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Old 03-20-2006, 03:13 PM   #1
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Color as it affects heat

My first post! Is this how you do it? I am looking at a new Boxster S and I live in the Sandhills area of the Carolinas where it do get hot. Really hot. I would like to hear the voices of experience in considering color options. It occurs to me that there are four factors which affect how hot it gets in the interior of the car: the glass area; the color of the top; the color of the body; and the interior color. Here are my questions:

1. Have I omitted any factors? Do I have the factors correctly ranked in order of importance?

2. Does Porsche offer any window tint options? Does anyone have any experience, good or bad, with any dealer installed tints?

3. Does the color of the top have much impact on interior temperature, or is the top so well insulated that the color of the top is irrelevant? If it does matter, what is the correct color ranking for heat gain?

4. How important is the color of the body? How do the exterior colors rank for heat gain, particularly when you get past white and silver? What about the interior colors?

5. How good is the Porsche air conditioner?

6. My area dealers have the following S's with the options I can live with: black exterior, black top and tan interior; seal grey exterior, grey top and grey interior; silver exterior, black top and black interior; and cobalt blue metallic, blue top, black interior. Any thoughts?

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the site. Thanks in advance for any help.

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Old 03-23-2006, 08:30 AM   #2
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Any feedback for this new forum member from you Porsche enthusiasts?

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Old 03-23-2006, 08:47 AM   #3
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Hi wooder,
I have owned convertables for 35 years and now own a triple black boxster. My experience with other convertables is that dark...especially black interiors are by far the hottest. I have also found that the new lined black tops don't transfer an inordinate amount of heat. I have not fooled much with tinting so am not a good source for this. The coolest convertable (temp wise) I have ever owned was white exterior and tan interior.....given that, setting that car in the sun with the top down for any length of time would result in HOT seats...the trick I use most often when I don't want to put the top up is to release the seat back...that at least shades the driver's seat, afording some relief.
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:48 AM   #4
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I don't think anyone has anything other than anecdotal evidence to support the idea that a black car gets hotter than a white car, per se. The thermal properties of a material, emissivity, etc. aren't necessarily color-related. I'd say you should just buy the color you want, and stay away from a full-leather interior (sounds like it'd be a pain in the butt to keep it properly conditioned out where you live).

In some countries, Porsche still offers a tint on the top of the windshield, but that's about it. Not here, as far as I know.

I've found the AC to be very good with the top up, less so with the top down of course.
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:53 AM   #5
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In my experince, I have had several, black cars are the hottest. I would think that a silver/white car with a grey top and grey interior.

If one wants to believe Mythbuster's, they did an experiment that showed a black car heated up fast and hotter than a i believe it was a silver car.
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:59 AM   #6
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After having been baked alive in any number of roadster-type cars, I swore I would never have a drop-top with a black interior.
So what did I get? Yellow with a black interior.
In spite of the black interior I have not found the car to be disagreeably hot inside with the top down. The seats will get very hot, but the fold-forward trick or sheepskin seat covers would take care of that.
You will probably find that if you are going to leave the car for any length of time you will put the top up anyway. It's so easy and quick to raise and lower the top that there's not really much reason to leave the car open.
The AC works great, by the way.
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:26 AM   #7
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Dark window tint does reduce the heat a little, but it looks stupid when you feel the need to raise them on the freeway to keep your ladyfriend's hair from flying around.

I'd be more concerned with resale value than heat when it comes to color. White's probably cooler, but is rarely ordered on Boxsters. Richard (BruceLee) should chime in here and tell us what colors are best for resale and which ones he doesn't buy because he can't move them...
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Old 03-23-2006, 10:07 AM   #8
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I own or have owned four convertibles consecutively and I'd say the most important factor in general terms would be the interior dimensions (cabin space), which puts two-seat roadsters at a disadvantage in terms of heating up quickly and to a higher temperature (both top up and down). On the plus side, they cool down the quickest with HVAC on, and the 987 HVAC is the best I've personally encountered (I have the "basic" HVAC, not the climate control).

As far as top-down driving with the windows up, which I assume you'll be doing alot of, I still find the Box to be "hot", due to the low seating position and the aforementioned small "cabin". It wasn't till I started reading Boxster boards had I ever read about people driving top-down with the A/C on, but I do it occasionally now too, and suspect you'll want to do the same. Obviously, windows down, they're all about the same

I agree with Randall, that tinting the 987 windows isn't someplace you want to go (although I'm currently contemplating tinting my windstop).
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Old 03-23-2006, 10:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD987
It wasn't till I started reading Boxster boards had I ever read about people driving top-down with the A/C on, but I do it occasionally now too, and suspect you'll want to do the same. Obviously, windows down, they're all about the same
I swore I would never do that when I bought the Box, but the first time I was stuck in stop-and-go on a 90 degree day in 90% humidity changed my mind...
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Old 03-23-2006, 04:42 PM   #10
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COLORS
Darker = hotter
On a hot day, put the back of your hand on a white car, then try a dark car. Same goes for the interior. IF this concerns you, go light-colored. Conduct some research, go to the dealer on a hot day and feel the colors you like.

TINT
Go to a tint specialist. I was worried about some inexperienced kid puting on my tint at first. But if you think about it, IT'S JUST GLASS! Hyundai or Ferrari, it's just glass. They're cheaper and sometimes they'll let you go darker than what's typically allowed (to save you a few degrees inside the car). The only thing that bugs me is a non-tinted rear window, which you can't do if the back window is plastic. Furthermore, dealers usually just send it to the specialist anyway and add a heft markup. Ask around in your area from people with tinted windows.

AC
My Boxster's AC is fantastic (and I'm here in TEXAS).

LOCAL DEALERS
I like the Seal Gray on gray/gray. First off, it just sounds cool. It's dark LIKE black (if you like black, it's a great alternative). I stray from black because keeping it clean can be rough. I don't know if it'd be the coolest. Perhaps the silver gets the "cool" award. The black and blue Boxsters will be hotter (thermally speaking).
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:24 PM   #11
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Doesn't someone make a cover that covers the windshield/windows/convertible top? Would be perfect if you know your car will be in the sun for extended periods.
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:38 AM   #12
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man, its one thirty in the morning already on a friday...but i gotta to answer this question. according to the guys from myth busters (discovery channel) , color of the car thus affect how hot its gonna get inside the cabin on a sunny day. they compare a white car and a black car, after approximately 1 hour under the sun, the difference is about 8 to 10 degrees (F). the test looked like very accurate. common knowledge is that dark color absorbs heat faster than light ones. my car btw is glacier white with boxster red interior. i agree with you guys, white exterior color for a boxster is not a popular choice. but my car reminds me of the first corvette with the same color combination. from the picture, color combination looks awful, in person though, it looks alright, IMHO. i would go for seal grey, its looks amazing! good luck.
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Old 03-24-2006, 05:37 AM   #13
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I will keep it simple.

The coolest combo with a Box would be a white body and grey or beige top. A beige interior with aftermarket tinted windows would round out the colors.


Triple black is the worst and it is a significant diference between this car and the above.

Silver body is not a bad compromise. You may want a grey interior and you can get away with a black top.
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Old 03-24-2006, 06:12 AM   #14
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I am not 100% sure of all my science here, but the basics are as following:

1) A WHITE car looks white because it does not absorb any of the visible light spectrum, and reflects the entire visible light spectrum, thus the car 'looks' white.

2) A BLACK car looks black because it absorbs all the visible light spectrum and reflects none, thus the car 'looks' black

I think this was 5th or 6th grade science. This may have something to do with a white car being less hot.

As far as the non-visible light spectrum's effect on heat...I'll defer to a more knowledgeable forum member!!
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Old 03-24-2006, 06:56 AM   #15
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You got it right!

A black car is essentially a heat sink.
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Old 03-24-2006, 07:03 AM   #16
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Hey, bmussatti, no fair bringing physics into this.
You're going to set a bad precedent.
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Old 03-24-2006, 08:55 AM   #17
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It's not color related, but definitely heat related in the summer - we all have this big hot thing behind the seats. In the Carolinas, in the summer, it stays hot too. But no worse than any other car, and as others have stated, the Box has good a/c.

I normally don't go top down in the south in the summer from noon till evening - too hot, but that's just me. Early summer mornings and evenings/nights are great.

If your car sits in the sun during the day, lighter colors may be better, but I'd still suggest getting the color you like most.
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Old 03-24-2006, 10:09 AM   #18
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Being here in Florida the conventional wisdom is that the color of the interior is the single biggest factor in how hot it gets inside the car. With convertibles the color of the top plays a role here too since it's not as well insulated but the new tops seem to negate that.

When I shop for a car that's going to be subjected to the summers here in FL as a primary driver I go for a light interior with a good quality window tint. You don't need to go dark on the tint to get the temperature and fade resistance, all the top tier tints like Llumar block 99% - 100% of the UV.

Like previously described a Grey/Grey/Grey or a Blue/Grey/Grey or a Red/Tan/Tan combo would work well.

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