2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S

What do we dream of? What do we seek in life? Sometimes we tend to forget about it and just carry on with daily routines, that is until walking into a Porsche dealership and getting reminded of what an ultimate desire may look, feel and sound like, in a very good and loud way.  Porsche is extremely proud of their heritage and every model is presented with enthusiasm and specific appeal.  But more than anything they are passionate about the new 911.  Originally presented in September 2011 today it celebrates Porsche 911's 50 years of heritage. Quite an an occasion to let it loose on the streets of Tokyo.

Today's car of choice was a 2013 Porsche Carrera S, with 3.8L Boxer 6 engine in the rear, sending 400 horses to rear wheels through a 7 speed dual clutch PDK transmission.  It can shift gears automatically, or manually with either buttons on steering wheel or paddles behind the optional sports steering wheel, which was also installed on the vehicle.  It came with most options installed, so we had the joy of sports suspension, sports exhaust, sport plus settings, and ceramic brakes.  It has a longer wheelbase, allowing part of the engine to sit in front of rear axle, making it more balanced, it is wider, but yet is lighter than it predecessor. 

When I started the car I immediately felt that it meant business.  The rigid chassis and firm suspension combined with low profile tires provided so much feedback that I could feel not just every bump on the road, I could feel the road markings as well!  Some say that there isn't enough response due the new electric power steering. I think they've never driven this car.  There is plenty of feedback to keep you on your toes at all times.  And I couldn't think of better time to be on my toes then when driving this amazing vehicle.  I wasn't even close to pushing it, but I can only imagine what it feels like to drive on circuit or winding mountain road.

Even in the city every gear shift was exuberating, braking was smooth and linear, and acceleration throws you in your seat while bystanders watch and listen in amazement... And there was a lot to listen to.  The sports exhaust delivered a symphony like no other car, very racy, but deep and powerful at the same time.  Down shifts were accompanied with perfect rev match and burble that makes hairs on back of your neck stand.  The car just seems alive, it responds to your every move and communicates back to you.  The feeling is like no other.

Yet, it's more than just good times, as after terrorizing the local streets I figured that it was time to experience what it would be like to own this car, meaning sitting back, driving it quietly, windows closed and all features set to comfort.  And comfort it was.  When not pushed, the car quietly and effortlessly worked itself around town as I started to appreciate the quality of the cabin, with every component being hand made, and materials being top quality.  It was no AMG cruiser as seats were very firm and central console elbow rest seemed a bit low and narrow, but this is something that would hardly affect any purchasing decision. 

With engine in the back, the car has small storage space up front as well as below rear window.  You can collapse the useless rear seats and make even more storage space, and with that the car seems to make even more sense. After all, should you choose Porsche 911 Carrera S as your cruiser from Tokyo to Osaka, you may not get there in top comfort, but you will have all the fun.  While a Lexus owner may die of boredom in half way point, you will have the biggest grin all the way. 

So where does it stand? Well, for a car enthusiast who got to drive a Porsche, it stands as high as a goal in life, it is definitely a dream, and with some luck, it may become reality.  Thankfully, Porsche have a reputation of very high quality and reliability, so even a used one makes sense.  A new Carrera S will set you back at least 14 million yen, with list of options possibly doubling the price tag.  Our test car was about 20 million.  Not bad for an afternoon cruise, not bad at all.  So with that in mind, I can reassure myself that I have something to look forward to for my midlife crisis. This car is designed to make their owners happy, and if that is not a goal in life, I don't know what is.


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