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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been pretty focused on getting a Cayman for the past many months, but recently started seriously considering a base Carrera. Partly because, well, it's a 911, and also because it turns out my wife would really prefer I get something with 4 seats.

I arranged to do back-to-back test drives in a 718 Cayman S and a 911 Carrera S last week. I had asked the salesman to drive a base Carrera, but he pulled up in an S instead. Funny how they do that...

The 718 S had PDK, standard interior, 14-way seats, 20" wheels, LCA (Lane Change Assist), but few others options.
The Carrera had PDK, full leather interior, 18-way seats, 20" Spyder wheels, sport-PASM, the "sport package" (Chrono, PSE, GT Steering Wheel, etc) and a few others goodies. Definitely more decked out.

Overall, I really enjoyed both drives, but have to admit that I'm leaning towards a Carrera now. The 718 engine sounded good to me, and was very quick, but the 911 engine was indeed more compelling. Not sure how much is thanks to the PSE, but it also seemed like the 6-cylinder engine is somewhat quicker-revving, which is fun. Love watching the tach needle blip from one speed to another during those lightning-fast PDK shifts.

The two rides also convinced me that I must get full leather. The standard interior (in Luxor Beige) on the Cayman was kind of disappointing. Maybe darker colors would look less plastic-y to me. The Carrera's black leather interior, on the other hand, was really nice.

I liked both seats a lot, but of course it was too short of a drive to really compare them. Still, it's good to know that it seems hard to go very wrong in the seat category.

The LCA on the Cayman was helpful, especially with the big build sticker on the passenger window. But I'll seriously consider that option for whatever Porsche I end up with.

Amusingly, when I started looking into reviews of the current 911, I was surprised to see complaints that will sound familiar to any 718 fan: reviewers lamented the engine being downsized and turbo'ed, and they also complained that the famous Porsche sound had been sacrificed. Guess that's just the way change is greeted in Porsche-land...

-Brett
 

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I've been pretty focused on getting a Cayman for the past many months, but recently started seriously considering a base Carrera. Partly because, well, it's a 911, and also because it turns out my wife would really prefer I get something with 4 seats.

I arranged to do back-to-back test drives in a 718 Cayman S and a 911 Carrera S last week. I had asked the salesman to drive a base Carrera, but he pulled up in an S instead. Funny how they do that...

The 718 S had PDK, standard interior, 14-way seats, 20" wheels, LCA (Lane Change Assist), but few others options.
The Carrera had PDK, full leather interior, 18-way seats, 20" Spyder wheels, sport-PASM, the "sport package" (Chrono, PSE, GT Steering Wheel, etc) and a few others goodies. Definitely more decked out.

(Snip)

Amusingly, when I started looking into reviews of the current 911, I was surprised to see complaints that will sound familiar to any 718 fan: reviewers lamented the engine being downsized and turbo'ed, and they also complained that the famous Porsche sound had been sacrificed. Guess that's just the way change is greeted in Porsche-land...

-Brett
For the $40k (or more) price differential, I'd be disappointed if the Carrera S weren't a better ride than the Cayman S. Either way it's a very different vehicle than the Cayman, obviously fabulous in a GT sort of way. I've never had a bad drive in a 911. I do think the more compelling comparison would be a well-equipped Cayman S (which can run dangerously close to $90k even without PDK) with a base Carrera with few options (really rare to find, especially with 7-speed manual), which if you really exercise discipline on the configurator and are willing to wait for your order, can be had for under $100k. The 718 S and base Carrera seem on paper to be so close in terms of performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For the $40k (or more) price differential, I'd be disappointed if the Carrera S wasn't a better ride than the Cayman S. Either way it's a very different vehicle than the Cayman, obviously fabulous in a GT sort of way. I've never had a bad drive in a 911. I do think the more compelling comparison would be a well-equipped Cayman S (which can run dangerously close to $90k even without PDK) with a base Carrera with few options (really rare to find, especially with 7-speed manual), which if you really exercise discipline on the configurator and are willing to wait for your order, can be had for under $100k. The 718 S and base Carrera seem on paper to be so close in terms of performance.
Yes, obviously, neither of these cars are the actual configurations I'm interested in. My decision is between a well-optioned Cayman S and a similarly-configured base Carrera. The price difference in that case is closer to $15K. For that extra money you get a 6-cylinder engine, two back seats, and a bit more cockpit room. I'm still not entirely convinced it's worth it, but I do better understand the appeal now.

It's my understanding that the base and S Carreras differ much less than the base and S Caymans. So this was a reasonable comparison as far as it goes. Note that nothing I said above referred to Hp differences, and the seat and leather options are applicable to both Cayman and Carrera. Both were very enjoyable to drive, with more satisfying power delivery than the (base) 981 I previously testdrove.

-Brett
 

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I test drove the 991.1S and the 981 Cayman GTS back to back on a track at PEC-Atlanta a couple of years ago. I own a 981BS so the Cayman drove and handled similar to my Boxster....awesome. The mid-engine is just fantastic. The GTS was the first car I drove and I loved it. Switched to the 911 and wow.....first turn, I could feel the huge weight bias in the rear. It actually startled me a bit but I was pushing the car pretty hard around the track too....lapping GT3s. After a few laps around the track, it felt like a glove and the rear weight bias just disappeared from my senses. I disliked the manual transmission in the 911. It's 7 speeds and the clutch pedal is much lighter than the 981s which made the transmission just feel flimsy to me.

Fast forward to last July. I was planning to buy a new 911 but was really worried about the turbos and the sound so I flew down to Atlanta again to test drive a 991.2 and listen to the sound both while driving on the track and as a bystander on the track. Bottom line is that the exhaust note inside the cabin sounded pretty fantastic. Partly because the second sound symposer opens up in sport+ mode. Outside the car, it sounded like a vacuum cleaner next to the 991.1 GTS, and 981 Spyder exhausts that were doing laps at the same time. So I got a very good perspective on exhaust notes from the two generations listening on the track as the cars flew past. The sound of the 991.2 just sucked to me.

If I wanted a car for just fun, I would get the 718/981. I love the mid-engine and the car is just on rails. I love it.

I'm not a 991.2 hater either. I have one on order now for July delivery. It is a bit more practical than the 718 even though the back seats are really small. It also has the status and it is the Porsche icon.

Your decision will end with a win either way. Good luck!
 

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Agree about the interior. More leather is the one option I wish I had added. The part leather is ok, but...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Brett,
you said the Carrera had the sport PASM (-20mm).
How was the ride compared to the 718 Cayman? Which suspension did it have?
The Cayman had standard (non-PASM) suspension. The Carrera was noticeably firmer, but not harsh during my relatively short drive. I can't really venture much beyond that in terms of comparison, because both rides were on mostly smooth pavement and my primary focus was on the engines. But the stock Cayman suspension certainly didn't feel mushy or annoying in corners.

That said, I fully intend to go with standard PASM in whichever car I get. On my last new car purchase, a MINI Cooper S, I upgraded to the "sport" suspension and regretted it (a little). I'm mostly used to it now, after replacing the hard-as-rock runflat tires with Pilot Sports, but it's really too firm for day-to-day driving. PASM seems like the right solution to the problem of wanting a firm suspension during aggressive driving, but enough softness normally to avoid bouncing out of my seat when hitting a rough seam on the highway.

-Brett
 

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RE: Wife

When I pick her up at the airport in the 718 she has to put her carry on between her legs because there's nowhere behind her seat and no time to pull over and be civilized at these airports anymore. She constantly complains about space in the car even though we have massive trunk and hood storage and the nieces and nephews are upset that they can't ride shotgun untill they're 8 years old.

Pretty sure a 911 would solve all her problems.
 

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RE: Wife

When I pick her up at the airport in the 718 she has to put her carry on between her legs because there's nowhere behind her seat and no time to pull over and be civilized at these airports anymore. She constantly complains about space in the car even though we have massive trunk and hood storage and the nieces and nephews are upset that they can't ride shotgun untill they're 8 years old.

Pretty sure a 911 would solve all her problems.
Just so you know, that is a myth in Ontario, there is no law stating they are not allowed in the front seat.
 

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If you need the extra room get the 911. Like Subshooter, when I drove a 911 I noticed the weight behind the rear wheels as very notable and that was not even on a track! I ended up with a 981 CS and don't regret it. The front and rear trunks seem like more than enough room.
 

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If you get the 991.2 S make sure you get rear axle steering - big game changer. In this configuration the gulf between the 718/981 and 991 is substantial.
Drove a GT3 with it on a track. Just amazing. It basically contradicts everything you're taught to do with other cars.
 

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Drove a GT3 with it on a track. Just amazing. It basically contradicts everything you're taught to do with other cars.
Agreed, a very clever piece of engineering - simple in concept, sophisticated in execution, substantial in terms of performance gains (particularly when coupled with the traction advantage).
 

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It depends on primary use/purpose/intent. I have consistently chosen the Cayman over Carrera. I am on my 4th Cayman. I do not need a back seat and prefer the handling/feeling of rotation in the small of my back when running the twisties. There are a few others on this forum who have raced Go Karts competitively.........that spoiled me early on for my preference. That is my optic for selection (and not myopic....in case someone wanted to have some fun :) ).
 

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Not sure why people give the 991.2 Carreras a hard time with the sound...the potential exhaust note out of those cars is pretty superb for having turbos involved.
The factory sound is not good, particularly from a bystander's position. I watched and listened to your videos on a different forum a few months ago and seriously considered just getting the standard exhaust and then upgrading to your package. It did sound fantastic and offered more HP. (I think this was the one that was around $10k or so).

At the end of the day, I am not a mod guy. I like the purity of the OEM Porsche.
 

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Yes, obviously, neither of these cars are the actual configurations I'm interested in. My decision is between a well-optioned Cayman S and a similarly-configured base Carrera. The price difference in that case is closer to $15K.
The base prices for a Cayman S and 911 base are $67, 700 and $91,100 respectively. That's a $23,400 difference. Even if you are careful with configuring a 911, it will be a challenge to keep the sticker below $100K. I owned a 2007 997S and I had to struggle to keep the sticker under $110K. My guess would be that a decently equipped base 991.2 will be in that same $110K neighborhood.
 

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If money were no object, I'd have the 911 Carrera S over the 718 Cayman S every day of the week. But, similarly built to my 718 S, a Carrera S is a firm $40 large more. And, for me, that's real money. :)

If $40K were in the margins for me, it would be a different story.

That said, I have zero regrets with my choice.
 
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You may want to consider CPO. I recently traded my '12 Cayman S for a '13 C2S that was loaded up with 2 tone leather, PASM, sport exhaust, etc. $129k MSRP, got it for $77k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I ordered a Carrera. :)

Base 2018 model, for delivery in September. My option choices won't totally lock for another couple weeks, but at the moment I've got Agate Grey, two-tone black+bordeaux leather interior, PDK, Sport Chrono, PSE, Bose, GT Multifunction steering wheel, Lane Change Assist, and a rear wiper! But of course every day I sit at the configurator playing around with tweaks and changes. Currently pondering the Light Design Package, not getting the Smoking Package, and possibly upgrading the interior trim to either leather or brushed aluminum. I'm going with stock 19" wheels to keep the price down, since they're technically superior in some regards to 20", and an easy aftermarket fix if I later want to change.

And yes, as fast1 predicted, it's almost $20K more than a similarly equipped Cayman S. This is less than their MSRP differences because on the Cayman I intended to add PASM and Navigation, which are standard in Carrera. On the other hand, I would have been more likely to skip PSE on the Cayman, which is sort of hard to defend but does add $$ to the difference. I'm still not 100% sure I'll keep it on my Carrera, either, but probably will given the near-universal advice that it's a necessity. You know what they say about regrets...

I did look (a little) at CPO, but everything I found with roughly the specs I wanted was >$90K, so it didn't seem worth it. Besides, we're unfortunately in a period of rapid improvement with car electronics (Bluetooth, maps w/ traffic, etc), and I care about those things, so for me at least there was real value in getting a very recent model car.

-Brett
 
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