The Porsche File Porsche-o-phile

2003 911 Carrera 4S spring change

Not a very exciting sounding blog post I know, but it could be an important one for the car stable here at Humphries Towers. After a recent service (and with a pricey IMS bearing upgrade looming) it is decision time whether to keep the car and drive it more frequently (probably at the expense of the Lexus) or sell it and move on. We love our C4S, but modern car parks and 'public spaces' have made it's sportiness (read very low ride height) less practical for use as a daily driver.

A very kind PCV club member offered me a set of his 996 Turbo springs which would alter the ride height but shouldn't be so drastic as to lose the C4S's edge. Now the original Cargraphics springs have been replaced it has made a significant difference to the look and feel of the car. Read on for my thoughts so far.

C4S Spring (5)

First off, the car looks like it is on stilts! The back looks 'jacked up', the front less so but overall it looks much taller and narrower… The tape tells a slightly different story. Measurements taken from the top of the wheel arches front and rear have them now about equidistant from the ground, whereas previously the front was actually 10mm higher than the rear accentuating the rear squat. In total, the front has risen about 17mm and the rear 27mm. It is amazing how a change of about an inch in the old money can have such a profound visual effect. The jury is very much out on the new 'look'…

I haven't found a steep driveway / speed hump to check the front clearance yet, but gains of around 17-18mm should help considerably in all but the worst of inclines.

In terms of drivability, after a brief 15 minute test late yesterday afternoon, the car drives quite differently as well. It has a noticeably smoother ride, with the bumps still clearly felt, but the regular 'crashing' over the worst imperfections seems to have gone. This improves the quietness of the cabin as well. The steering is now less razor-sharp and slightly lighter at the wheel giving the car a more touring feel. Added to that is some increased body roll in corners and greater 'dive' under hard braking. All that sounds a bit negative but it isn't. The car was previously quite extreme, and I guess it is now just on the sharp side of normal.

So to summarise, our 911 C4S is now more practical and in many ways drives better but looks clearly worse. As a car we bought because it looked so awesome, this is a difficult situation requiring more time to come to a final position. Worst case scenario is a modest invoice to revert back… Then go to Plan B...

Thanks to the team at Jocaro Motors for their prompt installation work and measurements, and to David for the offer of the springs.

If my impressions change over the coming weeks, I will post updates here.

Update #1: Robin drove home from dinner tonight (Tuesday) in the C4S and her views were not at all similar to mine…. Perhaps the changes were more subtle than I had previously hoped / reported.