2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Mom Hates Launch Control
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.
Launch control in our 911 is outstandingly easy: While holding the brake pedal down, floor the gas. Do it right and the display changes as the revs hold steady. Sidestep the brake and hold on.
The holding on part is more of a technicality than an actual requirement. There is zero drama here. Even on the Pirelli SottoZero winter tires, there's only a scratch of wheelspin and then acceleration punctuated by the PDK's rapid-fire shifting. It's effective, fast and my mom HATES IT. There was screaming. There was random grabbing looking for a handle. I should've set up a GoPro.
Hey, at least I didn't cover the road with rubber like I did as a teenager. Right?
On this particular late-March day, the weather was nice enough to make the drive with the top down, and we tried. Unfortunately, another one of the Porsche's weaknesses showed up: Even with the windows up and the wind-deflector deployed, cross-winds are a problem. Okay, this may not be a problem with the 911 so much as a problem with convertibles in general. Still, the biting wind forced the top up.
Oh well, I still took my mom to lunch in a Porsche.
The return trip was a far less eventful highway slog as my mom commented on how nice the seats were and asked how I managed to get a car so dirty. I blamed Erin.
Later that night, I hoofed it down to Cambridge where I'd spend my last night before officially starting this road trip.
Mike Magrath Features Editor @ 7,000 miles