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    991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    I finally had a chance to drive the 991 today, very belatedly I know!

    I will try to summarize my impressions as a long time Porsche fan and driver and as a 997.2 Carrera S PDK owner.

    First of all, the car was a 3.4 L, 350PS, PDK Carrera with very basic specification. It was specified according to the Euro debt-crisis mood Smiley

    No SC, PASM, PSE, LSD and basic  19” wheels with Goodyear tyres. The car had full leather however, which I would sacrifice and add some driving related option.

    I drove the car for 1 hour and I chose a route that I know very well for valid comparison. The roads were dry and temperature at 25 C.

    The appearance of the car was very nice in Platin Silber with Grey interior. The seats although basic were better than the basic seats in 997.2 and the height adjustment is now electric as standard which is very convenient. The driving position is excellent. The ambiance inside is top class IMO, with the right blend of sportiness with some luxury. I liked the centre console very much.

    The engine sound is very exciting as you increase the revs. Much nicer than the 997.2 with PSE. However, once you settle into a steady cruise in 7th gear the sound becomes subdued and unobtrusive for a relaxed trip.

    The engine needs revs. It doesn’t pull from low down like the my car's 3.8 L. This revy character makes the car feel more sporty even at lower speeds but personally I missed the low end pull of my present engine.

    The PDK is also improved in smoothness and response with a more pronounced blip on downchanges.

    The chassis of the car with steel suspension and 19” wheels was superb. Very comfortable and composed without losing anything in terms of handling precision and finesse. Grip in the dry and warm at least, was very strong. You can cruise in greater comfort compared to the 997.2 but at the same time once you decide to push the cars handles anything with great finesse and accuracy. A sportscar with GT characteristics, but still a pure sportscar.

    I could do the same road speed at various key points of my route as in my 997.2, in spite of the 35PS deficiency. Only more revs were needed. The same speeds were achieved with a more natural handling balance from the 991 and without the greater preparation of setting the car up for a high speed bend that is necessary in the 997.2.

    The steering (without the PS Plus option) is excellent IMO. It is very precise with the essential feel without becoming tiring on less than perfect surfaces. I agree with what Porsche engineers had to say, that they have filtered out all unnecessary noise from the steering system but have kept all the essential feel. To be honest I cannot understand what all the fuss in the Press was about the new e-steering!

    An uphill bend I take at around 170km/h in the 997.2 but with much concentration and sometimes not so elegantly, in the 991 I drove as if on rails and I slalomed in order to pass between two preceding cars in the process. So simple and so smooth.

    For people who drive in speed limited countries and use the car in their daily life, often being obliged to drive at relatively low speeds, I found the basic Carrera a very good choice at a lower price (and less taxes in high tax countries), compared to the Carrera S.

    I wouldn’t specify full leather and the sunroof that was fitted to the test car, and go for PASM and LSD instead. The START/STOP was a nuisance but it can be deactivated. Also I couldn’t figure out the “sailing/segeln” mode since I was pushing most of the time.

    Would I accept the depreciation for my 3+ year old 997.2 and change to the improved 991? In an ideal world yes!  In the present economic climate, for me the marginal benefits from the new car don’t justify the extra expenditure as yet. Perhaps when the 991.2 comes!

       

     

     

     

     


    --

    "Form follows function"


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    I agree with your findings. The 991 Carrera is already a very fine car and one can save a lot of money by choosing it over the Carrera S. Especially in speed limited countries or in countries where red light races aren't too common, the Carrera is a very good choice. Before I went for the C63 AMG Coupe PP, I was actually thinking about getting a 991 Carrera instead but A. it was still a Porsche and would have been an issue parking it in front of my business and B. I wasn't able to find one even close of the price range of my C63 AMG Coupe.

    The market for used Porsche over here in Germany seems to be pretty weak now, so it is a pretty good chance to find a good car for "little" money. My dealer for example sells a 997 Carrera 4S, only 15k km, PDK and all the goodies for slightly over 80k EUR. Prices have dropped and there are good deals. Not really necessary to go for a brandnew Porsche but I have to agree that the new 991 is a masterpiece.

    If the current economic crisis doesn't go worse and if stock markets keep me happy over the next two years, I may actually go for a 911 Turbo again...the 991 Turbo. angry


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche Panamera Turbo S (May 2012 delivery), Porsche 997 Carrera GTS Cabriolet PDK, BMW X5M, Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe PP/DP, Mini Cooper S Countryman All4


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    RC:

    I agree with your findings.

    That's a great endorsement RC Smiley

    Thank you!


    --

    "Form follows function"


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    reginos:
    RC:

    I agree with your findings.

    That's a great endorsement RC Smiley

    Thank you!

    Sorry, I actually meant thank you for the nice driving report and I fully agree with your findings. Smiley

    Not sure if my opinion really counts that much because everybody is entitled to his own opinion about a driving experience. I actually pleases me though that so many people seem to like the 991, so Porsche must have done everything right. Well...with the exception of the rear seats maybe... Smiley

    Did you, by any chance, take photos? Thanks again.


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche Panamera Turbo S (May 2012 delivery), Porsche 997 Carrera GTS Cabriolet PDK, BMW X5M, Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe PP/DP, Mini Cooper S Countryman All4


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Thanks for sharing! Smiley

    I agree with your findings as well reginos, pretty much my impressions as well and same conclusions wink

    --


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Some people might even say that the performance difference between the Carrera and Carrera S isn't big enough. I know that the Carrera S has 50 horses more but apparently the 350 horses of the Carrera work harder.

    On paper, the Carrera does 0-100 kph in 4.4 seconds (Sport Chrono Plus), while the Carrera S does it in 4.1 seconds (Sport Chrono Plus). So both are pretty fast and can outrun almost everything on the street, with the expection of some exotics maybe and of course some high priced high performance sedans.

    Still...even a 991 Carrera optioned to my liking (no PCCB though!), would cost around 120k EUR. Ouch. Too much.

    Maybe we should wait for some well optioned used cars to make it to the markets, the used car market in Germany is already pretty weak.


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche Panamera Turbo S (May 2012 delivery), Porsche 997 Carrera GTS Cabriolet PDK, BMW X5M, Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe PP/DP, Mini Cooper S Countryman All4


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    RC:
    reginos:
    RC:

    I agree with your findings.

    That's a great endorsement RC Smiley

    Thank you!

    Sorry, I actually meant thank you for the nice driving report and I fully agree with your findings. Smiley

    That's how I understood it and it is appreciated Smiley

    Did you, by any chance, take photos? Thanks again.

    I only thought about photos on my way home, unfortunately Smiley

    Regarding the rear seats, it's a pity because now that there is some more legroom the headroom has been reduced


    --

    "Form follows function"


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Excellent write up and you nail down the experience I had after a drive.

    The 991 is a superb and very seasoned car - no doubt. Is it worth to put that much money on top of the cars we currently have - probably not. 

    Thanks - you really hit the point!

     


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Excellent writeup mate. I fully agree, Porsche has really done an amazing job with the new 991. It's more comfortable and luxoriuos without so much as compromising an inch of sportiness anywhere. The chassis improvements are perhaps most notable for the 991. Great to hear also that in real world driving the e-steering isn't such a big issue as the journalists have talked about.

    Next you'll of course test the upcoming GT3 right wink


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Excellent write up! kiss Very interesting to hear your impressions and comparison to the 997.2.

    I got my test drive booked for Wednesday. Can't wait indecision


    --

    997.2 Carrera S in Carrara White. PASM-Sport Suspension (-20 mm), PSE.

    987.1 Boxster S in Arctic Silver. OZ Racing Ultraleggera Wheels, H&R Monotube Coil-Over Suspension, H&R Anti-Roll Bars, Sachs Racing Clutch, Single-Mass Flywheel, IPD Plenum, GT3 Throttle Body, Recaro Pole Position Seats, PSE, Alpine Head Unit and Amplifier, Focal Speakers


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Nice and accurate review.Smiley


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    reginos!wink


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    I had a 991 cab manual, basic car (heated seats and telephone module, the only extras)demo for a weekend about 2 weeks ago, for hooning in Wales.

    Video of 991 taken by an Elise R: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruIC2DY8mCE&feature=youtu.be

    Short summary of how it did:

    The 991 demo performed very well, in my amateur 911 hands. Had plenty of power, excellent handling and ride. It also lets you know when things were getting close to the limit by the car 'floating' a bit when pushing on hard, as well as the steering also 'lightening'. Very much a car that is 'alive', and which talks to you. Great car. On Sunday, I had got the hang of braking on corner entry, and accelerating hard out of corners. Much fun.

    I broke the brakes in properly .. on Saturday they seemed to lack bite, on Sunday, they were near perfect. Mind you, I did 500 miles in the car, and it only had 1100 miles when I picked it up!

    Those who say that the 991 is not a real 911 are wrong .. they just need to tick fewer option boxes.
     


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Very good review, reginos, thanks for your opinion. wink


    --

    The secret of life is to admire without desiring.


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Lars997:

    The 991 is a superb and very seasoned car - no doubt. Is it worth to put that much money on top of the cars we currently have - probably not.  

    Again thanks to Reginos for his usual straight talk and honest impressions.  But Lars makes an interesting point - as the 911 variants come closer to all-round "perfection", is there gradually less  rationale to trade up to the newest model just because it is newest?  All of us that own 997s could easily keep them much longer... they are so well built that they are not going to magically expire just as the 991 appears, and few 997 owners suddenly believe that their cars are anything less than fantastic to drive.  

    In other words, could "perfection" lead to fewer repeat sales?  Smiley


    --

    2011 Range Rover Sport S/C,  2009 Porsche 911S


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Thank you Reginos for the review from an experienced Porsche connoisseur!kiss


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Thanks Reginos for your impressions. Always nice to read what other members experience and I did not have a valid appreciation on the Carrera before your post.

    As you , Lars,  4trac  and myself suggest ....  even though the 991 is better, it does not make us want to jump on it and buy one . I don't know what it is exactly, but there seem to be less need to get one, compared to the time when the 997 came out. Is it just because the car is actually now more refined , ticking less our ''hard core '' spots ? Is the general financial climate that just makes us all more careful ?  

    For me it is probably a bit of booth but the first option is the biggest reason . I start to see regularly the 991 driving in town , and I do not get this ' woaw' factor when I see one . The car is nice, but maybe a bit too elegant, laking the raw factor I like.

    I need to see the GT3  

    At the moment, I am also again in a phase where I miss the manual shifting  and would actually consider again going back to it !!!  But I bet you that as soon as I will be back on a track, I will be so happy to have PDK so I can gain a few seconds  and pass ' faster cars '' Smiley!!


    --

     997.2 C2S, PDK, -20mm


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Gnil:

    As you , Lars,  4trac  and myself suggest ....  even though the 991 is better, it does not make us want to jump on it and buy one . I don't know what it is exactly, but there seem to be less need to get one, compared to the time when the 997 came out. Is it just because the car is actually now more refined , ticking less our ''hard core '' spots ? Is the general financial climate that just makes us all more careful ?  

    It is also because the 997 especially the Gen 2 with PDK is so good and up to date in many aspects. The 996 to 997 was a greater leap forward, I think.

    Also, a large number of people in the present uncertain economic climate prefer to stick to their cash, fearing the prospect of things deteriorating, rather than put a sizable amount on a newer version of their existing car. If things were optimistic in the economies, many more would have moved up to the 991.


    --

    "Form follows function"


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    sfo:

     


    Ha, cool pic. Couple of M3 along GTR and Diablo. Smiley

     


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Atzporsche:


    Ha, cool pic. Couple of M3 along GTR and Diablo. Smiley

     

    same group :)


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    As always Reginos, thanks for your clear, uncomplicated and "real world" impressions. 

    I am enthusiastic about the 991, but I can sure understand why a 997.2 owner would not bowled over and tempted to trade up now.  As some other post mentions, the 991 is simply more perfection, and these days more perfection may not be enough to lure over 100K from one's bank account.  The immediate off the showroom floor depreciaton is also pretty discouraging to a 997 owner who has already absorbed such a loss.

    And funny, but I live in a wealthy city (reasonably unaffected by a serious economic downturn) but I have not seen a single new 991 on the street.  Probably a result of dealer allocations, but it seems a bit odd....


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Great write up reginos! We test drove the Carrera S before taking delivery of our basic 991 Carrera and we are more than happy ! Also our main reason was the difference in price due to taxes. So far its the BEST 911 ever with PSE its just totally MADNESS !! Tunnels, and other closing roads its just insane how goood it sounds ! 

    In the next couple of weeks will posts a good album of pics and my opinion after taking delivery several months ago ..


    --


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    I'm waiting for more to be bought so I can pick up a nice used one.

    I wonder if reginos had seen the basic interior if he still would think the leather was not important.  When I saw the 991 plastic interior I was not impressed. 

    Since I switched to the PSS9 and lowered my 997S I will keep enjoying my cheap car.  If the main benefit of the 991 sound I may look into header and exhaust systems.  I could do a lot to make the 997 more fun for a lot less than a new 991 UNTIL a good used on comes along.

    I think the best bet right now is a used 997 GT3, It's all about the GT3 ENGINE and it's sound at 8500 RPM folks.  Last chance to get the real deal!  For much less than the 991 you get twice the engine, IMHO.

    Cheers


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Leawood911:

    I wonder if reginos had seen the basic interior if he still would think the leather was not important.  When I saw the 991 plastic interior I was not impressed. 

    I haven't seen the basic interior of the 991, but I based my opinion on the 997.2 basic interior which I find satisfactory. The quality and the grain of the plastic dashboard look good, for me. But I can see why someone might prefer the full leather option that looks more luxurious/expensive.

    The reasons I avoid full leather are the danger of irreparable damage to the leather dashboard etc. through scratches and the high probability of damage by prolonged exposure to sunlight/heat both of which we have in abundance for most part of the year in my country.


    --

    "Form follows function"


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    reginos:
    damage by prolonged exposure to sunlight/heat both of which we have in abundance for most part of the year in my country.

     

     definitely not a problem in the UK ...


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    sfo:
    reginos:
    damage by prolonged exposure to sunlight/heat both of which we have in abundance for most part of the year in my country.

     

     definitely not a problem in the UK ...

    ..sure Smiley


    --

    "Form follows function"


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    RC:

    (...)

    Still...even a 991 Carrera optioned to my liking (no PCCB though!), would cost around 120k EUR. Ouch. Too much.

    (...)

     

    Haha, exactly the price of the 991 Carrera 3.4 I specced (and ordered)...


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    zzboba:
    RC:

    (...)

    Still...even a 991 Carrera optioned to my liking (no PCCB though!), would cost around 120k EUR. Ouch. Too much.

    (...)

     

    Haha, exactly the price of the 991 Carrera 3.4 I specced (and ordered)...

    did you specify gold wheels, diamond dials and silk seatbelts smiley

    what is your spec?


    Re: 991 Carrera - Impressions after a brief test drive

    Car is quite black... PDK + SportDesign steering wheel, Sport Chrono, sport exhaust, black painted 20" Carrera S wheels, PDLS headlights, rear park assist, glass sunroof, privacy glassing, folding mirrors, PASM -20mm (+ PTV plus), PCM, LED interior lights, type pressure monitor, wheels spacers, seat heating, mobile phone, BOSE, Isofix and... floor mats... et voila, 118,825.25 €...   Carrera S would be approx +10K, but oh well...


     
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