Legendary “Air-Cooled” 993 Chassis – Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

Side Profile (w/wide 285/30 ZR18 rear tires)

Factory Xenon Headlights and OEM Red Brake Calipers

Performance:

  • 0 to 60 mph: 4.9 seconds
  • Quarter Mile: 13.5 seconds @ 102 MPH
  • Braking 70 to 0 mph: 161 feet
  • Skidpad: 0.87 g
  • Horsepower: 282 @ 6300 rpm
  • Torque (lb-ft): 250 @ 5250 rpm

Enter the legendary 993 Porsche 911, the last of the air-cooled 911 coupes, “targas”, and convertibles. Such examples are known for their heavy, hydraulic steering and light-weight handling that is uninterrupted by severe electronic aid and interference. Of course, the benefits of “traction control” (which is an engine management system that limits power sent to the wheels) are certainly notable, especially for saving the vehicle from losing control and possibly crashing. In fact, this model was available with one of the first traction control systems from Germany, the Porsche Automatic Brake Differential (ABD). This system manipulates power sent from left to right wheels (rear wheels only in the C2 and C2S) allowing the vehicle to be controlled more directly by the driver. Today’s traction control systems make sure that minimal to no wheel slippage occurs, while the Porsche ABD genuinely does not limit the driver, making the vehicle more dangerous than a modern Porsche, but significantly more organic and controllable at the limit.

This particular 993 is the Carrera 4S variant, with many performance enhancements and benefits over the plebeian base models. Such options include the body-shell and upgraded brakes from the more powerful “Turbo” model, as well and the upgraded Porsche Aero-Kit rear wing. It even has the massive 285/30 ZR18 rear tires for excellent cornering and agility with 31mm spacers in the rear to compensate for the wider bodywork from the “Turbo” model (minus the rear air intakes). This example is also specced with no rear-wiper and no sunroof for ultimate aerodynamics and weight conservation. Interestingly, the wide-body design does improve low-speed cornering, but it limits the top speed of the car slightly when compared to the narrower Carrera models. At only 3,274 pounds, even with all-wheel drive, the 993 Carrera 4S is a true blast from the past and a true icon in the performance car world even ’til this day. Good luck getting your hand on one, they are very rare now in 2018 and more expensive than ever (even compared to when new in some cases)!

BMW i3: City Car; Check.

Location Spotted: BMW of Southampton

Location Spotted: BMW of Southampton

The i3 is the perfect car for a city commuter. Literally perfect. If your commute is fewer than 40 miles each way, then you are golden in one of these. The base model (without the optional range extender—a two cylinder gas generator that extends range from 80-120 miles to 160-180) has extreme practicality and cheapness. In states like California and New York for example, the car can cost as little as $300 a month to lease with gov’t rebates (cars with generators are more per month). That’s pretty chill for a young professional or college student. With a BMWs interior from the future with extreme german build quality, there’s really nothing better than an electric car that feels quality for this price (unlike that Chevrolet Volt).

Driving dynamics are not what this car is built for, its a BMW that really isn’t just a BMW, its something different that makes the perfect urban daily-driver in a city environment. It’s spacious, easy to park, and doesn’t use fuel. It’s slow, but I’m cool with that. Check one out, I’ve never been partial to these all-electric cars, but in a city, I dig the i3. I dig it a lot.

BMW M4: Torque for Days, Weeks even

Location: Cooper's Beach (Southampton)

Location: Cooper’s Beach (Southampton)

Performance:

  • Acceleration 0 to 60 mph: 3.9 seconds
  • Braking 60 to 0: 98 feet
  • Quarter Mile: 12.2 seconds
  • Slalom: 73 mph
  • Skidpad: 0.98 g

The M4, what’s to discuss that hasn’t been already. People say it sounds a certain way, way worse than the old one. People say it steers a certain way, stranger than the old V8 one. People say it doesn’t have the same “M” feel that all naturally aspirated M3 coupes and sedans possessed in past years. Basically, people don’t know everything [or anything for that matter] about automotive feel, they simply have opinions. In my opinion, this M4 is the best M3 yet.

No longer having the glorious, naturally aspirated V8 may sound like a mistake on BMW’s part, especially with several new high performance eight-cylinder options from the Jaguar F-type, and even from the recently released Mustang GT350R. The turbochargers in the M4 make the power where it counts, on the urban street. Torque is present in the lusty V8 powered examples I just mentioned, but inefficiency and cumbersome mannerisms in stop-and-go driving make them feel antiquated and even sluggish when away from the highway or track. Those cars are stupid fast (don’t get me wrong) but they feel heavy at slow speeds. Even the forced induction Jag with 500+ lbs of torque feels heavier on its feet than the M4 initially from a stop sign (its a porker with hundreds of pounds of extra weight when compared to the larger, more spacious M4). The Jaguar may be faster on paper overall, but it is not as nimble around town as the new Bimmer.

By featuring a turbocharged 6-cylinder motor and two twin-scroll turbos, the M4 achieves maximum torque well below 2000 rpm, making it feel alarmingly fast from a dead stop. Call city driving, fun driving by comparison to the F-type and the Mustang. Both cars may be faster on paper and on the track, and even the highway, but there is something to be said about torque – it works for you before the horsepower does during a pull, and you feel it.

After I stopped by my local BMW dealership with a buddy of mine who owns the aspirated V8 M3, we decided to take this new blacked out M4 for a little test drive. After getting behind the wheel myself on primarily country roads (stop and go) I produced the opinion mentioned here in this passage. I stand by my opinion. What a great car.

2000 Audi S4: A Reflection on Sports Sedans

LOCATION SPOTTED: Bookhampton (East Hampton Village)

LOCATION SPOTTED: Bookhampton (East Hampton Village)

  • Acceleration 0 to 60 mph: 5.4 sec
  • Braking 70 to 0: 164 feet
  • Quarter Mile: 14.1 seconds
  • Slalom: 67.8 mph
  • Skidpad: 0.87 g

 

Note: this article is not descriptive of the B5 S4, my review of this car is pre-existing on this web site.

The European sport-sedan market is changing a lot in my opinion. Obviously these cars, like all other modern cars sold in America, are modified in their styling year to year, but that’s not the kind of change I’m referring to. I believe that these sports cars (i.e. the Audi S4 and BMW 335i especially) used to be built as enthusiast, or at least somewhat enthusiast, automobiles. Now, companies like Audi and BMW are chasing comfort and volume of sales to better compete with Mercedes which, in general, sells more cars than the others. It makes sense why they are doing this and I don’t actually condemn them for it. Here’s why.

Many enthusiasts in the past enjoyed the fact that not only were the fancy Audi RS and BMW M models very sporty, but the lower end models (not necessarily the very bottom, but the “middle” range sports sedans) were also to certain point. In other words, the guy who can’t afford a M3 can at least get a 335i and get a somewhat sporty experience. Nowadays, it’s pretty difficult to find this option. For example, Up until 2013 the BMW 335i (E92 and E90 in 2011) were sporty with heavy, hydraulic steering and stiff suspension. The newer version of this car the F30 body 335i is much more compliant and even comes in a “luxury” trim (though the Sport and M-Sport versions aren’t that much better). Again, BMW has made their car this way in efforts to sell more of them. They probably will.

With the increased profits BMW will make with their softer mid-range sport sedans, they will have a better research and development budget to help make better more efficient M-cars, I think. Audi will follow suit in the same way. I choose not to make the comparison with Audi (even in an Audi S4 posting) because BMW is inherently more of a driver’s car than the Audis which are known more for all-weather performance as their main selling-point. BMW has changed the most with making their mid-range sports sedans perform much softer to appeal better to the masses.

I understand why some people, some car enthusiasts are disheartened by this change. Personally, I say you should save your money and buy an RS5 or M3 instead, because they are the top of the line performance examples and with the increase in R&D they hopefully receive, these top of the line cars will be better than ever. (Granted the RS5 is much closer to the S4 than the new 335i is compared to the new M4 for example).