|Visibility is good front and rear, the
windscreen being more curved and wider than before. For the first time, here is a Porsche
with a fairly large boot, large enough to accommodate two good-sized suitcases.
The car is fitted with disc brakes on all four wheels and has independent suspension all around. In front the suspension is of the Macpherson type, with lower wishbones and torsion bars. At the back, the swing-axle type suspension has been abandoned in favour of trailing arms, wish-bones and torsion bars.
When you start the engine for the first time you are imtnediately surprised by the sound. Indeed it is no longer a "Porsche" sound but more the one of a very familiar fiat-six, aircooled engine named the Chevrolet Corsair.
From the very first few miles at the wheel, three things strike the driver, particularly if he is already used to Porsches. The new 911 is smoother, more refined and more comfortable than any other Porsche built before.
With more driving the 911 brings pleasant surprises in just about every department The five-speed gearbox is first-class and once used to the unusual gate of the shifting meelsanism there is no problem about making fast changes from first to second gears. First gear is back towards the driver opposite reverse, and there is spring-loading to help you not to go from ISt to 4th gear. In other words, when you go from 1st to 2nd, let the spring-loaded gear find its own way into the proper gate. If you try to be too brisk and go faster than the spring you will find yourself almost every time in 4th.
Because of the refinement, you have very little feeling of speed or great acceleration. Only the reading of your instruments can rernind you that you are sometimes going faster thati you should. The noise level of the fiat-six is not in the Roll~Royce class but, surprisingly, it is comparatively noisier at low revs, because of the cooling fan, than at higher ones where it seems to run effortlessly anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 r.p.m.
With three turns from lock to lock, the rack and pinion-type steering is quick, direct, precise and free from road reaction, the way a steering should be. The handling of the 911 is superb and although you are dealing with a rear-engined car with the engine located behind the axle, this handling is very much on the neutral side, with light oversteer appearing only under severe conditions. On bad roads the car will get a bit jumpy when driven hard but the l'andling never becomes alarming. It gives at all times, dry or wet or even with strong lateral winds, a great feeling of safety. I really did not find any true handling vice in the 911, and for such a comfortable riding car I was surprised to find how little roll it has when driven fast on curv'y roads.
Its brakes are powerful and efficient, with relatively low pedal pressure, althougI' the car is not fitted with a servo. The throttle pedal pressure is surprisingly heavy for such a refined car and it seems that to get optimum performance you must use the throttle all the way down to the floor.
Performance is above reproach and with only 2 litres Porsche are matching that of many big American cars; the figures I recorded were certainly not far either from those of the new
There are plenty of instruments and a wooden dash panel. The matching wood-rim steering wheel has a narrow X pattern of matt black spokes
Ferrari 2+2. Under good conditions I reached a top speed of just over 130
m.p.h., with the standing quarter-mile and standing kilometre timed respectively at l6.6
and 29.5 sec. 0-50 m.p.h. took 6.2 sec, 0-80, l5.5 sec and 0-100 25sec. The gear spacings
are near perfect with 1st going to 37 m.ph., 2nd to 63, 3rd to 95, 4th to 112 and 5th to
130, using 6,500 r.p.m. in every case.