These is from

"Dear 001,

The new 997 (OK, 911 then) is back - and it's meaner than ever.

I recently visited a secret Porsche testing area similar to Area 51 and managed to get a sneaky (passenger) drive in the new 997.

It was almost production ready, getting prepped for it's public debut in late 2004.

The first thing you'll notice is the VASTLY improved interior. You were bang-on when you predicted before ANYONE else that it takes a number of styling cues from the Cayenne. But, when you see it up close, it appears far better constructed than the off-roader and the old 996 for that matter. With comfier front and rear seats, finer quality materials and plastic bits that look like they would last more than a week. There also appears to be that bit more room in there as well, maybe just my imagination and good interior color choices.

Secondly you notice something different...the NOISE! Porsche listened to owners complaining about how "quiet" all 911's except for the GT's have become over the years and have reworked the exhaust system and engine mounts. They REDUCED the amount of sound deadening material at the rear of the car. The result? ENGINE NOISE...not nasty stuff, but the real snarl of a 3.8-litre 350hp flat six motor in full flight. It is awesome!.

This model was fitted with the new 6-speed Tiptronic, not the expected SMG style unit which is still being developed to cope with the Turbo's expected 475bhp. Still, 0-100 mph in under 9 seconds was fast enough for me.

Back come the round headlights, bigger tail lights and this car shouts 911 at you from every corner.
Specifications still have not been finalized for all markets yet, though 18" wheels will be standard, with leather and power seats etc. Trim levels will increase too, as will prices, solely to widen he gap between the 997 and Boxster. The only thing I was not happy about was the Boxster S white dials which looked a bit cheap. Don't know if they are standard issue.

Needless to say after my ride I ordered mine site-unseen and it arrives in Feb 2005 - can't wait.

All the best,
Thomas Crown"

Take it for what it's worth.

Dont know if these guys are thrusty, every board (Dont remeber seing it on rennteam) i go, there's "lots" of people bashing these guys.