I was also a bit disappointed with the standard 996, and agree that it is now more of a sporty grand tourer, rather than a race-bred performance machine. It is too big, feels too soft, lacks rawness, the engine does not sound anywhere near as good as the older models, and the car doesn't have much sensation of speed. Yes it is a bit faster from A to B, easier to drive etc, but it lacks spirit and is too smooth and refined for its own good in my opinion. It also has worse build-quality - shut the door on a 964, 993 or 968 and you hear a satisfyingly solid "clunk", whereas the 996 feels flimsy in comparison, just like the Boxster. For me that's one cost-cutting measure too far. I've decided to go for a late 993 instead - I can't stand purist snobs, but I'm afraid they're right in this case!
I have lived my dream of owning a Porsche 911 (996). Since I was 17 I wanted this car. I am now 49 and bought one 3 months ago. Unfortunately I am trading it in next week for my 12th BMW. I cannot fault the car, but the novelty wore off very quickly of driving the badge. I am now returning to the fold of the "ultimate driving machine". I had an itch, I've scratched it and got the teeshirt. Everyone in their life should own a 911, even if it is only for three months.
Hear, hear! Once you've experienced the comprehensive abilities of a BMW at half the cost of a 911 you can see why most folk don't keep their Porsche for more than a year. I could understand the fuss if the 911 was a head turner, but it ain't. I could understand people's fascination if the car was wild, noisy, modern-day interpretation of the original. But it's a quiet, relatively common, bland GT with very UN-GT standards in the cabin. Ours is not to reason why.
Only the GT3 feels like Porsche has to feel. Coming from a '82 SC to a 964, I ended up with a GT3 (looks not so good compared to the older ones) and I have to say HELL YEAH, that's the way I like to take the road. With some modifications on the exhaust and Motronic, it shows the potential of the Concept 996. If you drive the normal 996 C2/4, you feel like someone sold you a Mercedes. Maybe it will take years to love the new Porsche shape (up to year 2001), but for the true Porsche drivers, I feel you should drive a GT3 at least once...
Some people are hard to please!
My 2002 spec 996 is certainly smoother than the hilarious 1980 930 I once had and in some respects no better than the XJR I traded in on it, but it is the only car I can think of that will get me to work without breaking my back and still thrash anything you like on a track day. If you don't like the (lack) of noise, have the sports exhaust fitted or drive at higher revs. On balance, I think these refinements are an improvement, but it is a subjective thing. My old 930 was fun, but only on the roads at the time. Today, it would be plain frustrating.
I sometimes think Porsche do things too well. If their cars had half the foibles and shortcomings of equivalent cars, it would no doubt be dismissed as "character". That sort of character is available for thousands less in a 1960's weekend car.
As for other marques, yes there are lots of interesting new cars to drive at the moment. Aren't we lucky? But so what>
I work for BMW. I drive new and old BMW's everyday. Rather than buying a BMW, I saved up and went and bought a Porsche. It was the best thing I ever did in my entire life. Even better choice than getting married to my wife.
When I take this car to the track, it handles, accelerates, and speeds like a dream. I've raced many other cars like Corvettes, Mustangs, Vipers, 360 Modena, 355s, Supra, RX-7s, BMW, and some tuner cars. They don't stand a chance. They're too busy burning their tire rubber. By the time they select the right gear, I'm gone. It's the most decent car out there, period.
Just got my 2001 911 turbo and it was a blast.
I had many cars before, but this is my first Porsche and I can tell that is a car of different breed.
Tested out on US freeway/highway and looking for corvette, viper, ferrary etc etc to race and they all just see my tail pipe in the end. Well maybe it is the way I drive that gives me the edge, but well well, 911 turbos is the
"King of the Road"
I will be bringing on the track next month and we'll see how it goes there.