By on August 18, 2013

Fortune Cookie Depending on the type of mood in which I find myself after waking, as well as the type of mood in which I find my car after its waking, I vacillate between being buried in the masterpiece or selling the lemon in short order.  Recently my relationship with my Porsche 911 has been somewhat strained.  A relatively minor issue prompted my most recent trip to the dealer, yet I was set to depart with another four-figure bill.  In a moment of weakness I strolled over to the other side of the dealer and perused their new offerings, in particular the updated 981 Boxster and Cayman twins.  Perhaps relatively predictable depreciation losses would be preferable to the Russian roulette of ongoing high-dollar maintenance.

A particular brand of Porsche enthusiast, usually those who own either of the junior siblings, will claim that those are the “real” sports cars now, considering ownership of the elder 911 an indefensible signifier of a poseur as the icon ascends to the lofty grand touring segment.  I’ll concede that they might have a point, as the entry-level sports cars are smaller and lighter, more in keeping with the original ethos of the giant-killing momentum cars that made the badge famous in the first place.  Plus, they feature a mid-engined architecture that is dynamically optimal, at least on paper, whereas the 911 is a curious outlier with the bulk of its mass situated over the rear axle.The significant price differential in favor of the 981s is, of course, purely coincidental.

Despite being on the youthful side – I’m 24 and look younger – I had my own Porsche in tow, and I was wearing a suit, so booking a test drive of both a Boxster S and a Cayman S proved easy.  Plus, I had recently received a serendipitous fortune cookie, so I had to do some (window) shopping. Despite being an avid Porschephile, I have enjoyed minimal exposure to the more modern product offerings.  It is a common tenet among many serious Porsche owners to maintain without irony that whatever car they happen to own at the time is the absolute pinnacle of the company’s capabilities, with the ensuing model years representing a fundamental sea change in Porsche’s values, fueled by cynical profit pursuit and the triumph of marketing and accounting over engineering, culminating in inexorable decline.  Porsche themselves have even poked fun at this attitude.

Porsche Cynical Poster

NB: Had I been able to locate a digital copy of the above poster with sufficient resolution, you would be able to read the following in the text pane to the right – “255,000 people have an older one in their garage and could talk to you for hours about why theirs is the best year and although we are deeply proud of our heritage we maintain no loyalties to any particular vintage and recommend a brief yet thorough test drive of the newest model available. (Which, incidentally, now has a top speed of 168 miles per hour.)”

The now-deposed 997 owners express reservations over the electrically assisted steering on the latest and greatest 991, whereas the 993 owners bemoan the loss of the air-cooled engine and the ur-911’s original footprint and cabin layout, the 964 owners mourn the upright front fenders that allowed the driver to see how much the car understeered (which was worst just before the car snapped to oversteer!), the G-series owners insist that something was lost with the end of the torsion bar era … all the way back to the 356 owners who are still unconvinced by this whole “911” fad.  Meanwhile they were all sneering at those who were stuck pushing around a front-engined 924,944, 968, or 928, as well as all Boxster and Cayman variants.  When viewed objectively and dispassionately, it’s a facile contention, and it reminds me of similar remarks made at my college graduation; a relatively obscure and stubbornly conservative liberal arts school situated in rural Virginia, my alma mater invariably produces graduates who express a tinge of pity for anyone who attended the school after they did, confident that the experience is diluted evermore each year, and the essence of the place is endangered.

And what about the essence of Porsche?  Is it endangered?  Do they still build true sports cars, and is the 981 stable the rightful inheritor of the air-cooled cars’ legacy?  Most importantly, could it replace my 993?  Of course I had to see for myself, but I received plenty of unsolicited advice from family friends and coworkers. One family friend volunteered that the new Boxster was actually a surprisingly handsome car, representing an improvement over the 986 and 987 cars’ “bar of soap silhouette that [he] would be embarrassed to be seen in.”  A coworker who allegedly maintains a businesslike relationship with rapper Rick Ross, the “Hottest MC in the Game” and a confirmed 911 enthusiast, promised to leverage his professional network and urge the Teflon Don to talk me down from the precipitous proverbial ledge of trading my 911 for a “chick car.”  Concurrently, another colleague warned me that the primary determinant of vehicular desirability was the presence of “sick fuckin’ technology,” helpfully suggesting the purchase of an Acura ILX instead.  Ironically, the latter colleague also professes a meaningful personal connection with RO$$, so I’m anticipating a phone call from a blocked number any day now.  Failing that, I’ll look for Ricky Rozay at the next Porsche Club of America ice cream social.

YouTube Preview Image

The Boxster S I drove was resplendent in white.  While the new car undoubtedly looks more muscular, a bit like the last decade’s Carrera GT supercar if you squint a little, I don’t think the refrigerator hue will do the soft top car many favors as it ages. Ellis Boxster 1 Sure it looks good now but so did the new pair of tennis shoes I received each school year as a kid, only to look tired and worn before the first snowfall.  Or perhaps the new Boxsters will age as gracefully as a bathtub 356, who knows? I do know that I prefer the external aesthetics of the new Cayman over the Boxster.  The Cayman S tester was also white, but the more aggressive front fascia treatment and “Platinum Satin” wheels manifest a remarkable improvement in the car’s overall look.  True, the cheaper to manufacture coupe will cost you a few grand more, and painting the wheels will tack on $845, but the krauts know how to extract the most from their patrons.  Seriously, in Guards Red the Cayman S could wear a Pininfarina badge. Ellis Cayman 1 The interior of both cars is also a marked improvement over the previous generation, featuring superior materials – but certainly not standard full leather – and a rising central console that salespeople will tell you invokes the aforesaid Carrera GT.  Personally, I think it more readily elicits comparisons with the Cayenne and Panamera breadwinners. The Boxster S was equipped with the good ol’ G50 6-speed manual… Ellis Boxster Interior … while the Cayman S featured the optional 7-speed PDK transmission and Sport Chrono Package, which total just over $5,000 combined. Ellis Cayman Interior I drove the Boxster S first.  After releasing the strange emergency brake – an oversized button mounted down and to the left of the steering wheel – the controls struck me as typical Porsche, although all inputs felt a bit less substantial, requiring less heft than my tractor of a car.  The sweet manual transmission featured a relatively light clutch with very gradual takeup – the polar opposite of my car – but it was familiar enough that I could heel-and-toe with ease after a few exploratory shifts.  The 3.4 liter engine in the S-variant Boxster produces 315 hp, before running out of steam at 7800 rpm, with peak torque coming in at 266 lb-ft.  Although the test drive was conducted two-up, the Boxster is considerably lighter than my 993, which left the factory with 282 hp and has doubtless sacrificed some of those stallions to the angels’ share – just like the finest Scottish exports – during the interim.  Consequently, the Boxster felt considerably more rapid than my immediate frame of reference.

The Cayman S came next.  I self-identify as a luddite who prefers the interaction of three pedals and a lever over the new-fangled dual clutch setup, but I did find the PDK quite beguiling.  Apart from the humdrum efficiency gains afforded by the extra ratio, the PDK transmission – when coupled with Sport Chrono -  makes a case for itself through enhanced straight line performance, far in excess of the 10 hp and 7 lb-ft incremental gains given to the Cayman S over the lump in the Boxster S.  The PDK + Sport Chrono equation allows the driver to indulge in Launch Control, in which the computer optimizes all parameters and slingshots you forward from a dead stop.  It’s great fun, and impossible not to inscribe a shit-eating-grin on the driver’s face, but it strikes me as a party trick you’d use to dazzle your friends.  It’s an expensive gimmick, that’s all.  As for a holistic assessment of PDK, it’s difficult for me to say whether it would still keep my attention on, say, my 247th day commuting to work without a clutch pedal.

Neither car I drove had the optional Porsche Sports Exhaust, but both provided a sufficient, if somewhat subdued soundtrack.  Even the base setup emits little flourishes of overrun on downshifts, but they come across as synthetic, like Porsche by Pro Tools. Neither car I drove had the optional Porsche Active Suspension Management either, instead riding on the standard, passive dampers.  That was fine, because the all-new chassis underpinning both 981s is a gem.  The combination of enhanced stiffness – heightened more so by a modest yet perceptible margin in the hard top car – and wider tracks versus the precedent 987 cars gives the new cars tremendous composure when pressing on, and the mid-engined orientation endows the car with remarkable agility, particularly through sudden transitions.  The Boxster and Cayman provided sufficient confidence to push the cars into gentle four-wheel drifts when space permitted, something I would not  (intentionally) do in my car.  In my 911 the script reads like this: pronounced, seemingly terminal understeer that rapidly gives way to exuberant oversteer, requiring four attentive limbs to control the car.  It’s akin to the sensation you experience while being towed behind a speed boat that has changed course ahead of you – a spell in the predictable, placid doldrums before being fired across the wake.  Conversely, the modern mid-engined cars slow everything down like Bullet Time in The Matrix, so even a ham-fisted hack feels like a virtuoso, selecting a slip angle from a continuous menu of options.  It is deeply impressive, but perhaps a little less thrilling overall.

Braking has historically been a strong suit for Porsche, and the junior twins performed as expected in this regard, with reassuring retardation bolstered by well-judged sensitivity to modulation.  Both cars had the standard steel brakes, identified by their red calipers, which more than sufficed in all situations encountered; the additional outlay for the bling yellow PCCB calipers is probably overkill, especially as both cars stickered well north of $70,000 already. So what about the steering?

The transition away from hydraulically-assisted steering toward electrically-assisted steering has incensed owners and fanbois alike.  The new steering setup – which included the optional Power Steering Plus in both cars I drove – still allows the driver to position the car with both precision and accuracy, and it becomes weightier once at speed, just like the preceding cars. It performs all of the essential functions that a sports car’s helm should, but part of that Porsche essence is gone; there’s no more tugging, or writhing, or superfluous tactility.  It’s all very efficient, and not in a good way. So what’s there to conclude?  Keen readers already know that the 981 is a very good car, that it shades the primitive, old, air-cooled 911s in every objective measure.

Is there a banal, hackneyed platitude about “soul” to tie these observations and experiences together?  No, the denouement is this:  If you believe that Porsche is evolving through Sisyphean endeavor, gradually pushing the boulder up the mountain a bit more with every passing model year – a bit more power, a bit more economy, a bit more space – then you’ll find no surprises with the newest junior sports cars.  Conversely, if you fear that Porsche is caught  in entropic freefall, you won’t be surprised either, for there’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to Porsche, they stick to the script.

David Walton grew up in the North Georgia mountains before moving to Virginia to study Economics, Classics, and Natural Light at Washington and Lee University. Post-graduation, he returned to his home state to work in the financial services industry in Atlanta.  A lifelong automotive enthusiast, particular interests include (old) Porsches and sports car racing.

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55 Comments on “There’s Nothing New Under The Sun – Test Drive Reviews of Porsche’s Entry-Level Sports Cars...”


  • avatar

    David – I’m likely the opposite of a Porsche fan boy, but do have intense admiration for the particular madness of polishing the same stone for fifty years to create new jewels year after year. In particular, the soul of any modern Porsche is the incredibly refined flat six. And when driving one, I don’t really give a crap that it weighs more than a Chevrolet LS-1; the sound which erupts from the most current model is symphonic compared to the grunge rock of the Chevrolet V8.

    I filled out a Porsche survey recently which emphasized life style over substance, hardly mentioning the generations of Porsche engineers and technicians who have created some of the greatest race cars ever to circle a track, so have some understanding for the schizophrenia of any modern automobile company. I attended a Porsche event a couple of years ago and after driving the hot cars was offered the chance to drive the Panamera. For fun, I picked the V6 version and was blown away at what a great car it was, regardless of what some say about the styling. These guys keep doing it and the latest generation still defines a pinnacle of automotive design. Thanks for a great piece!

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      edgett,

      I have heard mention of this survey (various forums, etc.), but I didn’t receive one. Those who were surveyed had the same thoughts about the emphasis on lifestyle; they/we surmised that the survey was aimed to pick up views of potential Macan/”Pajun” (Panamera Junior) customers.

      Although I’m an owner and a passionate follower, I’m not a fanboi by any means. I drove out of the dealer happy in my car, which is worth less than half what those new ones cost. The absence of any real steering feel is a deal breaker for me, unfortunately.

      Thanks for reading, and enjoy your Sunday.

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      “Polishing the same stone”- yes, this, & the mystique created by such refinement, sells Porsche automobiles. The “problem” with Porsche is the existence of the Japanese, particularly the Nissan GT-R, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Subaru WRX-STi and every other inexpensive, good handling Asian and American sports car (such as the bargain priced Miata and the current Corvette). In other words: snobbery and “legend” sell more Porsches than pure performance, since even a lowly Mustang or Camaro can give driving pleasure (and easily kick butt) on the Germanic Bank Account Buster. This self-evident point has become even more crystal clear during the last 2 months, whilst driving my son’s BMW 3-series. It’s a lovely car, fun to drive, but god, the bills! I’m ready to return to hot rods and small, cheap rides! (BTW, he is borrowing my Ford Bronco, and, coversely, enjoys the drama-free driving experience of a big American V-8 powered truck).

      • 0 avatar
        David Walton

        Porsche already covered this issue 25 years ago; not just “snobbery and legend,” but also flat out desire. JB has touched on this point before, too.

        http://bloganubis.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/porsche2010006.jpg
        The 3-series reference is a total non sequitur.

      • 0 avatar
        noxioux

        Polishing the same stone sounds an awful lot like another pointless, smile inducing activity.

        All the brand cache, snobbery, legend, blah, blah, blah won’t pay for a single one of those 4-figure repair bills.

        Listening to Porsche repair bill stories is just about as exciting as listening to grandpa talk about his gout, or gramma going on about her hip.

        The last car that cost me multiple 4-figure repairs. . . well, it never existed. And never would. Anything that awful deserves a one-way trip to a Chinese razor blade factory.

        And pulling BMW into it isn’t a non sequitur. The current crop of German cars are little more than expensive, disposable garbage.

        • 0 avatar
          David Walton

          Have you ever replaced a clutch?

          Or bought four tires that weren’t made in a Chinese razor blade factory (mount, align, balance, disposal, etc.)?

          Tough to do that for less than 10 bills.

          The BMW reference is indeed a non sequitur.

  • avatar
    Petra

    “…the more aggressive front fascia treatment and “Platinum Satin” wheels manifest a remarkable improvement in the car’s overall look.”

    I disagree. I think those wheels will age as well as plastic cladding on old Pontiacs, with all the cheesy, tacky symbolism that said Pontiacs embody today. But, to each his own.

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      Have you seen them in person?

      I’m typically not a fan of darker (or especially black) wheels, but I find these exceptionally tasteful.

      Thanks for not driving up the prices (even more) for the rest of us, though!

  • avatar
    E46M3_333

    I suspect you’ll be able pick up a well optioned 2013 Boxster S for ~$35K in three or four years. Let someone else take the depreciation hit–particularly on the over-priced options.

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      They may decline that precipitously, it remains to be seen.

      I am hopeful that we’ll see a more aggressive 981 in the future (a bit more HP, lighter, tighter, stiffer a la Boxster Spyder/Cayman R), which would push prices of the normal cars down further. The new GT3 is reputed to have improved steering software, which allays some/all of the concerns voiced by owners and journos. Hopefully that proliferates through the lineup.

      Thanks for reading!

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      “Perhaps relatively predictable depreciation losses would be preferable to the Russian roulette of ongoing high-dollar maintenance.” Getting a post-warranty 981 won’t serve the purpose of giving up a real Porsche for a new one.

      • 0 avatar
        David Walton

        Agree!

        I hope the article presented a balanced take on the old vs. new, real vs. faux, etc. Porsche tension.

        Two entirely different companies, but both very special and very good at what they did/do. I like both, but for different reasons.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Even on an older car, maintenance should not be playing roulette. The trick is to go through the car and do everything that is likely to need doing in the reasonable future all at once. It should not be difficult to determine what statistically should be done when. Then the car can be maintained on a schedule, rather than playing a game of whack-a-mole. Costs more upfront, but the savings in aggravation is enormous. I practice this on my olde crocks and get near perfect reliability from them, even on such notoriously unreliable cars as my Alfa Spider. Don’t wait for things to break to fix them.

          • 0 avatar
            David Walton

            I did a PPI and have done this to an extent; it’s just difficult to forecast when certain things will unexpectedly break, especially when the car is daily driven.

          • 0 avatar
            Fordson

            Having a PPI done for you is not the same as doing a PPI. I would not count on that farmed-out PPI for anything 20-something years old that is going to cost me $30k and be something I use everyday. The idea that you’re just going to drop the car off, to have either a PPI done or repair work done, and it’s going to be completed just the way you would want when you come back and hop behind the wheel, is a fondly-held fiction of people who don’t work on their cars themselves.

            And I believe the value equation is $$$ spent on vehicle plus replacement (downtime) transportation, divided by number of days vehicle is in service.

            Not simply $$$ spent on vehicle divided by number of days of ownership.

            Now do the math again and tell me how much more the Cayman S would have cost you per day of actual use of your car.

      • 0 avatar
        E46M3_333

        So you’re saying something major is going to break several times a year on a four-year-old, low mileage used Porsche? If that were true, they wouldn’t be selling any cars.

  • avatar
    vaujot

    The 993 isn’t that much heavier than the Boxster/Cayman, the difference is about 200 lbs.

  • avatar
    Ipsa

    Did anyone else find reading this article to be a “sisyphean” endeavor? (Am I using that word right? I won’t even try to use “denouement”). It was quite long-winded and indirect. I felt like I was reading something written by Charles Dickens, if Dickens himself visited a car dealership and then wrote about it.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      Agreed…and while I love Porsches and consider them fine engineering achievements, reading this article further hardens my resolve to distance myself from the majority of Porsche owners.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The best thing about Porsches are the nice middle aged men that buy them new, then spend three or four years racking up very few miles before releasing them to buyers like me.

    You should be able to pick up a clean low mileage Cayman/Boxter in 3 to 4 years time for around $40K. At that price range it is stellar value and makes for a great weekend car. If you avoid the PDK you can expect them to reasonably reliable too.

    • 0 avatar
      Nicholas Weaver

      Especially since enough of them may be available as CPO vehicles, which give you a similar level of warranty as if you bought new, so you don’t have the Russian roulette bills for the first couple of years, but some other sucker had the cliff-like depreciation.

  • avatar
    JGlanton

    Beautifully written and very entertaining, David. Well done.

  • avatar
    JSF22

    David, this was a neat article. I like small, light, nimble, engaging cars, and most Porsche sports cars fit that description. I’ve had a number of Porsches, some new, some used. The new ones were always bad buys, the used ones were usually OK buys. I’ve liked some better than others, but enjoyed them all for what they were. Every Porsche nut I’ve ever met could tell me what was wrong with every Porsche model they didn’t personally own, so I stopped talking to them and stopped going to PCA events. Most recently, like you, I had a later air cooled model that, despite its overall excellent condition, was going to need several thousand dollars of belts, hoses, tires, and general massaging. So, I found somebody who wanted it more than I did and I leased a moderately equipped new
    Boxster to replace it and use as a daily driver. I like having airbags, air con, ABS, a convenient way to listen to Pandora, and a car I really don’t have to worry about. I didn’t order too many of Porsche’s ridiculous options, I chose white over tan because I like it and because it’s one of the few combinations Porsche offers at no charge, and the car has met my expectations. It could use more grunt but I don’t need it, the stick and clutch are still magic, the power steering feel is just fine despite what anybody says, and luckily I live near one of the few Porsche dealers who isn’t an arrogant crook. Haters can hate, but I like what I like, and you wouldn’t be making a mistake with a new Boxster or Cayman. Just my $0.02.

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      The safety differential is something I haven’t touched on. I do sometimes worry about having an 18-year old airbag that may or may not explode in my face in the event of an accident, as well as spindly A-pillars that may or may not support the roof in a rollover.

      Note that the brand new Boxster/Cayman have a different assist mechanism for the power steering vs. the 986/987 cars; I find the distinct lack of feel (not precision or accuracy, just the “chattering”) a deal-breaker deficiency.

      Thanks for reading!

  • avatar
    Phillin_Phresh

    These models sound very exciting, but how to they compare to the Dodge Avenger?

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    Poseur definition; “I filled out a Porsche survey recently which emphasized life style over substance”.

    Yikes..I thought BMW owners were the poseurs.

  • avatar

    I’ve gotten that fortune before and was quite excited! Although the next car I got was a 1993 Caravan rather than a Porsche.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    What worries me is brand dilution. Do the 911/Cayman/Boxster get the “special sauce”; while the 4 door and the SUV get ho-hum parts from the VAG parts bins? Does Mercedes give the “special sauce” to the S and E classes while leaving the SUVs and C class variants to fight off top of the line Hyundai’s? I think mens suits set an eerie parallel to this. Zegna si musra, Zegna from Saks, Zegna found at Marshall’s and finally “cloth by Zegna”. Wildy different grades of quality; but “Zegna” makes the badge whores preen. I was going to get a Volvo C30 until a friend pointed out it’s a less reliable Mazda 3. I still have my doubts about all this brand dilution stuff.

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    I am lucky: my son owned BOTH the Corvette and Boxster- the Chevy was fast & reliable; the Porsche had a bad IMS bearing. That pretty much sums it up.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    I have that fortune in my wallet! Nice article. I’ll probably never go the Porsche route, but I dearly miss my 128. Just a little too impractical. Could you use your Auto-Journo Powers to have a 5-door hatchback version brought over from Europe for me? I could live with that for a long, long time.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    Your well-written piece was the first direct comparison I’ve seen of the Cayman and Boxster. Thanks!

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      Not sure if you’re being sarcastic, but I’ll err toward optimism.

      Some elaboration:

      The Cayman is more attractive (different fascia and the optional wheels – also available on the Boxster however; both cars had same suspension/stance and were painted the same color)

      The Cayman is noticeably stiffer (This really jumped out to me, not that the Boxster is deficient in any way)

      The Cayman’s extra HP isn’t really noticeable; no surprise

      The PDK tranny in the Cayman probably biases my review; I prefer manuals, but found the PDK very impressive overall, especially when using Launch Control. I can’t say whether or not I’d prefer the engagement of the manual for long term ownership, however.

      If I were ordering either one, I’d go for a Cayman S. But I’d be sure to drive a 987.2 Cayman R first (something I’ve yet to do).

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I recently saw a Cayman S for sale locally for $66k or so. I do love old 911s, but I have to admit the Cayman was really amazing looking. With this new restyle and the (hopefully) elimination of the IMS issue, I can see it holding better than typical resale value just on looks alone.

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      The all-new engines introduced for the 2009 model year – the “9A1 Engine” as Porsche nerds call it – have cured the IMS issues; these are also the new DFI engines.

      Not that they aren’t without (potential) incident.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Agreed… there are still plenty of things to go wrong as they age. But I think the days of commonly finding used $10-12k Boxsters and Caymans are much less likely with these newer models.

        • 0 avatar
          David Walton

          You never know. The tech may become obsolete very quickly, and the headlights may cloud up as badly as the 996/986 cars (like the proverbial pair of tennis shoes I got for school each year).

          I’ve never seen a used Cayman for that type of money, but I only peruse prices on the facelifted 987.2 Cayman S models, which are still quite expensive. A tired (or even not-so-tired) 986 Boxster can be had for that price (or less).

  • avatar
    Reino

    The Boxster and Cayman aren’t Porsche’s entry-level cars. Porsche has had no entry-level car since the 944. A base Boxster costs as much as a Corvette ($50k) and they go up from there. A true entry-level Porsche would have to be sub-$40k–low enough to compete with 350Z, SLK, and Pony Cars, but high enough to maintain the brand.

    Most car brands have learned to hook young buyers early on lower models, and then grow them up through models as their income grows. Porsche has no entry-level model, BUT many manufacturers now have halo cars that rival Porsche. For example if a lifelong Nissan owner suddenly had Porsche money, he’d be buying a GT-R, not a 911. A young 3-series driver has many high-end models to choose from when his income grows.

    Once the boomers fade out, expect Porsche to do so as well unless they get some way to get young buyers in early.

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      Without double checking I’m not certain, but I believe the cheapest new Porsche is the base Cayenne.

      Check this out if you’ve never seen it before; vintage JB:

      http://www.speedsportlife.com/2008/02/22/avoidable-contact-9-the-impending-failure-of-the-mighty-gt-r/

      • 0 avatar
        Reino

        The comments in that article reinforce my position. That author is making a big mistake labeling all Grand Turismo players as poor millenials living in their parents basement. I’m 32, and while in my childhood lusted after many C4 Corvettes and 911 Carreras early on, I actually DROVE the Skyline in many GT games as a teenager and in college. Just as I say that although I lived through the entire Reagan administration, it was the Clinton Administration that I remember growing up in.

        The Japanese tuner cars and exotics are the cars that 30-somethings remember when we got our driver’s licenses, NOT the Porsches, Jaguars, and American Muscle cars that our older cousins did.

        • 0 avatar
          David Walton

          Anecdote counters anecdote, ad infinitum.

          I’m 24 and have no desire for 90s Japanese sports/tuner/exotic cars (didn’t then, don’t now), but I am admittedly atypical among my peers. Most twentysomethings don’t have the cash for a car that is anything more than utilitarian, unless they are willing to make BIG sacrifices for it (as JB’s article alludes).

          The price of the GT-R has risen steadily (it’s no longer a performance bargain); would you argue that it has been – on balance – a success for Nissan?

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      Porsche reminds me of Cadillac: as long as rich old guys bought ‘em, who cared about young guys? But then the old guys die, and no one is left to buy your status symbol, which is an antique living on tradition. So, to survive, you plaster the name on an SUV, whilst the marque dies from brand dilution.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    Porsches are cars I want to love, but find hard to love. The pricing is ridiculous, especially when you consider the lack of standard equipment. Depreciation is not that bad, so used Porsches are expensive as well.

    Really waiting for the F type coupe to arrive next Summer and see if the new TT RS makes it to US shores as well. VERY curious to see if Jag will price the coupe above the soft top a la Porsche

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      The F Type Convertible is already quite expensive, straddling the line between the Boxster and the 911, in a similar (pricing) fashion as the Lotus Evora. I live and work less than a mile from the Jag dealer, and I’ve only ever seen an F Type parked proudly on their forecourt.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Look, if you have the means, quit driving 911s. Go to the track with a Cayenne TT, or a Pana TT. Then, do what their owners do, daily drive them. That’s what real Porsches are for – 100K+ miles of performance with some routine maint and a few small parts.

    I’m not saying either is a mid-80s Hondota, but they are all light-years more reliable than the luckiest 911 owner in history. Not to mention the average uber-beetle owner who get clocked for at least $5K every time you pull in the garage. We see you coming, and thank Porsche for building that unreliable bucket when we write your service order. Keeps that cappuccino machine in the waiting room, dontcha know.

    Don’t get me wrong, for every 911 I see on the road on a given day I’ll see a dozen Peppers, a dozen Boxsters, a half-dozen Caymans, and the odd 944/951/968. So you got that ‘exclusive’ thing going for you. Which is nice.

    To be fair to the devotees of “Butzi’s Mistake”…

    “What are you babbling about?”

    “Well, what I said was I’m in the Math Club, the Lab Club and the Physics Club”

    “Hey. Cherry. Do you belong to the Physics Club?”

    “That’s an academic club.”

    “So?”

    “So, academic clubs aren’t the same as other types of clubs.”

    “Ahh. But to dorks like him, they are. Whaddyah guys do in your club?”

    “We talk about physics. Properties of physics…”

    “So it’s sorta social. *Demented and sad*, but social. Right?”

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      I assume by “911″ you mean only air-cooled cars?

      The new 911s vastly outsell Caymans.

      • 0 avatar
        porschespeed

        I see that my reply detailing the majority of years that other models outsold the uberbeetle (and kept in on life support) has been deleted.

        “The more things change…” indeed. What’s that Colonel Nathan Jessep quote again?

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    “The entry level Porsche is a used Porsche” (Dealer Salesman) & “Old guys on viagra own 911′s and drive slow, cos they’re too scared to drive these cars like they’re supposed to be driven!” (Dave).

  • avatar
    robc123

    I am totally jaded on cars now.

    Hate all cars under 200k if you have to restore them.

    buying old cars is really dumb if you are not a body work expert, the vast, vast majority of the time. If you are an expert, most of them drive new cars (check the parking lot of any body shop.

    You can take most pretty, shiny vintage cars put em up on the hoist and they are absolute garbage that require 1-3x their worth in rust repair, plus take a year to fix.

    A phyllo pastry of rust underneath just waiting for its new owner to finally do the work that was required 20 yrs ago.
    $25k can be spent and not even touch half of the car, a car worth maybe $40-55k in minty shape. This includes all porsches pre 2000′s, alfa anything, jag, and basically every other good looking car made in the 70′s sub $150k.

    You never get your money back and are always repairing them. better to get a cheap fun slow car (mx5) or just lease a new sh-t box Porsche and give it back after 3 yrs.

    cost per mile is outrageous on the old stuff sub $150k.

    Its all this internet s-it about oh the 964 is so good and its going up 10% in value over last yr and so on. $5k for pistons, if its electrical, motec- whats that going to cost? might as well fix the carpet up $1k, gotta get that glue off first right? $1k plus while we are in there, shocks could get some and those bushings have never been replaced… etc. etc.

    want an investment, buy a stock or a bond, or real estate. there is no resale premium for a brand new tranny or repairs on the retail price.


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