Strengths and weaknesses:
- styling and finish
- engine and drivetrain
- lengthy list of options
- storage space
The unmistakeable sound of the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S resonates between the rows of manicured hedges and the beach as I drive along the shoreline of Lake Simcoe 60 minutes north of Toronto.
Much to my surprise, teenage boys and men my age are as equally attracted to the Lime Gold metallic paint scheme as are women. I had assumed red, black or silver would be their choice. But to a man, they all say it is the perfect colour for this extraordinary sports coupe.
Power comes in the form of a 3.8-litre six-cylinder engine. In typical Porsche fashion, a practice that has lasted nearly 50 years, the configuration is horizontally-opposed-six mounted in the rear of the car. This is important to remember when exiting the car and opening the trunk.
Twisting the ignition switch, traditionally located on the left side of sport steering wheel, brings to life the sweet sounds of 400 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque, but these are just numbers on a page. The real fun starts when you blast away from a stop, reaching 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and topping out at 302 km/h.
Of course, nowhere except for a racetrack would you ever think of reaching top speed but 100 km/h in just over 4 seconds? I can do this all day!
Matched with the esteemed seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission, the road unfolds into a series of tight, twisting “S” turns as I toggle quickly between 2, 3 and 4th. Steering wheel mounted aluminum shift paddles make it effortless. Driving a manual Porsche is fun in its own way, but using your fingertips to manipulate gear changes is equally enjoyable and allows me to concentrate more on the road ahead.
Inside, the optional leather sport seats grip with a tenacity matched only by the independent MacPherson strut front and LSA multi-link rear suspension. Enhanced Porsche Stability Management (PSM) functions to aid the rear-wheel drive 911 Carrera S on its quest for the best in sports car fun.
The drive north is well worth it not only for time spent in the car, but also for the destination. The Briars is a heritage Ontario lakeside resort located on the south shore of Lake Simcoe. The Inn and Manor House date back to a simpler era when family get-togethers meant lemonade on the lawn, relaxing in a big white Muskoka chair under your favourite tree and the sound of birds breaking the silence.
The Inn, built around the original estate, houses the main dining room, indoor and outdoor pools, the Spa, tennis courts, a games room and fitness area plus enough hallways to guarantee adventure finding your way around.
Meals are served in what was once the driveway between house and stable. Converted years ago to provide a casual setting, the dining room offers several seating areas depending on your taste and full range of meal options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am advised to try the Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert and it doesn’t disappoint.
Recreational opportunities around at The Briars include the Briars Golf Club, a Stanley Thompson/Robbie Robertson design dating back nine decades that’s challenging by resort golf standards. Thunderstorms roll in to provide a great excuse to meet the boys in the clubhouse and enjoy a pint with the golf pro and the head chef.
The Spa at The Briars is intimate in both size and style. Unlike the excess opulence so popular with today’s grand spa themes, you enter the spa simply, greeted with a pair of slippers in your size, a warm housecoat and refreshments served in a comfy waiting area. From there, a full menu of spa services is offered with expert staff providing massage, facials and much more at a relaxed pace.
Back in the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S I am feeling stress-free and inspired to push the laws of physics once again. The car responds with typical Porsche flare and the miles pass by effortlessly.
Where to Stay
55 Hedge Road, R.R. 1,
Jackson's Point, Ontario, Canada