Drive a 911 and you will mostly likely understand what the fuss is about. I did. And if you happen to own one or have driven one, then what you're about to read will resonate with you.
After wanting to drive a Porsche for so long, I finally got the opportunity to get my hands on a Porsche 911. And not just one Porsche, but two of them - a 996 and a 997. Back to back! I must have died and gone to heaven.
First of all, let me emphasize that I've only driven a handful of different types of cars so maybe the fact that I'm so enthusiastic about Porsches is actually a result of me not having experienced a significant enough variety of cars and manufacturers. I imagine this is similar to never having flown before - I'm sure the first few flights are extraordinary before you begin to dread the thought of stepping into an plane.
But, maybe a 911 is just that good.
The first one I got to drive was the much-heralded Porsche 911, thanks to my friend Mustafa. He has been looking to sell his car and has taken insanely good care of it. So much so, that he has proactively replaced parts that haven't even failed! Now that's dedication. The 996 Carrera 4S is the first Porsche he's ever owned and needless to say, he's in love with it.
When I drove the car, I came to realize why. I've only driven front-engined cars which are a dime a dozen. This was my first crack at driving a rear-engined powerhouse and I loved every minute of it. What can I say - the fact that you can literally hear the engine situated behind mixed in with the exhaust note combined with the unique driving dynamics provides a memorable driving experience.
There's a reason why people love Porsche 911s and although I will not be able to articulate it to you properly, bear with my attempt to try to verbalize my thoughts of driving the 911. It's just truly a driver's car. You feel like you're completely in sync with the machine and connected to the road. The steering is so incredibly precise and responds to every input you make regardless of how minor it is. And the car, in turn, takes care of you. When driving it you know you're in good hands and although I didn't push the car that hard, I got the feeling that you really have to work hard to lose control of the car.
The all-wheel-drive on the C4S ensured that all 320 hp was instantly delivered to me every time I accelerated. Insane grip and stability meant that it really didn't take much effort on my part to have a lot of fun.
I fell in love with the 911 right then and there. If you own and love Porsches then you definitely know what I'm talking about.
And then came the 997.
I have to say that I absolutely love the look and proportion of the 997. It's bigger and wider with better looking wheels. The lines are gorgeous and for anyone that sees my friend Doug's car probably wouldn't know that it was a 2005 model. This 997 definitely does not look like it's from 9 years ago.
There's more power with the 3.8L flat six but much of the car and the driving experience felt so similar to the 996. Whatever I mentioned above for the 996 essentially holds true for the 997; the 997 is really the result of a number of tweaks and incremental improvements to the 996. That really means that the 996 was so good, that Porsche really didn't need to do a whole lot for the 997.
That's better than most other car manufacturers where they actually manage to make future generations worse!
I love the 997 mostly because of the looks and the added power at 355 hp. It's a fantastic car and I really do think to truly understand what a Porsche 911 offers you have to drive it.
In fact, Doug, who graciously allowed me to drive his 997, owns the car for a reason. You see, he used to have a 996 GT3, but then he got rid of it to get his Ferrari 360 Modena. But it wasn't the same. He missed his GT3 so much he had to get another Porsche and ended up with the 997 Carrera S. There was just something about Porsches that he really missed and he had to get back his 911.
After having driven both the 996 and 997, I can see where he's coming from. So now he has both a beautiful Ferrari and a Porsche in his garage.
Now, I know exactly what I want my next car to be now.
Here's a nice 6-speed 997 Carrera S.
A highly dependable CarMax warranty tacked onto the purchase of this - and now I get to enjoy an amazing 911 with a warranty!
And who knows, once I end up with a 911, I may never be able to live without one again.