The Base Carrera’s Identity Crisis

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Photo Credit: HERE

As of this writing, there are over 30 different variations of Porsche 911. You have the Carreras, the Turbos, GT3s, GT2s, then cabriolet versions, and then all wheel drive versions of cabriolets, the list goes on. But, at the very bottom of the list lies the humble 911 Carrera. Sadly, time has not been so kind on this amazing sports car.

Back during the 996, the base Carrera was the fastest 2 wheel Carrera model you could buy; the only S model was the 4S. And compared to the other 996 cars, the base Carrera was a very respectable car. Towards the end of its, life-cycle, it was making around 320 hp, only weighed around 3,000 lbs, it was nimble, responsive, a great car to drive. Then with the 997 generation, the gap started to widen. The Carrera came powered by the same M96 motor as the 996, except this time making 325 hp (wow, 5 hp, I know) while the Carrera S got the 3.8 liter M97 motor with 355 hp along with all the suspension upgrades, bigger brakes, and performance goodies we’ve come to expect from the S. The Carrera was still very enjoyable, but now there was a very viable reason to go for the S.

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Fast forward to the 992 generation and it seems like Porsche has all but abandoned this once loved sports car. The 992 Carrera still gets a 3.0 liter twin turbo flat 6 but with a lack luster 379 hp, that’s 10 more than the previous 991.2 and over 70 hp LESS than the 450 hp Carrera S. And for the base model, you get the tiny steel brakes, smaller 19/20″ staggered rims which looks way worse than the S rims, and you don’t even get the option for a manual anymore. When I used to work in Beverly Hills, I’d see base Carreras all the time which were probably just leases that people who could care less about cars drove just to show off. And with the 992, it’ll likely be even more so.

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Photo Credit: HERE

I understand that this makes them money, and that enthusiasts can just buy the S but that’s not what Porsches are about. They’re drivers cars, meant for tearing up Angeles Crest on a cool Sunday morning, not sitting in traffic on Wilshire Blvd. And it’s not like the 911 is that good of a daily driver, they’re way too stiff to drive on a daily basis. But I’m not one to just sit there and complain, I do have a solution.

If Porsche wants to be in the luxury car market, they should, just not with the 911. Would it be a problem, if Porsche saved the 911 for the enthusiasts and made a purpose built luxury coupe? Perhaps a revival of the 928? I mean, it wouldn’t require too much engineering, they’d just have to shorten the Panamera into a 2 door and use the same engine like what Mercedes and BMW do. That way, they’d have a proper daily drivable luxury car so the soccer moms of Beverly Hills can enjoy their daily commute while us car enthusiasts can have our beloved 911 for the weekends. What do you think?

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

 

Should All Porsches Come With Manual Transmission Options?

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Considering the fact that it’s 2019, and almost every mainstream sports car and literally every supercar has abolished the manual transmission, I’d say Porsche is doing pretty good with its efforts to “save the manuals.” As of this writing, there are only 4 Porsches (excluding non-sports cars) that don’t come offered with a manual transmission. It just so happens that these 4 models are arguably the best models Porsche has to offer. I’m talking about the 911 Turbo, Turbo S, GT3RS, and GT2RS. So what do you guys think, should these cars come with a manual option? If so, which one, and to what extent?

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The Case for the Turbos

Since 1975, the Porsche 911 Turbo has served as the pinnacle of Porsche technology and performance. With its high tech engine, sophisticated all wheel drive system, race tuned suspension, and everyday drivability, the 911 Turbo has evolved into one of the best supercars money can buy.

The last 911 Turbo to be offered with a manual was the 997.2 911 Turbo (the Turbo S was PDK only). The likely reason why Porsche stopped offering the manual on the 911 Turbo was because of the very nature of the car. As fast as it was, the 911 Turbo was aimed to be more of a nice, comfortable, GT car rather than an all out track monster (that’s why we have the GT3). On top of this, the 911 Turbo was also meant to showcase the best Porsche had to offer, hence, all the tech and the turbos.

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It was in the 997.2 generation, where Porsche had finally come up with a faster transmission than its old 6 speed. Before the PDK, Porsche used its sluggish Tiptronic transmissions as the automatic options for its sports cars, the 911 Turbo included. The Tiptronic was literally just a torque converter automatic that let you choose gears easier (it’s no wonder resale prices for Tiptronics are so low), and it was slower and heavier than the manual. Keep in mind that when I say the Turbo had a manual transmission, it was not nearly as raw and driver focused as a GT3’s transmission. It was nice, comfy, smooth, and had a very light clutch. So when Porsche finally developed the PDK, it only made sense to replace the 6 speed which was slower, and less comfortable than it. Porsche’s advanced, superfast flagship could only come with the fastest and most advanced transmission, that was just the way of things.

Despite all this, I still think a manual could do the 911 Turbo way more good than harm, hear me out. The biggest problem with today’s 911 Turbo is that it’s come so far in terms of performance and ease of use, it’s gotten rather boring a dull to drive compared to its competition. The engine note is very muffled compared to say, a GT3, it’s steering is really good, but still a bit dull, and it’s gotten heavier and heavier with every generation. In theory, it’s the perfect GT car, but I strongly feel that if it had a manual option, it would be more engaging and more fun to drive like the Turbos of old. You’d be surprised how much a manual can change a car.

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The Case for the RS Models

As much as I love manuals, and as important as I think they are, there is no denying that a dual clutch is faster. In every way shape and form, a car with a dual clutch transmission is faster than the same car with a manual. This was the reason why Porsche’s RS models don’t come with a third pedal.

Porsche’s last RS cars to get manuals were the 997.2 GT2RS and GT3RS 4.0 (arguably the 2 best 911s ever made might I add). Note that there is some contradiction here. Why would Porsche not offer their newly introduced PDK on their “fastest, no compromise” supercars? My guess was that the PDK was so new, Porsche’s GT division probably did not have enough time to test it and modify it for its cars, it was also a lot heavier than a 6 speed. But by the time the 991 911s had come along, it seemed that Porsche had perfected the PDK because that’s all they had on their RS models.

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Forgive me, but I think this actually makes sense to a certain end. Porsche’s RS cars, are meant to be the fastest track cars in the world. Performance comes before anything else with these cars; if you don’t believe me, just sit in one and you’ll know. And as I said before, in the performance world, a dual clutch is superior. But I don’t think it should end there.

If you ask me, I think that the GT3RS should come with a manual, but the GT2 RS shouldn’t. I say this becuase the GT3RS is a bit more driver friendly than a GT2RS per say. The 2RS is more hardcore, more track focused I feel, hence the no nonsense turbo engine. It’s angrier, it’s tougher, it’s more of a racecar. So if you want an extreme track monster, buy a GT2RS with a PDK, but if you want to go to the track and focus more on having fun, a GT3RS with a manual would be hard to beat.

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

The Ducktailed 992 Turbo: New Option or New Model?

What do you think this mysterious ducktailed 911 is?

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For years, the Nurburgring Nordschleife has been known as the “gold standard” as far as tracks go. It has everything from high speed corners to tight second gear turns, combined with banks and elevation changes. This 16.12 mile stretch has become the ultimate measure of a car’s handling; it’s no wonder so many Porsches have been caught testing here.

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Photo Credit: HERE

Earlier this week, a mysterious 992 prototype with a very unique ducktail spoiler was caught tearing up the track in typical Porsche fashion. Now, ducktail spoilers have been on 911s since the very beginning, so it was only a matter of time before the 992 got the ducktail treatment right? Well, not exactly. The weird thing about this car was that it was unmistakably a 911 Turbo, now that is something we have never seen before.

At face value, this could just be a new option for the Turbo lineup, but rumor has it that this new 911 could in fact be an all new model; supposedly called the 911 Turbo GTS. For those that don’t know, Porsche’s current 911 Turbo lineup consists of two main models, the base 911 Turbo and the more powerful 911 Turbo S. Both cars come powered by a 3.8 liter twin turbocharged flat 6 making 540 hp in the base model and 580 hp in the S (these power figures are expected to rise significantly with the upcoming 992 models).

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Photo Credit: HERE

If this prototype is a Turbo “GTS,” expect a slight bump in power from the S, along with a bunch of optional extras that will come as standard since Porsche’s GTS models have always been about getting a bunch of options for a cheaper price.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of a brand featuring lots of models just for the sake of having more cars. Take the BMW Gran Coupes for example, they literally have no purpose other than to cannibalize the sales of proper BMW sedans like the 3 series and 5 series. The same goes for Porsche having over 30 different 911 models, I just think it’s pointless. If it were up to me, I would only have one Carrera model (equivalent to a Carrera GTS), a Carrera 4 model (equivalent to a Carrera 4 GTS), a Targa model (equivalent to a Targa 4 GTS), a 911 Turbo (equivalent to a Turbo S), a GT3, GT2, and their RS counterparts. The GT3 Touring can stay too.

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Photo Credit: HERE

But regardless of what I think about Porsche’s model expansion, I think we can all agree that whatever this new car is, it will be fast, sexy, and a joy to drive; a supercar worthy of the Porsche name.

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

UPDATE: The Manual 992 is Finally Here!

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For those of you that read last week’s article, first of all, thank you so much. Second of all, I’ll admit that we ended on a rather sad note because it seemed like Porsche had given up on a manual transmission for the 992 Carrera models. There had been no news and no test cars and it was becoming time to assume the worst. Thankfully though, I was wrong because about two days after last week’s article was published, Porsche proudly unveiled the manual transmission as a no cost option for the 992 Carrera S and 4S. The manual for the Carrera and Carrera 4 models will be revealed later (likely at this year’s LA Auto Show).

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Photo Credit: HERE

Like from the last 2 generations, the manual transmission in the 992 will be a 7 speed unit-basically a 6 speed with a highway cruising gear. Luckily for the purists, the manual comes as a no cost option and will save you approximately 84 pounds over the standard 8 speed PDK transmission. And for the first time, Porsche will even throw in the Sport Chrono Package free of charge if you select the manual. This option in my opinion is crucial to getting the most fun out of your 911. In the manual 992, it gives you a drive mode select switch, PSM Sport Mode, Automatic Rev matching (you don’t need that), and Porsche Active driveline mounts. More importantly, this would cost an additional $2,720 if it was on a PDK car. Manual equipped cars will also come equipped with mechanical limited slip differentials, unlike the electronic LSD that’s mated to the PDK transmission.

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Photo Credit: HERE

So far, the only performance figures we have for the manual 992s are that they both have the same top speeds as their PDK equipped counterparts (191 mph for the Carrera S and 190 mph for the Carrera 4S). Obviously, 0-60 times will be slower for the manual cars but with some power shifting lessons, I’m sure a skilled driver can keep the times within the mid 3 seconds rather than the low 4s.

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Photo Credit: HERE

So yes, the PDK is faster in every single way possible. It’s also easier to drive, and more fuel efficient. But honestly who cares? A Porsche 911 is a sports car, built for tearing up back roads and racetracks on early Sunday mornings. Your 911 shouldn’t be your daily driver that you lug to work every day, and if it is, I’m sorry to say, but you need a different car. I actually daily drove my 997 911 for about a month and it was awful. The ride was too harsh, the clutch was too heavy, and it drank gas like there was no tomorrow. These cars aren’t built for sitting in traffic jams, if you don’t believe me, drive a 911 below 10 mph, you’ll see what I mean. And there’s no denying that in a car like a Carrera S, whose speed is very accessible and not overwhelming, a manual is by all means, the more fun car to drive. That’s what it’s all about, so thank you Porsche for keeping the manual alive.

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

Where is the Manual 992?

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Photo Credit: HERE

It’s been almost a year since the 992 generation 911 was unveiled to the world at the LA Auto Show. In that year, the 992 911 has clearly established itself as a car worthy of the 911 badge. Journalist after journalist has raved about the 992’s distinct, 911 style driving feel despite its increased focus on luxury. The 992 is in every way a true 911 so that’s good, but there’s still a lot more to come.

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Photo Credit: HERE

In the year where we’ve had the 992, not much has actually happened in terms of new info. The only models out right now are the Carrera, Carrera 4, Carrera S, and Carrera 4S along with their cabriolet counterparts. Compared to the 30+ variants that were offered for the 991 generation 911, the 992 seems to be falling short, not that it’s a bad thing. But anyway, the 992 clearly has a long way to go and judging by the undisguised 992 Turbos, targas, GT3s, and GTSs, that have been seen testing out on the track, Porsche is clearly up to something. But despite the non-stop onslaught of 992 variants, there seems to be a lack of manual 992s. The only 992s that have been seen recently with a manual have been the GT3 prototypes, but what about the Carrera models already on sale?

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Photo Credit: HERE

For those that don’t know, the 992 was revealed at the 2018 LA Autoshow in the form of the Carrera S and 4S, each solely equipped with Porsche’s new 8 speed PDK transmission. When I was at the event, I noticed the lack of a manual transmission and fearing the worst, I asked about its absence , and was reassured that it would become available next year. Well, we’re about 82% through with 2019 and we’ve yet to see a 992 Carrera with a manual transmission. I don’t know about you but this is pretty alarming.

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Photo Credit: HERE

The manual transmission has always been a staple of a true Porsche. It is what truly connects the driver to the car. The feeling of rowing your own gears through a twisty canyon road is what Porsche has always been about. I understand that the PDK is faster and still fun to drive-trust me, I’ve driven one-but nothing compares to the driving feel of a manual transmission. And it’s not like we’ve never seen a prototype either. Long before the 992 was revealed, an image surfaced of a disguised prototype with, you guessed it, a proper manual gearbox. So has Porsche really given up on the manual for its base model cars? We already lost the NA engine, and I certainly hope we don’t lose the manual transmission. Let’s hope that the upcoming LA Auto Show will clear some things up for us.

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

 

Is the Porsche 911 Still a True Sports Car?

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Photo Credit: HERE

The Porsche 911 has long had a reputation of being [in a German accent],”The world’s most favorite sports car.” Over time, that reputation has not changed one bit but the 911 itself has. With each generation, the 911 has gotten heavier, wider, more comfortable, etc. Take the 991 for example. The 991 911 was better in every measurable way than its predecessor,  the 997. It was faster, sharper, wider, lower, and got better gas mileage. But although it was a better car, was it a better sports car?

To begin, we have to define what a sports car is. By definition, a sports car is “a low built car designed for performance at high speeds.” As car enthusiasts, we can all agree that there’s more to this. In my opinion, a sports car is a car built with the driving experience as the only priority; everything else is an afterthought. A perfect example of this would be the 986 Boxster. The first gen Boxster was impractical, got terrible gas mileage, the engine frequently blew up, the interior smelled funny, it was a terrible car to drive daily. Despite all these drawbacks, it still remains one of the most fun and enjoyable cars to drive on a canyon road. The reason for this was simple, its only purpose was to be driven hard on a canyon road. It just wasn’t built for sitting in traffic and taking the kids to school every day. The 986 Boxster was a true sports car.

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Photo Credit: HERE

 

The 911 is in essence the same. It started off as a true, no compromise sports car, but at the years went on, it became more and more comfortable, wider, longer, and more practical. Up until the 997 generation, this really wasn’t a problem. I mean, the 997.2 was just as fun to drive as any other 911, but it was also a really nice car. After that though, things changed. I keep using the 991 as an example since it was really the first time a 911 could be a legitimate daily driver. All you had to do was put the PDK transmission in automatic mode, turn on the AC, and cruise. Every 911 after the 991 followed this pattern, they became less 986 Boxster and more BMW M6. This was great for the Beverly Hills housewife who wanted to show off her new Porsche convertible, but it took away the raw, uncompromised nature Porsche purists had fallen in love with.

So here’s where the answer to our initial question comes. Is the Porsche 911 still a true sports car? Kind of. I say this because compared to the 911s of old, the 992 is not a sports car. It’s 8 speed PDK, comfy ride, and touch screens simply cannot match the raw, uncompromised, mechanical driving dynamic of older 911 models. But, and there’s a BIG but, compared to the “sports cars” of today, the new 911 is the most engaging, raw, and driver focused sports car you can buy. Despite all the changes and revisions over the years, the 911 hasn’t lost its true roots; at least not as much as its competitors. The BMW M3 for example, is a completely different car now than it was 15 years ago. 15 years ago we had the legendary E46 M3. A car with no compromises, a legendary engine, and one of the best driving dynamics ever implemented into a road car. Modern M4s simply can’t compete in terms of driving experience, the only thing the cars have in common is their lineage; otherwise, they’re as different as Ferrari and Fiat. Compare this to a 996 911 and a 992. Sure the 996 might feel better and more engaging to drive, but you can tell that the 992 is still a 911.

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Photo Credit: HERE

Porsche’s aim with the 911 has always been evolution instead of revolution and I think that’s saved them in the long run because in all honestly, a no compromise sports car simply would not sell as well as a more luxurious counterpart. What Porsche has done with the 992 is that they’ve built a sports car for 2019, not 1999.

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

 

 

 

 

The 997 911: The First Choice for a Second-Hand Porsche

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Photo Credit: @teamanarchyy @danovinpirnazari

Porsche enthusiasts are a very unique group of people. These people are so passionate about the brand that it often leads to bitter conflicts among them. But, one consensus that they all seem to agree on was that the 997 was a pretty good 911. The water cooled fans generally agree that it provided the perfect combination of luxury and driver engagement and air cooled purists seem to agree that it was the best that a water cooled Porsche could offer. Unlike with air cooled 911s, the market seems to be rather less sympathetic towards the 997 since one could easily pick up a Carrera model for anywhere from $25,000-$60,000; which is well within the reach of the average sports car enthusiast. That brings us to this, 997.1 911 Carrera which shows that although the 997 is getting old, it still remains to be the best 911 for the price.

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Photo Credit: @teamanarchyy @danovinpirnazari

Styling

In my opinion, the 997.2 generation is the most beautiful 911 ever made. The size, the curves, the lines, everything is just perfect. And although the 997.1 is not as beautiful as its successor, it’s not a bad looking car. It’s got the classic 911 silhouette, it’s not too big, it doesn’t have the much disliked fried egg headlights of the 996, there’s really no bad angle for the car. The 997.1 also looks relatively modern considering it’s almost 15 years old.

Interior

Looks wise, the interior is what stands out on the 997.1. It’s simple, elegant, and driver focused. The seats are in the right place, the center console isn’t cluttered with unnecessary bluetooth and wireless calling options. It’s a sports car and the interior reflects it. The 997.1 is also a Porsche keep in mind so everything short of the volume and tuner dials for the radio are built with the utmost quality. There’s lots of nice leather, there’s no scratchy plastic like in the 996, it’s a very nice place to be.

Reliability

In general, Porsches are very well built cars, especially the newer ones. Sadly though, the 996 generation that preceded the 997 was not one of these newer ones. Of all the things wrong with that car, the most notable was the reliability of the M96 engine that powered it. For those that don’t know, the M96 was notorious for its IMS and RMS failures, it was by far one of the worst engines Porsche had ever built. And that M96 engine was unfortunately carried over to the 997 Carrera, Carrera 4, and Targa 4. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel since the M96s fitted to later 997.1 models, like the 2007 Carrera we tested, had been cleared of most of these problems. The Carrera we tested had almost 50,000 miles on it and ZERO mechanical problems. The car ran like a clock and showed no signs of stopping anytime soon. Honestly though, as long as you treat the engine well i.e. change the oil frequently, let it warm up before pushing it, etc. you should be fine.

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Photo Credit: @teamanarchyy @danovinpirnazari

How it Drives

As of this writing, it’s been almost a year since RS Report was started. In that year, I’ve had the honor of being able to review so many amazing cars so trust me when I say that the 997.1 Carrera that we reviewed is the Goldilocks of performance cars. The steering feel is light enough to make quick maneuvers yet heavy enough to feel the road. With the sport chrono package (which is a must), the throttle response in “Sport Mode” is perfect for shredding through a canyon, and perfect for everyday driving in comfort mode. Everything in this car seems to be just right. But don’t let this commentary fool you into thinking that the 997.1 Carrera is a slow car, by any means.

The “base” model that we tested made 337 hp (325 hp stock) and 273 lb/ft of torque while weighing in at just 3,075 lbs. This power to weight ratio can still compete with the 991 Carrera, BMW M4, and all the new sports cars of today. This is a fast car, plain and simple. This low weight makes cornering a breeze, the car is very quick on its feet in the canyons and stable on the straightaways.

The 6 speed manual in our car was amazing as well. The clutch was perfect for fast upshifts and the engine revved so perfectly for the downshifts. The shifter is so perfect and precise, it’s like operating a rifle bolt.

And the sound, oh that beautiful sound. Each section of the rev range is accompanied by it’s own symphony. From 1,000-3,000 rpm you get the angry base tone of an old RSR racecar. From 3,000-5,500 rpm the angry base crescendos into a violent roar and right at 5,500 rpm, you get this beautiful resonance that marks the transition to that signature Porsche howl all the way to redline. Finally, you shift gears and get the encore you’ve been waiting for all the way to this car’s 177 mph top speed.

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Photo Credit: @teamanarchyy @danovinpirnazari

The Verdict

The 997.1 911 is easily the best sports car under $60,000. Also keep in mind that our review was conducted in a non S Carrera without PASM or carbon ceramic brakes. Just imagine what those would add. Driving this car was an experience, the dazzling looks, the eviscerating sound, the smell of the leather, it all combined to make the ultimate driving experience. The 997 911 is without a doubt, the BEST sports car under $60,000.

As always, THANK YOU FOR READING and come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to follow us on WordPress and share this article with your friends! Follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!