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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the unqualified-normatives dept.

Transportation 961

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "CNN reports that the 600 horsepower Porsche Carrera GT is notoriously difficult to handle, even for professional drivers. Known as the car actor Paul Walker was riding in when he died, there is no suggestion anyone was to blame for Walker's crash but Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson says drivers are on a 'knife edge' handling the car and described it as 'brutal and savage". 'It is a phenomena — mind blowingly good. Make a mistake — it bites your head off.' Todd Trimble, an exotic car mechanic in Las Vegas, says the Carrera GT is a 'very hard car to drive.' It's (a) pure racer's car. You really need to know what you're doing when you drive them. And a lot of people are learning the hard way.' The sports car has a top speed of 208 mph, a very high-revving V10 engine and more than 600 horsepower says Eddie Alterman, editor-and-chief of Car and Driver magazine. 'This was not a car for novices,' says Alterman. Having the engine in the middle of the car means it's more agile and turns more quickly than a car with the engine in the front or in the rear so it is able to change direction 'very quickly, very much like a race car,' adds Alterman. The Carrera GT is also unusual because it has no electronic stability control which means that it's unforgiving with mistakes. 'Stability control is really good at correcting slides, keeping the car from getting out of shape,' says race car driver Randy Pobst. Alterman concludes that learning to drive a car like a Carrera GT can be extremely tricky. 'Every car is sort of different. And this one, especially since it had such a hair-trigger throttle, because it changed directions so quickly, there is a lot to learn.'"

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How safe is it driven within the law? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45582851)

How safe is the car when you follow all driving laws like speed limits especially through turns?

When you have a bad driver ... (3, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 9 months ago | (#45582887)

... even a tricycle can become deadly.

Stop blaming the car.

The problem is the driver.

That Porsche may have 600 hp, but in the hand of an excellent driver, it would be still a very safe car.

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (2, Interesting)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 9 months ago | (#45582933)

Yes, but some cars are more forgiving. Some systems have more fault tolerances, have negative feedback loops to limit bad behavior, etc.

A great example is that the car lacked stability control? Can anybody give me a reason not to have stability control where that reasons does not contain “fun” or “because”? (which might be sufficient – just looking for any other reasons.)

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (5, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | about 9 months ago | (#45583025)

Can anybody give me a reason not to have stability control where that reasons does not contain “fun” or “because”? (which might be sufficient – just looking for any other reasons.)

'Cause, uh, it's a sports car designed for racing?

Mid-engined cars are designed solely to get around corners fast, and they're extremely unstable compared to your average Ford or Honda. The problem is that many are bought by people who have no clue, and end up in a ditch the first time they take their foot off the gas in a corner.

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (2)

AvitarX (172628) | about 9 months ago | (#45583083)

In a high-end sports car you should definitely be able to turn it off at least.

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about 9 months ago | (#45583269)

Really, in F1 many of these "driver aids" are banned because they make the cars go too fast. Surely the point of a high end sports car is to go as fast as possible? If it is just to have fun, and public roads are not a fun park, there are plenty of much much cheaper cars that will just as fun.

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 9 months ago | (#45583101)

'Cause, uh, it's a sports car designed for racing?

But it's being sold through normal retail channels as a street-legal road car. As such, drivers have a right to expect that it will meet the basic safety standards that you'd see in other cars.

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (0, Flamebait)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 9 months ago | (#45583243)

Bullshit electronic nannies are not "basic safety standards!" It's assholes like you that are causing even "basic" economy cars to weigh and cost (even adjusted for inflation) twice as much as they did 10 years ago.

Stability Control (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 9 months ago | (#45583155)

O.K., you are going to need to help me out with my ignorance. I get the physics of why mid-mounted engines are better, but what is the logic in not having stability control? If I understand it correctly (which I may not) stability control stops you from doing stupid things like skidding. And while skidding is fun there are better and faster ways of handing a turn.

I can see why this might be banned for racing. Racing is supposed to test the driver’s skill and when the computer has better skill then the drive it is less of a test. But on a street legal car?

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 months ago | (#45583099)

where that reasons does not contain âoefunâ or âoebecauseâ

You do realize we are talking about a Porsche here, right? Sure there's cars Ferraris (can't recall exact models) that have tons of stuff build into them to make even your everyday driver to be able to control it much better, even at speeds that should only be attempted on the track, but that isn't anybody's cup of tea. It's like saying that nobody should be able to fly those old, restored WWII planes because the lack modern control systems. Some people like to actually be driving instead of letting the computers in the car do all the driving for them.

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (2)

raymansean (1115689) | about 9 months ago | (#45583105)

If I had $450,000 to drop on a supper car, the last thing I would want is stability control trying to correct me. In this instance, even if the vehicle had stability control it would have been turned off. Then the question remains could have stability control stopped this? Obviously the driver failed to keep the vehicle on the pavement; however, stability control does not promise to keep on the pavement, nor from wrapping a vehicle around a tree. It attempts to keep the vehicle upright and aimed in the direction that the front wheels are pointed. To me lack of stability control is a red-hearing, added to the article to promote stability control adoption in all vehicles.

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583187)

keep the vehicle on the pavement

In some parts of the world "pavement" means "sidewalk"

I would never go near a supper that cost $450,000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583205)

If I had $450,000 to drop on a supper car ...

I don't care if that supper happens to be a car or a steak, if it cost $450,000 I'd be crazy to fall for it.

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (1)

Whorhay (1319089) | about 9 months ago | (#45583273)

Stability control also frequently has traction controls that prevent you doing things like burnouts. I would think that applicable here because with that much horsepower and correspondingly torque it would be amazingly simple to break traction and end up fishtailing or worse.

I owned a 944 and considered putting an LTS1 engine in it. I ended up not doing so for a variety of reasons one of which was safety. With half the hp as the car in the article it would have still been dangerously powerful for the 944's weight given that it lacked any kind of traction control.

I also owned a '69 catalina when I was younger. Even though that car had a relatively low amount of power by todays standards and weighed nearly 3 tons I had to be very careful driving it on wet pavement because it would break traction very easily.

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 9 months ago | (#45583121)

Weight.

In a race car, every fraction of a gram counts. Hence the reason why real racing cars don't have things like stereos and air-con.

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about 9 months ago | (#45583287)

Yes but real racing cars have driver aids, unless banned to stop cars going too fast. See F1 for examples.

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583147)

Yeah, I'll give you a fucking reason, one that's lost on rich white people.

It's expensive. All this extra shit on cars is expensive. It's a tax on poor people to support selfish rich people who are too damn lazy to think while driving a two ton weapon. It's in the same category as backup cameras and TPMS. It makes cars more expensive to buy and maintain, and doesn't make them any safer for responsible people. Traction control? How about "not stomp the pedal when the road is wet." Backup camera? How about "look the fuck around you *before* you start driving." TPMS? How about "take care of your damn car."

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 9 months ago | (#45582977)

I think part of the point as described is that even in the hands of an excellent (professional) driver it is still a dangerous car to use. Also given its unforgiving behavior and steep learning curve, a good driver has an unusually difficult time gauging how well they are handling it and mistakes ballon. That is the problem with unstable equilibrium, one learns how to handle a vehicle by hitting edges of stability but still having enough margin to correct. It sounds like a recurring problem with this car is that band is thin enough that one goes from 'ok' to 'massive failure' with little room for learning. A highly skilled professional driver can feel the band sooner, but the implication is that even for them it is a bit too thin.

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | about 9 months ago | (#45583135)

It sounds like this guy was actually a professional race driver, or at least part of an amateur racing team. He shouldn't have been trying to push the envelope on a public road though. It's horrible and sad news, but obviously the driver was being an idiot on public roads, and the type of car he was driving shouldn't really be relevant.

Re:When you have a bad driver ... (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 9 months ago | (#45583277)

It sounds like this guy was actually a professional race driver, or at least part of an amateur racing team. He shouldn't have been trying to push the envelope on a public road though. It's horrible and sad news, but obviously the driver was being an idiot on public roads, and the type of car he was driving shouldn't really be relevant.

"A man's GOT to know his limitations..." - Dirty Harry

Re:How safe is it driven within the law? (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | about 9 months ago | (#45582897)

Agreed. If you want to drive like a lunatic, get a safety cage installed in your Carrera GT and take it to a track. If your 600 horsepower is just whipping you up to 70 mph on the highway and taking corners on a back road at the posted 35 mph speed limit, most drivers can handle the car easily.

Re:How safe is it driven within the law? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 9 months ago | (#45583125)

Can they?

I believe hair-trigger throttle is listed as one of the issues in TFS. I'd assume this means that keeping it at sane speeds around corners is part of the trouble (still don't think it's "too dangerous", it's not like their a common car, the impact is minimal.

Should probably have optional traction control though.

Re:How safe is it driven within the law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583071)

Probably as safe as any other car. Paul Walker's death is directly due to the Roger Rodas trying to show off.

Re:How safe is it driven within the law? (5, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 9 months ago | (#45583091)

You certainly have a point, but supercars at this level can be dangerous even at legal speeds.

At low speeds, these cars have two particular challenges for the driver; a huge amount of torque in the lower gears and a lack of the downforce that they rely upon for stability. You need an absolute feather touch on the accelerator or you will spin out - and this is much more likely to happen at 40mph than 140mph.

This isn't a touring car like an Aston DB series or a lower end Porsche. Those are designed to be a pleasant high-end driving experience - not to provide maximum performance. The Carrera GT is effectively a road-going version of a full-fledged race car and, as such, needs a lot of skill to drive safely under any conditions. Personally, I'm not sure why you'd even want to take one onto normal roads; the concentration and restraint needed to keep it under control must surely make it much less fun than taking out a more normal high-performance car and letting it rip.

Re:How safe is it driven within the law? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#45583161)

How safe is the car when you follow all driving laws like speed limits especially through turns?

As always the most dangerous part on the car is the loose nut on the wheel.

I am a bit surprised there was this big fire, though. Porsches are supposed to be safer than a tank.

Re:How safe is it driven within the law? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#45583207)

well, depends. do you have a brick under the accelerator? because the point of the danger in having no assists is that you can get it sideways while going 40. and be in 60 under 3.5. and 60 to 0 in a little over 30 meters. but who the fuck has reactions to deal with figures like that. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that a slight tiny mistake makes you to drive it illegally(reckless driving tends to be legislated to be illegal in the west).

on the other hand, duh, it's a very powerful exotic sports car, of course it's like that. though I had thought it to have been more exotic, apparently the US has 600+ of these.

Re:How safe is it driven within the law? (1)

dewrox (1646725) | about 9 months ago | (#45583271)

Let's take this one further... Regardless of the law... the car is safe if you don't drive it like a dumb ass especially if you are just getting to know the car. It is much like when you start dating any woman... if you are a dumb ass when you are just getting to know her... your likelihood of failing is astronomically high. Moral of the story... don't be a dumb ass.

Bashing European Made Cars? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45582863)

Why this kinda of attitude? It's obvious the car was speeding and didn't respect the limit in that specific street, price paid. There aren't doubles in real life like in movies...

Re:Bashing European Made Cars? (5, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45582891)

I would call this a case of driver error, not car. If you slap a bear, don't act all surprised if it mauls you.

Re:Bashing European Made Cars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583129)

It's not so much that the car is dangerous as the ego of the driver can't handle driving safely.

Re:Bashing European Made Cars? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 9 months ago | (#45583145)

I would call this a case of driver error, not car. If you slap a bear, don't act all surprised if it mauls you.

You must live in the same county of the guy that's talking about cars biting your head off when you make a mistake.

I have news for you two. Cars aren't supposed to be furry.

Re:Bashing European Made Cars? (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45583203)

This isn't some Volvo sedan we're talking about here. I'm pretty sure Paul and his buddy knew that they were buying a 600 HP racing car.

Re:Bashing European Made Cars? (1, Interesting)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about 9 months ago | (#45583077)

It's the kind of attitude you'd expect from Jeremy Clakson, an idiot who regularly speeds and sees a fellow idiot crashing at unsafe speeds for public roads as a victim of something other than himself.

Re:Bashing European Made Cars? (1)

somersault (912633) | about 9 months ago | (#45583227)

I'm pretty sure they're just quoting an episode for a few years ago. I remember him saying a few times how 911s are known for being very unforgiving. Jeremy knows how to drive, and knows that in the end, it's the driver's responsibility to be safe.

No question? (5, Insightful)

rjstanford (69735) | about 9 months ago | (#45582867)

"...there is no suggestion anyone was to blame for Walker's crash..." unless you follow that link which says that the police suspect that speed was involved. No question that anyone not in the car was to blame is a different sentence indeed. Looking at the pictures of the scene its hard to imagine that they were driving anywhere close to the 45mph speed limit.

Re:No question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45582911)

I think they mean:

no suggestion anyone else was to blame

i.e. no other vehicle. Whether or not the driver was to blame is another matter, and from the total mess the car is in, it seems they must have been travelling at a pretty high speed.

Re:No question? (4, Insightful)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 9 months ago | (#45582951)

An actor that made his millions staring in films about illegal street racing dies in a high speed car crash. Poetic justice I suppose. I wonder how many impressionable youths or their innocent victims have died trying to emulate him.

Re:No question? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 9 months ago | (#45583027)

An actor that made his millions staring in films about illegal street racing dies in a high speed car crash. Poetic justice I suppose. I wonder how many impressionable youths or their innocent victims have died trying to emulate him.

I partially agree. He was a wonderful force of evolution, but it was only thanks to the efforts of a great team that he managed to reach so many.

Who will now take the responsibility of culling the herd?

Re:No question? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583213)

You're a dick. Paul Walker was probably the most humble and down to earth celebrity around. He was heavily involved in charity to help with natural disasters all around the world.

If children are emulating movies, you could just as well start blaming shootings on them instead of the parents, where the blame truly lies.

Re:No question? (1)

c (8461) | about 9 months ago | (#45583093)

Looking at the pictures of the scene its hard to imagine that they were driving anywhere close to the 45mph speed limit.

Yeah, that's pretty much my sense of the whole thing without even RTFA. There are relatively few vehicles certified for road use that would be inherently dangerous when driving near posted speeds under typical conditions. That these "experts" are even considering a problem with the car rather than the driver points to a fundamental problem with the "fast car" enthusiast mindset. If you're driving very fast while barely in control outside of a closed track with full safety gear, you're an idiot.

I bet Mad Max could drive it (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45582879)

But then again, he was a cop with a lot of driving experience.

Sports cars (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 9 months ago | (#45582881)

Any car is dangerous if you drive fast and make a mistake.

Re:Sports cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583045)

Yes, you can lose your life in a LADA too if you drive like an asshole!

Re:Sports cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583127)

So obviously all motor vehicles must be taken out of the hands of the people. Motor vehicles are only of real use to move people and goods and must only be entrusted to the hands of those engaged in those pursuits.

Jeremy Clarkson says ... (1)

amalcolm (1838434) | about 9 months ago | (#45582899)

don't listen to him ... you WILL regret it.

Re: Jeremy Clarkson says ... (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 months ago | (#45582955)

You'll regret it if you're stupid enough to take it for fact.
Jeremy Clarkson and the entire Top Gear program is a comedy show for men's inner 14-year-old boys, loosely based around cars.
If you look at the show that way, it's actually pretty enjoyable.

Re: Jeremy Clarkson says ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#45583241)

Well, Clarkson et al may be buffoons (and fully aware of it).

But they have driven a tremendous amount of cars under many different circumstances. Usually when they're saying "this is available with even more horses, but we have no idea of why you would" I take that to mean "holy crap is this thing ridiculous".

At a certain point, the 'big penis' cars become something which pretty much require 100% driver attention and focus 100% of the time. And, many of us look at such cars and think to ourselves "even if I had the money, I am nowhere near qualified to operate that thing". I suspect that car would scare the bejeezus out of me in first gear, and if it scared Clarkson, I know damned well I have no business trying it.

No, it isn't (2)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 9 months ago | (#45582901)

However, it is a car designed to allow a driver to use its "flaws" to wring the absolute maximum of performance out of it.

Needless to say, this requires a driver that learns how to drive, and not the driver's ed that most get in high school.

FWIW I learned to drive in a Porsche (356c coupe) and when Dad bought a "replacement" in '88 (a '84 Carrera 3.2 factory turbo look) he immediately took a driver's course at the Sebring race track. Even the 356 with its whopping 75 horsepower is a performance car, and the rear engine design will let it get away from you if you are careless and drive it like it is a Buick.

Re:No, it isn't (2)

photo pilot (3425097) | about 9 months ago | (#45583019)

I was kind of nervous letting my mother take my 914 out for a drive. It had big bore high compression cylinders, dual 2 barrel Dell'Orto carbs, etc, etc and was faster than a stock 914-6. She remined me she learned to drive in a turbo Corvair and then took off LOL.

Re: No, it isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583059)

sent my son to basic driver ed, then to a real driving school, followed with practice sliding and spinning out of control scenarios ... anything less is an under trained driver. still, i dont believe he is ready for the gt.

Re:No, it isn't (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583183)

The Porsche has a very counter intuitive trait which helps to make it dangerous in the hands of an untrained driver. They exhibit oversteer when you lift your foot off the throttle. This means that as you begin to slide taking your foot off the throttle is exactly the wrong strategy as it will make the slide worse leading almost immediately to loss of control. At the point where the tires begin to bite again you will either dart quickly in a random direction or roll the car.

Don't buy it if you can't drive it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45582907)

how much is there is to say?

he could have just as easily have died in a Yugo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45582913)

Live by the YOLO, die by the YOLO.

Wrong subject (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 9 months ago | (#45582917)

Cars don't kill people. Stupid people driving cars kill people.

Re:Wrong subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45582959)

Unless it's a Tesla.

Re:Wrong subject (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 9 months ago | (#45582987)

How far do you go with that though? That fiery pit of magma I placed under your door mat doesn't kill people. Careless folk who step out of their front doors kill people.

  If someone designs a car that is 'unforgiving' maybe it shouldn't be road worthy and should be left on a racetrack.

Not that I really care if they only remove themselves from the gene pool. As long as they don't take pedestrians or other drivers with them.

Re:Wrong subject (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 9 months ago | (#45583113)

The point remains that it isn't the will of the magma pit to kill people. Somebody intentionally put it in a place where it would cause harm. Perhaps you did it of your own volition, and it's you who is killing people. Perhaps I'm the idiot and I hired you to put a magma pit under my door mat.

Somebody makes the decision to put an overpowered car into a situation where it can kill people. That person should be held responsible. I'm not qualified to judge whether it's the manufacturer, the salesman, or the driver, but it's (probably) [wikipedia.org] not the car.

Re:Wrong subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45582999)

Exactly. That 600 horse power car crashed into a... bump on a road In a 40MPH zone? Darwin at work there...

Re:Wrong subject (3, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 9 months ago | (#45583041)

I saw this on a gun control bumpersticker:

Ban the Fools, Not the Tools.

Re:Wrong subject (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 9 months ago | (#45583215)

Is that pro or con gun control?

Re:Wrong subject (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 9 months ago | (#45583043)

Unless they are driverless cars.

Cars don't kill people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45582919)

People driving too fast kill people.

I wasn't born yesterday (5, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | about 9 months ago | (#45582961)

You know, some of us remember driving cars that didn't have airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, rear view cameras, auto felch, auto transmission, etc. Neither then nor now were those cars "too dangerous".

Re:I wasn't born yesterday (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 9 months ago | (#45583193)

They are when you drive 100+MPH on a surface street, though!

Porsche (4, Interesting)

Krneki (1192201) | about 9 months ago | (#45582967)

Every car behaves differently once it's over the edge.

Porches are notorious for "biting your head off" when you make a mistakes (of course not all of them). But the road is not the place to pull this stunts and if you want an "easy" handling car you should do your homework first.

Besides the Carrera GT is an iconic car and should be kept on a pedestal and not driven on the edge on the roads. Especially if you don't have the skills and the focus required to drive above the edge.

45mph? (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | about 9 months ago | (#45582969)

I doubt they lost control at 45mph. 145mph, probably... on a city street.... pretty much any car is dangerous in that situation.

Speeding in most cases isn't dangerous, but reckless driving is, and three times or more than the speed limit is certainly reckless.

Since it is slashdot, we need a OS analogy. (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 9 months ago | (#45582979)

Simply put this car is like unix. Without the GUI, in single user mode during boot sequence where that user is root.

The OS analogy for Prius, Dodge RAM, Lexus, Cadillac and Subaru are left as an exercise to the reader.

Re:Since it is slashdot, we need a OS analogy. (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about 9 months ago | (#45583219)

OS analogy, in this case, boils down simply to PEBKAC. The OS did its job, but he was trying to achieve gigabit speeds on 802.11b wifi. Many fellow network admins have died doing exactly that.

Speed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45582981)

Wait, we've been told repeatedly by car rights types that "speed doesn't kill". Apparently crashing into a bunch of trees because you were going too fast actually does kill. Who'dve thunkit?

Re:Speed? (1)

Walterk (124748) | about 9 months ago | (#45583015)

It's not the speed that kills, it's coming to a sudden stop against those trees.

Re:Speed? (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 9 months ago | (#45583195)

It wasn't the speed per se, it was the lack of skill for the situation.

Sebastian Vettel may have had no trouble with the circumstances, but that is a different skill level.

Your grandma at 25mph in her Camary is probably at the edge of her skill level.

"I Kill" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45582983)

Isn't that what all "true" sports cars should be like. There's a quote from Jeremy in regards to the Ferrari F430 Scuderia,

"It's not like Ferrari aftershave...this is what a Ferrari should be like. [Thick Italian accent] "You make mistake, I kill.""

in a fine Porsche tradition actually (2)

photo pilot (3425097) | about 9 months ago | (#45582991)

Porsche has ALWAYS made cars that will bite VERY hard and VERY fast if provoked. They have also made cars that are easy to drive with ABS and stability control and AWD for decades now. You pay your money, make your choice, and take your chances. Back when the 930 was new in the late 70s there were always stories of them being wrecked on the way home from the dealership and I can see how. The power came on it that car with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. You prod the throttle in a turn and the rear tires break loose, which scares you into yanking your foot off the gas. At that point you learn all about trailing throttle oversteer and go off the road backwards. The Carrera is a bit more sophisticated than that, but I am sure 600 HP can get you in trouble in a hurry. The old mid-engined Porsche I drove for years was a ton of fun and you could learn to steer with your feet as well as your hands and go around corners pretty much sideways. That took a ton of practice to perfect or you could jab the gas and brakes and go off the road.

Can't be that many left, last one was made in 2006 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583033)

Totaled GTs here: http://www.wreckedexotics.com/carreragt/

Wait, which one was it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583039)

Was the car too fast, or too furious?

Too soon?

Oh the irony (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 9 months ago | (#45583051)

Fast and Furious actor gets killed in a car accident... Sort of like if Arnold Schwarzenegger got crushed by an industrial robot.

Re:Oh the irony (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 9 months ago | (#45583115)

That's about as ironic as meeting the man of your dreams then meeting his beautiful wife. He drove dangerous cars and died doing it. Big fucking surprise.

Re:Oh the irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583143)

That isn't irony, it's coincidence.

Re:Oh the irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583233)

Or Sean Bean dying for real

Sounds like an ad (2)

shadowrat (1069614) | about 9 months ago | (#45583057)

This isn't a warning. This is an advertisement for people who fancy themselves awesome drivers. All the salesperson needs to say is, "You know, this is a very dangerous car. Paul Walker couldn't handle this car. You look like you could." Sale!

Software analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583131)

This car is like C. If you pull the trigger while aiming at your limb you might not like the results.

In aviation (4, Insightful)

Deadstick (535032) | about 9 months ago | (#45583137)

...we have a fair number of accidents involving wealthy men in airplanes that exceed their training and skill level, which they bought on the assumption that "If I can buy it, I can fly it." This would seem to be similar.

Re:In aviation (2)

SIGBUS (8236) | about 9 months ago | (#45583257)

Two words: Beechcraft Bonanza. The early version became known as the "fork-tailed doctor killer" for precisely that reason. The people who can afford them often don't have time to keep their skills current.

Lack of stability control (1)

SIGBUS (8236) | about 9 months ago | (#45583139)

I've always wondered if stability control does more harm than good. It can encourage people who know better to push cars harder in the belief that the electronics will save them from trouble. Meanwhile, drivers who grow up with it are unlikely to learn basic driving dynamics (since once again, the stability control takes care of it).

We already recently had a discussion about this in aviation, where automation is usurping basic piloting skills, resulting in situations like the Air France 447 crash. In that situation, we had a panicking pilot desperately pulling back on the stick, which is the worst thing a pilot can do in a stall.

Car should fit the driver (1)

TedHornsby (1791978) | about 9 months ago | (#45583171)

I haven't yet read the article, but offhand it seems that the problem isn't so much with the car itself as it is the person driving it. The problem, to me, seems to stem from people with more money than driving skill. You wouldn't go out and buy a McLaren F1 if you can't drive a Camaro, for instance. This isn't a great analogy, but hopefully you understand my meaning. Porsche seems to have become associated more with status than with performance and racing these days. A great deal of the blame lies with Porsche themselves for taking this idea and running with it (Porsche SUV anybody?).

We should ban it... (5, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | about 9 months ago | (#45583173)

...so someone doesn't accidentally buy a $335,000 600hp sports car without realizing IT MIGHT BE DANGEROUS.

In other news: the government has banned running with scissors.

Most are missing the point (5, Interesting)

sunking2 (521698) | about 9 months ago | (#45583175)

And blaming the driver. A little background. While not professional drivers Walker and the driver were on a race team together and did plenty of circuit races. The guy driving has a GT3 so is more than familiar with the class of cars in question. Each had many more hours logged racing than any pilot would have flying before being able to get his flight license. It's easy to blame the driver, and it could rightly end up that way. However, the question of whether the car malfunctioned or should not be considered street legal should also be asked. Point being, if you believe these guys had no business driving this car then nobody shy of an F1 driver should be able to by them, hence they are too dangerous to sell to the general public.

Should have been driving a Tesla (3, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 9 months ago | (#45583177)

And they would have gotten out alive, or at least not burned to a crisp. Tesla's don't burn their occupants in a massive fireball when they hit a street sign (and a tree, and a light pole).

And 600HP is nothing. I've got a good friend from college who gets almost 1200HP in his GTR (1192 WHP / 1402 crank, actually). I don't see him wrapping it around vertical objects.

Three shall be the number of the counting (2)

Daetrin (576516) | about 9 months ago | (#45583189)

This is all an overreaction. Everyone knows that a single isolated incident of a car bursting into flames after some kind of impact is no big deal. We shouldn't be concerned until at least three reports surface in the news. At which point it instantly becomes SERIOUS BUSINESS and must be investigated! [slashdot.org]

Ban it? (0)

ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) | about 9 months ago | (#45583191)

Can't we just ban this thing already? Nobody should own it...I've also heard it can be used to transport untraceable/undetectable firearms, it has a built in bitcoin wallet, and a drug smuggling compartment right next to the NOS or whatever they are always using in the movie. In other words, this thing isn't safe for anyone.

No, wait what?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583197)

Yes indeed it is. That's why I always use a 5 point seatbelt when I strap myself in the sadle of my donkey. My donkey might not be the latest model but it has half a horse power and it's light and nippy, handles like sportsass in corners albeit somewhat unforgiving - similar to the porsche.

Re:No, wait what?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583247)

Oh and additionally here is a professional racer driving one (no, not Clarkson)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE_WqdKbTvY

Darwin's Little Helper (1)

Quila (201335) | about 9 months ago | (#45583199)

These cars serve a purpose.

The driver was a former RACE CAR DRIVER (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583217)

Yes, the Carrera GT is a car for race car drivers, and the driver of the car was, a RACE CAR DRIVER, not some rank amateur rich guy.

Let's not forget that part.

The driver *was* a pro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583221)

Sadly, this one looks like driver error. Roger Rodas, the driver, has competed in many events.

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/entertainment/2013/12/02/paul-walker-crash-who-was-driver-friend-roger-rodas/ [foxnews.com]

Were they wearing seat belts? Not mentioned in the articles I've seen.

Porsche should be sued (0)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 9 months ago | (#45583251)

I know I'm probably going to get flamed and/or modded down for this, but people injured in Carrera GT crashes should seriously consider consulting a lawyer and suing Porsche over this.

Hear me out. First of all, IANAL, but based on some cursory research on product liability [ali.org] , a product is considered to have a design defect if "the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative design, and failure to use the alternative design renders the product not reasonably safe." How does that not apply here? The Carrera GT is considered by the professional drivers cited in the OP to be considerably less safe than other sports cars. And an alternative design is clearly reasonable, given the number of other high-performance sports car designs out there, including some of Porsche's own.

Probably the most sympathetic plaintiff would be someone injured by another driver's Carrera GT, in an accident where the plaintiff was clearly not at fault. In that case, Porsche can't claim that the victim assumed risk by choosing the GT.

What's more dangerous? (1)

The123king (2395060) | about 9 months ago | (#45583263)

Gasoline or Cocaine? Both are addicting, give you a massive adrenaline boost, and fuck you up if you don't respect them. Maybe it's time to make cars with more than 200hp illegal. Think of the live's that will be saved.

Not too dangerous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583281)

After riding to work daily on a racing motorcycle for years, I don't think it's too dangerous.

But the driver has to respect it. You have to understand it will kill you and/or someone else if you make a mistake, it's like handling a weapon.

I find it hard to describe how much I enjoy driving something with a high power to weight ratio, with no traction control and (in the case of my motorcycle) no ABS. I even deliberately choose tires with less grip to make it more fun.

I have crashed, several times. One moment you're slowing down for an intersection on a wet road, then there's a "chirp" and you're sliding down the road. One moment you're accelerating out of a corner, the next you're instinctively applying massive opposite lock as the back wheel spins out. I've been injured pretty bad once too.

But it's totally worth it, and with experience and care perfectly safe.

The driver is innocent right? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45583283)

The modern trend of running away from responsability.
Are they sure it wasn't the wind? Or bad feng shui?

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