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    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Short of gutting the car into a metal shell... ways of reducing weight are:

    - light non-motorized seats
    - non electrical windows
    - no subwoofers - or non stereo better
    - no PCM GSM nonsense
    - non electrical sunroof or no sunroof
    - no back seats (a la GT3)
    - no console

    If you think about it you could probably order a car pretty much like that w/ a few exceptions.

    But... I noticed that many who complain about weight go ahead and add all kinds of junk on the exterior (aero kits and such), and larger/heavier 19" rims, adding more weight. Go figure.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    What is 'all' this other safety equipment, other then a helmet? If you hit a wall straight on your body will not be held rigid by a 4 or 6 point harness. The harness will stretch, as does a road harness, to disipate the impact force. Unless the collision is major and probably beyond the survivability limit, it is unlikely that your helmet will contact the steering wheel. Air bags have been mandated because Americans, in general of course, are relectant to wear seat belts, so it is the only method that gives you any hope. Doesn't it stand to reason that if the FIA believed that air bags were such a big safety 'gain' that they would begin to mandate them for competition cars?
    My point was that A; Racing safety, in its entirety, beats street safety and B; where is the choice? If I don't want an air bag I should be able to opt out. But this is basically no longer possible.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    ADias: Do you remember the 993 RSCS? This was a steel shell and a full road porsche. No headlining, no carpet and welded cage. Of course it might get tiring as a daily driver. I guess you can buy a Turbo or cab for this, but as a 'pure sports' car it easily has the current GT3 beat.
    I guess this comes back to Watt's contention that Porsche is no longer really a sports car?
    Without being certain I would expect the SuperCup car to have greater crash survivability then a road 911.
    Do you have anything to back up your claims about lack of safety in Italian cars? Does it concern you that the 911 fuel tank is in the front of the car, rather then the middle?

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Of course this is 100% correct.
    For most people I think the credo is 'Looks like a Sports Car, but drives with all the ease and comfort of a Sedan Car"

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Quote:
    DJD said:
    ...Do you have anything to back up your claims about lack of safety in Italian cars? Does it concern you that the 911 fuel tank is in the front of the car, rather then the middle?



    Deadly accidents w/ Ferraris and Lambos are an unfortunate well documented reality.

    The location of the gas tank in a 911 is a non-issue.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Quote:
    DJD said: What is 'all' this other safety equipment, other then a helmet? If you hit a wall straight on your body will not be held rigid by a 4 or 6 point harness. The harness will stretch, as does a road harness, to disipate the impact force. Unless the collision is major and probably beyond the survivability limit, it is unlikely that your helmet will contact the steering wheel. Air bags have been mandated because Americans, in general of course, are relectant to wear seat belts, so it is the only method that gives you any hope. Doesn't it stand to reason that if the FIA believed that air bags were such a big safety 'gain' that they would begin to mandate them for competition cars? My point was that A; Racing safety, in its entirety, beats street safety and B; where is the choice? If I don't want an air bag I should be able to opt out. But this is basically no longer possible.

    Let start with this: http://www.advancedfire.com/hansdeivce.jpg The number one cause of fatalities on American race track is head and neck injuries. The HANS safety device is used by most professional drivers now. A popular stock card driver hit the wall in 2001 at a NASCAR event. It did not look like a severe accident, but his neck snapped from an unrestraint helmet and head. If he had a head restraint, he would have walked away with no injuries. In the US, all the German imports have standard side airbags including head/curtain bags. This was not mandated by the government. On other makes they are usually non-exsistent, optional, or standard on the high end models. We do have an organization that is funded by the insurance companies that stages crashes that are more similar to real world events. Their results are then broadcasted on American TV. And their conclusion: In almost all cases, cars without side/head airbags causes death or severe injury to the driver and/or passenger when hit by the most popular car in America, the SUV/truck. And guess what, side airbags are getting to be very popular now because of market forces. Now since we are talking about street driving, the only way a race car would equal a car with six airbags is if you are wearing the helmet and a head and neck restraint system. And by the way, we Americans do have a high compliance rate with wearing seatbelts. Not wearing seatbelts will get you an ejection from the car with or without airbags.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Quote:
    DJD said:
    all that air bag crap



    I have two friends and my wife who wouldn't be alive now without "that air bag crap". This whole discussion now really gets ridiculous.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    It does definetly and I can't see anymore the reason of the existence of this topic.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Quote:
    RC said:
    Quote:
    DJD said:
    all that air bag crap



    I have two friends and my wife who wouldn't be alive now without "that air bag crap". This whole discussion now really gets ridiculous.



    My PARENTS wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for "that airbag crap"!! (back when they were even only offerered as extras )

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Airbags might have their downsides in terms of unwanted activations - it is as powerful as a gun and not only guns can be harmful if used in the wrong way - but please show me anything in the safety area that can help you as much.

    Volkswagen for example used different airbag sizes for the U.S. and the European market, because in the later people tend to wear seatbelts more frequently and therefore the airbag has less complicated duties to accomplish!

    I agree that the weight of cars should be lowered in the future and that something like a Cayenne doesn't fit to Porsche's initial philosophy because of weight and hp-/weight-ratio at all! Anyways, the fact that the Supercup version, which is bar any comfort features, still weights 1100 kg just shows how much the car itself still weights. So there is almost no way to accomplish the initial 911's sub-ton weight with the 996/997, if you don't build the whole car in carbonfibre!

    You can order the Carrera GT without Radio and AC and with a smaller battery and save about 50 kg of weight. So what is left on that car? Where do the other 1400 kg come from? Since heavy devises like Brakes and Clutch are made out of Carbon-Ceramics you can imagine that this car has quite a serious safety shell!

    If you want low weight take a TVR, a car that is far from being an appropriate daily driver - no ABS, no ASR/ESP, no Airbags and I will definately not want to be in a crash with that car!

    Greetings!

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Lets not forget Porsche is still one of the last real-sportcar makers that doesn't offer aluminum chasis in their sportcars. There is no safety compromise with using a alum chasis, and the weights savings are substantial (not to mention the superior chasis rigidity), just as an example, the Jaguas XJS saved something like 200 kilos (440pounds) when they switched to alum chasis!! Of course they used alum even in the body work of the car and its a larger car than the 911, but an alum chasis would mean big savings in weight still.

    Maybe a rear-engine platform presents more dificulties when developing an aluminum platform, I have no idea, but its the way to go for high perfromance sportcars, not only for the weight savings but for the improved handling also due to the stiffer chasis. So what are they waiting for, the 998? the 997 has already hit the roof limit in terms of curb weight for a true sportcar (for some its gone past the roof already) and the heavier Turbo version is still to come yet.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Quote:
    Ferdie said:

    Volkswagen for example used different airbag sizes for the U.S. and the European market, because in the later people tend to wear seatbelts more frequently and therefore the airbag has less complicated duties to accomplish!





    Current US seatbelt usage is at 79% (2003). That number is lower than many European countries but higher than some. Overall European usage is about 85%. The difference in usage rates is primarily due to belt use laws and enforcement of those laws. Here is a link to some research on the subject: web page

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    You all miss my point. I am not saying there should not be air bags. I am saying I should have the optiopn of NOT having them. Simple as that. And yes my passengers, if any, can have the option of NOT riding with me if they feel that is unsafe. I believe in a free world where people take responsibility for themselves and have the option to think for themselves. Something we have very little of these days.
    Your comment 'the whole discussion now really gets ridiculous' Why is this? Because I don't agree with you?
    Everyone has a right to their own opinion, even if it is wrong. Otherwise what do we have? Obviously not a place where people can exchange differing views without being blasted, as has happened to nberry. Its interesting living outside the mainstream of thought. Thank you RC and everyone for your many interesting posts.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    The extra bit fell off the post. This is a picture of me in my F1 car which we happily run at a non F1 circuit.
    Sorry about the Mick Doohan helmet, its a lot more comfortable then my Bell. Yes, we are probably getting a Hans helmet. No reason to post other then as an example of things that can be done. Car didn't cost much to buy, is not that expensive to run, about $100 per lap and a lot of fun. But I guess its not very safe to do so. Oh, well...

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Quote:
    DJD said:
    [...] This is a picture of me in my F1 car which we happily run at a non F1 circuit.[...]




    Very very nice! Congratulations and have fun!

    Greetings,
    --Pierre

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Quote:
    DJD said:
    Sorry about the Mick Doohan helmet, its a lot more comfortable then my Bell.



    Why apologise DJD, Mick is one of the greatest no matter if its in the two-wheel world, even more respect to him then!

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Nice photo!

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    I guess your comments about not having airbags were misinterpretted, also by myself! Why would you NOT want to have airbags in your car then? Don't get your point!

    I don't want to comment on Nberry at all. I missed the story of the conflict with him and I don't think we should discuss about the issue of freedom of speech.

    Airbags are definately not as risk-free or free of side-effects as the electronic stability program is, but it saved quite a few peoples lives. Adapting airbags to racecars is much more complex and rather expensive than on road cars. Besides that there is not as much nieed in it as on your daily driver with 3-point belts!

    The HANS system was quite a controversial issue for the F1 drivers. Using this system in a vehicle without roof is different to touring cars like the DTM-C-classes, where it was initially used at!

    Todays drivers do not suffer from outer bodily injuries but rather from inner injuries, especially the brain. It is quite an issue of keeping the amount of g-loads under control when colliding with the outer boundaries.

    One comment on the above mentioned accident in NASCAR - if I remember correctly the belts stretched further than allowed. The HANS device might have helped but maybe a supple covering of the steering wheel would've achieved the same!

    If you can't live with the danger than please don't get into a racecar!
    In a car for daily use it is much different and I ask for the best possible safety without the need of compromises. I don't think that Airbags in the way we know them today are the final solution to the problem. As I mentioned above, these devices have an immense power and the difficulties in handling that technology are obvious, e.g. back-faced child seats prohibited, proper seating position, working on the interior or during rescue etc.

    Regarding aluminium chassis:
    the amount of energy needed to built these chassis are much higher than on regular steel versions. The rigidity doesn't have to be worse, though production and repair because of the different welding options is quite an issue.
    Companies like Audi and Jaguar might be able to handle the costs of research, Porsche probably doesn't. RC commented on the amount of research done on the 997, and I think the same. Porsche is a small company and cannot allow itself to use tons of money on issues like that. Not even Lotus is able to keep the weight as low as they pretent it to be - including A/C and power windows the weight of the current Elise/Exige is much higher than that of its predecessors!

    Anyways, I am pretty sure that Porsche will find ways to reduce weight without sacrificing practicality. I would've liked to see the Cayenne weight considerably less, more around two tons on the high end - but this was probably the price to be paid to build this car in cooperation with VW...

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    I have been told that Motorcycle helmets are 'not suitable' for use in racing cars. Can't quite see why though. Anyway it passed scruntineering at quite a lot of race meetings where I have used it. Obviously I started using it on my bikes. I'm a big fan of them. Of course as someone said somewhere, 'if motorcycles were invented today, they would be banned' But they are tremendously enjoyable to ride. I've always been a Japanese sports bike rider, RC30, GSX -R, RGV, etc. Only bike I have at the moment is a V Max, soon to be shipping to NZ, once the winter is over. They are dangerous, of course, but I usually ride with a full suit, even though its a bit wanky. Had an '04 Fireblade for the weekend recently. Whoa, what a machine...

    Anyone have an opinion about Rossi vs Doohan?

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    There is weight to be removed from the current GT3 without sacrificing safety. The Ruf RGTRS is a modified GT3 that weighs a mere 2705 pounds yet side airbags and interior are retained. They did things like replacing the hood with carbon fiber. The only things on the doors now are a handle and a suede pouch. Very Spartan, but very cool like the old RS door panels.

    What I doubt is that there isn't more conventional ways to reduce weight. An aluminum chassis would help. Also I'm not convinced that just because a good fellow reduced the weight of the 997 decklid by 6 kilos, that all the other components were similarly optimized for weight.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Quote:
    DJD said:
    I have been told that Motorcycle helmets are 'not suitable' for use in racing cars. Can't quite see why though. [...]



    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's because they're not fire-resistant.

    Greetings,
    --Pierre

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Quote:
    pierre said:
    Quote:
    DJD said:
    I have been told that Motorcycle helmets are 'not suitable' for use in racing cars. Can't quite see why though. [...]



    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's because they're not fire-resistant.

    Greetings,
    --Pierre



    It may be fire-resistance, but I was told a different explanation. Apparently there are various tests that helmets undergo. One is being forced into a point to test piercing resistance, another is on a flat surface, and yet another is on a edge. I was told that SA rated helmets also are slammed into a cylinder to represent a bar on a roll cage while MA rated helmets are not given this test. I don't know if this is really the reason though.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Why would I not want an Air Bag?
    Most of the steering wheel ones are ugly, Impreza is a Momo and it looks good, but 355, 997, Gallardo ones, don't look too good. But I guess my major concern is that there is no way to know what condition the bag is in 2, 3 or 10 years down the track. A bit of disquiet about relying on something that has been sitting around doing nothing all that time. At least with a seat belt you can check the tension. I know some will say this is a weak reason and maybe it is, but still its a concern. I agree that they do work and I also agree with your comments about the deployment negatives.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Normally you would be wearing a fire proof balaclava under your helmet.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Yargk: Your '79 turbo, I assume the motor is modified, if its 3.6? I'm currently having my '78's engine rebuilt. I'd be interested in what spec etc you have in your. Thanks.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Quote:
    DJD said:
    Yargk: Your '79 turbo, I assume the motor is modified, if its 3.6? I'm currently having my '78's engine rebuilt. I'd be interested in what spec etc you have in your. Thanks.



    You have a private message.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Quote:
    Ferdie said:
    Regarding aluminium chassis:
    the amount of energy needed to built these chassis are much higher than on regular steel versions. The rigidity doesn't have to be worse, though production and repair because of the different welding options is quite an issue.
    Companies like Audi and Jaguar might be able to handle the costs of research, Porsche probably doesn't. RC commented on the amount of research done on the 997, and I think the same. Porsche is a small company and cannot allow itself to use tons of money on issues like that. Not even Lotus is able to keep the weight as low as they pretent it to be - including A/C and power windows the weight of the current Elise/Exige is much higher than that of its predecessors!



    I'm afraid I don't agree with you there. Porsche may be small (though not as small as before anymore) but its the most profitable in the world, they don't sell low end economic cars precisely, the don't even sponsor factory racing anymore and the can't develop an aluminum chasis with nowadays technology available? while the really small companies like Ferrari, Lotus, Lambo, or Aston Martin can, and though these owned by bigger companies, they are not bottomless pits, they are owned to make money too so they must be run with profits in mind. So obvoiusly the reason must be elsewere.

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Carlos,

    I could imagine that the risk of producing a aluminium chassis could be too big for Mr. Wiedeking. If you consider the development leap and improvement on quality on the 997 you might also come to the conclusion that they had enough money to invest into these cars while ten years ago it was about rescuing the company and earning enough money to remain independent.

    Lotus was with its back at the wall ten years ago, how did their product portfolio look like? I am not quite sure but I could imagine the aluminium chassis in the Elise was a kind of product of R&D which also works as a construction office for other companies - just like Porsche does! So the reason for using the aluminium chassis might have been "nothing to lose"!
    The Elise by the way used to weight about 800 kgs, if I remember correct, bar any safety devices, power anything etc. What does a Opel/Vauxhall Corsa weight? About a ton.
    What does the new Elise 111R weight? Close to a ton.
    I have the feeling not all of these chassis do miracles and some manufacturers claim lower weight numbers to impress public.

    Ferrari and the likes have a big mothership that should provide with technological and financial help if needed.

    I understand your thoughts and you might even be right about it. If you consider the 360's weight on the one hand, and please take into consideration that Ferrari states DRY numbers, and the one of the Porsche with AWD, luxury amenities, a more spacious cabin with a 2+2 layout than I'd say a weight difference of around 100 kg is to justify.

    I am not quite sure but does the Lambo Gallardo have a steel or an aluminium chassis? This car is even 200 kgs heavier than the Turbo, despite not beeing any bigger in size!

    I would definately applaude Porsche for saving some weight but if you see their direct or indirect competitors (360, Gallardo, SL, Aston Martin etc.) they don't look too bad. Okay, the Corvette weights less but it's plastic. Yark....
    Don't mistake the 911 with leisure cars like the Elise, a TVR etc. You cannot complain about everyday usability, durability and chassis rigidity or safety and on the other hand mind the weight either!

    That's just my opinion, might of course be corrected!

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    DJD,

    sorry but I still don't get it. Did you experience anything with Airbags you haven't told us about yet?

    I would rather choose the option to have an airbag that works - even if only in the majority of accidents - and look ugly instead of not having it and risking my life (and my very pretty face ) in an accident!

    As said above, I see a few downsides on current airbags but I do appreciate them as a whole!

    Re: Safety design decision clinches it...

    Ferdy,

    I think your first comment hits the nail on the head, its a business desition to save costs and save more costs and save some more from W.W., just like pulling out of racing, the extensive part sharing (even up to the engine now with the V6) of the Cayenne with VW or the Boxter-996 shared front and internal parts.

    Aluminum chasis same thing, all its competirors have it but Porsche managed to keep weight close to its competition without alum chasis with lighter alum bonet, no spare wheel, etc. Imagin the Gallardo, F430 or Aston AMV8 without the aluminum chasis, they'd be pigs! So credit to Porsche for mainataining weight similar without yet using aluminum.

    But I'm afraid the 998 won't cut it without extensive alum use anymore. The 997 is at the very weight limits. But the longuer they wait the cheaper it will be to develop, though fortunately Porsche can't do a joint colaboration job with VW for the 911 chasis since its a rear-engined chasis, otherwise I wuld be afraid the price of having an alum chasis on the 911 would be sharing it with the Audi TT or VW Golf

     
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