Monday, April 18, 2011

Better than a Corvette? 911 C4S drive.

Since the late 80's, the comparison has been Porsche vs. Corvette. They are both similar in weight and similar in purpose. Both are thinly disguised weekend warrior track cars that inspire confidence and give power to the masses. Both are economical and both have relatively low maintenance costs. The 911 uses variable valve timing, variable intake geometry, and dual overhead camshafts to make power. The Corvette uses big displacement to make it's power. As similar as these cars are, they are so very very different.

Today I drove home a 2002 Porsche 911 C4S. This particular car had 108,000 miles on it and even though I believe that there are few cars that offer the bang for the buck that the Corvette does, I have yet to see a 9 year old Vette with 108k miles that is this solid with this little wear. The Germans build things better. Period.

With that said, the interior is a little plain jane with the requisite tape player that German makers insisted stay in cars until 2003 or so. There is no tilt wheel, no adjustable suspension, no air conditioned massaging seats. Just a great driving car.

The car is noisy, very noisy. Enough road noise that it's distracting. It doesn't matter though because when the rubber hits the road, this thing inspires confidence like none other. I attribute that to the all wheel drive, not that I ever push it hard in these cars as they are not mine and I have a very unique privilege I intend on not losing.

Check out the vid, notice at the end some Jeep Cherokee comes flying up to pass me going over 100MPH at least. He slows for a second but takes off again. This is the kind of attention this car attracts, which means it probably attracts attention from law enforcement as well.

All in all, I can see the attraction to the 911. Fun to drive, decent economy, and relatively reliable, especially when you consider the amount of technology the powertrain employs.


  1. Nice work Dennis! I am enjoying your blog and living the drive time through you in these great cars. great commentary and insight. I think Car & Driver should get to know you. Kurt