Today, November 28th 2018, Porsche unveiled the latest version of the iconic 911, the 911 GT2 RS Clubsport. In doing so it reminded me of the opportunity I had earlier in the year to try the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS.
First some history, the Porsche 911 was first introduced in 1963 and has remained in production ever since. Over the years it’s undergone refinement and development, most radically in 1998 with the introduction of a water cooled engine. It’s available today with either a fixed roof, targa top or cabriolet with two or four wheel drive, and options of a manual transmission or what they refer to as Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) – that’s auto to everyone else. In regards to performance, the latest Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport sends 700bhp to the rear 265/30ZR rubber, in contrast the 1963 version had to make do with 130bhp.
Given its longevity it’s no surprise that its one of the most recognised sports cars across the globe and arguably the most successful. In its lifetime its been rallied and raced in just about every category imaginable. From circuit endurance races such as the Le Mans 24 hours to off road extravagances like the Paris-Dakar rally. As much at home on the twists of the scenic Col de Turini, as the flat tarmac of the car park de Tesco.
But this is Millbrook’s proving ground and its my turn to drive one. Having the great Richard Attwood, Le Mans winner and ex-F1 driver in the passenger seat was little daunting. The 911 has four seats but in reality it’s a 2+2 and a drivers car at that. Ensconced in the supportive sports seat the pedals are slightly offset. Firing up the flat 6 and letting the 450 horses warm up, the sounds and vibrations are just right. Into gear and off. And this is where a little bit of 911 soul gets through. Yes it’s fast, yes it’s firm on the suspension, and yes it turns in beautifully. But it’s the combination of how it does everything that makes it standout. After so many years of technical and mechanical development and evolution you’d expect that.
But for a driver there’s nothing like it, and I can well believe that’s why it’s held its place in so many hearts for so long. Cruising at the ton around the noisy and undulating bowl conversation was effortless. I have to confess at not being a 911 (or what ever they’re really numbered 998 and such like), aficionado but. Now having driven one I can see how they grow on you. Yes the interior layout could be better, but it’s the drive that counts. Nothing else is quite the same and I’m sure that if you’ve owned one it stays special.