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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently own '08 BMW M3, but I've been thinking of seeing if the grass is greener on the other side. Next month when I take my car in for a scheduled maintenance I am planning on stopping at the Porsche Dealer also to "look" around. I have a question for you guys, is there a night and day difference in the butt dyno between the Carrera models? I love the looks of the Turbo, but honestly I can’t bite off any more than 100k, unless I find a great deal on a slightly used.
 

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The Turbo will spoil you if you like that sort of aggressive punch. If you want the best handling the Cayman will spoil you. The Carreras with more hp will always deliver more of a "performance feel" if you think you need it. All Porsches are a bit of a compromise around power, handling, personal attraction to the "look" and handling. That is why Porsche has developed different models (and some are lucky enough to own several at one time or like me several over time). It will take some thinking and research on your part to figure out just what are the features that most appeal. But my BMW ownership experiences say that any of the above will be more enjoyable to you. Good luck.
 

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How about a slightly used '07 Carrera S? ;)

The difference between a base Carrera and a Carrera S is definitely noticeable, though I'm not sure I would say "night and day". With the S model, PASM and bi-xenon headlamps are standard equipment, so the extra 10k gets you a lot more than just extra horsepower. It's well worth it, IMO.
 

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I did not seriously consider ownership of a 911 until I drove the 385HP S w/ PDK. I did not drive a base Carrera because the 10K difference essentially disappeared when I added 19" wheels and PASM. I very much agree w/ Santa Fe that each Porsche has its own personality. My wife has a Boxster S and as much as I enjoy my Carrera S I would not want to be without a midengine Porsche. It's not a right or wrong choice as some often try to distill it. You should drive all of the models that you have an interest in owning before making a decision. That alone should be a treat.
 

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How about a slightly used '07 Carrera S? ;)

The difference between a base Carrera and a Carrera S is definitely noticeable, though I'm not sure I would say "night and day". With the S model, PASM and bi-xenon headlamps are standard equipment, so the extra 10k gets you a lot more than just extra horsepower. It's well worth it, IMO.
+1 for good counsel.
 

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Anytime someone mentions an interest in a used 997 Carrera S, I suggest taking a look at used 6 GT3's. There are some great buys around. I've owned both, and found the GT3 to be the most enjoyable sports car I have owned. Your preference will obviously depend on your use, and priorities. Many folks would not like the GT3 as a daily, or frequent driver. I drive mine a couple days a week, and do 5 or 6 track weekends a year. Given that use, it is a great option.
 

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I am sure you can find a slightly used 997 Turbo for under 100k. But don't rule out the 997.2 S. I just picked up a brand new highly discounted 997.2 S Cab and the HP and performance is more than enough for the street. While I have never driven the turbo, from what I have read the 911 S is actually more of a "drivers" car. Of course there is no denying that 0-60 in the mid 3s has got to feel awesome. I know you are looking for a 911, but while you are at the dealership I would try the Cayman S as well. I have one that I use mostly for the track and it is an amazing car.

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I am actually planning on driving both, the 911’s and the Cayman S because I’ve never driven either one. I think both models have great characteristics that are appealing, but there is something about the 911's looks that has captivated me even though I’m sure that they are both a blast to drive. I really don’t care to buy a car because it is considered to have great prestige, or if it’s looked at as a ranking in stature. I will buy a car that I enjoy to drive and will make any excuse to be behind the wheel. My share of sports cars have only included Camaros, Vettes, Z cars, and my current M car (which by the way has been to date the best handling vehicle I’ve driven), which have all been front engine type cars, so I’m eager to see how both the rear and mid mounted engines handle. I do have to admit thought that I’m a bit leery to the rear mount engine after everything that I’ve read to date, but time will tell. It seems that everyone whom has a Cayman S loves how it handles, but wishes it had the oomph of the 911 power plant.
 

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No need to fear the rear engine layout. The handling limits of the modern 911 far exceed most drivers. And remember too, a car's weight balance is a static reference, constantly changing with acceleration and braking. I find as many places on the track where the rear weight bias is an advantage, as those in which it is limiting. No doubt, the mid-engine layout of the Cayman is a more forgiving design, but I've seen more mid-engine cars leave the track than 911's. Either one will feel more sensitive than your M3, with better braking and steering. The 911 specifically, will feel a bit nervous if pushed hard, compared to the M3. The light front end will not feel as planted as the M3, but that light weight transmits much better steering feel. Unfortunately, most folks need more than a typical test drive to gain comfort with the feel of the 911. Some dealers will allow you to drive a used car for a day or two, and that is very helpful.
 

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No need to fear the rear engine layout. The handling limits of the modern 911 far exceed most drivers. And remember too, a car's weight balance is a static reference, constantly changing with acceleration and braking. I find as many places on the track where the rear weight bias is an advantage, as those in which it is limiting. No doubt, the mid-engine layout of the Cayman is a more forgiving design, but I've seen more mid-engine cars leave the track than 911's. Either one will feel more sensitive than your M3, with better braking and steering. The 911 specifically, will feel a bit nervous if pushed hard, compared to the M3. The light front end will not feel as planted as the M3, but that light weight transmits much better steering feel. Unfortunately, most folks need more than a typical test drive to gain comfort with the feel of the 911. Some dealers will allow you to drive a used car for a day or two, and that is very helpful.
+1 Well said
 

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Good comments by elh0102 on the handling characteristics of the M3 vs. the 911; I would agree. I picked up a 997.2 4s back in the fall and have absolutely loved it. To Dave C's comments I spent about 2 hrs in an 09 CS PDK and a 09 M3 manual. Also drove a 997.2 S PDK to see the difference in the AWD and standard rear wheel drive. I was very impressed w/ the handling of the M3 but was a little disappointed in the power and the manual transmission, not in the same league w/ Porsche's manual.

Despite adding a little weight, the 4s was a noticeably better handling car than the 997.2 S w/ the front wheels biting it really does mitigate the understeer going into corners and the oversteer coming out. If you like breaking loose the rear end then the 997.2 S is more fun but if you want to go faster in the curves w/ more confidence the 4s is awesome. It will more closely match the handling of the M3 while giving you much better steering feel. Keep in mind that a 911 feels lighter the faster you drive it. Either way, it's what fits your style of driving.

I also owned a 06' CS for 1.5 yrs and the 997.2 4s is definitely my favorite. I am with you on the turbo as well. I would love to pick up a 2010 turbo in a year or two when someone else has taken most of the depreciation. Best of luck on the search, it should be fun.
 

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I will buy a car that I enjoy to drive and will make any excuse to be behind the wheel. My share of sports cars have only included Camaros, Vettes, Z cars, and my current M car (which by the way has been to date the best handling vehicle I’ve driven).
Wait to you drive the Cayman. Its basically "Point-and-Shoot". But what ever care you chose you will not go wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
After everything that I've been reading I have more of an interest in the Cayman S than the Carrera. I went and had my oil changed at the BMW in Palm Springs and then stopped by the Porsche dealer in Rancho Mirage. I don’t know why, but out of all the 911’s, Boxsters, Cayenne, there was one Panamera and Cayman S buried in the show room. I favor silver tones, but I must say that Carrera white Cayman was a beauty. All though I had no luck with driving the Cayman without saying I’m ready to buy, I did get to see how it felt to sit in the driver’s seat. I didn’t like how that steering wheel felt, it had a smaller diameter than the one in my M3. Other than the feel of the steering wheel, the interior was laid out nicely and felt comfortable for me.
 

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What a jerk salesman not to let you drive it.
I've never heard of such a thing; I always
get invited for a test drive. That usually sets
the hook!
 

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I had no luck with driving the Cayman without saying I’m ready to buy, I did get to see how it felt to sit in the driver’s seat.
I would be sure to drop by and chat with that salesman, after I bought my new Cayman from another dealer! Be sure to tell him the test drive sealed the deal.
 

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After everything that I've been reading I have more of an interest in the Cayman S than the Carrera. I went and had my oil changed at the BMW in Palm Springs and then stopped by the Porsche dealer in Rancho Mirage. I don’t know why, but out of all the 911’s, Boxsters, Cayenne, there was one Panamera and Cayman S buried in the show room. I favor silver tones, but I must say that Carrera white Cayman was a beauty. All though I had no luck with driving the Cayman without saying I’m ready to buy, I did get to see how it felt to sit in the driver’s seat. I didn’t like how that steering wheel felt, it had a smaller diameter than the one in my M3. Other than the feel of the steering wheel, the interior was laid out nicely and felt comfortable for me.
Check the FAQ for the various steering wheel options. Some are larger diameter. (Note: This FAQ has been around a while and was correct for the Gen 1 cars. It's probably mostly correct for Gen 2 cars, but there might be some slight changes for Gen 2.)

Planet-9 - FAQ: Cayman Options
 

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I've found this whole dissertation very enlightening! Thanks to all who have participated.

With respect to the Porsche dealership and salesman who didn't offer a test drive, perhaps a call to the new or used car sales manager is in order! Even in prestigious Palm Springs, they have to realize the benefits of quality customer service. Truth is, if not for my friendly sales man at Rusnak, allowing me to drive a used CS, maybe I wouldn't be a Porsche owner.

(Maybe you walking in rather than driving in with the BMW was the factor- but for shame!)

I also like the comments regarding the handling characteristics. I really like the looks of the 4S, maybe..... (next time).

Cheers and a happy 2010 to all....:cheers:

fd
 

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