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    -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    I know what I am about to write may rekindle the old debate again on PASM but here is what happened today...

    This lunchtime, I organised a little test drive of a 997 C2S (manual, PSE, Sport Chrono, PASM). Don't worry, I'm not planning to make any car changes. I just felt like trying PASM again since I've been driving my -20mm sports suspension for the last 6 months and I thought I would be in a better position to compare my -20mm car with a PASM car.

    Good grief! It was awful, absolutely awful. Like driving a different car altogether. I've driven over 5150 miles in my 997 C2S with -20mm sports suspension. I never realised how much that has 'spoiled' me.

    It's not so much the ride comfort that horrified me. After all, PASM Normal Mode soaked up all the bumps etc and PASM Sport Mode wasn't that bad in terms of a nice firm ride (but it did feel much too 'bouncy' and remote with no 'give' at all).

    BUT the really shocking thing was steering feel. There was NONE. The steering on a PASM car (in both Normal and Sport Modes) felt utterly lifeless, numb and imprecise. There was no feedback to speak of.

    It literally felt like a different car.

    No wonder some car magazines complain about the 997 steering feel being less than that in the 996.

    I stepped back into my -20mm car. OMG what a relief! Such a difference. I drove off and the steering was happily chatting away to me. Wonderful steering feel. The steering reaction to my inputs was instant, razor sharp.

    During the test drive, I had told the salesman that the steering feel was awful. He suddenly became very keen to compare it with the -20mm. He had never experienced it before. So I took him out for a brief drive. You should have seen the look on his face. At the end of the drive, he just said one thing: "Forget whatever I said to you during our test drive. Your car is so much better to drive than the PASM car I took you out in." I think that says it all really.

    I have only one fear now. That the -20mm has perhaps rendered me unable to put up with any other suspension set up!

    Anyway, no offence intended here and I know this may trigger debate about why -20mm isn't available in North America BUT I just thought I would share these few observations with you guys FWIW... Thank goodness I listened to RC, Carlos from Spain, Fanch, antonio2 and others etc etc

    -20mm ROCKS!!!

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    BTW, the test drive car had already covered about 3600 miles. It had Continental SportContact 2 tyres. I didn't like them as much as my Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tyres...they just felt less grippy.

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    I read an article the other day that suggested the -20mm with PCCB was a stunning combo as the lower unsprung mass made the ride more compliant

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    I've been miffed with the PASM setup on my Boxster for a while now. I haven't tried the -20mm, but I think it's probably the way to go. For me, sometimes the PASM is excellent (great steering feel, go-cart handling) and sometimes it's as you describe - sluggish response, no feel.
    For me (after several rounds of trying to fix this) either PASM just isn't very consistent or predictable, or there are faults with the system that show up more on some cars and/or in some driving conditions. Can you trust electronics to get the damping right *all* the time?

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Not keen on PASM either. I am getting anti-roll bars + struts + Stage 1 geometry from Parr in London. Let us see what happens

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    That's the one lament I have about my spec. You can't imagine how I talked to my dealer and PCNA, suggesting that since I was doing a Factory pick-up wouldn't be just as easy to give me -20mm LSD. Ah well.

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Absolutely agree with you easy_rider
    I think its the fact that the springs and rollbars of the PASM have to make a compromise for both Normal and SPort modes, while the -20mm is just perfectly fined tuned for its purpose. Also I don't know if the electronic dampning can also have an effect.

    I also notice the difference in Sport-chrono ON and slow tight corners and the rear LSD and I can't say for sure but the stability of the rear on entry to the corners after hard braking could also be due to the rear LSD.

    Also without comparing it to the PASM, the -20mm within itself is just a work of art by the engineers at Porsche, I had the 996's sport suspension, the M030, on my ex-996, and there is no comparison on how much it improved.



    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:
    Absolutely agree with you easy_rider
    I think its the fact that the springs and rollbars of the PASM have to make a compromise for both Normal and SPort modes, while the -20mm is just perfectly fined tuned for its purpose. Also I don't know if the electronic dampning can also have an effect.

    I also notice the difference in Sport-chrono ON and slow tight corners and the rear LSD and I can't say for sure but the stability of the rear on entry to the corners after hard braking could also be due to the rear LSD.

    Also without comparing it to the PASM, the -20mm within itself is just a work of art by the engineers at Porsche, I had the 996's sport suspension, the M030, on my ex-996, and there is no comparison on how much it improved.






    Can the -20mm suspension be retrofit? I'm surprised Carnewal isn't offering it...
    I realize we poor US folk would be missing the LSD, but it would seem the -20mm would be a step in the right direction...

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    -20 mm suspension must be nice..i don't like PASM's artificial reactive feel either.. sad thing GT3/RS come with PASM only

    -20 mm suspension on GT3/RS would have been nice

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Please, let us see a picture of a car with -20mm.

    Best from Spain

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Quote:
    stiles_s said:
    Can the -20mm suspension be retrofit? I'm surprised Carnewal isn't offering it...
    I realize we poor US folk would be missing the LSD, but it would seem the -20mm would be a step in the right direction...



    It could be fitted, without the rear LSD, but on a standard suspension Carrera, not on a PASM car.

    I believe Champion Porsche was offereing such an option (shocks, springs and antiroll bars of the -20mm)?

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:
    Quote:
    stiles_s said:
    Can the -20mm suspension be retrofit? I'm surprised Carnewal isn't offering it...
    I realize we poor US folk would be missing the LSD, but it would seem the -20mm would be a step in the right direction...



    It could be fitted, without the rear LSD, but on a standard suspension Carrera, not on a PASM car.

    I believe Champion Porsche was offereing such an option (shocks, springs and antiroll bars of the -20mm)?



    Why couldn't you install it on a PASM car, (other than having a suspension setting button that no longer did anything)? I assume the "hard points" are the same, so it should bolt up, shouldn't it?

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    I purposely bought a base Carrera (not much difference in price between the Base and the S) so I wouldn't have PASM. It feels to soft in normal and just too harsh in sport for Japanese roads. Nearly every review I read at the time said that the base car was better on 18" alloys. I bought the Carrera S allows - it's fine. I did compare with a car on 18" alloys and the ride was EVEN better....Oh well, gotta have bit of bling!

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Quote:
    stiles_s said:
    Quote:
    Carlos from Spain said:It could be fitted, without the rear LSD, but on a standard suspension Carrera, not on a PASM car.

    I believe Champion Porsche was offereing such an option (shocks, springs and antiroll bars of the -20mm)?



    Why couldn't you install it on a PASM car, (other than having a suspension setting button that no longer did anything)? I assume the "hard points" are the same, so it should bolt up, shouldn't it?



    That wouldn't be the tprobelm, the problem is that the electronic suspensions are tied up to the car's computer systems and taking them out in place for traditional suspensions may give errors and malfunctions.

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Not an option for Cab owners of course

    Saying that, the PASM setup for Cabs and Coupes also differs to compensate for not having a rigid roof in place - so perhaps PASM is the best setup for Cabs

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Glad to read this, I've always been in the -20mm camp, I just hope Porsche keeps offering these options in the future, as they're not very popular...

    Hurray for -20mm

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Personally I find -20mm sport chassie too stiff especially on poor roads. I will not have it the next time. I drove my friend's car with PASM. Evenif the feel is artificial, it is very comfortable on poor roads.

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    On a GT3 one thing you're not lacking for is feedback.

    Would appear that PASM as installed on the 997 GT3, benefits from fairly substantial tweaking from Porsche Motorsports.

    Hyperbole

    I agree with BMCG. I assure you my GT3 is feelsome and tactile. It is a driver's car to be sure. The 997 GT3 with PASM is more buttoned down than the 996 GT3 it replaces yet has lost none of the information through the wheel the 996 provided. It goes about its business with less drama, but full of life through the wheel.

    Also, I have serious reservations wrt blaming PASM for lack of steering feel. My PASM 997S was less lively and far more buttoned down than a non PASM 997, but I'm sophisticated enough not to confuse active stability with feedback. Particularly when set into a corner my PASM 997S was full of life and very communicative.

    To me, the real issue with PASM on the 997/997S is lack of an LSD. That is a crime.

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Quote:
    easy_rider911 said:
    It literally felt like a different car.

    No wonder some car magazines complain about the 997 steering feel being less than that in the 996.

    I stepped back into my -20mm car. OMG what a relief! Such a difference. I drove off and the steering was happily chatting away to me. Wonderful steering feel. The steering reaction to my inputs was instant, razor sharp.




    My last car was a 996 and I currently drive a 997S with PASM, but was not so conscious of reduced steering feedback when I made the transition.

    I know that other people here complained of reduced feedback in the 997 and blamed it on the variable ratio steering rack, even though the on-centre ratio of 996 and 997 steering systems is virtually identical.

    I guess people are inclined to blame everything on what, to them, is the most obvious culprit, instead of allowing for the possibility that there may be other less obvious factors which they are not even aware of.

    It would be interesting to know whether ALL PASM cars have less steering feedback than ALL -20 mm cars. Does anyone have enough experience of driving a large enough sample of 997s (PASM and non-PASM) to be statistically relevant?

    As someone else mentioned, 997 GT3s also have PASM, but are not known to lack feedback. But then, they also have different suspension systems and different suspension geometry settings.

    I mention that because I believe I am correct in thinking that the range of front suspension toe-in has been reduced on the 997 C2 and C2S compared to the 996 C2, so that at one end of the tolerance band a car can have 0* toe-in.
    Just speculating here, but I could imagine a car with 0* front toe-in having unsatisfactory feed-back and a car with -5' toe-in (or whatever the other end of the tolerance range is) being just fine in this respect. Anyone want to volunteer to have his geometry re-set to test my theory? I won't, cos I don't have the problem.

    Until someone tasts and disproves this theory, I think I'll make the toe-angle my culprit-of-choice for some people's problem with lack of steering feedback, just to be different.

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    I'm sure the -20mm suspension is more tactile... but I wonder if the diff you noticed on your lunchtime PASM-equipped tester car was not also due to the tires - Contis vs your Michelin PS2s.

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    I agree with all points you take in your excellent comparision easy_rider and I can for sure say that this applies for all PASM and -20mm cars and not only the two specific cars that you tested.

    I have tested the following:
    -C2S with -20mm/PCCB (my own car)
    -C2S with -20mm/Steel
    -3 different C2S with PASM/Steel
    -1 C4S with PASM/PCCB
    -C2 (non-S) Non-PASM/Steel
    -Boxster S/PASM
    -Boxster S/Non-PASM
    -997 Turbo/PASM/PCCB/LSD

    All the PASM-equipped C2S felt the same and I felt exactly the same feelings when driving all these cars that easy_rider express in his comparison. It didn't feel as safe to take sharp corners as my -20mm and for all occations I was searching for the "in-between" setup between pasm sport/normal. It should also be added that even in pasm-sport mode it just felt uncomfy/bumpy and I didn't feel as connected to the road as in the -20mm setup. the feeling of beeing "the owner of the wheel" is far from it in a pasm-equipped car compared with a -20mm....

    Comparing PCCB/Non-PCCB car was not that big of a difference and I really couldn't tell the difference. However, if driving VERY hard maybe there is a little-little bit better/lighter feeling with the PCCB-equipped car based on the lower unsprung-weight... but it could as well be the psychological factor that i knew that the car had pccb and "should" feel even more nimble

    I can also understand Boxster ppl saying that the 911 isn't as "fun" to drive.. but people expressing this in the boxster forum have for sure not tested the -20mm setup.. I owned a Boxster before w/PASM and my -20mm 997 is much more fun on the edge ... but, this is for sure subjective and I do respect that boxster ppl prefer their setup...

    Last but not least.. comparing -20mm car with fully loaded 997 Turbo/Man/PCCB/LSD/PASM ... I was so thrilled about the straight line power.. but to be honest.. but when it come to cornering, the dampers in my -20mm C2S felt much better when in the turbo ... don't know if this is because I'm used to my -20mm or if Porsche really did a better job with the -20mm dampers than PASM "2.0" on the turbo...

    Would be very fun to test out the GT3 and GT3RS to compare PASM in these cars... but proably there are rennteamers out there who have driven both GT3/Turbo who can make a comparison

    Just my 2 swedish kronors

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Quote:
    fritz said:
    It would be interesting to know whether ALL PASM cars have less steering feedback than ALL -20 mm cars. Does anyone have enough experience of driving a large enough sample of 997s (PASM and non-PASM) to be statistically relevant?





    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    This discussion reminds me of the days when the F1 cars had the all-knowing active suspensions. They felt 'floaty' and disconnected like an old Caddy blasting down the straights. Then, when called upon they firmed up and went to work. All the drivers reported similar issues like the PASM Porsche drivers. I do not like PASM either and if I had a choice I would get rid of it. You can disconnect the wires leading to the shocks but that puts the shock in a very stiff, limp-home configuration - and generates some errors in the computers as well. Limp-home mode in PASM is like not quite like the hardest SPORT setting and on the highway it is very acceptable. I have not driven a 20mm car but it sounds like it may be similar in terms of harshness. It is firm but at least it stays the same.

    Almost ready to trade to a plain C2 to get that 'normal' suspension feeling or replace the shocks on my S. There should be someone to build a simple SOFT, MED, HARD selector for PASM so that it stops thinking on it's own if you want it to.

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Just swap out the shocks with a good aftermarket set and reprogram to the computer to compensate. There's a tutorial posted somewhere for your dealership to take care of the electronics.

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Quote:
    Lukas said:


    I have tested the following:
    -C2S with -20mm/PCCB (my own car)
    -C2S with -20mm/Steel
    -3 different C2S with PASM/Steel
    -1 C4S with PASM/PCCB
    -C2 (non-S) Non-PASM/Steel
    -Boxster S/PASM
    -Boxster S/Non-PASM
    -997 Turbo/PASM/PCCB/LSD




    Lukas - how would you place the non-PASM C2, relative to the -20 and PASM cars ?

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    Quote:
    Leawood911 said: There should be someone to build a simple SOFT, MED, HARD selector for PASM so that it stops thinking on it's own if you want it to.


    Bloodly good idea.
    Or a 'how hard' / 'Auto' dial/button combo.

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    I had PASM on my 997C2S and disliked it.

    PASM may be a factor in the reports of the 997 GT3 being unstable in high-speed bumpy sweepers and also in the 997 TTs tricky-at-the-limit persona.

    The obvious solution: A 996 GT2 with motons

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    @clk: here is a pic of my -20mm car. As you can see it is only 1cm lower than a PASM car:

    Re: -20mm sports suspension has spoiled me!

    @Porker: I have a bad feeling (no evidence to rely upon though) that perhaps the 997 may be the last 911 'S' model to get the option of a conventionally sprung sports suspension.

    Why? Because the TT now gets PASM and even the GT3 has an improved version of PASM rather than a conventionally sprung sports suspension.

    It just seems to me that this is the direction PAG is heading in. They have obviously invested a lot of money in this technology and need to offer cars which can be adjusted at the press of a button to different purposes (i.e. road, track use etc).

    I think with the other rivals in the market also adopting the same concept (e.g. Audi's magnetic ride, Ferrari's manettino knob), PAG may think it can't be seen to be left behind

    Hope I'm wrong though!

     
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