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.
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 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.
April 5, 2013
It's about time. With the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3, the company finally got around to configuring the console shifter in the correct orientation, where you push forward to downshift. Our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet's lever (pictured above) is all bass-ackwards, a layout about which you've no doubt heard us gripe.
And now that the company offers steering wheel paddles that command downshifts with the left one and upshifts with the right one, they've got both interfaces sorted out.
March 27, 2013
Before leaving on my road trip to New York in our 2013 Porsche 911, I had to run a really boring errand. One of the suits I'll be wearing at the 2013 New York Auto Show needed to be picked up from the dry cleaners.
I figured there'd be a hook or some piece of metal somewhere in our 911 Carrera Cabriolet on which to attach the hangers. But no, the 991-generation Porsche 911 is still a driver's car, not a servant's car.
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
March 13, 2013
Last week my Mom flew into town from Vermont to spend a couple of days with me before heading down to a conference in San Diego. I hadn't thought about what car I would have in advance, and it just happened to be our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet.
As I was pulling into the airport I started questioning how smart a choice the 911 convertible was. And how much luggage my Mom would have.
February 25, 2013
Much like the exterior design of the Porsche 911, the design of the gauges hasn't changed much over the years. Porsche's designers still put the tachometer in the middle and everything else wherever its fits. It works, so why mess it up?
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."
February 13, 2013
Okay, as much as I'd prefer that our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 was equipped with the conventional manual gearbox, I have to acknowledge the brilliance of its PDK transmission. It really is the best dual-clutch gearbox in production today. Not only does it shift imperceptibly smoothly, the gear changes occur in what appears to be no time at all. These characteristics are no surprises, and they're ones we've come to expect from competent, modern dual-clutch gearboxes.
What makes PDK stand above the rest is its manners, intuitive programming and quick reflexes. Unlike many other dual-clutch 'boxes, with PDK there's no low-speed nonsense, no clunkiness, and during three-point turns it swaps between 'R' and 'D' and back right now.
February 12, 2013
Dashboards are heavily textured not simply to look good, but so that they don't reflect light. It's an easy way to avoid casting reflections on the inside of the windshield. They're also almost universally colored black for the same reason. Dashboards of race cars are 'flocked' to take this visibility-maximizing approach to the next level.
February 11, 2013
Remember when the Boxster came out and everyone complained about not being able to see the engine? Well, it's 1997 all over again. Our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 is the same way.
Hit the switch to open its engine cover and the clamshell motors upward not very far. Doesn't matter because there's not much to see or do here. Servicing the engine will at minimum require a lift and some surgery. Then again, service intervals are so long that tending to the engine itself will presumably be a rare occasion. This assumes that Porsche's recent DI engine architecture doesn't experience issues to the degree found in the earlier water-cooled flat-sixes.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
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 17, 2013
Click through for a video tour of the interior of our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera convertible. I also start it for you so you can hear it.
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