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Old 11-07-2009, 11:02 PM   #1
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Aluminum vs Polymer car bodies

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Originally Posted by KoTToN View Post


150k and thats the design you get? nooooooooo thanks
Lol, you are just too funny. Atleast the body is made out of aluminum, unlike this other 100k car...
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:29 AM   #2
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Lol, you are just too funny. Atleast the body is made out of aluminum, unlike this other 100k car...
which other 100k car?
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:32 AM   #3
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LOL I'd take bets...ZR1?

For the record, there is nothing inherently great about aluminum body panels. They're harder to repair and easier to damage unless you make them thicker-which negates the weight advantage. I don't have anything against aluminum either, but when I hear something is made out of aluminum- I shrug and feel pity for the poor body guy if something goes wrong. If you've ever done time in a body shop, you'd understand.
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:52 AM   #4
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LOL I'd take bets...ZR1?

For the record, there is nothing inherently great about aluminum body panels. They're harder to repair and easier to damage unless you make them thicker-which negates the weight advantage. I don't have anything against aluminum either, but when I hear something is made out of aluminum- I shrug and feel pity for the poor body guy if something goes wrong. If you've ever done time in a body shop, you'd understand.
Body panels? Agreed...but an underlying spaceframe? Fiberglass/carbon fiber body panels combined with an aluminum frame is a killer weight-beating combination. That's the reason the Z06 weighs hundreds of pounds less than a 370z...with heavier...everything!
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:09 PM   #5
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Body panels? Agreed...but an underlying spaceframe? Fiberglass/carbon fiber body panels combined with an aluminum frame is a killer weight-beating combination. That's the reason the Z06 weighs hundreds of pounds less than a 370z...with heavier...everything!
I am refering only to:

"Lol, you are just too funny. Atleast the body is made out of aluminum, unlike this other 100k car..."

to which DGthe3 replied:

"which other 100k car?"

I wasn't knocking the ZR1- I was just making a bet on which car was being referred to. Sorry I wasn't clear. I have no issues with 'Vette repairability.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:02 PM   #6
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LOL I'd take bets...ZR1?

For the record, there is nothing inherently great about aluminum body panels. They're harder to repair and easier to damage unless you make them thicker-which negates the weight advantage. I don't have anything against aluminum either, but when I hear something is made out of aluminum- I shrug and feel pity for the poor body guy if something goes wrong. If you've ever done time in a body shop, you'd understand.
Yes, that was the car I was talking about. And I don't think that the aluminum body panels on the porsche are easier to damage than the body panels on the zr1. If you have proof to back that up, I would like to see it.
And I wasn't talking in performance terms either. As dragoneye and you both pointed out, aluminum is heavier. Not everything about a Porsche has to be built with performance in mind. It's about build quality. I know if I paid 100k for a car, I would be disappointed to find out that the entire body is made of plastic. That's precisely why Porsche is what they are. They aren't solely dedicated to performance, even though they excel in that also...
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:46 PM   #7
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Yes, that was the car I was talking about. And I don't think that the aluminum body panels on the porsche are easier to damage than the body panels on the zr1. If you have proof to back that up, I would like to see it.
And I wasn't talking in performance terms either. As dragoneye and you both pointed out, aluminum is heavier. Not everything about a Porsche has to be built with performance in mind. It's about build quality. I know if I paid 100k for a car, I would be disappointed to find out that the entire body is made of plastic. That's precisely why Porsche is what they are. They aren't solely dedicated to performance, even though they excel in that also...
Aluminum panels ARE easier to damage and harder to repair. I only have my 2 years in autobody (ICAR certified) and 10 years in the insurance industry to offer as proof.

Aluminum has 3 issues in body panels. The first is it's a relatively soft metal, so equal impacts will do more damage to the aluminum then steel (I'll talk about Corvette in a second). Second is when it is damaged, it has a tendency to stretch and it has low 'memory' compared to steel. Therefore it's significantly harder to hammer and dolly it back to happiness. 3rd, it doesn't weld the same as steel, it's perfectly weldable- but you are going to need a more experienced welder-so more expensive.

Now in the case of the plastic panels on the newer vettes, they can actually take low grade type incidents without even getting damaged- like door dings and shopping carts. Minor repairs can be done almost like fiberglass repair but with a different resin that's a little more flexible, or with special filler that you put some mat on for strength. Almost all the panels are bolt-on though.

Carbon fiber repair in a painted non-structural area is almost exactly like repairing fiberglass sheet (non chop). You back the area with netting, then you grind a surface and you overlay carbon fiber onto the cleaned and ground area and resin it. If it's a non painted area, you have to replace it because of the way it looks- but again, it just bolts on. Carbon fiber has some sort of voodoo about it which is probably appropriate for structural stuff, but it's not that hard to work with for regular parts. It really is pretty much high tech fiberglass. I've made clipboards, speaker boxes, I covered a PC case with it, etc.

I don't know how the front end of the Panamera, but I'll tell you the front end of a 911 is a nightmare in a crash. The entire front has a trapezoidal 1 piece tub that is bonded (so you can't fix it with welding as it changes the engineering). A moderate front end hit on a 911 is over-the-top expensive.

But let me say in it's defense, the 911 GT3 is one of my favorite cars on the face of the planet- but there's reasons Corvettes have relatively cheap insurance rates besides just having elderly drivers (I kid).
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:52 PM   #8
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Aluminum panels ARE easier to damage and harder to repair. I only have my 2 years in autobody (ICAR certified) and 10 years in the insurance industry to offer as proof.

Aluminum has 3 issues in body panels. The first is it's a relatively soft metal, so equal impacts will do more damage to the aluminum then steel (I'll talk about Corvette in a second). Second is when it is damaged, it has a tendency to stretch and it has low 'memory' compared to steel. Therefore it's significantly harder to hammer and dolly it back to happiness. 3rd, it doesn't weld the same as steel, it's perfectly weldable- but you are going to need a more experienced welder-so more expensive.

Now in the case of the plastic panels on the newer vettes, they can actually take low grade type incidents without even getting damaged- like door dings and shopping carts. Minor repairs can be done almost like fiberglass repair but with a different resin that's a little more flexible, or with special filler that you put some mat on for strength. Almost all the panels are bolt-on though.

Carbon fiber repair in a painted non-structural area is almost exactly like repairing fiberglass sheet (non chop). You back the area with netting, then you grind a surface and you overlay carbon fiber onto the cleaned and ground area and resin it. If it's a non painted area, you have to replace it because of the way it looks- but again, it just bolts on. Carbon fiber has some sort of voodoo about it which is probably appropriate for structural stuff, but it's not that hard to work with for regular parts. It really is pretty much high tech fiberglass. I've made clipboards, speaker boxes, I covered a PC case with it, etc.

I don't know how the front end of the Panamera, but I'll tell you the front end of a 911 is a nightmare in a crash. The entire front has a trapezoidal 1 piece tub that is bonded (so you can't fix it with welding as it changes the engineering). A moderate front end hit on a 911 is over-the-top expensive.

But let me say in it's defense, the 911 GT3 is one of my favorite cars on the face of the planet- but there's reasons Corvettes have relatively cheap insurance rates besides just having elderly drivers (I kid).
Ok, but let me ask with a hypothetical. Lets say a dodge ram truck rams into a 911 and a corvette at 50mph. Which car will be more damaged (NOT WHICH CAR WILL COST MORE TO REPAIR).
I am not asking this question to be a smart***, I am actually curious.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by returnofcc View Post
Yes, that was the car I was talking about. And I don't think that the aluminum body panels on the porsche are easier to damage than the body panels on the zr1. If you have proof to back that up, I would like to see it.
And I wasn't talking in performance terms either. As dragoneye and you both pointed out, aluminum is heavier. Not everything about a Porsche has to be built with performance in mind. It's about build quality. I know if I paid 100k for a car, I would be disappointed to find out that the entire body is made of plastic. That's precisely why Porsche is what they are. They aren't solely dedicated to performance, even though they excel in that also...
First off, carbon fibre and fibreglass are not plastics. Jermey Clarkson knows how to entertain, but his technical knowledge is either selective or simply lacking.

Deformation is easier with a sheet of metal than with a polymer. There are several reasons for this. The omnidirectional laticework of polymer materials distributes impact loads over a wider area. The resiliency of the polymers themselves allow it to bend and yield at a microscopic level before returning to their original shape. Metals are fairly weak in compressive loading. They will easily buckle under load and become permanently deformed. Some wrongfully believe aluminum is stronger than steel, because of its strength to weight ratio. In fact its weaker than steel for the same sized piece, its also significantly lighter. They use roughly an equal volume of material that weighs a lot less because the strength of steel is often overkill.

German companys have always been known to deliver precision but rarely able to build something durable.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:04 PM   #10
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First off, carbon fibre and fibreglass are not plastics. Jermey Clarkson knows how to entertain, but his technical knowledge is either selective or simply lacking.

Deformation is easier with a sheet of metal than with a polymer. There are several reasons for this. The omnidirectional laticework of polymer materials distributes impact loads over a wider area. The resiliency of the polymers themselves allow it to bend and yield at a microscopic level before returning to their original shape. Metals are fairly weak in compressive loading. They will easily buckle under load and become permanently deformed. Some wrongfully believe aluminum is stronger than steel, because of its strength to weight ratio. In fact its weaker than steel for the same sized piece, its also significantly lighter. They use roughly an equal volume of material that weighs a lot less because the strength of steel is often overkill.

German companys have always been known to deliver precision but rarely able to build something durable.
Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't Porsche bodies made from steel, aluminum, and magnesium...
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:04 PM   #11
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Ok, but let me ask with a hypothetical. Lets say a dodge ram truck rams into a 911 and a corvette at 50mph. Which car will be more damaged (NOT WHICH CAR WILL COST MORE TO REPAIR).
I am not asking this question to be a smart***, I am actually curious.
In this case, it won't matter too much. A 3 ton vehicle moving at 50 mph is going to obliterate a sports car weighing little more than half as much. Most crash testing is against a similarly sized vehicle going at 35 mph. The scenario you provide means the truck will have 4x the kinetic energy those cars typically experience in testing. But a base or Grand Sport Corvette with its steel space frame would probably fare better than a 911. Not sure how a Z06 or ZR1 with their aluminum frame would compare against the 911. Still worse than the base Corvette.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:05 PM   #12
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Ok, but let me ask with a hypothetical. Lets say a dodge ram truck rams into a 911 and a corvette at 50mph. Which car will be more damaged (NOT WHICH CAR WILL COST MORE TO REPAIR).
I am not asking this question to be a smart***, I am actually curious.
The 911 will be more damaged almost for sure. The bumper on a Ram bolts directly to a ladder frame and sits above the primary impact zones for the 911 so the Ram will crush it-it will basically go right over the pieces of the 911 that were designed to take a hit. Same thing can be said for the Ram and ANY sports car.

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First off, carbon fibre and fibreglass are not plastics. Jermey Clarkson knows how to entertain, but his technical knowledge is either selective or simply lacking.

Deformation is easier with a sheet of metal than with a polymer. There are several reasons for this. The omnidirectional laticework of polymer materials distributes impact loads over a wider area. The resiliency of the polymers themselves allow it to bend and yield at a microscopic level before returning to their original shape. Metals are fairly weak in compressive loading. They will easily buckle under load and become permanently deformed. Some wrongfully believe aluminum is stronger than steel, because of its strength to weight ratio. In fact its weaker than steel for the same sized piece, its also significantly lighter. They use roughly an equal volume of material that weighs a lot less because the strength of steel is often overkill.

German companys have always been known to deliver precision but rarely able to build something durable.
LOL huh? JK
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:07 PM   #13
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Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't Porsche bodies made from steel, aluminum, and magnesium...
Not sure how much magnesium they use in their car bodies. I know Porsche uses a lot of aluminum sheet metal, probably some steel depending on the vehicle.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:08 PM   #14
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The 911 will be more damaged almost for sure. The bumper on a Ram bolts directly to a ladder frame and sits above the primary impact zones for the 911 so the Ram will crush it-it will basically go right over the pieces of the 911 that were designed to take a hit. Same thing can be said for the Ram and ANY sports car.



LOL huh? JK
Wait, then how do you know the 911 will be damaged more. Won't the Ram hit over the impact zones for the corvette also?
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:08 PM   #15
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In this case, the it won't matter too much. A 3 ton vehicle moving at 50 mph is going to obliterate a sports car weighing little more than half as much. Most crash testing is against a similarly sized vehicle going at 35 mph. The scenario you provide means the truck will have 4x the kinetic energy those cars are typically tested against. But a base or Grand Sport Corvette with its steel space frame would probably fare better, than a 911. Not sure how a Z06 or ZR1 with their aluminum frame would compare against the 911. Still worse than the base Corvette.
I don't know about this-they both have racing derived frames. I'd actually guess that they'd be equally f***'ed- however they have good occupant compartments so the drivers would still walk away from both.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:09 PM   #16
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Not sure how much magnesium they use in their car bodies. I know Porsche uses a lot of aluminum sheet metal, probably some steel depending on the vehicle.
Fair enough, I was just taking it from their specs on the Panamera.
http://press.porsche.com/vehicles/09...ions_chart.pdf
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:10 PM   #17
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Wait, then how do you know the 911 will be damaged more. Won't the Ram hit over the impact zones for the corvette also?
OH wait, I'm sorry, I misread the question- I don't know why- for some reason Ram vs 911 would be stuck in my head. I don't know which one would be more damaged- 50 mph front end collision Ram vs either means the sports cars are totalled. Totalled is totalled.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:12 PM   #18
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OH wait, I'm sorry, I misread the question- I don't know why- for some reason Ram vs 911 would be stuck in my head. I don't know which one would be more damaged- 50 mph front end collision Ram vs either means the sports cars are totalled. Totalled is totalled.
Alright, make it 20mph...
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:13 PM   #19
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Oh ya, let me tell you a magnesium story (lol sorry- late Monday afternoon, I don't want to work anymore). The Ford trucks started coming out with Magnesium radiator supports about 5 years ago. Ford waited about 6 months before sending out an advisory or posting labels- some shop in Oregon started working on one without realizing that it was magnesium and the support started on fire and burned down the car and almost the hole shop.

*edit- I just realized this was my 1000th post- seems a little bit of a let-down for a post of such magnitude.

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Old 11-09-2009, 04:14 PM   #20
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Oh ya, let me tell you a magnesium story (lol sorry- late Monday afternoon, I don't want to work anymore). The Ford trucks started coming out with Magnesium radiator supports about 5 years ago. Ford waited about 6 months before sending out an advisory or posting labels- some shop in Oregon started working on one without realizing that it was magnesium and the support started on fire and burned down the car and almost the hole shop.
Ford lol
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:25 PM   #21
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Alright, make it 20mph...
It's too speculative, one's front engined and ones rear engined. They'd both likely need an entire front section to the firewall though. One has an engine in the way which can help or it can hurt how repairable the whole car is. Really, it's a separate thread- way OT and I'm not an engineer- but short answer is that engines are designed to be pushed down under the body so they can dissapate a lot of the energy at the cost of the motor.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:37 PM   #22
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Lol, so this all started as a knock towards the zr1 about its build quality compared to alunimum of the porsche.

then it progressed to a certain someone getting schooled to the fact that aluminum not only heavier, but it is easier to damage and also much harder to repair.

then it went to which would be worse if a fullsize truck hit them doing 50mph

now its what if the truck hit them doing 20 mph

talk about a reaching to validate the first comment
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Like I said before, there is a dealership that is 4 miles away from my house that has 3 2SS's just sitting on their lot. And this is a very small dealership it's not a high volume dealership in a populated area., Come early summer, when 2011's are coming out, the camaro will be offered for 0%. I guarantee it
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apparently you didn't understand my post correctly. If there are 4 (now 6) camaros sitting at a low volume dealership, just imagine how many are sitting at the high volume dealerships
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:59 PM   #23
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Lol, so this all started as a knock towards the zr1 about its build quality compared to alunimum of the porsche.

then it progressed to a certain someone getting schooled to the fact that aluminum not only heavier, but it is easier to damage and also much harder to repair.

then it went to which would be worse if a fullsize truck hit them doing 50mph

now its what if the truck hit them doing 20 mph

talk about a reaching to validate the first comment
Except for the part that Porsche bodies are not all-aluminum.
And as for "cost to repair," I don't think a guy who buys a 100k car is thinking to himself "Gee, maybe I should buy the Corvette because it will cost less to repair once I get into an accident."
Which has better build quality, the Bugatti or the Corvette? I mean, the Bugatti costs more to repair, so does that mean that the Corvette is the better/more durable car? Nobody has proven yet that the Corvette is of better build quality. We were just talking about fiberglass vs. pure aluminum.
And it actually started when you claimed that the car was ugly. Everybody should listen to the fanboy who is constantly knocking on Porsches. Sounds like the jealous type to me
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:07 PM   #24
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Except for the part that Porsche bodies are not all-aluminum.

and corvettes are not all fiberglass/carbon fiber

And as for "cost to repair," I don't think a guy who buys a 100k car is thinking to himself "Gee, maybe I should buy the Corvette because it will cost less to repair once I get into an accident."

then why did you even bring up that whole point?

Which has better build quality, the Bugatti or the Corvette? I mean, the Bugatti costs more to repair, so does that mean that the Corvette is the better/more durable car?

i guess you cant keep on the topic you started of you comparing a zr1 to the panamera..it also looks like you missed the whole harder to damage part.


Nobody has proven yet that the Corvette is of better build quality.

you were the one trying to prove porsche had the better build quality, so i think that parts on you.

We were just talking about fiberglass vs. pure aluminum.
And it actually started when you claimed that the car was ugly.

really? So when I said that I didn not like that design all these guys started chiming in with how aluminum compares to fibers?


]
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Like I said before, there is a dealership that is 4 miles away from my house that has 3 2SS's just sitting on their lot. And this is a very small dealership it's not a high volume dealership in a populated area., Come early summer, when 2011's are coming out, the camaro will be offered for 0%. I guarantee it
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apparently you didn't understand my post correctly. If there are 4 (now 6) camaros sitting at a low volume dealership, just imagine how many are sitting at the high volume dealerships
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:17 PM   #25
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LOL I'd take bets...ZR1?

For the record, there is nothing inherently great about aluminum body panels. They're harder to repair and easier to damage unless you make them thicker-which negates the weight advantage. I don't have anything against aluminum either, but when I hear something is made out of aluminum- I shrug and feel pity for the poor body guy if something goes wrong. If you've ever done time in a body shop, you'd understand.
I may have started it by stating the above, which I did explain some on the prior page- but as we are starting to head toward another thread lock, I just want to say that I didn't mean for anything I said to head it this direction.

I actually do sort of think about things like this, and I would before I bought a 100k car. Mainly because if I bought a car like that, I'd plan on having it 50 years but I'd still drive it occasionally and something will eventually happen. So I apologize if I derailed anything to grievously.

And completely on topic, I do like and respect Porsches. That new lightweight boxster spyder or whatever looks fun as hell. And ZR1s are out of this world. I just don't think it's necessarily a 'feature' when a body is aluminum.
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