sometimes you prefer a slightly more raw 911, or you need to try out cars like the M400. No they aren't nearly as refined, well built, or even well engineered. But they are a visceral delight.

    I think the only thing you may not gain as much of is the low speed fun. Pretty much all modern sports cars need to be pushed harder to have the most fun. They are jus too capable.

    - J

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Why is it that we look for stuff in a car that's not there to begin with or not built for it?

    Isn't this just the evolution of technology and performance? I bet those days when it was exciting to drive at 55mph people were asking the same questions...

    The answer maybe is YES it is perfect for its time, which happens to be right now! And not at 55mph.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Quote:
    69bossnine said:
    Quote:
    killer said:
    no power steering!? are you mad?



    Killer, both the Jeep and the Honda have the engines over the front wheels, which greatly increases effort in turning the front wheels. HUGE DIFFERENCE. Furthermore, if either of those vehicles originally CAME with power steering, but the equipment had been later removed, the steering ratio within the gearbox is not a ratio conducive to manual steering.

    Regarding your stalled-out M Roadster, the reason the car was so difficult to steer when you stalled is because the steering system on the car is a pressurized fluid-powered system. You were not so much struggling to steer the wheels, as you were struggling and pushing against power steering fluid trapped in the system. It is fluid that turns the wheels on a power-steering equipped car, and when the pump is not spinning, you become (in effect) the pump. Any car that is equipped with power steering, is an absolute bear to steer when the motor is not running. This is not the case with a proper manual-steer car.

    An early 911 being so light, especially in the front, with most of its weight over the rear wheels, really didn't NEED power steering at all. You're little sister could drive an early 911 with ease.


    Very true. My 73 lightweight 911 with manual steering requires less effort than my 96 993 with power steering and it has WAY more feedback and precision.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    I can't saw that it is too perfect until the number of RMS cases is significantly reduced/eliminated!

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Quote:
    mikekenzo said:
    I can't saw that it is too perfect until the number of RMS cases is significantly reduced/eliminated!


    Agreed. I love my wife a lot but I'd have to rethink our relationship if she started leaking oil on the floor.

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Quote:
    LowPolarMoment said:
    Quote:
    mikekenzo said:
    I can't saw that it is too perfect until the number of RMS cases is significantly reduced/eliminated!


    Agreed. I love my wife a lot but I'd have to rethink our relationship if she started leaking oil on the floor.




    ROFL... pretty f'n funny man

    Re: Is the 997 too perfect?

    Quote:
    LowPolarMoment said:
    Quote:
    mikekenzo said:
    I can't saw that it is too perfect until the number of RMS cases is significantly reduced/eliminated!


    Agreed. I love my wife a lot but I'd have to rethink our relationship if she started leaking oil on the floor.



    HAHA Thats a good one ..

    throt..

     
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