Now, we’re not about to interrupt into an impromptu rendition of pleased birthday, however we must always most likely all take a second to want the Porsche 911 many pleased returns.

You see, it turned 60 years previous in September 2023 and we thought, as an alternative of getting it a card and a disappointing current, we might collect up a number of the present household for the last word 911 highway journey. As a present to the 911 after all – nothing to do with us having a stunning time in some improbable sports activities automobiles.

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Anyway, let’s run by the automobiles now we have right here. It’ll be whistlestop as a result of you recognize all of them already…

911 Carrera T

Handbook gearbox, that’s mainly all that you must know. The Carrera T sits between the usual Carrera and the Carrera S within the 911 vary and it would simply be the candy spot. It’s a bit bit lighter and a bit bit sportier than a normal Carrera, with 380bhp from its twin-turbo flat-six.

911 Turbo S

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The Turbo S is usually forgotten about nowadays. The 911 household is continually rising, and the GT division automobiles and particular editions get all of the headlines, however we most likely shouldn’t neglect a few close to £200,000 supercar with 641bhp.

911 Dakar

You realize all about this factor by now. It’s a lifted 911 with chunky tyres, a roof rack and spotlights. After all, it’s fully glorious, however with a beginning value of £173,000 earlier than choices (and there are various) it definitely isn’t low cost.

911 GT3 RS

The large-ticket merchandise. The 911 GT3 RS. We have now some fairly particular plans for that automobile on this journey, and earlier than you get misplaced trying on the majesty of that swan neck rear wing, it’s value reminding your self that this factor has a naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six that revs to 9,000rpm and makes 518bhp. And it produces 860kg of downforce at 177mph. Essentially the most excessive road-going 911 that Porsche has ever constructed?

718 Spyder RS

Clearly this isn’t a 911, however the engine began life in a 911 GT3 so we’ll permit it to hold round with its massive brothers for now. A grand complete of 493bhp and a noise that might carry a tear to Adele’s eye ought to assist to tempt us from the rear-engined stuff too.

And sure, that is technically the roofless model of the Cayman GT4 RS, however a lot work has gone in to make it far more than that. In reality, the revised suspension set-up means it’s roughly 50 per cent softer (or ought to that be much less agency?) than the magical Cayman. Needs to be an honest highway journey automobile then… 

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We kick off in Good on the French Riviera, which sounds fancy nevertheless it’s December so it’s chilly and raining. Due to that, I begin off within the Dakar. Our plan is to take the coastal highway to Monaco, however after a incorrect flip we find yourself ploughing straight by the centre of Good. Nonetheless, a great way to find that the Dakar’s lengthy journey suspension and tall tyre sidewalls make it the right 911 for navigating South of France velocity bumps.

On sweeping coastal roads the Dakar’s urge for food for physique roll and 475bhp make it enjoyable to drive at authorized speeds, and once we do finally attain Monaco it’s the off roader that’s getting essentially the most consideration. Though which may be partly to do with the truth that we’ve picked up a Christmas tree en route and it’s at the moment strapped to the roof rack together with some spare tyres.

We try a few laps of the Grand Prix circuit, however Monaco’s visitors is so unhealthy that we’re not precisely near lap report territory. In all probability not far off Formulation E race tempo although. And anyway, whereas dodging Renault Twizys and Citroen Amis (which fortunately handle to remain on all 4 wheels), I’m once more struck by how useable the Dakar is. That is most likely the last word all-rounder, with good visibility and no want to fret about kerbing a wheel. It’d be my 911 metropolis automobile of alternative.

Later within the night we make a break from the congestion for an in a single day cease in Sanremo, Italy. With much less visitors and extra tunnels, the 718 Spyder RS shines. The noise is definitely very totally different to that from the Cayman GT4 RS. It’s much less shrill and extra melodic on the prime finish, like the shortage of a roof is permitting the noise to dissipate slightly than firing it round your head and straight again into your ear holes a la Cayman. Nonetheless, I slightly like that in regards to the GT4 RS. However regardless of the sting being taken off, you do nonetheless get the sensible induction noise within the Spyder RS. There are new air intakes mounted simply behind every headrest, and each of them are actual so the noise isn’t affected by which facet of the highway your nation drives on. 

The following morning, I swap into the Carrera T to go northeast in the direction of Genoa. Once more, we largely take the scenic route, however even the motorways on this a part of Italy include some respectable corners. The seven-speed guide gearbox with its 10mm shorter knob (no laughing on the again) makes shifting gears a pleasure, and the usual sports activities exhaust means there’s a soundtrack to accompany the work you’re placing in. A improbable road-going 911.

Though when you’re seeking to cowl massive distances in a brief period of time, it’s the four-wheel drive Turbo S you’ll need. We hop into it for a motorway blast to Milan, and it’s quiet, composed and comfy. It’s additionally monstrously fast when the turbos kick in and accelerates like nothing else right here. 

The explanation for ending up in Milan isn’t for a fast go to to the Duomo, however slightly a go to to a unique place of worship: the Temple of Pace. 

It’s my first time at Monza, so I’m delighted to search out that the floor is damp and muddy (rally automobiles have been tearing up the circuit simply a few weeks earlier) with the temperature firmly in single digits. Oh, and it’s closed in order that we will lap the GT3 RS. Fairly a senior circuit for a particularly senior automobile.

Though, whereas the GT3 RS may look a bit critical with its aggressive aero and fats Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport R tyres, it’s truly remarkably pleasant. There’s loads of grip even in these circumstances, significantly in faster corners the place the aero glues you to the circuit, and even in slower sections when that grip does give manner the ensuing oversteer is progressive and straightforward to gather. Helps that the GT3 RS has enormous quantities of configurability as soon as in Observe mode too, so you possibly can retain some traction/stability management and set the dampers to their softest setting to take care of Monza’s sausage kerbs.

After which there’s the engine. That free-revving flat-six delivers its energy easily and with most aural drama, and despite the fact that there’s solely 518bhp (a full 123bhp lower than the Turbo S) it’ll nonetheless handle 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds. It’s definitely fast sufficient, and this 992-gen GT3 RS feels so at-home on a circuit. Regrettably we don’t go close to the DRS.

Nonetheless, the entire highway journey simply serves to show the breadth of the 911 vary. Contemplating each use the identical automobile as their start line, trying on the Dakar and the GT3 RS side-by-side is like attempting to check off-road apples with track-driving oranges. And if you concentrate on how far the 911 has are available in 60 years, simply think about the place Porsche will take it within the subsequent 60.

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