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Simonk

I bought a 997! A 996 comparison

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Not long ago I wrote on this forum that I believe the 996 C2 is the best value for money Porsche out there. Then shortly after I went out and bought a 997 C2 tip for $64k with 95,000kms. Why? The short answer is, because I can. The longer answer is a consideration of how much does it really cost to own a 997 vs a 996. I bought my 996 for $38k 4 years ago and sold it in Nov last year for $42,500. Factor in the IMS upgrade and the AOS replacement which were the only big bills I incurred, and all the other running costs and the 996 turned out to be the cheapest car I’ve ever owned…ever!!! So I considered what the price of a 997 will be in 4 years time and I’m guessing depreciation won’t be much if any. Even if it does depreciate, it’s not going to kill me like my 2016 HSV in the last 8 months. Yes, the 997 will cost me more in opportunity cost of not using that extra $20k to pay off the mortgage but the $20k outlay now doesn’t mean the 997 will cost me $20k more over the time I own it. In fact the opportunity cost is maybe a couple grand.

The 997 is definitely a more modern looking car than the 996. We all know the obvious visual differences but there are a couple subtle differences that I didn’t see until I started taking a proper interest in the 997. It’s hips are a touch wider and the wheel arch diameter is slightly bigger which calls for bigger wheels, adding to a more modern appearance. The Carrera, Carrera S, and GT3 are all narrow body cars. Only the 4 wheel drive versions (and maybe the RS?) are “wide body”. Whilst the car is more modern looking though, it is starting to look dated. People always seem to mention the interior as being much better and more modern than the 996. I personally don’t think it’s better at all. The build quality is the same as the 996 which isn’t awesome, and the central HVAC and stereo with it’s small screen and telephone buttons looks incredibly dated vs the 996 which has passed dated and is now more classic looking. It’s still a very nice place to be though and I do like the simplicity of every Porsche interior from the 2000s back. The 997 Bose stereo is excellent and the 4 way steering wheel adjustment is a welcome addition over the 996. The leather quality seems to be much better in the 997 also. Seating position feels identical in both as does the shape of the seats.

If you’re a driver, and indifferent about the looks of either model, then don’t waste the extra on a 997. The low down torque of the 3.6 in the 997 can definitely be felt over the 3.4 996 but higher up in the rev range, the 996 feels a bit more spritely. Cornering feels the same. The engine noise and steering feel are the same, as are the brakes. In fact, the first day I got it, I forgot I was in a 997 and it was only when I saw the reflection of my car in the car in front that I was reminded that I was in a 997.  I haven’t driven a Mk2 996 but I dare say the driving experience would be identical. When comparing the two tiptronics, the 997 program is better. It's more intuitive and doesn't force you to manually override it to find the right gear like the 996 sometimes does. The shifts are better in the 996 in manual mode. They're quicker and more crisp. This has me somewhat annoyed because it would seem then that the 997 shift has been slowed/softened to make the sports chrono look better than it really is. It would have been nice if Porsche had also bothered to program in rev matching on down shifts. This is a serious omission given a 2006 Holden SS/HSV does. Overall though, both 996 and 997 tips are a great box if you can't have a manual.

The thing is, I feel I’m more obsessed with this one than the 996. My 996 was awesome and arguably the best looking C2 out there but something about this 997 has me smitten.

Mods so far; lowered on Eibach Pro Kit springs, Carrera Classic wheels, Mobridge, Orange cap mod, IMS upgrade.

Mods in the future, 200cell cats X Pipe and/or Dansk Sport mufflers, AMG paddle shift conversion.

So in summary, don’t let anyone tell you the 997 is a much better car than the 996 because I really don’t think it is. The 996 also isn’t the last “analogue” 911 because the 997 C2 is just as analogue with no additional driving aids. Both cars being so similar to drive isn’t a criticism of the 997 but it’s a testament to the 996 because both are amazing fun to drive.

Disclaimer: I’ve made no reference to the 997 C2S with 3.8, PASM and Sports Chrono. I’ve never driven one but am very intrigued as to the performance gap to the standard C2 given the lack of perceived gap between the 3.4 and 3.6 for the average punter.

I like blue :) 

43683935771_5cc69e7e40_c.jpgpIMG_8810 by RR Films, on Flickr

30784438091_2fa8191b36_c.jpg996 boat ramp 2 by RR Films, on Flickr

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That is a good read, and in the past when I made the same remark about the interiors, most didn’t agree... glad you feel the same way I do. 

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Thanks for taking the time to to put your thoughts across.. i agree both cars are as good as each other but one is still better value at the moment 

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Congrats on the new car Simon! Your thoughts are very interesting. From the 2 pics above the 996 is the clear winner in the looks dept for me :)although your 997 does look nice too!

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Very good comparison.

Roughly, what was your total extra spend for the springs, wheels and IMS ?

You have made the blue colour really stand out; whereas most ads for blue 911s look very ordinary . 

 

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8 hours ago, Zelrik911 said:

Very good comparison.

Roughly, what was your total extra spend for the springs, wheels and IMS ?

You have made the blue colour really stand out; whereas most ads for blue 911s look very ordinary . 

 

In an era when black and silver were the only boxes ticked, the blue stands out in the crowd while still looking classy.

IMS $2,500. Springs $800 plus labour $500 approx. Picked up the wheels for $2,000 less whatever I get for the old ones. I did have to get new tyres though $1,800.

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Lovely looking car and nice opinion piece, especially for someone like me who is in the 997/996 thinking space. I especially found the "analogue" comment interesting.

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18 hours ago, Simonk said:

Not long ago I wrote on this forum that I believe the 996 C2 is the best value for money Porsche out there. Then shortly after I went out and bought a 997 C2 tip for $64k with 95,000kms. Why? The short answer is, because I can. The longer answer is a consideration of how much does it really cost to own a 997 vs a 996. I bought my 996 for $38k 4 years ago and sold it in Nov last year for $42,500. Factor in the IMS upgrade and the AOS replacement which were the only big bills I incurred, and all the other running costs and the 996 turned out to be the cheapest car I’ve ever owned…ever!!! So I considered what the price of a 997 will be in 4 years time and I’m guessing depreciation won’t be much if any. Even if it does depreciate, it’s not going to kill me like my 2016 HSV in the last 8 months. Yes, the 997 will cost me more in opportunity cost of not using that extra $20k to pay off the mortgage but the $20k outlay now doesn’t mean the 997 will cost me $20k more over the time I own it. In fact the opportunity cost is maybe a couple grand.

Furious and awesome man maths! Did you have to convince someone other than yourself  :D

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19 hours ago, Simonk said:

Disclaimer: I’ve made no reference to the 997 C2S with 3.8, PASM and Sports Chrono. I’ve never driven one but am very intrigued as to the performance gap to the standard C2 given the lack of perceived gap between the 3.4 and 3.6 for the average punter.

Great write-up Simon - might be able to help out with this comparison soon ?

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Nice 'article' mate. Agree re colour - I see a stack of 997's on my morning commute in either black, grey or silver. I've thought from time to time that a 997 would be a great daily but can't sacrifice the Jeep at this point.

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1 hour ago, tazzieman said:

Furious and awesome man maths! Did you have to convince someone other than yourself  :D

LoL. I've bought 2 and sold 3 cars in the last 12 months. When I decided I wasn't happy with the HSV and wanted another 911 I was almost embarrassed to tell people. In fact, I couldn't bring myself to have the conversation with my wife so I texted her to tell her what I was doing. Turns out I didn't even need to use the spreadsheet for this one. The wife was just delighted I was ditching the woggy HSV :D

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1 hour ago, Simonk said:

LoL. I've bought 2 and sold 3 cars in the last 12 months. When I decided I wasn't happy with the HSV and wanted another 911 I was almost embarrassed to tell people. In fact, I couldn't bring myself to have the conversation with my wife so I texted her to tell her what I was doing. Turns out I didn't even need to use the spreadsheet for this one. The wife was just delighted I was ditching the woggy HSV :D

HSV is med speak for herpes simplex virus. Once seen , never forgotten. Anyone got an STI number plate? :lol: 

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4 hours ago, tazzieman said:

HSV is med speak for herpes simplex virus. Once seen , never forgotten.

A pox on you for saying that. ?

WRX STI Say no more.

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11 minutes ago, Airhead said:

 WRX STI Say no more.

Don't worry they are everywhere down this way. Always trying to drag me at the lights. Why is that? I'm a semi respectable middle aged gent.

HPV is another one that brings a titter

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On 8/5/2018 at 3:49 PM, Simonk said:

I haven’t driven a Mk2 996 but I dare say the driving experience would be identical.

I see you've forgotten about that time you took my car for a run around the block ?

I would say your on the money considering there's 5hp difference, a slightly shorter manual shifter and a slightly wider track base which you will only find out about around the limits of grip.

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Hey @Simonk  a great objective writeup. Were the Eibach springs set 3cm / 1" lower, and did you use the same on the 996?  

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22 minutes ago, AL911 said:

Hey @Simonk  a great objective writeup. Were the Eibach springs set 3cm / 1" lower, and did you use the same on the 996?  

Hey Al. I had Eibach Pro Kit on the 996 also. They dropped the 996 about 30mm whereas the drop is closer to 20mm on the 997. I don't think this was their intention though. I do remember the 996 coming down more than I expected. I highly recommend them though for ride quality. The additional stiffness is barely noticeable on the bumps but it definitely rides flatter in the corners.

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 I reckon you should sell it and buy @spiller Cup car for The Bend. You can leave it at my place if ya want ??

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On 8/6/2018 at 11:18 AM, wilburforce said:

Great write-up Simon - might be able to help out with this comparison soon ?

When we were running a 996C4s w3.6 & a 997 S with the 3.8 they were very difficult to split in terms of performance.  There were a couple of longer hills where the 3.8 could pull away from the 3.6 if you were committed to holding top gear in both, yet one gear change on the 3.6 and you are level pegging again.  So for light  cruising, about the same......and for full tilt driving, about the same. 

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