X1/9 vs Porsche 912E

Discussion in 'Discussion Forum' started by beezee, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. beezee

    beezee True Classic

    I was watching an old episode of Wheeler Dealers where they were working on a 1976 Porsche 912E and was wondering how this car would stack up against a FI X1/9. Both are FI 4 cylinder engines, with the 912E at 86 HP and the X at 85 HP. Both cars have the engine behind the driver and both are 2 seaters. Both have independent suspension.

    Anyone have experience driving both? Is the handling similar? What about acceleration?

    Let's discuss merits and shortcomings.

    Brian
     
  2. Rupunzell

    Rupunzell Bernice Loui

    Location:
    California
    Differences between a rear engine Porsche (most any rear engine chassis), power/weight, independent suspension.... etc and the exxe is a LOT more complex than those overly generalized marketing labels.

    Chassis-suspension behavior is a Lot more complex than these overly simplified design idea.. What is FAR more important and significant is how all the individual bits are integrated as a system, all working together to meet a symbiotic performance objective. This is where so many car folks get the it all so very wrong. One of the very best real world illustrations of this is at 24 Hours of LeMons for the teams that "Hot Rod" their racer by installing the largest and power powerful drive train into their ride of desire.. The vast majority of these creations totally and utterly fail with BIG drama. Some teams like Eye Sore Racing and a few others have actual moto engineers and designer and fab folks who know precisely what they are doing due to their day job as moto industry folks. Add to this their team-crew of pro race drivers. Teams like this can make it work. For those lesser, their struggle is very real and self created.


    Bernice
     
  3. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    By the criterion of the Hagerty valuation, well the 912 runs circles around the X.
     
  4. Rupunzell

    Rupunzell Bernice Loui

    Location:
    California
    Market value is very limited metric for evaluation of moto design excellence. At some point, might write a long winded explanation as to why this is fact.


    Bernice
     
  5. Unfortunately, the FI X1/9 only has 75 HP. Only the Euro, carb model (34 DATR) came from the factory with 85 HP. Trust me, you notice the missing 10 HP :(.

    Cheers,
    Dom.
     
    AKimball92 likes this.
  6. beezee

    beezee True Classic

    I agree with all these points, however I have seen magazine articles where cars were compared while having much less in common. For example there have been many comparisons between the TR7 and the X, seemingly based on overall appearance. The goal of (almost) any car is too make money for the company that manufactures it and this can be achieved in many ways, cheap transportation, image, utility, looks, performance. In this regard the 912E and X are very similar, a performance car, with the exception the X was designed to appeal to a lower cost market. The execution was very similar, putting a small 4 cylinder engine behind 2 seats in a light weight package.

    I'm still curious how they would stack up against one another.

    Brian
     
  7. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Ha, five responses and no answer to your question! You will have to set up a track day comparo with someone who has a 912 to get the answer you want. We would like to assume that Porsche engineers did a better job of chassis design than Fiat but then again the Porsche is rear engine and the X is mid engine. OK, make that six responses with no answer to your question.
     
    AKimball92 likes this.
  8. Eastep

    Eastep Dub-ing

    Location:
    PA
    Off face value, this is true. But build quality, fit & finish, craftsmanship and racing heritage which gives "panache" are all very tangible qualities. And thus gives at least some weight to market value assessments. Right or wrong, it does. And for ALL of those reasons the X1/9 is a turd. Doesn't matter who was involved in its development. Dallara, who cares, Lampredi, so what, Gandini, big deal. It all irrelevant.

    Machine to machine only vs 912E The X1/9 is in another league, not made popular in mass production vehicles until 10-20years later.

    A similar comparison would be a TR3 to an X1/9.
    But
    Adding the afore mentioned variables and the TR3 is a Triumph and the X1/9 is a Fiat. Therefore it looses by default. It's our reality of loving these things.
    Hell for shits n giggles, compare an X1/9 to a Trabant... We STILL will come up short, lol.
     
    Dr.Jeff likes this.
  9. beezee

    beezee True Classic

    A quick search revealed the following specs for the 912E:

    Curb weight - 2394 lbs
    HP - 86
    1/4 mile - 18.2 sec
    0-60 - 13 sec

    And the X (euro):

    Curb weight - 2015 lbs
    HP - 85
    1/4 mile - 17.8 sec
    0-60 - 10.4 sec

    So straight line looks close, but this doesn't tell us much about track performance.

    Brian
     
  10. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I wouldn't make that assumption.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
    Eastep likes this.
  11. Eastep

    Eastep Dub-ing

    Location:
    PA
    Head to head in the hands of professional racing drivers who are proficient in the type (one 912 racer versus one X1/9 racer) I think it would be a very exciting race. The Porsche might get a slight advantage on the longer sections due to higher top speed, despite the X1/9s better (on paper 1/4mile time). Both handle corners well, just differently (this is where driver proficiency comes in). Longer sweeping turns would probably go to the Porsche due to its higher speed and suspension designed for such use on the Autobaun. Tighter turns should be an X1/9 advantage as it can keep its momentum up due to a more ideal engine placement. Again driver proficiency here can also tip the scales. Braking should be an advantage to the X1/ 9 due to less weight.
    From my couch, I think it's be a fun and exciting battle.

    I'm sure the Porsche crowd has some hidden quirks or flaws that we don't know about, which can add to variables. Just as we have some, which I'm not factoring in. Like the all too common fuel sloshing out of the bowl in hard/prolonged turns.
    These are just my thoughts, based on the numbers that were provided.
     
    AKimball92 likes this.
  12. Rupunzell

    Rupunzell Bernice Loui

    Location:
    California
    There is NO "Superior German Engineering" This ASSumption must die, and should have died decades ago.

    The machinist that does a significant amount of work for the exxe that I'm not doing does a HUGE amount of work on Porsche stuff vintage and current. Visiting the shop allows close up inspection of the oily bits that would normally never be seen by moto folks eyes.... The "Superior German" oily bits are a lot less special than most would ever know. In many ways absolutely poor in materials, design and .... compared to some of the stock Fiat oily bits used on the exxe.

    As for the Porsche chassis-suspension, what is the basis and foundation for the belief it is better-superior to the chassis-suspension of the exxe?


    Bernice


     
    autox19 likes this.
  13. Eastep

    Eastep Dub-ing

    Location:
    PA
    True!
    "911"s (not racing variants) weren't even very good cars until they came out with the 993 C4, that's oh...25-30yrs later, lol.
     
  14. Rupunzell

    Rupunzell Bernice Loui

    Location:
    California
    Keep in mind TV shows like Wheeler-Dealer are specifically produced to tug on moto folks predisposed beliefs and ASSumptions that have been developed over decades of marketing and promotion. They play to what their viewers want to believe rather than challenge their myths of fantasy. If these programs did challenge and proved what they viewers believed are false beyond any reasonable doubt, their ratings would tank in a very big way.

    Facts and hard reality often will not change the minds of individuals invested into tribe-group-cult as the mind-brain will become self defensive when challenged in this way. This is why marketing folks will expend vast resources to cultivate and project a social-group-tribe-vult image for their particular moto (applies to a lot more than just this). Once the social-group identity has been set in the minds of their followers, it becomes Socially accepted and propagated in the minds as something to believe in. The Porsche, Ferrari, BMW and brands are valuable due to what moto folks want to believe rather than their technical and performance content alone.


    Bernice
     
    Huey likes this.
  15. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Maybe Ulix will see this and check in, I have to think that he might have seen a 912 or two motoring around the Nürburgring while he was doing the same in his X :D He'll tell us he passed them all like they were going backwards (which Porsches frequently do, as I understand it).
     
  16. Rupunzell

    Rupunzell Bernice Loui

    Location:
    California
  17. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    As a big fan of Wheeler Dealers, I too notice the predisposition of the main host, Mike Brewer, toward certain brands that people love to fawn over. Two of his personal cars are 911-types: a red one he keeps in Cali and a blue one in Blighty. The first ever car they did on the show was a 924 (which Porsche snobs used to sneer at, sorta like Ferrari snobs sneered at Dinos) and they've done several more Porsches over the years.

    They just did a Toyota MR2 second gen and Mike was going on and on about build quality, design, and even saying it was a "Japanese Ferrari" (what a load of crap, everyone knows the first gen NSX was the Japanese Ferrari). Yet Ant the mechanic had to drop the engine, replace the head gasket, send the head out for rebuilding, have the turbo rebuilt, and all of that was precipitated by a $7 hose that was leaking and could only be accessed by dropping the engine. That's some great design. And how much of a Japanese Ferrari could it have been if a $425 set of junk import coilovers improves the handling?

    This is not a knock on that MR2, that car had over 90k on the clock and who knows how it was treated by previous owners. Just agreeing with Bernice in that ALL cars have their design flaws, their manufacturing flaws...after all they are designed and built by humans....Porsche has a rep for uber design and performance, Toyota has a rep for reliability---but there are plenty of examples of where each has gotten it horribly wrong. Grenading Boxster engines, unintended accelerating Toyotas, Toyota sludge motors, Tacoma pickups breaking in half due to frame rust, etc etc etc
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
    Huey likes this.
  18. aarpcard

    aarpcard True Classic

    Location:
    NJ
    And part of the reason why they've stuck to the rear layout for so long is due to that same marketing induced cultural myth. Many Porsche enthusiasts balk at the idea of a mid-engined 911 because not having the engine at the rear to them means it isn't a porsche (throw the performance out the window). Same reason why many Porsche enthusiasts don't like the boxters much either.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  19. aarpcard

    aarpcard True Classic

    Location:
    NJ
    In all fairness, that hose can be replaced with the engine still in the bay. Not the easiest job, but doable and definitely the way to go if that's the only thing you're fixing. I think they used the hose as an excuse to drop the engine so they could showcase the whole engine rebuild process for TV. I quite enjoyed that episode actually.
     
  20. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    HA! Tyler I was watching that ep last night in rerun and it crossed my mind whether you had seen it, since you DD a second gen MR2. Ant the mechanic said he had one in his youth as well.
     
    aarpcard likes this.

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