Clarkson drives the Porsche GT2

Discussion in 'European Cars' started by RockaForte, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. Porsche 911 Carrera GT2

    It takes you to the edge ... and shoves

    Jeremy Clarkson

    Golf is not mysterious. I understand absolutely why someone would play it once . . . and then decide to play it again. It’s not because they have a Rupert Bear fixation or because they dislike the company of women or because they secretly want to be a freemason. No. It’s because they think that if they keep playing, they might get a bit better.

    Luckily, I was born with a body that renders me quite incapable of doing anything very well. Which means I never suffer from this.

    Chess? I’m rubbish. Tennis? I’m so spectacularly bad, I can only just beat Jimmy Carr. DIY? For me this is simply impossible. Even if I attempt something simple, such as hanging a picture, I end up in casualty, the painting ends up ruined and the wall ends up in the garden.

    So when I played golf for the first time, I knew there would never be a second. There would be no point. Even if I played every day for 1,000 years, the ball would still never travel more than 6in. And in all probability I’d end up with a severed jugular vein. That’s what happened when I tried to help my boy make an Airfix model the other day.

    This is a good thing, of course, because it means my life is varied and interesting. I never do the same thing twice whereas someone who has a hobby does exactly the same thing day after interminable day. James May, for instance, enjoys taking old motorcycle engines to pieces and then putting them back together again, as slowly as possible. Consequently, this is all he does.

    Chris Tarrant, meanwhile, likes to spend all his free time standing up to his testicles in dirty water trying to outwit a fish; a creature with less brain capacity than a washing machine.

    This brings us on to the Porsche 911, a car aimed at people for whom the drive to work every morning is not a chore or a pleasure. It is a pastime, a hobby. Something that can be improved and finessed with practice. Sometimes, I imagine that 911 people go to work, turn round and then go to work again.

    People buy Ferraris and Lamborghinis because cars like this effervesce. They fizz and crackle and they’re as much about style and panache as they are about generating G in the bends. A 911, on the other hand, is not about style at all. It’s fishing, with a steering wheel.

    When you buy a normal car, you choose the model, choose the engine size you’d like and then add as many extras as you think you can afford. Then a few you can’t.

    It is not so simple with a 911. The range is mind boggling. It starts with the simple Carrera, which has no frills, no spoiler on which the RAF could land a jet, no wide wheelarch-es, no turbocharging. You get a simple 3.6 litre, flat six that drives the rear wheels. This, then, is the starting point. My little pony.

    If you go for the 3.8 litre S model, it is the best of the 911s. It offers all of the design’s best features with none of the drawbacks, at a reasonable price. But sadly, once you’ve stuck your toe into the world of the 911, pretty soon you are going to be as hooked as a golfer; believing that if you spend more and more on better equipment, your game will improve.

    Pretty soon, then, you’re going to be back at the dealership wondering out loud if perhaps you could take the roundabout outside TGI Fridays a little bit faster if you had four-wheel drive. (You can’t.)

    Then you’ll start to wonder about the GT3, which is like the simple Carrera S but with scaffolding in the back and a thin back window. Around a track, this is an incredible car. You’ll like that. You’ll start doing track days. And there you’ll be overtaken by people in turbos, so you’ll think that maybe you should have one of those. Pretty soon, you’ll be subscribing to the 911 magazine for enthusiasts. And then all you’ll be able to do, day in and day out, is dream of the day when you can have a GT2. The £131,070 GT2 is Everest. It has the engine from the turbo but with more power and only two-wheel drive. It has scaffolding in the back. It is light. It is, to Mr Porsche-Man, what the very best woods are to the world of pro-am golf.

    It is also immensely fast. The 530 horsepowers feel as though they’re coming from a gigantic muscle rather than an engine. So if ever you feel the need to mash that throttle into the carpet, you’d better be ready . . .

    Just yesterday, I pulled out to overtake four cars on a normal A road and by the time the manoeuvre was complete, I was doing 165mph. That is not a boast. That is a fact. And if anyone asks, I shall say I was on the Isle of Man.

    I then went to the track, where I discovered that the GT2 can lap more quickly than a Ferrari Scuderia. This is astonishing. A Ferrari has nocarpets, an electronic differential, sophisticated traction control, adjustable suspension and a flappy paddle box that can shift gears in 60 milliseconds. The Porsche has none of these things.Just its big muscle and a basic six-speed manual. And yet it was faster.

    This alone would be enough to get the hobby-boys chortling into their G and Ts. And there’s more.

    The GT2 handles like an old-school 911. Push it hard into a corner with the traction control turned off and you have yards of nasty understeer which, no matter what you do to correct the problem, results in a violent lurch from the rear: 911 fans love this. They reckon that being able to tame this problem makes them men among men. But for me, as a man who can’t do anything properly, it’s a bloody nightmare.

    The grip from a GT2 is biblical. In a bend, you can feel the G-forces peeling your muscles from their mountings. But when you exceed the limits – and what’s the point of a car like this if you don’t at least try – you are almost certainly going to spin.

    On a road, the problems are even worse – principally it’s all far too firm. Anyone who knows where the A40 blends, in a nice right-hander, onto the M40 just outside Oxford knows about the bump at the apex of the corner. In most cars it’s nothing to worry about. In a GT2, however, you take off and don’t land till you’re in Hil-lingdon. Good for the fuel consumption, I guess. But bad for your nerves.

    It was much the same story last night. There’s a crest on a B road near where I live, and in most cars the traction control light flickers as you go over it. The GT2, however, slewed sideways. Suddenly. It was extremely alarming. I may even have wet myself a bit.

    And then there’s the tyre roar. The GT2 has giant 325/30 rear tyres and, boy, do they make a racket. Even on a smooth modern motorway you cannot hear yourself think.

    I hated this car. Yes, the speed is mesmerising. Epic. But the price is too high. It’s too difficult, too much like hard work and the only rewards if you push it are a series of terrifying and unpredictable lurches.

    Think of it as a carbon fibre fishing rod. It will make you look serious and keen among your peers. But one day, you’re going to snag it on an overhead power line. And as you lie in hospital afterwards, with no face and melted feet, you’re going to wish you’d stuck with a bamboo cane and a piece of string.

    Clarkson’s Verdict It’s too hot and too hard to handle

    Porsche 911 Carrera GT2

    Vital statistics

    ENGINE 3600cc, six cylinders

    POWER 530bhp @ 6500rpm

    TORQUE 501 lb ft @ 2200rpm

    TRANSMISSION 6 speed manual

    FUEL 22.6mpg (combined) CO2 298g/km

    PERFORMANCE 0-62mph: 3.7sec

    TOP SPEED 204mph PRICE £131,070

    ROAD TAX BAND G (£400 a year)
  2. It got one star, by the way.
  3. sounds like he didn't like it much
  4. difference between a good car and a car that Clarkson actually likes. Most people on here forget that.
  5. so it's a proper gt2, ie idolized burning garbage.
  6. Clarkson�s Verdict It�s too hot and too hard to handle

    the perfect 911 <A BORDER="0" HREF=""><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/smile.gif"></A>
  7. hes not man enough for it lol
  9. its a 911 so of course he won't like it
  11. except he adores the new 911 Turbo
  12. It beat the Scuderia...
  13. Clarkson is a great show host, but his opinions on cars are too biased for me yto pay any attention to what he says unless it's funny and not really car-related.
  14. Clarkson's take on Porsche is well worth the read.
  15. obviously he got spoiled by the GT-R <A BORDER="0" HREF=""><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/sad.gif"></A>
  16. Good read.
  17. the reason it owns the scuderia is because it has that enormous rubber. 325 at the rear vs the scud's 285. its just not wide enough to put that power down, even with all the fancy gadgets. maybe they were afraid it would own the Enzo too much
  18. eat shit clarkson. stick to your feraryes
  20. Al he says makes me like the GT2 more. He just states it's a real 911, 930 style.
  21. Clarkson calls the 911 "The Hitler Car." Don�t take his opinion to seriously on this one.
  22. I love how Clarkson manages to get under the fanboys skin without even trying
  23. He's always disliked 911s. He's also never denied that he writes his own opinion.
  24. How? He just said himself its too much for him so he doesn't like it. Just makes it cooler.
  25. #25 ScoRpFerrari, Jul 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016

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