[s-cars] S car report and manual trans

QSHIPQ at aol.com QSHIPQ at aol.com
Fri Apr 20 11:56:09 EDT 2007

I left Lima OH at 3am this morning to deliver an S car to a FL quattro  nut.  
A bit different S than we may be used to (save Paulie), as the 89 951  
(porsche 944 turbo S to nonpfiles).  This one was an ex porsche club racer,  with 
~350HP or so, all the suspension, bars, hoop, and tweeks possible.   After 
unsquaring the tires from 4 months of storage, I took a lot of back  roads to 
Chicago to enjoy the ride a bit.  I will say without question,  that this machine 
is as good as it gets for a dual purpose machine.  I have  run it at Gingermann 
and Blackhawk and Grattan, and always found the 951 chassis  (this one 
included) to be one of the best P cars, because if forgives your  trespasses, unlike 
Lucifer unleashed on a 911T during a lift throttle  intent.
I found the handling limit to be above my kahonas, and the power addicting  
(second gear slides *with* an extra set of tires in the car).  The shifts  were 
not toyota butter, but Porsche functional, and the gear ratios well matched  
to the trans.  2nd gear taking you north of 60mph, made for a wide band in  
which to play the 3in rear trumpet.  The hoop I would delete, as your cat  
couldn't ride in the rear seats, but the addition of the stress bars with the  hoop 
made for a very stiff chassis, which made the suspension compliance dead  
Here is a machine that would never do with a slushbox, or tip or DSG.   But I 
argue this breed of machine and purpose isn't what we find in the grand  
touring S cars audi has garnered us with in the past several years.  There  are 
several audis I would consider a sin to slush, the A4 chassis is one of the  
recent ones (S4tt the exception, I think the 6speed throws the weight around  
disturbingly).  And urq with a slushbox would cause me to wince at the  thought.  
But certainly in the A8, S8, v8 I see very little gain in  performance or 
enjoyment of a manual shifter.  I also don't believe these  cars are targetted at 
the manual shifter crowd.  
All that said, about the only one that is close in terms of the crossover  
point IMO, is the A6 sedan 4.2.  I've driven both the slush and the 6speed,  and 
I found that I could take either.  But for the intended purpose of a  daily 
driver, I'd lean towards the auto, and take my rally shifting to my  urqs.  
I will certainly say my preference isn't auto in the 911 or the 951 I  
flogged relentlessly today.  The 928S4 OTOH feels better with the mercedes  auto 
David E is right that the evolution of engine and chassis tuning, with  
'sport' mode autoboxes, really takes a dent out of the manual transmission  market. 
Scott "not in jail yet" 951 J

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