2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S

Andrew Trahan

Well, this is about as good as it gets. I recently wrote quite a bit about the time I spent in a Porsche 911 C4S, and I'm tempted to repeat it all here. The biggest difference between this Carrera S and the Carrera 4S (other than all-wheel-drive, obviously) is the quaint six-speed manual transmission that routes power to the rear wheels.

I can't think of a single reason to choose a 911 with the PDK transmission after getting reacquainted with the manual box. Throws are actually a bit on the long side, but a perfectly rev-matched downshift is at least a hundred times more satisfying when you do it yourself. Another drawback to the PDK is the extra $4080 you'd shell out to add it to an already expensive 911.

I usually think a Mercedes-Benz S550 would be my first purchase if I hit the lottery, but this particular Porsche 911 has shaken that notion. Now I'm pretty sure I'd need to buy a 911 Carrera S with a manual transmission. Along with a cabin in the mountains so I'd have plenty of good roads nearby to exercise the car.

Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor

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