K-Roll said WUT? That's right, I said that, the 991 is not the 911 for me and here's why in no particular order. Or is it?
Disclamer: This is MY opinion and MINE alone. Deal with it!
1. I can't see the engine
I've been spoiled by classic 911s, where you could see the metal intake manifold and all the important wear parts you can replace and work on yourself without taking it to the dealer. there's plenty of space to work on things, and you can show off your proud and clean motor at car shows and whatnot!
Of course, the modern trend with modern cars seems to be to replace all the things with composite plastics and cover things up in the name of cost-savings, simplicity, and so people will take their cars to the dealer rather than do things themselves.
The previous 997, while still a cramped space, still has a decent looking engine bay; you can see the shiny intake manifold, and you can still clean it up some and make it look
like you give a damn relatively presentable. Now, Porsche is all about engineering excellence that surpasses everyone, so you'd think they'd show off their awesome engines in the 991, but....
No, that's all you get to see of it, just the cover, which features some awesome cooling fans and the displacement, so people will know which one you bought and, yeah...At least you can still add oil and coolant when necessary?
Hell nah, that annoys me, I love looking at engines, it's usually the first thing I look at and take a picture of when I see a car, this doesn't work for me; and also, it's clearly a marketing ploy. When you pop open that engine
cover lid, if there's no visible engine, why work on it? It's clearly in place so Porsche can get it's non-enthusiast buyers to go to the dealer to get overpriced for something that usually shouldn't be hard to work on. Then again, given the primary customer base of Porsche these days, perhaps the cover is more to protect the engine than ruin it.
Maybe you can show off the Powerkit on your Carrera S should you want to.
2. The Panamera-ism
If anyone has been following Porsche's design language since the last 911(997), but the 991's interior design cues are heavily inspired by the Panamera; if you don't see it, let me assist you via some visuals:
Here's the 997 GTS, the ultimate expression of the N/A 997, here's the interior:
(Image from Total 911)
This interior is quintessential 911 in every way. It's basic, it's simple, the most prominent feature are the gauges, as they'll tell you everything you'll ever need to know about your car. The radio and creature comforts don't take up much space and aren't a big deal whatsoever. And the shifter is flat on the ground.
Here's the Panamera of the same year(2010):
Now here's the 991 of 2012:
I'm not saying the interior is bad, I've sat in the 991 quite a few times and the interior is the most livable, comfortable, and very posh and luxurious at the same time; but my problem is that it doesn't look any different from the Panamera. As soon as I got nestled in the driver's seat and put my hands firmly on the wheel, I didn't have the feeling that I was sitting in the best 911 ever made, I thought, "gee, this is a what the 928 should feel like if the Panamera was ever made into a two-door luxury coupe". Sure it has the gauges, and the ignition cylinder is on the left side in traditional Porsche fashion, but the 911 doesn't feel like a 911 on the inside. 911s are about simplicity and sportiness, this doesn't convey that to me. The 911 seems to be loosing that thing that separates, or rather, separated it from the rest of the line.
And it's missing one more special thing, what could it be? Oh yeah! a handbrake!!
3. It feels too big
Now this is self-explanatory in a way. Cars are evolving every generation, and by that, I mean they're getting larger and fatter all the time it seems. Porsche has done their best to keep not only the weight down, but the overall dimensions as well; in fact, the 991 is over 100lbs lighter than the 997 while being slightly larger by a couple of inches.
However, and I'm not sure if this is a result of the electric steering, but most reviews I've read, and watched of the 991, and the forum searches have stated that while being lighter, the 991 feels bigger and heavier than the outgoing 997. Of course, this is someone else's opinion rather than my own, but given the consistency of the negative comments in regards to size and handling I've read, there must be some truth to it.
4. The Key
In the name of laziness and technology, almost every car has keyless entry and push-button ignition. While I'll never understand what was so difficult with turning a key, the key is a very integral part of a car, and the 911 itself. Inserting that key on the left side of the steering wheel, and flicking it to the right is simply sublime. Now, the 2012-13 991s still have a separate key, but with 2014-2015, the key is gone, and in it's place, a key fob and a integrated mechanism that functions as the "key"; it's just not the same anymore, but that's what happens when people get lazy and technology improves at the same time.
5. It's not my interpretation of what a 911 should be
To date, I've had some form of experience with every generation of the 911 currently in existence(save for the original 901 car). I think I can say with certainty that the 991, isn't the 911. Before people call BS and prepare the pitchforks and whatnot, let me explain.
All cars evolve, all cars change to adapt and become better suited to the times they are living in; the 911 is no exception. It has traded it's awesome yet outdated air cooled system for contemporary and efficient water cooling, it has traded it's perfect hydraulic steering for more efficient electric steering. However, all of this has in my opinion, culminated in making the 911 something much more different than it's ever been; gone are the days of it being a hardcore driver's car meant to be taken to ragged edge, it's still a sports car, but it seems to be more of a GT(grand tourer) than a sports car. Gone are the days of it being for performance driver's and enthusiasts alike, it is now more of an icon and image of wealth, luxury, and snobbery and doctors and dentist than ever. It gets much unnecessary hate and a negative stigma, but maybe, just maybe, that's the point of image the 911 portrays. With it's rear engine heart and unnatural characteristics compared to other cars, maybe that's the point of the 911, to be the ultimate middle finger to what is "normal" and what is "right", to be different and continue to be stubborn and not conform to the social norms of society; even with it's more contemporary features overall.
It's not my idea of what the 911 should be today, but maybe its the 911's idea of what it should be today and ya know what, it's doing a damn good job doing what it's doing. I started this post with the intention of explaining why this car isn't the 911 for me, but this post has clearly turned into something else. It's turned into a realization, a realization that times change, and while we might not like the change, for better or worse, we have to accept it for what it is, whether we like it or not, and embrace the things that are still there and around that we love the most; because at the end of the day, it's still a car, still a sports car, still a 911, and that's good enough for me.
It's amazing how opinions can change so quickly, even while your typing up a post.
Was this not the most counter-intuitive post you've read today? :)