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Old 09-11-2013, 04:17 AM   #1
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How do I drive a Porsche?!

might seem a silly post but,

this is my first rear wheel drive car, first sports car, first with engine that's not in the front and first with so much power!! I've never done track days,etc.

I am driving much faster along the twisty UK country roads than I ever used to.

No problems yet! but with the rain here just wondered if someone could do me a quick bullet point list of driving tips,

eg, when to apply the power; in a corner?, after the corner?
you driving pro's will know what I mean

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Old 09-11-2013, 04:36 AM   #2
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Not a silly post, but actually a very valid question to ask. However, no amount of reading will substitute for real driving experience, and you do not want to push the limits on open public roads. My best advice is to find a local Porsche or sports car club that holds autocrosses and do a few of them. Get an experienced driver to ride with you and give you pointers, then ride with the driver in your car or his/her car and experience how they drive. Have fun!!
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:47 AM   #3
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Well it is a curious post but here goes. Do you have PSM? If you do turn it on. I don't so here is what I suggest. Watch out for any wet, gravelly or icy surfaces. You want to get rid of the speed before you enter a turn. If you are new to this car just slow down a bit. The speed can go to you head so keep to the posted speed limits. It will be several thousand miles before you know the limits of the car and keep it in my mind if you have an accident it is expensive to fix.

On snow covered or icy roads the back end breaks away easily on acceleration. So gently on the accelerator. Dry roads are a blast and be prepared for other cars not seeing you as the P car sits low. Have an exit strategy! Enjoy the ride....

Which part of the UK are you in?
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:12 AM   #4
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Bought mine last October. I still average about 17 mpg or less.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomc88 View Post
when to apply the power; in a corner?
Let us know how that pans out

Joking.

When driving active, make sure you downshift and approach corners at safe speeds, turn steeringwheel in a firm and not a quick matter (unless you want butt-out-sideways action), and apply throttle going out of the corner.

Practice makes perfect. Good luck

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Old 09-11-2013, 05:52 AM   #6
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I love the driver's reaction on the first vids !
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:40 AM   #7
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What works for me on our tight, twisty roads in the dry is to decelerate and change down to your corner entry speed. Then apply a small amount of throttle to preserve the balance of the car through the corner and nailing the apex, then hold off until you can see the corner exit where it's obvious you can give it full throttle.
If you really want to know how to drive your car, sign up for one of the Porsche Experience days such as the ones at Silverstone. For 250(ish) you get to drive the latest Boxster, Cayman or 911 and you will have a blast. The instructors are amazing, really show you how to get to the cars limits (and beyond) in a safe environment.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:44 AM   #8
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Smile

Drive it like you stole it mate !

Just have fun!

See video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYVIdGJVuWI

...

Last edited by soucorp; 09-11-2013 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:24 AM   #9
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on the brakes prior to starting the turn to shed speed and load the front tires (reduces understeer) turn in, then accelerate out of corner. you'll know understeer because the front tires will squeal as they scrub through the turn - you've come in too hot or tire pressures are way off. when and how hard you get on the gas through and out of the corner will be determined by surface conditions. gently at first until you get a feel for the limits of the car. too much too soon and you will oversteer (rear end kicks out); initial oversteer can be controlled by backing off the throttle, otherwise countersteer to get back in control.

silly games to be playing on public roads.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:46 AM   #10
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given your geography, I'd be careful on the wet roads if I were inexperienced in this car. I had several seasons of Autox under my belt, including an advanced EVO course in heavy, heavy rain where all we did was go balls out and after buying the Boxster I still managed to spin the car 180 degrees into oncoming traffic on a merely damp road. This car in anything but bone dry road can bite you easily and without notice. If the road is wet or damp take it easy. The other thing is that car is fragile underneath. You don't have to be going very fast to impact a curb or highway divider hard enough to cause total loss damage, I've seen pics of cars with wheels sheared right off the car and the speed was not all that fast and there was no other damage to the rest of the car. Still headed for the scrap heap though as the cost of repairs exceeded the value of merely buying another 10+ year old Boxster.

The other thing, driving for the track/autocross is one thing. Driving for the street may have some overlap but it might as well be a different thing altogether. I would gain dominance over the car on supervised setting with a professional instructor at your local Porsche Club track venue first. It's not that expensive relative to a racing school or programme. After one day you'll find something interesting will happen: you'll drive slower on the public road. Once you realize how easy is to lose a car, you'll be very unlikely to trust other drivers by allowing them to drive so close to you on the highway and twisty roads. You always need ample room to escape their miscalculations -- in one piece.
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Last edited by Perfectlap; 09-11-2013 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:16 AM   #11
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I echo what everyone has said about the value of track/autocross days and some intstruction. I also echo what has been said about being very careful in wet or slippery conditions - it is very easy to get into terminal oversteer! In those conditions it is extremely important to have your braking and downshifting done before you start to turn the car into the corner and then, wide in, take a late apex and apply power gradually only after the car has virtually completed the turn. All of this, of course, is assuming there is no standing water in the corner! If there is any real risk of that, don't assume any path through a corner at speed will be trouble-free.

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Old 09-11-2013, 08:33 AM   #12
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You don't let your clutch slip.

And you obey temperature lights.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:39 AM   #13
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I've read so much about how Porsche have 'unique' handling, which is why I ask the question.

I certainly plan to do some Silverstone driving course. Been recommended some.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by tomc88 View Post
I've read so much about how Porsche have 'unique' handling, which is why I ask the question.

I certainly plan to do some Silverstone driving course. Been recommended some.
Does your local Porsche Club have autocross at the Silverstone or other tracks?

I think autocross is a tremendous learning format in that you are not really learning to drive smoothly, although that is important, instead the point is to learn what the braking and grip limits of the platform are. How much you toss the car before the next turn without it costing you time/exit speed -- the quickest way from A to B. For the real world, as far as crash avoidance is concernend, that is priceless. And good autocross drivers make for good track drivers which in turn make for the best road drivers.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomc88 View Post
I've read so much about how Porsche have 'unique' handling, which is why I ask the question.

I certainly plan to do some Silverstone driving course. Been recommended some.
That's probably refering to the old aircooled 911's with the engine in the rear. None of that applies to Boxsters which are mid-engine.
As for driving in the rain, TIREs is #1. Be sue you have proper tires with more than half the tread depth left & less than 4 years old.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:06 AM   #16
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Tom, the "unique" handling you've heard about with Porsches has to do with the 911 and most of the weight being on or behind the rear axle. 911s are tail happy and driving them aggressively through corners requires a lot of experienced driver control. Lift off the gas pedal in the middle of the turn and the back end will come around. The acceleration force of the tires on the pavement is what keeps the car from spinning.

To a lesser extent, this happens in the boxster as well, so I'm going to have to partially disagree with BYprodriver.

In our cars, unskilled drivers tend to drive them fast into corners and then get scared. The fear-based thought is to lift off the throttle and mash the brake pedal, but by the time your foot moves from gas to brakes the physics are all wrong (moves weight to the front) and the back end will move upward, not downward where you want it to prevent oversteer.

Tracking the Boxster with an instructor is an amazing eye-opener. You'll be in the middle of a corner and that feeling of control loss will hit you like a ton of bricks and your instructor will say, "PUT YOUR FOOT IN THE GAS AND KEEP IT THERE!" ... which is the polar opposite of what your mind is telling your foot to do. The idea here is that if you give the rear wheels more power, they'll grab the road and find resistance and actually compress the rear suspension and make the back end stickier than before.

All this to say, enjoy the car on public roads but save the "drive it like you stole it" for the track days and you'll be very happy you did this. I spin out once a weekend at the track (less and less, but I still do it) and have no damage to the car. However, if I spun out on public roads, I'd damage not just car(s) but myself and others too. I'm sure you're smart enough to know this last bit, but I'll add it for any village idiots reading this thread years from now
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:17 AM   #17
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Byprodirver, while the 911 (especially early ones) are much more 'unique' in terms of handling than the mid-engined Boxster, nevertheless, for someone like the OP who I gather has only driven front-wheel drive cars in the past, the handling is still pretty 'unique'-i.e., a tendancy at the limit towards oversteer rather than understeer.

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Old 09-11-2013, 09:27 AM   #18
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The 911 has the disadvantage of requiring you to learn how drive a sports car before you begin to learn a rear-engined car. A car like the 918,Cayman or Boxster, you just get in and you're fast straight away. Maybe one day Porsche will make grand touring sports car like the 997/991 but with the engine in the middle, or maybe one that's a little a shorter which would make rear wheel steering unecessary in my opinion. A mid-engine Carrera would be a great car because from the rear its the best looking Porsche. From the front it looks like a VW to me.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:28 AM   #19
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What I see for instruction is good, but I'd like to add one more thing ... most of us drive with summer tires. Sticky when dry and have good grip. Wet, is something else again. Mine work well, but I am aware of the difference when I drive in wet conditions. Older tires, winter tires, all season tires, etc. all can make a difference.

Just something to keep in mind as you get used to your car's capabilities.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:47 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by southernstar View Post
Byprodirver, while the 911 (especially early ones) are much more 'unique' in terms of handling than the mid-engined Boxster, nevertheless, for someone like the OP who I gather has only driven front-wheel drive cars in the past, the handling is still pretty 'unique'-i.e., a tendency at the limit towards oversteer rather than understeer.

Brad
Never the less, I believe the OP's trepidation is derived from assuming Boxsters handle similarly to classic Porsches. Generaly speaking if you can't drive a Boxster safely, you shouldn't have a drivers license.

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