When you’re the best in the business, everyone else wants to beat you. When you’re the best in the car business, everyone else wants to build a better car.
The thing is, when you’re the best, you rarely lose. When you feel the competition getting close, you up your game and make sure whatever you do next sets you apart and shows the world exactly why you’ve earned the title “The Best.”
In the sports car world, “The Best” is Porsche. Other carmakers desperately want to take down the 911, or at least field something somewhat comparable. That’s no easy task, but two recent reviews of new cars both come to the conclusion that Porsche has some surprising new challengers.
If you flip the right switches, the V8 S transforms into something quite belligerent and intense, a British aristocrat well off his meds: The steering grows keen and twitchy, the adaptive suspension gets stingy, the throttle antsy, the torque-vectoring differential goes to work and pretty soon all four tires are chirping and squeaking madly around canyon hairpins.
With 495 hp from a 5.0-liter V8 good for 0-60 in 4.2 seconds and handling that rivals that of the super-Porsche, it seems Coventry has put Stuttgart on notice.
And so has the United States.
At this point you might have uttered something that sounded like, “What!?”
Certainly nothing inside the U.S. can rival a Porsche. Even more certainly, not a heavy chunk of iron from Detroit. Right?
A reviewer for CNN Money said,
Charging through a twisting two-lane road, the Corvette powered through curve after curve at speeds well above those suggested on the yellow signs, It felt as natural as walking. Firmly planted and balanced, the car never caused the slightest quiver of nervousness.It felt stuck to the pavement like a gecko to a glass door and the steering provided detailed but gentle feedback though my hands. [sic]
That’s one reviewer’s opinion, of course, and I don’t think the 2014 ‘Vette will stand up to the 911 in head-to-head comparison tests. Still, to even get the comparison is a giant step for Chevrolet.
With competition heating up, what’s Porsche got up its sleeve? Well, the production version of the 918 Spyder, for one thing.
Worry not, Porsche fans. Sometimes it just doesn’t get any better than “The Best.”
For $52,000, you could get a new Corvette or a used 911 Carrera 4 S. Which would you pick?