It’s vintage sports car versus modern crossover in this battle of Porsche generations.
Sports car versus crossover: which would win at a track? That’s a loaded question for sure, since there are so many flavours of both with wide-ranging levels of horsepower. So how about we narrow the field to just Porsche. How do you suppose a 30-year old Porsche 944 Turbo would stack up against a new Porsche Macan GTS? You don’t have to wonder, because the folks over at the Porsche Club of America took both to Virginia International Raceway to find out. We’ll not spoil the outcome, but we will say this: surprises are almost certainly afoot.
If we bench race the two models, we see the Macan most decidedly had a power advantage. Its biturbo V6 produces 360 horsepower, which turns all four wheels to give the crossover plenty of straight-line grip. The smallish Macan can get to 100 kilometres per hour in roughly five seconds, and with the gas firmly planted, it will continue accelerating all the way to 256 km/h.
Meanwhile, the 944 Turbo dishes up only 217 horsepower from its front-mounted four-cylinder, turning just the rear wheels through a proper five-speed manual. It has no launch control or stability management, but in skilled hands it can clip 100 km/h in about six seconds. That’s a full second behind the Macan, but as the speeds increase so does the 944's will to win. It never will, but with a top speed of 246 km/h it gets mighty close for a 143-horsepower difference.
It would seem the Macan certainly holds the advantage, at least on the straightaways at VIR. When it comes time to turn, however, the 944 has just 1,360 kilograms of mass to contend with. The Macan, saddled with a bigger body, all-wheel drive, and 30 years of additional technology, carries over 1,800 kg into each corner. It would seem on paper that the 944 – considered by many to be one of the best sports cars of the 1980s – holds a distinct advantage in the bends.
The question, then, is whether that 30 years of technology stuffed into the Macan can make it dance as well as it accelerates. Which do you think will come out on top? The video has all the answers, but no matter which side you’re on, we think you’ll be surprised at the outcome.
Source: Porsche Club of America