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Quote:
Originally posted by dd74


Sure, they'll continue the rear-engine design, but aside from the GT-3, I wouldn't call the current iteration a true performance car, weight wise and power equipment/luxury wise.

A new, stock 996 will absolutely mop the pavement w/ any stock 911 that came before it, equal drivers/same track. You can not like the car all you want, but to say that it is not "a true performance car" begs the question of how you define performance(?)

Old 01-02-2004, 11:00 PM
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tatra built some big rear engine cars, and aircooled too. Its last incarnation being the ugly T700.



Year of production 1996 - present
Type of engine 90º V8-petrol engine
Engine cooling air-cooled
Location of engine rear engine over rear axle
Cylinder capacity 3495 cm³
Maximum output 147,6 kW (200 HP) @ 5750 rpm
Maximum speed 230 km/h
Permanent speed 190 km/h
Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h 10,8 s
Number of seats 4
Body type monocoque

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Old 01-02-2004, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by turbo dave
A mid engined car must be a two-seater (okay, there have been a couple three-seaters, but not many), with very little luggage space. The rear-engined layout is such a livable design, and they still seem to be able to take it to the 360's in sportscar racing...
Think Ferrari Mondial, mid-engined, 4 seater.
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Old 01-02-2004, 11:13 PM
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There is also the Smart. Jack probably saw some in Paris. They also have a roadster now which as a concept I like very much. Pretty basic and light.



There were some questions over the roadholding of the first version though.

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Old 01-02-2004, 11:18 PM
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There's a new Smart in town in the Dodge Slingshot concept car. If these make it to Canada, I just might buy one!



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Old 01-02-2004, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by turbo dave
Current car magazines of any and all generations of 911 (including the current 996) have rated it top of the heap. Why would they do that if the car isn't competitive?
I'm not saying the car isn't good, even now. But the current generation of the 911 is the automotive equivalent of typecasting in television and movies, where an actor wants to take on serious roles but the audience wants the same old shtick, prettier and glossier, but ultimately familiar and predictable. The 944, 968, and 928 are Porsche's version of Jim Carrey branching out to be seen as a serious actor, and the demand for the 911 is the audience saying "Hey! Why isn't he talking with his buttcheeks?!"

As for the reviews, journalists, like other car fans, are prone to prejudices and biases, and are willing to give the 911 the edge over something slightly superior in performance because "it's the 911." After all, the cars aren't bad. But has no one else here read a multi-car shoot-out article that ended with something like "While the Wiggenstein Hoofenpoofer is an excellent design and an argument could be made that, with its mid-engine layout, better brakes and steering, grippy tires, comfortable seats, working hHVAC and 50% more horsepower, its a better car than the 911. But in the end, it lacks soul, something the rear-engined legend has in spades." Sure you have.

I think there's a strong case for saying that:

1) the 911 design was flawed from day one. (And hopefully no one's going to dispute a car that has a tendency to swap ends is somewhat flawed. Especially since Porsche concedes the point, as they spent about 20 years trying to fix the issue).

2) left to their own devices, Porsche's engineers would have dropped the 911 design on their own around 30 years ago rather than continue to try making the flawed design work by fiddling with the chassis for the rest of their careers! Look at it this way: It's known that Ernst Fuhrmann wanted to drop the 911 design in the mid-70s for the 928 as flagship of the marque. Sales plummeted, Fuhrmann was dumped, and Ferdinand Porsche (who, as the designer of the 911 was certainly unbiased) put in Schutz as CEO (who ordered the rescucitation of the 911 line) saying the problem with Fuhrmann was he was an engineering expert rather than a marketing one.

Form follows function, or form follows company politics and marketing surveys?

A poster says who'd want to eat the same food, drink the same beer, etc their whole lives? Well, who wants to redesign the same fricking car their whole lives? Never be allowed to stretch themselves, express something else about driving? Come to work every day and say, "Well, let's crank out another rear-engined, flat-6 2-seater. Yay!"? Guys this talented must surely want more from life - a pity so few 911 fans do.

Emanuel
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Old 01-02-2004, 11:49 PM
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the reason why rearengined cars aren't made anymore :

cars used to be created with a phylosofy, a single man had a vision , and made it happen, Porsche, Ferrari, Lambo, etc etc.

these days , cars are made by big companies, i say made, not created, the creativity behind it is no longer a dream of one designer but a project group of designers guided by a strict set of design specs.

the end result is that cars are technically better, but because the way fysics and economics work the end result is that cars look more and more alike, they all have their own design features, but those are just different versions of the same concept.
if you take any current sedan and remove the specific brand design features, and you can make that car look like another product, of course, the more expensive the original car is , the less applicable this would be > you pay more, so the lines of the car must stand out more but even still , you can almost always find cars that imitate the design of these more expensive cars...

in the old days, a Lada was boxed shaped, a Bug was round , a porsche or ferrari where a purebred sports car, the Citroen DS was big and aerodynamic,... each car had it's own destinctions... that's gone now

welcome in the new millenium
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Old 01-03-2004, 12:00 AM
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So what's your point, Denis, other than stating the obvious:

300 hp verses below 200, wider wheel tracks than 911s 20 years earlier - of course it should "theoretically" mop up the earlier car. But in the end, who cares?

A Ford Fairmont driven by Boris Said can mop up a moron in any 911 who "thinks" he can drive.

As for me, I don't define performance with weight, cruise control, air conditioning, leather seats and a whole lot of other crap found on new 996s or whatever they are.

Like I said if you read my post: Lotus Elise or GT-3. That's my definition of performance.

Lastly, performance isn't always defined by speed and track times. Aesthetics play their role too.
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Old 01-03-2004, 12:22 AM
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The 996 is the last rear engine (real) car in production.

They stopped making the Renault Alpines, the Mexican Beetles, the Tatra's, the Skoda 100 series and so on. Only other remaining vehicle is the Smart which in my opinion isn't a "real" car.

The Fiat X1/9 is mid engined as well as the DeLorean and the Elise.

I don't see how the 928 outperformed the 911s?

In general I don't really think this whole thing is about which car concept is the better. It's all about offering something that is DIFFERENT. It would be a boring world if all performance cars were either mid engined V8s or front engined 4 cylinder turbo 4x4 rally cars. I want variation and brand identity. Not from the front grille design but from the way the car is constructed.

Long live the wacky concepts

Last edited by Mikkel; 01-03-2004 at 01:48 AM..
Old 01-03-2004, 12:38 AM
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If rear engined cars were such a good idea why aren't more cars rear engined?
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Old 01-03-2004, 01:41 AM
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performance wise it never was the ideal solution if they would have designed it as a mid engine 2 seater , it would have been an even better sports car, i think that's obvious.. but the rear engine, gave it something current cars do not have > good looks, and what could be called a "je ne sais quoi"

if all cars were purely designed for practicallity and performance...
there would be no diversity, which is what is starting to show when looking at the current breed of cars.
they all look alike , the lights and rear ends of cars, they all follow the same trends, the curves are all the same ...which is normal cause they all try to achieve the same, modular production , interchangeable parts , fuel effecient aerodynamics , and so on...

with the next generations, the engine will be replaced witha fuel cell , there will be 4 wheel drive , with electro motors .. this will make cars even more bland since the design will be even more simplified.
there is no room for different configurations , only the efficient chassis/drive train will work and this means they will all come up with the same thing and wack a body work on it that will differentiate them from the other manufacturer.
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Old 01-03-2004, 05:53 AM
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I think many of you guys are missing the point: midengined cars should be better, but they really aren't in the context of a road car. Go back and read a couple decades of road tests: skidpad, slalom, acceleration (traction) and especially braking, the 911 has always been one of, if not the best out there. And, name a car, any car, that has a better racing history
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Old 01-03-2004, 07:11 AM
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"I don't see how the 928 outperformed the 911s?"

Given the same year, stock cars, I think there were many cases where the 928 could easily out-accelerate the 911, and nearly match it handling wise. If I remember correctly, weren't there years where the 928 was the fastest car avaliable in America? And we typically got the watered down models. And despite their stigma of "not a real Porsche", a 951 can mop the floor with a 911 of the same year, and if it's modded, look out. Of course, look at what I drive.
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Old 01-03-2004, 07:14 AM
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A 4,5 240HP 928 isn't faster in acceleration than an SC. Same goes for the 300 HP 928S vs Carrera 3,2 231HP. Even the mighty GT & GTS 928s couldn't accelerate faster than the equivalent 964 Carrera 2 & 993 Carrera 2. Only in top speed were the rear engined cars beaten. (I base my opinion on performance figures from Auto Motor & Sport)

I like the 928s. They all look good and they have a nice sound from the V8, but I don't consider them "better" than the 911s of that time.

A 951 with upgrades...uhh that's a tough one Yeah it's "better" than many stock 911s, but then we're back to square one; It's not a 911.

A Subaru Impreza can be made to accelerate faster than a Ferrari 355. Still the Ferrari is more sexy. So what do we want? Sexy or effective?
Old 01-03-2004, 07:46 AM
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One is better than the other if we're being logical and objective, but that's not what owning a 911 is all about, is it?
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Old 01-03-2004, 07:53 AM
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Cool

I have driven a number of 914's. They have all been good handlers. I do recall Peter Gregg standing in front of a crowd at one of the many tech sessions and telling us how much better the 914 handled in relation to a 911. I also remember the reaction of the crowd of 911 owners he was talking to. There was a big rush of air as everyone of them sucked air.

We have made this car a soul. It is a recognizable form to all of the world. It is unique and has a little class about it.

If I were looking for another car that is recognizable for performance and panache as our 911's are I would look at the Lotus 7. Here is one car that is a recognizable icon of a sports car. It shares some similar recognizable qualities with other cars such as early MG's and Morgans, but it says Sports Car real loud when you look at it. It has a personna such as ours in that the car has not been produced for maybe 25+ years, however is still recognized as a sports car. Today you can buy this car essentially in its original shape. They are sold as kits to us in the US. But these kits very often have improvements to the original design. Yes those modifications have been made by others with the dream of improving a very good car. Sounds familiar?

It is a front engined car however its handling qualities could put it in the league with perhaps a Panoz? Check out Berkin, Westfield and Caterham. As far as owners such as ourselves, you might do a search on "Locost racing" These cars are club raced much like PCA club racing.

BTW, very often these cars don't have radios either!

David Duffield
Old 01-03-2004, 07:56 AM
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Looks like Jack popped a HABANERA in the can of beans
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Old 01-03-2004, 08:05 AM
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The Smart Roadster is definately rear engined.

And as Jack mentioned, The Hillman Imp which was built just outside Glasgow. My dad says he rememers driving past the factory and seeing unpainted body shells sitting out in the pouring rain, rotting before they were even sold. What ever happened to the British car industry

Still...pretty cool wee cars when you see them these days.
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Old 01-03-2004, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dd74
So what's your point, Denis, other than stating the obvious:

300 hp verses below 200, wider wheel tracks than 911s 20 years earlier - of course it should "theoretically" mop up the earlier car. But in the end, who cares?

A Ford Fairmont driven by Boris Said can mop up a moron in any 911 who "thinks" he can drive.

As for me, I don't define performance with weight, cruise control, air conditioning, leather seats and a whole lot of other crap found on new 996s or whatever they are.

Like I said if you read my post: Lotus Elise or GT-3. That's my definition of performance.

Lastly, performance isn't always defined by speed and track times. Aesthetics play their role too.
I was refering to any and all 911s that came before (the 996), not just the ones "20 years earlier". And there is nothing "theoretical" about it, it can be measured. And buyers care, new Porsches have sold like hot cakes, do you have any idea what Porsche's 911 sales figures were in the years before they modernised the car? In the late '80s and early '90s they were somewhere near Alfa Romeo in this country. Try finding an Alfa dealer in your neighborhood. That would be one of my "points".

My other point would be the habit of people to revise history in regards to what a 911 is, and what it has always been. And it's not just you, David, it is very common around here. My 1982 has cruise, leather, A/C, it's heavy by 1982 standards, etc., etc... The purpose and type of car that a 911 is has never changed since 1965! They have always been luxurious, overweight, (by the standards of the time), extremely well-built and expensive sports/GT cars, (as opposed to pure sports cars), with performance that competes directly w/ pure sports cars and wins! Just like a 996!

Short history lesson: In 1969 a person could walk into the dealer and buy a brand new '69 911S with power windows, electric sunroof, leather, (since when is leather extra heavy?), air conditioning, a heavy semi-automatic transmission, and choose from a list of other options as long as your arm. Most people did not choose the sport-o-matic, but the point is that most all 911s were ordered with lots of luxury options. If not, it was for cost considerations, nothing to do w/ weight considerations 99% of the time. A 911 of this era was considered an absolute whale @ ~2500 lbs., compared to the sub-2000 lb. competitors such as Triumph, MG, Lotus, Alfa, etc.... In fact, auto journalists routinely marveled at the handling performance in spite of the lard.

Lastly, aesthetics, while important, have nothing to do w/ performance. I could put a sewing machine under my hood in place of the engine and the car would be just as beautiful. (And probably convince someone on ebay that it's an upgrade!).
Old 01-03-2004, 08:28 AM
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And this is why everyone is ripping the carpet and sound-proofing out of their old 911s and installing fiberglass panels, mucho stiffer suspension, bigger engines, etc., etc....

A stock 911 is a nice car for cruising up the coast w/ your babe, profiling at the fancy restaurant, (or the Red Onion), , lovingly washing and waxing, buying $100 floor mats for, etc... If you want to really go fast around some corners, (oh dear!), , you need to start making some changes.

In a couple of more years of depreciation, people will be buying well-used Boxsters, putting salvaged 996 motors in them and throwing away all of the heavy stuff. Then add a track-tuned suspension and *voila*: a 300hp, 2500 lb. guided missile that outhandles, out-reliables, out-safeties, out-"daily drivers", and just flat-out embarrases all of our old jalopies at the track and in the canyons. For a bargain price, to boot. There will be more Porsche performance oriented enthusiasts than there ever was back in the good old, gay-assed PCA elitist, wine and cheese at the track days!!

Old 01-03-2004, 08:46 AM
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