A lot can change in 33 years. Porsche’s 911 Carrera 3.2 was the top dog back then. It had just gotten a fresh G50 gearbox with hydraulic clutch actuation and smoother shifts, but not much had changed, mostly because it wasn’t broke and Porsche didn’t have to fix it. The car was brilliant to drive in its day, and frankly still is. Today, however, everything on the road is ridiculously quick. The theory from the folks at The Fast Lane is that a basic modern turbocharged crossover is going to offer better 0-60 performance than an old 911. Line ’em up, let’s go!
With the engine slung out back behind the rear axle, the 911 should have a traction advantage against the front-engine front-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz GLA250. Then again, the SUV has bigger wheels and tires, with more modern rubber on, plus a full suite of electronic driver aids. The turbocharged four-cylinder in the Mercedes has a slight power advantage over the 911, but the Porsche is certainly lighter, giving it a much better power to weight advantage. At elevation in Colorado, where this was filmed, the Porsche’s power disadvantage will be exacerbated even more, as the forced induction car won’t feel the altitude sickness quite as much. Oh, and for good measure, the 911 is a widebody cabriolet, making it the heaviest variant to carry this motor. Hmmmm.
Alright, place your bets. Who do you got? Will the Porsche take the Merc, or with modern beat vintage?
Wow. I sort of expected the Mercedes to win, but not by that much!
Now, admittedly, the driver doesn’t own the Porsche, and we all know that a proper launch for speed happens with a lot more high-RPM clutch riding. Bogging down at the line cost the manual-transmission Porsche at least a couple of seconds of 0-60 time. With a big power run, I bet the two would be much closer than the video might belie. The 911 Carrera 3.2 was rated at 6.5 seconds 0-60, so with the added weight of the widebody and the cabriolet reinforcements, I’d expect a mid-seven-second sprint with the right driver at sea level. With this kind of altitude, the 911 still probably would have lost.
Cars have come a long way in 33 years.