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      04-11-2014, 05:01 PM   #18
Pete_vB's Avatar

Drives: '69 GT3, GT4, 1M, 912
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: SF Bay Area, Shenzhen, Oman

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Originally Posted by yllwwgn View Post
With that said, it's funny how with cars the ones that are slightly less refined, or the ones that reach their limits easier, are more "fun" on the street. Though less capable on the track, the day to day experience can be more enjoyable. Same reason the Toybaru/BRZ's with skinny tires are enjoyed by so many for example.
There is certainly more than a little truth to idea that flaws make a car. The early 911 is an example- engine in the wrong place, trailing throttle oversteer, but a timeless car that even a serious driver might never master.

A couple weeks ago I had another good lesson in car dynamics and enjoyment when I autocrossed an early 912 and a 993 back to back. The 993 was all stock, while the 912 had slightly more power, stickier tires and good shocks.

The amazing thing was that both cars were identically fast, to the tenth, on this particular course. But while the 993 got there using a big straight line speed advantage, the 912 managed it with spectacularly adjustable balance. On skinny 175/70/15 tires it carried a huge slip angle everywhere- something like 12 degrees is peak grip on those tires. But on a fast run you simply linked drifts the entire way around the course, never fully hooked up. If it only had a little more power to hold those drifts it would be unbelievable.

It makes interesting food for thought in light of the discussion above. What makes a car fun? Slip angle? Adjust-ability? Involvement? It certainly isn't simply speed against the clock or G forces, part of the reason I'm such a fan of the manual transmission despite the fact that automatics are now measurable "better" in nearly every way. And I certainly foresee a time in the near future when cars are "too fast", and real driver's cars are the slow ones. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but consider: An 80s Ferrari F40 is, by the clock to 60 mph or through the slalom, not much quicker than a new Honda Accord V6- call it high 4s to mid 5 seconds. Project this forwards 25 years and a sedan will be just behind today's hypercars in terms of speed.

Technology will make this not only possible but reasonably safe, but how much fun can you reasonably have with a Veyron Supersport on public roads today? Driving something like that's a constant exercise in self-restraint. You can deploy 100% of that car for a couple seconds, at best, before risking your license. Maybe fun occasionally, but day in and out I'm not ashamed to admit I'd like something lower and more involving. Where will this leave sports cars when average sporty SUVs and sedans are pulling 10s in the quarter? We'll see, but I for one am looking to get off the "must be faster" train. At least for some of my cars, anyway
1M, GT4, 1969 Porsche 911 w/ 997 GT3 Cup Motor (435hp & 2,100 lbs)