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    To PASM or Not to PASM

    I'm awaiting my '08 Boxster S, which has almost all the fun goodies (sport chrono, sport steering wheel, 19in rollers...) with exception of PASM. With the recent posts about the RS, I've been re-thinking PASM. I originally left it off my list of "must-haves" just because I favor simplicity over complexity in sports cars; active suspension seemed a step way from that ideal. I also don't do track runs, although I very much like spirited technical drives through the twisties. All that said, do I risk sorely missing out on any incremental improvement added by PASM?? Should I quickly get on the phone with my dealer to add that option, too, to this magic carpet ride I'm building?? Thanks!!

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    I also live in the Bay Area and do "spirited" drives in the twisties. I find having PASM to be a plus. Day to day driving I have the car in normal mode, when it's time to play sport mode it is. I find in sport that almost all body lean is eliminated and the suspension has just the right firmness. If you are going to just track your car then ROW30 seems to be the way to go, otherwise this is a great way to have both options. Best of both worlds IMHO.

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    If you want 19 inch wheels, do order PASM. Otherwise, skip it.

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Paralizer, have you tried driving through your favorite twisties, one day with and another day without, PASM just for kicks? I'm curious as to your thoughts on how the experiences compare, and also on how the sans-PASM experience stands by itself.

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    ...What difference does the PASM (or lack of PASM) make with the 19in wheels vs. 18's?

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    The standard suspension is designed for 18" wheels. It gets quite rough with larger wheels (because of thin sidewalls). Some like it that way, but most don't. Not to mention that rough ride in a cab = rattles.

    PASM in normal mode is softer than the standard suspension, and makes for a much better ride with the larger alloys (PASM sport is a novelty, you probably won't use it more than once).

    The fact Porsche does not sell any car with 19" wheels standard without PASM speaks volume about the stiffness of the standard suspension.

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    The Carrera S comes with 19" wheels as standard and can be chosen as a no-cost option without PASM outside N America

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    I have 19" wheels without PASM on my Boxster S and find the ride to be fine...

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    It's still an option (even at no-cost) - and there's a reason they call it the sport chassis.

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Apparently, the discussion has become academic for me; my car is in line for production!!

    Thanks for the replies. Sounds like I should be happy with the standard S suspension and 19's if I can still enjoy/tolerate the occasional daily grind with that "firm" (?) setup. What "The Groom" said about PASM sport getting used only once does make me laugh. It would be one example why I lean toward minimalism (if you can call an otherwise well-optioned Porsche "minimalist"). With cars and mountain biking too, I find the suspension's sweet spot. Then once there, I usually leave it there.

    Anybody have experience with adjustable struts on a Boxster? Besides experimenting with wheel size, it's the other area left for me to investigate, sometime later, when answering the broader "What's the ideal suspension setup" question.

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Skip PASM and use the money to install Bilstein PSS9 suspension together with a set of spacers, struts and sway bars.

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Good luck - i hope you have the right spec for you.

    I find PASM to be a real bonus - smoothes out the potholes and lumps and bumps just fine - sport settign is for those with a sense of humour or a good relationship with their dental surgeon but i guess its down to local road surface quality !

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    I really believe you will be happy with the standard suspension and 19" wheels. I have had Boxster S's both with and without PASM. If you track the car, it is nice to have the firmer setting offered with PASM. As for PASM in the Normal Mode, it does soak up irregularities in the street, but so does the Non-PASM suspension. I know it's moot for you, as your car is in production, but my suggestion is to drive the car for a bit, and I believe you will find the car completely fine.
    vincesf

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Hey thanks. Ya, I do really need to just drive and wear in the car for a bit. The standard Boxster S handles way better than anything I've had so far, so I'll be on a honeymoon for quite some time after taking the car's delivery. Every car requires some acclimation. If the suspension proves too stiff for bay area roads, then sooner or later I will start to notice. If not -then purrfect (for me).

    Just wondering, but with all the folks who have PASM for its softer setting, why couldn't Porsche have just spec'd the "softer" setting as standard or as another option? Are not the voices on this forum fairly representative of the larger Porsche audience and therefore to be heard? I can't imagine the handling going that far down the crapper with a slightly more compliant ride. And, this is not to say that I have any complaints with the setting as it is; my full impression is still to follow.

    VinceSF, nice wheels. I put the same on mine! ...I heard that PASM lowers the ride height by a bit; I assume that your car is with PASM?

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Here is a great link to check out options on the Cayman with great discussions on various options. Scroll down for the discussion on PASM. What you will notice is that the standard suspension falls somewhere between the normal and sport range for dampening. Many feel the standard suspension is set just right.

    http://www.caymanregister.org/faq.php?faq=cayopt

    Also, the red Boxster S pictured above was my 2006 with PASM, and yes it is set 10 mm lower.

    As for your other question regarding an Elise, I sold my 2006 Boxster S to buy a 2006 Lotus Elise with the Sports Suspension Package (pictured below), and compared to the ride of the Boxster S with a standard suspension it is much harsher. While the Lotus corners incredibly well, it is far less refined than a Boxster. The Lotus crashes over bumps, and is a very difficult car to live with day in day out. My experience in owning an Elise is that for the first hour owning it, you love it. After that you ask yourself, "what have I done?" Then you take it on the track and fall in love with it again. Take it off the track, and you ask yourself "why did I buy this car?" In short, I ordered a 2008 Boxster S which I expect delivery in Jan. or Feb. Owning the Lotus made me appreciate the Boxster S so much in fact that I wanted it back.
    vincesf

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    VinceSF, uncomfortable that Lotus may be, but that thing looks way cool in red!

    Thanks for the Cayman options link. It would have made learning the options palette easier for me in the beginning. Though, I had fun finding out what all the options were at the dealer. The Porsche options list has a way of getting you to think, "Well, if I'm going to go with the --, then I ought to get the **. And if I'm going to get the **, then I may as well get the #@..." and so forth. I originally was going to go with a performance stripper with 19 in wheels, but little by little, more and more options (wheel spacers, sport steering wheel, sport chrono...) made sense. Before going overboard, I stopped just shy of PASM. Some options I would have ordered (e.g. thicker steering wheel or sport seats with the side bolsters), but preferred the originals after trying them out on my dealership's 997 cars. Right now I wonder how many times I'll make use of the sport chrono, as I really do tend to run my equipment in one setting 99% of the time. That said, I think you're right; my gut tells me that I should be just fine with standard suspension (or even with PASM, if I had gone with it in an alternate universe). At the basis of it all, I do think that we are discussing how we like our dessert, so to speak.

    Congrats on returning to the Boxster S. I'll be getting mine in time for a Northern California Spring also!

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    As for the seats, I am with you on this one. I really wanted the sport seats, but I sat in them, and just did not like the feel as compared to the standard seats. I also did not like the soft leather on the side bolsters that was already wrinkled and badly scuffed on the showroom floor. I did get the Sport Steering wheel (basic sport wheel), as it hurt too much to order the padded wheel with smooth leather at over $1,000. All in all, I like the fact that Porsche allows you choices, expensive choices, but nonetheless choices.
    vincesf

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    It would be a boring world if we all wanted the same !

    There is an article n one of the UK based Porsche magazines currently about a 997S with LSD and sports chassis (2-20mm) - it gets a right slating from the author and a professional racing driver (both on and off track). And yet the 997 board here has people who rave about it.

    As always, buy what YOU want and not what everyone else has - thats the beauty of the, expensive, options list

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Which magazine was it? I just checked GT Purely Porsche and also 911 & Porsche World. Neither magazine had the article in it. Was it Total 911?

    I have to say that, before the 997 GT3 came out, Walter Rohrl stated in an interview with Chris Harris that his favourite suspension set up was a 997S with -20mm. If Walter Rohrl thought that then I'm seriously unlikely to be persuaded by anyone else that Walter Rohrl is mistaken and that they have a better, more credible view.

    Anyway, I've driven my -20mm 997S for over 10000 miles on all sorts of roads (city, A road, B road and motorway) in the UK and abroad and I can honestly say, without a single moment's hesitation, that it is a fabulous suspension set up.

    One key factor that people often fail to appreciate is that the choice between -20mm sports suspension and PASM is not just about ride comfort. The -20mm set up determines handling, steering feel and feedback, the seat-of-the-pants feedback one gets, the speed of response to steering inputs (i.e. actual agility and sharpness) and the 'perception' of nimbleness and agility one has as a result. The degree of responsiveness of the steering also determines how 'alive' the steering feels. Another interesting fact is that with a steering this responsive, it is also necessary to watch out for how the road surface affects steering stability that much more carefully. It might seem like more hard work (in terms of steering effort) BUT it makes the whole driving experience more involving.

    In my view, with cars today becoming ever 'softer' and easier to live with so that niche sports car makers can appeal to a wider segment of the market, the -20mm sports suspension is THE suspension set up that the 997 Carrera S should always have had from the start. (A bit like the perception that the X51 Powerkit is what the Carrera S should be like as standard). PASM Normal is just too soft IMO and PASM Sport is much too stiff with no 'give' to it. It is like a rubber band that has already been stretched to full extension. It has no elasticity left.

    Coming back to the article (which I wish I could read so that I can see if I understand the reasoning behind it), I cannot see how a journalist and a professional race driver can appreciate all this in one day's drive of a Porsche GB press fleet car. The reason why people like me, Carlos from Spain, Gnil, Fanch, loe, Florent Kavadas, Lukas, bluelines, JJBlade (and formerly RC, Sergini) etc all rave about the -20mm suspension is simply because we have had much more opportunity to explore it. After all, we've all driven a car with this -20mm suspension for thousands of miles in all conditions.

    Yes, this is an impassioned post. Yes, I totally respect the fact that others may have a different opinion to me and that they are fully entitled to have that opinion. BUT that doesn't mean for one instant that, in my eyes, their opinion has the same weight as mine.

    But, at the end of the day, we're each spending our own money so which set up one chooses for oneself has to depend solely upon one's own needs/requirements and what one is used to.

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Quote:
    The Groom said:
    It's still an option (even at no-cost) - and there's a reason they call it the sport chassis.



    True, but it certainly makes one wonder why one should have to choose a sports chassis on a sports car? Surely it should be that way as a default choice...with PASM available as a no-cost option for those more used to a Benz But I guess Porsche is ruled by its marketing department (that wants to sell cars to buyers who might normally buy a BMW or an Audi and who are used to a softer ride) rather than by the engineers...

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Quote:
    easy_rider911 said:

    I have to say that, before the 997 GT3 came out, Walter Rohrl stated in an interview with Chris Harris that his favourite suspension set up was a 997S with -20mm. If Walter Rohrl thought that then I'm seriously unlikely to be persuaded by anyone else that Walter Rohrl is mistaken and that they have a better, more credible view......But, at the end of the day, we're each spending our own money so which set up one chooses for oneself has to depend solely upon one's own needs/requirements and what one is used to.



    In my opinion the second part of the post, is spot on "own needs and requirements." Having driven a a 20 mm suspension set up in Germany in 2006 on a 997 S, it was great, and may be the suspension of choice for Walter Rohrl. But if the 997 S were my driver, I (and again let me preface this with "I"), preferred the PASM set up, over the 20 mm, as the standard setting on PASM was far more comfortable on the road surfaces I am most likely to encounter daily. In the U.S. , I don't believe the 20 mm sport suspension is available as original equipment from Porsche. Hopefully, Porsche will allow this option on U.S. spec cars on the upcoming facelift. Choice is good. Whether the original poster could modify his 987 S to a 20 mm sport suspension, that might be interesting, but the 987 S is so wonderfully balanced, you may not find it necessary. In a few short months you will be able to take delivery, drive the car for a while, and you'll know soon enough.
    vincesf

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    easy_rider

    the article is 911+PW - maybe Yorkshire roads aren't the best for this chassis set-up, but given that both parties knew the roads well and drove them regularly in all sorts of machinery its a valid comment IMO. The racing driver also expressed concern that the PCCB brakes went off after a while

    Its a choice and a compromise - not everyone wants the same and thats the beauty of the option list. I love PASM for its relatively cossetting ride qaulity, and the imperceptable changes going on at each corner as road an speed vary. I hate it in sport - even the M6 toll road has compressions that are uncomfortable for me , never mind the passenger and thats about the smoothest road in Britain at present.

    Some will argue a sports car should be hard riding to give the best handling, but in my experience PASM is a great set up for me using the car everyday on rutted B and A roads, where a stiffer set-up just leads to the wheels skippig over th surfaces and losing traction (previous 911+PW article on Boxster with PASM and 18"s tested in the North East said the same). I've had too many stiffly sprung cars in the past and they don't bring me personally any enjoyment.

    Whilst i appreciate your views and those of the others on the 997 board who have the lowered set-up and like it, you all chose that for a reason and it'd be surprised if it was ride comfort.


    As to BMW - the E46 sport set-up was appalling for front wheel traction loss on bumpy roads, and even high speed motorway intersection sweeps where the front wheels skipped across even a dry road. Any Porsche chassis set-up is better than BMW, Audi or Mercedes - after all they start with a sports car, and not a cruiser

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Interesting posts about the -20mm setup. Is this something offered by Porsche outside of North America? Anyplace I can read about it on the internet?

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Also, don't forget that the Sports Suspension on the Carrera is not only about the different -20mm suspension setup, but also about the Limited Slip Differential (LSD). The PASM setup does not include an LSD on the Carrera.

    The LSD is an advantage both on the track and in bad conditions (rain, snow, etc.) on the road. I am sure it also makes some difference to the overall feel of the car. Thus it is not really an easy exercise to compare PASM with Sport Suspension.

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    997 only at present

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Quote:
    percymon said:
    997 only at present


    Yes, and not available at all in N. America (-20mm that is)

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Quote:
    easy_rider911 said:
    Which magazine was it? I just checked GT Purely Porsche and also 911 & Porsche World. Neither magazine had the article in it. Was it Total 911?

    I have to say that, before the 997 GT3 came out, Walter Rohrl stated in an interview with Chris Harris that his favourite suspension set up was a 997S with -20mm. If Walter Rohrl thought that then I'm seriously unlikely to be persuaded by anyone else that Walter Rohrl is mistaken and that they have a better, more credible view.

    Anyway, I've driven my -20mm 997S for over 10000 miles on all sorts of roads (city, A road, B road and motorway) in the UK and abroad and I can honestly say, without a single moment's hesitation, that it is a fabulous suspension set up.

    One key factor that people often fail to appreciate is that the choice between -20mm sports suspension and PASM is not just about ride comfort. The -20mm set up determines handling, steering feel and feedback, the seat-of-the-pants feedback one gets, the speed of response to steering inputs (i.e. actual agility and sharpness) and the 'perception' of nimbleness and agility one has as a result. The degree of responsiveness of the steering also determines how 'alive' the steering feels. Another interesting fact is that with a steering this responsive, it is also necessary to watch out for how the road surface affects steering stability that much more carefully. It might seem like more hard work (in terms of steering effort) BUT it makes the whole driving experience more involving.

    In my view, with cars today becoming ever 'softer' and easier to live with so that niche sports car makers can appeal to a wider segment of the market, the -20mm sports suspension is THE suspension set up that the 997 Carrera S should always have had from the start. (A bit like the perception that the X51 Powerkit is what the Carrera S should be like as standard). PASM Normal is just too soft IMO and PASM Sport is much too stiff with no 'give' to it. It is like a rubber band that has already been stretched to full extension. It has no elasticity left.

    Coming back to the article (which I wish I could read so that I can see if I understand the reasoning behind it), I cannot see how a journalist and a professional race driver can appreciate all this in one day's drive of a Porsche GB press fleet car. The reason why people like me, Carlos from Spain, Gnil, Fanch, loe, Florent Kavadas, Lukas, bluelines, JJBlade (and formerly RC, Sergini) etc all rave about the -20mm suspension is simply because we have had much more opportunity to explore it. After all, we've all driven a car with this -20mm suspension for thousands of miles in all conditions.

    Yes, this is an impassioned post. Yes, I totally respect the fact that others may have a different opinion to me and that they are fully entitled to have that opinion. BUT that doesn't mean for one instant that, in my eyes, their opinion has the same weight as mine.

    But, at the end of the day, we're each spending our own money so which set up one chooses for oneself has to depend solely upon one's own needs/requirements and what one is used to.



    X2. I absolutely agree. And as time goes by, and 30,000 miles on my 997S-20mm (and many more on my ex 996-M030) I come to realise more and more each day that out of all the options that I chose in my car, the -20mm was the best choice I could have done and would be hardest for me to part with. Mind you I have driven 997-PASM many times on and off the track too. It is an incredible setup and an incredible acomplishment by the Porsche engineers.

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Wow, with all the rave about the -20mm "sports suspension," I'm about ready to go rig one up on my non-Porsche hybird commuter! Really though, if a Porsche guy in the U.S. really wanted one on his 997, then why couldn't he (or she) just call up a european distributor and order up the parts? Back in my post-college days, I'd roam the Honda/Acura and VDub boards, where every once and a while some kid would deck out his ride with OE Japanese or German parts. Porsche guys may have deeper pockets, but car guys they still are. Seems that bolting on struts, springs and a limited slip differential would be all too easy for the motivated enthusiast.

    By the way, with PASM actively tuning the dampening, is the steering feel still predictable and adequately communicative to the driver? The dead steering feel is exactly what sunk my enthusiasm for any two-seater car bearing the three-pointed star.

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    After I had driven my -20mm sports suspension Carrera S for many months, when I test drove a PASM Carrera S, I found the steering feel was so numb and lifeless BUT it all comes down to what you have become accustomed to.

    The problem with just fitting the parts (physically) is that your car will still think (electronically) that it has PASM fitted. How would you un-do that?? It's more trouble than it's worth.

    IMO, either you import a non-US -20mm sports suspension car or just get a GT3!!

    Re: To PASM or Not to PASM

    Hey -I just checked Porsche's car configurator in both the UK and Spain; I can't find the sports suspension as an option for either the 997s or GT3. In fact, PASM also is not listed as an option for the Boxster S on these sites. What am I missing?

    I also did an internet search on the -20mm sports suspension. What comes up first is Carlos_from_Spain's older post on his 997s:

    http://www.rennteam.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=103315&Main=103315

    Funny he should decribe the suspension as "perfect for everday use" and yet only "a bit more comfortable" than the sport mode in PASM. Meanwhile, others in this post lean in the opposite direction when describing PASM's sport mode. I guess choice *is* good. To each his own?

     
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