Carrera, my wildest dream

2011-10-03 08:28

I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy – the girl whose typical outfit is T-shirts, jeans and takkies. I like to call it being a girl-racer.

Then a car came along and made me change my boyish ways. I was suffering from a broken heart, but then I fell in love instantly. My medication came in the form of the new Carrera 4?GTS (Gran Turismo Sport).

The tomboy Janine-Lee was immediately cast aside for slick hair, bright shirts and high heels.

Last week Friday, I had the song Who’s That Girl? by hip-hop and R&B singer Eve playing in my head. The Porsche brand has always held some sort of stigma, and when you are behind its steering wheel, you are either disliked or envied.

Outside the Joburg-based Porsche centre stood the kind of ingredients that made up the epitome of every gearhead’s wildest dreams. But my eyes fell on the fine AquaBlue specimen enjoying kisses from the sun as it sat on its matching 19-inch wheels, waiting for me.

I turned the key in the ignition and the sound roaring from the rear-mounted 3.8-litre flat-six engine sang in my ears like a sweet love song.

I knew then that the next six days were going to be my heaven on earth. I had 300kW of rear-wheel power and 420Nm of torque at my mercy.

Getting into the racy, bucket seats draped in beige leather, I had to stop myself from taking a bite out of the matching three-spoke steering wheel like a child would gobble a piece of fudge.

Any confidence I was lacking came back in full force. Reaffirmed by my nine-year-old nephew when he saw me step out of the gorgeous beast later that evening, I was convinced I had to act like the car was mine and believe it. The young fellow said: “Aunty Ninnie, you make that car look fabulous.”

I took the next few days in my stride, making sure my hair was always in place and the permanent, silly grin was
never optional.

Better known as the 911, it first made its debut back in 1963. And though the concept of the first model might be the same today, it has received the kind of refinement and precision found in a science laboratory.

Here is a car that still has the same bubble shape, but with racier finesse. Its curves are sexier and just scream “Do you wanna race me?”.

The GTS is a car that will make any person look twice, even if one doesn’t know a thing about motoring. At home, I kept running to my door and checking the car.

“Yes, there really is a GTS in my driveway,” I told myself.

Its acceleration is ridiculous and if I didn’t keep my eye on the clock, 250km/h was upon me while it still felt like I was driving at half the speed. And I’m not just saying that. The 0-100km/h sprint takes only 4.2 seconds!

The deep growl made me want to push the aluminium sporty throttle peddle even harder. Coupled with that is the optional and legendary seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) system, which is fancy speak for dual-clutch, along with paddle shifts for added sporting pleasure.

The PDK enables lightning-fast and dangerously smooth gear changes. It’s every girl-racer’s dream.

I’d even mastered getting in and out of the ground-kissing car as though it was made for me. Because of its gravity-pulling stance, driving at such crazy speeds has never felt safer. It is so comfortable, the cabin feels as if you’re in a protective air bubble.

The sad part was that time passed way too fast, and the car had to be returned.

I remember standing in our office parking lot with tearey brown eyes as I watched the GTS being driven away. My heart shattered again.

The only way I can hold on to the memory of that sweet affair is to still be fabulous and not go back to my boyish ways.

So far, I’m holding up pretty good and get up with the same diva attitude each morning.

»?Follow me on Twitter: @Speedqueen

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