A dou­ble

Raw and tac­tile, or a sil­ver bul­let with­out the drama? Paul Gover sam­ples two Porsche 911s

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

ONE Porsche 911 is more than enough for most peo­ple. So what do you do when a sil­ver bul­let and the yel­low ter­ror are sit­ting in front of you and you have the choice of keys? You take both, don’t you. Then you quickly find a friend— let’s call him Harry — to ferry the sec­ond car through a day of driv­ing in­dul­gence with the quick­est Porsche 911s on sale in Aus­tralia.

The sil­ver bul­let is the lat­est 911 Turbo, an all­wheel-drive su­per­car which fi­nally has pad­dle gear levers to shift its gears and 368kW/650Nm in the en­gine room, and the yel­low ter­ror is a track-fo­cused, rear-drive 911 GT3 that comes com­plete with com­pe­ti­tion bucket seats, a rollover bar and five-point safety har­nesses.

But which one first, as we head out of Mel­bourne into some se­ri­ously tasty driv­ing roads?

It has to be the Turbo, partly be­cause the num­bers are more im­pres­sive, but also be­cause it has more of the ev­ery­day nice stuff — cruise con­trol, punchy sound sys­tem and cushy seats — to make the first free­way leg more en­joy­able.

This one is loaded with stuff like ce­ramic brakes and the $950 pad­dles, but it’s the ba­sic pack­age that works.

The GT3 is very quick, with its own 320kW and 430Nm, but it’s also noisy and spar­tan.

It’s not as ba­sic as a Hyundai Getz, and it also has ce­ramic brakes with trick stuff such as spe­cial en­gine mounts and a ‘‘nose lift’’ sys­tem for speed humps, but it’s a car you al­ways have to drive— and it’s al­ways shout­ing ‘‘look at me’’.

As soon as we hit the twisties it’s time for a sprint in the GT3, which re­veals its hard-edged char­ac­ter by howl­ing to the red­line in any avail­able gear.

It’s a clas­sic driver’s car that you thrash and ca­jole and tease and en­cour­age to give its best.

You must plan ahead in the GT3, be­cause go­ing briskly is about be­ing in the right gear all the time, as well as work­ing the brakes hard and keep­ing the sus­pen­sion loaded.

There are times when the low front spoiler drags over big bumps, but this is tough stuff in a se­ri­ous car.

Still, I know the only place to re­ally stretch the GT3 is on a race­track like Phillip Is­land.

And these roads run past cows and ducks and beau­ti­ful scenery, and there are mums and dads about, so we take it easy.

Then I switch to the Turbo and I ex­pect the yel­low ter­ror to dis­ap­pear as Harry has a thrash.

But the sil­ver bul­let is just as swift, with­out the drama. It has a moun­tain of pulling power in any gear and, thanks to its dou­ble-clutch, sev­en­speed gear­box, I don’t have to worry so much about what’s com­ing.

It’s pos­si­ble to brake later than the GT3, then pick a gear for the corner, all at the same time.

We switch again and I dis­cover the GT3 is crazy fun be­cause it’s raw and tac­tile and re­ward­ing.

Harry is a huge fan of the GT3 and he makes a solid case for the car.

‘‘I can live with its short­com­ings as an ev­ery­day car, be­cause there is noth­ing I have ever driven that of­fers the exhilaration and re­ward

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