Guest Post By: Devin Beck
“Devin, you’re married with an 11-year-old daughter, and you have a Porsche 911 Turbo as your daily driver? How do you justify that?”
I hear this a lot, and here’s my response.
I have made a number of bad car purchases that, in hindsight, shared one common theme: automobiles with an identity crisis. They all seemed like good ideas at the time due to inherently flawed logic. Take a great car, then hand it over to performance wings at S, AMG, M, and R, who do their best to ruin 95% of what they touch.
Take an Audi A6: an amazingly comfortable, capable, and enjoyable car. But the V10 S6 ended up being an overheating, tire blowing stiff. A 4,600 lb. circus show on summer tire roller skates once the weather dropped below 30. Big things shouldn’t be fast. Once you remove the attributes that make a car great you are left with a Frankenmonster that is well … not great.
After much deliberation I found the answer to my problem. The most practical choice is one that is concerned with performance first and gives a “kinda” answer to everything else. In short, if you’re looking for a practical car for your daily commute, get a sub-3-second 0-60, 200 mph Porsche 911 Turbo.
So, how could I justify anything else? If you research every car made in the past 20 years (and unless you’re one of those “responsible people” who “think of others first” when making financial commitments) what other car could scratch the enthusiast itch and still give enough features to justify the purchase with a straight face?
The Dream Car?
Last year the stars aligned. I had the chance to buy my first dream car. There was a short list which I brought to Dave: Aston Martin Vantage, Audi R8, Ferrari 360, and a 911 Turbo.
After a few calls discussing the pros, cons, cost of ownership, reliability, features, and driving dynamics, cars fell off the list. The only one remaining happened to be the one I was least excited about. I thought it looked like a fancy VW Beetle exclusively owned by dentists and engineers.
I pictured myself at club events talking about the downfall of Western society when the last air-cooled engine rolled off the assembly line and the engineering brilliance of variable vane turbo technology. As a lover of cars, I enjoy reading about these topics, but some things are just better kept as inside thoughts.
Much to my surprise, 10 miles into a test drive with said Porsche, I had that same emotion as when I realized I actually liked spending time with my brother-in-law: it initially was forced, but there wasn’t anywhere else I’d rather have been right then.
At low speeds it’s comfortable, provides great visibility, and gathers just enough attention without being obnoxious. It accelerated and stopped without the standard whiplash plaguing other exotics. It’s doesn’t try to kill me … unless I want it to. It has seemingly limitless power and ability to put on ground like a car keeping 1/3 the pace. When I get the itch I don’t need a deserted highway or a track — 10 seconds and an open 1/4 mile and I see 150 on the dash, then right back to a calm 35 mph.
Many cars are unbelievable in the specific environment but name something better in every environment.
More Versatile Than You Might Think
It’s my Armani two button: throw it on with jeans and I’m ready for dinner with my wife. Break out the matching slacks and it’s “Welcome, Mr. Bond” at the valet stand. My appreciation for it has only grown the more I use it.
– My 11 year old can ride in back (with minimal bribery)
– Two sets of golf clubs can fit with ease
– Trunk fits two overnight bags or 4-5 from the grocery
– With a good independent mechanic it costs no more than any other luxury car I’ve owned
– I don’t believe in buying newer cars as an investment (look at 5-6 year used options); it might not make money, but you won’t lose much value, if anything, over the next couple years
– 22 mpg on the highway
– With the right tires it takes 5 inches of snow as well as my Range Rover
– Stay on top of basic upkeep and every time you go to use it, it will be there for you
– The dual clutch PDK is vastly superior and more reliable than the manual; in stop-and-go traffic, it is no more difficult to commute than in a Jetta
– Find me another car capable of 200mph that is built to see over 200,000 miles during its life?
All of this without the perceived selfishness that comes with owning anything of similar abilities in a two seat only option. I can offer rides home or help move but no one takes me up on it.
Essentially a car that does everything I want and leaves the compromises as options for others. Why compromise the 95% of time driving when you are completely by yourself when the 5% of time you need something bigger you could just swap keys with your wife? If not married see my previous article regarding Range Rovers.
If you can afford a 911 Turbo, you can buy a nice 2008 Range Rover HSE for 16K now. It’s like a bonus car, a 2010 Porsche and a 2008 RR for the cost of the same year v8 R8 which the 911 runs circles around or about what you would spend in maintenance in 2 years on the Aston / Ferrari.
Reader feedback is welcome, but I don’t see how anyone making the practical, sensible, logical decision about their next car doesn’t end up with a rear engine borderline German-hyper car with a side of depreciated British-urban tank. That’s common sense Thomas Paine would struggle to refute.
Managing Director -North America Education & Enterprise