Last post on Sep 04, 2007 at 11:13 AM
You are in the Porsche 911
What is this discussion about?
Porsche 911, Chevrolet Corvette, Motorsports, Exterior, Suspension, Biodiesel, Coupe
#12 of 26 Re: Where's the speed? [trucktricks]
Jul 18, 2007 (11:31 am)
What to believe? I'm looking right at a Motor Trend compasion test of the 2005 Corvette Z51 and the 911S coupe. It shows the 355 hp 911S beating or matching the 400 hp Corvette in every measured performance category:
0-60: 4.2 vs. 4.4 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.6 each
60-0 Braking: 106 vs. 113 feet
100-0 braking: 299 vs. 321 feet
600 ft slalom: 70.1 vs. 68.9 mph
200 ft skidpad: 0.97 vs. 0.96 g's
When you look at the above figures, they are damn near identical. But what isn't are the subjective qualities of one vs. the other.
Some of Motor Trends quotes pretty much tell the story as far as my preferences go:
"Within the first few miles, you'll notice the Corvette simply can't match the delicacy and fluency of the Porsche's controls. The 911's gerashift operates with the oily precision of a rifle-bolt, the pedels are perfectly placed, and you can steer it with your fingertips. By comparson, the Corvette is... (I won't incite you, but the M/T comments were not very flattering)"
There is no doubt that the Corvette is a fine car and offers a hell of a lot of brutish bang for not a lot of bucks. And if that's all you are looking for, look no further. But not everybody employs the sledgehammer approach to driving and there is omething to be said for the precise feel of a 911. Or a $32k Honda S2000 for that matter.
A golfing buddy of mine has bought/built 4 new homes in the last 15 years. Each and every one bigger than the last. First thing out of his mouth when we asked him about his most recent move: "it's 7,200 square feet!". Most of us are too polite to point out that it has all of the architectural quality of a megabox-McMansion. But for him, it's all about quantity - and something like Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater is beyond his comprehension.
Again, don't take my comments the wrong way. The Corvette is a heck of a value in many ways. Just not for me. I haven't seen the comparison you refer to, but I suspect it would take professional drivers on a closed track to test 80% of the performance capability of a 911 GT3 or Turbo. But I see, touch and hear the quality of my 911S every time I fire it up. I'm not prepared to give that up, no matter how much faster a Chevy or Ford might happen to be.
#13 of 26 Re: Where's the speed? [trucktricks]
Jul 19, 2007 (5:30 am)
With all that german engineering and racing heritage, it makes no sense to me that they don't put something on the road that will compete with the Corvette.
What "roads" do you drive on? I had to take my 911 Turbo to a private runway just to begin to test its acceleration. Got it up to 135-140 in 3/8 mile and it was still pushing me back in my seat. I've taken two performance driving courses from BMW and Porsche, and there are no "roads" I've found where I can safely test 50% of my car's capability. So, as far as I'm concerned, Porsche has already put more car on the road than anyone, including Schumacher, could ever expect to use without getting a 20 year jail sentence.
Perhaps the question you should be asking is, if Chevy is so accomplished when it comes to "speed", why can't they put something on a real race track that competes with Porsche or Ferrari in Formula One. I know they are the king of the redneck beer-gut GM sponsored (foreign car prohibited) Nascar series. But going counterclockwise around a banked oval track isn't exactly what any sober person with a triple digit IQ would consider the pinnacle of driving or racing. That's about as brainless as world championship wrestling. Rather, how about a Formula One road course like Monaco, where you actually have to turn the wheel both ways and exhibit some driving skills that don't involve ramming your opponents?
Believe it or not, I'd actually like to see an American manufacturer step up to the level of Porsche and Ferrari. But, so long as they cater to the Nascar and muscle car types, they will never come close.
#14 of 26 Re: Where's the speed? [spiritinthesky]
Jul 19, 2007 (7:14 am)
It's too bad your view is so limited. Between Speed World
Challenge and Rolex GT the Corvette privateers of the world
are doing nicely against the factory backed Porsches with
professional drivers. And that is with performance adjustments
to downgrade the Corvette whenever it gets past some of the
factory cars. Last year in SWC the Porsche's ran with out
of spec brakes for half the season and the rule body decided
after the fact to allow them, no penalty. Heck in Rolex,
SCCA doesn't even want the private financed Vettes to run
with the Factory backed Pontiacs.
Then again there is FIA racing in Europe and the C6's are
doing well, again not factory backed. There is talk of C6's
running in GT 2 in ALMS next year, we can only hope.
On a more personal scale, I'm glad you have put your car on
track. The Porsche, while much harder to get to the limits
than a Vette, is a great car on track. Since you like the
R&T article, also try the current Car and Driver comparison
of similar priced track cars. Both the C6 coupe and Z06
come out best in their categories, and it seems there is a
question or two about the 'value' in the Porsches.
Hope to see you on track some day, I'll wave as I pass ...
#15 of 26 Re: Where's the speed? [habitat1]
Jul 19, 2007 (7:45 am)
All very interesting but you totally dodged my question. (please re-read question)
The VIR test mixes up drivers and cars and comes up with what I believe is a very meaningful result. This as opposed to simply an acceleration run or some bogus lane change maneuver.
So the from the standpoint of the total package (power, handling, grip) , the base model Corvette beats both the GT3 and the turbo (not to mention what the Z06 does).
I have some ideas as to what is going on here but wanted to hear some other peoples take on this.
#16 of 26 Re: Where's the speed? [spiritinthesky]
Jul 19, 2007 (8:05 am)
Seems to me that you got slightly off topic there with the F1/Nascar thing. But, while you are on the subject, I did attend all the US Grand Prix races at Indy. With very few exceptions they were an overwhelming bore. This year there were no passes for the lead, cars starting 1-2-3-4 finished 1-2-3-4. It was nothing but a parade. 10 minutes into the race, I began looking at my watch wondering when it would all be over. The format is all wrong for exciting racing. The cars are great, the drivers are excellent, but the end result is blah.
NASCAR can turn even a road race into something interesting (Watkins Glen, Sonoma)
But getting back to the original question, what's up with the VIR results?
#17 of 26 After a closer look,
Jul 19, 2007 (2:10 pm)
OK, what I should have said was the base model Corvette beat the top level Porsche Turbo. It did not beat the GT3. That was left for the Z06.
But, I think the evidence is there that suggests the Porsche falls down in handling through the corners and perhaps a power curve that is not broad enough.
If you look at the top speeds, the Porsche has that covered, as it should based on max HP numbers. So the Corvettes had to really make up some time in the turns. It makes me wonder if the rear engine layout is at the root of this?
#18 of 26 Can Car and Driver Drivers Drive? [trucktricks]
Jul 19, 2007 (6:02 pm)
Rather than "wondering" about Porsche's rear engine layout, you might want to check if Car and Driver's heads were in their rear ends when they came up with their results. In a slightly less "staged" environment, both the GT3 and 911 Turbo have posted considerably better lap times at Nurburgring than any Corvette:
Best Nurburgring Track Times
7:28 - 166.652 km/h - Porsche Carrera GT
7.39 - 161.575 km/h - Porsche 997 GT3
7:40 - 161.217 km/h - Porsche 997 Turbo
7:42 - 160.519 km/h – Ford GT
7:42.9 - 160.207 km/h - Corvette Z06
7:59 - 154.822 km/h - Corvette C6 Z51, company test driver Dave Hill
You don't think Car and Driver gets more advertising dollars from GM/Chevy than Porsche, now do you??
#19 of 26 Re: Where's the speed? [trucktricks]
Jul 20, 2007 (5:43 am)
Even Car and Driver concluded their "Lightening Lap" with the comment:
In truth, the Z06 wasn’t as satisfying to drive as the 911 GT3.
And frankly, that says just as much or more than their particlar weekend track times. Especially when you consider that their results, as habitat's post indicates, are inconsistent with Nurburgring results and many other road tests and competitive rack results.
For what it's worth, my brother and a few of his racing school friends have been approached several times by Car and Driver and the other auto magazines to participate in such "competitive" road tests, including at VIR. Only in rare cases has he done so, because they generally reject his condition that they allot adequate time for ample practice laps with each car and that they publish the full results of his best times with each. So, what do they do instead: take a mix of drivers with widely varying skills and limited experience with each car and put everyone together for a wild weekend at the track.
I'm not trying to discredit Car and Driver in particular. Most of the other monthly magazines do the same thing. But I would suggest that if you are hanging your hat on C&D track results to tell you which is the better sports car, your hat is on the ground, getting muddy. Take some professional driving courses yourself drive each/every option and make your own decision. That's waht I did, and I don't have any regrets.
#20 of 26 Re: Where's the speed? [redsoxgirl]
Jul 20, 2007 (8:07 am)
" ... comment:
In truth, the Z06 wasn’t as satisfying to drive as the 911 GT3.
And frankly, that says just as much or more than ... "
Problem is that for the rest of us $ do make a difference
when it comes to satisfaction. With the base Corvette being
advertised on radio here in the SF Bay Area at $40k this AM,
I could add Z51 and still come out less than $42k. What in
the 911 world competes, that isn't a decade or more old?
Sure I know a guy who got a write up in Classic Motorsports
with his 911 '72 RS Clone that is lots faster than my stock
engine C5 coupe but I enjoy the driving, not the work to
keep a heavily modded P Car on track. Mag articles are all
about fantasy, and for most the 911, especially with turbos
is just that, a fantasy. For those that make the leap to
the $70k range and get a Z06 instead of the base 911, they
seem to have a performance deal too. That is of course if
you want the performance and not just 'satisfaction'.
#21 of 26 Re: 911 vs. Z06 [circlew]
Jul 20, 2007 (10:50 am)
test drive both on your favorite road (if they let you) and you make the call. They are different and not cheap so don't listen to any of us. I don't care my 911 is slower than a Z06. In fact, my 911 is slower than my Chrysler 300C SRT8. I wanted a 911 since I was 10 and it's all matter to me.