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Help me brainstorm, please

2269 Views 16 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  kehr
So, I'm getting to the point where my oldest will start driver's ed in about 6 months. I've been planning to trade out my Cayenne Turbo for a sedan and add a "sensible, safe" vehicle for him to learn with and eventually drive. I have come up with an alternative, but I feel weird about it. So, I turn to PP for help.

What if I could just keep the CTT and detune the engine?


It's paid for, is five years old, and is built like a tank.
No shopping for something "sensible, safe."


16 year old driving a Porsche sends a bit of an unfortunate socioeconomic message.

I'm pretty sure I'm :crazy: really.

I'm not a car modder, and I'd have to find someone to do this work. I'm pretty sure I'd get some funny looks: "So, you want me to make your car SLOWER? I've never done that...." But thinking about all the go-fast mods available, what about reversing them on the CTT? Remove the turbo? Reprogram the ECU? Restrict the exhaust?

So, I seek from the PP intelligentsia two things:

1) Overall reaction: How stupid is this idea, really? (I can take severe ridicule, bring it on!)
2) Specific suggestions or brainstorms about how to detune the CTT.


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My first car was a 1950 V8 Ford that my parents gave me in 1960 (had 10,000 Sunday miles on it). My dad made a carburetor stop to limit my speeds. So every time I drove it I had to remove the stop and then put it back on when I returned home to avoid detection. So they will figure it out. There are some electronic reporting devices available that will send you an email if certain speeds are reached or if the vehicle moves from an approved geographic area. That might be a better solution (if it is tamper proof....).

Oh and remove the badges that refer to the model and make.
Got my learner's permit at age 15 and I remember what I did to my dad's prized Ford LTD wagon: Tore up the transmission not once but twice; wore out a set of new radials not in 50,000 miles but 6,000 miles; set speed records on Kansas Interstates when day time speed limits were high (Was it 85 or more? :eek: ); jumped the rail road tracks while on a dirt road racing a train [STUPID! We did beat it--thank God!!!] :crazy: , and wrecked it once ALL during the year he was in Viet Nam.

Hey, I wouldn't trust me at 16 and I am lucky to be alive today.

However, if you're going to put him behind the wheel of that beast, maybe both of you might want to go to performance driving school.

Learning how to drive with the colonel in the car was so stressful I almost drove off the road one time paying more attention to him than driving. I think teaching a family member to drive is a hot issue but attending schools together and learning how to slide is helpful.

Still, that is a lot of SUV to handle. But, it is one of the safest on the road. Certainly, I'd have more confidence in him surviving a MVA in a CT than many other cars on the road.
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I do remember your earlier post about this subject, while I cant say I'd like it if I were in your kid's shoes. But being not so far from this age (I'm 23). I can clearly remember all the stupid things I've done in the past. And If I had a 450 hp Porsche... I may have not been alive today, luckily I learned to drive on a 75hp hyundai :hilarious:

Not only does the extra HP corrupt, but also the Porsche badge will stir up many potential trouble, from wanting to "prove" its a Porsche, to other boys challenging him for races. Plus, the high limits of the CTT will make him feel invincible, this will be bad if he ever drove another car!

Now I do feel the situation you are in, here are my suggestions:
  1. Keep the CTT as is, and buy him a "really" cheap car to learn on, with the promise that you will let him have the CTT "once you feel its appropriate"
  2. Ask Scott @ Softronic to programme you a special software that will detune the engine, maybe impose a speed limit, an RPM limit, or even maniplulate the AFR or whatever to actually "waste" power. I'm sure scott can do that.

If you ask me, I'd prefer option 1, coz option 2 sends out a clear message that you dont trust your kid, it will make him/her feel bad and may get into more trouble just to prove that he/she is trustworthy! While option 1 will send the message that he/she just needs to learn properly first then take a Porsche!
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My son is in that age range too and I have gone round and round. The first idea was to let him drive my 08 Mini Cooper....not an "S", but zippy and still worth $16,000. So I trade that in on a new Hummer H2 for me and tell myself to look for a used car in the $3-5K range. Guess what...there is a LOAD of **** at that range. I want something somewhat dependable. So my search goes on and I finally find an 04 BMW 325i in Florida with 40K miles for $10K. A little higher than my $3-5K. So, my wife and I make a nice long weekend out of it last spring. The looks good but needs a few tires, wipers, had the hood and rear bumper painted, full detail. So things are good and she and I are using it as a commuter until he gets his license. Well, the drivers side window starts moving slow, their is a small coolant leak, and a few other problems. I tell my wife I want to sell it and she cringes. So, last August I trade it in for a new Honda Civic...I receive $10K for the car which is what I paid, but now I have paid $18K for the Honda. Guess what...should have kept the Mini (I'm an idiot). Now fast forward to son is finally in drivers ed and I start thinking about driving the H2 every day to work and the gas bill ($70 per week). So...I just sold the H2 on Ebay and I am looking for an Audi A5 for myself and I am looking for a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for a family car/car for my son. It is pure craziness....but you know, I love buying cars, it is a sickness!!!! So my advice...don't listen to me!!! Just kidding, I wouldn't put my son in too fast of a car or too flashy a car. And yes, once they get comfortable, the speed rises. I figure a jeep is not fast and it is a little bigger to help protect him. Also, my wife always wanted a Jeep for the beach so this car change is easier for her to take. Good luck and let us know what you do.

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Toyota Corollas (last generation 2005-ish) are bullet-proof, easy to work on, good on gas, cheap to insure, lucky if they can get up to 100 mph.

Everyone has their opinions - As I was raised, I learned the value of the dollar and appreciated what things cost. My first car (to use) was a VW Quantum wagon. I paid for gas, insurance, and oil changes and it was mine and my sisters. When it came time to buy my own car, I was familiar with the expenses, and chose a Civic with similiar cost. Depending on if you're trying to "teach" your kid responsibility or not, might determine if he uses your car or if you buy another one.

BTW, I don't know your son, but 90% of the kids I grew up with or have seen through the years beat the **** out of their first car. Boys trash the engine, brakes, and tranny, girls trash the interior, drain the battery, and clip the mirrors and scratch bumpers. Could be more expensive for you with just the CTT versus adding a Crapolla, er Corolla....

Regarding the message it might send: I think he'll stand out for himself with the Corolla, versus the kid with the Porsche. Kids (and adults) judge based on appearance. An average car won't stand out.

Good Luck!

Good Luck.
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The CTT can certainly be detuned. The programmer could limit boost as much as possible, and even probably add a speed limiter (like we do with racing cars on pit lane). But, IMHO, I still wouldn't do it. I think it sends a less than ideal socio-economic statement not only to the public, but also to your kid's mindset. The other concern I would have is that it will surely be expensive to insure a CTT for a 16 y.o.'s primary car. I would buy him something more conventional (and have him pay partly). When he grows older and appreciates the value of money, my guess is he'll work harder and buy most anything he wants. Of course YMMV and this is subjective. Good luck.
I think it is irresponsible at least, and criminal at most, to turn a kid loose with virtually ANY car made today. Too fast, too dangerous. If they haven't shown they can ride a dirt bike skillfully and responsibly (in controlled, low-risk environments,) they have no business driving car where they can mix with the public.

OK, (since I know most of you will disagree,) by all means, cut your precious kid loose with a 5000lb, 100+ MPH rig. But, be sure to raise your liability insurance to $5 milliion, minimum, 'cause a 16 year old punk in a Porsche is a accident lawyers dream come true.

Or, if you actually care about the kids well-being and long-term health, you could (make them) buy a Crapolla with 175-section all season tires and one fuel injector disconnected for when they have completed actual structured, professional skills training and can successfully avoid abnormal situations.

Anyone can STEER - DRIVING takes training and practice.
Tell me again why you want to get rid of the CTT? You could give it to me and I'll give your kid my '01 A6 TT. :) Only partially kidding...

I started life with an Escort GT, which stood for good tires not gran turismo. I agree with the above posters. Get him a good dependable car that is inexpensive to upkeep. Then he could help with maintenance costs if you want. It doesn't have to be Crappola, but a little sporty car isn't bad. I'd suggest a Focus, Civic Si or the like with a few ground effects for the "cool" factor. Not too fast either. No Camaro/Mustang stuff. Had friends get into trouble with those for what it's worth. If safety is more of a concern a Nissan Pathfinder/Toyota 4Runner/Jeep Cherokee would be nice.

Oh how I love to talk about cars! However, you know your kid best. I know I was a "responsible" kid and babied my first car and had it for 6 years. I still had a few brain lapses here and there and did some stupid things, but teenagers doing stupid things is kind of a given. We can just hope to minimize bad outcomes.

Good Luck. I have another 10 years to wait to make that decision myself. Let us know how it goes.
See less See more goes my first post on this forum. :eek:

Since you are in Colorado. The first thing I would do is put the kid through MasterDrive. Here is the link for you. Simply put the best teen driving school on earth. MasterDrive :: The Premier Driver Education Company

Secondly. I would never unleash a new driver on a CTT. Simply too expensive to fix and too fast for a first car. Amoung other reasons.

If he is really into Porsches find him a clean 87+ 944 with air bags and ABS. Can find nice clean ones for around $5k. He can learn a little working on it too. Ideally for Colorado I would find him a 96+ Audi A4 with either the 1.8T or 2.8V6 in AWD. You can find nice clean ones for around the $5k mark. They will have 6 air bags, AWD traction, handle fairly well and come with enough creature comforts to satisfy. The 1.8T can be a monster if you go wild with it, but otherwise reliable and good fuel economy. The 2.8V6 is not as buildable but is bombproof. These cars will take 400K miles with a little care.

There are a few realities you MUST face with a teen age driver.

-1. They will make a mistake at some point. You want a car that is fairly cheap and easy to fix. Even a tiny mistake like backing a CTT into an unseen pole in a parking lot could cost you lots of money.

-2. EVERY teen at some point will at least attempt some hooligan act in the car. They will see how fast it will go, how hard it will corner, etc. YOU have the control to limit which car they are going to make this attempt in. You DON'T have any control over the fact that it WILL happen. So buy them a "reasonably" powered car with as many safety features are you can.

.......go to MasterDrive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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This is from June 2009 so I am curious as to your decision. How much is the cost to detune a CTT engine and insurance for a teenager driver? I don't think Law Enforcement Officers will have any empathy for a teenager speeding in a CTT.

I mowed lawns, delivered newspapers, worked at KFC, and various odd jobs to buy my first car - an Audi Fox. Parents helped pay insurance. I had a budget for gas, service / maintenance, repairs, and mods. My dad would have bought an AMC Pacer for me but that was not my preference.

Probably my most formative years of driving and appreciating a mechanical marvel were between 16 - 24. There is no point to racing on public streets unless you like meeting cops and high end speed does not matter going to school, work, and dates. That was my hard earned money so I learned how to take care of it without abusing it.

Keep the CTT but get the kid a reliable driver to get experience on. If the kid really enjoys "driving", put him into go cart racing school so he can develop skills.
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The CTT is gone, replaced by a Toyota RAV4. It has what my good friend calls the "egg-beater" 4-cylinder engine. Nice and slow, with full safety gear.

My son has completed the classroom/parking lot portion of MasterDrive and is starting his on-road work. He drives with me all the time, and is doing pretty well.

So that chapter of automotive transition is closed. Stay tuned for a different thread.
The CTT is gone, replaced by a Toyota RAV4. It has what my good friend calls the "egg-beater" 4-cylinder engine. Nice and slow, with full safety gear.

My son has completed the classroom/parking lot portion of MasterDrive and is starting his on-road work. He drives with me all the time, and is doing pretty well.

So that chapter of automotive transition is closed. Stay tuned for a different thread.
Well my son finished his MasterDrive training, and shortly thereafter he and I threw the three dogs and his younger brother in the Sequoia and drove from Denver to Michigan. On the way back, his MasterDrive training paid for itself many times over. Here's what happened:

We are westbound about 30 minutes out of Kearney, Nebraska on I-80. It's dusk and we've already been on the road 12 hours. He took over driving in Kearney and was doing nicely, thank you very much. We begin to approach a pair of semi-trailers and he moves left to overtake. As we clear the second semi, we can both see a panel van with its flashers on, parked on the right shoulder. I'd estimate the distance to the panel van at the time we cleared the second semi at perhaps 1/4 mile. I suggest he wait to pass the stopped panel van before retreating to the right lane.

Presently we both see, at the same time, a deer laying in the left lane (yes, right in our path) even with the panel van. We're moving at ~80 miles an hour (speed limit = 75), and I'd guess we were within 150 yards when either of us saw the deer. I had no time to issue instructions, although he might have heard my sphincter slamming shut. Cool as a cucumber, he dodges right, passes the deer, and returns to his left-hand lane. My adrenaline level at that instant would have enabled me to move a small building.

As we discussed it, we figured the panel van must have hit the deer. My son's training was good enough that he didn't try to lock up the brakes and pray not to hit the deer, because I don't believe he would have made it. It was really impressive, and in retrospect that night and for the next few days I tried to figure out if I could have done better. I think not, because I think I would have braked and steered, which might have worked, but there were two semis still behind us in the right lane; I might have caused them significant problems slowing down and swerving into their lane. It would have been doubly tough because the panel van was on the right shoulder.

Now, I was effusive in my praise for his handling of that situation, but I have had subsequent discussions about the incredible variety of different situations he'll face and not to become overconfident. The good news for me is that I've seen him apply what he's learned, under pressure and without warning, and it helps me relax more when he's behind the wheel.
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Thanks for posting. Glad to hear his training has paid off. Great story.

It's paid for, is five years old, and is built like a tank.
No shopping for something "sensible, safe."


I lol'd at the second sentence. And that was a Pros, not a cons
+1 on Nitro, we went thru that with our 16 yo, he ran a stop sign with his Mom's new Cayenne, all fine however it was in the shop for 90 days. We then bought him a beater 87 bmw. He loves it and we enjoy the Cayenne.
Part of the problem is you're all too wealthy! I bought my youngest a '98 Neon when he turned 16 and gave it to him outright. I told him "it's yours. Do whatever you want with it. If you want to keep it and drive till the wheels fall off - great. If you want to save your money and trade up, that's ok too."

So far he's still driving it with no incidents other than a speeding ticket. Now he wants to trade up to a 3000GT. I said "that's fine but you'll have to pay for the additional insurance costs too."

We'll see what happens.
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