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It's the Alfred Hitchcock of sportscars. Cast it in silhouette, and the Porsche 911 still stands out as an instantly recognizable shape--albeit, one that's a lot more confidence-inspiring than frightening.
The 911 has never been as good as it is today. There's a power level, a top speed, a body style and a level of luxury for any driver with at least $75,000 in the budget. You'll spend twice that for the Turbo, and more for the very limited editions and the race cars among the street-friendlier 911s, but amazing acceleration, grip and maybe the best steering of any car, period, are the Porsche's stock and trade. From the bottom up.
It's all but a two-seater, and it hasn't been rated for safety scores beyond years of Autobahn lessons learned. And even with its limited utility, the 911 dazzles. The seats are good seats, not stripped-down perches. The carpet's plush, the leather rich--and the headroom soars, even if the luggage room is pinched down to a weekend bag's worth under the front hood, and maybe a couple more in the back "seats."
Porsche tempts with a choice of turbo and nonturbo flat-six engines; dual-clutch and manual transmissions; and rear- or all-wheel drive. Some days, we'd opt for a Cabriolet with the PDK; other times, a Turbo coupe with the six-speed manual is the only thing that will do. No matter what flavor, it's a strong one. It's the car the XKR, the ZR1 and the R8 V-10 might be one day, when they grow up and get some patina.