I have a couple of friends who are car enthusiasts in the most brilliantly simple of ways. They’re knowledgable blokes who both own kit cars that gather more receipts than miles, and spend a lot of time talking about the Porsche 911 GT3 RSs that they plan to buy when they miraculously become very wealthy.
If you mention the excellent value and fun driving dynamics of the Mazda 2, or the fun but economical BMW 118d Coupe, then you will be laughed at and instead an argument about something powerful and rear-wheel drive will ensue.
Now, I understand why so many enthusiasts like the aforementioned pub buddies have such a fascination with the 911, but it’s never been quite the same for me. I always valued rarity in performance cars and so I thought the 911 was far too prevalent to really appeal, even though I appreciated its status as a great driver’s car.
And yet, everything changes from behind the wheel of a 911, no matter what model it is. It suddenly doesn’t matter that your Uncle and his best mate both have one. There is something ultimately enchanting about the noise, handling and general character that always has me calculating how many decades I’ll have to wait until I might be able to afford one.
That is until I haven’t driven one for a while, and then complicated questions like ‘would I really buy a 911 over a Cayman S?’ and ‘what about the Nissan GT-R and the Audi R8?’ start creeping in.
But recently I was lucky enough to drive the 911 GT3 and GT3 RS and I have an awful feeling that my anti-911 argument may have been scuppered. Look beyond the slightly extravagant addenda and it is painfully obvious why these most uncommon of 911s have such a devoted following.
The RS in particular is simply astonishing in how it can make you feel a childish delight and excitement even if all you’re doing is accelerating up a slip road. Both are actually quite manageable to drive and at the same time they make you feel like a complete hero.
Clearly, cars of this ilk are all about what makes you personally feel special, whether you’re driving it or looking at it on the driveway, so there is no absolute answer to this. But what do you reckon – does the Porsche 911 really deserve it’s devotees or does its own popularity work against it?