By on October 28, 2016

flatout

“Corvette in the tire wall outside Turn 2.” Maybe over the tire wall was more like it; the front tires were six feet in the air, the back bumper had dragged the muddy ground behind it smooth of grass like a knife across cake frosting, and the driver looked like he was going to have a very hard time getting out of the thing. In under thirty seconds, there were black flags out all the way around the course. Two minutes later, most of the other cars in the group, including the 2004 Boxster S driven by Danger Girl with yours truly sitting in the right seat, were filing back into the paddock.

One man continued alone, still out there on the track, still driving flat out. He blew by the thirty cars lined up for pit entrance, oblivious or uncaring as to why they were all pulling off at the same time. Ignored every black flag that waved at him, first nonchalantly and then with increasing urgency, as he flew past the long corner into the back straight. And his Cayman GTS was at the eleventh tenth of grip as he came screaming around Turn One and found himself faced with two emergency vehicles, a forklift, and several people standing on or near the track surface. He panic-braked. Realized there had been a major incident on-track, perhaps three minutes after it had happened, and nearly two minutes since he’d passed Turn 2 in his previous lap, somehow without seeing the Corvette up in the air some thirty feet from the track’s exit curb. Came to a sheepish halt. Made the drive of shame, two miles to pit out, with dozens of people pointing at him and wondering what his major malfunction was.

Naturally, none of this was his fault.

(Read More…)

By on December 10, 2015

2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder 01

Porsche announced Wednesday that it would change the model names for 2016 of its Boxster and Cayman models to “718 Boxster” and “718 Cayman” because there was once a race car in the 1950s and 1960s that had four cylinders and competed in a bunch of races, I guess. Either that, or Porsche is really into the Queens area code.

Oh yeah, and the company confirmed what we heard in September: the mid-engined Stuttgart machines will get a turbo fours instead of flat sixes from here on out. (Maybe GT4 models will retain the 3.8-liter six. Maybe.)

The name change seems, well, odd. Despite the loose association with a 60-year-old car, the switch to 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman seems to add a level of unnecessary naming convention for a German company that counts the ounces of its seatbelts for chrissakes.

(Read More…)

By on September 27, 2013

IMG_0737

When it was first introduced, what we know today as the Ferrari Dino was a bit of a conundrum. Simultaneously a tribute to Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari, Enzo Ferrari’s beloved deceased son, the first roadgoing midengine car from Ferrari, and an attempt to amortize costs between Ferrari and Fiat, which had bought the sports car maker in 1969, the Dino was also the first non-V12 powered car made by Ferrari and in fact it was not originally sold as a Ferrari. Dino was supposed to be a new marque for six and eight cylinder cars from the company, at a lower price point than Ferrari branded cars. That idea went away after the Dino 308 models, but the notion that the Dino was not quite a Ferrari sort of stuck to the car when it first came out. That the Dino had a DOHC V6 engine, designed by Ferrari to compete in Formula 2 but originally built in a Fiat factory to homologate it and shared with the Fiat Dino, a completely different car with, confusingly, the same name, didn’t help matters. Dinos from Ferrari weren’t cheap, about $13,000-$14,000 when new four decades ago, thousands more than a Porsche 911, and if my memory serves me well, they languished on the dealer lots and then stagnated in price once out of production. In the late 1970s, I’m pretty sure you could get them for used car money. At least at first.

Today Dinos are welcome at any Ferrari meet and it could cost you the price of a new Ferrari California to buy a 1973 Dino 246. Hagerty Insurance’s price guide says that the average price of a 40 year old Dino 246 is $172,000.

I’m not here to talk about the Ferrari Dino, though. (Read More…)

By on August 28, 2013

porschead

Your humble E-I-C is a fairly committed capitalist tool, in pretty much all senses of the phrase, but I’m also a fairly ardent reader of left-leaning publications and books. This month’s Adbusters throws a shout out to Porsche by reprinting a recent Cayman ad and superimposing a description of narcissistic personality disorder on it. To be fair, the first stereotype regarding Porsche owners probably sprang into existence when the first customer for the Gmund coupe drove it past his neighbor on the way home from taking delivery, but it’s easy to argue that the company’s actions of the past fifteen years have done a lot to make those stereotypes more true than ever.

(Read More…)

By on April 23, 2013

I used to work for Porsche. You already know this because I mention it in most of my stories, hopeful that you will go tell your friends “TTAC has a guy who used to work for Porsche!” to which they will reply: “Used to? Road & Track has fifty people who still do.”

Just kidding. The cars get good reviews because they’re damn good. I know this because when I worked at Porsche I had several 911 company cars, and the ones I didn’t crash drove tremendously. This sentiment was not echoed by my rear seat passengers, who often said things like: “This is really cramped!” or “You want to give this up to be a blogger?”

When I worked there, I had two main questions on my mind at all times. Traditionally popular in the morning, the first one was: “Can I get away with a two-hour lunch today?” But when I got back from lunch around 2:30, the rest of the day was spent pondering the second one: “What the hell competes with the 911?”

(Read More…)

By on November 28, 2012

We liked the Boxster S when we briefly drove it during a stage-managed event designed to show off its best characteristics. The Cayman should be even better.

(Read More…)

By on November 16, 2012

A couple of Instagram photos blew the cover of the next-generation Porsche Cayman. Yes, it looks like the Boxster, and under the skin it will probably be the same as well. More photos below.

By on July 20, 2012

As if the absurdly hyperbolic headline “The day the world changed” wasn’t enough of a tip-off , the hype machine for the Toyobaru twins has officially reached its zenith, with Wheels magazine’s Peter Robinson declaring the Japanese-spec Toyota 86 to be superior to the Porsche Cayman.

(Read More…)

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