Garrett McNamara in the Algarve 3.JPG

Take the long way home

If you have a problem, it is very likely the new Porsche 911 can take your mind off it.

The year of 1963 was a big year. It saw the birth of Lamborghini Automobili and the death of Kennedy, Lawrence of Arabia won the Oscar for Best Picture, The Beatles recorded their first album, Martin Luther King said he had a dream and, of course, the most important thing of them all, the first 911 broke cover at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

It was the brainchild of Ferdinand ‘Butzi’ Porsche, the son of Ferry Porsche and grandson of the original Ferdinand Porsche.

The 911 is not an icon, it is much more than that. It is one of the world’s most famous engineering products, let alone automobiles. It has also won just about every major car race there is, including Le Mans, Targa Florio, Sebring, Nurburgring, Daytona, etc.

A whole newspaper would not be enough to describe everything that surrounds what is, along with the Ford Model T and the Mini, the most significant car in the world.

Bigger, lighter, faster

The new generation – codenamed 991 – is another small revolution, introducing an all-aluminium platform for increased lightness and an array of technological features NASA would be happy to know about.

Michael Mauer and his team have created yet another timeless design, albeit a much more grown up one, with an elevated waistline and an inspired back end, with that assuming line across the middle.

Inside, a Panamera-like interior is a welcome addition and quality levels are at an all-time high, involving the passengers in a luxurious and ergonomic environment where trim options are virtually infinite.

But where the 911 must make a difference is on the road and Algarve Resident had the opportunity to test drive the 3.8l 400 hp Carrera S at the international launch in Valencia and a few weeks later around some excellent Portuguese mountain roads.

The 991 is quite a different car from the last generation 997, feeling much more planted on the road and even easier to drive (very) fast. The new electrically controlled steering is the most controversial point and although it is not as special as the old hydraulic setting, it is still the best of its kind.

You can choose between a seven-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed double clutch PDK – unless you try the PDK and then there is only one option. The gear changes are smooth when you are cruising and lightning fast in Sport Plus Mode. Numbers? 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 302km/h.

The new Porsche 911 is a real joy to drive, it is faster than ever, more comfortable and with astonishing fuel and emission figures for the performance on offer. It will not solve all your problems but, in every journey, you can be certain it will make you forget them. Better to take the long way home.

Price: Porsche 911 Carrera S PDK from €132,976 / tested model €167,336