2013 Porsche 911: Dancing on Mulholland
March 25, 2013
The fact that we bought a standard Porsche 911 convertible with an automatic transmission and heavy 20-inch wheels has caused a few of my hardcore pals to snicker at its girliness. They, of course, tell me we should have bought a 911 S Coupe with three pedals. You know, the "manly version" of Porsche's signature sports car.
A quick blast on the Mulholland Hwy., however, the most famous mountain road in the world, shuts them right up.
You see, our "girly" Porsche 911 is still stupid fast in the hills. In fact, it's faster in the hills than 99% of my friends are able to drive it. And it'll go faster than any of us should really drive on the street.
A few Sunday's ago I proved my point when a long-time friend began spouting about our 911 being a good car for his mom. "Maybe I'll buy it for her when you sell it off next December," he joked. "It'll be a good replacement for her Camry Solara."
He would soon regret it. I took a hard right off Pacific Coast Highway up Los Floras and began driving the 911 like Ferry intended. With the Porsche's PDK transmission in manual mode I was revving out each gear and making full use of its paddle shifters. Second and third gear mostly, with the occasional click up to fourth.
The harder you drive it the better it feels. Its 3.6-liter flat-six isn't a torque monster around town, but keep it over 3,500 rpm in the hills and the 911 storms from corner to corner, and with the top down the soundtrack from the rear mounted motor will give you goose bumps.
But it's the Porsche 911's brakes and grip that really impress. Overheating the brakes seems impossible and even rough patches in the pavement don't upset the chassis.
Few cars can run with a new 911 in the hills. Sure, there are cars with more power and more performance potential than our Porsche, but few allow the driver to access that potential so completely. I guarantee you that if a guy in a new Viper tried to keep up he'd be off the road almost immediately.
After a few miles my friend was already eating his words. And by the time we had reached the famous Mulholland Hwy., he was begging me to slow down.
On the way home I bought him an ice cold Zima to calm his nerves.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief