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Shelby Mustang Cobra GT500, Geneva Auto Show, New York Auto Show, Detailers Paradise, Nissan Titan, Porsche 911 Carrera S, Volvo S40
Issue Seventeen
March 28, 2005
2005 Geneva Auto Show
Photo Gallery:
2005 Geneva Auto Show
2005 New York Auto Show
Photo Gallery:
2005 NY Auto Show
Hot Lap with:
Detailers Paradise
Nissan Titan
Porsche 911 Carrera S
2005 Volvo S40

2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S:
Serious Seat Time in The Ultimate Drivers Car (continued)

Centerstack, HVAC, Radio controls for 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S

2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S PASM

19-inch wheels on 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S

Visit the
2005 Porsche 911
Carrera S
Photo Gallery

Official Web site:
Porsche Cars NA
Instrumentation exudes typical Porsche perfection - the gauges are well placed, easy to read and offer plenty of information without being overwhelming. We wish we could say the same about the center stack controls - if our count is accurate, there's more than fifty buttons surrounding the multi-function display, and most lean toward the cryptic-side of the scale. The HVAC controls are straightforward, as are the all important PASM and traction control buttons (more on those later). Materials are top notch, as is expected, offering a tasteful look and feel.

A quarter-turn of the left-side-mounted ignition switch brings the 3.8-liter flat six to life, and it sounds as though it awoke in good spirits. The exhaust note burbles with Porsche's signature sound, offering just a hint as to what lurks just ahead of the quad tailpipes. Clutch action is velvet smooth and nearly effortless - the take-up is progressive and offers plenty of feedback. There's no heavy feel to it - it simply engages and disengages effortlessly.

We slip the leather wrapped billet shifter into first gear, and it responds with a solid "snick." Unlike so many other shifters we've encountered, there's no vagueness - it feels as if the shifter is a solid extension of the transmission, with activations that are precise and immediate.

With the 355 horsepower motor warmed and ready to run, we ease out the clutch and begin our adventure. We work our way onto an old section of deserted highway, somewhere in central California, and immediately notice a dramatic improvement in ride quality over previous versions of the 911. Despite wearing some of the largest wheels to ever roll beneath a Porsche (19"), bumps and expansion joints are easily tamed by the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system. When left in "normal" mode, the ride is plush and comfy, and makes for effortless long-distance jaunts. Switching the PASM mode to "sport" immediately changes the character of the ride - we can literally feel the suspension stiffen and road irregularities that were once muted are now hitting like a pair of 18" subwoofers.

Regardless of the PASM mode you choose, the Carrera S is nearly unflappable, even when purposely pushed to the limits. At one point early into our road test, we encountered a tricky set of off-camber esses. We approached them with trepidation, but our caution was unwarranted - we tried our darnnedest to upset the heavily biased back-end, but it remained firmly planted. Try as we might, we couldn't force it to snap around on us (and that's a good thing) - the suspension just hunkers down and grabs the road with a tenacious grip. Any extra weight that the new Carrera carries over the old model is invisible - there's absolutely no body roll and the car never feels heavy.

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