Oh yeah, the classic lines of a Porsche 911 have been around since the 1960’s, and my stock 996 C4S has taught me why. Even a stock example is the world’s go-to sports car. I truly believe every enthusiast should own a Porsche 911 in their lifetime!
Having owned a few, I’ve learned it really is a little slice of automotive heaven that delivers great performance, flawless handling, and timeless looks! But, and yes there is always a butt for every seat, before you find your butt in your very own 911 seat, there are some things that will bug you during your ownership of this German staple.
What will drive you up a wall and make you do something crazy to your 911 just to be different? Sort of like I’ve done with mine! Well, I’m glad you asked because I’ve owned a few Porsche 911’s, and after attending some epic car rallies in them, replacing components like the clutch when they break, and even living in one full-time when I was homeless a couple years back, which is a story for another day.
I can without a doubt tell you the 6 things you’ll hate about your Porsche 911 ownership. Alright, buckle up. Let’s go!
Before you click off this article and call me an idiot, let me explain. Yes, parts are more expensive because this is a high end sports car. I get that, and happily pay the premium to drive such an ideal car! But there’s something I have to warn you guys about that is very real, and its called the “Porsche Tax“.
Two weeks ago, I called a local powder coating company to ask how much to powder coat my tips. They asked for what kind of car I had, so I told them it’s for a 2015 Porsche Carrera S and got a quote for $350. Then I called back a couple hours later and said I had a Mazdaspeed6 with dual tips. Guess how much then? $150!
Yeah, $250 difference just because it’s a Porsche. And you may think I’m complaining, and I am, because both cars are high-end sports cars for their respective manufacturers, both have dual tips, but only one gets unnecessarily charged over double the price.
And if anything, I think the Mazdaspeed6 tips are bigger than the 911’s. So, what did i do? I took the tips off and showed up with them in my hand. And guess what? It cost me $150 to get them powder coated! What a joke!
And what’s also comical is how many of them there are!
Too Many of Them
I have a base 997 911. Well, it started out that way when I first bought it a few years ago. But now, it looks like an easter egg with my house up on top of it! And here is a 997 GT3RS, there is some more aero and less sound deadening, but to the casual observer, all they see with either is a Porsche 911!
So, if all you’re trying to do is impress the neighbors because you now drive a Porsche, and you’re thinking about dropping the extra coin to put an S or GTS on the rear decklid, I’m going to tell you right now, don’t do it! It’s not worth the extra dough! The base Carrera, which is their entry level offering, is already more car than you probably really need!
And as far as value for money from a curb appeal perspective, you’re going to wow just as many people in your base 911, as you will in your race-prepped GT3RS. And, quite honestly, you’ll enjoy driving the base version on the road a whole lot more!
Okay, let’s talk about these itty-bitty rear seats.
For luggage, they’re fine. For humans, not so much. Well, the 2+2 layout was what Ferry Porsche, and ultimately Dr. Ferdinand Porsche wanted, a sports car for the family. Yes, I’m not going to sit in the rear seat no matter how much you pay me.
But, it’s possible to keep your kids in the back. Also, the rear seats are foldable, meaning you can always store a golf bag along with a few Boston bags if needed.
At the end of the day, I wouldn’t say Porsche should necessarily delete it, as having a rear seat is better than not having it. You can still fit most of the stuff you’ll bring with a sports car. I mean, seriously, you won’t be bringing camping equipment in your Carrera. Golf bags are probably the biggest stuff you’ll ever put in it. Plus, the rear seats are acceptable if you have young kids.
Now, lets fire this peanut up and take it for a drive to discuss my next gripe!
They’re Too Good
In my opinion, they’re a bit too good. Built by smarty pants engineers in white coats, I personally prefer something with character, designed by artists and built by enthusiasts. They really cater to the enthusiast, and they really shouldn’t be that good, considering the engine sits in the wrong place, the road noise is not luxury silent, and there are so many options to get more power for way less money.
Plus, it doesn’t have a screaming V8 of an Italian supercar, or the budget power of a Corvette. And yet, year after year, they are the car that all other manufacturers compare themselves to. If I had to sum it up in one word, the word would be “superb”. Pretty much every time I fire this thing up and drive it, it makes me feel like I’m playing the hero in my Porsche 911’s war film. But, sometimes, you just want to be a villain, and the upbeat attitude of the 911 just won’t let you get into that edgy persona.
Everyone expects the 911 to be amazing, and for you to be an amazing driver as well! And when you’re a subpar wheeler like myself, it can be kind of embarrassing! And what’s also embarrassing and almost frightening, especially to newbies getting into the Porsche game, is how customizable these 911’s are from the factory! And that could be a big issue if you’re trying to buy one on the used market using the Ideal Car Strategies!
See, I came from the world of BMW M3’s before I got bit by the Porsche 911 bug. And with my last E90 M3, there are a couple of factory options that were added to the car, Cold Weather, Premium and Technology packages. Those were like really the 3 main packages you could choose, and it either had them or it didn’t. But Porsche takes those packages to a whole new level!
There are 100’s of different options to customize your Porsche just the way you like it! There’s seriously an unbelievable amount to choose from! Just check out the website builder and how quickly the little things can add up.
What I’m getting at is that it becomes extremely tough to compare used 911’s that are for sale. When you’re looking to buy a Porsche 911, one 2006 Carrera S can have an MSRP of $85,000 while another 2006 Carrera S could have an MSRP of $120,000. So, you’ll want to check the build sheet on any potential 911, because if both the $85,000 MSRP and $120,000 MSRP are in same condition and mileage and priced the same, you know which one is the ideal deal!
62% Rear Weight Bias
The advantage of a rear weight bias is that as the weight in the rear compresses the suspension, it increases traction. There’s a sweet spot in 911’s under heavy cornering where the rear is simply planted to the road and you can feel the car clawing around the corner with the push from the rear. That’s the advantage, and is also why 911’s are considered a driver’s car.
Whats the issue in that? Well, nothing really, if you’re used to it! But I love letting other people experience how amazing and unique the 911 platform is. For someone without any experience driving such a rear weight-biased car, well, it can get hairy pretty quickly if they don’t know how to handle it correctly.
The rear-engine design has weight hanging off behind the rear axle, which causes the rear tires to lose grip because of a weight transfer to the front if you lift off the throttle. And if done while in a turn, rear traction is lost, so the rear end swings around due to the turn.
So, the first thing I tell people when I toss them the keys to my ideal 911 is don’t lift mid-turn and you probably won’t die. If you do, well, good luck.