Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?
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Thread: Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

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    Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

    Greetings,

    I bought a new 2014 981 CS that I've owned for the last four years. Great car if a little bit more numb steering wise. But still very fun and amazing sound/howl with PSE. That said I've been wondering about more power. Meaning more torque. Speed is less of an issue unless I'm really trying to pass someone. But the shove into the seat. Enter current question: A friend recently gave me a drive in a 997 turbo. I was blown away. Granted I should be with nearly double the torque. But that car was a revelation at least from passenger seat. Definitely more squirrely on corners but that seems like it'd be fun.

    Anyhow curious to hear thoughts about people who maybe have owned a 997TT vs the 981 platform. I've currently got my 981S with a stage 1 tune. I'm at the point where I will likely have it paid off soon and am looking at either other mods (headers / stage 2 perhaps, or future cosmetic mods like GTS front end or TechArt wing), or switching cars. I love the styling of the 981 but would love more torque. I've considered an engine swap or gt4, but gt4 is even beyond 997.2 pricing in most cases, and engine swap is similar to say 997 GTS levels. I've both been in and driven 997gts and have felt like while faster the torque delta between it and the 981 wasn't enough to justify.

    I basically do street/backroad driving for fun and have done some Autocross. Car is a weekend car not a daily. Obviously two different animals, precision digital feel vs more rear end power... Have you gone from one to the other or owned both? Why?

    Thanks
    2016 Cayman 981 GT4 - Carrera White Metallic - Leather/Alcantara with Guard Red Stitching / etc...

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    IPD Competition Plenum for 981 at Suncoasticon.

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    Re: Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

    Spend $500 at the Atlanta center and do the Cayman 718 S manual experience like I did. Everything so good your brain will make you love the sound. You will never know that car by doing a test drive round the dealership or hearing youtube sound clips..I also asked my coach to give me some hot laps since those guys are professional racers where I was passenger just to see how it felt as a passenger. I went 'Holy f**k' just 5 mins driving that thing..

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    Re: Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

    I personally can't stand the low-rent 997 interior, but if you want to go backwards like that, it'd be your choice. You could get into very nice V8 German cars (S5, AMG, M3, etc) for that same money, with better interiors, and should handle better (I also hate the rear-engine pendulum effect of older 911s to the point they were off my list completely). I'd advise you to drive all possible competitors, which are better values than a 911 IMO. Good luck.

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    Re: Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

    I'm glad you reminded me of this. I've been looking at a $$$ mid-engine car (562 hp) to replace my 2014CS as a track car and was amazed by its performance and poise. Now I think I need to get to Atlanta and spend $900 on a combo Turbo/GT3 drive and see what differences I notice vs the other car I'm considering. Thanks again.

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    Re: Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

    Highly recommend Atlanta but it can be expensive. Not for the day but for the consequences. I went there last year to "master the manual" as I had a 2016 Spyder. After driving CaymanS and 911S I fell in love with both which drive so differently. As a result I now have a 2018 911 GTS as well. Very expensive trip to Atlanta.

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    Re: Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Closertotruth View Post
    Highly recommend Atlanta but it can be expensive. Not for the day but for the consequences. I went there last year to "master the manual" as I had a 2016 Spyder. After driving CaymanS and 911S I fell in love with both which drive so differently. As a result I now have a 2018 911 GTS as well. Very expensive trip to Atlanta.
    I feel your pain. I have a 911 GTS on order. I'm experiencing the waiting pain right now. The financial pain will happen after it shows up.
    2015 CS, Agate Gray Metallic, PDK, PSE, X73, SC

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    Re: Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

    I'll give you my 2 cents...I kind of went the other way. My first Porsche was a 2001 996 Turbo. I knew that if I ever bought a 'lesser' model I would have lusted after a turbo / more power. So I went for the big boy right out of the gate. Ended up with a well modified version. Owned it for 2 1/2 years - ended up hating it. Spent $20k in maintenance alone due to previous owners messups or general wear. Still needed new suspension which I was not willing to pay for by the time I sold it. If I had bought a reliable, stock (ish) model - maybe I would have thought differently about it. I only drove occasionally as I work from home. It was low and a pain when going over speed hump, parking, etc. Basic interior did not bother me - I liked it simple. I was always waiting for the next maintenance item to hit. As for driveablility - I ended up not enjoying it. It was a heavy (AWD) pig on Autocross. It had so much power I thought I was going to kill myself a few times. It's best trick was crazy acceleration which should ONLY be done in a straight line (see comment about killing ones self)...problem was that when you floor it, 3 seconds later you are at 100mph+, if you ever get caught by the cops - you go straight to jail. In the end, it was a better idea than a truly fun car.

    I found the trick was to spend more to buy new or as new as possible. Use up all of the cars goodness, then unload the car. A higher buy-in cost, but you get thee reliability peace of mind. Older Porsches can be costly and frustrating to run...of course some people have great luck and/or love to tinker. If yours will be a spare car that you want to use for blasting off in straight lines, maybe an older 997 turbo will work for you.


    I now have a 2016 Cayman GTS which I find to be a tremendous mix of fun, comfort, sportinesss, handling, speed - it is so engaging. No - it is not the quickest/fastest...but for town driving (not motorsports) it is more than enough, and a better car than 98% of what you will come across daily. It is lighter, more nimble on AutoX. Reliable and modern without being over the top with the newest gizmos. I love the Cayman GTS. If I never had a turbo - I'm sure I would still want one. Since I had one - I have no desire to go back. There is no one car that can do it all...best you can do is get something to tick as many boxes as you are comfortable with. Use the proper tool for the applicable job.
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    Re: Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyboy View Post
    problem was that when you floor it, 3 seconds later you are at 100mph+, if you ever get caught by the cops - you go straight to jail. In the end, it was a better idea than a truly fun car.
    I found the same thing. I get to drive a lot of very fast cars for my job, and no matter how crazy the acceleration is, you get used to it fairly quickly but you get to enjoy it for very little amounts of time before speeds become ill advised. There's always different levels of fast and something faster than what you're driving.

    But perceptions are funny - the sensation of speed and acceleration is more than G-forces. I drove a 991.1 C4 GTS before I bought my CGTS, and honestly I would have struggled to say which was faster if I wasn't allowed to look at the speedometer. The 90 horsepower advantage in the 911 produced very real performance benefits, but the rest of the car kind of smoothed them out. Along the same lines, your car will feel MUCH faster if you're flooring it in second gear on a narrow road versus doing it in the middle of a 5-lane highway. You need to put the car in the correct environment to enjoy it fully, the 981s are not straight line monsters, their party trick is being nimble and delicate.

    Now, I did modify my 981 for more torque with race headers, and it is very noticeable. For me, it makes the car how I would have wanted it to be out of the box, but it's obviously never going to be a torque monster. Still, VERY noticeable difference with headers and a protune.
    2015 Cayman GTS
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    Re: Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

    heh, you could do what I did. Get a Jeep Wrangler (or some other suitably snail-like vehicle) and daily drive it. Switching from my Jeep to my 981 makes the 981 feel like a F1 car. :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyboy View Post
    I now have a 2016 Cayman GTS which I find to be a tremendous mix of fun, comfort, sportinesss, handling, speed - it is so engaging. No - it is not the quickest/fastest...but for town driving (not motorsports) it is more than enough, and a better car than 98% of what you will come across daily. It is lighter, more nimble on AutoX. Reliable and modern without being over the top with the newest gizmos. I love the Cayman GTS. If I never had a turbo - I'm sure I would still want one. Since I had one - I have no desire to go back.
    From a 2014 Boxster base to a 2014 991 Carrera base, now a 16 Cayman GTS. Not regretting letting go the 991. Absolutely love the CGTS!!!!!

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    Re: Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

    Funny you should start this thread as I bought a 2013 981 Boxster S PDK and recently bought a 997.1 Manual Turbo Convertible this year. Prior to the 981 I used to have a 996 C4S Manual and I briefly owned a 981 S Manual. I bought a 2002 996 Carrera 3.6 Manual in 2009 which I still have alongside the 2013 Boxster S PDK and the 997.1 Turbo Manual. I'm only giving history for context.
    The 981 is modern in every sense of the word, infotainment, gearbox, handling, build quality and design. It is very much a car of now. The 997 feels a decade older and the 996 even older. You can feel it in the interiors (although the 997 is so much nicer then the 996), infotainment (again in the same order), handling (not much of a difference between 981 and 997 but the 997 is 4 wheel drive and rides on 19"). The sports seats in the 981 are not as deep as the sports seats in the 997.
    What is clear to me, granted subjectively, is that the 997 is the best looking 911 of them all and was a £115k car new as it was a range topper. The power is out of this world, scary on the roads. It turns heads. It was a childhood dream realised. The 981 is the more usable car for the roads and is sublime so much so that I chose it over a 991. All the write ups I read were accurate once I drove the actual cars. The 981 is such a stunning design and a special car. The 997 is raw power. Without wishing to offend 981 owners as I am one myself, the 911 Turbo has the pedigree and lineage.

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    Re: Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

    Thanks for all the replies.

    Points mentioned are all along what I have read and been thinking over. The big thing for me is what car is more "fun" to drive on the street and maybe eventually some track, but mostly street. I've yet to do any track as mentioned but NorCal has some amazing twisty back roads which I drive quite a bit. On the one hand the torque I felt in the 997 was unreal. On the other I don't need to be going over 100mph all the time either. I really love the look of my Cayman S. It really does look good.... the 997tt looks good but is definitely dated a bit more. I'm also mulling GT4 but the reality those cars are higher priced, and I don't know that the limited power up would be enough to justify vs the turbo 500+.

    @msaif I am curious since you apparently have both... do you take one out more than the other? What do you prefer for back road drives?

    EDIT: Also I used to own a 986S boxster. So I know about the older dated interiors. The 997 is definitely older but if I tried to do a .2 version I would probably accept it. I just don't know if I'd find the Turbo power good but the heaviness/rear bias annoying or not in the long term.
    2016 Cayman 981 GT4 - Carrera White Metallic - Leather/Alcantara with Guard Red Stitching / etc...

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    Re: Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

    I've driven both at Silverstone, and very recently completed the Warm Up driving course in the Turbo, and apart from the straights I reckon the 981 would be the better car as you need traction round the bends and not huge torque with squeeling tyres.
    They're both in different countries and I've been working away for a while now so I haven't driven more than a thousand miles in each over the past year.
    The 997.1 has the special engine and the 997.2 interior only has the updated PCM, and updated suspension, which when compared to the 981 are already dated. My wife just bought a new BMW and the 981 infotainment is now dated by comparison.
    I am more relaxed driving the 981 although I've only put 6k miles on it since new. The Turbo I am a bit anxious driving it only because of the value of the car.
    Pound for pound the 981 is the better car, it handles better and is a development in every area and is mid engine. 10 years is a huge amount of development time in Porsche models and it shows. I will say the Turbo is a special car as anyone growing up in the 80's would have had a 911 on their wall, and in today's throw away digital world I'm not sure the Boxster will ever have the same cult following.
    Stick to the 981. Because of where the 981 is, even though it's a custom order and perfect/high spec for me, it's only worth £12k so selling it is not an option so it'll be a keeper. Only a few days ago I was discussing shipping it to the UK as it's the ideal car for the roads here.

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    Re: Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?

    Any 997 Turbo owners current or previous vs 981 thoughts?-img_9375-jpgI owned a 987.2 Cayman S. I loved it. It was my daily 3 seasons driver. I traded it in for my dream car, a 911 turbo. I got a 997.2 Turbo S. After having it for about a year, I missed the daily drivability and practicality of a Cayman, so I got a 981 Cayman S. They are 2 very different cars. The 997.2 is brutally powerful. It feels lighter in front and twitchier. It's more nervous on the highway. I can feel the weight out back when taking exit ramps with some speed. It gets about 16 mpg and the gas light goes on at about 180 miles. I was planning on driving it daily, but it's just too much. The range stinks. I missed having 2 trunks to store all my stuff in as a daily driver. It's definitely a weekend car. It is tons of fun but is a point A to point A car. It's truly supercar performance without the supercar price. Comparing it to a Ferrari, you can actually drive it and not be afraid of ruining it or adding miles to your precious "investment". It's my cars and coffee car. The 981 Cayman S is a perfect 3 season daily driver. It looks great. It's half the price. It gets 20 mpg. It feels very well balanced on the same exit ramps and feels much less twitchy at speed. Yes, it lacks in the torque that the turbo has. So I put some headers on it and got a protune. With that, it feels great. Above 4000 rpm, with the sport exhaust screaming and with the extra sound from the headers and the extra torque from the pro-tune, it gives me a similar sensation of warp speed. I love both and am planning on keeping both. But if you wanted to pick one to drive regularly, I would pick the 981. Having said that, I loved what the protune added to the feel of the cayman, so I got a tune for the 997.2. Now it feels like there is a turbine in back of me. It makes it even more of a weekend only car.

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