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Old 07-26-2013, 12:38 PM   #1
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Drove a caymen S Here are my thoughts.

SO I drove a caymen S the other day. A 981 to be exact with the sport plus seats, the sport plus package and stick shift.

Right off the bat I can tell you that that car was amazing. The seats cradled me in place and the general interior was very nice.

Performance was outstanding I really liked the ride and the power output. Also its cornering ability was superb. But what really blew my mind was the shift assist.

My friend hits a button and tells me to down shift. So I get my self ready to rev match, I put the clutch in, shift and before I could get my foot on the throttle it REV MATCHED for me.

The car rev matched for me on a manual trans. No words. Coolest thing about the car. This feature comes with the sport plus package.

The bad would be the electronic steering which is in no way close to the feel we get in the 986. But with that said it was very competent and precise. Just not very communicative.

Just wanted to share my experience with you guys. Would I buy one if I could. Not really because I love the convertible aspect of the boxster. Would I buy a new 981. If I had the money why not. If it performs like the caymen did then I would not mind. But that is just speculation. I am quite happy with my 986.

How do you guys feel about the 981 caymen, for those who have driven it?


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Old 07-26-2013, 12:44 PM   #2
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Please expand on the steering, this is the thing that worries me most about the newer Porsches . . .
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:56 PM   #3
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It isn't something that should cause worry because lots of cars have electronic steering now so its something that is becoming normal. A large portion of newer SUVs have electronic steering and they are not that bad.

The main difference is that when you drive a new porsche with electronic steering it just feels different. When I drive my 986 I feel every single bump in the road through the steering. It is a very live system. Now with the newer porsches there is less feel. The steering will not jump around with the bumps. I drove in the dry so the steering was very precise and the feed back that I got from the steering wheel was less then in the 986 but it still had very good response. In other conditions though this feel may be greatly reduced. Like driving in the rain. I feel how much grip my tires have through the steering, but with an electronic system this feel will not be as prevalent or maybe wont even be present.

Let me compare the steering to another electronic steering vehicle. My parents have a 2007 range rover sport. I drive it regularly and have driven in snow, sleet, mud, sand, and rain. If at any point the tires do not make proper contact with the ground the steering will have no feel, it just becomes loose and I don't know where my tires are pointing. This does not happen with a hydraulic steering vehicle.

Not to discredit the range rover because it is a tank when it comes to getting through difficult terrain. I can say that I drove from North Virginia to New Jersey In the middle of a snow fall. Which change as I drove from packed powder snow to sleet and rain and back to snow. And through the whole drive I got enough info through the steering wheel to get through fine like there wasn't any snow. I was in the left lane packed with snow while everyone else was doing 30 on the right lane.

Granted that one is an suv and the other is a sports car but the idea is the same. Under adverse conditions the car can become uncommunicative. Now I don't know how much though because I haven't had a chance to use a newer porsche in adverse weather. And I hear that the carrera 4s have a very good electronic steering system so ya.

Unless you are a pro driver electronic steering should not hold you back. It is a very component system but it just lacks a bit of liveliness to it that is all.

My recommendation go for a hard drive in the 986 then jump into a newer porsche and feel the difference yourself. Everything else in the car is sooooo good that the steering can easily be forgiven. But that is just my opinion.

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Old 07-26-2013, 02:06 PM   #4
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According to Chris Harris, they nailed the e-steering in the 991 GT3. So future 981 and regular 991's should see an improvement at some point. The RWS also reduces the the "bloated feel proportions" of the 997/991, makes it feel and drive like a shorter car...sounds pretty clever.

PDK is fine but it will never be a manual. If that's important to you, and for most it is, it's still an automatic Porsche. But at the same time for the higher end $80K engines like on the 991 GT3 I sort of think PDK will look after the engine better.

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If you offered me a 3.8L Cayman or a 3.8L 991 for same money I take the Cayman without a second thought. And in my book, the Cayman is nothing more than a hardtop Boxster. I can't think of another car where the car maker decided to invent a new name for a simple variant. And just look at how they've published sales data, 987 is 987.
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:01 PM   #5
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Perfectlap I did watch Chris review the new GT3 but like you said the steering was improved in part by the rear steering system. Even so the steering on the porsches can only get better. I don't think that they will implement that rear steering into the other porsches soon but hopefully they eventually will.

I love my manuel car its something that is important when connecting with your vehicle. But that PDK is impressive. It is faster shifting and thats that. I still want the manuel in the turbo and GT3 but Porsche has made its choice. With that said I would not buy a PDK car because I don't care about going fast or shifting faster. I care about the experience that the car gives. The emotions that you get from mashing the go pedal and the noise. Connecting with the drive. That is just lost with an automatic.

Then again I cant afford a GT3 or a Turbo so it makes no difference to me. It will be sad if I am offered to drive one and the only option I have is PDK but whatever.

But that aside I still cant get over the fact that the car will rev match for you on a manuel car. That blew my mind. Just way too cool. Also its like cheating hahaha.

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Old 07-26-2013, 03:51 PM   #6
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Didn't Nissan do the Auto-blipping manual in the 370Z a few years ago?
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Didn't Nissan do the Auto-blipping manual in the 370Z a few years ago?
Maybe but I didn't experience it till three days ago. SO to me its very cool.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:41 PM   #8
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You know, in the big picture, a 911,being rear engined just does not have enough forward weight to justify the expense and complexity of any type of POWER ASSISTED steering.

The big,luxurious console between the seats is also unnecessary as there really is no transmission or drive shaft forward of the seats.

The original 911's never had any of these items!
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmod986 View Post
Unless you are a pro driver electronic steering should not hold you back. It is a very component system but it just lacks a bit of liveliness to it that is all.
It's not really about being a pro driver or driving fast. It's about enjoyment. You don't need to be a pro to enjoy steering feel.

I've driven a number of 981s and the steering is is pretty nice.

Personally, think the steering in the 986 is over rated. It's not that wonderful. For me, it's over assisted.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmod986 View Post
Maybe but I didn't experience it till three days ago. SO to me its very cool.



I am very fond of the 981. But, I have to tell you the throttle blip is one feature that I absolutely hated. I do NOT want my car to blip the throttle for me. I am the driver, I blip the damn throttle.

BTW - The blip is only on manual car with sport crono package. I won't be getting that.

This brings up what might be (might be) a flaw in the 981. I missed two blips when downshifting heel-toe. I wrote it off that the pedals are different than the 986 and I would get used to it, but I'm not sure.

Even it it was a flaw, I would put new pedals on the car before I let the computer blip my throttle.


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Old 07-26-2013, 05:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pothole View Post
It's not really about being a pro driver or driving fast. It's about enjoyment. You don't need to be a pro to enjoy steering feel.

I've driven a number of 981s and the steering is is pretty nice.

Personally, think the steering in the 986 is over rated. It's not that wonderful. For me, it's over assisted.


I was paying attention to the steering when I drove the 981 because of everything I read. I have no complaints. Now, I didn't drift the car on the test drive. Maybe you are losing something at 10/10th. But during my test drive (not exactly a Sunday drive), the steering feel and feedback didn't disappoint.



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