Sports Car for Towing Caravan

Jun 11, 2005
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I have reached an age where if I don't have the sports car that I have always dreamt of I will not get one but I cannot find one that its manufacturers say will tow a caravan or anything else.

A Porsche Boxster or BMW Z4 would both be heavy enough but are not recommended for towing. I have searched both Witter & Towsure lists for suitable vehicles & can't identify anything.

Surely it is not that uncommon for sports cars to tow jet skis, dingies if nothing else?

Is anybody aware of a sportcar, not a converted saloon, that is rated for towing & for which a towbar is available?
 
May 20, 2005
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I suspect the reason they are not recommended is the suspension set up for a sports car would not cope well with the caravan nose weight
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The problem is that the cost to type approve a car for towing is not inconsiderable. The car manufacturer must develop and define suitable underbody attachment points and conduct tests to establish the maximum permissible towload. All this for the relatively few vehicles that are likely to be used for towing. It just doesn't make business sense.

Besides, the relatively low ground clearance of many sports cars and the position of the exhaust system (like on the Boxster) would present a real engineering challenge for any prospective designer of a towbar.

The most likely options would be to either buy a cheap but suitable second car just for the purpose of towing or to compromise and select a convertible based on a large volume saloon car. Although convertibles often have additional underbody reinforcements to provide adequate torsional rigidity, the differences from the saloon are not so great that one can't use the same towbar attachment points.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Chris

Sports cars are usually unsuitable for towing as the gearing and torque are all wrong. For towing you need low gearing at the bottom end to cope with hill starts, and low end torque to get the whole thing moving. This is why diesels are usually best. Sports cars tend to have peak torque towards the top end of the range which is usless for towing unless you're planning on towing at way over the speed limit. If the car relies on a turbo to obtain enough torque, then this won't kick in at the speed range that you require.

I don't know how cars like the Porsche 4x4 get on, they may be suitable. But to me they look like a cross breed that's more of a fashion accessory than a functional vehicle.

As Lutz suggests, I'd buy a second car if I were you. Or possibly find a hire company that rents out towing vehicles.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Chris. Some little while ago I was at Sandford Park in Dorset and on the next pitch was a Triumph Stag towing a four bearth ABI. God was I a "little" envious. I have always admired the Stag and with it towing a caravan I thought it was a fantastic combination. My second love from caravaning is classic post war British vehicles. Why not look at the Stag or an alternative classic as a tow car, you may be able to kill two birds with one stone. Any way I hope you find what you are looking for and good luck. I will be quite envious of you if you do suceed.
 
Jun 11, 2005
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Hello everyone & thanks for the input.

I am sure what has been said about type approval is true & that is why I asked the question.

I have known of many historical/ classic sports cars over the years. I well remember a Jensen Interceptor & a Sprite caravan - an Alpine I think! I was following it solo up a hill & it left me until we got to the road along the top. His power to weight ratio was better than mine even when he had a caravan & I was solo. I have also renently seen an Alvis and remember a Daimler SP250 (Dart) towing a caravan and as you say Stags etc.

I recognise the problems of the central exhaust etc on the Porsche but used that as an example. I really do not want two cars but do want a sports car that would be reliable for long journeys. I also want the dream car to be with us on holiday! I know the limits of low cars having towed with a 2.8 Capri - they don't get much lower or have stiffer suspension. Unfortunately a converted saloon just doesn't do it for me. Kids of my generation loved their Cobras, 911's, Morgans +8, TR6's, Corvette soft tops etc & I am sure that is the basis of my mid life crisis!!!!. A 3 series BMW convertible/ Saab/ Impreza just isn't the same whilst a Z4/ SLK might be and some Porsche & TVR's definitely are.

I am just wondering about a 911 which has been in production for many years - long before type approval - although it has changed a lot & many times durimg all those years.

Just to prove that I am totally nuts I currently tow with a Volvo 245 estate that we needed & purchased new in 1990 & which after approaching 16 years I am now rather bored with. I really don't want to buy more grey porridge & cannot find anything in the saloon / 4x4 category under
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Chris, forget the idea of towing with a sports car and get one for weekend fun. I did that 2 years ago and bought a Caterham 7, a real sports car that is fantastic fun on twisty roads!
 
Jun 11, 2005
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Dusty,

Yes that certainly has the smile factor. Pity I couldn't take it with the van to drive round the Swiss Alps etc. Actually at 6ft3ins slightly generously padded & with a less than perfect back it isn't ideal for me but I applaud your taste.

If I was going for fun car I fancy a mid 90's V8 TVR Griffith. Lovely engine note, plenty of room, & TreVoR Wilkinson - founder of TVR - was my godfather so a family connection even if now Russian owned. Despite what the records say my mother was the first person to drive a TVR when she was towed in the first one to the local airfield for testing.

I really am amazed that no sports car manufacturer thinks that dingies, jet skis etc etc- or even caravans - are of interest to their customers.

Chris.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Chris, one solution to your problem would be to buy a motorhome and tow your sports car on a trailer. You could then combine the joys of caravaning with the joys of a sports car in the Alps.

You could even take a tent with you afterall when camping on the continent you only really need the tent to sleep in!
 

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