I wonder why Porsche went from this highly effective mid engine mount to the hanging the engine off the a$$  end?  Serious automotive engineering mistake.

Art posted:

I wonder why Porsche went from this highly effective mid engine mount to the hanging the engine off the a$$  end?  Serious automotive engineering mistake.

The 911 doesn't appear to have suffered for it.

Stan Galat posted:
Art posted:

I wonder why Porsche went from this highly effective mid engine mount to the hanging the engine off the a$$  end?  Serious automotive engineering mistake.

The 911 doesn't appear to have suffered for it.

Agree with Stan.

You just have to have the ability to learn how to drive a rear engined car.  Lots of cars have quirks, and a few hundred pounds hanging out the rear end certainly qualifies.  I can think of many front engined cars with large masses of engine that cause the same - but different - effect.  

It makes driving more interesting and more engaging.  You actually have to be mentally involved in what you and the car are doing.

We could all drive Miatas, but that gets boring after a while, and I have been there and done that.

 

Art posted:

I wonder why Porsche went from this highly effective mid engine mount to the hanging the engine off the a$$  end?  Serious automotive engineering mistake.

Packaging and cost, or so I've read.

The reality is that all cars have issues do to their design and flaws due to the limitations from the technology used in them.   I mean a 4 cyl doing what 8 cyl cars were doing and being enjoyed.

Also the mechanicals being a mixture of up to 59 year old tech brings noises and a different Raw feeling to the smooth driving of a dd.

That is part of the curse or fun depending on your perspective.

A huge part of why I climbed out on this tiny little branch of the automotive tree at all was the dead-end nature of it.

An air-cooled, rear-engine vehicle with very little in the way of comfort accouterments makes these cars the Neanderthals of automotive progress-- very developed in specificity, but ultimately compromised by an engineering Achilles heel. The limits are baked in the cake, but with enough engineering work-arounds , the limits are stretched beyond my own abilities as a driver. 

The 911 points to just how far one can take an imperfect architecture. It retains the imperfection of layout, but remains one of the sharpest, quickest, and most desirable automobiles manufactured and sold in 2019. The limits are out there, but with every successive generation, Porsche seems to keep stretching out what is possible. The 911 may ultimately be defeated, but the evolution of a platform that has been declared dead for 40 years has been astounding.

I love that-- because I find in myself a fundamentally flawed package, easily written off as inferior to those with better raw material. And yet, with refinement and steady improvement, I can hope to become more than I ever should have been. Sure, it would be easier to build a sporty, fast mid-engine car-- just like it would be easier to have built a good life with a less abrasive personality, or better looks, or a higher intellect.

I very much like that my speedster is an imperfect thing to start with-- but that as it sits, it can perform well beyond what it ought to be able to do. It reminds me to never give up on my own ability to be refined and improved.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Working on a front or rear engine car is far easier than mid-engine.  I had a 914 mid-engine that was just barely accessible - I was tall and skinny then.  Look at the Boxster - you can barely even see the engine from above! Fortunately engines more dependable now.  I remember in college a roommate had a Dodge van - you could work on engine from inside the spacious van as the engine was set back behind the front axle.  Guess the Spyder has the right solution - just fold the tail back out of the way! Curious to see a mid-engine 2020 Corvette. 

Last edited by WOLFGANG

Not many comments about a mid-engine configuration taking away from the already limited baggage space.   In my Vintage, with the top up for highway travel I have a generous amount of baggage space behind the seats and can get two mid-sized rolling suitcases plus again as much  stuff here and there but with the SAS cars and other similar ones I've seen, all that space is used for the engine with precious little baggage space where the engine "used to be". Of course the front baggage space is the same for either configuration. 

For my long range travel---mostly straight down the interstates, a mid-engine seems to be a big negative.  My car does fine at the speeds I enjoy in the mountain twisties  such as the Tail of the Dragon and I don't plan to track i, so mid engine doesn't seem to offer any plusses for the way I use my VS.

Plus, what Wolfgang posted above about servicing a mid engine.  

 

 

More on why the 356 and 911 ended up rear-engined here.

(I didn't know the 911 prototype was also mid-engined.)

I find that the Speedster's 'rear-endedness' will actually help you get around a corner quicker - up to a point.

The tricky part is knowing just where that point is.

 

So the question is, if you were in the market, would you buy the new mid-engine Corvette or the 718 Porsche Cayman?  I got a feeling the new Corvette is going to be a blast to drive, but we all know what Corvettes look and feel like unless they're totally babied 20 years forward.  

  

IMHO the new Corvette styling is way too busy with multi sharp lines, a rear end that looks like it was grafted and the black side intakes are funky too. The mid engine design is the engineering and marketing marvel so ppl that like to brag will go out and make the purchase only to have it sit in a garage as you rarely see a late model Vette on the road.

The new Corvette will have an msrp of about 20-25k below the "regular" Corvettes.  I'm sure the dealers will mark them up.  I have read that it will be automatic xmission only.  I was never a Corvette guy---too many geezers  who finally made a buck driving them around  is my perception.  (I'm sure I look the same in my Speedster---but at least it's not red.) 

I do admire the Cayman a lot.  

 

Jack Crosby posted:

Not many comments about a mid-engine configuration taking away from the already limited baggage space.   In my Vintage, with the top up for highway travel I have a generous amount of baggage space behind the seats and can get two mid-sized rolling suitcases plus again as much  stuff here and there but with the SAS cars and other similar ones I've seen, all that space is used for the engine with precious little baggage space where the engine "used to be". Of course the front baggage space is the same for either configuration. 

For my long range travel---mostly straight down the interstates, a mid-engine seems to be a big negative.  My car does fine at the speeds I enjoy in the mountain twisties  such as the Tail of the Dragon and I don't plan to track i, so mid engine doesn't seem to offer any plusses for the way I use my VS.

Plus, what Wolfgang posted above about servicing a mid engine.  

 

There's plenty of room in these cars for baggage and lots of other stuff.  Musbjim's video shows how it's done.

Last edited by Troy Sloan
Lane Anderson posted:

That’s a tough call, Marty, but I agree with Alan about the styling being too busy.  It’ll be 911 performance (or better) for Cayman money - unless the dealers get greedy.

Have always like the Cayman, and more so lately, but the new Vette may wipe out sales of a few cars.

I've always loved the Cayman. Someday, I'd like to buy a used S with a manual.

... but the C8 'vette is a legit 500 hp, mid-engined supercar, with a sub $60K sticker. So even if the 'vettes at the Cheby store are larded up and selling over sticker, new Caymans are going for about $100K by the time the dealer adds the $2500 this and the $3800 that. It would be nice if the Corvette styling was a bit less "creased", but for cryin' in the night-- let's not lose sight of what the General is selling here (and for what price). 

GM has made some strange decisions over the years, but the LS (and now LT) small-blocks are miracles of modern mass-manufacturing. By the time the 'vette is rolled out in ZO6 and ZR-1 form (for less than a GT4), the performance will be approaching GT2 and Ferrari level.

If enough people scream about the lack of a third pedal, I'll bet Tremec will come up with something to rectify that as well. That this car is in production 10 years after the company almost went belly up should be an answer to all the "Government Motors" nonsense. What's good for GM is good for the country, and what's good for the country is good for GM.

We live in the golden age of performance.

I agree Stan. There is a 2010 Cayman S 6 speed manual on Panorama classifieds right now. $28k with 93,000 miles, kind of high, but that is the direct injection motor with no IMS issues(post 2009). Older ones can be had for less. It's truly the best used mid-engine sports-car bargain. I'm looking at 2006-2008. I think they are prettier than the new 911. Combo DD and track car for me. And honestly, it's a sports car. I'm not concerned with luggage capacity.

I'm not a big GM fan but that new Vette sure looks good to me.

I drove the 2017 convertible a couple years ago, on the road and track. It was really good. Didn't like the way the rear stepped out a tiny bit off-throttle into a corner above 100 though. Probably the LSD doing it's thing. I've driven many, many front, mid and rear engine vehicles, some of them on track. I don't have all the expertise, but I do understand vehicle dynamics near or at the limit. I've driven the front engine Ferrari California, Merc AMG SL and Vette, mid-engine R8 and Gallardo, and 2012 911 s twin turbo. All on track, same day. Drifting the Gallardo around a turn while my instructor was laughing and offering me a job at the same time: priceless. On another day I drove a Hellcat, Maserati, 360 Modena, Merc C63 AMG and a new standard 911 on the road. I also got the privilege of driving Rich Drewek's 911S, though sadly, not anywhere near it's limit.

Some of you have seen me thrash my Spyder and Toni's poor S2000 at Carlisle Autocross. So you know I'm not full of it.

Mid-engine cars have a higher limit. But if you reach and cross that limit, good luck, it's near impossible to come back from over that edge. That I also have personal experience with. Front engine cars tend to plow, rear engine cars are rear-out(with the nannies turned off). Mid cars are usually neutral, but in the case of the S2000, how you attack the corners determines the handling attitude. Most impressive and magical. The same can be done with a properly tuned Spyder. Left foot trail brake to make the car start rotating, and feed the gas in to keep it there at exit. 

I'm a mid-engine guy.

I'm with you, Danny.  All of our cars have elements of compromise.  What works for me in my mid-70's wasn't what worked in my mid-40's.  That's why my coilovers are adjustable, eh? 

However, even with compromises, the performance and characteristics of a mid-engine platform set the standard for me.  I've had rear and mid-engine, and my driving ability is not on your level, but, even a mediocre driver like me can feel the difference that a mid-engine platform allows.

Danny wrote:

"There is a 2010 Cayman S 6 speed manual on Panorama classifieds right now. $28k with 93,000 miles, kind of high, but that is the direct injection motor with no IMS issues(post 2009). Older ones can be had for less. It's truly the best used mid-engine sports-car bargain. I'm looking at 2006-2008."

Same here.  I imagine my next car will be a nice, 6 speed Cayman.  I've always liked them,  both for looks and handling.  I drove a Cayman R a couple of years ago, and almost pulled the trigger on it.  What a sweet driving vehicle.

I could get one now, but I just can't justify having a Cayman and my IM6, both as summer drivers.

Cayman S is a really nice car for sure and while I am not a fan of the corvette it can be a nice car with the right colour combo and certainly is cost effective for most of the driving done by NAmuricans. 

An Audi T.T. convertible is a nice 225hp 6 speed more modern toy but not in the same handling league but a fun car. 

Last edited by IaM-Ray

Two Corvettes worth the money:

C2 small block and the early 1990s ZR1 four-cam, which remains stunningly under-rated. 

This new thing with the mid-engine.... I dunno. Zora wanted the layout circa 1960 and if he'd got it we'd be in a different world today. As it stands, GM is 60 years behind the development curve.

The engines though: What Stan said. They're so good you're bored. And maybe that's the problem.

 

I wasn’t a fan of what I saw of the new C8 in photos. Today I got to see it up close. Looks worlds better in person; well except the rear. I find it a bit to large, but I tend to favor small cars. 

Aside from the exterior styling and mid-engine platform, the ole General finally paid attention to the interior. I love how minimal the new interior is now. 

Anyway, here are a few pics. The car in the photos, I was informed, is roughly $76k due to the options. 

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Kevin - Bay Area posted:

I wasn’t a fan of what I saw of the new C8 in photos. Today I got to see it up close. Looks worlds better in person; well except the rear. I find it a bit to large, but I tend to favor small cars. 

Aside from the exterior styling and mid-engine platform, the ole General finally paid attention to the interior. I love how minimal the new interior is now. 

Anyway, here are a few pics. The car in the photos, I was informed, is roughly $76k due to the options. 

Looks like someone crash it alreadyBCFCB66E-1A6F-46A8-8D23-8CEBA0CC048F

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It's a little too angular for me.  I can't find a 'soft' line anywhere.

It's not the type of car that I would like to caress - metaphorically speaking, that is.  I'd be afraid of getting my hands cut.  

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