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 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.
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 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 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 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 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.
March 22, 2013
Instead, I'm driving the route above. All the way to New York. I'm leaving this very morning (yes, Saturday) and I have to be in Midtown Manhattan by Tuesday afternoon for the start of the 2013 New York Auto Show press days.
March 21, 2013
My friend and gym companion Doctor Mike is a big fan of the Porsche 911. As in 6-feet, 7-inches tall, 270 pounds big. And as much as he loves the 911, the car has never been commodious enough for someone his size.
When I had our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet last night, I flipped the key to Mike so he could try it on for size it while I put some miles on the elliptical trainer. He came back all smiles. By lowering the seat completely, letting it travel back as far as it would go and setting the proper angle of recline, Mike fit nicely in the car. Even with the top up, he had plenty of head room. Kudos to Porsche for ensuring that it's not just compact, whippet-thin people who get all the driving fun.
Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @ 3,470 miles
February 15, 2013
When we were buying our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 many members of our editorial staff were passionate about the steering wheel. "Scott, whatever you do don't get a car with the standard wheel with those weird shift buttons," they told me several times. "Make sure we get the SportDesign steering wheel with the real paddle shifters."
January 23, 2013
This past weekend my family used our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 more like a minivan than a supercar. There were no Autobahn-style top speed runs, no hardcore blasts through Malibu's twisting mountain roads, no tire smoking powerslides and not one Saturday night top down cruise on the Sunset Strip.
It did, however, take us to the Honda Center in Anaheim to see How to Train Your Dragon. It also took us to my daughter's basketball game, out for fro yo, to the pet food store, to the movies, to Home Depot and, wait for it, to Staples for some new printer ink cartridges.
Turns out my daughters (aged nine and seven) fit snugly in the Porsche's backseat. And it turns out that every other mom and dad at the basketball game wishes they too had a 911 Cabriolet. No shock there. In the sea of crossovers, SUVs and minivans, the 911 stood out like Kate Upton at an Oldham family reunion.
There was the occasional complaint about space from my girls, but they couldn't have been too uncomfortable as they both fell asleep back there on the way home from Dragon. For the record, they also whined about the lack of cupholders in the back.
Since the 1960s the Porsche 911 has been an everyday supercar. It still is. Such a family weekend would have been impossible in a Chevy Corvette, an Audi R8 or a dozen other two-seater sexmobiles. But in the 911 it's not only possible, it's the point.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 865 miles
January 18, 2013
The long-term road test on our 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet started off on a sour note. I was the one to break the news that our car had terrible ride quality, but it was the buzz of the office.
We placed the blame entirely on the optional 20-inch wheels. Sidewall, after all, is your friend. But after my long-term update and (our Editor in Chief complained about the issue on Twitter) we found out that there may have been another culprit: Our tire pressure.
January 10, 2013
After my first jaunt in the new 911, I'm a bit torn. I really wanted a manual transmission, but after driving our PDK-equipped convertible I can't complain. That crazy mess of clutches and gears is magical. I've never driven an "automatic" this smart. It not only picks the right gear at the right time, it serves it up in seconds.
As far as the ride goes, it is on the stiff side. Sure, it's a sports car and all, but I just drove a Corvette ZR1 not too long ago that pulled over 1.0g on the skidpad and delivered a plush ride on the highway, too.
Speaking of Corvettes, I noticed that the shape of the seats in our 911 isn't all that different than those found in the current Corvette. Funny then, that the Porsche's seats are supremely comfortable and supportive while the Chevy's chairs are a blubbery mess. It's all in the details I guess.
Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 361 miles
January 8, 2013
We just added a new, 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet to our long-term test fleet and I thought I'd start things off on the right foot: with a complaint.
We're going to have 12 months to drool over our new toy, so let's just get this out of the way right now. The 20-inch Carrera Classic wheels that were optional on our 911 are terrible.
There's one subjective and two objective reasons for this. Let's start with objective.
1.) The ride is harsh. Not quite Nissan GT-R harsh, but certainly not a ride that inspires trans-continental travel. Sidewall would make this better. I'd happily give up whatever roll stiffness you get with these tiny sidewalls for the shock-absorbing power of some big, meaty rubber.
2.) The brakes on the non-S model 991 911 are pretty small coming in at 13.4 and 13 inches front/rear and the giant 20-inch wheels make them look even smaller. It's just not cool.
Finally, the subjective reason: 20s are too big for sports cars. I don't like unnecessary flash and I'm even a little bummed that the smallest wheel you can get on a 991 911 is a 19x8.5. You could get 18s on the 997. I wonder if they'd still fit...