Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Times They Are a Changin'

For the last 12 years I've been a BMW nut. Big time. For the last 10 years I've had an E46 3 Series in various forms and even segued that into working for the incredible BMWBlog.com for the last nearly 4 years. After deciding that having a 110,554 mile old BMW might not be practical - it was time to find a new car.

After nearly pulling the trigger on an 2008 Melbourne Red E90 M3 with 48k miles and nearly no warranty left, the same weekend I managed to find a used 2007 Porsche Cayman at local Porsche dealer and race team Brumos Porsche. With the wife in tow, we went to check out the car on Saturday afternoon before shooting down to Daytona to take advantage of free tickets to the Bud ShootOut. In the brief test drive, one thing was readily apparent: the Cayman really is one of the best handling cars in the sub-$100k range and it's a tight car in terms of steering and feel, showing me that the 3 Series is still a lot of fun but feels much more loosy-goosy in terms of the controls. Having a flat-six engine buzzing away over your shoulder is also quite an experience. The Cayman does manage to quiet down some once you're into higher gears - but the noise it makes at 4,000+ RPMs will probably keep you from wanting to grab the next gear.

After a day to think it over, on Veteran's Day I put in a full day at the office then headed back to Brumos that evening to pull the trigger on my first Porsche. The car itself was a 1 owner car with 43,905 miles when I picked it up. The Cayman is fairly stripped down with the only options being:

-18 inch wheels
- Colored Crests on the Center Caps
- Premium Sound Plus package
- Heated Seats
- 5 Speed Manual (Obviously!!!)
- Standard Black Paint over Sand Beige Leather Seats

The previous owner did quite a job on keeping the car both well-maintained and super clean. For a 5 year old car, the Cayman manages to hide its age on the outside while the interior feels basically brand new - I hope I can do it justice over my next few years of ownership.

So far over the course of the last three weeks the car has not disappointed. At just a hair over 2,900lbs and with Michelin Pilot Sports - the car's rear does not relinquish grip one iota. Fuel economy seems to be estimated at an enthusiast rating by Porsche at 19 City / 27 Highway(I've averaged 25 MPG on the highway at best) but perhaps it's my own prodigious right foot that's killing the economy.

All in all, it was time for a change - let's see if PCars will be as rewarding an enjoyable as BMW has been(and continues to be!) I've not left the BMW brand forever - but it was time for a change.

The Cayman will get it's first big test this weekend on my commute to the 12 Hours of Sebring, a 4 hour, 229 mile jaunt from Jacksonville to a tiny speck on the map of Central Florida. Be sure to keep an eye out on BMWBlog for our coverage of the 60th 12 Hours of Sebring and some photos to make an appearance here.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed the write up Andrew. Congrats again on a really nice P car. Enjoy it. :)