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What to buy? 986S or 987S

 
Old 04-23-2009, 01:38 AM
  #16  
Niels Jørgensen
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Corvette is an option, it's in the same price range (a little cheaper in fact - an 06 is about the same as an 05 987S).

The problem is that I just sold my 928 because it was way too thirsty for a 120km/day round trip. I expect the corvette will be somewhat similar. Test drives are always fun though
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Old 04-23-2009, 05:26 PM
  #17  
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Actually, a Corvette gets pretty good mileage due to the high gearing in 6th and that big torquey V8 (assuming you're talking highway mileage, and show some restraint with the right foot). Check online and you'll see people claiming close to 30mpg highway. One of the magazines (Road and Track, Car and Driver, etc, can't remember which) did a comparison and the Vette averaged better gas mileage than the 911 Carerra S in the test.
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Old 04-26-2009, 12:17 AM
  #18  
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It sounds like at least part of your decision is based on the likelihood of an IMS problem. I'd suggest making the decision based on something other than the cost of an engine failure. The occurrence is RARE. There are plenty of 986s with over 100,000 miles and still running. The internet has a tendency to create panic, but realistically, the vast majority of these cars are running with their original engines.
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:16 AM
  #19  
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Yes, I know, and it would have been nice if I'd never heard of IMS. Ignorance is bliss .

I owned a 928 for 6 years and everyone (none of who owned a 928) told me how it would probably eat the waterpump, break the belt, and spit out its internals in the first 6 months of ownership. Search the net and you'll find plenty of horror stories of 928 ownership.

The difference here is that for the 928 most of these stories could be traced back to lacking or incorrect maintenance. Usually people "forgetting" that age, not just mileage, can wear down a belt. I think there was even a case of a series of waterpumps of less than optimal quality.

Point is, it was not a design flaw, and all I heard was rumours - I never met anyone who actually broke a belt.

With the Boxster, everyone but Porsche seems to agree that the problem is in the design of the engine (They even changed the design for 2009, so may be they do agree?), and I do in fact know someone who had the problem, and this is a guy who is immensely careful with his cars, meets his service intervals and generally do everything by the book, more than I probably would.

He got NOTHING from Porsche. Not a cent.

So yes, I am factoring IMS into the cost of ownership - maybe more than I should, but since nobody knows if it is .1%, 1% or 10% of the engines that fail, and since it appear to happen completely at random, I prefer to play it safe.

If money was no object to me, I'd probably be getting an F430 or some other crazy car ... The Boxster is supposed to be the financially viable way for me to get a great sports car - if the engine grenades, it no longer is.
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Old 04-26-2009, 02:39 PM
  #20  
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Had a beautiful sunny day today, perfect for test driving roadsters I doubt my observations is going to help anyone else, but here they are:

2003 986S. A very nice car with reasonable mileage for its age. Felt solid and the sports exhaust sounded awesome, so much so, that I couldn't help wonder what the big stereo was for. Plenty of headroom with the cab up, but my right knee was locked in between the steering wheel and center console. I'm sure a console delete would fix that and the dealer was prepared to do that free of charge. I'm not sure it'll be enough though - for a weekend car, sure, but I'll be doing 120km/day so I think I'll grow tired of not being able to find an optimal driving position. Looking at the price, however, the 03s are too close to the 05 987s to really make sense.

2003 Z4 3.0 - Just sat in this one for comparison. It had electric seats and I had an amazing amount of leg room. Just mention it because I later tested a 2004 with manual seats and wasn't able to get the seat back as much.

2005 987S - What a difference from the 986. I was really comfortable in this, and though I only had about an inch between my leg and the center console, it made a major difference. Contrary to what I've read everywhere, I found the sound to be very subdued compared to the 986 - I'm guessing the sports exhaust is responsible for that. The handling is very confidence inspiring - to much maybe, but even though I got a good run on some twisty backroads I never felt like I was anywhere near its limits. I hope I wasn't

2004 Z4 3.0 - I was expecting a noticeable difference in acceleration with its 50-odd hp less than the 987S, but I didn't. If I choose a Z4 I'll probably favour the 3.0 over the M in an effort to stay alive I can only imagine how crazy that car must be. Handling was very different from the 987. It had lighter steering (which I didn't like as much) and was very lively, bordering on twitchy in the bends. Fun, I guess, but I can see how it could get scary in snow or even rain. In spite of better leg room compared to the 987, I wasn't as comfortable. Now that I think about it, it seemed as if the leg room was gained by sacrificing cabin space - the distance between the wheel and the seat felt smaller than in the 987.

A couple of cars that I considered but dropped without driving them:

2007 TT 3.2 - The more I look at it the more I hate the convertible TT. It's just plain ugly next to the coupe. I'm looking for a cab but I can't justify to pay extra for the uglification of an otherwise very nice car.

2007 350Z 3.5 - Never tested this because the sales guy said that I would never fit given I felt the 986 was too tight. It didn't look like that to me, but I didn't push it since I felt I'd already wasted enough of his time . Not a big fan of the styling of the cab anyway.

I also found that there are reasonably prices warranties to be had that covers engine failures - if they're worth their cost is another question, but I'd probably go for it for the peace of mind (and deal with the lawyers later if the sh*t hits the fan )

All in all, the 987S came out on top. I have no hard facts to back it up, it just, overall, felt better. It is however also a whole lot more expensive - so much so that the difference could almost pay for an early Boxster.

So now I just need to make up my mind if it's worth the extra $...
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:21 PM
  #21  
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I'd be interested in your driving impressions between the 986 and 987.
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:13 AM
  #22  
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First of all, I didn't test the two cars on the same road - the 986 was mostly on a fairly straight and fairly wide road, whereas the 987 was on a twisty road through a little forrest - this has probably had an impact on my perception of the two cars.

Secondly, I was much more comfortable sitting in the 987 so that may have also affected my impression.

But, anyway:

I would never choose a 987S over a 986S for the extra power - I must confess that I could feel no difference whatsoeever. If anything, the 986 with its loud exhaust and slightly "less refined" (in lack of a better term) steering gave more of an impression of going fast. The 987 had no indication of speed beyond the visual (no noise or vibration). Good for daily driving, maybe less fun for a weekend run through the twisties. A 987 with sports exhaust would be nice though

In terms of handling, I really don't know. There was no obvious difference like there was between the Z4 and 987, I'd probably need an auto-X or race track to tell the difference. So again, nothing that in itself would make me pick the 987 over a 986 for a daily driver.

So, in the end, for me at least, it all came down to looks (headlights/front and interior) and more importantly, being able to fit comfortably in the car.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:57 AM
  #23  
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Interesting to hear your comparison betweeen the z4 and Boxster Niels. Top gear has a video of the M vs boxster S. I believe they came to the same conclusions as you. Boxster inspires confidence but the z4 might be a bit more fun.
Boxster owners, no flaming intended here, I had a 99 and wish I still did.
Niels, I appreciate your feedback with this. Good thread.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:41 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Charlie C View Post
I wonder if they're in the same price range as a Boxster. My guess is that they would cost more.
You'd be amazed what Porsches cost in Europe.
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:44 PM
  #25  
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He, yes, they do cost more here than in the US, but having lived in Denmark for many years, I feel like a kid in a candy store. The 987S can be had for $45K here, that's 15K less than what I paid for my 14 year old 928 in DK in 2001. In Denmark an 05 987S cost a ridiculous $130K.

(BTW, I double checked the Corvette prices, and I must have been looking at coupes, the convertibles are similar to the 987, and all automatics for some reason).
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:48 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Niels Jørgensen View Post
(BTW, I double checked the Corvette prices, and I must have been looking at coupes, the convertibles are similar to the 987, and all automatics for some reason).
I remember quite a few years ago I wanted to test drive a Corvette with a manual transmission and there was none to be found. Most do get automatics.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:53 AM
  #27  
Niels Jørgensen
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I'm down to one, potentially two cars now. The potential one is 8 hours away so before I go look at it: Does anyone know if there's a difference in legroom for the different seat types (manual/electric and standard/sports). I got the impression that electric seats leaves less legroom than the manual ones, but I have only tried standard seats.

If the sports seats are bigger, they're probably not an option. If they're smaller however, it might be worth the effort to find a set.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:42 AM
  #28  
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the only really different seats are the "adjustable sport seats" the sport seats give you more shoulder support and I think stiffer bolsters, but otherwise are very similar and the fit is nearly identical, manual/electric are the same if I remember correctly

the adjustable sport seat bottoms are adjustable length and width wise with air bags and whatnot, the seat back has adjustable bolsters, I don't know if those are bigger or not
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:46 AM
  #29  
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Ok, thanks for the clarification. Must have imagined the difference between electric and manual seats then.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:02 AM
  #30  
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just because I never noticed a difference doesn't mean there isn't one, I'm a bit shorter than you too so I may not be trying to put the seat in the same position... and it does stand to reason that the motors need a place to go
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