Alan Cesar Associate Editor
June 14, 2012 9:14 a.m.

We tried so very hard to hate the new 911, but everyone loved it from behind the wheel.

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/new-cars/2012-Porsche-911-carrera-s/

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
June 14, 2012 9:17 a.m.

Yeah, I really wanted to not like it--like that rich kid who moves to school but turns out to be totally cool.

nderwater UltraDork
June 14, 2012 9:24 a.m.

I nearly choked on my coffee when I saw the window sticker listed $34,000 worth of options.

Argo1 Reader
June 14, 2012 9:31 a.m.

I just wish they would have left the power steering alone. The 911 has always been about being alive in your hands. Tactile feedback. In an early 911 if you ran over a dime you could tell if it was heads or tails. Each version since has diluted that.

Javelin UltimaDork
June 14, 2012 9:32 a.m.
nderwater wrote: I nearly choked on my coffee when I saw the window sticker listed $34,000 worth of options.

If you play around with the Porsche Configurator often enough, you find out that you can double the price (give or take a little) of any model with just options. They have crazy stuff like leather liners on the A/C vents and charging you to paint the black plastic mirror stalks.

93EXCivic UltimaDork
June 14, 2012 9:38 a.m.

Why did you want to hate it?

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
June 14, 2012 9:45 a.m.
93EXCivic wrote: Why did you want to hate it?

My biggest beef was the interior. In the photos, it looked more like a Panamera than a 911. That bugged me. Then I drove it and was like, Yeah, it's a 911. Even the gauges remind me of the ones in my car. The new steering felt good to me, too.

As far as the abundance of options, don't forget, this is a car from the press pool. No matter what the brand, generally they're fairly well loaded.

Keith MegaDork
June 14, 2012 9:49 a.m.
93EXCivic wrote: Why did you want to hate it?

Because it's new. And people want to hate new things.

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
June 14, 2012 9:55 a.m.
Keith wrote:
93EXCivic wrote: Why did you want to hate it?

Because it's new. And people want to hate new things.

Also, it's not grassroots because it costs too much money. Baaaaa. Bacon rules. I hate tablets. Patio!! (That was my message boarder impersonation.)

Seriously, it's an impressive piece of engineering. Plus it's fast and makes cool sounds. Ah, I feel so much better now.

aussiesmg PowerDork
June 14, 2012 10:02 a.m.

If I could, I would

nderwater UltraDork
June 14, 2012 10:05 a.m.

My only real issue with the 991 is a philosophical one. The latest generation Porsches, like BMWs and so many other cars these days, have become several orders of magnitude more complex than the cars I learned to drive and wrench on. At some point it has got to become too much.

Fifteen years ago, the interior of the Porsche 993 had a total of maybe 8 switches. Luxury accessories were limited to power seats and electric windows. The throttle was connected to the engine with a steel cable, and traction control was up to the driver.

Today's 991 represents the bleeding edge of automotive technology. Bi-Xenon and LED lighting. CFD modeled aerodynamic elements, located even on the suspension. Super fast automated double clutch gearbox. Driver adjustable suspension settings, engine mapping, even exhaust sounds. Active stability management. Dynamic chassis control. Direct fuel injection engine with fully variable valve timing and advanced emissions controls. Eelectromechanical power steering and electric parking brake with hill-hold. Carbon ceramic brakes. Adustable spoiler. Two-zone automatic air conditioning. Large LCD interface for GPS and communications systems with ParkAssist sensing. A center console covered in buttons for interior comfort, sound and phone controls. And of course, all the computer systems to govern it all.

By all accounts, the 991 sounds like a stellar automobile. But it is stupefyingly complicated and expensive to develop, build and maintain. Ten years from now, when I'm thinking about buying a used one, how will that shape my purchasing decision?

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
June 14, 2012 10:05 a.m.
aussiesmg wrote: If I could, I would

Coincidentally another six-figure car visited us the following week. (We're usually at the whim of the press car fairies.) It was interesting how different the two cars felt. Basically, one was an heirloom, the other had some cheap elements.

Woody UltimaDork
June 14, 2012 10:06 a.m.

Patience, Grasshopper, for depreciation is your friend.

oldtin SuperDork
June 14, 2012 10:10 a.m.

Off to buy lottery tickets

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
June 14, 2012 10:16 a.m.

If you think about it, despite the evolutionary nature, the 911 has tended to be near the forefront of technology: one of the first mass-produced turbo cars, one of the first to have spoilers, early adopter of fuel injection, early adopter of alloy wheels, etc.

Plus, some of those luxury features are just today's norms. Everything is now fly by wire, and even the Kia Kio has direct injection. Twin-clutch transmission? Well, it's faster and offers better fuel economy--plus it's not standard. Variable valve timing? My B16As all had that decades ago.

I agree that cars are getting more and more complicated by the day, but I think that much of that is customer driven--and I'm talking about the people buying new cars, not those shopping on the used market.

Personally, too, I'd love to see a stripped-down 911--like an RS America or Club Sport. Unfortunately, I believe history showed us that those models didn't exactly fly off the dealer lots. Bummer.

I can't wait to see the GT3, though.

93EXCivic UltimaDork
June 14, 2012 10:18 a.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: Plus, some of those luxury features are just today's norms. Everything is now fly by wire, and even the Kia Kio has direct injection. Twin-clutch transmission? Well, it's faster and offers better fuel economy--plus it's not standard. Variable valve timing? My B16As all had that decades ago.

It is available with a proper manual though right?

Keith MegaDork
June 14, 2012 10:23 a.m.

If you think modern cars are complex, I invite you to come check out the automatic HVAC system on my 1966 Cadillac. It's all pneumatic!

Alan Cesar Associate Editor
June 14, 2012 10:28 a.m.
93EXCivic wrote: Why did you want to hate it?

Because of the image. Because of the image of their owners. Because a Porsche can represent mid-life crisis conspicuous consumption at its worst. Because because because.

Margie said it well in the review:

"I didn’t want to like this car, in the same way I make it a point not to make eye contact with over-groomed men who think checking me out will help with their midlife crises. It’s just so clichéd: six-figure price, Porsche badge, and a paint job that’s a several-thousand-dollar option because… I can’t for the life of me figure out why, actually. It’s silver. Ish."

1988RedT2 SuperDork
June 14, 2012 10:46 a.m.

I have lusted for the 911 since I was a teenage boy, and in 30 or so years, nothing has changed.

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel HalfDork
June 14, 2012 11:15 a.m.

"We're usually at the whim of the press car fairies."

Go ahead, keep calling them that... and by all means let us know what they bring you NEXT week. GRM may be able to scoop the industry with an in-depth look at the very last Dodge Caliber off the line.

June 14, 2012 11:19 a.m.

I am not sure why one wants to hate it - but I'm glad you failed.

dyintorace UltraDork
June 14, 2012 11:43 a.m.
nderwater wrote: My only real issue with the 991 is a philosophical one. The latest generation Porsches, like BMWs and so many other cars these days, have become several orders of magnitude more complex than the cars I learned to drive and wrench on. At some point it has got to become too much. Fifteen years ago, the interior of the Porsche 993 had a total of maybe 8 switches. Luxury accessories were limited to power seats and electric windows. The throttle was connected to the engine with a steel cable, and traction control was up to the driver. Today's 991 represents the bleeding edge of automotive technology. Bi-Xenon and LED lighting. CFD modeled aerodynamic elements, located even on the suspension. Super fast automated double clutch gearbox. Driver adjustable suspension settings, engine mapping, even exhaust sounds. Active stability management. Dynamic chassis control. Direct fuel injection engine with fully variable valve timing and advanced emissions controls. Eelectromechanical power steering and electric parking brake with hill-hold. Carbon ceramic brakes. Adustable spoiler. Two-zone automatic air conditioning. Large LCD interface for GPS and communications systems with ParkAssist sensing. A center console covered in buttons for interior comfort, sound and phone controls. And of course, all the computer systems to govern it all. By all accounts, the 991 sounds like a stellar automobile. But it is stupefyingly complicated and expensive to develop, build and maintain. Ten years from now, when I'm thinking about buying a used one, how will that shape my purchasing decision?

I wonder about the used car market in general, because of the above outlined points. Are we going to get to a point (or did it already pass?) where used car values become quite depressed because no one can afford to maintain them once out of warranty? More and more issues that occur with newer, much more complex cars will be issues even great home wrenches cannot solve. And even independent mechanics may be squeezed out, as manufacturers don't allow the required diagnostic equipment outside their dealer networks.

Klayfish Dork
June 14, 2012 11:47 a.m.

Well, if someone would just give me the keys to one for a day or two I promise I'll do my best to hate the car. It might take 1000 miles or so for me to decide, but I'll figure it out.

Actually, haven't driven a 911 since about 1997, so I'm not up on the newest ones. I liked the ones I drove, but wasn't as into them as a lot of people are. My wife, OTOH...it's her dream car.

belteshazzar UltraDork
June 14, 2012 12:03 p.m.

this car is irrelevant to me

stroker Dork
June 14, 2012 2:05 p.m.

In reply to belteshazzar:

Somehow I don't think Porsche regards you as one of their customers.

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