Vous êtes ici : PassionPorsche >

Steve Sutcliffe

The 2020 Porsche 992 Carrera S Is Quick But Isn’t Much Of A Track Star

Give a car to Steve Sutcliffe and he’s bound to flog it within an inch of its life. He extracts every iota of performance from the car, and in addition to giving a good thrashing, gives it a fair judgement. For that reason, he’s one of the best. How many journalists can run times similar to an F1 test driver in that test driver’s regular F1 car?

Of course, he prefaces his critique of the 992 Carrera S with the acknowledgement that it’s first and foremost a road car, and not a racing car. That said, it does wear an S on its rear hatch, which holds it to certain expectations.

The front end is reminiscent of the 959’s, isn’t it?

It has to be said that, as a car optimized for road usage, it’s a success. More power, 391 lb/ft of torque from 1,900 revs, and an exquisite exterior make it a hit. However, its added heft make it a less involving car. Add a small amount of girth, and it’s immediately noticeable on road or track; the car is just not as placeable.

Still, it managed a 1:16.00 around Anglesey, which is nothing to sniff at. Considerably quicker than the 991 Carrera S, and even faster than a Nissan GT-R, there’s no denying its pace. Only being 0.8 of a second off a 991.1 Turbo, especially at a circuit that rewards the punchier motors, speaks to the power this mid-tier 911 offers. It’s a staggering amount of performance for a car that isn’t truly made with the track in mind, and as civil as any two-door Porsche on the market.

Still, Sutcliffe is underwhelmed. Noticeable heft, a less incisive front, and a less characterful motor make it « quick with a lower-case q. » While his standards for track performance probably exceed most owners’, it’s still refreshing to hear a blunt, reasoned, and fair take on a car that will undoubtedly stretch a smile across the face of 95% of its users.

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Pour consulter l'article original et complet, cliquez ici.

718 Cayman GT4 Put Through Its Paces at Knockhill

More power, more aerodynamic grip, more performance, and more usability—we’ve heard all of the new Cayman GT4’s strengths already. However, few automotive journalists can test those claims like Steve Sutcliffe. Though he might not look like a superlative athlete, the man is arguably the best driver among his peers. Ten years ago, he was given the chance to test a Honda F1 car, and was only several tenths off James Rossiter, the Honda test driver roughly half his age.

Here, Sutcliffe uses all his strengths to illuminate the incremental changes that make this car 12 seconds a lap faster around the Nurburging than the 981 GT4. Despite the car weighing 80 pounds more and retaining the same frustratingly long gear ratios, the 718 is still quicker in a straight line.

Watch how urgently the car fires off the corner at 4:38. There’s an easily accessible engine at work here.

Based upon the motor found in the rear of the latest Carrera S, the 718’s new 4.0-liter motor makes 414 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque. Though that latter figure is the same as with the outgoing 3.8-liter engine, the added displacement provides a broader powerband, which helps camouflage the car’s long gearing. With the driver more often in the optimal rev range, the new chassis is more easily exploited. 

The steering, brakes, and suspension are closely related to those found in the GT3, and Sutcliffe immediately recognizes the changes. That sharpened steering is a real asset through Knockhill’s blind entries, which Sutcliffe attacks with the commitment you’d expect from him. 

A big rear wing, an underbody diffuser, and a bigger splitter creates 269 pounds of downforce at 188 miles per hour—nothing to sniff at. Not only is this car more incisive, but added stability—a little extra composure is always nice over the crests—is another feature which goads a driver to push that much harder. 

The improved powertrain, better composed chassis, and better exhaust note make it even more thrilling to drive than its predecessor, which was a firecracker itself. Incremental changes in every department make the new 718 Cayman GT4 a dependable, confidence-inspiring car which can soak up bumps, stay on the pipe, and encourage the driver to attack. That combination of qualities—not just the bump in power—is what is responsible for its incredible 7:28 lap around the ‘Ring.

Incidentally, that’s the same as the lap set by the 997 GT3 RS 4.0. Though tire technology has come a long way in ten years, having the least expensive member of the GT family set the same lap as the former heavyweight is a testament to Porsche’s unyielding search for incremental improvements in every department.

Composure, mid-engine balance, and great engine response—what’s not to like?

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Pour consulter l'article original et complet, cliquez ici.

Suivez-nous…

Catégories

Archives

Nos partenaires