Monday – Lots of Horse Power

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I found myself in the middle of a Cotswold hunt this morning. Usual sort of thing – 70 odd horses careering down a lane towards a £222,000 Aston Marin supercar…

It’s a moment that demands a steady nerve, not for the riders but for me. The Vanquish may sound remarkable when you are driving it across country but those twin pipes are guaranteed to put the fear of God into a galloping mare.

It was the first time I considered the Aston’s rasping exhaust a hindrance rather than a joy. Perhaps a system like the Porsche 911, which allows the driver to turn the sound on or off, might be worth considering?

Incredibly wet roads aren’t conducive to thrashing a 500bhp+ rear-wheel drive car like the Vanquish. So, today’s hot gossip is that we have achieved 18.1mpg in everyday use. Not bad, if you ask me…

 

 

Tuesday – Attention To Detail

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Here are a few random reasons why the 911 Cabriolet is the best soft-top on the market. First, when you open the door after a rainstorm, the water doesn’t drip in to the cabin. Does your car do that?

Second, if it rains when the top is down, provided you don’t come to a grinding stop, you will stay dry. Such are the aerodynamics of this car.

Thirdly, there is a second sat nav screen that pops up in the instrument binnacle when you come to a navigation instruction. So, you have an overall map in the main dashboard that affords a general view – then the second explains graphically where you need to turn.

And finally, the wind deflector really is a work of art. Instead of manually pulling a deflector out of the boot and fighting to install it at the roadside, this one works beautifully. The frame pops up automatically, then the fabric material stretches over it.

You see, it’s the attention to detail that makes a great car…

Monday – Sun Out, Top Down

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It’s been a long wait but the sun has finally got his hat on over the Cotswolds today – perfect weather for woolly chapeau and a Porsche 911 Cabriolet. And I actually have to drive to Banbury for a reason, so I don’t feel bad about leaving the office and ‘making progress’ in the Porsche.

I believe the sign of a great cabriolet is when it looks as good with the top up and is does down. With the Porsche it’s the other way around. The 911 is sensational roof on – and just exquisite with it tuck away under the automatic tonneau cover.

The roof mechanism is fast too and there’s a separate button for the wind deflector which keeps the draught away from the back of you neck and deadens the noise front the rear-mounted engine. Although that rather adds to the excitement…

One fact I have found about the 911 is that either the seats or my backside need a little extra padding. While the Porsche can be a very usable everyday car (unlike a Ferrari F430, for example), my bum is numb after 45 minutes behind the wheel. They are great sports seats for throwing the 911 around a corner, just not soft enough for a well-trimmed driver…

Friday – Look At Me!

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Just in case a 911 Cabriolet isn’t enough to get you noticed, Porsche has thoughtfully added the ‘Extrovert Button’. It’s right next to the gearstick and a quick press is guaranteed to turn every head in a 100 yard radius.

The sports exhaust system improves the car’s exhaust note by opening a flap in each of the twin exhaust system’s silencers. It turns the Cabriolet into a snarling beast – although why it’s not a standard feature on the latest 911 is rather surprising.

Shy, retiring types are unlikely to be driving a Porsche in the first place but having just returned from the Bath, I can tell you the 911 wouldn’t have been more conspicuous if I had Kate Moss siting naked next to me.

This latest version of the Cabriolet is around 60kg lighter than the old one and with a more powerful engine under the boot lid, it’s very fast indeed.

However, the best bit so far is the wind-blocker behind the driver’s seat. Wind-blockers are usually removed from a sports car and kept in the garage until the day you sell the car. In the 911, it pops up electronically from the hood well. Brilliant – and you can still hear yourself talking on the Bluetooth phone system at 65mph…