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Sports Cars - The Definitive Discussion

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  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    Neither car impresses me, so the point still didn't get across.

    The problem with the Porsche is that while the Corvette--especially the C3's--was modeledafter the Great White shark, the 911 was modeled after a bullfrog.

    This:

    image

    Took its inspiration from this:

    image
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    paisan: " ... But my preference would be a more balanced car than a high HP RWD car on track. Brakes, handling and cost are all a factor in what to drive on track."

    Well we agree that it's the driver that counts. And I agree that cost, handling,
    power and brakes are all factors, if in slightly different order. My '02 C5 coupe was
    only $40k/$45k off the show floor depending on options in '01. That was comparable
    to the Boxster at the time at the low end but they option up quite a bit higher, and
    is comparable on track to base model 911s, which started at $75k at the time.
    Then again S2000s were less and with mods, especially tires can go faster than
    all of the above.

    Enjoy your break from racing over the winter.


    Oh I didn't list them in the order. But one of the things we always teach to students in our programs is if you can't afford to walk away from the car you are bringing to the track, you shouldn't be bringing it to the track because in general there is no insurance for your car (some policy's do cover but in recent years they've been backing away from that). It's cool to take your street car for the first few events, til you realize you want to drive 9/10ths, at that point getting something in the sub-$10k range is advisable in the event you ball it up.

    As mentioned, tires, suspension, driver all play key factors in what car will be faster on track.

    Yup we are into the winter blues now. All the tracks here are closed now til we go down to VIR for a 3hr Enduro in Feb, that's our winter break race and then we won't start again til late march/early april.

    -mike
  • chrmdomechrmdome Posts: 107
    Greetings:

    Opinions are like....... oh ya, ...in my humble opinion: I spent $99,949.85 out the door (cash sale, I am truely fortunate! )in Oct 2005 on my ordered 2006 C2S coupe. The VAST majority of Porsche owners never will experience the true potential of their cars, the VAST majority of Vet owners are likely in the same boat. I checked out the 2006 Corvettes and did not like the quality or fit of the interior. I own 2 Chevy products.. so I really do like Chevy. I was looking for a number of things in a sports car besides the fit and finish that Porsche offers. I have seen and driven Boxsters; they are built like a bank vault and a fine watch in one package.
    Almost every auto critic places the 997 S in a world class arena with the best, but the issue, besides the superior build quality of my 997 S , that really strikes me, is the history, the legend, the heritage that surrounds Porsche. IMO Porsche defines a " sportscar ".; the 997 is a daily use sportscar. I will never drop my clutch at 5000rpm to do a 3.9 sec. 0-60 mph, but someone has and he did. There have been chronic Vet/ 911 comparisons which fall on my deaf ears. If you enjoy your Vet , more power to you..enjoy. I love my 997 S for many reasons.. it was a dream of mine for years......

    Chromedome
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    There's a Porsche ad running in Wall Street Journals lately about why Porsche has their ignition keys on the left of the steering wheel.
    The ad said, "When we started racing at 24-Hours of Lemans, we knew that every second counted. Our race car was vastly underpowered and did not have the power of the other cars, so realising how iportant time was, we put the ignition switch on the left side of the steering wheel, where it would be more accessible to the driver, freeing up his right hand for steering and engaging first gear. This is the level of attention and detail we give our cars, because in racing, every second counts."

    Now my question is this: Wouldn't Porsche actually win at LeMans if they stopped wasting their money and time on ignition switches and actually do something unprecidented and unthought of, like add horsepower to their cars?
  • You could make your "wasting time" comment about any component on any car, or for that matter, any human activity. ie, if you are not working on horse power, then it is a waste of time. I suppose that all the other engineers and marketers should just quit. On the other hand, if you just want Porsches to have more HP, many would agree. I wouldn't mind a few more ponies in my Carrera. But do I blame this on the ignition switch? Nope.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,391
    Now my question is this: Wouldn't Porsche actually win at LeMans if they stopped wasting their money and time on ignition switches and actually do something unprecidented and unthought of, like add horsepower to their cars?

    They did! Read the whole thing. It says their cars were under powered when they started racing. Once they started seriously making purpose built endurance racers in the late 60s and early 70s the HP count went up dramatically and they won at LeMans using the mighty 917 and kept winning for many years afterward. Porsche has more wins at LeMans than any other marque.
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    "They did! Read the whole thing. It says their cars were under powered when they started racing. Once they started seriously making purpose built endurance racers in the late 60s and early 70s the HP count went up dramatically and they won at LeMans using the mighty 917 and kept winning for many years afterward. Porsche has more wins at LeMans than any other marque."

    Porsche may have more wins at LeMans, but Porsche has also been racing that circuit since like around WWII, so it only stands to reason that they will have the most wins--they've been around the longest.
    Since the Corvette engaged in this prestigious endurance racing event, it won more podium finishes than anything else, regardless of class!
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Audi's LMP car may be the only exception.

    "Once they started seriously making purpose built endurance racers in the late 60s."

    You mean to tell me that "every second counts" in a race car that wasn't "purpose built" to begin with?
  • chrmdomechrmdome Posts: 107
    Greetings:

    Here is my advise/opinion. If you want to pick nits go check out some little preschoolers neck. You will never go past 100mph in your Corvette nor I in my Porsche. Too many comparisons are made between a rear engined 355 hp Porsche Carrera with a front engine 500hp Corvette. They are 2 different cars made for 2 different reasons. American muscle vs. European grace Subaru is made for off road racing, thus most models are 4 wheel drive. Porsche has raced in so many rally style races and has produced victory after victory. I would love to see a Corvette sliding aound some wet , curvey , pot hole filed , dirt road in the Black Forest. A lot of mud would be slung but no forward movement would be detectable. Different cars for different reasons and seasons. A corvette at the Tagra Floria...come on... by the way don't forget to grab your gold neck chain and the fake chest hair, your silk shirt opened to the navel,a pack of Camels and...oh ya grab Barbie too..because that is the perception of Corvette

    Chromedome
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You will never go past 100mph in your Corvette nor I in my Porsche.

    Why would you buy either of them then? I routinely take my 1994 Subaru Legacy with stock drivetrain and 150k miles on it up over 100mph, heck over 120mph at the track, as do other Porsche and Corvette drivers that I race/HPDE with.

    -mike
  • chrmdomechrmdome Posts: 107
    Greetings

    Paisan.. the vastly hugh majority of Porsche owners don't track them.. Here in California anyone caught speeding even 1 mph over 100mph are given the" go directly to jail card ". I do not have the skill nor the intention to track my 997 but I do enjoy the hell out of driving the car , detailing it and just sitting in it

    Chao

    Chromedome
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You should check out NASA and other car clubs that offer HPDEs which are High Performance Driving Events. You get both track time with an instructor as well as classroom time, which will give you some very very valuable skills for both on track and on-road driving. Well worth the ~$150-200 for the day to be able to open up your car w/o worrying about cops etc. The skills you learn will also improve your on-road safety. I know that after having done HPDEs I was a far more alert and safe driver on the road. Now I instruct students on track and it's great to see them have a blast and really learn how to drive the machines they spent so much hard earned money on.

    -mike
  • chrmdomechrmdome Posts: 107
    Mike:

    Thank you sir, you know, I might just do that . I have been fishing and golfing for the last 10 years and have been thinking about another "fun " thing. I might just do that, thanks

    Chromedome
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    chrmdome: "You will never go past 100mph in your Corvette nor I in my Porsche."

    As Mike noted, it is easy to get on track. I also instruct for several groups and
    have been on 4 tracks here in CA and two just across the border in NV. At the
    SCCA Buttonwillow track when we do configuration 25 CCW, even my stock LS1
    coupe gets just past 135mph. That's the fastest course I have driven, but at Sears
    Point I get between 100 and 110 at four places each lap which requires a great
    amount of continued concentration to keep up the pace for 20 minutes or so. It
    has helped my street driving since I am much more aware of what is going on
    around me and less worried about what I'm doing in my own car. I know what gear
    I'm in and which I would select if I needed to down shift at any given speed.
    Laguna Seca has two groups out this week and Thursday / Friday is sold out but
    always fun to watch.
    Randy

    BTW, I agree that comparing 355hp 911's to 500hp Vettes isn't to meaningful, but
    since I have a 350hp C5 coupe and get on track with 911's all the time, the chance
    to pass something that cost 50% more is worth a smile or two. :)
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FullTests/articleId=123805

    Interesting take on the latest offering. I'm not sure I would encourage the idea of
    even a slight drift on freeway onramps and even the best stability control will some
    times lose it. Take it to the track if you want to find limits.

    As for comparisons, Edmunds provides the link to the Carrera S from the spec page
    for the 2008 Vette. $56k vs. $86k as tested and since everyone scoffs at 0-60
    times, lets ignore that. There is always the skid pad .95 vs. .92 with the Vette on
    GY EMT's and the the Porsche is on Michelin PS II's. How does that leaf spring
    pull that off when they have about the same curb weight according to the specs?
    Did I say 50% more, earlier? Guess I was being nice.
    Randy
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Even though it uses leaf springs, the rear suspension is still indy.

    I've heard that be debated a dozen times.
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    Gentlemen, to get an idea of chrmdome's thinking about his Porsche, just go to the Porsche 911 forum and click on my (read only), "The Ignition is on the Left" post. Entertainment in the extreme.

    Anyway. Chromedome is unaware of Corvette's chassis architecture: The Corvette is a mid-engine sportscar; not a front-engine car (Technically, the Corvette is a "Mid/front engine" car, since the engine is located front of the driver, but behind the front axle, thus a mid-engine car. In like manner, something like the Porsche Cayman or Acura NSX is also a mid engine car but a mid/rear engine car, since the engine is located behind the driver, but before the rear axle; thus, a mid-engine car)

    Also, garden variety Porsche models tend to have steel frames, iron engine components like iron connecting rods, lots of interior plastics and heavy, steel components used genorously elsewhere.
    OTOH, the Corvette Z06 model tends to have carbon fiber chassis componentry, titanium engine components, hydroformed aluminum frames and composite suspension components. That's why the car has the world's most powerful natually-aspirated engine and the car weighs just 50 pounds more than a Honda S2000 (3,000 lbs versus 2,950 lbs) and wins comparison test after comparison test (Ferrari didn't even agree to enter their F430 in Road and Track's comparison test unless it was compared against the base $45,000 corvette and not the $70,000 Z06 and even then the Vette came in 2nd-place out of 5 cars) not to mention winning endurance race after endurance race.

    And since the Porsche models are made out of iron and steel whereas the Corvette is carbon fiber and titanium, the Porsche is the muscle car here, while the Corvette is the envy of the automotive world.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "the Corvette is the envy of the automotive world."

    Only when Porsche and Ferrari develop their own cheap plastic interiors, notchy shifters, numb steering, and leaf-spring suspensions can they cease envying the exalted Chevrolet.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Dec 06, 2007 12:45 am)

    "the Corvette is the envy of the automotive world."

    Only when Porsche and Ferrari develop their own cheap plastic interiors, notchy shifters, numb steering, and leaf-spring suspensions can they cease envying the exalted Chevrolet.


    Well put. To each his own though. Sometimes people are ledgends in their own mind ;) This debate is not likely to get solved here or anywhere. Some people like the vette, some don't. Then again I get into debates on a few hi-performance boat boards that I'm on about how buying a non-american truck is anti-american, when in fact a lot of "american" trucks are made in Canada and Mexico, whereas a lot of the "japanese" trucks are made in the US.

    -mike
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    True.

    For the record, I like the Corvette a lot. I just believe that you get what you pay for, and there's a reason why the Vette "only" costs $45,000.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,391
    for as long as there have been Corvettes so it is not likely to be resolved any time soon. I must've spent half my college years ('61-'65) arguing the merits of Big Healeys and Jags vs.'Vettes (back then Porsches were just oddball little cars with the motor in the wrong end.).

    I like Corvettes and admire their current commitment to balance and lightness but I think I'm too Euro-oriented to ever buy one but that could change if the ever get the fuel consumption down to a reasonable level for a world of $3.00+ gasoline.
This discussion has been closed.