June 18, 2013
Porsche's 911 lacks even a single steering wheel button. This, I'd wager, is a choice. Possibly Porsche knows that a steering wheel's function is so fundamental to what happens while driving that cluttering it up with a bunch of buttons is something it refuses to do.
June 17, 2013
The presence of LATCH fasteners in our Porsche 911's back seats (I use the term loosely) means somebody thinks it's possible to put a child seat back there.
Here's the reality...
June 12, 2013
I'm not really a convertible kind of guy. I don't like roasting in the sun, I'd rather not have the wind in my hair, and the noise on highways gets old quickly. Now, I do appreciate the top-down experience more in cooler months when I can bundle up, throw on a hat and enjoy the car at slower speeds on a scenic and/or twisty road. There is certainly a more engaging experience one enjoys. Unfortunately, my wife takes little joy at any time of the year. She doesn't tolerate the cold and I certainly understand why she might not relish having long hair constantly whipping about her face. Put together, we are not ideal candidates for a lengthy drive in a convertible.
Nevertheless, the Porsche 911 Cabriolet turns out to be an exception.
June 10, 2013
There have been a few times now when I've gotten out of our 2013 Porsche 911 after driving it and found myself saying out loud (to myself, but hey, nobody else was around), "Man, this car is cool."
June 7, 2013
If you remember, Beverly Hills Porsche told us the cause of the check engine light on our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet was a faulty tank leakage diagnostics module. Apparently this has been an all-too-common problem on the 991 generation.
June 6, 2013
Porsche can make a damn fine sports car, but when it comes to cupholders, it doesn't waste much time on them. The fold out contraptions used in the 911 are marginal at best, so they don't stand a chance against the monstrous Styrofoam cups used at a local teriyaki bowl stand I splurge on every once in a while.
June 5, 2013
Whenever I drive our 2013 911 Carrera I'm always struck by how well Porsche's engineers sweat the details. It's evident throughout the cabin and it almost makes it feel like it's worth over $100,000.
June 3, 2013
Now that our Porsche 911 has settled back into daily driver duty after its cross country trip, its mileage has suffered a bit. Its overall mileage number dropped from 22.8 to 22.4 after several tanks of, uh, let's call it aggressive driving.
May 31, 2013
On a recent weekend morning I was out driving our long-term 2013 Porsche 911. It was a beautiful day. Sunny, 76 degrees and pretty blue sky and clouds. Ideal, you might say, for a convertible sports car such as our 911.
May 30, 2013
If you're fortunate enough to have a 2013 Porsche 911 at your disposal, I suspect you'll always been on the lookout for extra opportunities to drive it. Maybe your household needs some milk, or a drug prescription picked up. Exciting or mundane, it doesn't matter. All you need is an excuse.
May 29, 2013
A friend of mine owns an older 911, a 1983 911 SC. Curious to get his thoughts on our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 and 30 years of 911 progress, I suggested we go to lunch.
May 24, 2013
Cross country in a 911? Erin Riches and I did it around the time of the 2013 New York Auto Show in our Long-Term 2013 Porsche Carrera Cabriolet.
May 24, 2013
All right, so this is a lousy photo to illustrate my point, but you've seen a 911 before. You know what its hips look like. When we think of curves, we think Italian or maybe Jaguar (pound for pound, does anyone bend sheet metal better than Jaguar?).
May 23, 2013
For a car that's has so much history behind it, it's inevitable that car enthusiasts are going to have preconceived notions about the Porsche 911. From some of the comments we've read or heard, it seems our long-term 911 is seen as a "lesser" car by a few people.
It's the base model, not the high-output S, they say. It has the automated PDK transmission, not a traditional manual. It's a convertible. It's got the big, flashy 20-inch wheels.
This is the 911 you assume smarmy Hollywood agents buy simply because it's a "Porsch."
Maybe those agents do just that. But if you were to drive our 911, you'd realize that it still has more pure sports car genes in it than just about any other competitor.
May 22, 2013
Our 2013 Porsche 911 has driven through freezing temperatures, ice and snow, thanks to its trip to New York. Now, a couple of months later, you can add "forest fire!" to its check-off bucket list.
Actually, it was more of a 4,100-acre wildfire that I encountered about 80 miles north of Edmunds' Santa Monica, CA, office. There was no imminent danger to motorists at the time, but it made for some very interesting scenery.
May 20, 2013
As you've read before, finding the correct tire pressures for our 2013 Porsche 911 is no easy task.
We're currently running our tires at 31 psi front and 34 psi rear according to the "comfort, part load" specifications. In conversations with Porsche, they suggested that we use this tire pressure for our testing as well as it should give us the best results.
We could take their word. Or we could try it out for ourselves.
May 17, 2013
I took our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet to our friends at Beverly Hills Porsche. And like some kind of automotive Dr. House, assistant service manager Erik rendered a probable diagnosis without even looking at the car.
May 17, 2013
Takahashi noted it first, and although I always hope for spontaneous remission of car problems, there has been no self-healing here. The "check engine" light in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet continues, in its very correct German way, to covey both information and blame.
May 16, 2013
So here's a check engine warning that popped up in our long-term Porsche 911 when I started it up this morning. The 911 ran just fine on the drive into the office, so hopefully it's nothing major. Stay tuned.
May 15, 2013
Before Erin and I shuttled our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet cross-country, we took it to the track for our usual instrumented testing.
And for fun, we decided to compare it against a more powerful 991 911, a 2012 Porsche Carrera S Cabriolet.
May 15, 2013
Most hardcore sports car fans would call the rear seats in the Porsche 911 useless. And they would be right to a large degree. You can't fit adults in them and even kids need to be small to wedge in there for any length of time.
May 14, 2013
As you can see, there's not much sidewall to the tires on our Porsche 911. A set of 20-inch wheels doesn't leave much room for such extravagances. The result is a slightly jarring ride depending on what you consider jarring.
Personally, I think our 911 rides exceptionally well given its combination of paper thin sidewall and firm suspension. It's an easy everyday driver, even on the beat-up, concrete highways here in Southern California.
May 13, 2013
Our long-term 2013 Porsche 911's braking ability is outstanding in virtually every way. But there's that word: virtually. The one thing that could be better is the way our car approaches a halt in that tiny window of time just prior to when the tires stop rolling. Ideally you want a jolt-free stop, a result that comes from easing off the brake pedal ever so gently just as the car stops. The car then seamlessly transitions between rolling and stopping. In the trade this graceful halt is described as a "limousine stop."
May 10, 2013
This is nothing but nitpicking, but sometimes a car in this price range deserves it. I'm a little annoyed by the side mirrors on our Porsche 911, mainly because the bottom half of each mirror is covered in a big hunk of black plastic.
May 9, 2013
Both Erin and Mike said the frunk in our Porsche 911 Cabriolet held their carry-on bags but not much else. They had to use the interior for extra cargo space.
May 8, 2013
Before my cross-country drive in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, I read through our long-term posts to see what I was getting myself into. One thing that stood out was a post by Erin, who was taking the car to NY for me, and addressed the Porsche's lack of garment hangers.
May 7, 2013
After our cross-country road trip the Pirelli SottoZeros were still showing good tread and hadn't suffered much wear over the past 6,500 miles. Still, we'd had enough with driving on winter tires. They were darned good when the weather got cold or when we hit bad weather, but the summer tires we had on our stock 20-inch wheels just grip so much better.
Mark and I took the car down to our shop, threw it up on our Rotary Lift and swapped the wheels in about ten minutes. (And for those looking closely, yes, I forgot to bring the center caps and had to install them back at the office. That took another 45 seconds.)
I still think the 19s look better. We're considering getting a set of summer tires for these wheels as well. What say you?
May 6, 2013
At the tail end of the road trip, our 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet declared that it needed service.
This wasn't an unexpected warning as we knew full well that the 911 requires a service at 10,000 miles and another one at 20,000 miles. We're not going to argue with a 10,000-mile service interval.
So, I got back to L.A., washed the car a few times and then called Beverly Hills Porsche, our closest dealership, to set up an appointment.
May 3, 2013
Between Erin and me, we drove our long-term 2013 Porsche 911Carrera Cabriolet from L.A. to New York to Maine and then back to Los Angeles. We covered 6,608.6 miles in less than two weeks and hit exactly zero car washes.
At the end of the 7,000+-mile Road Trip to Alaska in our Jag, the car looked like it had survived Superstorm Sandy after being fished out of the Hudson. This is why people hate black cars.
After 6,600 miles in the Porsche...it actually looked okay. Even the winter-spec tires weren't showing any wear from the days-upon-days of high-temp highway running.
The slippery Porsche shunned any real bug splatter and the light greyish color really hid the road grime. The only time you'd notice it was if you happened to touch the paint. Oh, the wheels were also a mess; had to hit them with $5 worth of that highly caustic (probably) green stuff from the self-wash just to make them presentable.
It took three carwashes to get it back to normal. Next stop: Porsche Service.
May 2, 2013
With the last few tanks of our cross-country road trip figured in, our 2013 Porsche 911 has now bumped its lifetime fuel economy number up another notch. Unlike last month, however, this time it was a mere tenth of a mile per gallon, from 22.7 to 22.8.
April 30, 2013
To be fair, I didn't know we were competing on fuel economy until I read Erin's post after I'd gotten home. I didn't know I was supposed to be trying for fuel economy.
I just knew this was a Porsche and that, after the first day's error, my radar detector was working very well.
April 29, 2013
Day 3 started off much like day 2 of my leg of the cross-country road trip in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: I woke up long before my alarm clock was set to go off and I was feeling good. By day 3 of me and Kurt's road trip to Anchorage I contemplated faking a seizure so that I wouldn't legally be allowed to drive home.
I hopped into the Porsche that third morning like it was my first time driving one. The car and I were ready to go.
April 26, 2013
In the last post, our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet was in a parking lot somewhere in Colorado with almost 9,200 miles on the odometer.
April 25, 2013
This maintenance minder popped up somewhere in Colorado letting me know that our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet was due for its first service in 900 miles.
Sorry, buddy. We're just over 1,000 miles from home and I'm not stopping early for an oil change.
April 24, 2013
I am the polar opposite of Erin Riches. She plans things like road trips very thoroughly. She looks at maps, sets goals and hits them. I sort of assume I'm supposed to be heading roughly west and figure out the rest on the fly. So when managed 1,016 miles on day 1, I was pleasantly surprised.
When I sat down to dinner that night, I texted Kurt and asked if we'd ever done a 1,000-mile day during our Jaguar XF Supercharged Road Trip to Alaska. He confirmed that we hadn't, I blamed the slow photographer.
Not only did I feel smug at my small accomplishment. I felt great. I was awake, alert, and had absolutely zero butt/back/leg/hip/whatever pain from sitting in a car for 14-ish hours.
It's almost like they design these things for endurance racing.
April 23, 2013
There are good ways to start a road trip and there are not so good ways.
I spent the night in Cambridge, MA before leaving on my route back to Los Angeles in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. The apartment was 2ish miles from the Mass Pike and had ample, safe street parking. Perfect.
Except that there's an invisible line somewhere on this street that separates the towns of Cambridge and Somerville and, with my Cambridge parking permit, I was on the wrong side of that line in the mist.
I loaded my luggage into the frunk and, as my carry-on is exactly the same size as Erin's, it fit exactly the same with no room for my briefcase. I set that down on the curb, took pictures of every street sign within 200 feet (none said Somerville, two said Cambridge), got back in the car, set the nav and started my 2,995-mile drive.
I thought the trip was starting out on only one bad note. You, dear reader, via reading it a week after it happened, have noticed that the trip actually started out on two bad notes.
April 22, 2013
The danger of showing up, unannounced, to your mother's house on her birthday with a shiny new 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet is that she may think it's a surprise gift.
Good thing she knows I'm a journalist.
Still, the six-hour drive to northern Massachusetts was worth it. She hadn't seen her only child in quite a while, and I hadn't terrified her via a car with launch control in, like, ever.
I told her I'd take her to lunch. A spot up by Kittery. I told her we could put the top down and take the coast up.
I failed to mention what 350 horsepower in a Porsche was actually like.
April 19, 2013
I'm still not sure if it was worth it. Jacobs and I got the shot, but it cost me a safe exit from Manhattan. Traffic getting off of that island, if you hadn't heard, is a bit of a nightmare, especially if you're heading north into the 'burbs of Connecticut.
That's right. I was going north. Instead of simply heading back to L.A., I was taking a bit of a detour. My Mom's birthday fell on day 2 of the 2013 New York International Auto Show and, well, it's only a 4-hour drive...
April 18, 2013
If I needed any more conclusive evidence that New York is not the same as Los Angeles, I got it at the valet counter at Erin's Hotel. High-end valets in L.A. understand the needs of a driver with a valeted car and can grasp the concept of a car being dropped off by one party and picked up by another.
In NYC, you have to wait 25-30 minutes for them to retrieve your vehicle from some rat-infested subterranean nightmare and the fact that I had the valet ticket only convinced the hotel that I'd murdered the fair Mrs. Riches and was planning to flee with her Porsche.
Hey, at least they graciously offered to let me stand in their lobby while they tried to figure it all out.
I didn't really have time for the wait, though. This was day 2 of the 2013 New York International Auto Show, I'd already covered a few cars and had to get this car quick; me and Scott Jacobs had a date with Times Square.
April 17, 2013
So our long-term 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet made it from L.A. to New York. But that was only the first half of the road trip. I've turned the keys over to Mike Magrath for a second half. He's not taking the same route, of course. And he'll probably put the top down no matter how cold it is.
It goes without saying that we're competing on fuel economy. It's not just about logging the highest overall average mpg, either. It's about who gets the best mpg on a single tank, worst mpg on a single tank, and the most miles on a single tank. There's also the matter of who spends the most money on premium fuel.
Check my totals after the jump. These are the numbers Magrath has to beat.
April 16, 2013
For the last three days, I've been getting supportive emails and texts from my coworkers. "Don't be foolish," some of them begin, "just park the Porsche and somebody will come get it." But even during my worst hour, I know I'm going to complete the drive to New York somehow. And after stopping in Indiana last night, that goal is finally in sight.
First, though, the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and I will take in more of Interstate 70, plus I-76 (better known as the Pennsylvania Turnpike) and I-78. It's an experience I won't soon forget.
April 15, 2013
Two nights and a day after my road trip in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet stalls out in Kansas (due to a mechanical problem with the driver, not the car), the Porsche and I are back on the road to New York. Of course, now the goal is to get to Manhattan in time for the second press day of the 2013 New York Auto Show. There won't be time to explore any crazy back roads or tour the battlefield at Gettysburg as I'd planned.
I'm just going to have to be content with the 911's entertainment value when it's pointed straight down Interstate 70 (and then 76, 78 and every other numbing Northeast artery that comes after that). The PDK seven-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission makes this pretty easy.
April 12, 2013
If you read the last installment of our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet's journey to New York, then you noticed it hit 5,000 miles. Here's where it happened. I can't remember the name of this exit off Interstate 70. This road runs both north and south of the highway, and there's not a lick of pavement. Not many cars look this good on a desolate dirt road. My weather app told me that we were in Ruleton, Kansas. I think it was about 30 degrees.
The wind gusts were considerable when I popped out of the car for a quick shot in the evening light. I didn't linger, either, lest I get run over by a tractor or a steer. In any case, the 911 remained in tip-top health when it passed this milestone.
So far, I've seen only one other 911 on this road trip: It was a 996 Turbo convertible, and I spotted it, where else, just outside of Vegas. I suppose it's the weather that's keeping all the Porsche 911 owners off the road, but really, with a set of snow tires, the 991 generation at least is quite hardy.
April 11, 2013
After a really long day and night behind the wheel of our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, I've arrived late at my motel in Salida, Colorado, a beautiful little mountain town at the bottom of the Monarch Pass.
Also, for those who have expressed misgivings about the wisdom of parking a 991-generation Porsche 911 at a Super 8: I've stayed in a fair amount of Super 8s over the years, and this one might be the best. It's freshly renovated, and my room is very tidy and decorated with photographs of the local mountains. I'd stay here again.
As predicted, I oversleep and miss breakfast. It's a sunny morning and much of the snow in the lot has melted, though honestly, I don't see how, as it's not even 20 degrees when I step outside. The motel is right there on U.S. 50 (or Rainbow Boulevard within the town limits), so after refueling I just continue east. The highest mountains are behind me, but there's still plenty of alpine scenery and it turns out the highway runs parallel to the meandering Arkansas River all the way until the latter empties into a reservoir in Pueblo.
The plows cleared most of U.S. 50 overnight, and the few remaining slippery spots are no big deal for our Porsche, thanks to its Pirelli snow tires. The ride is also quite respectable (not exactly compliant, but tolerably comfortable) for a sports car with the 19-inch wheel/tire package. If I bought a 911 and still lived in Southern California, I'd special-order a car with the 19s rather than buying one with 20s right off the lot. I'm older now. Ride quality matters to me.
April 10, 2013
If you didn't read Part 1 of this 2013 Porsche 911 Goes to New York series, let me catch you up: It is 8:49 p.m. mountain time and I am 568 miles into a 973-mile drive from L.A. to Salida, Colorado. I'm in eastern Utah and I'm convinced that the 911's 3:10 a.m. (adjusted for mountain time) arrival estimate is way off. At least that's what I tell myself.
Eventually, I arrive in Grand Junction, Colorado, and exit Interstate 70 in favor of the far more scenic U.S. Highway 50. I know it's very scenic, because I've read about this highway, and occasionally during this drive, I catch sight of some really tall snow-covered mountains when the moon hits them just right. I can't believe how many Fourteeners this state has. In California, we have five (my favorite being Mt. Shasta). In Colorado, they have 25. The reality, though, is that it is completely dark, and I totally miss out on some cathartic moments as I'm unable to take in the magnificence. (Already I'm lobbying my spouse for a road trip on U.S. 50 this summer. He'll come around.)
Also, it doesn't take long to understand why the Porsche's nav system has decided it will take me so long to get to Salida. First, there are a lot of speed traps. Getting through Grand Junction alone takes at least a half hour, as U.S. 50 is a major surface street here, and littered with traffic lights and low speed limits. It's maddening for the hurried traveler (tip: don't be in a hurry). Second, within an hour or two, I'm aware that we're gaining elevation. It has started to snow and the temperature is dropping fast.
April 9, 2013
Days ago, I told you the long-term 2013 Porsche 911 and I were on the road to Midtown Manhattan for the 2013 New York Auto Show. Well, we made it there. Although, as with most road trips, a few things didn't go according to plan. But the Porsche is alive and well, and if you follow @Mike_Magrath on Twitter, you also know that it escaped the city and went on to have more adventures on the journey back to the West Coast.
Now, we bring you the story of the 6,000-mile road trip in our 991-generation 911 Carrera Cabriolet. I'll tell the first half. Mike Magrath will tell the second half. At the end, we'll total up the miles, gallons, mpg and dollars spent on premium fuel, and ask you to vote on which editor you'd rather ride with on a cross-country road trip. Kidding. But I guarantee you will like one of us less after you read about this trip.
Here's how it started.
April 8, 2013
That's right, I took my dog Mya for a ride in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. Every Sunday we go over to my brother's house to watch Walking Dead and, naturally, Mya has to come with us. But unfortunately for her we had the Porsche for the weekend. This would be her first time ever in a convertible.
And because of its low roof and her big head we decided to drive there with the top down. Fortunately, it was a fairly warm night so we were comfortable. The only one who didn't seem comfortable was Mya. Hit the jump to see a Vine video of how that looked.