Does anyone like the Panamera? You know… just “like” it? Having experienced the car for nearly two years, it seems to divide opinion like chocolate vs. vanilla. People are either adamantly in it’s corner, loving it’s pace, massive road presence and techno overload or hate it; screaming about it’s weight and controversial design. With the urban commando Cayenne and boulevard cruising Panamera, has Porsche donned a leather jacket and jumped the proverbial shark? Though not a Porsche in the traditional sense, a strand of DNA connects the Panny to the 911, it is indeed a thin strand – perhaps a third cousin, once removed… but the lineage cannot be denied. I believe in a world where the GT3 RS and Panamera can coexist… one must not be hated for the other to be loved, and in fact, the two cars would make fantastic stable mates. Without further justifying the Panamera’s existence, I will go on record and acknowledge that I love the car – but that’s only because I have lived with one. Read more
It started on a school bus in late 1994, as I played my usual car-spotting game, I caught a glimpse of a bright yellow object closing in fast… it got bigger, bigger, and then flew by with a high pitched (yet somehow deep) exotic wail. I had seen my first E36 M3… it looked so muscular and special. I think that’s the word that comes to mind when I think of M3’s to this day… they are special.
For this, we step into the way back machine… all the way to the year 2003. Ah yes, the year iTunes arrived, the Do Not Call list was introduced, and America switched to Freedom Fries! I was browsing the transportation section of Border’s magazine rack and there it was… the Lotus Elise, the car I had fantasized about for years, was coming to America! I was elated, this was the one – a bantam weight exotic for $39,000, better yet, a Lotus that I could buy off the showroom floor. That weekend, I ran (literally, I lived in NYC at the time) to my local dealership and plunked down $1,500 for what turned out to be a top 5 spot on the waiting list. Then, the wait began… days turned to weeks, weeks into months, months into a year and a half! Read more
I have been lucky enough to own some of the greatest enthusiast categorized daily drivers produced in recent years. A 1995 M3 (with the bulletproof 3.0 liter), a 2001 S4 (most mod friendly car I have owned), an E46 M3 ZCP (with a host of Dinan & Brembo upgrades), several Mustang variants, 3 Boxsters, a MKV R32, and an Elise (errr… not so great as a daily). Essentially, I have dated them all, and finally settled down. I cannot imagine not owning a 911!
The Porsche 911 might just be the perfect daily driver for those with a sporting interest. Like a cross trainer that can be worn with a suit, it is appropriate for most, if not every occasion. Not garish like an exotic, not brutish like a muscle car… as useable yet more special than the sea of M and AMG cars, but with a truer driving dynamic.; and likely better than all of them for it’s intended purpose. Whereas most cars get old, a Porsche ages. Now for a blemish on face of ownership – when your Porsche does age, it does so expensively. Mine has been reliable, but oil changes are around $400, and the mandatory service points all seem to cost upward of $1,500 (without anything gone wrong). You do however get what you pay for – I am always thrilled to get back in. Read more
There is a butt for every seat. That said, I still struggle to understand how mine ended up in an MKV R32? Three years have passed since I drove my Candy White R home, and as I prepare to hand the keys back to VW, it is time to pause, reflect, and give my assessment of the car. My overall experience has been one of duality – as the car has needed nothing more than a set of tires and some oil changes, truly bulletproof… and yet, such a disappointment, as it has proven to be a sheep in sheep’s clothing, cloaked with a wolf’s soundtrack.
With the “R” designation, VW promised me their performance flagship… something that shared the brilliance of the MkIV, a car that oozed character. The follow-up MKV however, seemed to be planned by the marketing department, as neither the exterior, interior, nor underpinnings of the uber-Bunny followed it’s sporting intent. Read more