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    Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Porsche Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    The boys head to Germany with their new toys...

    It's the second episode for series 15 of Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are up to their usual tricks.

    This week they attempt to find a trio of cars which are equally at home screeching around the race track as they are at transporting the family about town, all for a budget of £5000.

    Their finds result in a BMW M3, a Mercedes 190E and a Ford Sierra Cosworth being put through their paces in Europe's home of speed, Germany.

    Meanwhile Alistair Campbell is the star in the all new Reasonably Priced Car race. How will the British journo cope with those corners?

    Finally, James makes a rare visit to the Top Gear track to test a pair of Porsches - the 911 Sport Classic and Boxster Spyder.

    Top Gear: Series 15, Show 2 preview: "The Boys Hit the Autobahn..."

    (Comments by Richard Porter, Friday 2 July 2010)

    "Hello again. Nice weather we’re having, isn’t it? Unless you’re reading this in somewhere not in Britain and in fact it’s pouring with rain. In which case, sorry about that. Although, frankly, it would be quite handy if it tipped it down all across the world at around 8pm British Summer Time on Sunday, thereby forcing people to dash indoors for what should be a corking episode of TopGear.

    This is the show in which Jeremy, Richard and James are challenged to find a sports saloon that’s as happy taking a family to the shops as it is carving around Silverstone on a track day, and all for no more than £5,000. Clearly this was a very serious task, so they went to a very serious country: Germany.

    It’s one of our expansive two-part VTs this one and packed with funny moments, including Jeremy’s tactless choice of ‘holiday reading’, Richard’s innovative hotel check-out method, and James’s attempts to pretend he isn’t cold. That’ll all make sense when you see it.

    Also in this show, James makes a rare appearance at the track as he tests the Porsche 911 Sport Classic and Boxster Spyder. Be warned, it results in some very un-Captain Slow-ish driving.

    Unfortunately, when we come back to the studio, May’s attempts to justify his excitement are rather thwarted by a strange and unique problem. Tune in on Sunday to find out more. Even if it’s sunny outside."

    Top Gear: Track Test "preview" videos...

    Top Gear Credits:

    Presenter: Jeremy Clarkson
    Presenter: Richard Hammond
    Presenter: James May
    Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: Alastair Campbell
    Executive Producer: Andy Wilman

    BBC Broadcast Schedule:

    • Sunday 4 July 2010 at 20:00 on BBC Two
    • Sunday 4 July 2010 at 20:00 on BBC HD
    • Tuesday 6 July 2010 at 21:30 on BBC Two
    • Tuesday 6 July 2010 at 21:30 on BBC HD
    • Friday 9 July 2010 at 19:00 on BBC Three

    Top-Gear_Series-15_Episode-2_BBC-link

    NB: There are rumours that Top Gear decided to test whether the Porsche Boxster Spyder was waterproof... with a fire-hose!!! Smiley

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    Porsche 911 Sport Classic by Chris Harris...

    Porsche-911-Sport-Classic_Evo-video

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    2010 Porsche 911 Sport Classic...

    With just 250 offered for $200,000+ a piece, the 911 Sport Classic is an unusual proposition. So, is it any good to drive? 

    On the face of it, the new 911 Sport Classic doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Customers in Porsche’s largest market can’t buy it. It’s got a double-bubble roof, something associated with Zagato rather than Porsche. Its wheels ape Fuchs’ famous 911 alloys, but have too-shiny surfaces and aren’t made by Fuchs. Finally, anyone can order a new Carrera S with the same mechanicals (Powerkit 3.8, PCCB brakes, PASM Sport suspension) for half the money.

    Yet, during a worldwide recession, all 250 cars offered were quickly spoken for. This suggests that Porsches are bought for more than just performance, that some buyers are also looking for something different. And, in fact, Porsche has been building tailor-made cars for such clients for a long time, through a specialist department originally known as Sonderwunsch (Special Wishes).

    Have you ever really, really loved a pair of shoes? Well, Sonderwunsch, found in Zuffenhausen’s Werke 1, would happily paint your Porsche to match their color, then wrap every piece of its interior in their leather. As you’d imagine from this example, oddities abounded: A 996 with a baby blue cockpit, a 959 with an under-dash drawer for an Uzi, and a 930 with leather gauge faces and a convertible top that closed itself if it started to rain while the car was parked are but three examples.

    Sonderwunsch evolved as Porsche did, eventually taking the name it bears today: Porsche Exclusive. It would be a mistake to think the department is limited to custom-tailoring, however. It also quietly develops production parts, from wheels to Powerkits to aerodynamic aids — many of which become regular options or basic ingredients for “S” or special production models.

    The Sport Classic is meant to demonstrate the full capabilities of Exclusive. While the car is based on the mechanicals of the current Carrera S, its wider rear fenders come from the Carrera 4 and give it a wider rear track and a more purposeful stance. While the fatter fenders were in the parts bin, the rest of the body alterations had to be created with production in mind, meeting not only Porsche’s requirements but those of governmental agencies. Thus, the sculpted front spoiler, side sills, revised rear bumper, fixed ducktail spoiler, and double-bubble roof section were all wind-tunnel and TüV tested.

    While the ducktail is a clear reference to 1973’s 911 Carrera RS 2.7, the paint is an early 356 gray that faded from Porsche’s color charts. Now called Sport Classic Grey, it’s offset by medium gray stripes over the hood, roof, and ducktail. These disappoint by being self-adhesive rather than painted, and one wonders if they’ll be deleted on some Sport Classics for differentiation — because all 250 cars will have the same colors and equipment. (The sole option is a short-shifter.)

    About those colors: Art teachers tell students to avoid mixing cool hues like blue and gray with warm ones like beige and brown, a rule the Sport Classic ignores. Yet the more you look at its color combination, the more it grows on you. The gray exterior warms with the late-afternoon sun, while the interior’s brown leather is deep and rich. Brown interiors are very 1970s, but the most perplexing thing about the color Porsche’s design department chose is its marketing-speak name: Expresso Nature, which means precisely nothing in any language.

    Odd lingo aside, there’s no getting away from the fact that the Sport Classic has the most lavish, finely detailed interior seen on a production Porsche. The material found on the door panels and the seats’ center sections recalls Berber fabric used in 911s of the 1970s. Closer inspection reveals an intricate pattern of finely woven leather and yarn that’s pleasing to eye and fingertip alike. Sonderwunsch has long been known for its ability to cut leather so thinly that it can cover plastic air vents and still fit them into their dashboard receptacles, an art that continues here.

    More details abound. Intricate cross-stitching on the steering wheel is matched by a similar level of detail on the key pouch and cover for the owner’s handbooks. Twin gray stripes on the tachometer echo the theme started on the bodywork, and are matched by gray seatbelts and a gray Alcantara headliner. Polished stainless-steel doorsills feature the Sport Classic script illuminated in blue. The finishing touch is a plaque near the glove-box engraved with each car’s standing as one of 250 customer Sport Classics. This test car isn’t one of them, by the way. It’s labeled No. 000/250 and will likely end up in the Porsche Museum.

    Moving back outside, the 19-inch alloy wheels are a modern interpretation of Porsche’s first and longest-running alloy road wheel, the basic design of which lasted from 1967 until 1989. Made for Porsche by Fuchs, those five-spoke wheels were known for strength and lightness and came in a variety of finishes — but never with the gloss black spokes and polished lips seen here. Sized 19×8.5 and 19×11 and wearing 235/35ZR19 and 305/30ZR19 tires, the new versions positively dwarf the 14-, 15-, and 16-inch originals.

    Porsche’s PCCB ceramic-composite brakes are among the best in any car, at any price, and are standard on the Sport Classic. So too is a limited-slip differential, which is part of the car’s electronically variable Sport suspension package. Weissach R&D has been on a steep learning curve with Porsche Active Suspension Management since its introduction on 2005 997s, something clearly evidenced by the more refined settings of the second-generation PASM in 2009-on 997s.

    The optional Sport suspension found on 2005–08 997s used -20 mm springs and conventional gas-filled dampers, which produced a very stiff ride. The new PASM Sport suspension still lowers the car by 20 mm, but now uses the variable damper technology to yield a near-perfect balance between daily driver comfort and taut handling in the Normal setting with enough body control for track events in the Sport setting.

    Porsche gave the Sport Classic its best Carrera-line suspension, brakes, and wheels in preparation for the most powerful 911 Carrera engine to date — the first to claim more than 400 horsepower. The Powerkit 3.8, based on the direct fuel-injection sixes used in 2009-on 997 Carreras, was developed for the Sport Classic, and is now available as an option on Carrera S, Carrera 4S, and Targa 4S models.

    As with Powerkits past, the new one is an extensive upgrade that starts with ported and polished cylinder heads. Balanced combustion chambers are fed by a new variable-resonance in take manifold, which has six vacuum-controlled flaps that allow it to transition between horsepower and torque-orientated lengths to provide the optimum cylinder charge throughout the rev range. A new exhaust system, a carbon-fibre airbox, and a remapped ECU round out the package.

    The result is 408 hp, which arrives at 7300 rpm. Incredibly, this output matches the European 1996 993 Turbo’s peak horsepower figure — without the help of two turbochargers. It’s also 28 horses more than the 8200-rpm 2004 996 GT3, and just 7 shy of the 8400-rpm 2007 997 GT3, while being more economical and cleaner than all of them. While the 3.8 can’t match a Turbo for torque, it still offers 310 lb-ft from 4200 to 5600 rpm.

    Out on the road, the Powerkit 3.8 is noticeably stronger than the 3.8 S, and more eager, too. Under full throttle, its deeper lungs let it sing longer and harder to redline. Its signature exhaust note is pitch-perfect all the way from idle to the 7500-rpm cut-out — you can’t help but think this is how all normally-aspirated 911s should sound! Porsche’s engineers say they would have liked to make it even louder — certain markets like Switzer land have strict noise regulations that dictated otherwise — but this Porsche’s inspiring song suffers little from being a few decibels softer.

    Then there’s the rest of the car. After just a few miles, it’s clear that the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” really is a cliche. For one thing, pictures fail to convey this car’s presence. More important, neither photos nor the factory press release even remotely begin to convey how this 911 adds up to more than the sum of its parts. The car delights on several levels, the visual and tactile delights of its interior and the way its revised 3.8 engine spins up with such enthusiasm and smoothness being just two of them.

    The Sport Classic also stands tall compared to other recent special models. Our drive occurred back-to-back with the 2010 GT3 RS and 2011 Boxster Spyder, two Porsches that are hard acts to follow. Any of these three are focused enough that even a short drive will bring a wide smile to your face, and all are cars you can lose your heart to rather than merely respect. One, however, stands out as the best all-rounder: the Sport Classic. Where the new GT3 RS is a civilized track toy and the Spyder is a fun sports car, the Sport Classic does everything that a normal Carrera S will, and more.

    Of course, the Sport Classic costs more than the RS and the Spyder combined. It also costs more than the 911 GT2, an also-rare 911 with performance on an entirely different level. In dollars and sense, then, it’s hard to understand the logic behind the Sport Classic. So what was Porsche thinking?

    A look at the car from Porsche Exclusive’s viewpoint helps. Consider this: Since the Cayenne SUV was launched in 2003, Ger man tuner TechArt has sold 900 fully modified Cayenne Turbo-based Magnums — this despite the fact other tuners offer modified Cayennes and the fact that TechArt’s engine, suspension, body, and interior modifications effectively doubled the list price of a Cayenne Turbo. When one considers that these were aftermarket customs rather than factory limited editions, Porsche AG’s business case for the Sport Classic comes clear.

    We’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not the 911 Sport Classic is worth its €169,300 price tag — but it is the best and most complete driver’s Carrera so far.

    2010-Porsche-911-Sport-Classic_Exce11ence-review

     

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    clarson is gonna have fun with the ducktail........this car gives him all the more reason to hate porsche


    --
    Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... That's what gets you.

    Re: Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    they better make this episode a good one because the first one sucked 


    Re: Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder on Top Gear at 8pm (BST) on Sunday 4 July...

    Smiley SmileySmiley


    Re: Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    Enmanuel:

    they better make this episode a good one because the first one sucked 


    +1 Smiley Apart from the Bentley review, the first episode was poor IMO Smiley As for the 2nd episode, the 911 Sport Classic and Boxster Spyder segment was OK and the cheap track day car segment was fun but the anti-German cliches were tedious. Clarkson doesn't seem to realise when a joke is so old and tired that it is no longer funny anymore. Hope the rest of the series improves.


    --

     
    RT Moderator - 997.1 Carrera S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection

    Rennteam signature photo 2.jpg


    Re: Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    easy_rider911:
     As for the 2nd episode, the 911 Sport Classic and Boxster Spyder segment was OK and the cheap track day car segment was fun but the anti-German cliches were tedious. Clarkson doesn't seem to realise when a joke is so old and tired that it is no longer funny anymore. Hope the rest of the series improves.

    Maybe it's just Clarkson who is too old and tired to come up with any new ideas for his stand-up act.  Smiley


    --

    fritz


    Re: Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    easy_rider911:
    Enmanuel:

    they better make this episode a good one because the first one sucked 


    +1 Smiley Apart from the Bentley review, the first episode was poor IMO Smiley As for the 2nd episode, the 911 Sport Classic and Boxster Spyder segment was OK and the cheap track day car segment was fun but the anti-German cliches were tedious. Clarkson doesn't seem to realise when a joke is so old and tired that it is no longer funny anymore. Hope the rest of the series improves.


    +2 on the first episode, which was a bit of a anti-climax, especially after the stunning first episode in Romania the previous season.

    I thought the main feature was pretty funny this time, at least I laughed at the "constantly going backwards Mercedes because of its race inspired dog leg first gear"

    But what I enjoyed the most was the Boxster Spyder piece, it's strange how the word "fun" seems to pop up every time someone drives a BoxsterSmiley


    --

    10 PRINT "997.2 Carrera S rules"

    20 GOTO 10

    30 RUN


    Re: Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    What occurred to me during the Boxster Spyder piece was that James May was comparing it to the Boxster S that he has been driving for the past 4 years. Surely, a more relevant comparison would be to compare it to the facelifted Boxster S. I would expect the improvement to be smaller.

    I still think the regular Boxster S is the one to get


    --

     
    RT Moderator - 997.1 Carrera S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection

    Rennteam signature photo 2.jpg


    Re: Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    easy_rider911:

    I still think the regular Boxster S is the one to get


    +1 Smiley
     


    --

    The secret of life is to admire without desiring.


    Re: Top Gear: Porsche 911 Sport Classic & Boxster Spyder (Sunday 4 July)

    A couple of facts regarding the Boxster Spyder:

    1. it is a pain in the a.. to take off the roof, it isn't as simple as it looks, it almost requires an engineering degree to do that (or at least a manual in your hands for the first couple of times )

    2. top speed with roof is limited to 200 kph, above this speed, it rips off

    3. it is even more of a pain in the a.. to mount back that roof on the car (if it starts raining, your best chance is to find a bridge under which you can stop or similar because you need some time to put the roof back. This is not a "couple of minutes" job.

    4. you pay 7000 EUR more for 80 kg less

    To make it short: the Boxster Spyder, no matter if you like how it looks or not, is not a very practical car...to say at least.

    The Boxster S is cheaper and a much better daily driver.


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 997 Turbo, BMW X5 M, BMW M3 Cab DKG, Mini Cooper S JCW


     
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