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2008 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S--D&M Motorsports Test Drive and Video Walk Around with Chris Moran

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Uploaded on Dec 17, 2011

A unique 2008 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S (997) from D&M Motorsports. Presented by Chris Moran.

If you were to analyze the world's finest modern-day sports cars, you would find that they all have a front or midengine design that balances weight distribution and centralizes mass between the wheels. Yet the 2008 Porsche 911, with its engine hanging out behind the rear axle, thrusts a middle finger into the air toward conventional automotive engineering wisdom. That it simultaneously achieves truly legendary performance is all the more surprising.

Someone once wrote that the Porsche 911 is a "terrible design, brilliantly executed." And that pretty much explains why no other automaker is currently offering a rear-engine car. But more than four decades of research and development have morphed the 911 from a mostly entertaining but bedeviling-at-the-limit beast to a very capable and forgiving sports car. It simultaneously provides supercar performance and handling, along with daily driver comfort and livability. And with the ever-expanding 911 family, picking the perfect Porsche for your needs has never been easier. Provided, of course, you have the means.

For 2008, a Turbo Cabriolet joins the coupe, while the ultimate 911 -- the even more potent, lighter, rear-drive GT2 -- comes back into the fold. Other changes this year include optional carbon-fiber racing-style seats, a more effective sunshade for Targa versions and increased oil change intervals for most models (12,000 miles or one year).

As always, performance is paramount. According to Porsche, even the base 911 can run to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds and stretch its legs out to a top speed of 177 mph. Should that be inadequate and you've got pockets so deep that nearly 200K for a car doesn't make you blink, consider the 911 GT2. This ultimate 911 will rocket you to 60 mph and hit 205 mph flat out, making it the fastest 911 ever made. Between these bookends are other enticing selections -- the tweaked "S"; the foul-weather-friendly, all-wheel-drive "4"; the track-ready GT3 and the blindingly fast, yet docile and comfortable Turbo.

One of the reasons the 911 has become almost larger than life is its combination of ferocious performance and daily-driver livability. The car's basic design, with its large glass area, slim roof pillars and no-nonsense interior, has hardly changed since its debut in 1964. This provides a comfortable and stress-free environment for the driver, unlike some other sports cars where one sinks down low and has to contend with a view to the rear quarters that's tantamount to a Brink's truck. With its glass roof, the Targa model accentuates this feeling even more. Underway, the 911 is just as welcoming, with smooth power delivery, easily modulated strong brakes, and ultra-responsive but never nervous steering.

With such a wide range of offerings, the 2008 Porsche 911's various guises compete with many different sports cars, but it manages to stand up to them all. Savvy consumers will know that a strong argument can be made for choosing a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 over a 911, as it provides a tad more performance for considerably less money. The same goes for the Nissan GT-R, which also benefits from being all-new and this year's media darling. But the Corvette doesn't have the 911's build quality, nor its high level of driver interaction, while the GT-R lacks the 911's prestige and customization aspect. Perhaps the toughest, most direct rivals for the 911 are the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and the Audi R8. Both are fantastic sports cars with moves to match their looks. But the Aston and R8 have a long time to go before they can match the history and legendary status of the Porsche 911.The 2008 Porsche 911 comes in five basic trim levels: Carrera, Carrera S, GT3, Turbo and GT2. The Carrera and Carrera S can be had in three body styles. The coupe and convertible ("Cabriolet") body styles are offered in either rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive ("4") versions. Equipped like a regular Carrera coupe, the 911 Targa 4 comes with a large power-sliding glass roof, a flip-up rear glass hatch and only all-wheel drive. The S version of the Targa 4 adds the same upgrades as the Carrera S.

The base 911 Carrera comes with 18-inch wheels, full power accessories, a trip computer, leather seating, a nine-speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player, vestigial rear seats and automatic climate control. The S adds a more powerful engine, 19-inch wheels, active suspension management technology, bigger brakes, bi-HID xenon headlights, a sport steering wheel and unique exterior and interior trim. Most of these items are optional on the Carrera.

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