Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Porsche 911 (997) Carrera

I am aware of how lucky I am to be driving a 911 every day. If any of the following observations seem churlish or spoiled, don’t hate me. The purpose of this test is to see what it’s like to live with a last- generation 911. That involves accepting that in return for a thumping saving on the price of a new car, your car won’t be the latest thing.
As previously reported, this matters less
in a car as timeless as a 911 than it might in some others. You need a second look to tell my 997 from the newer 991, and Porsche cabins are so well-made that it feels as if these cars and the cockroaches would be the only things to survive nuclear holocaust. My car laughs in the face of the 26,000 miles it endured before coming to me.

But I’m also lucky enough to get to drive the very latest kit as part of my ‘job’. I’m aware of how quickly automotive tech is moving on; just how much new car my 911’s still-considerable £43,850 would also get you, and how much you’re foregoing by going used.
Mine is a second-generation and much updated 2009 997, but the car was originally launched in 2004, and much of it was unchanged in the update. And some of it does feel a decade old. It’s not important if you just want this car for the way it drives, but may be significant if you need to use it everyday, as I do. You can spot the car’s age in the yellowy cabin lights (a £44k new car would have LEDs) and in the handbrake, which requires you to pull on an actual lever yourself.
These things are noticeable to someone used to the latest models, but not important. But the inaccurate sat-nav, clunky iPod and phone interfaces and the lack of some useful recent innovations like active cruise and digital radio remind you that five years – let alone ten – is a long time in technology.

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