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      02-21-2008, 04:24 PM   #23
epbrown
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Originally Posted by KenB View Post
They won't change the 911 until someone can beat it.
Porsche's racing history - real racing they did themselves - took advantage of mid-engine platforms, didn't it?

To me, Ernst Fuhrmann had it right. Back in the 70s he wanted to drop the 911 platform and build 928s and 924/944s - going to a two car line-up, water-cooled, based on the same platform that shared lots of parts so they'd be cheaper to make, one an entry-level model and one the top of the line, taking advantage of VWAG as a manufacturing resource.

Everyone squawked, Ferdinand Pietz took dropping the 911 as an insult to the Porsche family and screwed the guy over at every turn, eventually ousting him as CEO and hiring someone willing to continue tweaking the flawed 911.

Twenty years later, Wendelin Weideking saves the foundering company. What did he do? He went to a 2-car line-up, water-cooled, based off the same platform and sharing lots of parts, one an entry-level model and one the top model, and starts a partnership with VW to take advantage of their manufacturing resources.

The difference? No matter what, he'll keep calling the most expensive model "911."

All hail the genius.

Porsche has stated they've taken the flat-6 as far as it will go. How do you feel about a rear-engined 8-cylinder water-cooled 911? When does the car stop being a 911, and start being a badge-whoring marketing exercise?
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      02-21-2008, 05:18 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epbrown View Post
Porsche's racing history - real racing they did themselves - took advantage of mid-engine platforms, didn't it?

To me, Ernst Fuhrmann had it right. Back in the 70s he wanted to drop the 911 platform and build 928s and 924/944s - going to a two car line-up, water-cooled, based on the same platform that shared lots of parts so they'd be cheaper to make, one an entry-level model and one the top of the line, taking advantage of VWAG as a manufacturing resource.

Everyone squawked, Ferdinand Pietz took dropping the 911 as an insult to the Porsche family and screwed the guy over at every turn, eventually ousting him as CEO and hiring someone willing to continue tweaking the flawed 911.

Twenty years later, Wendelin Weideking saves the foundering company. What did he do? He went to a 2-car line-up, water-cooled, based off the same platform and sharing lots of parts, one an entry-level model and one the top model, and starts a partnership with VW to take advantage of their manufacturing resources.

The difference? No matter what, he'll keep calling the most expensive model "911."

All hail the genius.

Porsche has stated they've taken the flat-6 as far as it will go. How do you feel about a rear-engined 8-cylinder water-cooled 911? When does the car stop being a 911, and start being a badge-whoring marketing exercise?

I agree with all your points. You seem to know your stuff.

But, I did just get home from driving my dads 997 C4S with sport exhaust and I still get chills thinking about it.

It has me thinking hard about a low mileage 996 turbo over the new m3.
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      02-21-2008, 09:00 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by KenB View Post
I am not a badge whore, and certainly there are some advantages to having the engine in the middle. To suggest that the rear engine layout is wrong is to ignore history and verifiable data.

...The platform sharing with the 986 and 996 was a financial necessity at the time, it allowed Porsche to have flexible manufacturing and to stay in business.
I've also had this debate numerous times, and yep, it does get tiresome.

To say that the rear engine layout is right is to ignore physics. Porsche has spent years (and millions) getting a square wheel to roll. I can admire how well the wheel is rolling and yet still be puzzled as to why they didn't go round in the first place. The 911 continues to exists more out of sentiment (on the part of management and customers) and marketing strategy than any desire to keep privateers winning races. And you'll never convince me that the people winning races in a 997 couldn't win with a 987, if Porsche used the same hardware in the Cayman that it currently reserves for the 911.

As for platform sharing - the "financial necessity" was created by Porsche keeping the 911 alive. The 928 and 944/968 shared components almost on a level with the 986/996 (the I4 in the 944 was essentially half the 928's V8, and almost all of the ancillary parts are interchangeable; it was the 911 that was odd-man out of the parts bin. I previously owned - simultaneously - a 1983 928S, 1983 944, and 1983 911SC, and worked on them myself so i saw this first-hand. the big differences between Weideking and Fuhrmann is "just in time" inventory and adding the Cayenne, and neither JIT inventory management nor luxury SUVs were in vogue at the time.

Had the 911 been dropped as Fuhrmann planned, and the 928 developed as a sports car (rather than the luxury GT it evolved into once the 911 was resuscitated), it can be argued that Porsche would have had similar success as now, only 20 years back. And while water-cooling was forced onto Porsche in the 90s, there are lots of solid engineering benefits to it that Porsche could have reaped back then (for instance, heat that worked). And don't get me started on how much nicer the transmissions in the 928 and 944 were compared to the 915 gearbox used in the 911 from 1972-1987. The variable intake and 5-link rear suspension were developed for the 928 and 968 before they appeared in the 911. And then, as now, it was felt that the "entry-level" model was held back by Porsche to keep people buying 911s - they reined in the 944 and 944 turbo the same way they rein in the Cayman now.

And here we are, back at the beginning of the thread.

PS: part of why I like BMWs is my love for my old 944. That car taught me to enjoy revvy inline engines.
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      02-21-2008, 09:15 PM   #26
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congrad, beautiful car and a great deal.

one thing that proves my point, though, is that Porche really don't hold their value at all. not only cuz u got a great price but just in general. looking at how expensive Porhces are when new.. and used ones on the market (usually very low miles), the #'$ just don't make sense. i dont expect it to hold value like a honda or tyota, but sometimes i wonder why such high end cars don't hold value at all.. not just porche but Merc, Audi, Jag, are all the same.. BMW holds best vlue among them all.
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      02-21-2008, 09:26 PM   #27
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frogger jkk congrats
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      02-21-2008, 10:59 PM   #28
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nice upgrade
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      02-22-2008, 01:53 AM   #29
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nice new toy... i would kill to have a 335 coupe but now you have a cayman s!! some people are just soo lucky...
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      02-22-2008, 08:28 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by montreal jet black View Post
nice new toy... i would kill to have a 335 coupe but now you have a cayman s!! some people are just soo lucky...
Thanks...yes I have been lucky in many ways but I also work my tail off as well and have done so since college 2 decades ago. In fact, this car is my reward for expanding my business this year.

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      02-22-2008, 08:30 AM   #31
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Think about the average 911 buyer late 30s to 50s men, what do they have WIVES AND CHILDREN!!! The wife will give you all kinds of hell if you try to buy a two seat car when you have a five year old at home. The point simply is even if mid engined is a better layout for a sports car that doesn't mean you are going to be able to sell that car.
Wife is not giving me hell even with a 6 and 9 yo! To me a Cayman S + my decent everyday car, an 06 Accord, comes to the same price as the 911 and you get the best of both worlds, particularly if she has the ubiquitous SUV for large items. In my case, I would get hell if I tried to sell her on a 911 as an everyday car

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