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Old 03-31-2013, 06:51 PM   #1
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986 vs. 997.2 - a review after a few months of ownership

It's now about 4 months since I took possession of my 997.2 and about 2 months since my 986 found a new home.

So I went from a 250 hp 2002 986 S with manual transmission to a 385 hp 2009 C4S with PDK, and I could imagine that some of you might be considering a similar move. So here is a short summary of my (subjective) experiences.

What's great about the 997.2?
* I can finally take both kids to school
* The interior is much more refined and PCM 3.0 is really great
* I always felt a little claustrophobic in the 986 with the top up, the 997 feels much spacier (duh)
* Boy, this car is fast
* You get more respect on the road. Let me explain: You are in the middle lane and want to change lanes into the fast lane - into the gap which juts opened. In the 986, people always seemed to try to close the gap. Now in the 997 no such thing.
* MPG is about the same as I got with the 986
* PDK is absolutely A-M-A-Z-I-N-G
* Much harder to toss around on the track (I need to learn trail breaking)
* I can see the engine


What do I miss from my 986?
* Easier to throw around on the racetrack (the 997 is heavier and has the weight in the back)
* The rear trunk, oh much I miss it
* My 986 sounded so much better (after some exhaust surgery) than the 997, but I'll take care of it soon. But I miss the intake right next to my left ear.
* You think parts for the 986 are expensive? wait until you have a 997
* My 997 is a coupe, and every time the sun comes out I miss not having a convertible
* 997 drivers hardly wave back when you wave at them, 986 drivers do
* Changing sparkplugs is a nightmare on the 997
* No spare tire in the 997
* Checking the oil level is very cumbersome
* And last not least: 986forum is much more fun than the 997 forums
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:48 PM   #2
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One day the 986 will be really "old school" and you'll be sorry you're driving a 991.5.

Enjoy the 7.2 though, I bet it's great.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:00 PM   #3
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Does the 997 AWD shift power from the rear end to the front if the rear end starts to slide like the 996 C4/S/Turbo? That was a disappointment in the 996 AWD for me. Well I just wasn't expecting that level of understeer. But since the C4S I was on the fence for (guards red/black cherry from AZ) would only have been used during winter it wasn't really an issue but it pretty much meant I would have to keep the Boxster S. The C4S could be an addition but not a replacement for the Boxster S.

These days I think 996 GT3 is the best deal going. You get a Porsche race engine and not a street engine (already have one of those), far fewer nannies, at the highest bang for the buck ratio. That engine could probably do 300K street miles without a hiccup. But then I'm stuck with another 3 season car...
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap View Post
These days I think 996 GT3 is the best deal going. You get a Porsche race engine and not a street engine (already have one of those), far fewer nannies, at the highest bang for the buck ratio. That engine could probably do 300K street miles without a hiccup. But then I'm stuck with another 3 season car...
Not exactly. The 996 GT3 has it's own engine-killing issue similar to the IMS in a 986. The solution requires pulling the motor and welding/reworking all of the coolant connections. Oops! At least it is fixable.
Just when you thought it was safe... another coolant leak concern on GT3/GT3RS - Rennlist Discussion Forums


Nice update on your car Chris. Looking forward to a ride.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:43 AM   #5
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^ yep. And the centerlocks on the 997's need to be serviced at some ridiculously short interval at some ridiculous price. Porsche make some bad calls sometimes..
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:26 PM   #6
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No comment on interior quality/differences?
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap View Post
Does the 997 AWD shift power from the rear end to the front if the rear end starts to slide like the 996 C4/S/Turbo?
It does it differently. The 996 Turbo only allowed up to 30% of traction to go to the front. The 997.2 C4S allows up to 100%

But honestly, I never drove a 997 before, I never drove a Porsche with a limited slip before, I never drove a 4WD on the racetrack before. So I am totally in the learning phase. Ask me at the end of the season and I might know what I am doing....
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2002 Boxster S "Violet" (sold but not forgotten)
2009 Carrera 4S "Kelsey" (current ride)
2015 FIAT 500e "Nikki" my commuter car
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