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    Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Thinking of mid-engine (Cayman)and the Carrera's rear engine ----
    This weight distribution issue is a bit stretched? My Carrera feels just as stable in corners as the mighty NSX I owned before the 997. The weight distribution F/R of the Carrera with a full tank of gas is equal to the NSX (a point I have never seen discussed --- I run with a full tank for that reason), and it is better than the NSX if the NSX is fully tanked up.
    With the NSX I just drove instinctively in "911" style, slower into the corner and faster out, and so the 997 feels quite normal.
    Anyone getting out of shape (wild oversteer) in a 997 on anything but a race-track is way way over the limit for public roads! NO Worries

    KiwiCanuck

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    True-but. The Cayman is going to offer more over-the-road performance to more people more of the time. 911's and 997's are best on roads that you know really well. The old slow-in-fast-out routine work best when you know when to slow, where to hit the apex and when to accelerate. Most will come to terms with this on their local roads and favorite track. On unkown roads the Cayman will be faster simply because its performance is more accessable. Cars like my 944 Turbo S stand to to be faster still as it has a very low moment-of-inertia; slower to point but then very predictable grip. Most 977 conversation is of a highly theoretical nature. In the early eighties Porsche tested owners of 911s and found that most never exceeded 70% of the cars performance envelope in on-the-road conditions. This was before traction control and stablity management systems. Like to guess what that percentage is today? That's why most rear vs. mid (aka 997 vs Caymen) posts are pure bunk. 99.9% of 997 owners (my number, will never access all the "character" they love to post about. Both are great cars and desirable for slightly different reasons.

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Pretty sad though; It seems to me we're on the tail end (hehe) of a 40 year model run. Will be great to see the mid-engine Porsche which "replaces" the Carrera. I.e. lots of hp, about us$100K, and looks like a gorgeous Porsche, not cute little Boxster (Porsche with Panties), or junior 911 Cayman.

    I'll buy one in a second.

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Can you have mid engine & 2+2?

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Quote:
    MKM said:
    Can you have mid engine & 2+2?



    sure... just put 2 passengers in the trunk.

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Quote:
    MMD said:
    Pretty sad though; It seems to me we're on the tail end (hehe) of a 40 year model run. Will be great to see the mid-engine Porsche which "replaces" the Carrera. I.e. lots of hp, about us$100K, and looks like a gorgeous Porsche, not cute little Boxster (Porsche with Panties), or junior 911 Cayman.

    I'll buy one in a second.



    I totally disagee! It seems that the Porshe engineers are making the 911 a better car with every new model. The end of a 40 year run? But why? There's 40 years of experience and know-how in this car. How many other cars can claim that sort of pedigree?

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    well, dig out some technical drawings of the 911 through history and watch how the engine has been moved further and further into the car.

    i compared the engine placement between a 993 and 997 recently and the difference is larger than i expected. it is almost as i don't want to call the 997 rear engined anymore

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    The great thing about a 911 compared to pretty much anything mid engined is that it can fit extra (small) people and luggage in the back. Also the sheer traction off bends on a road you don't know where you are not quite sure is round the next bend I think more or less offsets the balance advantages of a mid engine on the road. I'd say a mid engine is more advantage on a track where the fundamentally better weight distribution can be fully exploited. 911 remains the practical junior supercar and I don't see the Cayman replacing it at all just like the boxter didn't. Now the 911 soft top is another matter-the rear seats are no bigger than the trunk on a boxster....

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Quote:
    MKM said:
    Can you have mid engine & 2+2?



    An advantage of the 911 engine position is the superior packaging that it enables. A mid-engined car could not be a 2+2 so if the 911 is to continue to be a Sports/GT/2+2 the only alternative option is front engined. However I don't believe the packaging would be anywhere near as good - eg: another benefit of the 911 is the flat 6 engine to keep weight low which is hung low behind rear axle which gives a huge traction benefit and leaves room for 2+2 seats, Without the car being longer and heavier, as the 911's so-called competitors are, you just could'nt pack as much into the 911 whilst retaining it's compact size and weight with a future front engined version.

    The 911 has had decades of developement so it handles and drives better than most sports mid/front engine cars. It truly is an icon worthy of constant celebration and it never deserves to die.

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Quote:
    AS said:
    Quote:
    MKM said:
    Can you have mid engine & 2+2?



    sure... just put 2 passengers in the trunk.



    The Maserati Merak was a mid engine 2+2.

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Quote:
    JimFlat6 said:
    Quote:
    AS said:
    Quote:
    MKM said:
    Can you have mid engine & 2+2?



    sure... just put 2 passengers in the trunk.



    The Maserati Merak was a mid engine 2+2.



    Well yeah........ but too much of a low volume oddity to count, they only made 1500.

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    The problem with mid engined cars is that they are generally quite snappy at the limit. Once they are sliding the line between fun and 'oh my god' is incredibly narrow. The 997 on the other hand is a pussycat once sliding and just does not seem to want to spin. I have had it on track in 3rd gear in a full on broadside lap after lap and it never once spun. Try that with my old Elise and you might as well expect to meet the armco occasionally.

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Quote:
    Persuader said:
    Quote:
    MKM said:
    Can you have mid engine & 2+2?



    An advantage of the 911 engine position is the superior packaging that it enables. A mid-engined car could not be a 2+2 so if the 911 is to continue to be a Sports/GT/2+2 the only alternative option is front engined. However I don't believe the packaging would be anywhere near as good - eg: another benefit of the 911 is the flat 6 engine to keep weight low which is hung low behind rear axle which gives a huge traction benefit and leaves room for 2+2 seats, Without the car being longer and heavier, as the 911's so-called competitors are, you just could'nt pack as much into the 911 whilst retaining it's compact size and weight with a future front engined version.

    The 911 has had decades of developement so it handles and drives better than most sports mid/front engine cars. It truly is an icon worthy of constant celebration and it never deserves to die.



    I am a mid-engine fan, but as with you I also see the iconic status of the 911 and its right to continue long past I have gone.

    Over the years, the features that distinguished 911's from all other cars (let alone sports cars) have narrowed (gone is air-cooling for example). The two features that immediately come to mind that remain unique are 2+2 seating and rear-engine placement. The 911 will continue to evolve, so "the king is dead, long live the king!".

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Quote:
    JJBlade said:
    The problem with mid engined cars is that they are generally quite snappy at the limit. Once they are sliding the line between fun and 'oh my god' is incredibly narrow. The 997 on the other hand is a pussycat once sliding and just does not seem to want to spin. I have had it on track in 3rd gear in a full on broadside lap after lap and it never once spun. Try that with my old Elise and you might as well expect to meet the armco occasionally.



    Sounds like you had great fun and exhibited great car control with your 997, congratulations! Re the snappy mid-engine characteristics and the Elise comments, I would suggest that a mid-engine car requires a different driving technique (very little reason for full-on sliding to rotate the car), and the Elise's shorter wheelbase does make it more tricky at the limit.

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    All mid engined cars are very similar at the limit. I have tracked MR2's, Ferrari 355, Lotus Esprit V8 etc etc and they all do the same. They feel great up to 9/10ths but if they start to slide you have no choice but to contain it or you will suffer an embarassing moment.

    If you throw a 997 into a bend and leave your foot on the brakes (very necessary if you want the damn thing not to understeer) then you just wait for the rear to come round and apply power and slide to your hearts content. In this way it is as easy to slide as front engined rwd cars such as M3/200Sx's etc etc. Something I never expected when I first tracked it. The LSD also helps in the 997 otherwise the car just spins up the inside rear and crabs all over the place.

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Quote:
    JimFlat6 said:
    Quote:
    AS said:
    Quote:
    MKM said:
    Can you have mid engine & 2+2?



    sure... just put 2 passengers in the trunk.



    The Maserati Merak was a mid engine 2+2.



    Where are the back seats?


    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Quote:
    Persuader said:
    Quote:
    JimFlat6 said:
    Quote:
    AS said:
    Quote:
    MKM said:
    Can you have mid engine & 2+2?



    sure... just put 2 passengers in the trunk.



    The Maserati Merak was a mid engine 2+2.



    Well yeah........ but too much of a low volume oddity to count, they only made 1500.


    Ferrari Mondial too...

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    McLaren F1 too...
    oh sorry, that's a 1+2.

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Quote:
    JJBlade said:
    All mid engined cars are very similar at the limit. I have tracked MR2's, Ferrari 355, Lotus Esprit V8 etc etc and they all do the same. They feel great up to 9/10ths but if they start to slide you have no choice but to contain it or you will suffer an embarassing moment.

    If you throw a 997 into a bend and leave your foot on the brakes (very necessary if you want the damn thing not to understeer) then you just wait for the rear to come round and apply power and slide to your hearts content. In this way it is as easy to slide as front engined rwd cars such as M3/200Sx's etc etc. Something I never expected when I first tracked it. The LSD also helps in the 997 otherwise the car just spins up the inside rear and crabs all over the place.



    The key issue is front/rear weight balance, and I recall that the F355 has a front/rear weight distribution similar to the 997 (40%/60% front to rear).

    Not to argue or provoke, but the driving techniques required to negotiate any particular corner in the most efficient manner (lowest elapsed time) for a mid-engine car is different than for a rear-engined car. What you describe for your 997 is the classic "slow-in", induced oversteer to rotate the car, and then back onto the throttle to catch the oversteer and accelerate for "fast out". The slide the 997 experiences is really the rear tires, not a full four-wheel drift. For a mid-engined car, the technique requires trail-braking into the turn, EARLY apexing (not for novices!) to rotate the car to achieve an ideal slip angle (10 to 15 degrees) and modulate the throttle to hold that angle through the apex and back on full throttle on corner exit. In this example, there is a true four-wheel drift that is nearly imperceptible. And yes, any abrupt car control input (brake, throttle, steering) will cause a snap spin. For 99% of drivers (us non-professionals), it doesn't really matter whether you choose mid-engine or rear-engine layout so long as the suspension/chassis is properly tuned and the driver utilizes the appropriate driving techiques. Keep the shiny side up!

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    I am not saying that you would not use different techniques to take advantage of each type of car simply that a mid/engined car by its nature is always more snappy at the limit. If this was not the case why do you never see mid engined cars in drifting competitions (an extreme example of oversteer).

    I used to drive my Elise quite easily up to the limit of adhesion but I never took liberties in the same way you can with an M3 or a 997 for example. Countless journalists and racers talk about the benefits of mid engined cars in terms of perfect weight distribution but all accept that because of its high polar moment of inertia a mid engined car can not be driven at 11/10's.

    If you want proof seek out Gavin Kershaws views of mid engined cars. He is the principle vehicle dynamics engineer for Lotus and has won the Autocar drifting competitions many times and he is the first to admit the mid engined cars are never as forgiving as front engined rwd or rear engined cars.

    Your example of how to get the best out of a mid engined car is correct but it is not what I am talking about. I am talking about taking a car beyond its limits of adhesion and in those circumstances a mid engined car bites.

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Quote:
    JimFlat6 said:
    Quote:
    AS said:
    Quote:
    MKM said:
    Can you have mid engine & 2+2?



    sure... just put 2 passengers in the trunk.



    The Maserati Merak was a mid engine 2+2.



    And the more common Ferrari Mondial, after the 80's makers finally realised that 2+2 and mid engine don't go together well in terms of packaging and well sorted chasis.

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    As a Boxster S owner i can say that 997S is more fun and is IMO REAL Porsche! But, my wife feel herself more safe in Boxster S(!!) or her BMW M3 Cabrio then in 997S while we were at the test drive... Odd, isn' it? My feeling that Boxster S is more useful for average driver.
    BTW, Boxster(and Cayman) is IMO one of the best mid engine car ever build!

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Hi JJBlade. I've never seen a drifting competition, so I'm guessing that front tire traction is not broken and just the rears. In that instance, do you describe that as driving 10/10ths or 11/10ths? In my book that is still 10/10ths, and places the driver among the top 5%-10%. For me, driving 11/10's (for either front, mid- or rear-engine based cars) means braking traction at all four corners. At 11/10's the "best" configuration is one that has only a slight rear weight bias because you want to re-establish traction as evenly across all four corners as soon as possible. I prefer the engine configuration that offers the greatest control at 10/10's, not that I claim to achieve that very often. At 11/10's, I'd crash in whatever car I was driving at that time :-)

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Drifting to me is an 11/10ths game where you have entered a corner so fast as to deliberately break traction and as a result although spectacular you naturally progress quite slowly through the corner.

    A 10/10ths style is that imperceptible balance of adhesion v speed through a corner as seen in F1 etc where the driver is solely concerned with the ultimate speed through a corner. This style of driving looks fantastically smooth and lacking in drama and is of course the fastest method for driving on tarmac (rallying requires a 11/10ths style)

    As for the best engine configuration for the ultimate speed it is most probably the mid-engined one but and it is a big but, that does not mean it is also the most fun

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    No! KiwiCanuck

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Thoughts in response to the below:

    "True-but. The Cayman is going to offer more over-the-road performance to more people more of the time. 911's and 997's are best on roads that you know really well. The old slow-in-fast-out routine work best when you know when to slow, where to hit the apex and when to accelerate.etc "

    Nice comments ----- good stuff. But I still believe that the 997, even given those provisos, is faster than we should be going on the public roads. There are unexpected bumps, birds hitting windscreens, dogs/rabbits unexpectedly 'there' etc. 10/10ths, where the unexpected can send us off the road or into other traffic, is just not "on". If you are driving a CAYMAN faster than a 997, you are also near its limit, and that is too much, except for track day. KiwiCanuck

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Well said! Agreed ----KiwiCanuck

    Re: Rear engine and mid-engine ---some thoughts

    Thot-

    Is that you??


     
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