- Thrilling acceleration, Turbo or no
- Flat-out brilliant dynamics
- A lifetime's worth of brand recognition
- Never better as a daily driver
- Some switches might as well be marked ?
- Rear seats are nearly nonexistent
- Luggage space is limited
- Also fast in the $0-$100,000 sprint
You'll be dazzled by the 2011 Porsche 911's unending driving joy, and maybe stunned by its passenger comfort and even its fuel economy.
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.