We've had a few contrasting moments converge this week and this happy combination has led us to ponder the not-so-linear relationship between speed/power and fun. Now this may seem like a funny stance for a Porsche drive day company to take but stick with us here.
Moment 1 - A dusk tour through our local coastal run and National Park with a couple of American guests who frequent supercar track days at Las Vegas (which we're sure are a hoot). They raved about the coastal drive with us and the 2.7 litre Boxster.....said it was much more fun than the 'Vegas supercar days...which was surprising and pleasing in equal measure.
Moment 2 - A trip to Zags to pick up a part and having the opportunity to wander around a few of their air cooled 911's that will be soon released to the market (perhaps into one of our Porsche Syndicates).
Moment 3 - A drive in a very high horsepower modern performance coupe.. which was technically amazing and yet almost devoid of emotion....
To be sure, a certain amount of power in a vehicle helps with the fun factor (997 Carrera S take a bow). Going fast (and/or driving quickly) can be fun under the right conditions. Naturally power helps with this. Is a current Porsche Carrera Turbo a fast vehicle to drive? Most definitely yes. Take the same Porsche turbo , and back to back it with a high stepping air cooled Carrera that weights about half as much, on a winding road or mountain pass and then consider - which Porsche is more thrilling? No doubt the Turbo would be light years faster (particularly for the more standard drivers out there) but which vehicle is the better Porsche?
While the early Carrera driver will exit the vehicle with sweaty palms, heart pumping and the feeling that they were driving 'fast', the turbo driver will likely exit, have finished their coffee, pondered what they're doing that evening and wondered what exactly took the older Carrera so long...all before the other 911 arrives. If we draw that bow just a little longer, we could consider the recently announced Audi RS6. At 445kw and 750nm it will no doubt be a stupendously fast car. And yet we'd suspect that after the initial acceleration rush it might quite easily leave the driver cold....and wanting yet more power.... to get a bit of the sensation/fun that they expected from their engineering marvel...
Now compare said fast family chariot above with the vehicle pictured here. 3.6 litres of air cooled flat 6, likely topping out at about 190kw and 320nm. Light, sound, theatre, a direct connection between the driver and the road along with enough power and pace to both delight and scare in equal measure. Sweaty palms - tick. Heart thumping - tick. Depth of Character - tick. Which vehicle would be fastest A to B? Who cares - we know who would be having the most fun. If you're racing professionally, you're in it for the results and you want the fastest car. For the rest of us - the most involving and engaged drive will take the prize every time.
If you have to commute in your vehicle, or shuttle people around occasionally, then the inevitable compromises creep in (hello Cayenne). If however you get to have a Porsche 911 just for those dawn runs, special weekends and jaunts away then it becomes a decision based on purity of fun. And for that reason - we'd like to introduce this vehicle as a perfect Porsche ownership proposition and hence a wonderful Syndicate candidate :) Besides which, it's just beautiful and that's important too.