Question of the Day: Slow Car Fast or Fast Car Fast?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

I remember wheeling into a parking lot and slotting next to a Porsche Carrera 4 in my Porsche Carrera 4. “What do you think of the car?” I asked. “It makes me a hero,” the owner replied. True dat. A driver of no particular skill can corner a C4 (or Turbo) at speeds normally reserved for people for whom the words “it seems a bit skittish on the edge” are not synonmous with “Holy shit, I am NEVER doing THAT again!” And then I bought a Boxster S. While the Boxster is not as fast as a Carrera (by any real world metric), it’s more fun at the kind of speeds that still endanger your license, but don’t require an actual jail stay. But I didn’t buy a Boxster for many years– until Porsche finally put the 3.4 amidships. It may be more fun driving a slow car fast than a fast car slow, but if you can drive a fast car that’s fun to drive slowly, well, isn’t that the ideal? In other words, which of these beauties would you prefer, assuming you’d use them on both road and track? And what’s you general rule in this regard?

2008 911 GT2 VS 1973 911 RS

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • AllStingNoBling AllStingNoBling on Oct 06, 2008

    Shaker, You wouldn't happen to live in the DC area, would you? Your story sounds all too familiar. As it turns out, I own a motorcycle as well, and am on two wheels vice four (MUCH) more of the time. That said, I would love to have GT-R, for instance. Something fast and refined. Something that would allow me to exploit every opportunity out of the road that I can. I live in the DC area, here traffic is KING. So whether I am going slow (most of the time), or fast (a little of the time), I want the most out of it.

  • Highrpm Highrpm on Oct 06, 2008

    You just cannot drive a fast car fast anymore on public roads. That's the problem. Even yesteryear's fast cars were too much for the street. When I drove a 911 C4 around many years ago, I was basically just lugging it around or else I'd be running up somebody's bumper. The car was too much for everyday use. And this was the 250hp 911. Camrys make more power now. A few years before that, I drove a '91 Civic with 90hp. That was a fun car. You could slide those little 170 wide tires around corners. You had to floor it to keep up with traffic. The neat thing is you could run full tilt in that car but you didn't look like you were running very hard to everyone else. Try running full-tilt in a GT-R today and see how fast you get yourself arrested. Also, Mr. Farago's Boxster is probably not the best example of a slow car. When I think slow car, I'm thinking a first-gen Scion xB, Yaris, or basically any 100-hp vehicle. I remember when a 90hp Rabbit GTI was considered fast.

  • AllStingNoBling AllStingNoBling on Oct 06, 2008
    Try running full-tilt in a GT-R today and see how fast you get yourself arrested. True. Additionally, try running full-tilt in a slow car, and you will get arrested, hit an animal pushed to the edge of the road due to sprawl, run into construction, run into traffic, and you name it, just as fast. That's part of my point. If that isn't the case for you, you either live in the middle of nowhere, you live next to a track, or you don't care for your life nor the lives of others. So, considering the reality of the road these days, I will buy a car that will allow me the most fun I can have on a straight road, or curvy one. That's the full point I am making.
  • Whatdoiknow1 Whatdoiknow1 on Oct 06, 2008

    The only reason that automakers are producing these silly 500-600hp cars today is because there are enough fools with more money than brains willing to buy them! No matter what we talk about here there will always be "over the top" products and the fools that buy them. I dont care if it is bikes, TVs, guns, watches, computer, cameras, etc, you will always find that guy that brought the biggest, most expensive model and yet does not have a clue as to what to do with it. Think about who many dudes you will see sporting a $3000+ chronograph watch without any idea as to what it is or how to operate it! These same dudes have $5000 computers and $1000 cell phones and cant figure out how any of the features work, but it is the "top of the line" , right? Cars are no different, and the auto makers market them under the simple principle that MOST people are full of shit! Why else would a person that lives in an area with a population of over 3000 per square mile, speed limits of 65 at best, and an extremely high density of vehicular traffic feel the need to purchase and own a automobile capable of over 175 or 200mph? The Boxster and how many people view that car is a excellent example for this duscussion. IMHO the base boxster and Cayman are the most fun Porsches available today hands down. They are the only models that can actually be driven in the real world with any degree of fun. This is the true spirit of the road going Porsche. The orginial 911's mission was not to be the fastest car in the world, but to be a excellent drivers car MEANT for daily use. The roads I drive on today are still the same as they were 25 years ago. If a 911 with 200 to 215 hp was very fast in 1989 WTF can I do with a 911 with well over 300hp today? Not much but frustrate myself!