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    Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Had an extended test drive of a 997TT coupe today (manual transmission, no PCCB, no sport chrono turbo). It was my first time driving a 997TT (or any Porsche Turbo for that matter).

    Why did I go? I was curious about whether I should be even vaguely considering whether to upgrade from a 997C2S to a 997TT (like others here have done). I've read a lot about the 997TT and also heard the opinions of people who have the 997TT but I wanted to check it out for myself.

    I haven't had any actual plans to change my car. I have had my 997C2S for 13 months now and I have been very, very happy with it. But the test drive confirmed for me that I want to keep my 997C2S.

    The weather was dull, grey, occasionally drizzling, with wet, greasy roads.... perfect for testing a 997TT's all round, all weather capabilities.

    First impressions: the interior felt immediately familiar and welcoming. As soon as I got in and drove off, I noticed that the clutch pedal had much more travel than a C2S. Then, as I drove off, WOW! The wave of torque was simply enormous. This car REALLY moves. No fuss, no drama. It just FLIES!!

    BUT, where was the sound? I'm used to having PSE providing an exhilarating soundtrack but the 997TT was so quiet with just some sound of the turbos spooling.

    Other early impressions? Well, the steering feel was actually really good. I was not expecting to get much feedback but instead experience the kind of numbness that I have experienced before on test drives of a PASM C2S and PASM C4S. But the PASM on the 997TT didn't spoil it at all for me. There wasn't as much steering feel as on my C2S with -20mm sports suspension and the steering on my car is much sharper with more instant, sharper responses to steering inputs but the steering feel and feedback on the TT were IMO, as I said, really surprisingly good.

    But the really great accomplishment of PASM on the 997TT was that it made for a truly fantastic level of ride comfort. The TT rode over road imperfections like they just weren't there. A simply amazing achievement since the 997TT manages this without the huge compromise in steering feel and feedback that a PASM Carrera suffers from IMHO.

    Interestingly, I could hardly tell the difference between the PASM Normal and Sport modes in terms of ride comfort. Both felt really great. Maybe it's just because I'm so used to a really firm ride in my -20mm sports suspension car.

    This TT felt so planted, so secure, so certain in its progress. Along with the mountain of torque, this was the abiding impression I was left with. This car simply made mincemeat out of the imperfect road I was driving on. It is a relentless car that keeps going no matter what the road and weather conditions might be with neck-snapping performance and with a sense of purpose I have never experienced before. It crushes whatever challenge lies before it. It was majestic.

    This car makes driving easy and effortless. It was easier to drive than my -20mm sports suspension. It required less concentration but also a different kind of concentration to drive it. This car flatters the mediocre driving talents of even a relative 911 newcomer like me.

    Brakes: absolutely superb and very confidence inspiring.

    Grip, traction and handling were also superb. The car may be heavy but it didn't feel like it to me.

    I also found the gear lever lighter and easier to operate than my normal shifter on my C2S. There's plenty of gear lever travel. I think getting the short shifter is a no-brainer on a TT. The car really needs it IMO.

    OK. So that's some analysis. What do I think then? I think it's an involving car but less involving than my current car. Why? 3 main reasons really: the relative absence of sound, the lesser steering feel/feedback/responsiveness to inputs and the tiny amount of lag. (it's very, very slight but a normally aspirated Carrera S with Sport Chrono in Sport mode 'feels' more immediate in its responses even though the TT, once the power comes in, overwhelms its rivals).

    My C2s will possibly be worth about Pounds55k-Pounds60k in 1 year's time when it's 2 years old. A new TT with options will mean spending about Pounds110k. So is a TT worth spending an extra Pounds50k-Pounds55k on? On balance, no IMHO. It's mightily impressive but didn't blow me away such that I came away thinking to myself "I just have to have this car in my life". I didn't feel that.

    I should also say that the relative lack of sound/noise is a small factor that has a disproportionately big negative effect on me. It reduces the exhilaration and thrill for me.

    Also, I prefer the looks of the GT3 and the Carrera S to that of the TT.

    Instead, I felt that I need to try a GT3 to satisfy my curiosity as to what that car would be like. Almost certainly, I will keep my current C2S and simply go on a number of Porsche Driving School courses to make the most of my existing car which is itself a magnificent car to drive. At the end of the day, the deficiency is not in any of these cars. It is in my skill and capacity to make the most of them and so courses will help me get more out of my car and enhance my whole driving experience and will only serve to increase my driving pleasure.

    These were just some subjective thoughts that I thought I would share with you guys. Of course, they are just my opinion.

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    I has a C2S with 2500 miles and loved it and believe it or not I traded it in for a 997TT without even driving the TT. When drove off the lot my 1st impression was that I liked the C2S clutch better but I was drowned in the thoughts of being a TT owner and the awsome power of the car. I liked my C2S better in so many ways and love the turbo better in many other ways. I also love the GT3, specially the sound of it but the hard clutch is really a pain in the butt in traffic. Bottom line a C2S a hell of car and considering the value it is unbeatable and I am still in love with the memories of my C2S

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Don't drive a GT3. If you do you'll be hooked.

    As an alternative to the Porsche events, consider some good trackdays at the best circuits. In the UK start with Donington and Silverstone. Next Brands GP and Oulton Park. Then in the summer you simply must go to Spa and the Ring. Instruction is always available and will help you build your confidence and develop your track driving skills quickly.

    Test driving a GT3 on the road will only give you a glimpse of the dynamic prowess. Trackdays are very social. Getting a passenger lap in a GT3 is no problem.

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Nice write up Easy: very smart.

    I, OTOH, do not miss my C2S. I rationalize it like this: The C2S has more amazing feel on a track compared to the Turbo. Last in heard, in skilled hands, the C2S can match the TT on a track.

    But I don't drive on a track, I can't drive like an _insane_ person would drive on _public_ twisties to get the C2S to the point where it becomes a "beautiful and unique" experience.

    So, I'm left with passing lanes and slower brain-dead drivers in cars in front of me. Even on twisties with limited passing opportunities the TT beats the C2s.

    Is it worth it? I think so for this reason alone: My C2S sometimes allowed me to forget I was driving it; under some conditions it became a normal car. The TT _NEVER_ allows you to forget; when you are over 30mph the feeling of power and TORQUE under your right foot will not allow you to forget. Really weird! Like a muscle car with ballet training.

    What's also funny is BOTH cars are "luxurious" and docile in parking lots, city congestion and traffic jams.

    BTW, I swear I'm not BSing or trying to start a flame war; just telling you what I'd tell my friends. If you drive like I drive (BTW, I would be sorry to hear that ) and can $wing it (without being toooo $elfish) do not hesitate to get the TT.

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    NMD I agree with everything you say but even in the hands of a skilled driver asuming the TT driver knows what he is doing the C2S can not be a match no matter where. At least that is what I think having them both.

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    i upgraded from a C2S to a turbo and never ever looked back.....

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Nice write up!

    You are confirming my feelings I always had after driving a TT.

    The enormous Power of a TT is undescribable. Any how, the C2S feels IMO more sporty and gives for me the best mix between a TT and a GT3.

    Anyway - the TT makes sense in so many ways, too. And it is no wether what the "top of the range".

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    I have the same feeling as you Easy.
    I will change my C4S as soon as the face lift is available.
    My options were new 997 C2S -20mm with PCCB or TT.
    My choice is going towards the C2S for the reasons you mentioned.
    The power and the whole turbo feel of the TT are addictive, but I can not convince myself that I will generally have more pleasure with the TT.
    I do about 10 track days a year and like to do small twisties on mountain roads, plus I drive a lot on small distances in town. The TT will not be suitable for that.
    The smaller weight, agility , steering feeling of the C2S are a big plus, the cheaper price also.
    If I would be driving on the German Autobahn, then the TT would be my pick.
    Also , I allow myself a bit of room for 'future upgrades' for later

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Gnil,
    How do you get to do trackdays in and around Vaud?! If you do though, just go for a GT3, there really is no substitute, unless of course as your profile shows you need to +2 seats.

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Quote:
    JAG007 said:
    Gnil,
    How do you get to do trackdays in and around Vaud?! If you do though, just go for a GT3, there really is no substitute, unless of course as your profile shows you need to +2 seats.


    JAG, I have got 3 small boys to carry around ( sometimes anyway ) and my P is my daily driver ( winter included), so the GT3 is out of the question to replace the C4S (as an extra car that would be my choice).
    I do my track days at the Nurburgring and in France ( Dijon, Castellet etc..) You seem to know Vaud..no tracks in Switzerland at all, still baned since the 50's !!

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Ecellent report, Easy
    As for the GT3 - just follow ScottL's smart advise
    I'm already very curious to see whether you'll catch the track-bug next year If so then you're fate will be sealed Of course your beautifully equipped C2S -20mm is the perfect blend of a sporty/involving ride and usability as a daily driver

    The GT3 is not made for the terrible London traffic (but that may be true for any P-car for that matter)

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Quote:
    edz61 said:
    NMD I agree with everything you say but even in the hands of a skilled driver asuming the TT driver knows what he is doing the C2S can not be a match no matter where. At least that is what I think having them both.



    I thought specific track design often makes less of a difference between both cars but you're probably right. I just read all this stuff in mags and on net, time passes and then my amateur mind remembers it "creatively." Dammit!

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    I went from a 993 C4S with a 20-mm lowered suspension to a 997 C2S and finally to a 997 TT. Every car I absolutely enjoyed and appreciated the "improvement" from car to car across all characteristics - power, handling, feel, braking. Besides the power of the TT, the biggest plus for me was a sense of more precise steering (that may just be me) with the TT. One minor complaint, I don't like the feel of the clutch as much as in the C2S - I think the TT clutch probably has too much hydraulic assist, but you do get used to it. After 5,000 miles, I'm still not used to the torque and that's a good thing!

    Driving a GT3 is a different experience, and for me it's not a good daily driver car, whereas the TT can definitely be used every day no matter where you drive it.

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Good write-up and I agree with you on the exhaust sound issue which easily remedied and the short shifter (a must).
    I don't agree with you about pasm in sport vs normal since in my car the difference in ride quality is significant.
    Also, the TT is much much more of a handful at the limit although very forgiving up to that point.
    Even if money was no object, for me the tunabilty of the TT is priceless and cannot be experienced with a NA engine regardless of how great it is.
    P.S. you test drove the wrong car (no overboost), those extra 50 ft/pd of torque are very noticeable not to mention the throttle response which is significantly different in cars with the overboost function.

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    it's all good bud

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Quote:
    easy_rider911 said:


    Instead, I felt that I need to try a GT3 to satisfy my curiosity as to what that car would be like. Almost certainly, I will keep my current C2S and simply go on a number of Porsche Driving School courses to make the most of my existing car which is itself a magnificent car to drive. At the end of the day, the deficiency is not in any of these cars. It is in my skill and capacity to make the most of them and so courses will help me get more out of my car and enhance my whole driving experience and will only serve to increase my driving pleasure.

    These were just some subjective thoughts that I thought I would share with you guys. Of course, they are just my opinion.




    I had the same opinion when I drove the turbo after a C4s.

    It's not mind blowing. And for the price you're paying, it should. On the other hand, the GT3 felt like a complete different beast. The GT3 feels way faster than the turbo because of the way the power is delivered. It's the best porsche, period.


    If you're used to a manual and if you're not bothered by the -20mm suspension, you'll love it.

    You're warned. Drive it and you'll end up considering it.


    God I miss driving these cars so bad ...

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Quote:
    Porsche-Jeck said:
    As for the GT3 - just follow ScottL's smart advise
    I'm already very curious to see whether you'll catch the track-bug next year

    The GT3 is not made for the terrible London traffic



    Thanks Porsche-Jeck Actually, as you already know, the only thing delaying me from going on track days and laps of the 'Ring etc is insurance.

    As for the GT3, I may try it one day. It's hard to find a demo car at any OPC in the UK. But, as you can imagine, I don't drive that often in the heaviest London traffic. I do most of my driving during weekday evenings and at weekends. I also try to time/plan things to avoid the traffic if at all possible.

    Nonetheless, I would still think that a GT3 will be the right tool for the wrong job

    Thanks again

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Quote:
    Newman said:
    One minor complaint, I don't like the feel of the clutch as much as in the C2S - I think the TT clutch probably has too much hydraulic assist, but you do get used to it.



    Yes, I agree. I forgot to mention this. I found the clutch pedal of the TT not only had much more travel but also was much too soft. It offered almost no resistance to the very gentle left foot pressure I was applying to it.

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Great write-up easy, thanks!

    "I should also say that the relative lack of sound/noise is a small factor that has a disproportionately big negative effect on me. It reduces the exhilaration and thrill for me."

    Coming from PSE 997 S cab I can totally relate to what you're saying about how the turbo sounds. It's a total let down. The good thing is it can be easily fixed with a good after-market exhaust which imo is night and day vs the stock vacuum cleaner sound. Having a little more power (w/ the after-market exhaust) & less turbo lag (power sooner) doesn't hurt either.

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Quote:
    AAHTT said:
    I agree with you on the exhaust sound issue which easily remedied...



    Thanks for your reply I'm not sure I would want an aftermarket solution to this though. Here in the UK, we tend to keep our cars stock to help resale values.

    Quote:
    AAHTT said:
    I don't agree with you about pasm in sport vs normal since in my car the difference in ride quality is significant.



    You may well be right. You've been driving it far longer than I have but the main factor for me, as I said, was that I am very used to a very firm ride since my car has the -20mm sports suspension. It makes me less sensitive to the differences between PASM Normal and Sport on the TT.

    Quote:
    AAHTT said:
    Also, the TT is much much more of a handful at the limit although very forgiving up to that point.



    Yes, I think you're right. But since it was only a 1 hour test drive, I didn't get to test the car at the limit.

    Quote:
    AAHTT said:
    ...the tunabilty of the TT is priceless...



    True, but I gather that it is less tunable than the 996TT due to complications resulting from the fact that the 997TT has VTG.

    Quote:
    AAHTT said:
    P.S. you test drove the wrong car (no overboost)... the throttle response which is significantly different in cars with the overboost function.



    Yes, it's an unfortunate omission in the spec on the OPC's part. But nonetheless, it was a very worthwhile experience all the same. My concerns with the 997TT were not in relation to torque/acceleration etc. Sport Chrono Turbo would only give me much more of an already good thing

    Thanks again for your valuable perspective

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Thanks Gregg. Which aftermarket exhaust did you go for in the end? Cargraphic? How does it sound?

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Quote:
    easy_rider911 said:
    Thanks Gregg. Which aftermarket exhaust did you go for in the end? Cargraphic? How does it sound?



    Tubi. Don't have my car yet to install it but heard it on a Turbo Coupe in person, sounds like how the turbo should sound.

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Gents: I took delivery of my TT 4 months ago and for some reason it sounds deeper than my friends who got their TT the end of last year, I wonder why? Mine sounds more metalic like my C2S

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Quote:
    edz61 said:
    Gents: I took delivery of my TT 4 months ago and for some reason it sounds deeper than my friends who got their TT the end of last year, I wonder why? Mine sounds more metalic like my C2S



    The Porsche factory made a mistake. Your car was a C4S with full turbo bodykit...

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    you are SO right on with your assessment... the lack of noise, especially when you have PSE on your C2S, is VERY disappointing... the TT lacks soul... had a C2S Cab. but sold it just recently to upgrade to a 430 Scuderia... different animal... but I drove, hard, a GT3 recently... if you already own a manual C2S, the GT3 will provide you with the high you've been looking for all your life

    the clutch maybe a bit of a workout, but the drive is OH MY GOD! drive one, buy one...

    Re: Test drove a 997TT today: my impressions...

    Nice report.
    Thanks for sharing

     
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