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Old 10-26-2005, 10:20 AM   #1
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Testing with Porsche...

The excerpt below came from a Motor Trend article written by an author who was spending time with the Cayman S testing team. It discusses the effort that Porsche goes through to test new models and derivatives. I thought it was interesting reading:

"For a derivative like the Cayman S, Porsche makes about 100 prototypes. For an all-new model such as the 997-series 911, it's a staggering 500. First come test mules--new powertrain or chassis installed under a hacked-about old body--then complete vehicles, then a series of cars to confirm and fine-tune all that work, and finally a lot of specimens built on the line and handed out to Porsche employees to use as daily drivers while they look for niggles--presumably in lieu of a bonus scheme.

Winter is always in short supply. Hot testing in Death Valley around July and switching to South Africa or Australia in December is easy. But there is no reliable southern-hemisphere frozen lake, so if cold-weather durability testing or icy ABS/ESP calibration doesn't get finished on time, a new-car program can be delayed for nearly a year. That specter has caused Porsche's test chief Heinz Bernhard a few sleepless nights--but he's never quite missed one yet.

During July, he has at least 10 test teams: hot-weather, crash, tires, handling, road-refinement, high-speed, mountain, rough-roads, dusty-environments, squeak-and-rattle.

Porsche used to do its southern-hemisphere hot testing in Australia. "There were too many kangaroos to hit," says Bernhard. "It took three days to get home, with the long flight and time-zone change." From South Africa, it's a shorter night flight to Stuttgart, all in the same time zone so he can be in his office in the morning. In the center of the country are long, empty, straight roads where his staff has special police permits to ignore the speed limit. With the early 996 Turbo, they'd drain a tank of fuel in half an hour. I wonder if Bernhard has any vacancies.

Motor Trend's First Drive of the Cayman S

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Old 10-26-2005, 12:14 PM   #2
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The article gives the curb weight as 3200 lbs. (est.). Wonder why the coupe weighs 300 lbs. more than a convertible? I had always thought convertible tops, especially motorized ones, added weight.

'Course, convertibles cost more than coupes in most cars outside of Porsche-land, too (with the same engine, of course).

So a 2.7 non-S Cayman should run below $43,000. No blasts please, just letting my imagination run a bit.
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Old 10-26-2005, 01:59 PM   #3
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According to Porsche, there is to be no Cayman non-S.


I think the weight issue is tied to the fact that the Cayman started out as a ragtop and evolved into a coupe. So, no extra weight to be hacked, only to be added.

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Old 10-26-2005, 03:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limoncello
The article gives the curb weight as 3200 lbs. (est.). Wonder why the coupe weighs 300 lbs. more than a convertible? I had always thought convertible tops, especially motorized ones, added weight.

'Course, convertibles cost more than coupes in most cars outside of Porsche-land, too (with the same engine, of course).

So a 2.7 non-S Cayman should run below $43,000. No blasts please, just letting my imagination run a bit.
2.7?! who would ever buy that for nearly $50k ! (don't forget all the Porsche "options").
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Old 10-26-2005, 04:12 PM   #5
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BTW- with all this testing, did they fix the RMS issue?

Sorry, I could not resist!


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