It’s funny, when it comes to enthusiasts, specifically Porsche enthusiasts, we commonly hear things along the lines of “If it could be better, Porsche would have done it from the factory” or “Porsche’s engineers are better than so and so’s company” and though some of this is true, there are some factors to consider. One is pricing. Manufacturers are always looking at the cars they sell as a whole picture, this comes down to a spreadsheet of costs, they are a business after all. The bottom line dictates where they need or want to shave some cost to appeal to the target market. Second is progression. Manufactures, and Porsche is well known for this, have been known to, occasionally, limit performance to meet a target market and price point as well as keep something ready for the next generation of car as they want to sell you that too. This isn’t only the case in the automotive industry, it’s been well known that computer chip manufactures can have 4 or 5 advanced generations of chips ready to go and the best currently available isn’t anywhere close to what they’re developing now. A third item to consider is, at the high end very few people fall into the “Renaissance man” category anymore. Mostly gone are the days of guys like Phil Remington that could, and would do everything. Every team is broken down and compartmentalized into specialists. Even our comparatively small race team has different people for different jobs and everyone has a different background creating a better package as a whole. This means, that even Porsche, at their highest end, subs out their race products to different companies. Even our pro GT cars have parts from companies like AP, Ohlins, Brembo, AiM, Schroth and countless others. Not to say Porsche couldn’t design and build their own brakes, but why would they when they can contract Brembo at a fraction of the price of developing their own kit and expedite the finished product. This all adds up to some parts limiting performance in larger chunks than others. Take the OE Bilsteins, under dampened and notorious for seeping/leaking even with minimal or no track use.
Back to “If it could be better, Porsche would have done it from the factory”. This line comes up when when we talk about important factors like dampers and brakes all too often, but what’s actually funny about this is that we’ll hear lines like this in regards to huge time and confidence gain items like these MCS dampers, but the same person will go out and spend thousands of hard earned dollars on control arms with spherical ends only to replace the factory arms that already had spherical ends and thus very little, if any difference. The only exception would be things like adjustable tension arms for correcting caster when setting up a car for track use. Marketing plays a huge roll in this, and we’ve all bought things for our cars that we thought or hoped would make more of a difference, or where marketed to us like they would anyway, only to be disappointed when they don’t. Cars for people that love cars are of course more than just transportation, it’s a hobby, a passion and a way of life. I know all of us are guilty of sitting up late at night long after we should have gone to sleep looking up the next thing on the never ending list of modifications to make our cars more personal, and that’s great. All too often these items we lust after are marketed to us with no data, no real world testing, or at least none that the manufacturers care to share because it would undoubtedly affect sales. No one would spend thousands of dollars on something if it didn’t improve the car in some way right? This is where a “Data Dive” means so much, at least to us and our clients. We don’t care about marketing, the cool guy parts that someone said were better because they bought them and refuse to admit they wasted money. We want facts, results, data to prove it. It’s great hearing our clients drop time and tells us how great their cars feel, but without data there are just too many factors to really determine whats doing what. We have done this with several platforms over the years and if you click here you’ll be able to download our breakdown data analysis limiting as many variables as possible. Give it a read, this information is for anyone that wants it. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
More on this series to come, we’ll look at some other things and see if the data backs up the price and, more importantly, the marketing. Different tires, different size wheels, power, aero are all in the works.