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    The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    Here's more documentation from "Excellence" to add to the file.

    Enjoy.

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    The late Paul Frere thought the base 911 was the best deal for the money, but I'm still glad I bought the S as it came with most of the items I would have ordered on a base 911, like the PASM, the 19" wheels and the Bi-Xenon headlights. When I ordered it, the cost of getting the S version was only about $5,000 or so more, and the S came with the larger engine, the larger brakes with the red (bling) calipers, and the better flywheel/clutch. So I figured it was worth the additional price.

    No regrets I made the decision I did, except that I should have gotten the optional fire extinguisher and the ceramic brakes.

    Jim

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    I also think that the S version is a must over the standard Carrera. I see in fact no point why to go for one.
    The cost of options you normally want drives it directly into S range

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    Quote:
    silvershadow said:
    I also think that the S version is a must over the standard Carrera. I see in fact no point why to go for one.
    The cost of options you normally want drives it directly into S range



    Options are the key. Believe it or not, there are people who don't want PASM. If you want PASM, the S is a must. If you don't want PASM, I would get the base. I still recall what Chris Harris, respected UK Porsche writer, said when he personally owned the 997S...after driving his friend's base with PCCB, he said he bought the wrong car and should've bought a base with PCCB. Why? Better road feel.

    David

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    One small observation, the people that write these comparisons between the 997 and 997S are always driving someone else's cars and write as if they were choosing neutrally between the two in theory.

    If they were spending their own money, I doubt you would find a single journalist who would still say I'd go for the non S. The fact is that the arguably better feel, linearity of hp/torque delivery, conventionally sprung suspension, lower tyre noise etc are all outweighed by the fact that the S model is much better value coming from a company that is notorious for charging for everything. When you add in the price of the options included as standard on the S (and also the items you can't buy like red brakes) it's a complete no-brainer. Effectively like getting a very cheap engine upgrade.

    In the UK, the S outsells the non S by 9 to 1. Speaks for itself really. And that's why I doubt even a motoring journalist, when it comes to signing the dotted line and paying with his own money, would do any differently to any of us.

    PS: why the fixation with cupholders? I hardly ever use them. I guess you wouldn't worry about spilling coffee in somebody else's car if you're taking bends at speed. Proves my point again.

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    If you don't want PASM but still want a S model, there's a simple and superior solution (outside N America): get a -20mm sports suspension with rear LSD. It's much better than the conventionally sprung suspension in the non S.

    The ideal set up would be 997 C2S, -20mm sports suspension with rear LSD, sport chrono (purely for faster throttle map), PCCB, X51, sport shifter with the best seats you can afford (CF buckets or adaptives)...

    Or you could simply get a GT3. Problem solved

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    Re GT3, I have to ask, has Porsche made a car so perfect in making the 997 GT3 that anyone who buys it will simply never be satisfied by anything else? I wonder what people who own a 997 GT3 and a F430 or Gallardo think? They probably think the F430/Gallardo is great but for serious track use, nothing comes close to the GT3.

    Sorry to deviate from the original context of the thread (S vs non S).

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    I've never owned a GT3 but have tracked the GT3 and the F430. At my low level of experience I would be a lot faster in the F430. The F430 was F1 so the experiences were very different. I suspect the GT3 would become more fun with extended use as the driver becomes more familiar and learns to push it harder and harder. The F430 gives you more confidence from day one. I suspect the GT3 might ultimately be more rewarding as you learn to master it.

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    I don't know, but there is just something about those big red brakes and Bi-Xenon headlights!

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    Quote:
    Pink Panther said:
    The F430 gives you more confidence from day one.



    Sounds like a Boxster.

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    Here's one who will.

    After spending time with this car, I was reminded that my first impressions after spending time with a 2005 997 with NO options on our test loop were right. I would buy a plain 997 with no PASM, 18s, and PCCBs. Sport wheel, sport seats (not sure which of the 3, but probably not the adaptives), and not much more. The base 997 was so good that the other journalist who brought the M3 along for comparison purposes -- and owns a 997 GT3, his first Porsche after many BMWs -- was literally blown away. And I'd been telling him about my preference for base 997s for years. After the first 100 miles or so, he still wasn't buying. After 200-300, he understood just how subtly good the base car is, how well resolved it is. After 600, he decided his GT3 would be going up for sale. Replacement then: either a base 997 or a 987S. Final decision: 987S, but if it was going to be a 997, he says it would be VERY similar to the car pictured below.

    So that's actually TWO journalists who would sign on the dotted line for a base 997 over a 997S. The only thing we didn't love on the base 997 were its brakes. They were fine, but feel-less compared to the M3's stoppers and PCCBs. Hence, PCCBs.

    If you want PASM and 19s, the 997S is a great value (and I agree with those sentiments posted here). But, if you want the best. most satisfying all-around RWD 997 drive on the road, I personally think it is found in the cheapest 911 of them all. That said, I know it is not the car for everyone...

    But if I ever see a standard 997 on base suspension, with 18s, and PCCBs, I'll just smile.

    Cheers!

    Pete Stout
    Editor, Excellence Magazine

    P.S. I should say there were a few other things we didn't like on the 997, but they weren't dynamic issues: PCM (lame), standard steering wheel (too thin, and contour-less, 996 3-spoker was superior), standard seats (but they were supportive enough), and the all-tan dash (which made it tough to see through the windshield due to reflections at certain times of the day in bright sunlight, but another interior color or deviating black dashtop would fix this).

    Oh, and the suspension wasn't quite as composed over rough roads as the EDC-equipped M3's, but then that's probably partly a function of wheelbase and partly why Porsche saw fit to start working on PASM.

    Still, the steering, the engine, the handling, the lightness of touch...

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    Quote:
    excmag said:
    Final decision: 987S




    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    Quote:
    excmag said:

    So that's actually TWO journalists who would sign on the dotted line for a base 997 over a 997S.



    Journalists generally don't get paid very much. I guess that's why they are..., ahem..., value-conscious.

    You get the S if you have the money to blow. It's by no means wasted money; but it's less of a "rate of return." Porsche likes it that way!

    Just kidding..., buy whichever you want as long as it's a Porsche!


    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    Point made, point taken!

    A small number of automotive journalists, however, are paid well. And then there are the British gentlemen journalists... While I'm not rolling quite like that, I suspect buying a 997 would be do-able were I to choose living somewhere other than SF.

    Even so, the issue related to car journalists raised in a post above isn't well considered. It's interesting and even important to note, to be sure, but owners are just as potentially biased in a desire to justify their purchase, or, on the other side, be biased the other direction if affected by PPD. And one must also ask, who drives more cars, and thus gains a broader knowledge base? I don't want to sound like I am defending automotive journalists, as a great many I have met are worthier of your thorns than you can possibly know. My favorites were a guy who asked for an extra lobster after dinner and another who must have had soupliners in his sport coat.

    In any event, it takes an *objective* person with reasonable skill behind the wheel to render a useful verdict. And that's not easy to find. I've met many race car drivers who can turn in impressive lap times but can't tell you much about how the car works or do so in an objective manner, and I've met plenty of writers who can weave fabulous sentences but cannot drive their way out of a parking space. Then there's the matter of integrity....

    So neither journalist nor owner may be more objective/skilled/truthful than the other, but there is good journalist and poor journalist feedback just as there is good owner feedback and poor owner feedback. Being in the industry, I know which writers I want to listen to, based on their driving skill and objectivity. They are few, but I am sure there are some good ones I've missed.

    Being less connected to the boards, I'm not as able to spot the best posters, but I occasionally see brilliant owners offering helpful feedback, too!

    As always, sorry for the long post. I can write long fast. Short and complete takes time!

    Cheers,

    pete

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    Two more data points. When I was in Germany last, I asked two guys who worked for PAG what they thought of S vs. non-S. These guys spend *lots* of time with the cars driving around Germany. The both said that the base Carrera is all one needs. They felt that the S was for folks that wanted to make a statement, but it was not necessary nor justified the extra expense. They both had a pick of their cars at work, and both chose the base Carrera. YMMV.

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    Quote:
    excmag said:
    Point made, point taken!

    A small number of automotive journalists, however, are paid well. And then there are the British gentlemen journalists... While I'm not rolling quite like that, I suspect buying a 997 would be do-able were I to choose living somewhere other than SF.

    Even so, the issue related to car journalists raised in a post above isn't well considered. It's interesting and even important to note, to be sure, but owners are just as potentially biased in a desire to justify their purchase, or, on the other side, be biased the other direction if affected by PPD. And one must also ask, who drives more cars, and thus gains a broader knowledge base? I don't want to sound like I am defending automotive journalists, as a great many I have met are worthier of your thorns than you can possibly know. My favorites were a guy who asked for an extra lobster after dinner and another who must have had soupliners in his sport coat.

    In any event, it takes an *objective* person with reasonable skill behind the wheel to render a useful verdict. And that's not easy to find. I've met many race car drivers who can turn in impressive lap times but can't tell you much about how the car works or do so in an objective manner, and I've met plenty of writers who can weave fabulous sentences but cannot drive their way out of a parking space. Then there's the matter of integrity....

    So neither journalist nor owner may be more objective/skilled/truthful than the other, but there is good journalist and poor journalist feedback just as there is good owner feedback and poor owner feedback. Being in the industry, I know which writers I want to listen to, based on their driving skill and objectivity. They are few, but I am sure there are some good ones I've missed.

    Being less connected to the boards, I'm not as able to spot the best posters, but I occasionally see brilliant owners offering helpful feedback, too!

    As always, sorry for the long post. I can write long fast. Short and complete takes time!

    Cheers,

    pete


    Pete - I agree with what you've said. Who are you favorite auto journalists (not meant to be an exclusive list - just the absolue best - from any English-speaking source/country is fine).

    Thanks

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    Argh! While it's HIGHLY tempting to list all those I respect/like/enjoy, I think it's in poor taste for me to do so, both within the industry and among those who write for me. It...just...seems like talking out of school.

    Sorry!

    pete

    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    It's been a long time since this thread was active. Unfortunately, I never responded to some of the comments posted here by the much respected Excellence Magazine Editor, Pete Stout. I'm now going to post the thoughts which I wish I had posted earlier whilst this thread still had its own momentum.

    I would start by saying that the question posed in the magazine article is IMHO misconceived  "Is the plainest Carrera all the 997 you need?" IMHO, 'need' doesn't (and shouldn't) enter into the equation. Driving any performance car should be about maximising driving pleasure and so the question ought to be 'which 997 model gives the most pleasure?' or 'which 997 model offers the best driving experience?'  Instead, by talking about 'all the 997 you need', by definition, one is focussing on how to gain driving pleasure from a 997 without 'unnecessarily' spending extra money on a more expensive model if a less expensive model can offer substantially the same level of pleasure. This needlessly (and confusingly) intermingles the concept of price into the evaluation. The moment one does that, one is inevitably IMO led into looking for an acceptable compromise between performance and price. Why should that be the case?  Money should not be a factor in this assessment IMO. 'Money no object, which is best' is a wholly different ballgame from what is 'best for the money' 

    On a more trivial note, I found the fixation with cupholders in this article to be rather laughable. Any article that is to be taken seriously should not waste its reader's attention in this fashion Smiley

    I would like to turn now to some of the other comments that were made on this thread. I have quoted only the relevant portions of text:

    excmag:

    I would buy a plain 997 with no PASM, 18s, and PCCBs. Sport wheel, sport seats (not sure which of the 3, but probably not the adaptives), and not much more. The base 997 was so good that the other journalist who [....] owns a 997 GT3, his first Porsche after many BMWs -- was literally blown away. [....] After the first 100 miles or so, he still wasn't buying. After 200-300, he understood just how subtly good the base car is, how well resolved it is. After 600, he decided his GT3 would be going up for sale. Replacement then: either a base 997 or a 987S. Final decision: 987S, but if it was going to be a 997, he says it would be VERY similar to the car pictured below.

    [....]

    If you want PASM and 19s, the 997S is a great value (and I agree with those sentiments posted here). But, if you want the best. most satisfying all-around RWD 997 drive on the road, I personally think it is found in the cheapest 911 of them all.

    [....]

    P.S. I should say there were a few other things we didn't like on the 997 [....] the suspension wasn't quite as composed over rough roads as the EDC-equipped M3's, but then that's probably [....] partly why Porsche saw fit to start working on PASM.

    Still, the steering, the engine, the handling, the lightness of touch...


    While I respect your choice and your reasons for your choice, however, I regret to say that I do not share this view 

    Unfortunately, in the USA, it has never been possible to buy a 997.1 C2S with P17 -20mm sports suspension & rear LSD (in place of PASM)  The -20mm conventionally sprung sports suspension is in my view vastly superior in terms of steering feel & feedback, steering precision & handling compared to the standard 997.1 C2 and the 997.1 C2S with PASM 

    I attach below FYI an official graph (taken from the Porsche 997 Product Information Guide) comparing the various suspensions offered on the 997.1 model range.

    1253901377814-20mm sports suspension graph.jpg

    PASM on the 997.1 C2S made the steering feel numb, distant and imprecise to me. It detrimentally affected my driving pleasure to a great extent  If it were a choice only between a 997.1 C2 and a 997.1 C2S with PASM, like you, I too would choose the non-PASM car 

    However, outside North America, one does not need to make this invidious choice  In the RoW, we have a much superior 3rd option which, surprisingly for Porsche, comes at no extra cost  If only you could know just what you are missing Smiley

    The steering response & handling on the -20mm sports suspension car is razor sharp. The steering feel is magical. I can feel every aspect of the road surface through the steering wheel - even the subtlest attributes of the road surface are easily discernible  The 997.1 C2 does not offer such a delicate sensation to one's fingertips  The -20mm sports suspension is literally as precise as a surgeon's scalpel with a lightness of touch that makes the car feel so agile and super-responsive 

    I would like to comment briefly on your fellow journalist's reaction to the 997.1 C2. No disrespect intended but I was a little surprised (and even amused) that someone owning a 997.1 GT3 could actually prefer a 997.1 C2 or a 987.1 S Smiley Smiley I have driven all three and IMO the choice to me, in terms of the driving experience and pleasure, is abundantly clear: the 997.1 GT3 is better than the other two cars IMO by a very significant margin  Clearly, I can only conclude that, deep down, your colleague wanted a very different experience if he did indeed proceed to change his 997.1 GT3 to a 987.1 S 

    In my humble opinion, amongst the pre-facelift 997.1 cars (excluding the 997.1 GT3 and 997.1 GT3 RS which are IMO track tools and not daily drivers), the best, most satisfying, all-round, daily driving experience would be provided by the following specification: 997.1 C2S with -20mm sports suspension & rear LSD, manual transmission, sport chrono (for the engine throttle map), X51 Carrera S Powerkit (inc PSE), sport shifter, sports steering wheel, PCCBs (except for heavy track usage, where the normal 'red' brakes are preferable due to the frequency of replacement)  Seat choice clearly depends upon one's size and dimensions. I much prefer the adaptive sports seats over the standard seats  While they are heavier, I prefer them for their comfort on longer drives. I also like the folding bucket seats for the support they provide when cornering. The standard seats however offer me insufficient shoulder and lateral support 

    In my case, I did not specify X51 (Carrera S Powerkit) nor PCCBs on grounds of cost  I also did not choose the sport shifter due to its 'notchiness' in cold weather. (I live in the UK where winters can be cold).

    I would like to quote some further comments that, I regret to say, I found particularly objectionable.

    excmag:

    [....]

    Even so, the issue related to car journalists raised in a post above isn't well considered [....] owners are just as potentially biased in a desire to justify their purchase [....] who drives more cars, and thus gains a broader knowledge base? [....] In any event, it takes an *objective* person with reasonable skill behind the wheel to render a useful verdict. And that's not easy to find. [....] neither journalist nor owner may be more objective/skilled/truthful than the other, but there is good journalist and poor journalist feedback just as there is good owner feedback and poor owner feedback.



    I can appreciate that, as an occasional visitor to Rennteam, you would not possess the familiarity with the various members here to be able to identify whose judgement to trust or not to trust. However, having said that, those here who know me well will know that, as a lawyer, I value my integrity and professionalism in all that I undertake above all other considerations.

    For you to casually and superficially remark that my post wasn't "well considered" was nothing less than offensive 

    Throughout my life, I have never been disposed to utter or write a single sentence which has not been meticulously thought through. I apply the same degree of rigorous analysis to anything and everything that I am minded to focus myself upon.

    While I fully recognise that some owners may indeed be susceptible of being biased (in a conscious or subconscious desire to justify their purchase and decision-making process), that is most certainly not true in my case  IMO your remarks were dismissive and were made much too easily (indeed recklessly) about someone whom you simply do not know  It was wholly inappropriate in my case 

    All I will say is that IMO I am not someone about whom anyone could allege with any justification that I express views that are not "well considered" or that I might be labouring under 'owner's bias' Smiley  

    As for evaluating cars, while it is obviously true that motoring journalists try a much wider range of cars than normal motorists, this misses the point IMHO  Cars like the 911 are developed by Porsche over 5-7 year periods of intensive R&D with many hundreds of thousands of miles of rigorous testing. There is a depth of design, engineering and production quality that reveals itself in layers. It therefore takes IMO between 3 months to 1 year to peel away these layers and fully appreciate what a car made by Porsche truly offers. So, by this yardstick, reviews by most motoring journalists do not (and cannot) fully evaluate a car. At their best, they may give a good general idea of the main themes but they cannot give the kind of detailed analysis that only ownership by a perceptive and analytical owner who really tests the car in every conceivable scenario can provide.

    Of course, it goes without saying that I agree with the remarks you made about the essential need for objectivity. That's true of any endeavour in life, and not just reviewing cars Smiley

    It is not my intention to offend by this post. However, I have, upon reflection, determined that, despite the extended delay, it would nonetheless be better to politely set the record straight, not least since I am not in the habit of turning a blind eye to casual slurs upon my integrity, neutrality or professionalism 

    --
     

    Rennteam Moderator - 997.1 Carrera S Coupe GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: The Bible Speaks Again; S vs. non-S

    Excellent and thoughtful post. These magazine articles are simply designed to fill  space and entice readership w/ provocation. Is the Cayman better than the 73 RS? Is the 997 GT3 really better than the 996 GT3? Is the base Carrera more practical than a Cup Car? Your original point that no one "needs" a sports car is not only true, but once acknowledged effectively ends such jabbering, in print or otherwise!


    --
     

    Carpe Diem--life is but a crack of light bounded by eternities of darkness (Nabokov)


     
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