Not smiling, at all.

Today I got to drive a manual 997. I’d semi-recently driven Sam’s old school 911 SC and it’s been years since I drove Howie’s 997 (with PDK gearbox) so despite the rainy conditions I was pretty excited to get in for more 911 time.

Love how you have to pull the door handle up to open the doors. Very cool. I instantly noticed the left of centre pedals again, not as pronounced as Sam’s 911 SC but still noticeable. Clutch in to turn the car on, clutch is very light. Reverse is left of 1st gear. Very strange.

We were away and I instantly liked the steering wheel. Nice size, perfect thickness. Steering is as light as a Honda Jazz and offered no feel at all in comparison to Sam’s car, but like Sam’s car it had a lot of grunt in first and nothing much in 2nd. Maybe it was traction control, or the soft clutch, or the mode the car was in (?) but grabbing 2nd from high revs felt really disappointing. Like there was no urgency and a big loss of revs, almost as if the ECU was kicking in to make everything smoother.

I did notice the traction control lights kick in one time and had I been in Sam’s car I wouldn’t ever have driven anywhere near as spiritedly in wet conditions, but that’s what I found really annoying about this car. It’s so quiet and the suspension is so soft. I felt totally detached from it, like driving a Honda Jazz. It’s just too easy to drive. I failed to see what was so 911 about it.

The shifter was awesome though, however I remember Howie’s PDK 997 being way more aggressive in that the loud pedal felt directly connected to the engine and the PDK car had a feeling of endless torque and tones of response.

All in all it was an essential drive which made me realise that a 996 (which I can afford, the 997 being at least $80k 2nd hand) is just not for me. And whilst Sam’s car might be too demanding for daily duties (I still think the non-power steering is going to get to me) the 964 with assisted steering and ABS brakes sounds like it could potentially be the perfect match for me.

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