I have been fortunate to have had the opportunities to drive a 2005 corvette six speed over the fourth of July Weekend. I was even more fortunate to be able to have a 2005 Porsche 911 “base” but with 10k worth of options two weekends ago where I was also able to put a few hundred miles on it.
The following is intended to share my overall opinions on these cars as compared to the ///M5.
2005 C6 Corvette Six Speed:
I have been a Corvette fan for a long time and was even looking at purchasing one for a while before I found the ///M5. I had driven a couple and they had left me longing for more but I sort of wrote it off as not having spent enough time in the car (we all know how test drives go) but this time I had my way. Now several days with no one telling me where to go and what not to do in this car is a different story. The end result: I no longer have any interest in owning a corvette, not even as a toy.
Don’t get me wrong, the car is great for what you pay for it but it lacks feel and it lacks soul. I don’t know how else to explain it. The clutch and the transmission dare I say seem a bit better than the ///M5 and overall shifting gears is quite pleasant, no notchiness. The clutch is relatively light, and the car has gobbles of torque on a noticeably lighter frame. Steering on the other hand is not very precise and to me did not inspire confidence. I drove the car in the triple digits several times and for some reason did not “feel” safe doing so. I felt like I really had to work to make sure the car was gonna stay on track. Something I have never experienced in the 330i nor in the ///M5 nor the 911.
Practicality is obviously zero as you can’t really fit anyone or anything for that matter in the back. And lastly, although the vette is not a big car, it feels like it is much larger than it is and also you feel like you are sitting in a bath tub (I personally did not feel the same way in the 911).
2005 997 Porsche 911 Six Speed:
The 911 – what can I say – I am in love! First the bad: this car must have one of the heaviest clutches I have ever driven. The only other car I can think of that was heavier was a 996 turbo I drove some years ago. Second bad is the car is obviously not as quiet as the ///M5 and it was obvious that the $80k spent on this vehicle mainly went into engineering the drive components and not the interior. Lastly, forget about using this car to go to Home Depot. You can carry a weekend’s worth of luggage between the front “trunk” and the back seats but that is about it. Still better space than the Corvette though. But again, I am still in love. Even as I write this I can still feel this car. Aaagh. Ok, I just wiped myself, sorry…
Now the good – I will make it simple: as far as driving goes, this car is quite perfect. Shifts are precise and easy (once the heavy clutch shock wears out). The weight of the vehicle is relatively low and makes the car easy to flick around in corners. The size of the vehicle is relatively small so it is easy to drive it around. The handling is excellent while the suspension is never harsh (although a lot harder suspension than the ///M5). However you do hear and feel every thud over bumps etc. The steering is great both in feel and weight, better than the ///M5. The breaks are great, better than the ///M5. I wish there was a little more grunt and a bit more torque at low rpm’s which both the vette and the ///M5 have plenty of and the 911 lacks. This is workable so long as you remember to press the gas further down than what I am used to before taking off.
I can only imagine what the turbo feels like. I can honestly say that as far as pure driving pleasure this is one of the best cars I have ever driven. I can only imagine how an F430 Challenge Stradale would feel.
Now the really bad news: I neither can afford a turbo nor can I really live with just this car. If I had one of the these it would most likely have to be a second car which of course means that I would be stuck having two cars… oh, well. [/font]
And the final lesson, I still love the ///M5. It is phenomenal overall car. Not the best driver’s car, and not the biggest car out there, but if practicality and sport are at the top of your list it is very hard if not impossible to beat. it may be one car that I would consider just keeping. Only time will tell.
K40 vs. Valentine 1
FOR ALL OF YOU THAT ARE PLANNING TO INSTALL A K40 – PLEASE DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. I used both in the Porsche (which already had the k40) and even my girlfriend commented on how much more superior the v1 is and how much sooner it alerted.
* Do you get more false alarms with the v1 – yes.
* Do you get warned of real danger several seconds before the k40 – absolutely.
* Is it worth dealing with the falses to have extra time when you are doing triple digits – every single annoyance in my opinion.
V1 wins another one.