Midwest Explorin'

Off Roading in the land of beer, brats, and cheese.

Test Drives 2 - Electric Boogaloo

As some of you may know (I doubt it), I am presently obsessed with Porsche 996s. I fell in love with the 964 driven by a factory owner in my Podunk hometown. Anyways, now that 996s are getting into my price range for a second vehicle, the big question remained on whether or not I would even fit. At 6'5" and 280, small cars are not often my friend.

While perusing Autotrader, I realized there was a 2001 Porsche Carrera for sale about 10 miles from my office. As such, I had to make a trip. So today over lunch I drove down to check it out. I quickly learned that this used car must be run by jalops as it had numerous fun cars, including an S4, 944, e46 M3, SLK 320, etc. Unfortunately, I only had time to drive the 911 and the S4.

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The 911 was predictably parked in the showroom, front and center. Also it was dead. Real dead. Incredibly dead. So while they jumped it (not easy when you can only open the hoods electronically), they gave me the keys to a 2007 Audi S4 with 112k miles.

Unfortunately the Audi was an auto, but undeterred I hopped in and started it up. First impressions, I actually fit really well in it. I was honestly amazed at how much room I had driving it. The interior was pretty nice too. Certainly above normal vehicles.

As for driving, it largely felt like a European sedan to me. Little firmer suspension and certainly more power, but nothing excessive. I do have to imagine my impression would be changed if it had a manual, considering the slush box, even on manual mode kept you from having too much fun.

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I really think I would enjoy one as a second vehicle, but the prospect of pulling the engine for the timing chain guides is a big issue (I know about IMS, FYI). Not to mention, the blower whine of the B8 S4 sounds amazing.

When I got back to the dealership, the 911 was being taken on a quick drive by the techs to build juice and to get a run down. Didn’t sound like it gets taken out very often. So I shot the shit with the guys there after realizing their family has a cabin right by the Podunk town I grew up in. When the car came back, I grabbed the keys and hopped in. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I actually fit pretty well all things considered. I would still prefer if the steering wheel would move more, and I would still need to do the GT3 console delete, but I could easily drive it. I even had head room.

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The 911 was 15 years old and had roughly 48k miles, meaning it was driving a little over 3,000 miles per year, which is criminal. This isn’t an Enzo, drive the GD thing. Anyways, there was a fair amount of wear, but that’s hardly unexpected for the year and price ($22k).

Performance wise, the car was a lot of fun. I still wish it was a manual, but the tiptronic was probably the best “manual auto” I’ve personally driven, and much better than the S4's. Unfortunately there weren’t any curvy roads nearby to try it out on, so I had to satisfy myself with on/off ramps and straight line acceleration, both of which were great. It just always felt planted. I really didn’t notice and different handling characteristics from the rear engine, but I also couldn’t push it either.

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This pretty much solidified my love for 911s. If I can have that much fun in a shitty one, a nicer one will only be better. At present, I’m keeping my eye out for 996 Carrera 4s and 997 Carrera S. The wider rear fenders just look fantastic.

I’m trying to post another picture or two, but Kinja is being a bitch and won’t let me insert anymore. First two worked like a charm.

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