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  1. #1
    A Quest for Aesthetics! DTRrex's Avatar
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    High Performance AWD Vehicle with Back Seats

    Hey, all. IB TLDR

    Due to the Covid-19 thing, I can't exactly go to car meets to talk to folks or test drive stuff, so in the mean-time I figured I would see what some fellow enthusiasts thought.

    Car history to frame my perspective:

    '96 Nissan Maxima GLE 4AT
    - Intake and exhaust
    - Loved the platform of back when these were actual sport sedans at 3,100 lbs or less but wanted a manual.
    - Owned for 6 months.

    '97 Nissan Maxima SE 5MT
    - Supercharged, bolt ons, suspension, etc
    - Enjoyed the car but wanted some more nimble and hated fighting for traction
    - Owned for 1.5 years.

    '96 Acura Integra GSR 5MT
    - Full bolt ons and suspension
    - Realized while it was fun and light, to get the power I wanted I would have to boost it and then I would have the same issue as the Maxima... pushing too much power through the front wheels.
    - Owned for 1 year.

    2002 WRX 5MT
    - Upgraded turbo and all supporting mods possible. Everything short of building the motor. Only about 300whp but in the early-mid 2000's that meant beating Vettes and playing with cars that cost 3-4x as much.
    - Loved this car. Owned it forever and although hated the interior refinement loved the car and it saw me to 175k miles without any major issue.
    - Owned 13 years and would still probably own it as a side/fun build project if it wasn't totaled from a simple rear-ending

    2016 M235i Xdrive ZF-8spd atuo (current car)
    - Exhaust and tune, sitting around 350whp/370wtq. Nothing to write home about, but with the Xdrive it can be surprisingly quick.

    Although I like my current car, I am just not... in love with it. It's better than my WRX in nearly every way. Faster, better interior, AWD system that allows oversteer, more compliant ride, etc... But it doesn't have SOUL. It's my first auto trans in 15+ years and although I really appreciate the cool feeling of banging gears instantly and always staying in boost, it doesn't have the same gratification of a car that rows it's own gear or is a TRUE performance car. M235 is performance car lite.

    My requirements are something that is AWD. I live in an area where snow is possible 7+ months out of the year. Yes, I know RWD with good snows does just fine, but it's not just about winter... I am looking at cars with high HP and get annoyed by cars that cannot put their power down. For instance, I rented a F80 (2016) M3 Competition with Stage 1 tune. This was making roughly 450-500 WHP and was a 6MT. The first 2 gears were useless under anything more than full throttle. I was breaking tires loose at 45 mph on freeway ramps. No thanks.

    I also want back seats. Doesn't have to be useable backseats per say, but something. Just that extra convenience of throwing my gym bag in the back seat rather than opening the trunk or something like I would do in a 2-seater. I like sedans, and definitely love performance sedans, but I also appreciate the lines of coupe and am fine with that.

    I miss a manual trans. I think if a car had high enough performance I could overlook it not having a manual trans, but I really do miss it. So I don't require a manual trans in the new car, but I do require it to be bonkers enough to make me forget about the lure of rowing my own gears.

    So end of the day I've narrowed down this, and budget is up to $80k ish. Would love feedback and engagement from fellow enthusiasts!

    Audi RS3
    - Low 12's out of the box, 4 door practicality, new 2021 interior looks so much better, fully warranty, insane modability that sees low 11's / high 10's on bolt ons and tune. But it also looks like a Jetta, Haldex AWD understeers, and it lacks a manual.

    BMW M340i Xdrive
    - Simlar to RS3. Low 12's out of the box, warranty is always nice on Germans, can be modded for near supercar performance with a couple grand, and in my opinion looks better than the RS3. But it also looks like every 3-series out there, is auto, and would lack the handling prowess of other options mentioned.

    Nissan GTR (2012-2015)
    - Performance that puts many super cars to shame, bargain USED performance buy of the century, exotic supercar performance at a discount with much cheaper maintenance. But, no warranty, looks cool sometimes but other times looks like a try-hard car, no manual, extremely unrefined compared to newer options here (but yes, you get much better performance... it's a trade-off)

    Early 2000's Porsche 911 4s / 911 T
    - Here I am for sure striking that golden mid-point. Porsche dynamics, refined interior, high performance, etc... etc... They're legendary and revered for a reason. I could potentially get a AWD 4S or Turbo WITH a manual trans. Kinda of the best of all worlds, right? But they've also been climbing in value like gangbusters recently and I do OK, but I have a very hard time swallowing $80k for a nearly 20 year old car with German replacement costs (I know Porsche is notoriously reliable, but things happen and it's not cheap say vs a GTR)

    G80 (2021+ M3/M4)
    - Will have near supercar capability, will finally offer AWD, will get a warranty, and new BMW interior pretty solid. But, they're not making it possible to get AWD with the 6MT and I am already in a ZF 8-speed Bimmer that leaves me wanting for more.

    M235
    - I could mod my current car. Sure, I am getting bored with it. But it's still a good car and with more exhaust work and tune work I can see 400WHP/420WTQ on a car that's basically paid off. Maintenance and repair costs not-withstanding.

    For anyone saying keep my current my car and buy a weekend toy like a Cayman, Supercharged Miata, etc... I live in one of the densest cities and parking is an expensive commodity. I currently have my Bimmer and my female has a GMC Denali SUV for hauling... a 3rd car in addition to the cost of car would potentially incur $300+ a month just in parking... hence my desire for a "do-it-all" car.

    Thanks, all!!
    Last edited by DTRrex; 05-11-2020 at 11:39 AM.
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  2. #2
    anonymous
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    GTR if its an option, none of the rest compare except the rs3 and that's not got the ceiling or prestige of the GTR
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  3. #3
    A Quest for Aesthetics! DTRrex's Avatar
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    As an aside,

    I really do miss manual trans, but there's so few AWD manual cars pushing 500hp. And I don't want to exactly buy a STI or older S4 and mod the piss out of it so it's in the shop non stop.

    I tend to get carried away easily, but I have been absolutely enamored by the GTR recently. It looks a little goofy, the interior is garbage, the trans leaves a lot to be desired by modern DCT's, but but it's just absolutely bonkers that you can scoop up a 2012-2016 that has modern day supercar performance for under $100k.

    Also, for the record, I walk to work so I don't daily drive. My vehicle is literally for night/weekend drives of enjoyment, maybe some activities in Mexico, and going to visit family outside the city around 50mi away a few times a month.
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    God loves you Venom08's Avatar
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    Go for an Audi RS5 sportback or RS3, I have an S3 and love it. It's the most surprisingly fun car I've ever driven, and I drove around in a 2014 BE GTR for four years.
    Or, tbqh, look into a Mercedes E63 AMG. There are even used S63 AMGs in the $70-$80k range with remaining warranties.
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by Podunks View Post
    You forgot RS7, or TTRS.

    The RS7 is going to be the fastest car in your budget, that fits your criteria. Throw $5k in upgrades and pretty much nothing on the road will be able to touch you under normal driving conditions.

    The TTRS is going for feel more sporty, and is almost equally as moddable, while still having backseats and a hatch back.
    Yeah but I meant what was on his poverty list lmao

    The g80 might be good but since its not out yet it was rs3 or gtr

    Edit- one of our directors has a new rs7, beautiful car
    (But i think its the 2018)
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    RN and vette crew 1QWIK7's Avatar
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    E63 AMG

    /thread.


    Or GTR as it's the best car you listed.
    Schooling everyone that has to do with automotive one brah at a time. It's tiring but someone gotta do it lol


    I have a manual car but auto IS WAY BETTER THESE DAYS. ACCEPT THE FACTS BRAHS! LOL
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  7. #7
    A Quest for Aesthetics! DTRrex's Avatar
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    Has anyone come from a manual trans and a car like the GTR created a convert?
    Ironically, the GTR auto is known to be clunkly, but at the same time, epic. Is the GTR performance enough to mitigate the desire for a manual trans......
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    RN and vette crew 1QWIK7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DTRrex View Post
    Has anyone come from a manual trans and a car like the GTR created a convert?
    Ironically, the GTR auto is known to be clunkly, but at the same time, epic. Is the GTR performance enough to mitigate the desire for a manual trans......
    I've driven it.

    The DCT is amazing but a bit "outdated" when you compare it to modern day DCT's.

    I don't know if they improved it over the years but i have driven a 2010, 2013 and a 2016 GTR. It's the same.

    The trans, if you use manual mode (with paddles), it is AMAZING. However if you leave it in auto and you just floor it, it's good just not great.
    Schooling everyone that has to do with automotive one brah at a time. It's tiring but someone gotta do it lol


    I have a manual car but auto IS WAY BETTER THESE DAYS. ACCEPT THE FACTS BRAHS! LOL
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  9. #9
    A Quest for Aesthetics! DTRrex's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Venom08 View Post
    Go for an Audi RS5 sportback or RS3, I have an S3 and love it. It's the most surprisingly fun car I've ever driven, and I drove around in a 2014 BE GTR for four years.
    Or, tbqh, look into a Mercedes E63 AMG. There are even used S63 AMGs in the $70-$80k range with remaining warranties.
    I test drove the S3 a few years ago when I got my M235. I liked the car, but in the end the I6 and handling dynamics won me over.

    I'm really surprised to hear you went from a GTR to a S3 and are happy with the S3. It's no disrespect to the S3, just that the GTR is leagues above.

    I'd love to hear a little more insight on the experience with the GTR and the now S3.

    Thanks,
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    A Quest for Aesthetics! DTRrex's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Podunks View Post
    Gotcha, I figured he was asking about any options, and just listed out what he had come up with so far.

    But yeah, if his list were my only options, I would probably go with the GTR.
    I'm open to other options for sure.

    Those were just the ones that I've been moreso mulling over. RS7 is a big car and I'd prefer something a bit lighter and more dynamic. TTRS is a hell of a car but I hate the lack of an entertainment stack and solely using the digital dash to control most things. Also, not a fan of the looks.

    Is a fast AWD/Manual trans car that hard to find these days unless you go 5+ years used and still pay out of the nose? I wish I didn't hate how the Golf R looked or I would just scoop one of those up and mod the piss out of it.
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    Couple year old Panamera 4 (2017 is the new body style which is fantastic). They feel MUCH smaller than they are.

    911 back seat is just storage...ain't nobody sitting there.
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    RN and vette crew 1QWIK7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Retoaded View Post
    Couple year old Panamera 4 (2017 is the new body style which is fantastic). They feel MUCH smaller than they are.

    911 back seat is just storage...ain't nobody sitting there.
    Yeahhhhhhh. Now we're talking.

    I can't rep you because i forgot i already did lol
    Schooling everyone that has to do with automotive one brah at a time. It's tiring but someone gotta do it lol


    I have a manual car but auto IS WAY BETTER THESE DAYS. ACCEPT THE FACTS BRAHS! LOL
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    Tuned Golf R checkin' in


    The RS3 is badass, and the haldex gets way more flak then it deserves. Biggest issue with understeer is that 5-cyl hanging out over the front axle but you still would have to be hauling ass to notice it. I've driven a buddies S3 in snow and it hangs the ass out no problem under power, super fun. I can get my R to do the same in the rain but only on tight turns, otherwise when you lean on it in sweepers you're balancing it in a 4 wheel drift. The new RS3 will have a more rear-biased haldex programming as well and I'm assuming will have similar setup adjustments to what I've done to my R to get it rotating easier.



    I'm prob gunna upgrade to the new RS3 whenever it comes out, could be a year or two off ez though since they only just launched the A3 sedan.


    The RS3 version is prob gunna look so fukking good though and I've heard Audi took this new gen srs in the performance side of things to bring it to BMW in the segment, they finally implemented the flared wheel arch/fenders from the outset too hnng


    Last edited by iifymbro; 05-11-2020 at 03:41 PM.
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    A Quest for Aesthetics! DTRrex's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Retoaded View Post
    Couple year old Panamera 4 (2017 is the new body style which is fantastic). They feel MUCH smaller than they are.

    911 back seat is just storage...ain't nobody sitting there.
    I wish I could get in line with a Panamera, but it just doesn't do it for me. Something about the looks, for me personally, is a definite no-go. If I wanted a heavy VAG product that lacked theater, I would go with a RS7 or RS5 Sportback 10/10 times.

    I get your comment about 911 back seat storage... but I don't have kids and I mostly just like a backseat for easy storage rather than carrying people (unless in a quick pinch). My M235 back seats aren't bad, I've had a few people back there for up to an hour or so without any real complaints. I get that cars like the 911 and GTR aren't really made to carry adults, but for the bonkers performance, I can make that sacrifice.

    Of course, it leaves a lot to be said for the RS3 and M3 where you get an actual back seat and still great performance.
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    A Quest for Aesthetics! DTRrex's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Podunks View Post
    Test drive the TTRS, the interior is a REALLY nice place to be, and the mods for them can turn them into 9 sec cars. It's like a baby R8 with storage space.



    APR Stage 2 TT RS goes 9.82@140.17 MPH in the quarter, 2.3 0-60


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFVt0TpK9lQ







    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC89zmy8dUE
    I do have a buddy with a TTRS (older version with the 6MT) and he loves it.

    I can see where people think the TTRS is worlds better looking than the RS3, but it's not so much for me. I can't say until I test drive, but a new TTRS and RS3 are very similar in performance and price, and although you take on a slight weight penalty with the RS3, you get an actual entertainment stack and 4 doors. And in my opinion, the RS3 looks just as good, if not better. That's why I've always geared toward the RS3 over a TTRS. Again though, haven't driven them and I have to image the handling and driving dynamics in the TTRS are superior.
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    A Quest for Aesthetics! DTRrex's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Podunks View Post
    Test drive the TTRS, the interior is a REALLY nice place to be, and the mods for them can turn them into 9 sec cars. It's like a baby R8 with storage space.



    APR Stage 2 TT RS goes 9.82@140.17 MPH in the quarter, 2.3 0-60


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFVt0TpK9lQ







    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC89zmy8dUE
    I do have a buddy with a TTRS (older version with the 6MT) and he loves it.

    I can see where people think the TTRS is worlds better looking than the RS3, but it's not so much for me. I can't say until I test drive, but a new TTRS and RS3 are very similar in performance and price, and although you take on a slight weight penalty with the RS3, you get an actual entertainment stack and 4 doors. And in my opinion, the RS3 looks just as good, if not better. That's why I've always geared toward the RS3 over a TTRS. Again though, haven't driven them and I have to image the handling and driving dynamics in the TTRS are superior.
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    A Quest for Aesthetics! DTRrex's Avatar
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    Seeing as a few people have highlighted the RS3 and no one has mentioned the M340, ya'll aren't so keen on the M340?

    I only ask because out of the box both are AWD, both do 0-60 in high 3's, both run low 12's stock and knock a fully second off that with simple exhaust and tune. The RS3 is great, no doubt, and a top contender, but just wondering why the M340 gets less love with an arguably better AWD system, more room, and similar performance for the same price.

    Also, I've scouring GTR forums the last couple days... the desire is getting real.
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    Registered User iifymbro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DTRrex View Post
    Seeing as a few people have highlighted the RS3 and no one has mentioned the M340, ya'll aren't so keen on the M340?

    I only ask because out of the box both are AWD, both do 0-60 in high 3's, both run low 12's stock and knock a fully second off that with simple exhaust and tune. The RS3 is great, no doubt, and a top contender, but just wondering why the M340 gets less love with an arguably better AWD system, more room, and similar performance for the same price.

    Also, I've scouring GTR forums the last couple days... the desire is getting real.
    forgot about the M340, lol. The new gen 3 series seems pretty nice, def should cross shop it w/ a RS3
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    manual, AWD, high performance...that mainly just leaves Audi and some BMWs, unless you want to go back to subaru

    if manual isn't a must, then GTR is hard to beat. and i wouldn't care too much about "try hard" image, you got GTR.
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    Thanks, all.

    Going to do some test drives when all this COVID craziness settles down.

    I've done a fair bit of thinking and have some thoughts on my original list, which nixed some those options:

    Audi RS3
    - Still in contention. I love the front-end and the new 2021 interior looks great (the previous interiors are just too spartan for me). I know they understeer and all, but I can mod some of that out and I would rather have a little understeer rather than snap-oversteer. Still a little bland looking for my tastes, and no manual, but hard to argue with the subtle sportiness and incredible tuning potential.

    BMW M340i Xdrive
    - Decided this car wouldn't be right for me. It's pretty big (current 3 series is the size of a 5 series just 6 or 7 years ago). I love the B58 motor in it and I think it gets overlooked a lot (basically RS3 performance), but it looks like every other BMW on the road and I HATE HATE HATE the new digital dash with that stupid reverse "C" tach. It's a great car, but about half of the ones I have seen being driven around are by women in their 40's. Which is kinda funny how times have changed... Women who probably don't give a crap about high performance, but wanted the "sporty" version of the 3-series are driving around in sub 4sec 0-60 and low 12sec rockets without even realizing it.

    Nissan GTR (2012-2015)
    - Still in contention and honestly probably my #1 choice right now. The power and potential is just INSANE, exhaust work makes them absolutely intoxicating, and from all my research they're incredibly reliable... especially for a car that challenges exotics for a living. Not too big on the interior, but I am still young at 34 and I don't have kids and don't commute to work. I figure I can worry about refinement in my 40's or 50's... for now, I just want a fun car that is somewhat comfortable to drive.

    Early 2000's Porsche 911 4s / 911 T
    - Striking this. The more and more I think about it (and this ties into the GTR stuff above), I just don't think I am ready to be that stereotypical 911 guy. Don't get me wrong, it is iconic sport car/supercar and does everything so well. But in Chicago there is a 911 on every corner. They are so common and every professional who has "made it" inevitable picks up 911 and although the car isn't boring, I just feel like it's a boring choice. Maybe in 10 years a newer 911 Turbo S would make sense? It sucks because it's one of the only AWD + Manual high performance cars out there, but for some reason a tuned GTR just seems like it would be way more fun.

    G80 (2021+ M3/M4)
    - Still in contention, but early pricing estimates are putting these nearly $90k with the AWD and solid options. And it's a newer unproven platform so reliability is going to be a question. Just not sure the car would justify a $20k+ over a new RS3 on gently used GTR.

    The GTR is just seemingly like too good of an option to pass up. It's not cheap by any means, and I would need to get over the interior and refinement issues, but it's legit supercar performance and Japanese reliability wrapped into an awesome Godzilla package. Can't wait to test drive one or rent one on Turo when things settle down.
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    I have an 18 Panamera turbo as a daily driver, 911 would have been my first choice but im always driving around with my toddler so I had to get a back seat & space for conveniency while not sacrificing much performance. The 2018s & up look more like the 911 with the rear updates & there are also stock and aftermarket body kit parts for them now to make them look more aggressive. I have random **** like massage seats, adaptive cruise/traffic control with lane keep so it basically can self drive, brake or etc properly with no feedback needed except it'll alert after a couple seconds to start touching the wheel again lol. Turns heads although it might be because its all blue with blue rims, but even when getting pulled over(smh) the cop was saying he didnt even know porsche made 4 door sports cars(even though its a Sedan).
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    You best bet is probably BMW. It has everything you're looking. It will compete with everything listed in this thread, if not win. Manual, 4 doors, gobs of power on the table.

    Have you thought about the Ford Focus RS? Poverty I know, Not as luxurious, but it's got 4 doors, crazy mod support, and manual transmission.
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    Originally Posted by MikeLowrrrey View Post
    You best bet is probably BMW. It has everything you're looking. It will compete with everything listed in this thread, if not win. Manual, 4 doors, gobs of power on the table.

    Have you thought about the Ford Focus RS? Poverty I know, Not as luxurious, but it's got 4 doors, crazy mod support, and manual transmission.
    There's no such thing as a manual 4 door AWD BMW with a 6MT and gobs of power anymore. New M3/M4 will only be RWD w/ 6MT and if you want AWD you need to accept ZF8.

    If BMW was going to bring an AWD M3 with 6MT... discussion over. I'd be the first in line with my deposit.

    Focus RS was doomed from the start. Crap reliability, crap powertrain, and I would have to drop $15k to make it even remotely competitive with a basic stage 1 RS3 or GTR. And at the end of the day, I'm still driving a focus. I'd much rather pay the extra and lose the 6MT to drive something like an RS3 or GTR over a modded Focus RS that could blow up at any minute. Hell, it's disgusting looking, but I would sooner pay that amount for a Civic Type R (but I won't).

    I do like and respect the RS though. Wish Ford would keep making it.
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    Originally Posted by nckid View Post
    I have an 18 Panamera turbo as a daily driver, 911 would have been my first choice but im always driving around with my toddler so I had to get a back seat & space for conveniency while not sacrificing much performance. The 2018s & up look more like the 911 with the rear updates & there are also stock and aftermarket body kit parts for them now to make them look more aggressive. I have random **** like massage seats, adaptive cruise/traffic control with lane keep so it basically can self drive, brake or etc properly with no feedback needed except it'll alert after a couple seconds to start touching the wheel again lol. Turns heads although it might be because its all blue with blue rims, but even when getting pulled over(smh) the cop was saying he didnt even know porsche made 4 door sports cars(even though its a Sedan).
    Nicceeeeee.

    Any pics?
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    Originally Posted by 1QWIK7 View Post
    Nicceeeeee.

    Any pics?
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    Originally Posted by nckid View Post
    You know what? I like it!

    Cars like that can pull off that look. Although it does look like you edited in the color of the wheels lol. It doesn't look real.

    But either way, i love those cars. I'm starting to appreciate the fast 4 door sedans now. I guess i'm getting old lol
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    Originally Posted by 1QWIK7 View Post
    You know what? I like it!

    Cars like that can pull off that look. Although it does look like you edited in the color of the wheels lol. It doesn't look real.

    But either way, i love those cars. I'm starting to appreciate the fast 4 door sedans now. I guess i'm getting old lol
    Lmao yeah it does have a "ricer" look to it in photos, but it was factory done so the paint looks a lot better/matched in person or probably if I took a better quality pic lol. I always wanted a 911/two door awd fast vehicle, but had to go with 4 doors as im getting old and have a toddler always with me too lol. It has massage seats and a bunch of other random ****, smokes damn near anything I'll ever come across on the street and is comfortable so im happy though.
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