1/26/2010

01-26-10 - Retarded Cayman Complaints

1. "It's not a real porsche". First of all, who the fuck cares if it's a "real" porsche, it's a great car. Second, it's a pure driving machine, a bit low on power but very light and razor-sharp focused and not very practical. In that sense it's way closer to the old porsche heritage than a new 911 is.

2. "Your friends will ask why you didn't get a 911." Fuck your friends, they're retarded. Ask them why they got whatever horrible car they got.

3. "The engine is too quiet". WTF, you're a moron, if anything it's too loud. And if you really want that it's pretty trivial to put an exhaust kit on. And Porsche engine do not sound good, I'm not sure why you want to hear more rattle and clatter.

4. "It's too easy to drive, it's not quirky enough, it's too perfect". I guarantee that the people saying this are not hitting apexes and powering out of corners correctly. You do not have the driving skill to claim that a Cayman is "too easy" , and of course real drivers like Tiff would never say nonsense like this.

5. "It was designed without soul to fit a niche below the 911". Mmm I don't think so. There is one little niggle which was not offering an LSD, but other than that I think it's actually the purest driving machine that was designed for joy in the twisties without compromise.

6. "It could've beat the 911 in the Nurburging time with a few mods ; the 0-60 is too slow ; etc. " ; who fucking cares, you're not an elite racer; does it feel good? does it feel fast? who fucking cares if the time around some track is 1:34 or 1:36 ; only juveniles care if their car can beat a Mustang in a drag race or some ranking or whatever nonsense it is juveniles and fat bankers care about.

Valid Cayman complaints :

1. You're awfully low and visibility is only mediocre, making it a pretty bad car for traffic. It's a bit like a shark - since you only see well out the front, you need to be moving forward all the time.

2. Seats don't lean back and cabin is very small, making it a bit claustrophobic for longer trips. Even for just a nice sunday drive, you have nowhere to put your map books and snacks.

3. Engine noise and stiff ride can get annoying. Basically it's a joy when you're throttling it and not when you're just sitting in it for a long time.

If I was going to modify the Cayman, it wouldn't be more power or an LSD. I would move the engine back a tiny bit to make the cabin bigger; I would lift the roof an inch or so, shrink the rear pillars and put more glass all around. Hmmm... I think I know a car like that....

Here are some nice side-by-sides of the Cayman and 911 ; some really good pictures in these : Motivemag , evo , autoblog

It's annoying that people buy cars for all the wrong reasons. So many Porsche buyers are doing it for looks or status. The worst are people who buy fast cars because they're the "top of the line" ; these people buy fucking 911 GT3's even though they don't track. It's because of these people that the Cayman didn't get an LSD - because if it was faster than the 911 on some tracks people would complain or buy it instead. In reality the reason to buy the 911 instead of the Cayman is not speed, but because you want a bigger more comfortable car, which is what most of the fat old bankers want.

Another example is the 911 Targa. Personally I can't buy it because it's more expensive and lower performance, and I actually like to drive fast. But for a fat banker - it's fucking fantastic. The glass roof is sublime, it means you're sitting in a big glass bubble which is my dream for all cars! Hell, the Honda Civic and every little commuter car should have a glass roof like the new Targas. I think it would make everyone better drivers because it gives you so much more spatial awareness, and also makes you feel more vulnerable.

Anyway, my practical side is having second thoughts about the whole Porsche venture. If I could find a car with the right spec locally I still might go buy it right now, but I'm losing steam with this fucking annoying search, and I really don't want to buy something on the other side of the country. And I started thinking about practical issues :

1. It is a lot of money. How much exactly? 5 year cost to own of a cheap $20k car is around $40k. 5 year cost of a Cayman is around $80k. That's $8k/year for the cheap car, $16k/year for the Cayman. Assuming about 200 driving days a year, that's $80 a day instead of $40 a day. Is the Cayman really $40 a day more fun than something like a GTI or Mazdaspeed 3 ? I dunno. I could either drive the Cayman home, or I could drive the GTI and then buy a Rainier Knizia board game. Or I could drive the GTI and buy cocktails and viagra. Or I could drive the GTI and then pay a hobo to piss on a Mercedes. Or drive the GTI and give $40 to charity. Naah. It's hard to compare the fun factor of the various choices.

(aside : it's one of the classic false economies to buy a shitty old car, or even to keep yours limping along; the actual cost per year of some shitty old car is often greater than buying and running a new cheap fuel efficient car, even though the shitty old car costs $0 and the new one might be $20k)

2. It would feel pretty ridiculous taking the 911 to Trader Joe's, or parallel parking it in the city. And I would have a heart attack every time it got dinged. I kind of like having shitty cars I don't care about too much, it removes a lot of stress. I'd like to be able to hop in and pop out to a bad neighborhood and park it anywhere and not feel scared for the car.

3. It would be nice to have something I can toss my bike in, or something I can drive to go hiking and not care about the fact that I'm getting it all dirty and banging it around in a bit of gravel, or take camping. I guess this is really the same issue as #2 which is in fact just my own self-consciousness of having a fancy car, and not an actual disadvantage.

4. The 911 actually feels pretty shitty at low speed; it feels heavy and cumbersome; it doesn't open up until 30 mph or so. In traffic gridlock maneuvers (swooping in and out of lanes) I think it would not feel good. In those situations you really want a go-cart like a Lotus, or a little hot hatch kind of thing. I dunno, maybe I would get used to it, but if you're going too slow to get the back unstuck a bit, the steering feels very sluggish.

5. Seattle is a pretty shitty place to go cruising. In California I used to go out driving all the time on the wonderful country roads, just looking for new places to see. There's really not much of that at all around here. People often think of Seattle as having lots of "nature" or "wilderness" around, but it's actually one of the most confining non-wild places I've ever lived. If you look at maps it's pretty obvious what the problem is - we're stuck on a really small patch of land here between the Sound and the mountains. Almost the entire area is now suburbanized. You go from Seattle through suburbs, and then you hit the mountains. The problem is once you hit the mountains - there are no roads. You only have the 90 and the 2, which are not terribly fun. And there's really not much wilderness either unless you get on the dirt logging roads and get back into the mountains a bit. One of my favorite things in the world is crusing around on country roads, it's the whole reason I'm thinking about getting a nice car, because I just love that feeling of swooping around a curve with scenery all around, but fuck me if there is anywhere to go around here, it fucking sucks.

6. The vast majority of my driving is just shitty commuting, not nice cruising. Mmm I dunno if this is actually an argument against. There's a huge difference between a plodding neutered commute in a boring car which makes you feel like masticated oatmeal, and a ripping commute where you slash and swerve and shit all over the plebians with your chariot of gold and feel like the master of your domain.

20 comments:

slyid said...

A car that amazed me with how funny it is, even if not that fast: Smart Roadster Coupé (not the basic one, which doesn't have a boot). 3cyl, 0.7L, 80hp or something. But very light.

Clarkson "wanted to hate it, but I can't": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbxFL5YXPtY

Great smile/fun-making machine. But it's not fast at high speed. And it's not being built anymore.

It's a bit like a modern car based on the 70ies sport cars ideas like the Seven (which I love): low, light, sport. It just lack a bit of power and a fully manual gear box (robotic gear box: manual, but slow).

slyid said...

"The worst are people who buy fast cars because they're the "top of the line" ; these people buy fucking 911 GT3"

Yes. I'll most probably never want to buy such a car. I do like Porsches (well 911, Boxter and Cayman ; forget about the ugly Cayenne).

But I don't see the point in buying a utterly expensive that will need expensive servicing every few thousands miles, whether I do or don't drive it sporty. Just a waste of money, of reliability, and of comfort, in exchange of a line which looks more... what? Tunning? Less classy? That's also why I'm not that impressed by Italian sport cars: nice performances, but huge yearly bill to keep them going, so I don't see them as a technical success.

cbloom said...

BTW the ancient top gear is so much more awesome :

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2layu_bbc-top-gear-best-handling-car-test_auto

slyid said...

Funny: I was just looking at this video on Youtube (but in a shorter version) 1 hour ago :)

slyid said...

But yes I'd agree today's TG are worth it mostly for watching a fun show.

For sport/track result, I'd watch only the Stig part of TG + 5th gear.

For every day cruse, I'd watch iMotors+some of 5th gear.

PS: too bad one cannot edit a comment here :(

Aaron said...

Yea, more and more these days I'm just wanting a car that fast ENOUGH. Something that'll give me a nice kick in the pants, but still haul all my shit around and not be a nuisance.

That's why I love that damn Odyssey. It hauls the family, but it FEELS fast. It's very satisfying. And now that it's been bumped into a couple of times I don't worry about parking it anymore.

What about just getting a regular daily driver (like that turbo forester or something, which is a plenty fast beast), then rent a fast car once and a while in the summer? 40 dollars a day is massive. That's 1200 a month!!! You could fly to fucking France every couple months. You could probably get someone to drive YOU to work in one of those black lincoln towncars for 40 bucks a day (maybe half the week).

Tom Forsyth said...

> It's a bit like a modern car based on the 70ies sport cars ideas like the Seven (which I love)

Tsk! New-fangled 70s hogwash. The Seven was born in 1957. Kids these days...

cbloom said...

"then rent a fast car once and a while in the summer?"

this is just not possible. I mean it just doesn't exist. And even if it did, the rate would be so huge it would make buying seem wise.

"That's 1200 a month!!! You could fly to fucking France every couple months."

Yeah, the problem with this logic is that I can't actually do that because it takes too much time; I already have plenty of money set aside for vacation budget. So yeah 1200 a month is ridiculous, but WTF else am I going to do with it? Unlike most people I take no pleasure in accumulating gadgets or clothes or widgets or whatever it is that people buy at Bullshit, Baubles & Beyond

cbloom said...

"Yea, more and more these days I'm just wanting a car that fast ENOUGH"

but there's fast enough for a nice commute, and fast enough to make you jizz in your pants the way Tiff does driving the Cayman :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3CLWwv-Fvw

cbloom said...

"then rent a fast car once and a while in the summer?"

BTW what really makes sense here is to have a co-op where 4 people own a sports car together and time share it. There are issues, like you have to really trust the other people to be honest if they fuck it up, but most of all it's just un-American to share things.

Lord knows every person on the block needs their own full set of tools, their own riding mower, their own swimming pool and trampoline.

Aaron said...

Hm... yeah this is available in other cities, but not really here. 1300 for a weekend, or about 500/day to rent a 911 in the cities that have it.

Regarding time share:

Yep, totally. Now you just need to get four people to agree on which sports car they want :)

If I had a dime to spare I'd be all over the sports car co-op idea.

I guess I'm easy though... my Odyssey is enough to make me jizz in my pants when I need it to, and the turbo forester is way faster than that. The key is not to get too exposed to really fast cars. Once you do that you just get accommodated to them and everything else feels slow. Keep your ass off of the sport-bikes. Or maybe go ride one, then you won't want a sports car anymore, it'll feel just as slow as a commuter car in comparison :)

Anyway, that's all just silly talk you still want a sports car. Why not a new cayman? That's only 60k. The used are 40. That 20 seems totally worth it to just be over with the process, plus that money seems to be burning a hole in your pocket. Set those bills free!!!!!!!! :)

cbloom said...

"The key is not to get too exposed to really fast cars. Once you do that you just get accommodated to them and everything else feels slow."

Yeah, this is why F1 drivers all have minivans and shit like that, because compared to an F1 car everything feels slow.

kim said...

@Tom: This is what Neighborgoods.net is for. (Circle-of-trust type of thing for selling, loaning, swapping goods). I've loaned out some of my tools to folk this way so they don't have to buy their own, etc.

ACSintheUS said...

I just wish instead of making the Cayman, they'd let go of the "it's a 911, the engine has to be in the back", tossed the useless rear seats, and put the damn engine in the middle where it's supposed to be.

Then maybe it could be half-affordable without all the insane tech (dynamic engine mounts? wtf?) they had to develop to make their backwards design work.

cbloom said...

Yeah of course, though I think it's pretty obvious they have *tried* to do that, and the limiting factor is not Porsche GMBH it's the retarded customers. Over the years they have made a variety of mid-engined cars (the Cayman is just the latest) and they have all failed at market, because the Porsche die-hards will only buy the 911.

Having read the Porsche forums a lot, I think the reason is that these guys want to feel like they are driving fast without actually driving fast; that is they want to power slide around corners at 30 mph. The only way to get that (without great driver skill) is via a badly balanced car.

Anyhoo, I wouldn't say the engine is in the "wrong" place or that the they need to get it out of the "back" - behind the driver is definitely the right place, it does just need to move forward a tiny bit.

Personally I haven't seen a mid engine car that has a livable design yet. Most of them put the engine directly behind your head and make it so you can't recline your seats.

cbloom said...

Also it seems to me that the "engine in the wrong place" comments are mainly from people who have never driven a modern 911. The fact is it has *tons* of grip, and it's very hard to get yourself in trouble. There are gobs of cars with the engine in the front that come loose more easily due to poor chassis and tires. Obviously around a track you'll feel it, but that's 1% of drivers. I think most of the complaints come from second hand stories based on the old cars before electronic traction control.

cbloom said...

Oh christ I'm turning in to that defensive 911 guy.

Tom Forsyth said...

Yes, yes you are.

Car & Driver couldn't get the 911 to go fast because the back end would step out. Jason Plato thought the 911 GT3 was twitchy and a bit of a handful (OK, that's the GT3, but still - he's kinda used to "raw" cars). Numerous people have nearly or actually killed themselves driving 911s (Iain Banks' autobiography springs to mind). They have a well-deserved reputation for letting you push the limits a looooong way and then slicing your clean head off. If the track gods complain they'd like a bit more warning, I'm pretty sure it would come in handy for us mere mortals.

Of course there's cars with shitty suspensions and tyres that are worse - bad cars are bad - duh. But something as primitive as the Seven with exactly zero driver aids has saved me from myself so many times, purely because of the inherent dynamics.

Nobody's saying the 911 isn't a great car - it plainly is. But it's great despite being a fundamentally compromised design - not because of it. Imagine what Porsche could do if they did it right? Oh wait, you don't have to now the Cayman is here.

cbloom said...

Car & Driver :

"The 61.7 percent of the car's weight on the back should want to chart its own loopy course, but Porsche has tamed that tiger so completely that getting the rear end out takes a concentrated attempt at foolishness. It's one that the otherwise complacent stability control will stop unless you turn it off."

cbloom said...

Oh yeah you mean the lightning lap test :

http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q4/the_lightning_lap_2009-feature/ll3_3a_2009_porsche_911_carrera_s_3e_3_3a05.8_page_16

old rants