Porsche 911 at 50 years. And why it is still THE car to have

The current 991 version of the Porsche 911 was an all new car from the ground up and the first real change to the model since 1999 when the first water cooled 911 arrived. The top dog of the regular 911 to date is the 911 50th anniversary car, which is the same spec as the current 2015 911 GTS. I just had to drive it and get to know it better. 

 The basic specs say rear wheel drive and 430 horsepower, 7 speed manual gearbox. 0-60 in 4 seconds, and 190 mph. But what specs excite me are just over 3000 pounds and the magic carpet ride PDDC system is in place. In fact, this car was co-ordered by myself and my best car-friend-partner Jason Smith to be the ultimate 911 50th anniversary build. Okay, it is his car for certain so he got his way with the sunroof, but I talked him into the Burmester sounds system so no one is complaining. This car is #405 of the limited production run sits in Graphite Grey with black and white retro houndstooth cloth and leather trimmed seats. It today just rolled over 4000 miles and seems perfectly broken in and beautiful.

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In short, I didn’t know anyone made a car this good. I love the prior 997 911 and this car is just better at everything. The 997 is a car that will almost force you to drive it correctly. This car asks you to get to know it and then somehow wills you to drive it correctly for a ride you won’t soon forget. Fast yes, grip for sure, handling fantastic, but the 911 like no other car you will ever drive demands respect at the same time it is rewarding. Like all 911’s braking and traction off the corner is unmatched. The 7 speed manual is so sweet it still makes me wonder why anyone would want anything else. Oh and that sport exhaust sound, like your favorite guitar Riff. The sport plus button has the car matching revs for you on the downshifts. I consider myself quite slick with a shifter as some as you know but this electronic-aid makes me sound like a 15 year old girl learning her first car. I study it and then shut it off and get back to business. One thing that does not get switched off is the PDDC. This car has the usual electronic shocks and some complicated alignment altering bushings that make the car turn in like it is on rails but the PDDC is active roll control. That is infinitely adjustable sway bars my friends. Oh, yeah! Those of us that study suspension and try to hit that sweet spot of great handling and good ride know that sway bars are a tough nut to crack. Anything stiff enough to do any real good at the limits will just beat your brains in on the street. In fact I still tune most street going cars with springs and shocks because there is so little to be gained on a dual purpose car with aftermarket sway bars. But these can become instantly super stiff at just the right moment and then relax for the transition back to straight or the other direction.  Yeah, think about those possibilities? Just amazing and a system that is a must have option on this car. Not that the limits on this car is anything you’ll be reaching on the street. Remember when you drove you first great handling car and tried to double that 20mph limit of the upcoming corner. This car is just that entire next level of competent. 60 feels like 40, 120 feels like 80. But what makes this car THE car to own? It does all this at a reasonable size and reasonable weight. Most all the other “Performance Cars” are too big, too heavy, under tired, under braked, just over powered. This car feels 100% capable and yet never over the limit on power or weight. The car goes, stops, corners, and is within complete control at all times even if you are a bit behind.

Yes, this is the car most likely owned by your hero pro-driver, and for good reason. Add to that a car that holds its value extremely well and it’s easy to see why it’s the undisputed king of the sports cars. The real question is? Why isn’t someone else building a car like this? And that Burmester sound system. It is easily the best sounding car system I have ever heard. I just keep forgetting to use it. :-)