How nice is it to have your early morning gasoline shot? We took a roadtrip in a Swiss pass with three very different cars. That's how it looked like.
There's a real myth around Swiss passes. I have lived in Switzerland all my life, and when going abroad, people always used to make fun of this tiny country. People tend to think it is all about banks, chocolate and watches. Indeed, but real petrolheads know it, you can find pretty damn amazing roads.
A while ago, we took three very different sports cars for a morning trip in the Jura mountains.
6.00AM... I am waking up. I go by the window and pull the curtains. Switzerland is still sleeping, and the darkness is about to break any minute. I get ready, take the keys, and run out. Here, in the garage, I find myself in front of the car that will take me through the windy roads. A black 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera. One of the best driver's car. From my point of view, the perfect car for the job.
6.30AM...I reach the meeting point with my two friends. I park the 993 between a Renault Megane RS, and a Porsche Cayman GTS. Two mighty but also very different sports cars. The Megane RS is one of the best hot hatches around, with its amazing chassis. On the other side we have the Cayman which is now a handling benchmark. And being a GTS, it emphasises on this aspect even more.
The very eclectic trio.
So, which one would you take?
They smoke their last cigarette, make a few jokes, eat their croissant, and we start our engines. I am the one who knows the road, so I lead the pack. As expected, I manage to get lost. Of course the lads make fun of my sense of orientation. I discreetly start the GPS, and in the end, we manage to find the right road. And what a road. The perfect road.
It's all about these twisty mountain routes with no other cars around. We just wish that it was a bit longer. It's on road like these that you take full notice of whether or not your car has a high-performing chassis. The Renault Megane RS simply feels like it was made for this trip. It is a car that you can really push to the limit. The car is so stable that one would think it is impossible to crash it. Obviously, we will experience a bit of understeer every now and then. But the car will go wherever you point the front wheels. And that is truly exceptional. Additionally, it went against two Porsches, and all we can say is that it was not slow at all.
So the Frenchy went against another monster of chassis perfection: The Porsche Cayman GTS. As some may know, GTS is the model that seats between GT models on daily use ones. So you get stiffer suspensions, slightly more power, and better aerodynamics. You may say that this is an all different level. Another category. Fair enough. But this is not a test, it is about getting the best driving experience. So here we are talking about the Cayman. Let's start by saying that it is one hell of a fast car. And a very noisy as well. This car is the most compact you can find in the Porsche range. The actual 911 would actually be nearly too big for such roads. The engine is placed in the ideal position: At the center. It offers the car a better equilibrium, and, therefore, better handling. So should I choose between the RS and the GTS? No. There are too different. But they have the same driving philosophy.
Concerning the car I chose, the 993. I will say that, in my point of view, it is the car to get for such a road trip. It is fast (not as much as the RS and the GTS, but still...), you really feel connected to the machine and the asphalt. The noise and the sensations you get out of it are simply out of this world. You get the typical deep flat six engine noise, the legendary handling of the 911, and the looks of a future classic. And that's probably the down side of this car. Prices have risen so much that we fear for it to become simple speculation. But till then, let's enjoy it in mountain passes.
So we drove for about two hours. Going up and down, left and right. Slowly, the sun was rising, and other cars were driving on the roads. It is already 12. We stop in a restaurant at the top of the road, and order a well deserved coffee. Here we are, sitting in front of each other, talking about cars, our cars, the mistakes, the hero moments. In the end, that's why we all do it for.
Just to get a sense of how Swiss passes look like..
I would like to sincerely thank my good friends A.R. & J.A. for their patience & pleasantness during this shooting.