"What car do you drive?" is the most common question those of us at Automobile Magazine receive at cocktail parties once people learn what we do for a living. "What car do you want to drive?" would be a more appropriate question, because the truth is, we drive everything. That's our job. So, push us, press us, cajole us for a definitive answer. We'll shift our weight from one foot to the other and dip a baby carrot into the ranch dressing. And then, more times than not, we'll admit that all we really want is a Porsche 911. Not only is the 911 the test car we are most likely to fight over, it's the car we most want to own. New or old, base model or cabriolet or Turbo. Permanently, not just for a night.
What if that dream came true? Is the 911 more than a track star? Of course, few of us scribes can afford a 911. But the last time a Porsche 911 came through our offices, it was a stunning black-on-black GTS, too mouthwatering to be parked for a minute, we all thought. So we gave ourselves exactly twenty-four hours to see how much we could do with it -- and how much we could jam into it. The only question left was: can we live with it?
9:11 A.M.: Dexter to Ann Arbor
"Is it faster than a cheetah?" That's the first question my eight-year-old daughter, Ruby, asks about the Carrera GTS rocketing us -- and all of her tack -- to the riding lesson we're running late for. Ruby has seen all sorts of test cars come home with me, but she reserves her attention and admiration for a select few. This Porsche has definitely caught her eye.
"It's a lot faster than a cheetah -- almost 200 miles per hour! It's pretty much a race car you can drive every day," I explain -- and now fully appreciate myself after packing a bulky saddle and all Ruby's equipment easily in the 911's front trunk. The rear seat is comfortable enough for my booster-chaired charge, and I'm surprised that I can slide my seat back to my normal position even with her sitting behind me.
I'm a father of two, but the 911 would fit into my life with ease -- adding excitement to the commute and errands and handling the entire clan when necessary.
- Matt Tierney
10:33 A.M.: Ann Arbor to Saline to Ann Arbor
Porsche 911 or Chevy Surburban, it doesn't matter. From May through November, I'm stuffing flowers into whatever I'm driving when the planting urge strikes. So my goal was to get flowers for Mother's Day plus whatever I could stuff in around them. I'm attracted to large, showy plants (big surprise), and I thought cargo height was going to be the 911's limitation. Nope. Not only did I manage to fit a giant, blooming amaryllis into the front seat, I packed the trunk, the back seats, the parcel shelf, and the floors with twice as much as I imagined. And then I drove home the long way. Rapidly.
- Jean Jennings
2:00 P.M.: Ann Arbor to Barton Hills
The 911 isn't the first car I'd normally choose when setting out for the golf course, but that's because it's a car I'd rather drive than leave sitting in the parking lot for a couple hours. It is, however, quite capable of hauling all the equipment required for a round of golf. Two people and a couple sets of clubs? No problem. Leave that bulky SUV behind and pull up to the clubhouse in style.
- Amy Skogstrom