Impressions From The First Long Drive

On Saturday, I got up early to drive from Seattle to Carnation and join some some fellow PCA/PNWR members for an all day drive. We explored some beautiful roads and I had the chance to see how the car did on the highway, beautiful curvy mountain roads, crappy rutted out backroads, dry roads, unexpected wet leaf covered roads in tight corners and everything in between. I’m in love with this car and it is the most fun car I’ve ever driven. Here are some initial impressions:

What I love

  • This is the prettiest car that I’ve ever owned and one of the nicest looking cars on the road today. There isn’t a bad angle to be found on this car. It was the design of the Spyder that first caught my eye and while it is just a fancy Boxster, it sure sets itself apart visually. This is the only convertible that looks as good with the top up as with the top down. Okay…nearly as good.
  • This car is the most fun car to drive that I’ve owned. This car handles like no car I’ve owned before. All of the clichés are true. Go-Kart…on rails…etc. The car feels like it is pivoting around me. I knew it would feel different from a 911 but I underestimated just how different. The way the Spyder grips the road, and tucks into a corner is more confidence inspiring than any previous sports car that I’ve owned. This is also my first GT Porsche so I’m comparing it to bigger heavier AWD modern 911s and older cars.
  • Best manual I’ve ever owned/driven. I wanted a manual for the touring style driving I do where enjoyment/engagement is a higher priority than speed. I’m a huge fan of auto-blip and this transmission is a blast to use.
  • I expected this car to feel slow given I’m coming from a tuned 600hp Turbo. Sure, the Turbo is faster, but the 4.0 engine in the Spyder feels anything but slow. Keep it in the right gear and you have all the power you will ever need and then some.
  • I love the purpose built interior. I opted for black/silver stitch with some extra leather and I have the 2-way seats. I find the interior to be classy, understated, uncluttered and a great place to spend some time. It feels bigger than I expected. I didn’t need to read the owners manual to know how to work anything because there are so few gizmos and things work as expected. Nothing gets in the way of the driving experience but it also doesn’t feel stripped down.
  • Ride comfort is better than expected. I was expecting a brutal/harsh ride and it is anything but. The stock Spyder is far more comfortable and compliant than my 2011 Turbo S was even after the DSC Controller was added in.
  • Exhaust note at higher RPM seems good…I’m waiting for a few thousand miles before considering any exhaust changes.
  • Porsche brakes are always amazing and PCCBs do not disappoint. Incredible stopping power, lightweight and lifetime brakes off the track. I had them on my Turbo and I’m glad I checked that box for this car.
  • Putting the top up and down is easier than I expected it to be. Takes 30 to 45 seconds and my top closes without much effort.

What I don’t love

  • The cold start on this engine sounds like a diesel truck. It is loud but not in a pleasing way or even in a “I’m a fire breathing sports car so get out of my way” way. That settles down pretty quickly and perhaps it will get better with time but I wish it sounded better from first crank.
  • Why doesn’t the USB port in the glovebox connect to CarPlay…that is such an easy thing to get right.
  • Silver wheel color. I didn’t love any of the standard wheel colors but I picked silver. It is a boring silver paint in my opinion and I plan to change it up at some point. I do love the wheel design…looks like spider legs to me which is perfect for the car.

Photos from the drive:

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