Driving the new Porsche 911 is like hanging out with an old friend

Porsche 911 C2Benjamin Zhang/Business InsiderA 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.

It’s been about a decade since I graduated from the University of Georgia. (Go Dawgs!)

In that time, my friends and I have found ourselves spread out across the US. While some of my college friendships have fallen by the wayside, many have remained strong.

And when my friends and I do meet up, it’s like we haven’t missed a step. Even though we’re all a bit older, less broke, and more stressed out about life, the essence of our friendship endures

The sense of familiarity and a general feeling of comfort is ever present.

Which brings me to the Porsche 911. It’s the automotive embodiment of a loyal best friend.

Here’s why.

On a recent trip to Atlanta, I found a 2017 911 Carrera 2 clad in a resplendent Racing Yellow paint job waiting for me at the airport.

With a starting price of $US89,400, the Carrera 2 is the most affordable of the 22 different variants of the 911 on sale in the US. My lightly optioned C2, with an as tested price of $US97,010, represents the 911 in its purest and most basic form.

(The term “lightly optioned” is used in a relative sense. Our test car came with the company’s new Porsche Communications Management infotainment system complete with full Apple CarPlay integration, a sports exhaust, and ventilated sport leather seats. Although the 150 watt stereo was simply too low rent for a car of its calibre and price. )

Porsche 911 C2Benjamin Zhang/Business InsiderThe 911 at Porsche Cars North America headquarters in Atlanta.

However, with a 370 horsepower twin-turbo flat-six located behind the rear axle sending power to the rear-wheels and an old school stick shift at your finger tips, it’s everything you’re looking for in a traditional 911 experience.

As an automotive journalist, I have the privilege of spending a few days every year behind the wheels of a 911.

(Last year Business Insider had the chance to spend a couple of weeks with a blue 911 C2 PDK and a 911 Targa 4S.)

Without fail, the experience time and time again is consistent excellence. While there is certainly a myriad of fine automobiles out there, the 911 rises to a different level.

On my drive home, as I launched the Porsche down the highway on ramp, the turbo-six came to life. The engine revved freely and smoothly towards its 7,500 rpm redline, allowing me to make my way quickly through the seven-cogs in Porsche’s slick-shifting manual gearbox.

(The current 991.2 generation 911s are all turbocharged by default with the track-oriented GT3 the lone naturally aspirated hold out.)

I didn’t do metered 0-60 mph testing, but Porsche’s claims that the manual C2 can do it in 4.4 seconds feels spot on. (The optional twin-clutch PDK transmission equipped cars are a bit faster at 4.0 seconds.)

In case you’re wondering, the manual C2’s manufacturer-claimed top speed is 183 mph. Obviously, I didn’t try to verify Porsche’s figures on the streets of suburban Atlanta.

Exiting the highway, I found myself winding through the twisty back roads of the Appalachian Piedmont. This is where the 911 really shines.

Porsche’s engineers have worked wonders with this car. The 911 dives into corners with confidence and launches out of them like a race horse out of the chute. In the twisty bits, the 911 is nearly telepathic. It’s ability the predict what I want to do is simply uncanny. Never have I experienced a car that was so in tune with my thinking. Almost like an old like an old friend just making up for lost time.

Sounds weird? Perhaps a bit. But, after spending 500 miles behind the wheel of our 911 test car, it’s the only way I could properly describe how I felt about Porsche’s most iconic contribution to the automotive landscape.

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