Go Back   986 Forum - for Porsche Boxster & Cayman Owners > Porsche Boxster & Cayman Forums > Boxster General Discussions

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-07-2015, 06:56 PM   #1
Registered User
LAP1DOUG's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 412
Thoughts on Porsche Experience

Today my daughter and I did the Porsche Experience Center with a program that had us both driving a Cayman S, Boxster GTS, and finally a GT-4.

We had a blast, and learned a few things about the new generation cars:

1 - The Cayman S & Boxster GTS understeer strongly with OEM suspension settings (no surprise there). The GT-4 quite a bit less so. The GT-4 has a lot of suspension adjustment available compared to the others, but the instructors didn't really know the settings.

2- Porsche has done a phenomenal job with the nanny software (PSM in the lower cars and ECS whatever that stands for in the GT-4). They have made these cars almost idiot proof when the nannies are turned on. The Porsche software is tuned to still allow some significant sliding while maintaining speed. The DSC software in my old M3 would keep you out of trouble for sure, but at the expense of being very slow in on a race track or autocross. The new Porsche software on the other hand is very fast.

I had noticed that some guys with 2012 and newer cars were doing a pretty good job of keeping up with my lap times, and a couple had told me that they kept their PSM on all the time. Now I understand why - Watson is for real!

3- At the end of our session, the instructor took me on the main course with him driving "to show me what was possible". He was more aggressive than me on a semi-wet course, to the point where he was depending on the GT-4's ECS to kick in and save us, whereas I had generally been trying to keep the ECS from coming on. This is a completely different performance driving style, where the driver simply pushes the car over the edge, and depends on the software to catch it.

I'm not sure I really like this new world. Tomorrow it's back to my old school 986S, with no PSM / ECS, or anything else to save me from myself. Call me a control freak, but I kinda like that.


Van Diemen RF97
LAP1DOUG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2015, 08:00 PM   #2
Registered User
steved0x's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 3,993
Sounds like a blast. My family and I are going to Road Atlanta the 21st & 22nd and are going to try and hit the center that Monday on the way back. Did you do the simulator or any of the indoor stuff? I think they even have a workout program.
steved0x is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2015, 08:04 PM   #3
Certified Boxster Addict
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 7,612
Very cool! Well thought out summary and conclusions. Much appreciated.
1999 996 C2 - sold - bought back - sold for more
1997 Spec Boxster BSR #254
1979 911 SC
POC Licensed DE/TT Instructor
thstone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2015, 11:15 PM   #4
Registered User
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Little Rock,Ar
Posts: 357
Thanks for this report on the Experience.Hope to attend next year.Some have said that all of the electronic control devices are placing us in the position of riders rather than drivers.I'll have to see.
2000 Boxster S. Factory hardtop. 6 speed. Arctic Silver. Boxster Red leather. IMS/RMS.
litespeedp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2015, 01:23 AM   #5
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: LB, Germany
Posts: 1,344
Thanks for your report.

Think this is a very intersting topic. Specially for a "sports car" manufacturer like Porsche. I think the problem is that if you can afford a Porsche that doesn't mean you can drive a sports car at its limits.

So the electronic gizmos prevent to kill some of the owners themself. That's OK i think.

Personally i think that most people are completely unable to cope with cars going to the limits that have no assistance systems and more than 250 HP. Maybe not on big long straights in the US, but definitely on small, slippery black forest roads over here in Germany.

I don't use my car for racing on tracks, or competition. Only on street legal normal roads and sometimes on track days and yearly driver trainings.

Personally i don't like cars that understeer and have too much electronic assistance. My 04 Box has also understeer. But that is OK, because it is a mid engine car. So the car tells me something, before something will happen. And i think that's the important part.

My 03 Box (US 04) has PSM you can switch off. But you can not totally switch it off. It falls back if you're in really limited situations. And i have to say i like that, because for me it's useful not to lose the car completely and getting a little help before it's to late.

Have test driven the 987S and 981S on legal roads. Both nice cars. The 981 is very fast. But still a fan of my 986S. It's a lot rougher and direct and i like that. It's not only the power, it's the driving experiencea and bringing the thing to my personal limits. And i personally drive for fun and not for competition. So the 986S fits for me.

Totally agree with you concerning driving style. If you push the electronic systems to and over the limit to be fast, that has nothing to do with driving skills. People who do that shouldn't call themself driving instructors. Just my 2 cents.

Smallblock454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2015, 04:59 AM   #6
Registered User
husker boxster's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Omaha
Posts: 2,315
Originally Posted by Smallblock454 View Post
And i have to say i like that, because for me it's useful not to lose the car completely and getting a little help before it's to late.
+1 My thoughts exactly. I like to use my PSM to help me find the limit w/o going over the edge. Turn 9 at my local track is particularly tricky. When I first started doing DEs, I would kick the PSM in on that corner 1 or 2 times per session. Now I can go an entire w/e w/o it kicking in. But it helped me learn.

From Famous Racing Quotes: "You have really good car control, Too bad you have to use it all the time"...Terry Earwood, chief driving instructor for Skip Barber.
PCA National HPDE Instructor
2008 Boxster S Limited Edition #005
2008 Cayman S Sport - Signal Green
1987 928 S4 - Granite Green Metallic (Felsengrun)
husker boxster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2015, 01:08 PM   #7
Registered User
morgal48's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 180
It happens so fast. Lesson learned in heavy traffic on a slick I-10. '89 Targa, quick turn of the wheel to the right, ease off brakes and OOPS! 540 deg. later I told my wife not to worry, "I can drive backwards through this". No serious damage thanks to the mud - but it happened so quickly. I like my traction control and anti-lock brakes.

2000 Boxster S
2010 Volvo XC60
2011 GMC Denali HD 6.6L (sold)
2008 Cayenne S (sold)
1989 Targa (sold)
morgal48 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:20 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page