Ignition

2017 PORSCHE 911 CARRERA 4 GTS

- By Lee Bailie // Photograph­y by Patrick Beltijar and Lee Bailie

It only took two days, but the verdict seems to be overwhelmi­ng, if not unanimous – people really seem to dig Miami Blue.

Everywhere I went during the brief time I spent driving it, the bright 911 turned heads with lingering stares, thumbs up and a few, `hey look at that car!' gestures thrown in for good measure.

Before going any further, I should mention that the colours located in the `special' section of the order guide – Carmine Red, Chalk (a darker shade of white), Lava Orange and Miami Blue – add an extra $3,590 to the price.

Now, does it make sense to spend that much on paint? Normally, I'd say no, but the 911 Carrera 4 GTS is hardly a normal car, and if you're already splurging on a vehicle that comes with a base MSRP of $143,900, what's another $3,590?

And when you factor in constant reinforcem­ent from strangers everywhere that your car does indeed look awesome, well, I'd say it's money well spent.

And this is to say nothing of the fact that, oh yes, the Carrera 4 GTS is also a fantastic sports car to drive.

In the go-fast department, we have a 3.0-litre turbocharg­ed flat-six engine that produces 450 horsepower and 405 lb-ft. of torque and is mated to a 7-speed PDK automatic transmissi­on (a $4,250 option) that drives all four wheels.

It's fast, as you might imagine: 0-100 km/h in four seconds flat, with a top track speed of 308 km/h.

But here's the thing that I found most intriguing about my 48-ish hours piloting this car: it's easy to drive on a day-to-day basis in traffic that renders more aggressive driving modes moot.

It was so comfortabl­e – and relatively quiet – in fact, that it occasional­ly felt like I was driving a (gasp!) regular car.

I'm being a bit tongue-in-cheek here, but Porsche has put a great deal of effort into making its most famous nameplate a true car for all seasons, as it were.

My tester has a pile of optional kit – almost $19,000 worth – which undoubtedl­y affected my impression­s of it, but the car was quite satisfying to motor along in with the drive mode selector switched to normal neverthele­ss.

Still fast, still handles like it's on rails, still great to listen to as the revs climb and the PDK shifts up and down – still a 911, in other words, but not punishing or fatiguing in any way.

The cockpit is still driverfocu­sed and free of the sort of electronic wizardry that fills a lot of cabins these days. The heated, 18way front sport seats offer plenty of articulati­on (including a seat cushion extender) and are finished in handsome Alcantara.

The gauges in the instrument cluster are still analogue with a white typeface, the wipers and turn signal indicators are where you expect them to be, and the hard keys and switches that line the console around the PDK shifter operate in a simple and straight forward fashion.

Even the Porsche Communicat­ion Management (PCM) system features a simplified 7-inch touchscree­n that offers imbedded navigation, Apple Carplay, Bluetooth connectivi­ty and Siruisxm satellite radio, among other functions, but it's there to inform, not entertain.

That the 911 Carrera 4 GTS is still a Porsche, in other words, is reassuring. Don't worry, it tracks just fine (as I've discovered), but fear not if you decide to drive it every day. You'll find that experience equally rewarding.

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