New models: Porsche 911 7-speed Manual review

Something else that came up in this morning’s EB conversation was the loan car Mark received while his Porsche 911 GT3 was having the rear hub failure recall carried out.

Porsche 911 991 Cabriolet Ferdinand 1

The car was a Carrara White Porsche 991 Cabriolet with the 7-speed manual box. Needless to say, the two-time World Sportscar Masters racing champion – Ferdinand’s very own Stig – gave it some beans.

I asked if he’d taken any pics: made me laugh when he sent back one pic of the outside, one of the manual gearshift lever and one with the traction control button switched off! Classic Yorkshire humour is part of why I love spending time with the EB Motorsport crowd: what a great bunch.

Porsche 911 991 Cabriolet Ferdinand 2

I’m quite fond of the 991 Cabriolet, so was keen to get some feedback from a proper driver who tells it like it is. Mark made some interesting points.

“First impressions leaving dealer and driving along the motorway: comfortable, with a nice engine and a big lift in quality over previous models. I’ve read the negativity towards electric power steering, but I couldn’t fault it. When the roads were quieter, I had a bit of a play. I turned the traction off, switched the Sport Mode on and the car was transformed: much more responsive throttle input on Sport. Previous models had more subtle changes, but on 991, Sport was definitive.

“The turn-in and general steering I really liked, again a short drive back in the rain but the car seemed more forgiving on the limit/in a drift than the 997. Also, the exhaust note on the Porsche sports exhaust was terrific, coming off Saddleworth and coasting down the hill on the over-run.

Porsche 911 991 Cabriolet Ferdinand 3

“Although I liked the car, there wasn’t the instant recognition of being in a 911 when sat behind the steering wheel. It could have been a Panamera. My conclusion was that this is a great GT – moreso than the 997 – but driving the GT3 home, I wouldn’t change.

“That said, I’m not looking for an everyday car. Even though I own a GT3, I like the early 911 look and feel that even the GT3 doesn’t deliver on some points. But how many buyers are looking for that nowadays, especially in new markets?”

Porsche 911 991 Ferdinand Silverstone

A nice write up from Mark and I agree with all of it. My drive of the 991 Carrera S at Silverstone in December was terrific: steering was perfect and sport mode selection brought a huge change in character. I couldn’t really be bothered with sport mode on the outgoing 997, but the new 911 is much more exciting in Sport. I expect fewer people to run aftermarket exhausts on these cars.

Like Mark, I enjoy the simple, uncluttered cockpit of an early 911: all flat floor and so much space. Later cars are great to drive, but when I slip into my Carrera 3.0 Lightweight to go home, I know I’ve got the right Porsche for me.

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