A Love Letter to the Porsche 911
A dream car for many, including myself. Let me tell you why that is.
I won't be the first to say it - I love a well put together car. If you ask around, many will tell you the pinnacle of a quality motoring experience lies within that of a Porsche. Poke around their offerings, and you will likely then find that the 911 has the most to offer, being their flagship. The 911 has been around for ages, hardly changing in essence but continuously delivering a groundbreaking experience for those searching for a soul-stirring drive. Sure, on the outside it looks pretty much the same as it did before. And before that, it also looked the same. But the point isn't to change, the point is to refine and improve, arguably this is the opposite of change from Porsche's (and the Germans in general, frankly) worldview. The 911 has a cult following, to say the least - but there are certainly plenty of critics (I'm looking at you, Jezza).
What the critics don't understand is that the 911 does not change because Porsche believes they have found the ultimate formula for the driving experience. I will admit there is plenty of subjectivity behind this, it all comes down to taste. But there is plenty to love about a rear-engined, flat-six, rear-wheel drive, stick shift experience in its most basic form. Porsche has an immense amount of heritage behind this formula. They have been doing it for decades. Take it for what it is worth, the 911 is what's up.
To those who do not understand what us gearheads mean by "the driving experience", let me begin to scratch the surface of what goes into an enjoyable one. Fundamentally, you need to be able to communicate with the car. This is why we love manual transmissions, we get a feel for the machine, we respond to the feedback it gives us. When we downshift, it speaks back to us. When we push it's limits, we feel the slip of the tires. Understeer, oversteer, tire spin, all of the little things that make us smile chalk up to a bond between a man and a car, a relationship based on communication just like a human one.
The 911, due to the ridiculous amount of engineering put into R&D, has consistently set the benchmark for what a car should feel like on the road and on the track.
The Balance of an Olympic Gymnast
Porsche does this thing that everyone loves where they give you exactly what you want. Engineering Juggernauts keeping close contact with expert PR and marketing executives design and build the car that we dream of as enthusiasts - The perfect combo of drivability and excitement with little to no compromise. You want to drive slow? 911. You want to drive fast? 911. Anywhere in between? The answer will always be the 911. You see, the flagship sports car has achieved its status by consistency. The key to winning is shattering the expectations of your audience. Quite remarkable for a car that's hardly changed over 60+ years. Historically, fun driving experiences haven't always made nice daily drivers. Supercars are hard to control, luxury cars are heavy and slow, and somewhere in between the two you often lose reliability (i.e. a Jaaaag). A nice mix of tech, comfort, sportiness, and daily-driver appeal can make for an ownership experience that will have you saying "lets go for a drive tonight".
There Exists a 911 For Literally Everyone
Currently, there are a total of 15 911 trim levels to explore, each with their own unique and individual quirks that make them interesting to the buyer. The most remarkable thing about this is that the sports car market is extremely narrow, hence the limited amount of options on most of the competition. Porsche says to hell with consolidation of their lineup, they stand for excellence and will stop at nothing to deliver exactly what customers want. As such, we have so many options to choose from. The caveat is that this comes at a hefty price. Porsche will give you what you want, but you will certainly pay for it. On top of an overcomplicated lineup of different-but-the-same models, there are a plethora of options available at an additional up-charge. You want a convertible, a coupe, or some strange thing in-between? The Targa seems to be your best bet. You want a more subtle supercar that isn't plutonium green and doesn't scream "I am an LA asshole who just recently tore down a children's hospital to make room for my patio"? Sounds like you should consider the new Turbo S. Your options are unlimited.
Credit: Motor Authority
Tin short, the 911 has competition. But most of which fail to really tug at your heart strings like the 911 does for so many of us, enthusiasts or not. Perhaps it is because Porsche spares no expense at production overhead costs, or that they charge whatever they want because they can. Whatever the case, the 911 will always be my dream car as long as I live.