I like them, especially the R32. I have an '18 Golf R that I sold my last Porsche to get. It’s a great car. My wife does still drive a Macan Turbo though. After ten Porsches over 35 years it’s just fun to get in a hot hatch and flog it. It has great visibility plus holds four adult-sized people quite comfortably.
My winter car is a Blizzak shod RWD 335i. It is a wonderful winter machine. Six inches of fresh snow today and it happily zips along.
Blizzaks are like rubber chains.
Wow! I had a 335i and it was a great car, but with one rear wheel drive, even with 4 skinny Blizzaks and then Hakkapeliitta’s it was awful. I do live in a hilly area but jeez it was bad. If only BMW weren’t too cheap to offer a limited slip, it would have made it so much better. I had an '89 325is with lsd and it was great.
I have a quarter mile driveway, uphill -downhill-uphill again, deep ravine on one side, and curves - no problem.
The modern F30 has an LSD, although it is electronic and activated by applying the rear brake on the spinning wheel. Inelegant, but functional. There are also conditions where it is best to turn off the basic traction control and switch to active traction mode.
I hate AWD with a passion
ooooh the R32’s haldex system is a joy.
I don’t remember my year but it just had “traction control” which was almost always worse than steady grinding.
I agree that awd can feel clunky. I remember Porsche’s first C4. Wow was that awful. No similarities at all now to the '89.
While AWD helps to start moving in snow and ice, I cannot stomach the understeer induced by FWD and AWD.
A Haldex system (probably the oldest on-demand system) is a FWD car with a drive system which will transfer some torque to the rear wheels when the fronts lose traction, primarily when they are trying to both provide propulsion and steering. That is, it is trying to solve one of the inherent problems induced by FWD. I appreciate many are delighted to make the trade-off.
Many with AWD do not understand that once moving AWD does nothing to increase traction while cornering and braking. This is why most of those off the road in slippery conditions are driving AWD SUVs and trucks.
Manufacturing advertising has been superb in convincing people AWD improves handling when the opposite is actually true.
However, active torque vectoring is becoming more common. Porsche, for example, has made some AWD cars which which handle very well - with a price to match.
I still get incredulous reactions from people when i tell them that about awd and why they absolutely need snows all around. I think one of the dumbest things is summer compound tires on an SUV in winter.
There’s probably not a lot of people under 40 that know what a summer compound is.
Yup… ‘16 Macan Turbo with F/R modulated AWD and R/L Torque Vectoring…plus the usual ABD plus full 3 mountain snow tires all around=magic in the snow…assuming a driver that understands the physics of the situation.
You got it. You call it physics. I call it common sense, spatial awareness, brains, driving while thinking about driving…,
Magico Magic (and unrelated matters)
FWIW, I always run snows in winter on the R32. Separate set of 18" wheels with summer tires goes on in the spring.
All I know is that it handles like a dream in wet, dry or snow.
But… I love my RWD BMW E46 5-speed Touring. Lots of Dinan goodies on that one.
911 your dream car… for many.
I own one, a 2009 C2S… don’t be too impressed. They are too big and heavy anymore. The newest ones have electric, fly-by-wire steering. I had a 2000 Boxster S that was way more of a sports car than a 911. I put 197K miles on that Boxster (all on the original clutch)… blew 2 engines… Porsche had a bad engine design in all Boxsters and 911s (except turbo and GT3s) from circa 1997-2008. They even lost a class action suite on just one of the many failure modes. If the engines didn’t blow up, I would still be driving that Boxster.
Leadership has cashed out the brand by raising prices through the stratosphere for no underlying technical cost increase, and dumbed down the car for posers (non enthusiasts). Enthusiasts make the brand but posers make the money.
I do enjoy my 911 and it is my daily driver… I have snow tires on it right now and have 132K miles on it. I do all my own wrenching and maintence… the '09s and newer have redesigned, very good engines. But the car is big, heavier, and a bit numb. The newest, more so.
Bruce in Philly
Interesting, thoughtful post , Bruce.
The Boxster is wonderfully fun to drive. My father has one and fortunately has not had significant problems with it.
Unfortunately I believe you are correct regarding the dumbing down the cars.
Electric steering is common now. It can work well and provide good feedback, such as my Z06. But it can also be a bit numb as on my BMW.
It is good to hear of someone else who performs his own maintenance and other work. I keep encouraging others to do so. It is satisfying and you learn a lot about your car. Plus, it saves time and money. I can change the oil on any of my cars in roughly 15 minutes.
I also enjoy hearing you drive your Porsche rather than treating it as a trophy.
I’ve had 911’s since 1974. I still have my 1969 S coupe, an '83 SC coupe and I love those cars. I’ve done every bit of maint on them and I have the old marbleized notebooks full of records.
My Boxster S is an 06 with roughly 110K on it. I installed limited slip and with four snows, it’s amazingly good.
While the steering and brakes of the Boxster are as good as it gets, in my opinion, I don’t feel the same way you do about the newer 911’s. As long as they have 3 pedals, I still think the chassis and driving experience is brilliant.
My all aluminum XJ never fails to leave a wonderful smile every time I get to drive it… Michelle O’Conner said it best, “…it’s that understated, you don’t know how much fun I’m having in this car”
Yes, I do enjoy my 911… but it is not all it is cracked up to be. This gets to the alwaysdiscussedissue of “what is a sports car?”. Also, what are the alternatives out there. The really great news is there are some super performing cars out there, but all a bit too big and heavy anymore.
Most Americans see sports cars as high-HP, 0-60 monsters and not much more. I prefer and smaller, lighter, nimble car with track-ready brakes/cooling/oiling. The history of American sports cars is really this green light roar, while the Europeans did the nimble thing. Detroit sells more fantasy than the real deal (think screaming chicken on the hood and fake ducts)… although the Americans are finally competing with the European “sports” thing now… a good thing.
A big education for anyone who enjoys “sports cars” is do some high performance driver ed at a track. This will really change the way you look at “performance”. Most “sports cars” sold can not handle the rigors of a track with the brakes overheating and failing after just a few laps. Further, you learn really fast at a track that HP is way lower on the list of what is a “sports car”. Although to be fair, once you get passed on the track, you want more HP.
BTW, I could care less about the technological wizardry of a dual clutch automatic. I only drive manual transmissions. So I am a bit of a luddite on this… all about control for me.
Bruce in Philly
How do you feel about the modern manuals which feature rev matching, hill holding, etc.? Are these still manuals to you?