By Michael Tashjian
What began as a gag over two years ago has somehow, now, become reality. Our
friendly German engineers have imagined, designed, and produced an all-electric
Porsche named Taycan (‘lively, young horse’). The project is akin to a Disney
Imagineer building a ride at Future Land which serves no real world application but
satisfies the demand of a millennial. Forgoing delving into the financial aspect of
electric cars, it is safe to say it’s going to be a loser for a very long time. Don’t believe
it? Just ask Mr. Musk whose product is part of what the 4-door sedan platform is set
to compete directly with. Why would this author never be a buyer at this point of
the Taycan or any electric car for that matter? For one very simple reason: I can fill
my gas tank in two minutes and drive 400 miles or even better, 280 miles while
towing, to a Metro PCA Driver Ed event.
My personal beliefs are not running in parallel with the upcoming consumer in this
segment, however. The 24-40 year old segment, and especially those Californians,
have drank the cool aid on anything green. I will not begin to dive into the carbon
footprint an electric car has as opposed to its evil twin, the combustion driven
automobile. It must be noted, however, that in the passenger automobile space,
there has been no evidence on the impact (or lack thereof) on the environment from
this new car segment.
Porsche marketing has almost always proven successful over the past decade when
introducing a new model line, no matter how silly in our purist eyes it may be and
the E Performance line is no different. This effort did not prove successful for the
70 th anniversary for Porsche, though. No big budget marketing campaign with some
new 911 models. Why you ask? In my opinion it is due to the fact that the Porsche
purist is no longer the driving force when marketing to the consumer for this
particular brand. Certainly I have read a few articles of late making a case
contradicting that statement but I must go off the sales number and future models
exclusively. Far more lucrative of a venture would be to supply mainstream, middle
class America. Gasp. Middle class you say; what middle class? Okay. That’s not what
Porsche is in this for. Without going down that rabbit hole let’s say that most young
professionals (or at least upper middle class) interested in a Porsche will be able to
lease one so as long as their credit is decent. Even the name Mission E, aka Taycan,
aka Anti Christ, showed the true direction of the campaign and branding. Sort of
Henry Ford’s Model T meets the Chrysler Plymouth motto of ‘make it more
expensive and they will come’ mentality, for those of you who watched The Men
That Shaped America on Discovery. Will Porsche prove to have been on the right
side of this branding realignment? Only time will tell. One gauge would be the
acceptance of E Performance into the 911 model line which if the performance
figures add up, should be beneficial to the average track guy/gal. But in the real
world of boards, shareholders, and executives there is really only one measure: the
It will not be only the Taycan on this new platform but the likes of a slew of other
marks like Bentley, Audi, and more. According to Porsche AG, half of the Porsche
lineup will be electric by 2025. Great. This essentially makes the Porsche as we
know it, all but obsolete. The backbone of magic as we know is misdirection. Has
Porsche been misdirecting us purists for the past 10 years? What a tick! They have.
Currently Porsche has over 40 models when counting the model and sub model
alike. And they have all become more ‘efficient’; half of them are not sports cars, and
all but one supercar offering is not hybrid. I won’t even delve into the 992.1 GT3
being turbocharged as that certainly seems to be the case.
This is going on right here in our little Porsche world. With all change though,
comes [some] opportunity. If you’re not into spending 45 minutes picking your
nose waiting for your electric car to charge, then join the dark side. Mark my words;
us petrol users will become the cigarette smokers, and eventually, the outlaws.
First, they tax the hell out of it (gas guzzler), then they tell us we will die from it
(cigarettes), then they all but ban it (DDT).
So hold onto to your 80’s 911, your 928 GTS, and any Porsche running on good od
American…scratch that, Arab crude, as it will be past modern acceptance before you
know it and eventually, be a thing of the past. Just do yourself a favor: stash away
some gasoline to fill it up too, will ya?
Porsche motor oil is designed specifically for their brand of vehicles, and regularly changing it out is important for keeping the engine functioning at peak power. At Formula Motorsports, we provide oil changes and several other maintenance services for your Porsche.
What are some signs that your vehicle might be moving toward the point where an oil change is needed? Here are a few of the most common telltale signs.
Ticking Noise While Starting
As a normal engine accelerates, it pumps oil through the crankcase and cylinder heads to keep these areas lubricated. Over time, though, golden and fresh oil will pick up various contaminants from heat and various wear and tear items, and it will become dirty. Dirty oil is sludgy, and therefore has trouble moving around the engine.
Commonly, this can cause a ticking noise that comes from the valve train during startup. The dirty oil is taking longer to move through the engine to lubricate the valve train, which causes the noise. With 996/997 models in particular this noise is a result of lifter failure or lack of use.
A well-lubricated engine operates smoothly, allowing parts to move in their organic formats without issue. As it becomes dirty, though, parts won’t perform as smoothly – this can create sluggish acceleration, or a feeling as if the engine has lost some of its normal power. This will set in over time, and continuously get worse until oil is changed.
Down similar lines, you may feel like the engine is shaking the vehicle more than normal during basic periods of idling. This is due to an increase in friction between pistons, rings and bearings – they have less oil to keep them lubricated, and therefore operate more roughly.
If bad oil stays in the engine too long, it will result in rod bearings that wear out, and these can lead to knocking noises in the engine. These will sound like a rock tumbler, and can shake the vehicle at idling. When speeds increase, the noises will only get louder.
To learn more about spotting the signs that your Porsche needs an oil change, or for any of our other Porsche services, speak to the technicians at Formula Motorsports today.
One of the most important parts of caring for your Porsche is following the proper maintenance schedule. Doing so can keep your vehicle running for years, while failing to do so can lead to damage and issues that will be far more costly than it would have been to simply get preventive maintenance done.
At Formula Motorsports, we’re here to help. Our Porsche service includes all your basic maintenance items, and we can help you know when a major repair is needed. All Porsches are different, but let’s look at a general list of the items you should have inspected at various mileage benchmarks.
Every 500 to 2,000 Miles
Every 1,800 to 3,000 Miles
This is a rarer area that only some Porsche owners stick to – ask our experts if your vehicle needs this check. If it does, it’s commonly for wheel alignment services along with other smaller areas.
Every 15,000 Miles
30,000 Miles and Above
During Road Tests
A specific road test is one that might be done at a variety of times. Items for it include:
One of our primary Porsche services at Formula Motorsports is paint protection. You want your beautiful Porsche to shine at all times, and our Ceramic Pro and other paint protection services are the top of the line here.
What are some other tactics you can take to ensure that your paint remains shiny and smooth at all times? Here are a few basic tips.
Many commercial car wash systems should be generally avoided, as they only use abrasive nylon brushes or high-pressure washers. Both these items can damage paint, and harsh chemicals do the worst of this damage. In addition, many of these services do not utilize proper drying, and allow spots to etch into the paint.
As an alternative here, hand-wash your Porsche or use a green technology like steam cleaning. This is both better for the environment and far healthier for your vehicle’s paint.
Polish is an abrasive compound that can help shave off imperfections in paint while leaving surfaces smooth. Polishing must be done before waxing – if not, the wax will make the paint look dull and will wear off more quickly. Learn how to master polishing techniques, and consult our experts if you have any questions.
Waxing and Sealant
Washing and polishing are steps to prepare the surface for wax or paint sealant, or sometimes both. These products seal in your hard work and protect paint from contaminants, plus give the coat a shine. Wax is generally a natural substance while sealant is synthetic, and they can give two different kinds of shine. If you’re using both, wax will be used first.
Sun Damage Avoidance
It’s impossible to completely avoid UV rays on your paint, but you can reduce its harmful effects. Always park the car inside or use a car cover, and make sure to wax properly – wax also provides sun protection. Another good measure to take is washing the car regularly.
Want to learn more about Porsche paint maintenance, or interested in any of our Porsche restoration services? Speak to the experts at Formula Motorsports today.
As a proud Porsche owner, we know you love your high-quality vehicle. At Formula Motorsports, we’re here to provide step-by-step Porsche service to keep you on the road and in style for as long as possible.
You can help here as well, even if you’re not a seasoned car technician. There are several easy bits of Porsche maintenance that can be handled from home – here are a few items to keep on your checklist to keep things humming smoothly in between visits to our shop.
Check each of the following fluids, if applicable:
Hoses and Belts
Make sure that hoses and belts in the radiator are not old, brittle or cracked. Also check hoses you can see, and make sure none of them are leaking. If so, they’ll need to be replaced.
In addition, if you hear a shrieking sound when you turn on the car or press the gas pedal, this may be a sign of a loose belt. Check the tension of your belts – there should be very little give. If belts are loose, they need to be replaced.
Battery, Lights, Wipers
Visually inspect your battery for corrosion, and make sure its connections are tight. Check that your dash lights, headlights, tail lights, brake lights, back-up lights and turn signals are working periodically. In addition, check your windshield wipers – don’t actually touch the wiper blade, as oil from your fingers can cause the blades to deteriorate. Simple ensure that wipers are making good contact with the windshield, and that they aren’t dry or cracked.
Check your engine, or under it, to see if any fluids are leaking. Use a flashlight if needed. You may notice dripping from the engine or wet spots on the ground – you could also leave a piece of cardboard on the ground to check for this. If there are leaks, contact our experts about the possible causes.
Check the tire pressure, and top it off if necessary – this can be done at most gas stations. Inspect the tires for visible wear or any sharp objects stuck in them.
Each engine has its own sound, and by listening to yours often, you can determine how it sounds when running normally. This will allow you to also detect when things don’t sound normal, and when it might be time for an inspection.
For more on basic Porsche maintenance, or to find out about any of our Porsche services, speak to the pros at Formula Motorsports today.
If you’re looking into the purchase of a beautiful Porsche, you know you have lots of options. Porsche has numerous models to check out, all with varying characteristics and benefits.
At Formula Motorsports, we’re here to provide service and repairs for all Porsche models. We’re also here to offer advice when it’s needed – with that in mind, here are a few of the most common considerations our owners are often thinking about when they’re looking for the right Porsche model, and what the right model might be for these areas.
For anyone who has a need for speed, there are several Porsche options out there that will be perfect for you. At the top of the list, however, is almost certainly the 718 Boxter S. This sleek, beautiful car comes with an amazing 350 horsepower in the stock version, which gives it the ability to fly off the track and go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 4.4 seconds. If you’re looking to impress with speed and acceleration, the Boxter S should be one of your first choices.
Are you someone who frequently takes road trips across the country, and wants to do so in style and luxury? Look no further than the Porsche Macan, the perfect fit for longer in-car trips. The Macan has a large luggage compartment, and also features a roof transport configuration and an online navigation system that works anywhere. For the car owner looking to hit the open rood comfortably, consider the Macan.
If you’re at the helm of a growing family, you’re looking for considerations like space and safety. One of the top Porsche options here is the Cayenne, which has some of the company’s highest safety standards. It also has a unique design plus ample storage and space, and also boasts a Porsche Communication Management System. It’s built with several safety assistance programs meant to keep you and the family safe while on the road.
To learn more about which model of Porsche is right for you, or to find out about any of our Porsche repair or service offerings, speak to the pros at Formula Motorsports today.
For many people who own a luxury vehicle like a Porsche, long-term storage is a need every now and then. Whether you’re traveling or keeping the vehicle at a lesser-used location, keeping the vehicle safe and well-maintained is vital.
At Formula Motorsports, we’re here to help with not only our Porsche restoration, maintenance and service, but with considerations like storage as well. Here are a few tips we can offer to make sure your storage experience goes off without any hassle.
Tank and Oil
Before taking your car in for storage, fill it with gas – the fuller the tank, the less chance of any excess moisture building up in the tank, which can lead to rust. Also be sure the oil has been changed recently, and the filter has been replaced. Old or dirty oil in the car for a long period of time can lead to premature rusting within the engine.
On top of this, if you can, remove your spark plugs and lubricate the car’s cylinders before storage.
Tires and Jacks
Tires can be very expensive to replace, so make sure you fill them to the maximum suggested PSI before storage. If you’re leaving the car in storage for a significant period, consider putting the car up on jack stands – this will relieve weight on the tires and suspension, and will prevent tires from flat spotting. If you’re storing the car on a dirt or stone surface, add plywood or another strong surface below the tires to protect them from rot.
Store a clean and waxed car – any additional dust or debris can lead to pests and odors. This includes the wheels.
Battery and Fluids
Remove the battery entirely if you’re planning to store the car long-term. Clean it with a mixture of baking soda, petroleum jelly and distilled water if it’s dirty, and store it of the ground in a climate-controlled environment. If you only store your car for periods at a time, consider a battery tender to keep the battery up over time.
In addition, do a quick inspection before storage for fluids like antifreeze, brake fluid and transmission fluid.
Want to learn more about proper storage for your luxury vehicle, or interested in any of our Porsche services? Speak to the experts at Formula Motorsports today.
BY Michael Tashjian
The most powerful production Porsche series production model to date.
Given the Porsche 911’s pedigree it must be noted that this new GT2RS is no small improvement to prior Porsche 911 GT generations, rather this is it, this is the whole enchilada. This 911 will most likely be the final rear engine, performance oriented production, none hybrid, given the direction of Porsche Motorsport of late. 700 ponies any way you slice it is a lot of giddy up, whether you’re a professional factory sponsored racecar driver, or weekend driver, the only thing that even comes close is the 935 series. Beyond the technical specifications including a 0-60 time of 2.7 seconds and a 211 mph top speed, is the aesthetics.
The new 911 GT2RS (included- Weissach package- because if you spending 300K what’s 31K more really.) Similar to the 991 R the roof is magnesium; there are strips down the car exposing carbon fiber, magnesium wheels, and a slew of exclusive interior and exterior trim from Porsche Exclusive. This GT2RS has hood and fenders constructed of CFRP-carbon fiber reinforced plastic, which fashionably has air intake scoops that surely make this car that much cooler. New to the GT2RS is a full titanium exhaust, which sounds frankly incredible, and for the first time is built with performance rather than emissions and sound being a primary objective to meet the masses. Not that we expect many people running $350K+ limited production Porsche’s at Lime Rock, but if your one of these people be forewarned, it is loud. I will also make mention of the improved carbon fiber rear air intake being much more pleasing to the eye.
The interior of the GT2RS is what you would expect; a lot of carbon fiber and alcantara trimmed and wrapped parts. Special to this GT2RS are plaques noting its limited production, and one of a kind seat pattern. Personally, I would do a full black interior as a red roofline may start wearing on me sooner rather than later. Full bucket seats of course with Weissach RS stitched into the headrest just to make sure you understand this is no run of the mill GT2. Per the factory literature, you’re also now offered the ability to completely turn off via 2 stages your PASM. For those of us running slicks on our new GT2RS, this is welcome.
If you want to talk turkey yes, $360K give or take inclusive of taxes is a heap of spendoules. But, if you’re pulling in the big bucks and are a serious driver willing to literally risk your life in the pursuit of speed at a DE event, your wish has been granted. It is comparable to showing up to the Miata club drag race day with Antron Brown driving the Matco tools top fuel car. Overkill yes, but nothing exceeds like excess more so than the GT model line from Porsche.
The new 911 GT2RS is now the end all when it comes to the ultimate track weapon.
By Michael Tashjian
Man’s carbon footprint is one of the most controversial and manageable environmental issues that face us today. Via the Obama administration’s mandate that manufacturer’s fleets must achieve an average 54.5 mpg to meet its CAFÉ standard over the next 8 years, manufacturers have accelerated the development of alternative energy sources at a pace only comparable to the space program prior to said Ex-President. Okay; cheap shot. Surely, the Trump administration, on their Detroit/US manufacturing campaign promise, will scale back these stringent regulations slightly, but this will not have an immediate impact on models already in the works and corporate plans to become more competitive and innovative in the hybrid space. Porsche/VW has taken a proactive approach to efficiency over the past 5 years with calculated risk. Porsche has Introduced the 919 Hybrid racecar and 918 Spyder, both of which utilize a combustion and electric motor along with a recovery system as not just a marketing tool, but also to build a real path into Porsche showrooms. For the time being, the E Performance program seems to be stagnant with the Cayenne and Panamera models not exactly setting the market on fire, but I assure you, this is a temporary setback. Porsche has and will continue to push the envelope, just recently introducing the Panamera Turbo S E Hybrid, which is now one of the fastest sedans ever built with 680hp.
The obvious question is whether or not to go out and purchase a hybrid or not. Many things must be considered, such as your geographic location, application, and faith. Yes, faith plays a part in all new technologies. There was a time when we thought that alphanumeric pagers were the future but yet a more efficient, reliable, and affordable cellular phone was right around the corner. I, for one, can say the Porsche hybrid system is one of the most efficient and reliable thus far, so yes, I am a believer. The next question is what will be the typical use of your Porsche. Daily driving? And if so, will you be in traffic or open highway driving? This is an important question, as the fuel savings may or may not be outweighed by the initial higher cost of a hybrid model. And what about your geographic location? If you live in a rural area, there are other factors to consider, such as never seeing a charging station and the neighborhood mechanic being unable to diagnose and/or fix a hybrid issue. And lastly, you’re already getting pretty good fuel economy with most any Porsche model for highway use.
I wonder though, is all this hybrid hype about efficiency? I am a believer in a performance sports car offering the best performance, and am slightly embarrassed to say that fuel efficiency is not on the top of my list. I think it is fair to say that many of us would not be spending our valued Porsche option dollars on something more fuel efficient when that money can be better spent on Porsche crest embossed headrests or painted ventilation slates. But mark my words, the next generation of Porsche buyer will consider the cooler option-Hybrid sporting the fender where the ‘oh-so-cool’ SL 600 used to say V12. Wouldn't that be a hoot.
By Michael Tashjian
Technical Chair Metro NY
Another spring season is upon us here in New York City, and another GT3 has hit the market with Instgram pictures of allocations and build sheets. It may be age speaking, but have we been down this road before? Yes. 2004, 2007, 2009 2011, 2014 all marked a new and marketed as improved GT3. Was that a question? Maybe so. I would say improvement has many definitions dependent upon the buyer’s expectations. For some it may be pure horsepower, and others a more refined interior to enjoy off the track. To each is own is my mantra. Here are some pointers you should ask before dropping $150k+ on the newest and coolest toy on the market. At least until the GT4 RS.
Am I looking for Performance on the street or track?
Without reiterating what is already on the awesome interactive website our friends at Porsche AG have built for the 991.2 GT3, the 4-liter, 9000rpm, dry sump, PDK standard/Manual Optional gearbox, and lightweight construction equals fast no matter how you slice it and dice it. So fast that 90%+ of owners will never have the chance to drive it at its peck performance stats. On the track the new GT3 promises to be the best and most forgiving production 911 to date while still retaining the raw GT feel Porsche owners have become accustomed to. With a top speed of 198mph I am willing to test and report back should the opportunity arise.
I must admit that if your in the GT3 market @ $148K you don’t mind the additional 10% in cost that gets you full bucket seats ($5200), front axle lift ($2590), PDLS ($2900), and the Extended fuel tank ($140), Miami Blue ($4200) because why not, for a grand total of $160K. The only other car that even comes close is the Lamborghini Huracan starting @ $200K. And remember for that additional $50K you can spend boatloads more to option out and maintain.
Clear Winner: 991.2 GT3
Not too much to report beyond the strips on the full bucket seats which right off the bat sold me. If that does not scream I spent $150K wisely not much does. The rear wing now dawns the 4.0 badging and overall high increase of .8’’ over Gen1 991 GT3, with massive air intake rams built of carbon fiber. The redesigned front bumper allows for more airflow and better aerodynamics in the form of down force. Interior accents, LED this and Apple that, you get the picture. And of course those of you who are able to get the Club Sport package well good for you I guess. Fortunately the interior dimensions match that of the 991.1 so all harness bars, roll cages, etc. will convert over. All things considered it is a very handsome looking GT3. But, and this is a very big but, the next generation GT3 MUST be able to compete head to head with Ferrari and MB in the finishing’s department. Yes I know it is a track car built for men who don't even need AC! But when the price starts creeping up to the cost of a medical degree, well I am going to expect full leather as standard, and the choice of ANY color at no additional cost. Take note Germany.
For more Porsche stories and past articles visit www.formulamotorsports.com/blog and leave comments with ideas for future articles.
by Michael Tashjian
911R -I love you. Typically a phrase reserved for your wife, child, or mother, but
today many use it with the 2016 911R in mind. The new 911 R pays homage to the
911R of 1967 of which only 20 examples were produced. The 2016 911R had
production capped at 991 (of course), which makes it one of the rarest modern
models from Porsche. Every few years Porsche comes out with some sort of unique
911 with a catchy name like & "Design Edition" "Black Edition" "Millennium"
typically to clear out the model generation chassis/panels to make room for either
the facelift or completely new design. Enthusiasts and admirers alike take notice
when a badging in particular occurs, such as GT, RS, GTS, and obviously R. For
the past 25 years I personally have been waiting for a pure, honest, uncompromising
911 to hit the shelves of my local Porsche dealer. In the early 90's it was the RS
America and today it is the 911R. To say it was love at first site may be a stretch as
the allocations had already been filled an oddly enough I was not given one, I knew I
should have picked up a 918 with the Porsche financial 200 year payment plan.
Once I got over the initial depression of not expecting a delivery of a 911R I decided
to wait patiently to drive one. In the interim I spent my days drooling over images of the bucket seats and stripes down the hood. After many agonizing months of
waiting I finally had a client bring one by for a protective wrap and obvious invitation to test the car out together on the Grand Central. Before reverse was even engaged I knew this was the 911 for me. The rattling of the flywheel, raw unadulterated sound of the exhaust, and snug fitment of my athletic physic in the houndstooth upholstered bucket seat sold me to the tune of 200K over list at the time. Before things go form PG to rated R in my driving experience lets looks at some quick stats:
3021 lbs. -seriously they could not shave the 21 lbs. to make it an even number ;-)
4.0-liter engine from the GT3RS
8500 rpm down from 8800 on the GT3RS due to the
6 speed manual transmission
Auto Blip under sport mode for those of you with little feet
Carbon Front hood
Plexiglas rear and side windows (NON US)
19 produced and additional 4 prototypes
210 horsepower @ 8000 rpm
(1) Fitted with Sportomatic
Titanium connecting rods
Doors, fenders, hood fiberglass
No ashtrays or sun visors
Now back to the almost sexually explicit description of the first drive that may not be suitable for all readers. As I finally slide into first gear and released the clutch of
which is almost orgasmic, the car took off with more grace than any other Porsche I
have driven before. It was smooth but violent. Nervous but controlled. Sort of the
utopian environment described to you at a young age of which you equated only to
some girl named Mandy or Nicole. The scream from the 4.0 liter motor through the
exhaust is only comparable to “watching a movie” in the basement of your girlfriends house in high school. Brakes, well the PCCB is just perfect-nuf said. Driver comfort? Oddly enough it is like a Lexus with a tubular chassis and RS spyder
driving position coupled with a 959 sense of entitlement. The rest of the experience
I am holding onto as to share it would leave the readers blush. If/when at all possible get behind the wheel and I promise the experience will be ______. I LOVE THIS CAR.
THE NEW PANAMERA
By- Michael Tashjian Tech Chair
WOW! Gone is the Chrysler Crossfire rear end, and so comes
the ever graceful circa 1978 928 silhouette. The anticipation of
a redesigned Panamera has been flooding social media around
the world basically since the Panamera was first launched to
criticism many moons ago. Yesterday’s unveiling in Berlin was
a carefully orchestrated media event live streamed to millions.
Certainly a success, but not without a minor hiccup one week
prior. As usual, a Chinese blogger had the stock photo up a few
days before, as we have seen with everything from new
iPhones to nuclear tests in Korea. One I guess could make the
argument Porsche leaked the picture to entice enthusiasts to
watch the live stream and post it to Facebook- yes I was one of
The 2017 Panamera is a ground up build with the latest
gadgets and luxuries one would expect from a 500 million Euro
investment. Buyers can choose initially between a 440 on the
Turbo V6 and 550 horsepower Turbo V8 engine coupled with a
16% advantage in fuel economy- owe. Porsche will announce a
Diesel to come at a later date- no thanks. Rear wheel steering,
LCD screens just about everywhere, new bucket seats, and gear
selector that rivals that of the Viking 92’ bow thruster. All of
these systems will probably require at least a weekend and a
bottle of scotch to learn, but I am sure once they are mastered
will provide the driver with an effortless commute on the LIE
@ 7am traveling at a blistering 15mph.
Porsche is claiming the new Panamera is the fastest production
sedan in the world. Yes we have all seen the video from the
Ring by now. For me this is not the selling point. For years I
have been saying if you want a sedan buy a MB S550 since @
100K purchase price you get all the luxuries a sports sedan can
offer. NO LONGER. Porsche designers have stepped up their
game and gone beyond the wish list of all the enthusiasts and
soon to be former 7 series and S class clientele. The
arrangement of gauges and driver position in relation to the
road is comparable only to the 911. I have no doubt that this
will be the best selling Porsche to hit the showroom floor, ever.
At a starting price of 100K (yeah right), it is going to crush both
BMW and Mercedes from every aspect. If your in the market
for a wicked fast luxury sedan and have what I am guessing
around 125K in cash burning a hole in your pocket call your
Porsche dealer and get on the list now. The 2017 Panamera is
sure to be the hottest car on the road this winter.
By Michael Tashjian
Fourteen short years ago, the world of Porsche was rocked when its fans heard that their beloved sports car purveyor was delving into the fashionable, luxury SUV space. Still in its infancy with only BMW and Mercedes Benz having a piece of i, it was a wisely calculated gamble from our friends in Stuttgart. In years prior, companies like Chrysler and Ford made a killing in the minivan market and SUVs were now the obvious replacement. Fourteen years later, it is safe to say that the executives at Porsche are heroes in both the eyes of shareholders and enthusiasts, alike.
The Generation 1 2003 Cayenne was equivalent to the Panzer tank, no doubt about it: robust, with an understated silhouette, limited gadgets, and 18’’ wheels that could take the pounding of NYC streets. Sure there were a few inherent issues like coolant line failures, rear trunks that would smack you in that little point on your skull that would knock you border line unconscious, and side marker faulty lights that beep still today, but overall, it was a great package. I myself had to wait 14 years for another Cayenne to come along that tickled my fancy. Generation 2 was, quite frankly, lacking innovation in my eyes. Maybe it needed a touch more interior sophistication that most any Porsche automobile should possess? And then, Generation 3 came along. Ahh, a new beginning! At first glance, there is a lot of glitz and glam. But believe it or not, all of those little buttons and pretty little screens on the dashboard actually do serve a purpose outside of impressing the date your trying to convince that evening.
The new Cayenne is as capable of an off-road SUV as it is a serious performance car. Having had the opportunity to test the Cayenne, S, Hybrid, Turbo, and exclusive Turbo S (MSRP 221K loaded), I can tell you that each of these models is worth its weight in gold. Okay, maybe I am getting a little carried away with myself.
Many…scratch that, very, very few us will ever be racing up Pikes Peak or negotiating a 70% decline with our Cayenne. But does that really matter? We would not argue that the 205 mph GT2RS is not a necessity, so the reality is that although the new Cayenne looks pretty and decadent, the technologies it possesses are second to none in the high-end luxury SUV space and provide a rugged off-road purpose. When choosing the off-road mode that best suits the adventure you’re about to embark on, you can choose to fully lock the multi-plate clutch, which from experience, sends the car up whatever (and I do mean, whatever) may lie ahead. Further, the electronically controlled rear differential included in PTV Plus can be fully locked in an additional mode. Brake assisted hill decent, air suspension and a slew of control provide the driver with effortless and limitless possibilities. Outside of a tree taking you out, there’s not much stopping the new Cayenne.
Wow! The Turbo and Turbo S alike are completely insane on the track. I kid not, the new Cayenne Turbo takes turns like a Cayman, brakes like a 911 and takes off like no other SUV I have ever driven. Gliding around a right-hander at 110 mph is confidence inspiring, and taking brake point 2, although it seems suicidal at first, is child’s play by lap two. PDDC Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control which reduces roll along with Porsche Torque Vectoring which, depending on the steering angle and steering speed, accelerator pedal position, yaw rate and vehicle speed, optimizes steering response and precision by selectively applying brake pressure to the left or right rear wheel. It is an effort to get the car to break away, even on polished payment with 2’’ of ice. Your right foot is wondering why your slamming down the accelerator over and over and I have no doubt that the car is also asking the same question.
Porsche exclusive has gone above and beyond in this department. There is a considerable difference in leather quality, as well as all carbon/aluminum/wood. I was fortunate enough to test a fully loaded Cayenne Turbo S that had every possible option: leather dash with deviated stitching; leather air vents and leather wrapped vent slates; two-tone seats; even a leather rear view mirror. It would take up the entirety of my allotted two pages to go through each of them. Let’s just say it gloriously smelled like the Dunhill flagship store on Madison Ave. The 18-way Adaptive space shuttle seats are comfortable enough that if you spent every penny you have on the options, you could still live happily in it with a family of four without a single complaint. The overall environment spews affluence and success. Trump would be the perfect spokesman for the car as it is clearly for a winner. As for me, I would be hard pressed to drop 221K on an SUV, but clearly there is a market for this type of exclusive, handcrafted interior. I could deal with the extended leather package along with 18-way seats and be content.
Buy one. When deciding on your next SUV, whether coming out of a Range Rover Supercharged, Mercedes Benz AMG or BMW 5.0, ask yourself, ‘What is my driving purpose?’. If your answer is that you’re looking for an exhilarating ride while not compromising on reliability, then the Cayenne is for you. Another added benefit is the residual value on the Cayenne as opposed to all other SUV’s on the market today. Dollar for dollar, you cannot beat it against any other mark.
by Michael Tashjian
by Michael Tashjian
Every young man can recall his first glimpse of the Turbo insignia as seen from the backseat of his parents station wagon as the object of desire whistled by. Dad said, “Cool” Mom said “No.” A short story filled with awe and emotion, this moment would captivate the young man’s mind for many years to come. For what is more American for most young boys than the fascination of girls and cars? For some, this experience is what kept us determined later in life while working the night shift to pay for University, not for education or wish of a better world, but rather the ultimate prize of capturing Chimera.
Let’s set the stage: 1974, the Paris motor show and Porsche is about to unveil the most significant achievement to come out of Stuttgart since the acclaimed Carrera RSR. The German economic environment is dismal, at best; the U.S. is concentrating more on Richard Nixon’s resignation and a 55mph speed limit throughout the US to limit fuel consumption than the newest sexy sports cars of Europe and the Don Juan types that pilot them. Fortunately, Porsche’s engineers are not deterred from their goal of producing and manufacturing a sports wagon that will compete and beat it’s Italian nemesis, Ferrari. Sporting a 3.0-liter single Turbocharged power plant, wider stance, stiffer suspension thanks to upgraded torsion bars and Bilstein shocks, this new Porsche is about to change everything.
Fast-forward 42 years to the NA International Motor Show in Detroit, MI, the birthplace of the automobile and home of the salt-of-the-earth, American workingman. Its fans have already drooled over the pictures in magazines, heard rumors of tests from pretty boy Internet reviewers (okay, that was below the belt), and certainly have read a plethora of technical specifications, both mind boggling and exhilarating. It seems as though Porschinits are always talking about the next “Turbo.” This time, however, the Turbo is a little different. Different because most Porsches are now Turbo’s; wait, is this even politically correct to say yet? But certainly all of these new Porsche Turbo’s are NOT Turbo’s. The 991.2 Turbo is everything that is [still] right with the world. Virtually no Turbo lag, even though we have heard this before. Seriously though, this time it’s different; we have something called Dynamic Boost Function, also known as the Flux Capacitor! The 991.2 Turbo is as refined and handsome of a GT car bred with the likes of GT2 performance as you can ask for while not deviating from its core purpose. Sub 2.8 second 0-60 time surly to get your PBA card revoked, a price tag of almost 200K for the S a 30K premium from standard Turbo model because F it at that point your probably headed for divorce anyway, and bragging rights on the trading desk of your new toy that make Mandy the new intern now the second most popular HiRes wallpaper.
Sorry, went off on a bit of a personal fantasy there. Let’s get back on track and talk Turbo specs. 3.8 liters (as opposed to the new Carrera at 3.0, respectively), 580 ponies (sure to be 800 ponies after we get a hold of the software), fuel consumption (no, I do not care), 205 mph downhill before breakfast under the most optimal atmospheric pressure and tailwind conditions some PhD in aerospace could find, all wheel drive for the dare devil taking his car to Sugarbush Mid March, and an interior fit for a king as long as you get the natural leather option for 1500 USD extra. The 991.2 may not look so very different from its predecessor 991.1 but I assure you, from every aspect, it is. When developing any product it is never any one change or improvement, but the total package that warrants placing an ad in the Post Classifieds for your “old” 991.1 Turbo.
Imagine the Imperial Landing Craft and the 356 B meeting at a bar and having a wild, irresponsible night drinking Scotch and Moonshine, resulting in a 991.2 Turbo. While retaining the elegance and pizzazz of the Porsche silhouette and understanding and implementing what today’s Facebook employee craves, the designers and engineers have produced what I consider to be the best looking Porsche to date. Please understand that I’m also a big fan of the 991.2 Targa. Up until, and including the 993 Turbo, I always felt Porsche begged the market to embrace and coddle the original 911. Sure, I’m nostalgic, but not while compromising performance. The balance achieved with the 991.2 is only comparable to Picasso’s Nude and blooming of the Bleeding Heart.
Type 930 is considered to be the pinnacle of the 1980’s. We knew the pilot was a driver. We new the owner was a success. And we knew we wanted one. Now with the kids out of college and [mostly] off the payroll, maybe we can adorn our garage with one, too. The 930 coupe’ and cabriolet with its husky stance, 15’’ Fuchs, and flared fenders makes a statement just as much today as it did pulling up to Danceteria on a fall night with a girl named Lorraine in the passenger seat draped in Calvin Klein. (Well, you had your Cavaricci’s on, so don’t pass judgment.) It was the simplicity of the time that warranted such a sport cars. A sports car that did what most all sports car should do: induce sex appeal while offering uncompromised reliability tooling through downtown or gallivanting throughout Western Europe. One of the most iconic parts would certainly be the tail, which would be modified, botched in most cases, and returned to its original glory over the course of 30 years.
The Porsche owner is generally man or woman who demands function over form. No need for the swanky Scuderia Shield adorned on the fenders, or bull-charging on the steering wheel. Just pure, unadulterated speed with self-preservation listed at three or four on the list of priorities, but what other way is there to truly live? Without getting too in depth with acronyms and numbers, the 991.2 Turbo is the best-packaged sports car on the market today. Light, powerful, efficient, comfortable and reliable. This should be Webster’s definition of sports car.
The 930 Turbo of the time was not much different. New, state-of-the-art technologies such as intercoolers later on in the production, intermittent windshield wipers, a boost pressure gauge to show off to your Corvette friends, a brake power booster and illuminated heater controls, ow-ooowwww. Let’s not forget the light on the dash with its duel purpose for seatbelt and ebrake that is unfortunately NLA right now as a replacement. I would be amiss to also not make mention of the updated 4 speed transmission capable of handling a ludicrous BHP of 245.
And now the obituary of the 991.1 and its ancestors. I will not make a claim that I myself do not adore the type 930, 993 Turbo, and yes even 996 Turbo, for it has provided me with years of summer thrills sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on Montauk Hwy. What must be said is that the 991.2 Turbo is the greatest achievement in the 911 line since the 993 Turbo. Its mere attendance in any crowd is sure to conjure up debate about the BEST sports car ever produced. I know I would take the Pepsi challenge any day of the week against the likes of 488, LP 610-4, or most production sports car on the market today. This is a car marketed to those who will not compromise on function. The 991.2 has just as many new bells and whistles as the type 930 did in 1974. But this time, it comes packaged in a luxury, 200mph+, all wheel drive, true Gran Turismo that the wife would be happy to pilot with the kids strapped into the back.
“Ring, Fazination” is an exhibition next to the “GP” or “New” circuit on the southern end of the Nürburgring, where kids and parents alike enjoy virtual games and entertainment. Just a “click” north of this facility ties the ultimate amusement, a true parallel; hence my sobriquet for the 20.8 kilometer long Nordschleife.
Journeyman drivers know the feeling. You arrive at a new track and find yourself wrapped in the unmistakable aura of fear. Not for having an “Incident,” heaven forbid, but recognition of course difficulty, coupled to peer pressure and loss of youth, an inevitable conflict in a driver of age and wisdom, which he must address prior to the drivers meeting.
English Channel crossings can be macabre in the dawn of a dank winter’s end. Indeed, the powerful sea sprayed salted air under my feet as I stood at the bow of an unfolding French April day. The vast concreted port of Calais lay before my feet. Loudspeakers bawled as livery and tourists padded. their way along the transport’s decks and I stole time to unwrap my mind’s thinly veiled trance, replete with images of turns arriving way too fast for me. Monocratic in tone, the systematic notice echoed throughout the quarterdeck of our Channel ferry, becoming more momentous as the enormous gangplank hydraulics moaned in the background, its cumbersome weight giving way to the marmalade skies of this French embarcation zone. The ticking within me began.
Randy Sesson, Metro’s man in London, held his Range Rover readying at idle as I proceeded to engage the mandated English lock mechanism of his 993 modified Twin turbo. With Europeans gripped in fear, the containment procedure of the dreaded hoof and mouth disease mandated my crossing a wetted trough upon arrival in territorial France. Subjective delousing complete, we made serious tracks due east along the coast. Preoccupation with the subsequent morning’s drivers meeting accompanied my drive, creeping in and around any enjoyment of this continental traverse.
Crossing the border into Belgium at speeds averaging 180 kph, with nary an official stamp nor gendarme in sight, our efforts led us south, then east again. Morning mist had burned away hours before and the midday sunlight saluted us as we passed Spa Francorchamps, the world class course on which I took my first professional drive. Ahh! Spa and The Ring, a duet of early rituals of passage, a validation of youthful exuberance, late braking, early apexes encapsulated with the hubris of life without end, one big party. Less than two hours later, my thirst quenched by the hospitality of good German beer, we relaxed and planned our driving stints at this most formidable racing venue in the world—Nordschleife Nürburgring. Both Randy and I enjoyed the local cuisine, wild boar and venison, as we dined with an old friend who had traveled 600 kilometers from Stuttgart to discuss the purchase of a GT3RS and the logistics accompanying this purchase.
Hotel Rieder’s guest book documents the great motorsports figures who, for more than half a century, awoke to the visual effects that accommodate Eifel Mountains living, in and around the Nordschleife. Their signatures remain an affirmation of how this region has been so untouched by the outside world in the decades since my last stay. Ensconced by this sleepy hamlet a mere three kilometers from my temple of the tarmac god, our window opened to a panorama of endless pastures and mountains, beckoning the driver within us all.
Attention is carefully paid at a drivers meeting. for the Nordschleife section of the Nürburgring. Along with the usual safety discussion comes something unique to this venue: CPR instruction and a host of other ambulatory principles. You see, when you drive 170 turns, drivers must look out for one another. If an accident occurs, one must pull over and minister to the helpless in the wreck, mandated by the sheer magnitude of the area we play within. Several minutes or more may pass before medical professionals arrive at the crash site. Novice drivers drew in the flavor of this experience with gaunt looks at each other. Unfortunately, rescues would be needed during the competition. The degree of skill and course recognition and concentration needed throughout their driving stints was underestimated by the. too fast or foolish.
Taught by several veteran regional drivers, my earlier experiences with this track an its 300 meter elevation changes disciplined my first several laps. “Mauk,” (my teacher had a German affectation with my name), “Mauk, ve moost drife dees truck ass ve drife de roads aroond it.” Vernacular aside, he meant that negotiating these many turns would have to be done as if you were driving a country road at racing speeds, with eyes telescoped, looking for openings in the treetops that hint at where the road is headed. He also taught me to break down the track into the well defined sections you see on the track map. Most importantly, he had stressed the mind and how it would tire because of the intense concentration, before my young body would succumb to fatigue.
Similarities to Bridgehampton could suffice for any of you who have become familiar with blind turn recognition. Blind turn description does little justice to the actual awakening one experiences at 220 kph when negotiating a rise and then dropping into a sharp bend in the Forst of Adenauer with nary a thought of preparing a set of pedal and wheel movements to the left, no right, no left - BAM, you’re dead.
Weather is very much an issue within the confines of this mountain region and at 20 kilometers in length, “Jurassic Ring” in April was mystifying. Intense rain greets a fast car very fast indeed, yet three “clicks” farther along the sun warms spectators sitting in high perches, positioned for the best views of short sections of road. I try to choose a really scary part of the “Ring Fazination,” as they call it, but can’t. Maybe it has to do with the number of puzzle parts that scare the s— out of me.
Being fast there is remembering every section, intimately. Randy benefited froun my prior experience. I benefited from a humble approach to certain sections. The first and last thirds of this Black Forest cake was within my grasp by the third lap, as I familiarized myself with the old landmarks taught to me so long ago. It was the section after Adenauer Forst, on our way down to the lowest sections and working back up through Bergwerk that kept me from the confidence level I had adopted when younger. Kesselchen made me look good a’s my right foot felt comfortable planted on the accelerator, and the right turn before Karussell was comfortable in a 4-wheel drift. (Several wrecks there.) Interestingly, Karussell was and is easy for me to drop into and pop out of, carrying good speed up Hohe Acht, setting up for Wippermann. Schwalbenschwanz is important, as all turns coming into a fast section are, for now that it has been cleared we begin the fastest part of The Ring, a killer straight that seems to go on forever. As I quickly shift into 6th, one eye jogs to the gauges and looks for 6,200 rpm while the complementary eyeball is watching cars we’re passing.
While seeing 300 kph, Forever could be terminated, if one does not respect the bridge and its kink to the left. Quick! Lift on the gas pedal, make a minor movement with the wheel and SLAM, the gas pedal is punished again, albeit only for the short stint before arriving at Hohenrein.
We logged over 70 laps and my best time was 8:04. Randy’s level of skill grew to a point where I felt he was most comfortable. We drove the first day with the GP circuit included… very cool.
Pounding rain dogged our ride back to Calais and London. Ten hours back, whew. There is no substitute. Bring on the “Fazination!”
Porsche Then and Now - A view from PNCA Atlanta
The first Porsche I can remember is an 83 911 Turbo my father converted into a "Flatness" (not to be confused with the slantnose, before it became fashionable) using a 928 front bumper, 928 headlight assemblies, and a slew of other unique alterations both performance based and atheistically. Sadly over the past decade we have seen less and less of these unique cars on the roadways of America and in the hands of skilled technicians. Having just returned from Porsche Cars North America new facility located in Atlanta as part of the Porsche Classics advisory panel its apparent many of our wishes will now be granted.
One Porsche drive is exactly what one would expect from the German purveyor of style and class. Sleek but yet sophisticated with all the bells and whistles that a blank check will provide. Surprisingly though much of the effort has been directed towards the classics. Both Race cars and street alike they certainly remind me of days past. Upon entry your greeted by non other than the 917 with Gulf livery propped up on a pedestal with a plaque describing its heritage. All around the facility are reminders of yesterday and what to expect from tomorrow. Perhaps one of the coolest things is a wall filled with every Porsche model ever built in matchbox car size. Very cool addition to those of us with an extra wall to fill in our Central Park West pad. Needless to say when asked if this collection was for sale I was told that out of everything in the building this was one of the most time consuming- figure it. All in all the level of achievement from an architectural standpoint somehow does not hold a candle to the current and classic Porsche's that are stored there for both clients and owed by PCNA. Certainly a trip here will be a treat to all both young and not as young ;-)
The 911 is arguably comparable to a fine timepiece. It's near appearance forces us to reminisce. All of us can recall the first time one zoomed by- perhaps as a child in the 1960's or as teenager in the 80's. For many of you this is a fond memory of limited responsibly and dreams of grandeur. Many, if not all of us have realized this dream in one fashion or another. Porsche ownership is more than a self recognition of success, or a means of that sought after adrenaline rush- no no, it has become part of who we are and who we had aspired to be. For some of you it may be a wall street type hopping into a 87 cabriolet while you walked to your first interview, and for many others it was simply a fantasy they wanted to live out of cruising on a winding road with goggles, and of course the leaves blowing behind- yes most any 80's car ad. I will make the assumption that readers are in fact current or past Porsche owners and admirers and fully understand this fantasy.
Porsche has always been synonymous with quality, performance, and a graceful silhouette. It is now time to preserve this valuable timepiece for generations to come to enjoys. Fortunately Porsche AG has answered your prays with Porsche Classic. Porsche Classic has dedicated years of resources to compile over 52,000 ORIGINAL parts for your Classic Porsche. NO other company can even come close to the sheer mass of classic car parts built with the quality standards we have all expected of a Porsche Genuine branded part.
HOW ARE THEY GOING TO DO IT?
Porsche Classic has listened and is offering most all necessary items to keep you classic Porsche performing and looking like new. RS 1/4 panels- Yup still made by hand (30 labor hours), that little thing behind the door handle you can't even find on the microfilm- yup that too ;-) Each quarter they will be releasing new parts to the public and will continue to do so. Perhaps this was due to their sheer appreciation of the Porsche owner or the fact that values are up between 100%-200% over the past couple of years on most models. Either way it is a God send as the dismantle rs have less on their shelves and aftermarket/OEM parts that are sold on the net usually do not live up to their description. Fortunately these Porsche classic parts are as good as if not better than the original. New processes' and materials will offer longer life as well as better fitment than new. Of course this comes with a price but we can all agree you get what you pay for.
IS MY PORSCHE WORTHY?
Silly question to 99% of Porsche owners, but one that needs to be answered. Without going on and on about appreciation, currency valuations, inflation, etc. Let's assume you own a good car- i.e. she runs and can be washed without paint chips falling off. Most any model built between 1950-1998 has appreciated from its initial purchase to the tune of 100%+. As I tell all Porsche owners, the only thing that brings value is originality. Color combinations, wings, etc is certainly nice but nothing beats a well cared for original car. If you own a good example of the Porsche car certainly it is worth it to purchase and install genuine parts that you know fit and will be reliable for years to come. Not to mention the lack of headaches most aftermarket parts cause.
For those of you out there with a classic Porsche that demands the best, Porsche Classic website will be your newest favorite. Be sure to investigate who provides Porsche Classic parts and service exclusively and ask to see the box. Even when it comes to packaging these parts they got it right!
“Ring-Fazination” is an exhibition stationed next to the “GP’ or “new” circuit on the southern end of Nurburgring. Kids and parents alike enjoy games and entertainment in a virtual surrounding. Just a “click” north within the bounds of the facility lie the ultimate amusements..a true parallel. hence my synonym of the Nordschleife.
Journeyman drivers know the feeling. You arrive at a new track and find yourself wrapped in the unmistakable aura of fear. Not for having an “incident”, heaven forbid. Recognition of course difficulty, coupled to peer pressure and loss of youth, an inevitable conflict in a driver of age and wisdom which he must address prior to the drivers meeting.
English Channel crossings can be macabre at the dawn of dank winters end; indeed the powerful sea sprayed salted air under my feet as I stood at the bow of an unfolding French dawn. The vast concreted port of Calais lay before my feet. Loudspeakers tolled as livery and tourists padded their way along the transports decks, and I stole time to unwrap my mind’s thinly veiled trance replete with pictures of turns arriving way too fast for me. Monocratic in tone, the systematic notice echoed our arrival throughout the quarterdeck of this wind swept Channel ferry, becoming more momentous as the enormous gangplank hydraulics moaned in the background. Such cumbersome weight giving way to the marmalade skies of a French embarkation zone. A ticking within me began.
Randy Sesson, our clubman in London, held his Range Rover readying at idle as I proceeded to engage the mandated English lock mechanism of his 993 modified Twin Turbo. With Europeans gripped in fear, the containment procedure of a much dreaded Foot and Mouth disease mandated my crossing a wetted trough upon arrival in territorial France. Subjective delousing complete, we made serious tracks due east along the French coast. Preponderancy occupied my drive with the subsequent morning driver meeting creeping in and around any thoughts of enjoying this continental traverse.
Crossing the boarder into Belgium at speeds averaging 180KPH with nary an official stamp nor gendarme in sight, our efforts led us south then east again. Morning mist burned away hours before as the midday sunlight gave salute to our passing by Spa-Francochamps, a world class race course in which I had my first professional drive. Ahh! Spa and the Ring, duets of an earlier passage of rite, a validaton of youthful exuberance, late braking, and early apexes encapsulated with the hubris of life without end, one big party. Less than two hours later, my lips quenched with the hospitality of a good German beer, we relaxed to plan our driving stints at the most formidable racing venue in the World, the Nordschlief, The Nurburgring! Enjoying a local cuisine consisting of wild boar and venison, an old friend joined us. His 600 Kilometer excursion, made very briskly by the 12 cylinders of his Mercedes, helped in promoting our discussing the purchase of a GT3RS and logistics associated within this process.
Hotel Rieder, pictorially typical to this region, has a guest book in which documents the great motorsports figures who, for more than half a century, awoke to the visual effect that accommodate Eiffel mountain living, in and around the Nordschleif. Their signatures remain a reaffirmation of how this region has been so untouched from the outside world, in the decades since my first stay. Ensconced by this sleepy hamlet a mere 3 kilometers from my temple of the tarmac God, our morning window opened to a picture of endless pastures and mountains beckoning the driver within us all.
Attention is carefully paid at a driver meeting, for the Nordschleife section of Nurburgring. Along with the usual safety discussion comes something unique to this venue, CPR and a host of other ambulatory principles. You see, when you drive 170 turns, drivers must look out for one another. If an accident occurs, one must pull over and minister to the helpless in the wreck, mandated by the shear magnitude of the arena we play within. Several minutes, or more, may pass before medical treatment professionals arrive at the crash site. Novice drivers drew in the flavor of this experience with gaunt looks at each other. Unfortunately, these ambulatory methods would be needed throughout the competition. A comprehensive skill of course recognition and concentration throughout your driving stint was underestimated by the too fast or foolish.
Taught by several veteran regional drivers, my earlier experiences with this track and its 300 meter elevation change disciplined the first several laps. “Mauk”, my teacher had a German affectation with my name, “Mauk, ve moost drife dees truck ass ve drife de roads arooond dit.” Vernacular aside, his meaning was that negotiating these many turns would have to be made as if you were driving a country road-at racing speeds. He also taught me to break down the track into the well-defined sections, mandated on the track map. Most importantly, he stressed the mind and how it would tire of the intense concentration before my young body would succumb with fatigue.
Similarities with Bridgehampton could suffice for any of you who became familiar with blind turn recognition. Blind turn description does little justice to the actual awakening one receives at 220 KPH, negotiating a rise then dropping into a sharp bend in the forests of Adenauer with nary the thought of preparing a set of pedal and wheel movements that went to the left, no, right, no left-BAM, your dead! Better keep your wits about you!
Weather is very much an issue of attention within the confines of this mountain region and at 20 Kilometers in length, “Jurassic Ring” in April was mystifying. Intense rain greets a fast car, very fast indeed; yet three “clicks” further along and the sun warms the spectators aloft in the high sitting perches. Well positioned for best views of short sections of road, festooned with signs greeting their favorite drivers, and some not so popular.
I try to choose a really scary part of the “ring fazination”-as some call it, and I can’t. Maybe it has to do with the volumes of puzzled parts that scare the shit out of me.
Being fast there is remembering every section, intimately! Co-driver Randy benefited by my prior experience, I benefited by a humble approach to certain sections. The first third and last third of this Black forest cake was within my grasp by the third lap, as I re-familiarized myself with the old landmarks taught to me so long ago. It was after Adenauer Forest on our way down to the lowest sections and working back up through Bergwerk that kept me from a confidence level I adopted when younger.
Kesselchem made me look good as my right foot has a comfortable plant on the accelerator and at the 120 degree right turn, before the Karrousel there was confidence in 4 wheel drifting. Viewing several wrecks there, I thought it interesting that the Karrousel was and is very easy for me to drop into and pop out carrying good speed up Hohe Acht, setting up my ensuing drift along Wipperman. Schwalbenschwanz is important as are all turns coming onto any fast section should be. Upon clearing a minor incident, we move onto the fastest part of “Jurassic Ring”, a killer straight that seems to go on forever. Quickly shifting up to 6th, one eye jogs to the gauges and looks for 6200RPM, the complementary eyeball is watching the cars we’re passing. Seeing 300KPH for what seems like forever could be terminated if one does not respect the bridge and its kink to the left; a hint of lift on gas pedal and minor wheel correction and SLAM, the gas pedal is punished again, albeit for a short stint arriving at Hohenrain.
We logged over 70 laps and my best time was 8:04. Randy’s level of skill grew to a point where I felt he was most comfortable. The first day was driven with the GP circuit included, very cool, sadly boring if driven exclusively.
Ten hours of pounding rain dogged our ride back to Calais, then onto London’s Hyde Park, my flat, my respite. There is no substitute, bring on the “Fazination”! It does separate and disintegrate the men from the boys!
Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe has proven to be the greatest leap in overall performance for the production series Porsche since the advent of the turbocharger. Lightening fast gearshifts and uncompromising reliability combined with two true separate driving fashions result in the most enjoyable and practical Porsche driving experience to date. The most common question from our members is unquestionably “How does it work?”
Let’s begin with the first examples of PDK “type” transmission, campaigned by the Chaparrel Company in conjunction with GM in the 1960’s during the CanAm era. (note: there have been numerous claims to design of the dual clutch transmission, however for the purposes of this article we will concentrate on the one that actually worked fairly reliably on a high horsepower documented racecar with the same principles of today’s PDK.)
The 2J’s rudimentary transmission was the first notable attempt to use this technology in a racing car. It could withstand the horsepower that was being delivered, (though not always reliably) and worked in conjunction fairly well with the parameters set by the engineering in this oddly designed prototype racecar. In years to come Porsche would build upon the ideas of GM and Pete Weismann’s Williams F1 design from the 1993 model year, introducing this technology into the 956 and later 962, and finally into the production 2009 cars. Not withstanding Peugeot and Renault’s versions, the PDK we refer to today and will concentrate on in this article is the 7DT-45 or CG1.00.
Simply stated a PDK transmission always has two gears engaged. The transmission’s computer effectively turns on one wet clutch while turning the other off via solenoid. This was not the case with the 956/962, which from a standstill need human actuation of a clutch. The PDK case has two shafts with gears 220.127.116.11.R on one and 2.4.6. on the other, we now have constant power that gives the driver the ability to shift within 200 milliseconds. To answer the question that is likely burning in your mind right now, yes, this will be expensive to repair should there be a failure. Let me note that the PDK has proven to be one of the most reliable transmissions Porsche has ever developed. At high RPM, in the tightest of corners, on the most demanding road circuits, the shift can be achieved without virtually any disturbance to balance thanks to sensors that determine if the shift is possible on a corner and/or based on overall engine RPM and other factors. Gone now are the days of throttle blipping as this is now done electronically on both the 7 speed manual and PDK transmission, as well as overrev limitation due to gear selection mistakes. I know there are some of you using the tiptronic type transmission via the 964/996/997.1 saying how different can it be? It is not even in the same ballpark.
Granted, PDK paddle shifting and auto mode takes some of the sport out of it, but that is also what we said when ABS came out. Beyond these performance enhancements, a much more profound and exhilarating gearshift sound accompanies the already high-pitched purr of the 3.8 DFI engine found in the acclaimed GT3 model. Over the course of the past 7 years, software updates and design changes have made the PDK experience even more performance oriented with various mapping programs built in and a redesign of the PDK transmission itself most notably in the Panamera models. Whether you’re using the paddle shifter (after uproar over the gen. 1 buttons located on the steering wheel), shifter or automatic mode, the overall driving experience is second to none.
Whether one should purchase a 7-speed manual or a PDK is ultimately up to personal taste and usage. I myself would be unlikely to ever purchase a Porsche without PDK again, and I doubt that was the feeling during the Sportomatic and Tiptronic era of any Porsche driver. But there are purists out there that love the nostalgia of the 7 speed which I personally find rather lethargic in nature compared to the 6 speeds of prior models. Either way, the 991 has, does and always will provide the utmost driver interaction.
As a note for our members: if you experience poor shifting, noise, leaks, or any abnormal driving condition with your PDK transmission, your technician can recalibrate various systems to counteract most of these conditions and therefore restore your driving experience to what it should be: pure bliss.
Nick was out of the game for a long time. Indeed, when he approached me to reenter the fray my concerns were expressed, with punctuation, I may add. Achieving 25 years of club membership is to pay homage when you consider the short attention span any club is capable of drawing to the table. It’s not “their” fault; it simply is the way of organizations such as ours. Nick Ventura has in every position contrived by Metro PCA over the course of time and as controversy can surround my opinion, members, considered antagonists, would enjoy our former chief instructor’s subtle yet capable “Bruce Wayne/Batman” demeanor. Fortunately, his personality has “rubbed off”, as my hubris was difficult to fit through a 12×12 commercial door, only recently to arrive at a comfort level in attitude helped through an emulation of his quiet charm.
With the last engine’s life span terminated due to piston failure at 45 hours and difficulty in procuring many vital parts, did I dare assume Nick may have strapped his helmet on for the last time? Inclusive to germination of this article lies with factual evidence of racing prowess. Skills which have delivered dozens of overall/class wins for Metro PCA and with a mere, Ahem, 914. As non-controversial as this metro driver has been, the “914” he pilots, has drawn a maelstrom where rules were put into place, especially so at National PCA levels. Many believe that this car, stylistically dubbed, The Batmobile, along with its 750 ponies arranged amidships, was the hybrid birthed in Club Hell. National rules were in a constant state of flux, in part based specifically on the Batmobile, finally insulting it through it’s installation in the prototype category; a group inclusive to the 962! Honestly, why would they put this “simple” 914 there? With every component unique and state of art, it was appropriate to leave the rear taillights as a reminder of what was once an “entry level” Porsche. I’ve no intention in rehashing his record as it truly speaks for itself, “Bruce Wayne” and his Batmobile began a legacy which spanned decades only to succumb to a lack of spares. It’s easy to understand his distaste in amassing another ride when nothing would approach performance figures in which this unique creature would put forth on qualifying sheets at Club races across the U.S. As to my satisfaction? It came in the creation of something NO ONE had ever seen before, or after.
Allowing two years for engine completion, this creature and its new power plant left our Gotham cave recently. I cautioned this quiet hunter as to how the competition has been recently, only to look into his eyes and realize caution never comes to Nick’s thought process of speed. I extolled the virtues of the new generation of track cars and factory examples of GT3’s based on the current 996. Graced with experience on the current crop of cars, along with much driving experience in Europe, my comments fell on deaf ears. Nick hears no evil, speaks no evil. Decades preceding, many club drivers opined of his driver prowess, “Nick was not just ahead of the curve, Nick was the curve!” The once famed Batmobile’s reintroduction in competition would prove agonizing to me though healing to its drivers dry spell, culminating in the ever familiar Nick-Brando-Godfather tone; “Build it, I’ll drive it, nothing else matters”.
Procuring Porsche 962 racing engine parts proved to take over two years, vital parts typified by the crankshaft and engine block, once common, would actually be recreated from scratch along with rods, valves, oil pump, and pistons. There were lessons to learn from this exasperating/time consuming project as vintage racing engines waste too much time in the details. My fortunes in racing originate in principle due to the people I hold close to me. Brought forth to this equation is one such person, Ed Pink, a famous/versatile race engine builder. Mr. Pink would prove crucial in the assemblage and testing of this, a most sophisticated and complex assemblage. His L.A. facility is a virtuoso of what true engine shops personify. In addition, Pink’s personality is so “Southern Californian Cool”. Akin to bronco riders on a ranch, we pulled a herd of ponies during our engine test sessions and properly broke in, “mapped”, crated, then shipped back one happy “blown hybrid” to NYC, along with a return promise in the form of “Marks famous artichoke sauce” for Pink’s table. Thank God the Pink man loves my sauce, as I love his shop!
With a pleasurable install/run process completed, the venerable Batmobile’s initial venture would take it to Watkins Glen PCA Club Race in June. The once common 17” tires were no longer available, as everyone of substance went to 18’s. “Batman” would run the week with old rubber and out of date brakes, feeling the pavement like Fred Flintstones feet! Again, veins thickened with ice, no tolerance towards discourse in lack of driving time, Mr. V “ponyed up” in muted volumes, “if the car’s up to it, so am I”.
Lap times, like the weather, changed radically. Rain times were impossible based on our rain tire situation, as in “none”! Dry weather/lap times spelled us on race day and went from paltry 2:18’s (two laps in two years) down to 2:03’s for qualifying position. Allowing for lack of real grip and a brake pedal that “came and went”, the oft soft spoken Metro driver was ecstatic, as was I; noting we were a mere 3 seconds of the pole! Mr. V’s goals were actually achieved in general reliability and a desire to obtain vital track time in honing his driver skills. When asked of his re-entry to competition and hiatus in driving, the mighty warrior of Gotham would again quip in a final indicative epithet, “the King isn’t dead yet”!
Indeed, this “King” would arise subsequent to a brake system correction as he assaulted the banking of Pocono for Metro’s driver ed. “long course” event. This would be a prelim to the next “real” race, with “real race rubber”. For a real sports car driver “life begins at 200”, and that time/space continuum would be gifted to us, along with the “full course” through Andy, Dorothy and Barry, members who ran the event. Those Metro Showman enlivened our show by obtaining permission to running a full, late afternoon session on the Tri-Oval! I, as well as, Nick had not been on the banks of the tri-oval in more than two decades, yet once there we lapped the field twice, as the Batmobile, and Batman would begin the process of being a “curve” for another millennium.
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