By on November 25, 2006
turbo2222.jpgEvery month the pages of car magazines sport autoerotic photographs of the greatest thing to hit the roads since, well, the last time. In their celebration of unbridled speed and handling, reliability simply isn’t a major factor. It should be. A high performance car may be fast, furious and fun, but if bits keep falling off, if it spends more time in dry dock than cruising the highways and byways, it's nothing but a pretentious, expensive fraud. And yet automakers continue to build "supercars" that can't even run hard for an entire day without some kind of extremely expensive tinkering afterward. 

There's a long, sad history of big name cars that show up for a magazine road test, only to go weak in the knees when the stop watches come out. Once at the Transportation Research Center in Ohio I watched a bewinged, bellowing, NACA-ducted Lamborghini Countach fail to crest 140 mph. Then there was a cross-country comparo featuring a Lamborghini Diablo and some Ferrari-of-the-month. The article neglected to elaborate on the fact that a van containing mechanics and assorted parts followed the cars at a discreet distance.

Back in 2002, the redoubtable Brock Yates, late of Car and Driver, challenged Ferrari/Lamborghini (for the purposes of this article they are interchangable) to place in the top three in his annual One Lap Of America. He put five G’s on the barrel to back up his claim that they couldn’t measure up. "All the swooning about Italian iron fades away when the party gets rough,” Brock said. “When it comes to a hard-core street fight, they're as soft as mozzarella in the Tuscan sun." Perhaps that’s also why a Ferrari PR man once admitted that his customers are “an integral part of the development process.”

Nor should we overlook that latest of nonsense cars: the $1.3m rolling sucker bait known as the Bugatti Veyron. Here we have a 1001hp car with a “troubled gestation,” with more cooling than the Sears Tower, that requires a troop of people to acompany it whenever it's tested. Let's overlook the fact that it's as ugly as a mud fence. How do you say garage queen in French? Or is it German? Even the $455k Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren has been criticized for its snatchy brakes and the persistent smell of unburned fuel in the cabin under hard deceleration.

And then there’s Porsche.

There's an old racing expression: "To finish first, first you must finish." Porsche doesn’t just pay homage to it, they live it. The German company has dominated nearly every race series in which they’ve competed. More to the point, Porsche’s won the grueling 24-hour race at Le Mans sixteen times. That’s more than Ferrari and Ford put together. This phenomenal stamina is now built into every Porsche road car.

A while back, I was invited to speak to a local chapter of Porsche owners. I tried to explain the over-engineering that makes Porsche’s road cars so tough. For example, their engines and transmissions are built absurdly strong for their size. You will find more bearing area, big-ends and mains, for each liter of displacement in a 911 engine than in any other engine in production today. It’s an obscure technical point, but a telling one. You simply cannot buy a more robust high performance automobile. It’s a difference a skilled driver can feel.

There are plenty of surveys that document Porsche's reliability. Porsche’s Finnish subcontractors, Valmet Automotive, recently received the Bronze Plant Quality Award from J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study 2006. The Cayman S was ranked best overall (together with Toyota Lexus LS 430) for having the fewest quality problems in the entire industry. The Cayman S was best in its category "Compact Premium Sporty Cars,” with the Porsche Boxster ranked third. And Porsche was awarded the highest initial quality of all automobile brands.

OK, it is true that the Carrera GT’s carbon fiber clutch is a disaster that transforms a perfectly serviceable (if low slung) daily driver into a San Francisco supercar owner’s worst nightmare. But it’s the exception that proves the rule. The Porsche Turbo is still the single most effective exemplar of the “everyday” supercar. It’s the only ultra-high performance automobile I’d jump into at a moment’s notice and confidently head for the other end of the country, or take to the supermarket to pickup a weekend’s supplies.

Is reliability the ultimate measure of a high performance car? Of course not. Otherwise, the Porsche Turbo would be in a class of one. In my opinion, in fact, it is. But reliability is an important safety consideration too for anyone who intends on using their exotic as God intended. And it jibes with the age old question: what’s the world’s best car? Simple: The one that lives up to its promises.

[For more of Don Vorderman's work, please visit www.carcritic.com.] 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

93 Comments on “Porsche Uber Alles...”


  • avatar

    On three separate occasions I passed a Koenigsegg that seemed to spend more time parked on the curb than driving about.
    The owner actually got newspaper coverage when he bought the car – but probably wasn’t as fond of having to call the company to have them come and get him rolling again when something else broke.

    They’ve caught so much flak from this that K’egg has now stated they will require owners take a high-performance driving test (quite a few have spun their overpowered eggs off the road headed for an omelette).
    Maybe they should throw in an “Instant Mechanics Workshop”!

  • avatar
    1981.911.SC

    I agree…..sort of…..but, living with a 25 yr old Porsche helps me remember the flaws, A/C that didn’t work, studs that pulled out of engine cases, or studs that corroded and broke, a quart of oil every 800 miles is normal, bodies that rusted to death, who needs a heater?, cam chain tensioners that collapsed, MFI, CIS, fusebox that dates from a 1938 VW, rubber centered clutches that exploded, 1st and 2nd gear syncros that are toast, cruise control NEVER worked.

    AND damned if I don’t still drive it every day that it isn’t snowing or raining!!!!!!!

  • avatar

    Gawd, what a complete lack of “character”!

    To be reliable to the point of sterility, to be nothing more than an excellently handling Camry . . . . .

    I always thought the point of owning an exotic was to be man enough to be able to fix/be able to afford to have fixed all those little bits of character in a car.

    Guess that’s why I was never turned on to a Porsche. And yet, I love BSA motorcycles.

  • avatar

    As an owner of two old Porsches (951, 928) I can only agree with 1981.911.SC – the touted reliability will only go so far. Plus it’s not like the newer beasts are bullet-proof either, RMS issue anyone?

    Despite of all the maintenance headaches I love my car dearly – they’re not for sale!

  • avatar
    qfrog

    My 944 only crapped out on me once, when the clutch failed in gear at a stop. Then there was that minor fuel leak which was probably the cause of the lingering gasoline smell. She always started and managed to get me from RI to NJ and back in a hurry whenever I needed to get away from univ. My only regret is that I didnt pony up some more green for a better example, at 19 I didn’t know WTF I was buying into. Once I get sick of understeering Audis I’ll promptly buy another Porsche.

  • avatar
    Matthew Potena

    skyerocker, the article was not an overall editorial on Porsches, just a statement that part of what makes a Porsche is their robustness. Porsches have character in spades. Just the feel when you drive one, specifically a 911, is completely different from other cars. This dedication can be seen by the many little ways the car is designed to reward the driver. I consider the following to be specifically characteristic of Porsche (in no particular order):
    Feel of a rear engined car
    Driver inspired handling
    Left handed ignition key
    Superb steering feel
    Incredible braking
    Dash design
    I am aware of the various faults, the rear main seal, the lack of electrical reliability as compared to the Japanese and the general lag in the technology wars. But overall, for a car with as high a performance envelope as a Porsche, they are not only well built, they reward a driver in many ways.
    If you want to discuss a high performance car with a lack of character, I think the Acura NSX should be the topic. It is a great car with incredible performance, is very technological, but feels like you are driving a fast Accord. Having previously owned an NSX (1995 NSX-T) and the current owner of a 911 (2005 Carrera S), I think the 911 has much more character.

  • avatar

    I think that Porsche’s approach to engineering is why so many of us fear the Cayenne. It is a softening of focus. Even its profits are distracting, leading to sedans… Can a minivan be that far off (Mercedes R-class, I am looking at you.)?

    Of course I have to admit, if Porsche came out with a real small sports-sedan, I would be the first to buy one. The 3-series is a bloated piece of garbage from its peak as the E30.

  • avatar
    WaaaaHoooo

    You forgot to mention the part about all Porsche owners being “pretentious posers” because 99.9% of them don’t use the vehicles full capabilities.

    Oh wait, I forgot. That phrase only applies to SUV owners.

    Porsche and the other german makes do design fine dynamic driving machines, but they don’t design fine dependable driving machines. True, within the european subset some are better than others, but compared to a fair chunk of their global competition they lag when it comes to confidence in simply turning the key and getting a response. Winning at LeMans doesn’t provide a whole lot of comfort when you are stuck in the hills somewhere, or at Albertsons, but at least passing cars will think you are cool while you wait for a tow.

  • avatar
    kaisen

    I guess we shouldn’t mention the Corvettes of the last decade. How many times have they won LeMans? How much faster is a C6 Z06 than a 911 for the same money? Oh wait, it doesn’t have the ignition to the left of the steering wheel.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    WaaaaHoooo:

    I remember turning in to apex at the carousel of Le Circuit Mont Tremblant hotter than usual and my instructor commenting on my line and entry speed, I replied “I’m just trying to find the limits” his reply “we’re not trying to find the limit just 8/10th’s and smoothness” With that said, do you really think it is a bad thing that 99.9% of all motorists don’t use the full potential of their vehicles?

    Given the average level of performance (accel, decel, lateral G) of today’s cars… I dont think I want most of the drivers on the road trying for more than 4 or 5 tenths for more than a few secconds at a time.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Kaisen:

    How many 911’s have had their roof panel fly off at speed? Is that considered a materials defect or just poor engineering these days?

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    We could go all day pointing out snafus like RMS, delaminating roofs, failing head studs, and Fisher Price switchgear. The point is that neither a Corvette, or Supra, or 911, or NSX are as difficult to live with as the tempermental Italians.

  • avatar
    WaaaaHoooo

    Qfrog – no doubt I don’t want everyone racing out there just because the car can. There area already more Schumi-wannabees on the road than we need. I was making a casual reference to other articles where it’s acceptable denigrate SUV drivers (I’m not one) for simply driving an SUV, but that’s okay whereas we need to all worship at the altar of Porsche Almighty and its legions of owners. As has been pointed out elsewhere, most people don’t need and SUV, and most don’t need a sportscar either.

    To me, Porsche’s are interesting from an engineering standpoint, but if I have to drop 100k to get a german car that will hopefully start, the japanese and american alternatives start to look really really appealing. Then again, I’m not a sucker for an inferiority complex. Sure a Porsche is more reliable than a Ferrari or Lambo, but then again a Yugo was too, so whoopee. Driving a Porsche on a Lap around America also sounds nice, until you figure out that in that 6,000 miles maybe only 100 miles are really worth “driving” and the other 5,900 are better spent in a Town Car with Rush Limbaugh blasting on the AM dial.

    Having a 911 is only interesting if you have a private track to put it to the limit, but when I see them in traffic alongside the Dodge Caliber I chuckle.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    “Yugo was too, so whoopee”…. but the yugo wasn’t going to get you laid, into a speeding ticket expressed with an exponent or invited to drive anybody anywhere ever. To it’s credit the yugo absoloutly makes better modern art building blocks.

    Bad miles are for daily drivers, good miles are for weekend toys. A weekend toy capable (if driver willing and enduring enough) of being driven as a daily driver is impressive, this feat seems to have eluded some mfg’s by design or by happenstance.

  • avatar

    But WaaaaHoooo, sportscars don’t have the middle name of “utility” to live up to. ;)

    Mr. Vorderman, Jaguar once dominated endurance racing too, so let’s not make that a hallmark of a reputation for reliability. ;)

    Good points though. I’ve always looked at people who buy high-end Italian wedge-shaped hardware as being masochists on a scale that even old Jaguar owners can’t fathom. They sure are pretty though, aren’t they? Hard to say the same about the stuff from Stuttgart.

    –chuck

  • avatar
    Matthew Potena

    “Having a 911 is only interesting if you have a private track to put it to the limit, but when I see them in traffic alongside the Dodge Caliber I chuckle.”

    WaaaaHoooo,
    A Porsche is a fine driving instrument. Just because it is not taken to the limit, does not mean that it cannot be appreciated on an everyday basis.

  • avatar
    kaisen

    The Porsche Turbo is still the single most effective exemplar of the “everyday” supercar. It’s the only ultra-high performance automobile I’d jump into at a moment’s notice and confidently head for the other end of the country– at speed. Or take to the supermarket to pickup a weekend’s supplies.

    I’d take a new Z06 over a new 997 Turbo. More power, as fast on any track (faster around Nordschleife Nürburgring), similar fuel economy, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty (how much does that cost on a 997 Turbo?), and over $50,000 less.

    Z06s are quite docile as every day drivers, but ferocious on the track or winding road.

    Did I mention $52,900 less? That’s enough to buy a nice daily driver. Or two.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    A few comments.

    Ferarri just ran two 599s from Brazil to New York.

    Also, with the exception of the (Gorgeous) Carrera GT, stick a Porsche next to any Ferrari and tell me honestly which one you want to take to bed.

  • avatar

    I think its VERY important to make the distinction between the powertrains of the cars that Porsche currently races and their regular lineup. They are totally and completely different.

    Their racing successes over the past 40 years came from the inherent ruggedness of the air-cooled engines and the current GT-3RSR water-cooled motors.

    The 996-986-997 engines and transmissions have nothing in common with the GT-1/GT-2/GT-3/GT-3R/GT-3RSR powertrains that they built their reputations on.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Hey WaaaHoooo

    I remember when I attended Skip Barber’s High Performance Driving School, 9 of the 11 men there owned Porsches.

    The other owned a 1,000hp Mustang. Oh, and a WRX…

  • avatar

    I remember when I attended Skip Barber’s High Performance Driving School, 9 of the 11 men there owned Porsches.

    The other owned a 1,000hp Mustang. Oh, and a WRX…
    When I did a SB 3-Day Racing School at Sebring a few years ago, everyone there owned something bigger, faster, and better than the 99 Civic Si I had at the time. All but two of them were slower around the place than I was over the span of the school. What people drive on the street means ish, when it comes right down to it.

    I’m with the crowd that would take the new Z06 over the new 911 turbo. Sorry guys, but that new Vette is monstrous bang for the buck.

  • avatar
    tom

    I’d take a new Z06 over a new 997 Turbo…

    To be honest, I’ve never driven a Z06, but from what I’ve heard, the Z06 is great on the track, but causes herniated vertebral disks on your way to the track and back home.

  • avatar
    kaisen

    I’d say the Z06 rides about the same as a 997 Turbo, and better than a GT2 or GT3. I’m not sure there’s a car that’s faster at the track that rides significantly better on real roads.

  • avatar
    confused1096

    Isn’t the reliablility of a Lambo or other Ferarri moot? If you can afford to pay $250K or more for a car the repairs are not much of an issue, cars at this price point are not being depended on as transportation.

  • avatar
    finger

    Give me a Z06 anyday…

  • avatar
    Ryan

    confused, no attractive young mistress will be impressed when the Italian wheeled toupee they were riding in breaks down, no matter how reliable the driver’s other cars are.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    I’d take a new Z06 over a new 997 Turbo. More power, as fast on any track (faster around Nordschleife Nürburgring), similar fuel economy, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty (how much does that cost on a 997 Turbo?), and over $50,000 less.

    Z06s are quite docile as every day drivers, but ferocious on the track or winding road.

    Did I mention $52,900 less? That’s enough to buy a nice daily driver. Or two.

    The 997 Turbo clocked a faster time than the C6 Z06 at the ‘Ring, by a second or two. This is despite the Turbo having less power, and being substantially heavier. Having a flatter torque curve than the Z06 definitely helps.

    Looks like you didn’t mention that the Turbo is easily more refined, comfortable, and luxurious, yet can match the Z06 is basically every way, and in some cases exceed it.

    Objectively, the Turbo is a better daily driver, simply because of all the sophisticated stability control and active suspension systems, along with AWD. The Turbo is a docile and comfortable daily driver under any conditions, be it rain, snow, or blizzard. While Corvettes tend to be garage queens during winter time, Turbos are seen on the streets year round. The Turbo is the ultimate “all-rounder” supercar. It’s almost a swiss-army knife of an automobile, but it does everything exceptionally well. And this is why it costs more than the ‘Vette. You ultimately get what you pay for in this case.

    A reliable sports car with supercar performance, that is comfortable, has luxuries like a leather stitched dash, can be confidently driven in any conditions, and is quite practical? Corvette never offered that, and likely never will.

  • avatar
    charleywhiskey

    Do I detect the aroma of sour grapes? I’ve also got a nice Porsche but if a new Ferrari were to magically appear in my driveway tomorrow, the Porsche would be on eBay the next day. I bet that I’m not alone with this view.

  • avatar
    biturbo

    Money MUST be taken in consideration in any comparo. It is the price first and then we may talk. Millionaires don’t write here, but even if they would, the point stays.

    I agree that Porsche cars are good; they even got reliable these days. But don’t forget folks that they all have a hefty price.

    The Carrera S will cost you 35% more than the price of the Z06 and you will not reach the same level of performance. The turbo and gt3 are not in the same price range, just too expensive.

    As for the “supercar performance”, this term gets redefined, like it or not. Porsche seem to lack behind lately in performance. As the Carrera GT is no longer built, they have no real supercar.

    Here is a real life story: my neighbor just bought his new Cayman S. He comes to me to talk about it, as he knows that I am very into cars. Here is part of the discussion:

    – I guess that with 295 horses my Porsche is number two after your Z06 on this street!
    – Wait a minute, maybe 4th? Jim’s 300C SRT8 has 425, and the guy next to your house has an Impala SS with 303 horses …

    The guy went green… I felt bad, but then what the heck, reality check! His beloved Porsche has less power than a family sedan, not to mention that is more than twice the price of the Impala!

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    yes but ask yourself, would you rather have an Impala SS with 303bhp or a Cayman S with 295?

  • avatar
    biturbo

    No Impala for me :-)
    I already have my C6 Z06. And I paid LESS for it than my neighbor paid for the Cayman S!
    I thought initially that he loaded too many options, but then we checked and it is actually my Z06 that has more features [tires pressure monitoring, HUD, keyless entry+start].
    I was considering a Porsche Carrera S, but the Z06 won. The Porsche is plain and simple overpriced.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    The Nissan 350Z competes favorably with Porsche, at the level of the Boxster; and my hunch is, that if Nissan bolted a turbocharger onto the Z car, it could compete favorably with the latest incarnation of the 911. Now when I say that, I mean as a sports car, not necessarily as a sports tourer. But hey, that’s what the Infiniti G35 coupe is about. I used to be a Porsche buff. Writing for Porsche Club publications, is what got me into writing about automobiles for daily papers and business weeklies. But in the mid Eighties, Porsche started to become more of a luxury car with sporting characteristics, than a sports car per se. At least, that’s how I saw it – and still do. But then again, I could be wrong.

  • avatar
    tms1999

    The cool thing with Corvette is that buying and servicing one sends you directly to the Chevy dealership, where you squeeze between the Malibu driver and the Silverado buyer. Now that’s a supercar experience.

    You can’t taint me snubbish because I do own a fine Malibu (and know the limits of the car, agreably not as hard to find as for a Porsche) But I should say, given the cost of the vehicle, I’d rather be treaded like a Porsche buyer than a Chevy buyer at the dealership…

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Terry, you seem to talk about Porsche as if they are BMW, which they are not.

    Test drive a new 911 Turbo or 911 GT2 and comment on the experience after.

    tms1999, good point. Despite the Corvette Z06 being considerably cheaper than the 911 Turbo, it’s still a hefty sum of money, and for what you pay you do not get a satisfying dealership experience.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    Comparing the Z06 to the 911 Turbo is like comparing a BMW 3-series and a Mitsu Lancer EVO.

    RWD 215hp vs AWD 320hp for the same price, etc etc. You could argue all day over refinement, power, or what-have-you. But people end up buying what they deem a good value or what makes them happy, whether that be a $70,000 car or a $170,000 car.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Vettes are OK, i guess. But after a few sprints to 100 in second gear, then what do u do? At normal speeds, u might as well be in an montecarlo with no back seats.

    Porsche is cool because, for better or worse, you never forget u are in a porsche. Never. They are simply more fun at speeds we all go normally.

    Lately, i have actually begun to warm to the corvettes body style, its more european actually, a good thing. But I would have a Porsche, any porsche, over a ‘vette any day.

    Nice that they are reliable too. Very nice. Prefer a car to start in the morning.

  • avatar

    As the proud owner of a new Boxster S, I have to admit there are plenty of times I see a 'Vette and think, "Doh! I could've had a V8!" But then I remember the reasons why I consider Porsche more worthy of my money. 1. Fluency. Mid-engine balance, a perfectly matched gearbox and engine, and unflappable stoppers make for true automotive synergy through a corner, any corner, at any speed. The Vette is a towering achievement by any dynamic standard, but it lacks the Porsche's delicacy at the limit. 2. Confidence. The Vette loses poise over rough surfaces. In the this neck of the woods, you can't drive flat out in a sports car that goes all jittery on broken roads. 3. Cabin. The Boxster S is no Audi, but the Chevy's cabin is irredeemably cheap. A HUGE disappointment. 4. Build quality. You can feel the Boxster's solidity. You can see the Vette's flimsiness.  5. Image. In this area, guys who drive Vettes are [still] named Vinny and wear gold chains. 6. Looks. The new Vette looks too much like a Viper for my tastes. 7. Dealership experience. My Porsche guys take care of me. 8. As the author says, reliability. And not just in terms of not falling apart. I'm talking about not falling apart at speed (I'm looking at you Z06 roof).  When you drive a sports car as hard as I do, you don't want it to break. Ever. 

  • avatar
    JJ

    Does NA get the GT3RS???

    Now that’s a great car. Especially if you order it in the Porsche vintage Green or Orange livery. It’s basically the same as the regular GT3, only with the wider body from the ‘4’ models. Of course that doesn’t mean it’s AWD – This IS a sportscar.

    I usually don’t really care for the Turbo models. Except the original one (The 930) they’re all uglier then their respective base models (even if the 996 and especially the 964 weren’t to great to start with IMHO).

    Still, the case with Porsche is that you are probably willing to spent large amounts of money to get one, but you can’t rationally explain why exactly…I guess they call that brand value.

  • avatar
    Brendan McAleer

    Back in 1989, a PC game called Test Drive II: The Duel was released, in which a Porsche 959 was pitted against a Ferrari F40. For some reason, I always picked the 959.

    For me, the attraction of Porsche is that it has somehow managed to shed most of its poseur image. That’s not to say the old ones were driven only by the medallion crew, but a early 90’s whale-tailed, drop-top red Carrera always curls my upper lip slightly. The NEW Carrera S just drops my jaw, and parked in a Safeway next to altezzed and bespoliered Civics, it’s the Anti-poseur. Especially in black.

    And hey, as DV says, it’s reliable. And technically brilliant. And it gives off an aura of being as teutonically precise as a surgical scalpel. The passion will flow from the surgeon who wields the instrument.

    RF: The reason your Boxster S is cool is that its not just (!) a Boxster, but not everyone would know that just to look at it. All the other stuff is nice too, but the pleasures of walking softly with big sticks cannot be overstated.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    To add to what Robert said, after the Nurburgring timed run, Jan Magnussen said he was scared silly to be driving the C6 Z06 at the limit. Car and Driver further backs up this claim by saying the Z06 near or at the limit has unpredictable, almost scary handling, with a tendency for the car to snap oversteer. Now Corvette fans say this is part of the car’s “character”, just like Ferrari or Lambo fans say unreliability is part of their car’s “character”. No matter what excuse you use to compensate for it, I much prefer the supreme confidence of a Porsche, in particular, a 997 Turbo over the nervous handling of the Z06.

    Yes, you likely won’t be pushing either car near or at the limit, but the Porsche offers you better peace of mind, and that’s something money can’t buy.

  • avatar

    No matter what excuse you use to compensate for it, I much prefer the supreme confidence of a Porsche, in particular, a 997 Turbo over the nervous handling of the Z06. Turn off the electronic nannies that enable that "supreme confidence" and see how nervous the 997 gets then! the Porsche offers you better piece of mind, and that’s something money can’t buy. Really? Does that mean a Porsche comes with all the electronics that keep its tail from wagging at no cost to the consumer?

  • avatar
    biturbo

    A note for the “Porsche dealership experience”: yes, Porsche will treat you better than Chevy, they better be, as you pay THREE times the price I am paying for service and parts!
    But do not forget that the Z06 is the top car at Chevy; dealers treat this car with respect, they are proud of it.
    At least this was my experience so far.

    Jan Magnussen never said that the Z06 was “scary silly to drive”. He said that he could not drive anymore that day. Do not forget that he did a very good time [7:43] and also he was doing these extreme runs just days after the 24 hours of Le Mans. Getting out of the top race car C6-R and driving a street legal car must be difficult to adapt. There are big differences in down force and especially weight.

    As for the comparo Z06 vs. turbo, I can’t believe this is going on and on. These cars are hugely far apart in price. If one matches the options, the turbo is TWICE more expensive than the Z06.
    Just compare the Z06 with the Carrera S, isn’t 33% more expensive enough to match a ‘lowly’ Chevy? Porsche needs 100% more money and even then the Z06 holds the fight.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Turn off the electronic nannies that enable that “supreme confidence” and see how nervous the 997 gets then!

    uhhh, this has nothing to do with the “nannies”. The nannies do not hinder the drive, just like the Z06’s stability control does not hinder the drive. Are you going to call out the stability control that F1 cars use as well?

    Turning off the Z06’s stability control will make it even more nervous than it already is.

    Fact is, when you’re talking about cars this caliber (or F1 cars as an extreme example) turning off the electronic nannies can be outright foolish and dangerous. When a seasoned race car driver (Jan Magnussen) is scared of a car’s handling (Z06) and doesn’t feel confident, that’s not exactly an encouraging sign.

    The 997 Turbo has supreme handling confidence *by design*. It’s active AWD system and active suspension management are a big part of why it handles so well. The stability control simply bolsters the already good handling ability. Even a 911 GT3 has more handling confidence and precision than a C6 Z06, again by design.

    Really? Does that mean a Porsche comes with all the electronics that keep its tail from wagging at no cost to the consumer?

    So does the Z06 stability control come at no cost? More imporantly, does it offer any piece of mind? Only a minimum I would say.

    Would you have peace of mind driving a Z06 on a rainy day, or through a snowstorm? I know I definitely wouldn’t. Unless you’re crazy, you’d be keeping that Z06 in the garage during bad weather, and during winter all-together.

    Peace of mind with the Turbo is knowing that you can drive it (and fast if you so choose) under any weather or road conditions, save for outright going off-road. Piece of mind comes knowing that you can drive it near or at the limit with confidence, not getting nervous about snap oversteer, or the roof flying off.

    There are several cars substantially more expensive than the Turbo, that don’t offer you the same peace of mind. Take the Ferrari Enzo or Mercedes SLR. Both are ridiculously expensive, and make the Turbo look like a bargain. Both have reliability problems, and the Enzo has an interior only a race car driver could love. Nothing confident about smelling exhaust and gasoline fumes in the interior of the SLR under hard braking. And the Enzo features some very complex active management systems, which in the end do not provide piece of mind.

    So again, peace of mind is not necessarily something you can buy. Ferrari and Mercedes are perfect examples of this.

  • avatar
    Brendan McAleer

    For the love of pete: PEACE of mind.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Edited.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Jan Magnussen never said that the Z06 was “scary silly to drive”. He said that he could not drive anymore that day. Do not forget that he did a very good time [7:43] and also he was doing these extreme runs just days after the 24 hours of Le Mans. Getting out of the top race car C6-R and driving a street legal car must be difficult to adapt. There are big differences in down force and especially weight.

    He did say it was scary to drive, and I am trying to find a link to show his comments.

    For now, here is the link from C & D where they talk about the handling of it:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/11327/2006-chevrolet-corvette-z06.html

    ——-
    “Around the handling course, light weight works to the Corvette’s benefit, but it is tricky to drive fast, and you had better be able to deal with power oversteer. If you can, it’s a lot of fun. In the wet, with the stability system disengaged, the car is a horror show, understeering on turn-in and snapping into oversteer with power. Correct, hold the attitude on the throttle, and — whoa! — the car snaps back the other way as you straighten, a corollary of the slightly numb steering and vicious torque reaction. At speed on the highway, we didn’t think it was as stable as the other cars here, the way the hood and mirrors flapped around was disconcerting, and the ride was choppy over broken pavement. Hit a bump in the middle of a corner, and you can become a passenger.”
    ——–

    As for the comparo Z06 vs. turbo, I can’t believe this is going on and on. These cars are hugely far apart in price. If one matches the options, the turbo is TWICE more expensive than the Z06.
    Just compare the Z06 with the Carrera S, isn’t 33% more expensive enough to match a ‘lowly’ Chevy? Porsche needs 100% more money and even then the Z06 holds the fight.

    Except you cannot match the options or features of both cars. The Z06 does not have, and cannot be optioned with a better interior, or an actively-controlled AWD system.

    Again, as I said, you *do* get what you pay for. Apart from AWD and more advanced active management systems, the Porsche has more airbags, more comfort and refinement, more safety, and a better interior.

    If god forbid a crash occured, which car would you rather be in?

  • avatar

    Hi Guys!
    Belated responses…

    A Porsche is “an excellently handling Camry?!” What planet are you from?

    Okay, I admit that there’s a sizeable coterie of Porsche owners that don’t have a clue where the oil goes in or even how to pronounce the name. Now, having recognized them, let’s forget them. Please.

    There are those who buy a Porsche over a Corvette for the same reason that they buy a Steinway over a Baldwin. Both excellent, but only one is recognized as the best.

    A Yugo reliable?!! That’s laughable.

    Roof panels flying off? Wasn’t there a Corvette recall about that?

  • avatar
    Brendan McAleer

    There are those who buy a Porsche over a Corvette for the same reason that they buy a Steinway over a Baldwin.

    Both also suffer from pianist envy.

  • avatar
    biturbo

    There is no envy at all, and I will tell why:
    The performance Z06 and Turbo have makes sense only at the racetrack. Problem is the track is a pretty risky environment. That’s why seeing a new Porsche Turbo at a track day is very, very rare. It is simply way too expensive.
    Last time I have been tracking I was really happy to hang arround with another C6 Z06, but there was not a single new Porsche, forget about Turbo.

    So here you have it: go buy your overpriced round-mobile for posing only. Enjoy your better interior, more comfort and refinement.
    But better stop daydreaming, as the Turbo is so damn expensive that the entire “I would buy the Porsche Turbo” thing is just that, daydreaming.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    Bought a 1991 Carrera4 in ’95 from Farago’s favorite salesman. Still have it, still fun. But I’m pretty sure I would have a smile on my face if it were a C6 in the garage instead.

    I think it is possible to enjoy a Porsche at much less than 10/10ths. I often drive 12 rural/suburban miles to work. The bridge gives me a chance to go, um, somewhat faster than the SUV drivin’ soccer Moms and the rest of the way I run the gears and try to stay off the brakes. A different kind of enjoyment than going crazy ass fast.

    I have owned Chevys and Fords. Thanks very much, I’ll take Porsche service, where I still get a loaner car when bringing in a 15 year car for maintenance. Expensive – sure, but my time is worth something and I appreciate the difference in attitude – I’m solicitous of my customers and like the same concern when the shoe is on the other foot.

    As to Porsche durability, I remember talking to a couple of people at a party who couldn’t understand the idea of a Cayenne – they had no idea that Porsche had won Paris-Dakar twice with 959s and that one year their parts car came fourth (I think). Durability and ruggedness, and safety, do not necessarily mean size and mass.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Hmmm, so then by mere personal account, people never take Porsches to the track? At my local raceway you will often see Turbos, Carreras, and even a few 944s running around.

    Hate Porsche much, because it sure seems like it. Going from objective arguments about the cars, biturbo, you now are going into personal opinion and ranting.

    Let’s face it. Both cars are expensive. You are fooling no one but yourself if you think the Z06 is not expensive. 70K is *a lot* of money.

    And if all you bought a Z06 for was to have fun at the track, sure seems like a waste of 70K.

    And who said I was buying either one of these? Given the choice, I would buy a Turbo over a Z06, but I’m not in the market for either of them.

    A Turbo can be used year-round as a daily driver; a Z06 cannot. It’s as simple as that.

  • avatar

    A Porsche Turbo makes sense anywhere there’s pavement. Especially on my driveway.

    I mean, an onramp. Well, my God.

  • avatar
    biturbo

    Johnson, where I said people never take Porsches to the track??
    I just said that is very, very rare to see a new Turbo at the track, because is too expensive.

    And I do not hate Porsche, I actually like them and value them, great cars. Being too expensive is just my problem; obviously they get lots of richer clients, as Porsche was rated recently the most profitable automaker in the world.

    But that does not change my opinion in the debate. Actually:
    The more expensive the car, the greater the chance it will never see proper track usage.

    Without that, the car remains for posing. Nothing wrong with that, if it is done decently :-)

  • avatar
    trd2345

    Biturbo-

    I’m going to have to disagree with that statement [The more expensive the ar, the greater the chance will never see proper track usage.

    First off, I’m sure you’re missing an “it” in there.

    What you say may be true to a point, but I’m pretty sure the amount of track usage is going to grow pretty exponentially if the value of the car is justifiably high.

    Take for example the Ferrari FXX-espicially the Veyron too, for that matter.

    Am I the only one who isn’t disgusted by the Veyron’s appearance? And hey-you can always lease it (albeit with a $400,000 downpayment and $25,000 a month…).

  • avatar

    WaaaaHoooo: Qfrog – no doubt I don’t want everyone racing out there just because the car can. There area already more Schumi-wannabees on the road than we need. I was making a casual reference to other articles where it’s acceptable denigrate SUV drivers (I’m not one) for simply driving an SUV, but that’s okay whereas we need to all worship at the altar of Porsche Almighty and its legions of owners. As has been pointed out elsewhere, most people don’t need and SUV, and most don’t need a sportscar either.

    The enjoyment of a sportscar is not a question of whether one needs the capability of a sports car. Even if one doesn’t approach anywhere near the limits of a Porsche, one can take joy in the steering, the handling, the throttle response and the sound of the engine.

    I would much rather drive a Boxster than my Accord on my daily commute, 23 miles of mostly rural, but not very twisty , 40-45mph with a little bit of highway, for all of the above reasons.

    The SUV, on the other hand, is most often driven as a fashion statement that one makes at the expense of the joy of driving, ones’ own and other peoples’ safety, and the ability of those stuck behind the SUV to see the road ahead.

    One of my good friends admits (or rather asserts) that he wants a manly vehicle, in his case a Jeep Cherokee, and not some sissy car (the word he uses begins with ‘p’). But he certainly doesn’t do anything in the Cherokee that he couldn’t accomplish in a car.

  • avatar

    Very nice editorial

  • avatar
    Ryan

    Although I’m not sure it’s a good idea, I should imagine that using a Z06 as a daily driver during winter is a perfectly feasible idea, unless you live in the boonies somewhere. It’s supposed to be rather docile around town, and I’d imagine you can get winter tires for the Corvette. So how then, is it any worse than any other typical RWD car?

    As for the Z06/911 debate, it’s a little futile. They’re both great cars, but the 911 is built to attain excellence, while the Z06 is built to attain awesome. Variations on a theme, and we all win by having them available, whatever your preference is.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    kaisen:
    November 25th, 2006 at 2:46 pm

    “I’d take a new Z06 over a new 997 Turbo. More power, as fast on any track (faster around Nordschleife Nürburgring), similar fuel economy, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty (how much does that cost on a 997 Turbo?), and over $50,000 less.

    That’s enough to buy a nice daily driver. Or two.”

    Good, because my experiences with Corvette and Chevrolet service easily justify having that second daily driver!

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    Ryan:
    November 26th, 2006 at 10:53 pm
    Although I’m not sure it’s a good idea, I should imagine that using a Z06 as a daily driver during winter is a perfectly feasible idea, unless you live in the boonies somewhere. It’s supposed to be rather docile around town, and I’d imagine you can get winter tires for the Corvette. So how then, is it any worse than any other typical RWD car?

    Corvettes have no spare tire, at least the C5 didn’t. I believe it’s the same for the C6 body.

    As of about 2002, there was only one runflat tire available for the C5 Corvette. The tread was directional (which means that each tire is to be hung at a specific corner), and the front/back are different sizes. It’s hard enough to get the tires at any price, I can’t imagine there being multiple types, styles, brands available now.

    After extensive shopping around, I finally had to buy at one specific Goodyear store in town (the other tire stores refused to mount them…they claimed fear of damaging the low-pressure sensors). With no competition, a set of four ran me over $1,600.

    To the best of my knowledge, there’s no winter/snow tire available, but maybe times have changed.

  • avatar

    How did this ever turn into a Porsche vs. Corvette argument?
    Porsche vs. Lambo, yes. Porsche vs. Ferrari, yes. Anything vs. Veyron, yes.

    The Corvette’s real-world relaibility record is dismal. The 911’s, or the Cayman/Boxer. are all exceptional. Doesn’t that matter to any of you guys? Looking good on paper ain’t good enough for me.

    Pianist envy. That’s a good one.

  • avatar
    biturbo

    How did this ever turn into a Porsche vs. Corvette argument?
    By kaisen, who correctly mentioned:
    How many times have they won LeMans? How much faster is a C6 Z06 than a 911 for the same money?
    But he forgot to be specific, 911 Carrera S, that is the competitor from Porsche for the C6 Z06. Because money still matters in this world and one can’t buy the Turbo with words.

    As for reliability, most people confuse the past reliability of the Corvette with the C6 reliability. C6 is fine, very few problems. If one talks the past reliability, then just look above for old Porsche reports and the problems they have.
    And don’t start with the C6 delaminating roof, there was a recall for that.

    Porsche Uber Alles?
    That means “Porsche Above Everybody”, translated from German. Yes, they are above, in price :-)
    World is changing, everything evolves. Porsche still enjoys their respectable motorsports legacy and well known brand name. But they better figure these quickly:
    * some more performance (Cayman S less HP than Impala)
    * less electronic nannies (Turbo lost driver’s car appeal)
    * less weight (just look at Turbo’s weight over years)
    * mid-engine next gen 911, mid-engine all cars
    * more motorsport involvement (factory teams, that is)
    * lower the damn prices (competition is here, believe it or not)

    I know that I am just nobody talking about one of the most respected car makers in the world. But maybe there is some truth. Judge for yourself before flaming.

  • avatar
    jdv

    “But that does not change my opinion in the debate. Actually:
    The more expensive the car, the greater the chance it will never see proper track usage.

    Without that, the car remains for posing. Nothing wrong with that, if it is done decently :-) ”

    Well, you are assuming they can’t enjoy driving a marvelous piece of equipment.

    I drive a BMW 540. Because I don’t often use all 300hp, or corner with tires squealing, there are some that would say I’m just posing, as compared to the guy driving the Impala.
    But I tell you, literally every single day my car makes me smile. I feel passionate about it. And I would probably feel even more passionate about a 911 Turbo!

    So that’s not just posing

  • avatar
    jdv

    And to be fair, a z06 would make me feel passionate too!

  • avatar
    biturbo

    Sorry if I offended anyone. Posing is not a capital sin :-)
    BMW 540/545/550 are THE sport sedans. Jdv you are not a poser. You bought yourself more power and more car because your passion for cars, not for posing. It is 100% excusable to have a BMW 540 and never hit the track.

    But it is a sacrilege to have a Porsche Turbo, or any true sportscar and keep it out from the only environment where that high performance would be justified.
    I am looking forward to for someone to write here that a new Porsche Turbo was seen on a racetrack…

  • avatar
    Brendan McAleer

    DV:
    How did this ever turn into a Porsche vs. Corvette argument?
    Porsche vs. Lambo, yes. Porsche vs. Ferrari, yes. Anything vs. Veyron, yes.

    Because it is the nature of any auto-related discussion board to devolve into a Vette-vs-Porsche argument. Always.

    Ryan:
    …the 911 is built to attain excellence, while the Z06 is built to attain awesome.

    That’s a great way of putting it. Because we have so many beer enthusiasts, I’ll use a metaphor:

    Porsche 911 Turbo is an ice-bock.
    Corvette Z06 is a boilermaker.

    Both’ll get ya drunk off speed.

  • avatar
    Antone

    Being lucky enough to test drive a 997 4S at Champion Porsche, I would say the 911 gets everything right (excluding price). It was no sales-man-included test drive! The sound alone gives me goose-bumps just thinking about it. The feedback was amazing. It was like conducting a symphony and playing all the instruments at once. If you have the money, it makes sense. If you don’t well there you go! I have not driven a Z06… But I will say the SRT-4 I owned for 10 months was faster than my first Turbo Miata and I would take a regular Miata over the Dodge any day. Speed and Hp is not everything!

  • avatar
    biturbo

    Antone, please do yourself a favur and test a Z06 if you can.
    I agree that Speed and Hp is not everything. Z06 is not just another muscle car, despite some people’s perception.
    997 4S is a fine machine, but I just could not pay 33% more for it. The days of over MSRP days for the Z06 are over. GM makes lots of them and it is a niche car.

    I could write forever how good the Z06 really is, but because some may think that I am biased, here is a live statement, made by a British former Le Mans driver and respected TV host:

  • avatar
    biturbo
  • avatar
    Antone

    I am not blasting the Z06. It is a fine car. In my opinion the best car GM has ever built. It will probably go down in history as the panicle of small-block power and technology. You should in no way feel hated by this thread. I would love to test drive one.

    The same goes for 997’s. They are beautiful cars. I felt compelled to write because I had the opportunity to drive the hell out of one.

    They are two very different cars. And if price is the discriminating factor, hp is not a loan measure of how good a car is… as is in your SRT-8 > Impala > Cayman S ranking… People who have a clue do not buy a Cayman S for the hp number written in the marketing handout.

    Peace!

    P.S. Cool link

  • avatar
    streamliner

    Lest we forget in our haste to praise some and crucify others, recall that Lamborghini have been owned by Audi for several years now and they have become real cars, witness incredible sales of over 2,000 Mucielagos, a huge number for such a car. On top of that, those who also condemn Ferrari for the same time fail to keep in mind how reliable they have become. Cars like Enzos, Veyrons, Carrera GT’s, and McLaren Mercedes’ should not be discussed in the same context as the others, being far higher on the street performance envelope, highly tuned and rare as hen’s teeth compared to garden variety 430 GTs, Z06, 911, etc. etc.

    I for one would not be afraid to jump into a 430 GTB and drive across country without a trailing support van. Also we should keep in mind that one owner put more than 20,000 trouble free miles on an Enzo in a single year (before totalling it). We should not be behind the times and tell tales out of school.

    Driveability is another matter, and user friendliness is relative. Obviously, from the three totalled Enzos in a matter of a couple months, these things are not toys for the amateur no matter how large the wallet. Given enough cojones, the unskilled will push until they bite back, hard. This is another issue altogether apart from reliability .

  • avatar
    kaisen

    The 997 Turbo clocked a faster time than the C6 Z06 at the ‘Ring, by a second or two.

    A 997 Turbo was ‘supposedly’ clocked at 7:40 with ‘Cup’ compound [race] tires (Motor Trend). I’d like to see proof of that one. It’s interesting that the 997 Turbo would be 16 seconds faster than the 996 turbo (7:56), 8 seconds faster than a 997 GT3 (7:48), 7 seconds faster than a 996 GT3 RS with Cup tires (7:47), and even 2 seconds faster than Walter Röhrl in a race-prepped 997 GT3 (7:42). BTW, Walter Röhrl also piloted a stock 997 Carrera S to 7:59 and Porsche engineers said that they themselves tested the Turbo to be 10 seconds faster, which would mean 7:49 or so.

    Nevertheless, the Z06 with stock production tires lapped 7:42.9 which is faster than any other $73,000 production car you can name (let alone one with a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty). Faster than a Lamborghini Murcielago or Gallardo, faster than a Ferrari 430, faster than any BMW, and only 2 seconds off a Bugatti Veryon.

    http://www.motorauthority.com/news/coupes/corvette-z06-beats-porsche-911-turbo-around-a-track/

    “We’ve always known that Chevrolet’s Corvette Z06 was good, but we’d never have imagined that it could beat Porsche’s AWD 911 Turbo around a race track and with a lead of 2.6 seconds to boot. The test was carried out by Swedish magazine Auto Motor Sport, who pitted the two cars against each other at Mantorp Park in Sweden, near Saab’s aircraft factory in Linkoping.

    Comments from test driver and STCC champion Richard Ekblom included gems like ‘the Porsche felt feminine in comparison with the Z06’ and that ‘it pisses on the Porsche.’ Further, they wrote that the Z06 had the feeling of a true racer while the Porsche felt a little too soft round the track.”

    If you’re up on your Swedish here is the pdf of the full article (with dyno graphs):
    http://www.automotorsport.se/biltester/2006/0615/061501.pdf

  • avatar
    kaisen

    http://wheels.carpoint.ninemsn.com.au/DesktopDefault.aspx?ArticleID=1782381&TabID=501060&Alias=wheelsau

    ‘Philipp Arnold, a Porsche test driver, spent 12 weeks at the Nürburgring with engineers honing tyre, suspension and traction management systems. There he did a best lap time of 7:42 in a 997 Turbo on the optional ‘Sport’ tyre package (road-legal semi-slicks), and 7:49 on the standard 19-inch tyre package.’

    If the ‘R’ compound ‘almost-slicks’ are worth 7 seconds to a 997 Turbo, how much are they worth to a tremendously traction-limited Z06? (Watch the above You Tube link if you need a reminder) If anywhere close to the same 7 seconds then the Z06 annihilates anything from the Porsche factory save the Carrera GT (7:28).

  • avatar
    Johnson

    The Porsche makes much better use of the tires than Z06 due to AWD. So any difference would be less than 7 sec in terms of the Z06.

    If your point is to make the 997T look bad, or to instigate an argument and make the Z06 look superior, it isn’t working.

    What proof do you need? The Porsche was there, and that time was achieved and recorded by officials. Might you call Porsche themselves, or perhaps the Nurburgring to see if they might have records?

    At first, nobody believed that the Z06 reached a 7:42 with Jan Magnussen at the wheel.

    Again, when you consider the significant weight difference between a Z06 and Turbo, and the fact that the Z06 has more peak power it’s an amazing achievement to say that the 997T basically ties the Z06 on the ‘Ring.

  • avatar
    Somethingtosay

    I am going to be contrarian and question this obsession with reliability.
    I suppose it’s a good thing to work toward, but where has it gotten us?
    Hordes of people no longer have any connection to the vehicles they “drive” in any sort of meaningful way. Rather they approach vehicle purchases much like they do any other consumer good.

    Porsche, ironically, made the point (somewhat clumsily) in this advertisement for the Boxster:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGTv7lMY9XA

    Maybe that is simply a symptom of a change in our priorities that has nothing to do with the car at all. Maybe, fo some reason, cars just aren’t as important to us as they used to be.
    It could be the longer commutes, or the simple array of choice may be over–or under–whelming.

    I don’t know, but I’d like to live in a time where cars have reputations, quirks, characters, characteristics, histories….something to convey emotion.
    Something that would make them more memorable and less disposable.
    Something that would evoke emotion.

    I am tired of this vanilla “Toyota culture” that flays risk and different-ness.

    In that type of culture. Will we ever see an El Camino again? A Woody? A Beetle–even?

    Even in their battered states, many domestics are making good noises about moving away from that–at least in terms of styling.
    For what it’s worth, I’m looking forward to it.
    I think it is time to move beyond “reliability”.

  • avatar
    noley

    The Porsche vs Vette argument is getting real old. Neither side is going to change their minds and that’s fine.

    For 95% of the owners of either car, lap times at the ‘Ring (or any track) are irrelevant. In my observation, the average Porsche or Vette driver these days seem to be a lot more concerned with their “image” than pushing the limits of their cars, which are sadly becoming more a symbol of wallet thickness than one’s enthusiasm for driving.

    Other than that, it comes down to this: There are two kinds of people in this world and one of them thinks a Corvette is actually a good car. And they probably also think Coors Light is a good beer.

  • avatar
    disgruntled

    Well, the Z06 is a track car, so the performance comparison to the 911 Turbo and Carrera models makes no sense since they’re everyday drivers. The engineers have completely different objectives when designing those cars. It makes more sense to compare the 911 Carrera or Turbo to an Audi S4 or the BMW M3, M5, etc, and compare the ZO6 to the GT3 or GT2.

    There are two 997 GT3s that have ran faster lap times at the Neurburging than a ZO6 and a Bugatti Veyron. I’m sure the GT3 RS and GT2 will run even faster when they come out.

    Nordschleife fastest lap times.

    The “best bang for your buck” argument is an endless argument when you factor in cheaper modified vehicles and residual value, especially when a Ferrari can increase in value.

  • avatar
    biturbo

    Johnson,
    Maybe having semi-slicks like the Turbo had will not give the Z06 7 seconds ahead. Let say it will give just 3-4 seconds…
    But that still means that your overpriced favorite would loose!

    You wrote it’s an amazing achievement that the 997T basically ties the Z06 on the ‘Ring.
    I say that there is no tie; Turbo had semi-slick tires when it did the same time like the Z06 did with STOCK RUN-FLATS!
    Plus, when spending twice as much one would expect better results :-)
    Just admit it, Z06 was better so far on Nurburgring.

    Disgruntled,
    Z06 is a daily driver as well. Radical SR8 or Ariel Atom for example are track cars.
    We should compare stock cars with the same or within 30% price range. GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 are all way more expensive. But even then, there is a fight. I am waiting for someone to put similar racing tires on Z06 like those GTs from Porsche all had and kick their records :-)

    Forget about modified cars, there is no base of discussion.

  • avatar
    kaisen

    Well, the Z06 is a track car

    No, it’s not, not even close. They are not intended to be pure track cars. Items like navigation, BOSE sound systems, heated seats, and street tires should give it away. As I’ve stated before, the Z06 is a very docile car when puttering around town.

    There are two 997 GT3s that have ran faster lap times at the Nurburgring than a ZO6 and a Bugatti Veyron.

    You are correct: 7:39 and 7:42. And as I mentioned, they also ran Michelin Cup near-slick R-compound tires. If the Z06 ran similar tires I’m sure it would be turn quicker times too.

    I’m sure the GT3 RS and GT2 will run even faster when they come out.

    God, I’d sure hope so. And how deep into six figures are we?

    The “best bang for your buck” argument is an endless argument when you factor in cheaper modified vehicles and residual value

    According to Automotive Lease Guides (alg) that $121K 997 Turbo will be worth 42% of its value in three years. That’s a $70K loss. Even if the Z06 were worth zilch in three years, it would have proven significantly less expensive to own when you consider the carrying/opportunity cost of the extra 53K over three years. But the Z06 is projected to hold 51% of its $73000 sticker: a $34K loss and lower ‘interest’ costs to boot. But hey, what’s an extra thousand a month in depreciation?

  • avatar
    kaisen

    Back to original topic:

    And then there’s Porsche.
    This phenomenal stamina is now built into every Porsche road car.
    You simply cannot buy a more robust high performance automobile.

    The Corvette’s real-world relaibility record is dismal. The 911’s, or the Cayman/Boxer. are all exceptional. Doesn’t that matter to any of you guys? Looking good on paper ain’t good enough for me.

    There are plenty of surveys that document Porsche’s reliability.

    Okay, let’s talk about them. You mentioned JD Power’s INITIAL QUALITY study where Porsche did very well in 2006.
    JD Power’s Vehicle DEPENDABILITY Study (measured after three years of ownership) for 2006 (therefore, 2003 models) ranked Porsche 23rd of 38 marques, three places behind Chevrolet. When viewed in segment rather than marque it didn’t get any better. In both the ‘premium sporty cars’ (911) and ‘compact premium sporty cars’ (Boxster) they didn’t make the top three. Corvette did (#2). Hey, you brought up JD Power.

    Strategic Vision has similar awards. Their 2006 Total Quality Award placed Corvette #1 in both the ‘small specialty over $25K’ and ‘convertible over $30K’. Porsche wasn’t on the list. Their 2006 Total Value Award placed Corvette #1 in both of those segments, again. This time Porsche did show up #3 for Boxster (convert) and #4 for 911 (specialty).

    Porsche Uber Alles

    Porsche Uber Rated

  • avatar
    disgruntled

    My understanding is the ZO6 is closer to the C6-R than it is to the C6, so that’s what I meant with it being more of a track car (with BOSE and heated seats) than a daily driver (that’s brutal over potholes.)

  • avatar
    biturbo

    Indeed Porsche Uber Rated :-)

    Cayman S just lost in latest track contest done by Car and Driver at Virginia International Raceway!
    Guess who won the category? The base Corvette!
    [Car and Driver categorized the cars by price, as it should]

    Z06 won the category against Viper and M6. Porsche was no show for now.
    The VERY large price bracket will include the Carrera S and maybe the GT3 with no options [to fit the price].
    Wanna bet?

    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/11755/the-lightning-lap.html

  • avatar
    SpawnyWhippet

    biturbo:
    November 27th, 2006 at 11:01 am

    But it is a sacrilege to have a Porsche Turbo, or any true sportscar and keep it out from the only environment where that high performance would be justified.
    I am looking forward to for someone to write here that a new Porsche Turbo was seen on a racetrack…

    I had my new Turbo on the track within 24 hours of it being delivered.
    http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j166/SpawnyWhippet/OranPark/996_21.jpg

  • avatar
    biturbo

    I salute you SpawnyWhippet!
    You are the kind of Porsche owner that has all my respect.

    Now I feel better tracking my new Z06; there are people using twice more expensive toys on the track.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    biturbo, you are now just acting like a kid, hell bent on proving your point no matter what. If you cannot acknowledge the achievement the Turbo has made so be it. I readily acknowledge the performance and value of the Z06. But I give credit where credit is due, and the Turbo has supercar performance with luxury appointments, and daily driver practicality. I will not give GM and the Z06 credit for something that does not exist, mainly a good interior in the Z06 and year-round practicality.

    Hey kaisen, for 70K, golly gosh, I expect more than a “Fisher Price” interior. Using your flawed logic, the Turbo must a very expensive proposition right? All things considered, the ONLY car that is bargain compared to the Turbo is the Z06. Nothing else. All other cars, including Ferraris and Saleens and even Porshe’s own Carrera GT are expensive compared to the Turbo, again with all things considered.

    To restate one of the points in the original article:

    The Porsche Turbo is still the single most effective exemplar of the “everyday” supercar.

  • avatar
    kaisen

    All things considered, the ONLY car that is bargain compared to the Turbo is the Z06.

    Fair enough

  • avatar
    disgruntled

    But I give credit where credit is due, and the Turbo has supercar performance with luxury appointments, and daily driver practicality. I will not give GM and the Z06 credit for something that does not exist, mainly a good interior in the Z06 and year-round practicality.

    Yeah, I’m in Toronto and it’s not unusual to see a Carrera 4 or 911 Turbo driving around in slush and snow without any problem. I just don’t see a ZO6 being able to handle it as a daily driver when it gets nasty outside. People can call it a daily driver, but that really depends on where you live.

  • avatar
    biturbo

    Granted Turbo can be driven in the snow, if one buys winter tires for it.
    I won’t drive my Z06 in snow :-)
    For that I use my Audi S4, AWD and winter tires included.

    But call me chicken or not, I wouldn’t use any $70,000+ car in the snow, despite AWD, etc.
    Just because winter driving is not only about your car; it is the other cars, the tricky conditions, etc.

    So Turbo’s practicality is not exactly what it seems.
    Not to mention that for the price of the Turbo one can cover a new Z06 plus a new and cool AWD car as I did.

  • avatar
    webebob

    I’m an 80% guy. My C6 is a convertible with 80% of the HP of a Z06. My wife loves it. It is as domesticated as an Impala when the loud pedal is used normally, and with the automatic, it is as easy to drive as a family seedan. I feel it is totally safe for the wife to drive. But she likens it to the feeling of warp 9 on the Enterprise (flying) when you put your foot into it, and she LOVES that feeling. Her glee makes me smile!

    My ’07 997 Porsche is a Carrera 2. 80% of the potential ultimate 911 experience. $50K less than an optioned GT3 and 80 to 100 hp less. We got it because, at the time, my wife wanted the appearance of being able to carry 4 passengers in the family sedan. But she doesn’t care much to drive the 6spd manual.

    Alot of the differences between the vette and the porsche have been explained above. I really can’t describe why I prefer driving the “underpowered” Porsche compared to the C6, but will venture to say the Porsche has a soul, an option which appears to be missing in the Vette. I am not talking about the burble of exhaust, I am talking about a trait which makes the Porsche your partner when you drive. You don’t need a soul to win races, Corvette has proven that time and time again with their remarkable at the price C6 line. But the Porsche talks to me as I drive, and the Corvette just follows orders, with no feedback, to the best of its (very ultimate) capability.

    I’ve driven both on the Blue Ridge parkway, and on twisty mountain roads less watched by park rangers in western Va and WV. I’d rather have the Porsche covering my 6 on those roads.

    Neither car is a suitable winter driver for the muck which can be ice one minute, slush the next, or ten inches of snow overnight in western Va. When, as I fell further under the Porsche spell this year, I shared with my wife my desire to add another, “pure” air-cooled Porsche, she reminded me, “but we need a 4wd!” She was right, and last week I bought a Toyota FJ Cruiser TRD edition. But the storal of this morey is that I am lusting not after Z06’s, but after even more primal Porsche driving experiences.

  • avatar
    SpawnyWhippet

    I haven’t had a single mechanical failure in 200,000 miles in any of the 5 Porsches I’ve owned (1989 911 3.2, 1997 993 C2, 1999 Boxster, 2001 996 cab and 2005 996 Turbo).

    I recently drove both my Turbo and a Corvette at a race track in Australia. I agree that the Corvette was very quick, but it was very uninspiring to drive, feedback was nowhere near what the Turbo gave you.
    Straightline speed was similar, but I was a lot quicker in the Turbo round the corners.
    Ultimately, I’d feel 10 times safer to push the Turbo to the limit than the Corvette.

    I’d liken it to comparing McDonalds (Corvette) with fillet steak (Turbo). Both fill you up, but one does it in a much nicer way.

  • avatar
    biturbo

    SpawnyWhippet and Webebob,
    Do yourself a favor and drive a Corvette C6 Z06, not the base Corvette, not an automatic, not an older Z06.
    You may end up with surprising results and maybe save yourself lots of $$$ when purchasing your next performance car :-)

  • avatar
    SpawnyWhippet

    “biturbo:
    November 30th, 2006 at 7:24 pm
    SpawnyWhippet and Webebob,
    Do yourself a favor and drive a Corvette C6 Z06, not the base Corvette, not an automatic, not an older Z06.
    You may end up with surprising results and maybe save yourself lots of $$$ when purchasing your next performance car :-) ”

    Thing is in Australia, they are about the same price, $200k for a used one. I know which I’d rather have. You guys don’t know how good you have it over there!
    http://www.drive.com.au/used-cars/CHEVROLET/CORVETTE/Sydney/detail.aspx?id=3124335&pg=2&pp=1&d=0&nv=1

  • avatar
    biturbo

    SpawnyWhippet your link points to a base C6 and a convertible no less. Also we cannot talk used cars prices because C6 Z06 is hard to find even here.
    But you can import a new C6 Z06 if you want and it will be cheaper than a new 997 Turbo any day. Both are import cars and a Holden dealer can import Chevrolet Corvette.

  • avatar
    SpawnyWhippet

    Thing is that the stupid Oz government is very protective of local markets and impose massive trade tariffs, fees and duties on imports. If I bought a Z06 privately in the US and imported it, I’d probably end up paying $100 – $150k in taxes and fees. I spoke to a Holden dealer and he just laughed at me when I wanted to arrange a test drive. The 997 Turbo is officially imported and available new for about $300k, or $250k used.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Avid Fan: Just bought a 22 from our local Honda shop. This is probably our 8th or 9th Honda and all have been trouble...
  • Avid Fan: Revel in you heathenness!
  • Avid Fan: Revel in you heathenness!
  • Tree Trunk: I bought a ’18 Outback when I needed to replace a Highlander Hybrid lost in an accident. While...
  • thornmark: how would you describe de Blasio – born Wilhelm? worst NYC mayor ever is accurate the guy spent a...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber