My driveway doesn’t suck. I own a 2004 SLK32 AMG and a 2015 GTI. The SLK puts out around 350 hp/tq and weighs a little over 3000 lbs. If you punch the throttle on the supercharged 3.2 liter V6, it screams to 60 and if anything, feels more stable and happier above 90 (where legal). Top speed is supposed to be 186 mph, I haven’t tried to get there, but it definitely feels at home in the upper ranges. The GTI is a bit lighter and the 2.0 turbo and DSG are no slouch, with 258 lb/ft of torque and a planted, nimble feel.
Neither of those are a 997 4S.
My SLK is currently giving me a huge headache and has been sitting at the mechanic for a few weeks. Luckily, my car misfortune has coincided with my in-laws’ two week trip to Europe. Their driveway doesn’t suck either. They have a 2012 CLS550 and a 2010 911 4S. They said I could take my pick, if needed. Momma didn’t raise no fool.
My brother-in-law also has access to the cars and he prefers the CLS - so when I was left with the Porsche, I turned the key with equal parts excitement and trepidation. I’m a careful and competent driver but, shit happens, and it’s not MY baby.
The commute to work was miserable. At 3400 lbs, compared to my other two cars, the 4S is no lightweight, like my Benz it feels like it’s cut from a block of marble, heavy, planted, solid, but used to the forced induction in the SLK and the lightness of the GTI, this car felt heavy and unwilling to move. Bumper to bumper traffic in a 4S isn’t fun. The idle is relatively rough, and the throttle felt oddly weighted and not really that responsive unless I became aggressive with it, which seemed unlikely in the morning press.
Unfortunately Luckily, I had a late afternoon in the office. On the way home I decided to be a bit more assertive (respectfully!! father-in-law). That’s when I realized I had no idea what I was doing. Staying in the throttle made all the difference in the world, the car felt responsive, and the transmission snappy. It WANTED to be revved to infinity, and in the corners, it begged for more gas, shifting weight backwards, but staying stable. The steering in my Benz kinda sucks, the GTI is precise, but the 997 talked to you in ways I hadn’t experienced since my 85 accord hatchaback without power steering. The front felt unusually light, but the sound, oh God, the sound was intoxicating. This was a car that wanted to be run hard (and put up wet), it demanded to be disrespected.
I was in love.
When I got home last night I called my brother-in-law and asked if we could trade. I couldn’t have that Porsche for one more day without testing its limits — and I didn’t want the responsibility. One day I will own one, and when that day comes I’ll abuse the shit out of it.