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    the unbelievable S 600 L

    automotorsport [german car mag] today published a road test of the merc S 600 L...

    erm, i'm a little disturbed. i knew before that with 800 Nm and 500 HP this thing is an overland rocket in a way... but not THIS fast.

    0-100 kph: 4,5 sec
    0-200 kph: 15,2 sec

    IMHO this is FASTER than the tiptronic turbo. and we're speaking of a 2600kg 4-door car here.

    something really weird is happening... will our beloved sports car only be good for track days and some posing?

    Times are changing...

    ...I bet in two or three years, we see a Cayenne Turbo S which outruns the 996 Turbo Tip.

    But to be serious: yes, Porsche has to raise power and try to stay at the same level with the weight. Reducing weight is almost impossible if they want to cope with future safety standards. Cost is also an issue when talking about weight.

    It wouldn't have been a problem for Mercedes to adapt the SL55's weight to the 996 Turbo's weight but I guess they would have charged 20000 EUR more for such a car.
    Mercedes did a very clever thing (Porsche seems to have started to learn that lesson with the Cayenne Turbo): instead of reducing weight and increasing the car's production/development cost, they increased the power. Most people who own a SL55 will never seriously track race this car and 500 HP are very impressive for street use.

    Porsche will loose some customers to Mercedes, no doubt about it. The upcoming E55 AMG will hurt them most because of it's interesting price tag, performance and enough room for four people or a small family.
    Some people say they were surprised that the Cayenne Turbo is that cheap but I don't find the Cayenne Turbo cheap at all.
    You get a fully equipped E55 AMG for the Cayenne Turbo's price tag and much better performance too. Not to speak that you'll still have some money left to buy your wife something nice.
    A well equipped Cayenne Turbo including all goodies will cost around 115000 EUR. My ML55 AMG is around 80000 EUR and I'm sure that the next generation ML55 with rumored 460 HP won't pass the 85000 EUR barrier.

    As much as I started to like the Cayenne, I don't think that it will be really competitive, especially not right now when people think twice when spending their money on a new car.
    I'm sure that the Cayenne will be a huge success in former Eastern Europe, the Middle East and some parts of Asia but I still have my doubts regarding Europe and the main target market: the US. Time will tell.

    Re: Times are changing...

    i agree. times are changing. and the number of porsche customers who are on the race track from time to time are VERY small i suppose [not among the members of this forum, but in general ]. most of them are driving their sport cars on ordinary streets, which is pain already. big diesels are pushing from behind and the S 600 is overtaking easily and we are the dumb nuts and have only one "advantage": the highest price tag.

    if it's true that the 2004 porsche 997 will keep the 320 HP flat six machine, i really have some doubts if the porsche image is taking a leakage. today we have all these overstyled poseurs cars like the audi TT or the Z3, but a carrera is still a damn honest and fast car in the eyes of most people out there. but for how long?

    and the question is, why do sports car drivers have to pay that much if not for power and performance? the cayenne turbo is not a bargain, but it is cheap in comparison to the 996 turbo. sports car drivers have to pay a premium price and want premium performance. the 1995 993 turbo got 405 HP (if i remember it right), the actual 996 turbo 420 HP.

    anyway, merc is in attack mode and the other brands have to react. the future will be very exciting i suppose.

     
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