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Old 05-07-2007, 03:21 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by First986NJ
Maybe that's my problem with all this insite....I did take the time to set it up right, so I'm having a hard time relating.....
i know what you mean. i do have my experience with my own cars that tells me that this boxster chassis is really, really good. the car is definitely underpowered, but on smaller tracks it really hasn't seemed to matter to me.

i will say that it did take a bit of tweaking to make my car competetive. out of the box it was a great car, but tuned far more for comfort than handling. that's the issue, though: it was TUNED for comfort. once it's tuned to handle, the chassis is pretty hard to beat.
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:24 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by insite
i know what you mean. i do have my experience with my own cars that tells me that this boxster chassis is really, really good. the car is definitely underpowered, but on smaller tracks it really hasn't seemed to matter to me.

i will say that it did take a bit of tweaking to make my car competetive. out of the box it was a great car, but tuned far more for comfort than handling. that's the issue, though: it was TUNED for comfort. once it's tuned to handle, the chassis is pretty hard to beat.
All of which makes perfect sense....and we all know why Porsche isn't ever going to address that HP disadvantage.....
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:35 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by First986NJ
All of which makes perfect sense....and we all know why Porsche isn't ever going to address that HP disadvantage.....
And that's the other key component in all of this: other car manufactures are spending TONS of money to make their base-model cars as fast as possible to be their upgraded cars.

Do you think BMW worries about taking market share away from the M5 if they make the M Roadster TOO fast? Nope.

Do you think Pontiac is worrying that by making the Solstice TOO fast, people who were buying the G6 will suddenly switch to the Solstice GXP? I doubt it.

But Porsche will NEVER make the BoxsterS fast enough to beat the base 911. So all they do is up the power output of the base Boxster (easily done, since the engine can put out SO much more), swap a few better components in, and badge it an S. It's EASY for Porsche.

So while other manufacturers have to resort to turbocharging, bigger engines, etc. to produce the BEST car they can... and then charge you $10k-$20k MORE for that version, Porsche just feeds out a little more power, keeps it below the 911 (and its potential), and there's your S model.

BUT- if you give a base Boxster OWNER that $10k-$20k that other manufacturers are charging for their premium model, and let THEM tune the car, they will end up with something better, faster, sweeter than the S-version.

Bottom line- other manufacturers continually max out their car's potentials (oh sure, they find another 5 hp from model year to model year ), but Boxsters will always be leaving a LOT on the table, given that they are de-tuned to not compete with the flagship.

I think the next-best example is the Camaros and Firebirds that basically just ran around with de-tuned Corvette engines because GM didn't want competition for their baby.


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Old 05-08-2007, 12:08 PM
  #49  
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....and that's OK by me. The Boxster is sort of the "entry level" Porsche, and I'm cool with that. I don't have $100k to plunk down and I want a "modern" Porsche, so the Boxster is it. Besides, acceleration factor aside, I really do like it better than the 911 anyway. That's just my preference.

There is 40 HP difference between the base and the "S". If you have a base 986, you can get your hands on most of that with the addition of a good set of headers, EVO intake, exhaust, and ECU remap....all for about $2k. Less if you modify the exhaust instead of replace it. Spend another $1k and install the ROW M030 suspension option, set it up correctly, and then go learn how to drive the car fast correctly and safely. Of course, the "S" will still have the advantage of a 6 speed and the larger brakes, but if your just occasionally going out DE-ing and/or AX-ing, those aren't that much of a concern. (Well maybe it would be more accurate to say those aren't cost effective to address.)

P.S....don't tell the 911 guys, but the mid engine chassis has already risen to the top of the Porsche tree, hasn't it.....and now there are three models in the Porsche lineup featuring it....so we can sort of think of the Boxster as the "little brother".

It's just a matter of time........
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:32 PM
  #50  
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This is a very silly argument here. There are some truths that are really the basis of this conversation:

1. Porsche does not make the fastest car in the world.
2. Porsche does not make the best handling car in the world.
3. Porsche CAN make a 1,000 hp car just like the next guy. But, just how many buyers are out there for those cars?
4. Porsche cannot win every race it enters.
5. Porsche makes awesome cars and we all bought them for a reason.
6. There always have to be compromises:
* You can't have the fastest car and the car that gets the best mileage.
* You can't have the best handling car on the race track and the car that is the most comfortable on the road.
* You can't have the highest hp/cc and have the best reliability.
* You can't spend all your R&D money and build money on performance and still have the same money, dollar for dollar, left over for radio and interior.
* You can't have a car that is the best on a long straight track and also the best on a tight curvy track, or an auto-x. Real racers swap gears sets.
Each company must therefore adjust each car based upon those compromises for the target buyers. The Boxster was huge success and instrumental in saving the Porsche company from the vast numbers of Boxsters sold. So, the car could be argued as perfect for the majority of buyers. And, how many of the owners of those have ever cared to come close to a track?
7. Despite what we'd like to think, the Boxster was not designed to be or supported as a race car.
8. Other companies do build very nice and very fast and great handling cars.
9. On a purely factual basis (gas mileage, comfort, AC, dollar per mile, reliability), a four door Honda Civic is a vastly superior car to the Boxster for street driving.

It's a great car. We love it. We own them and drive the snot out of them. We drove all the other cars, including the ones with the higher HP and the faster 0-60 and the better radios and interiors, and we STILL bought the Boxster. So, we waived the right to complain about it!

:-)

(Flame suit on and hiding behind a brick wall!)
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Old 05-08-2007, 02:00 PM
  #51  
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This entire conversation was about a couple very specific 'bones of contention'.

Nobody talked about gas mileage... nobody mentioned 'street-civil cruiser'... nobody said the Boxster was faster to 60 than an Enzo, or handled better than an Elise... nobody said that other car companies do not build 'nice cars'.

The one point you made that was spot on- we all bought the Boxster for a reason. For a specific purpose and with a certain goal in mind.

The issue comes when people say that certain other cars are better, for that particular purpose that we bought the Boxster for; that another specific set of cars will reach the intended goals of the Boxster purchase better than the Boxster.

THAT was the discussion that was being had here. A spirited back-and-forth as to the merits of those cars that dream of being placed higher in the pecking order than the Boxster...

Nobody was trying to argue that the Boxster was the be-all, end-all anything.


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Old 05-20-2007, 05:13 PM
  #52  
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Prob came to this thread too late, but I have to comment simply because I was dying to buy a Solstice when they were first announced. My wife and I had test driven a 97 Boxster (loved it), but I was put off by the price and reliability issues, as a new Solstice (or MX5 or Mustang or ...) gave me the full bang warranty.

My goal was just a sporty car that was a convertible. I wasn't really interested in the racing aspect or the like that this thread has covered in detail.

I followed the Sol forum religiously on how the first thousand were able to get their place in line, when the factory starting spewing them out, and how those that had ordered were surviving the wait by discussing every possibility of the new design.

One finally showed up in the showroom of the nearest city, but I wasn't allowed take it for a test drive. I was told that I'd have to order one, and if I didn't like it I could just not take it (not sure how easy that would have been). Typical GM?

In the meantime, I test drove other convertibles, like a new Mustang (my wife called it a boat and wouldn't have it), a MX5 (a little tin can, even though the simple roof appealed), an older Z3 (thrashed). The C5 Vette just seemed too big. They all just didn't compare to the feeling I got driving the Boxster. The feeling ...

Finally, a Solstice was traded in by a local guy with very few km on it (clue #1?), so I could finally take one out. It took me all of about 30 seconds to realize that it just did not rate.

The interior was trash, I felt like I was in a bathtub, the air turbulence in the cockpit was ridiculous, the trunk was an utter joke with the top down (even with it up), the engine felt rough, and the gearbox was notchy and the ratios not right. "Disappointed" would be an understatement.

There was no question, I had been spoiled by the Boxster. I just kept coming back to it, over and over again. It ... just ... felt ... good.

So in the end that's what I bought: a 2001 base that I have just loved, and that's without even being able to have the top down a lot over the last 6 months of ownership, west Coast winter and all.

We took a trip a couple of weeks ago to the west coast of Vancouver Island (well recommended if you're looking for somewhere different), and although the road is not the greatest, it gave me a good chance to stretch the car's legs on some twisties. It was thoroughly enjoyable, even though I learned a few things:

- I still have a lot to learn about how to really drive this car.
- Do not test the limits of your vehicle with your spouse in the passenger seat.
- Every guy in a minivan or pickup has something to prove.
- You can't get 94 octane gas everywhere

It's enjoyment that I'm after, and this car produces it in spades. The "grin factor" is unbelievably high. I'm really looking forward to the summer.

Porsche 1, Pontiac 0

Norm
2001 Boxster, 5 spd, Seal Grey
1985 Pontiac Fiero SE (sold)
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:41 AM
  #53  
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....and there you have it....

...it is not about performance numbers on a piece of paper
...it is not about whether it is a good "value" or not
...it is not about which car can get around a parking lot course in the first 2 gears in the shortest time
...it is about the thrill of the drive, the desire to drive it when there is no need to, the smile that just won't go away...the overall EXPERIENCE.

Say what you want. A Pontiac never a Porsche will be.....
......and as Norm now understands, as do we, there IS no substitute.

the rest is just BS.....
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:48 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by First986NJ
....and that's OK by me. The Boxster is sort of the "entry level" Porsche, and I'm cool with that. I don't have $100k to plunk down and I want a "modern" Porsche, so the Boxster is it.

Well that's what Porsche wants you to believe to maintain the "upselling" to repeat Porsche buyers so that you eventually buy their most expensive flag ship car. They want to create this artificial tier so that you don't buy an S2000 or a Z4 before you buy their 911. They want *ALL* your sports car dollars.

There are two realities, what Porsche tell the journalists (and some people actually believe what they read) and what the customers believe. Its sorta like living in former Soviet Union.

Case in point, I was reading GT Porsche this weekend at Borders and there was an interview with the head of Porsche UK. This guy is deep into the Porsche propaganda. "Nobody comes close to us, Carrera is the pinnacle...bla bla". I wonder what he thought of the less expensive Z06 obliterating the 997S at Laguna in Road & Track by SEVERAL seconds last year.

Anyhooters....The Boxster is NOT the entry level Porsche. It's the roadster of the Porsche brand, it sets the bar in its class..something you can't say about the 911.
In addition to being rear wheel drive, having two seats, long hood, impractical, etc. Roadsters are also by design intended to be smaller, lighter, shorter and thus requiring less power to go fast. You can only get away with charging so much for an impractical two seater unless you are Aston Martin then you can charge $150+K for their new V8 Vantage Roadster. Regardless, I have yet to meet a serious sports car driver say "I only have $50K for a Porsche I guess I'll buy a Boxster" If a guy wants "entry" into the Porsche world he can buy a MINT condition 993, 928, 944, 968 etc. for a boat load less cash than the price of a brand new 987/S.

I have also yet to meet a person who said "I'm going to buy a CaymanS because I don't have the scratch to buy a 997". Stepping stone Jr. 911? Porsche put out allot of interesting marketing propaganda....

p.s.
I also think it was a mistake to brand the Boxster as a different car. From the seats forward it was basically a Carrera. Had Porsche unveiled a Carrera Roadster in 1993 the 911 resurgence would have come much sooner. The Boxster-styling-inspired and revamped 911 996 didn't hit the shores some six years after the Boxster concept. That was way too long a period for a company that at one point in the early 90's sold less than a 1000 911's in North America. By putting a different name on the Boxster Porsche HAD to design a new smaller engine and assured us that the roadster would never have Carrera power...this all could have been avoided by branding it a Carrera Roadster. Having a price range between $50K-$120K has worked well for the Cayenne, I'm sure there would have been no problem doing this with a $50K Carrera Roadster at the low end (like the base Cayenne with a VW engine) and the $80K+ 911 Cab at the high end like CayenneTurbo.

Having a mid engine Carrera in the line up could have also subltly opened the door to a solution for long simmering problem in its GT racing department....the eventual move to a mid engine lay out. That power yearning rear engine is simply running out of space. This year in the FIA GT2 series the rear engined 997 is going up against the mid engine Ferrari F430's in all sprint race schedule (except for LeMans). Porsche had a big advantage over Ferrari on reliability in the long races but with only short two hour races this year.... engine placement rather than engine endurance is going to be pivotal and so far the Ferraris are crushing the 997s after only 3 rounds.. racking up 85 manufacuter points vs. the 997's 37.

Last edited by perfectlap; 05-21-2007 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:58 PM
  #55  
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I really like the Hyundai Santa Fe commercial.

Faster, better handling, and better accident avoidence (I didn't realize that was a performance category?), than the Land Rover Discovery...but a few less cup holders.
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:21 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by perfectlap
I also think it was a mistake to brand the Boxster as a different car. From the seats forward it was basically a Carrera. Had Porsche unveiled a Carrera Roadster in 1993 the 911 resurgence would have come much sooner. The Boxster-styling-inspired and revamped 911 996 didn't hit the shores some six years after the Boxster concept. That was way too long a period for a company that at one point in the early 90's sold less than a 1000 911's in North America. By putting a different name on the Boxster Porsche HAD to design a new smaller engine and assured us that the roadster would never have Carrera power...this all could have been avoided by branding it a Carrera Roadster. Having a price range between $50K-$120K has worked well for the Cayenne, I'm sure there would have been no problem doing this with a $50K Carrera Roadster at the low end (like the base Cayenne with a VW engine) and the $80K+ 911 Cab at the high end like CayenneTurbo.

Having a mid engine Carrera in the line up could have also subltly opened the door to a solution for long simmering problem in its GT racing department....the eventual move to a mid engine lay out. That power yearning rear engine is simply running out of space. This year in the FIA GT2 series the rear engined 997 is going up against the mid engine Ferrari F430's in all sprint race schedule (except for LeMans). Porsche had a big advantage over Ferrari on reliability in the long races but with only short two hour races this year.... engine placement rather than engine endurance is going to be pivotal and so far the Ferraris are crushing the 997s after only 3 rounds.. racking up 85 manufacuter points vs. the 997's 37.

*ack* This is utter and complete heresy and I urge you to edit it immediately!

If you ask me, Porsche's mistake was to badge the car "Boxster" instead of "986". The car's cutesy name decreases its credibility in the marketplace and makes it seem like a toy.

I would disagree on the (very interesting) idea of calling it the "Carrera Roadster" though. I didn't much care for calling the V10 car the "Carrera GT" either. Porsche has spread the "Carrera" name out too much already. Wouldn't we all prefer a world where the regular 911 had always been called "911" and the current GT3 was named "Carrera" and "Carrera RS"? Instead of a boring FIA designation, we could use that very evocative name to mean something truly special.

Also, you can't have a mid-engined 911. Ever. It's bad enough they are watercooled, but a mid-engined 911 would be an utter failure. A 911 has to be rear-engined, because the 911 is supposed to be a four-seat car (with minor GT3 exceptions) and you can't make a four-seat mid-engined car of reasonable wheelbase.

In a world where they let me set the Porsche USA lineup, it would work like so:

"987 2.7" Coupe $39,995
"987 2.7" Roadster $42,995
"987S 3.4" Coupe $49,995
"987S 3.4" Roadster $52,995
"987 Carrera 3.8" Coupe $59,995 <- a factory X51 3.8 Cayman for the people who want to challenge the Vettes on-track
"911 2.7" Coupe $54,995 <---- I think Porsche needs this car for the die-hard old guard who just want a 911 and don't need to do 171mph
"911L 3.6" Coupe current Carrera 3.6 price
"911S 3.8" Coupe current Carrera S price
"911 Carrera" is the GT3
"911 Carrera RS" is the GT3 RS

Porsche needs to make some sensible decisions. Price the Cayman honestly. Provide a lower-cost 911 for the people who want the form factor combined with reasonable economy and affordability, just like they did for the first ten years of the car's availability. And build the Cayman track-rat killer.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:30 PM
  #57  
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Perfectlap, I only referred to the Boxster as Porsche's "entry level" [sort of] model because it is the most affordable to most people. I do realize that the Boxster is the roadster of the Porsche brand, and that it it sets the bar in its class. AND...in my mind, mid engine design is superior to rear engine design - all other things being equal....but then they aren't, are they. The 911 gets a big HP advantage.

I'm not really in a position to speak knowledgably about it's comparison overall to a 911 because I have only driven ONE, and even that one - only twice. I did however wind up buying the Boxster, not the 996, so I guess that says something in and of itself.

P.S....pzk - I like your line up.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:52 PM
  #58  
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pzk,
a 2+2 Porsche is a myth....errr actually It's called a Cayenne!
But there is jjjjjjussst enough of a back seat in the Carrera to appease the Missus and shove those two kids back there since the average new Carrera owner is a middle aged guy with a wifey and kids.
Take those back seats out and yes I agree Porsche is in trouble...

But from an enthusiast point of view having the mid engine Carrera would be no wave making intertnational incident.
I posted seperate polls in the 996 and 996 GT2/GT3 forums asking if mid engine placement were an option for their next Carrera would they check an x in the rear or mid engine box?
Well I was suprised to see that 75% of the GT2/GT3 owners, who presumably participate in Track and Autocross at a higher rate than the 'regular' 996 crowd, said they would ditch the rear engine altogether! While the 996 guys rejected the mid engine "option" at a 75% rate...hardcore traditionalism I guess..No need to question what the Cayman guys would have opted for. Clearly there is a market for a mid engine Carrera. Just like Porsche was forced to go to water cooled 911 to make more power, they will be forced to go to mid engine to also have more room for more ponies. Porsche just can't afford to get their flag ship car get its *** handed to it on the track by F430s, Z06s. Track credibility counts for something. No one really watches endurance racing anymore but everyone still reads Road & Track and read the internet to see the latest 911 clobbering. Porsche is selling boat loads of 997 but over time (and looking at the demographic) we'll see the 911 become more of a GT like a Jaguar XKR and less like sports car like a Ferrari F430.
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:43 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by perfectlap
I posted seperate polls in the 996 and 996 GT2/GT3 forums asking if mid engine placement were an option for their next Carrera would they check an x in the rear or mid engine box?
Well I was suprised to see that 75% of the GT2/GT3 owners, who presumably participate in Track and Autocross at a higher rate than the 'regular' 996 crowd, said they would ditch the rear engine altogether! While the 996 guys rejected the mid engine "option" at a 75% rate...hardcore traditionalism .
This is extremely interesting... and as you note, I think it speaks to different aspects of 911 ownership.

The rear engine makes the 911 a very usable street car. Plenty of traction, plenty of interior room, classic silhouette. By contrast, on the track one might prefer a mid-engined car - it's certainly better from a raw-physics standpoint.

And yet I kind of want to call the bluff on those GT2/GT3 guys. Ruf has offered the 3400S and its descendants in this country for nearly a decade now, with their 3.8 X51 cars now leading the charge - and they've all been priced below the cost of a GT3, to say nothing of a GT2! You can get a 381hp Cayman from RUF for well under a hundred grand now, and that car is probably at least the dynamic equal of a 997 GT3.

I suspect that these fellows may want to have a mid-engined car, but they need to have a Nine Eleven. Therefore, Porsche will have to call the mid-engined car a Nine Eleven in order to sell it at that price point.

It's funny how the mystique of the rear-engined car drives the entire Porsche brand. The 924, 944, 931, 951, 928 in all its variants, now the Cayman - none of them able to really claim center stage in the Porsche consciousness. Not that I'm immune. I drive my 944 almost every day and I'm out on the track or autocross course with the Boxster thirty weekends a year - but if I had to sell two of my Porsches, I wouldn't hesitate before consigning both of my water-cooled cars to the classifieds.
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:53 PM
  #60  
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who is paying $80K-$100K for a 380 HP Cayman? I wouldn't do that even if you gave me the $$$$.

there is no replacement for displacement! Sub 400 HP for that kind of money just isn't cutting it.

Put a Carrera GT3 "MRS" and park it next to a rear engined Carrera GT3 in the showroom and see which one get more John Hancocks on the dotted line.

sold!


p.s.
"The 924, 944, 931, 951, 928 in all its variants, now the Cayman - none of them able to really claim center stage in the Porsche consciousness"
^ all those cars were ugly....
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