Interesting conversation…..As I previously mentioned, I grew up in a family that worshiped 911s and I drove Porsches for a number of years. I have always considered Porsche to be a psychological touchstone when evaluating sports cars. I anticipated I would be returning to Porsche last year with the purchase of a 997 Carrera PDK. Evaluating my M3 back to back, I exorcised my 997 demon. Initially I was taken aback by the M3's weight, but I found the weight to be a non-issue. The M3 is heavy but the car possesses billet like solidity and very secure predictable handling. The M3's defining V8 and sublime song reinforces the M3's "athletically robust" tactile feel.
The Porsche experience is usually defined in terms of "visceral". If visceral means less comfortable, more Spartan interior finishes, less smooth shifting PDK, less interesting exhaust note, in general, a less substantial feel, than the 997 was more visceral. I should note, when I test drove a 911 Cab v. an E93 335i MT a few years ago, I was also underwhelmed by that Porsche experience. The BMW was solid while the 911 exhibited cowl shake.
I recently viewed the new 991 -- 911 redefined for a new age. There was always a cadre within Porsche that wanted to go beyond the limits inherent in the 911 but the market's support for the 911 ruled. Porsche has transformed the 911 into a car that will have a broader appeal beyond die hard 911 enthusiasts. Perhaps the 991 represents a Faustian bargain - Porsche gains market share but loses it's soul in the process?
Last edited by Capobranco; 03-13-2012 at 02:34 PM.