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Swapping 981 for BMW 240i

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Changing affiliation - with some regrets?  I have recently straight swapped my 2014 2.7 981 for a pre-reg 240i.  Maybe I should explain the change.  It may be that few will agree.  Just the thoughts of an old man.


Snags (I found) with the 981, (non S):

Engine relatively flat at low revs.  Inadequate torque, although on track, where revs rarely below 5000rpm, engine was and sounded terrific.  But high revving engine little use on normal roads at legal speeds.  

Car too noisy on road.  Just as well the sound system was poor - no need to spend on decent sound.

Rubbish headlights.  I know Porsche sell some decent, expensive lights, but they should be ashamed of sending any car out with the hopeless standard kit.

Car too low.  Again excellent on track, with rear end almost impossible to break loose.  But try to drive at on coming traffic with modern headlights where the cut-off of their dipped lights still catches you if low to the ground.

Too many tailgaters.  Every White Van man likes to drive about 2m behind if just bumbling along.

Tyres.  Porsche's insistence on 'n' tyres leaves so many cars on poor Pirelli tyres it under Porsche warranty, when superior Michelins would be far better.  We found the Pirellis turned to jelly after 3 laps at Anglesey.  They are also susceptible to cracking between the treads.

Tricky for a tall driver, especially like me who likes to lean back.  987 was even worse.

My son complained that the pedals were offset to the left too much, (can't say it bothered me).

My wife hated the electric parking brake.

Of course, there were plus points: 

Flat, superb cornering, hardly ever needing to brake on normal roads.

Lovely sound of engine at high revs.

Excellent brakes.  The only car i have run that did not require a brake upgrade for hard track use.

Will hold its value much better than the BMW over the years.

Good gearshift - not as wonderful as is often said, however.  Maybe because of inevitably long linkage.  









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Having a PDK CS and not being of the same stature the only negatives that I can relate to are the tailgaters and tyres.


I am tailgated in whatever car I drive if running at or below speed limits, it`s absolutely shocking / infuriating !


Having 20" wheels I fitted Michelin PS4S N0`s but did not find my cracked PZero N0`s wanting for grip, wet or dry. No road based tyre is going to perform `well` on track, even the PS4S is lacking over some of it`s predecessors I believe. I used Michelin  Cup 2`s (non N rated) when I had a previous CR at Anglesey, they were fine on the `good weather` trip to / from Aberdeen. I have also used road legal track tyres on other cars with no issues, wet weather included (Dunlop and Yokohama). 


I too looked a a 2 Series (last year), a manual M2 ...  I found it a shockingly poor ergonomic experience.


Best wishes with the new car, are you tracking it ? 

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Agree with Porsche headlights ugggh, they’re for decoration I swear.  My cars lowered and can’t say I’ve noticed being dazzled anymore than in other higher up cars. I bet now I’ll noticed it it’ll bother me, damn :D 


Funny you mention being targeted by tailgaters. I found the cayman attracts two car brands driven aggressively more than others, who want to have a “dice” off the line. Audi’s and ...BMWs :D . I’m a former BMW owner myself, BMWs were a great car, can’t say I’ve driven a modern one.  

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Perhaps the tone of my post was that of just a grumpy old man, (my excuse is that I am 77).  I acknowledged that the 981 had some excellent features.  As to the tyres, when I bought the car from a Porsche dealer, all the part worn Pirelli N0 tyres had inter-tread cracking.  I insisted on a new set.  Somewhat reluctantly, they agreed and fitted a new set of Pirelli N1s.  Perfectly adequate on the road, but I felt limited by the small choice, knowing that trading in to a Porsche dealer with non 'n' tyres would be seen to be a disadvantage.  


In the event, I did a swap with Sytner in Tamworth, the blue auto 240i having done about 100 miles.  A reduced period warranty (9 months of the 3 years effectively lost since it was registered) seemed more than offset by the £14k discount off the list price.  (I will pay for that in the rapid depreciation compared withe the 981).  


Thank you for the good wishes with the new car.  Interesting that whereas the 981 felt underpowered for its abilities, the 240i feels relatively overpowered, (no LSD, needs more front negative camber).  But as you said, an M2 better on track than public roads.  Better resist modifications, (warranty), so maybe only the occasional track day.

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  • 1 month later...

I get to try different BMWs when my wife's goes in for service...


We've had ten BMWs since 1986. Our last "driving machine" was the E46 3 series (three, 1999-2014). Tried a few later ones in 2015 (3 & 4 series) and they were dull barges. Had 2 series coupe and convertible loan cars in recent memory and not impressed by ride or handling, although BMW Sport seats are hard to beat for comfort (unlike their comfort seats - anything but).


I keep an eye on new BMWs, like the new 8 series and Z4, and look at what even the base 2 litre can do. Impressive 0-60s. But I do wonder for how long we can use this kind of power on our roads? 


When we had an Audi, one loan car was a 1.2 A1. Now that was briefly fun as I could wring its neck and feel like I was going fast without going fast. I recall a similar enjoyment in our 1975 MG Midget.


So, while we all enjoy the thrill of the flat 6 flat out, or BMW's straight 6, how often is this feasible? I think traffic, cameras, and "Big Brother" in general will have us all succumb eventually to being driven, with no control, in little boxes.


Meanwhile, is power and speed the be all and end all?


Track days for some relieve the everyday frustration, but 99% of the time it's just follow the car in front.


Anyway... Interesting you managed to swap for a, what, £44k car? How many miles had yours done?

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