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-   -   Käfer-Cup Beetle vs Porsche Carrera RS (https://www.germanlook.net/forums/showthread.php?t=10621)

zen May 10th 2010 11:39

Käfer-Cup Beetle vs Porsche Carrera RS
 
From Sept '95 issue of VW Trends, Text by Chris Fortune, Photos by Kater Motorsport
Jun 11, 2003

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When it comes to performance, the name that comes to mind is Porsche, not Volkswagen. The racers in the German Kafer-Cup have taken this otherwise normal reaction to the limits. Dr. Josef Gerold, in conjunction with race car builder Rolf Holzapfel, has taken this notion over the edge and built the most awesome race Bug ever to hit Germany's race tracks.

Even though this Bug brakes the norm of evan a W4 Kafer-Cup racer, what is of interest here is its performance in comparison to a well-known performance car -- the Porsche Carrera RS in race trim! So, which one is better, a Bug on steroids or a Porsche-Cup racer?

Dr. Gerold loves air-cooled machines. He is also the proud owner of a race-prepared Porsche Carrera RS with the Porsche-Cup race package. This machine features a gutted interior with only a roll-cage and race seat. The suspension is set up for competing in Porsche-Cup races. Power comes from a 260-hp 3.6-liter flat-six.

Its combat weight comes in at 2,650 pounds, resulting in a weight-to-power ratio of 10.2 pounds per horsepower. By now, Porsche lovers are smiling at an anticipated Porsche victory. Dr. Gerold, prior to the head-to-head shoot out, was convinced that the Bug would definitely compete with the Porsche (laughter from the Porsche corner).

So, let's meet Dr. Gerold's Bug. The Type I started its life as a '71 Super Beetle. Rolf Holzapfel installed suspension components from a Porsche 944, and a 911 5-speed tranny. Holzapfel opted for a solid 2.9-liter Type IV engine, producing 226 hp at 6,500 rpm to propel this machine to warp speeds.

Internally-vented and cross-drilled brake rotors from a 911 and large four-piston Brembo calipers are in charge of scrubbing off excess speed. In full combat set-up, this Bug tips the scales at a scant 1,766 pounds. That comes to 7.8 pounds per horse-power. So, what are our Porsche friends saying now?

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The battle of the boxers took place at the Motodrom of the Hockenheim-ring. The Porsche took to the acceleration test first. Using slicks, it accelerated to 62 mph in exactly five seconds. Can you hear the Porsche fans gritting their teeth? Both racers were running nose to nose at 87 mph (or 140 kmh). The Porsche's better aerodynamics took over beyond 100 mph.

The true test of a race car is not only how fast it accelerates, but also how fast it can run the track. The Porsche was the first on the track, taking it in a somewhat civilized manner. The slicks help the car's stability when its driven to the edge. After several laps around the short track at Hockenheim, the Porsche laid down a best time of 1.158 minutes.

The race Bug is a pure race car and behaves that way. Once the engine hits 4,000 rpm, the Bug takes off like a missile. The awesome brakes (designed for a the much heavier Porsche) allow the much lighter Bug to brake 80 to 100 feet later into a corner than its Zuffenhausen cousin.

Dr. Gerold says that the Bug's road manner is comparable to a go-cart. Even though the slicks allow tremendous curve speeds, smooth driving is required. Jerky movements are immediately punished by four-wheel drifts, which lead to violent fish-tailing. But enough suspense... after running a few lead-foot laps around the course, Dr. Gerold recorded a time of 1.145 minutes. The Porsche corner is screaming in disbelief. Then again, Dr. Gerold does have the best race bug money can buy.

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