Porsche Carerra 911
The 911 debuted in the 1960s and remains at the pinnacle of automobiledom while staying true to its roots as the quintessential sports car. An eager rear-mounted 370-hp, 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six powers the rear wheels; S models make 420 hp. A seven-speed manual transmission is standard; all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic are options. In coupe, convertible, and Targa form, the 911 is as luxurious as it is sure-footed, making even novices feel like racing legends.
Porsche still lets us play with a shifter and clutch. We might lack the moves of Deep Blue, but there’s joy in trying. Which leads us back to the fact that the manual Carrera isn’t as quick to 60 mph as its PDK equivalent. Now, before you blame our shifting skills, know that it’s mostly in the launch. Manual 911s won’t rev past 4200 rpm with the clutch in and first gear selected. Therefore, the launch isn’t as aggressive as the about-5000-rpm clutch engagement enabled by the PDK’s launch control, which should really be renamed launch out-of-your-control.