Why would you want a 'softer sportscar?' You clearly want some summer FUN. I have had mercs for 6 years and absolutely LOVE my MY08 S Class. It has every option available and is just a dream to be in.
However when the suns out and I want to play would I want a soft sportscar when I drive that everyday or a CLS?? I don't think so. I have just sold my S2 Elise for a Boxster S and that in my opinion might be on the soft side. A SLK/CLK/or A4 Cab would nearly defeat the object - the SLK happens to be the most boring sportscar I have ever driven.
As for st4's claim about a GT3 - he is right they are awesome but what is your budget? And how useable does the car need to be? If you are looking at 996 money do consider. Infact no, do test drive a Boxster S- it may surprise you how much better it handles then a 911 and also how little you notice the difference in power.
It's your choice but porsches are great cars and if your after a proper sportscar theres not much if anything thats better.
The OP doesn't give much away as to why he's looking for a 911 966.
But I agree with ST4, I wouldn't look at the 911 as my first choice, for the reasons he mentioned. Cars designed to be a convertible from the beginning tend to be better. Removing a roof removes at least 1/3 of the torsional stiffness, so to counter this the OEMS heavily reinforce the sills and floor with high-tech scaffolding, which is rather weight inefficient!
Each person has his/her own opinion as to what makes summer fun. For me, it'd ride and handling with wind in my hair. Few cars if any can beat the MX5 for that when it comes down to value for money. But I suspect the OP would rather some beefy engine under the bonnet.
An S2000, nice. My pal is in the market for a second car and he may start looking at S2000's. I alas can just afford 1 motor at present
The S2000 is reputed to have once of the nicest manual gearboxes ever, which is just as well, as its a screamer of an engine developing peak torque well above 4krpm and peak power nearer 8k rpm. Outstanding fun on twisty roads I should imagine.
This is a good forum to be a part of, I'd advocate being a member of both, as they each have their own different set of members that set them apart, and this one is a bit more technical and informative. There are other issues with MBClub too and Ive found the level of general lively chat/debates/discussion has shrunk right back over the last month or two which is a shame.
I used to own a Prelude 2.2Vti and friends have owned CRX 1.6 Vti, both Mk1 and Mk2 and I only ever hear good things about the reliability, cost of ownership and dealerships. Not words often associated with MB sadly.
(Sorry to the OP for hijacking the thread)
I joined both forums at the same time, but found the other forum full of banter, that I was after. But it's clear from my brief visit here that there is a lot of good technical knowledge too
The mods on the other forum have been rather tetchy lately, but I think that will mellow now and I hope the normal forum member and banter will return.