Porsche 911 Carerra S Coupe
Can the 911 be used as a family car?
Dr Sues once famously wrote ‘I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them Sam I am’. If you had asked me a month or so ago what I thought about the Porsche 911, I would have responded ‘I do not like them, Sam I am’.
But I thought the legendary marque deserved at least a passing glance from me; so for the sake of Sam, I tried it.
I test drove the Porsche 911 Carerra S Coupe in 2015, which has an on the road price of $AUD265,500 before you add anything from the extensive options list, with some very extensive pricing.
The level of customisation available on the 911 range is staggering, they say it can take eight hours to customise your Ferrari and I think it would be equally time consuming to customise your 911. The Porsche website provides a brilliant online configurator to enable you to mix and match until your heart is content and your wallet is empty.
For example the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes cost $AUD19,900, a custom coloured paint will set you back $AUD9,490, but thankfully metallic paint colours are a no cost option. On the interior you can have sports bucket seats with memory for $AUD8,590 or a full leather interior for $AUD9,630. Suffice to say there are that many options to choose from I doubt whether there are two identical 911s on the road in Australia.
They call the two seats on the back of the 911 ‘emergency seats’. I guess for when you have to ferry your drunk mates home, as this is all they could be considered good for. There is only a small amount of leg room, if the front seats are brought forward and the padding on the seats is what can only be called ‘minimalist’. The seats would become very uncomfortable, very quickly.
However from a car-nut- with-small-children perspective, this lack of space and padding is not a problem due to the fact that the little darlings would be sitting in their own car seats. So yes the 911 could easily be used by a family with two children under the age seven as an everyday car.
One downside would be having to rangle the little darlings in and out of the back seat through the front doors and when you're inevitably running late for everything, this may get a bit annoying.
The level of creature comforts and materials on the inside of the 911 are nothing to write home about for a $AUD250,000 plus car. But after chatting to the Sales Rep it became clear to me what you are actually paying for here.
It’s a road car that can be driven on the track, basically whenever the need takes your fancy and your hip-pocket can afford it. The User Manual provides information for the owner on how to set up their car for the track and track work does not impact on the warranty. Even more amazing is the fact that the factory warranty can be extended up to nine years!
The conditions of this are not onerous, simply keep your Porsche up to date with the service schedule for the nine year period and once the standard warranty expires, you pay $AUD1,850 per year and the factory warranty can be extended. This can also be transferred to new owners should you part with your beloved 911.
The service costs are not excessive considering the 911 is a performance car. The service schedule is every year or 15,000km and follows the pattern of minor, medium, minor and major, which is repeated for the life of the car. The costs in Australia are approximately $AUD695, $AUD1,100, $AUD695 and $AUD2,000 respectively.
I have also talked to an independent transmission repairer who said that the PDK gearbox in the Porsche is the best on the market and bullet proof. The PDK is a $AUD7,950 option on the 911 and it would be the first box that I would tick.
My time with the Porsche 911 Carerra S was brief and in an urban area, so I did not have the opportunity to really open her up. But even at normal speeds you can appreciate the engineering under the car. They have been refining this package for more than 40 years and you can tell. I can honestly say, ‘I do like green eggs and ham! Thank you, thank you, Sam-I-am!’