When it comes to cars, I have to be honest and say I’ve always taken a practical approach, tending towards realism instead of fantasy; need rather than desire. And so, from the time I first passed my driving test at age 17, the majority of my cars have been nice, safe, family saloons; mostly with four doors for ease of passenger access but all, without exception, having a capacity to seat five or more adults in relative comfort. The ability for my cars to be able to carry stuff was paramount, whether that “stuff” was people, shopping bags, luggage, pets, or any combination of the aforementioned. Over the years I have treated myself to a variety of nice, reliable, family sedans, as well as a campervan which I thought would be great for holidays with my friends. Moving to The Netherlands in the late ‘90s I became a bit more adventurous, dabbling with a couple of more sporty brands, though of course both conformed to my desire for space. My current wheels of preference are attached to a mid-sized SUV, which fulfils all my requirements and keeps me happy. However, you cannot imagine my excitement when I was extended the opportunity to road-test a Porsche for this magazine’s issue – my heart skipped a beat as I imagined getting behind the steering wheel of one of my favourite SUV models of choice, either a Macan or a Cayenne!
On collecting my car for this road-test, however, my expectations were intensified when I realised that the car I am about to drive for the weekend is from the Porsche iconic 911 range. The Porsche 911 Carrera presented to me was, it has to be said, an apparition of absolute beauty. The distinctive and unmistakeably aerodynamic lines which Porsche first projected on to the roads in the early ‘60s have since been developed and refined almost to perfection. On viewing the stunning test model in shining silver, I began to sense that I was going to be taken well outside of my comfort-zone … yet I experienced a tingle down my spine and an involuntary grin as I prepared to experience a new adventure.
The years have not been kind to me so, for a man of my stature (who likes his food too much but dislikes exercise), getting in and out of any sports car is not going to be straightforward or easy, and the Carrera did not let me down in this regard. But once in the cockpit it was a simple task to touch some buttons and adjust the seat to obtain the ultimate driving position, such that I soon felt that the comfortable leather seat – in this case a warm shade of dark red – had been moulded around me. Familiarising myself with the controls, it was clear that everything had been positioned to enhance the driving experience, allowing the driver to have full access and control whilst limiting distractions and retaining focus on the road. All set to go, the three-litre six-cylinder engine with bi-turbo charging roared into life and provided me with an instant thrill as I accelerated to 100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds, thanks to the amazing Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) feature and the Sport Chrono Package. I was beginning to wonder exactly what I had been missing all my life!
The roads here in Kuwait are not conducive to providing the ultimate driving experience, so I knew from the outset that I would not be able to put any car fully through all its paces, let alone one with such calibre and breeding as the Carrera (top speed of 295 km/h). But with so much power under my control I continued my drive with some caution, although the vehicle is well-equipped with front and rear cameras and, seemingly, sensors all around such that whenever another or object got too close I would hear and see the glowing warning indicator in the car’s mirror triangle and receive a warning notification on the information screen, all of which gave me comfort.
The overall ride was a lot smoother and more comfortable than I had expected, and I drove in auto-shift mode which is better suited to the Kuwait driving conditions. I was aware that the Carrera has an awesome gearbox and can easily imagine the excitement of using its 7-speed gearbox to push the car around the hilly and twisty roads in my native British countryside.
Now, the kind people at Porsche Centre Kuwait also provided me with a stack of technical data and performance specifications … but I shall beg their forgiveness for not including any of this in my brief report. Such information is easily accessible on the internet, or obtainable from the Porsche showroom. What I will tell you is that the car hugs the road and its handling is superb; the infotainment system is the best I’ve encountered; the aircon was really effective, which is so important for our hot summers; the sound system was ear-splittingly amazing; the fuel economy was surprisingly frugal; and that overall this car offers the most exciting driving experience!
I had fallen in love with my ride, and it would have been so easy to slip behind the wheel and drive off into the sunset, but the next day our Editor insisted on doing a photoshoot. Admittedly I am not model-quality (and the piece would have needed to be titled Beauty & the Beast instead of Beauty in the City had I selfishly kept the car to myself) so we decided to bring our team member Haya and let her also experience driving the car to move around some of the photogenic locations in Kuwait and capture the experience with an amazing photoshoot.
As Mister Practical, I had realised that I would not be able to seat 5 adults in comfort, drive to the airport with all my luggage, or even fit my weekly food shopping in the luggage space …. but who cares when you get this much excitement in one beautiful package? My zest for driving has been re-kindled; life is for living.
The one downside for me is that my adventure was too short-lived. I think I probably need to conduct a year-long test to fully appreciate and review this awesome car. So, Mr Porsche … what are the chances?
Photography: Hamad AlAinati (@7mdphotography)
Model: Haya (@kuwaity_haya)
Clothing: All Saints (@allsaints)
Car: Porsche 911 Carrera 2017 (@PorscheCentreKuwait)
Review Text: Paul Tunbridge (@paulfromgb)< Back