10 questions for the 911 owner

Our Porsche owner thinks it's OK to trade his organs for a 911. Find out why

1) How is it that you can afford a 911?
I discovered that I don’t actually need both kidneys. And never-used brain matter commands a premium in the market too.

2) Right…you still remember your name? Is this your first sports car? Why Porsche?
No, I can’t, you can call me “oi”. But I can remember this isn’t my first sports car. I love them like the next fellow but not fond of too much attention. To me, Porsches strike a nice balance. I would feel too conspicuous in a Ferrari or Lambo or Aston or some such. But more importantly I’m suckered by Porsche’s philosophy of everyday sports cars you can drive to a track, run some hot laps, cruise home but first a detour to “tapau” food and pick up the kids from ballet and swimming, then back to the daily commute next morning. The road-biased, stock 991s are truly usable on a daily basis…I’ve yet to encounter a parking ramp or speed hump that catches out the very civilised approach and departure angles. Yet it’s sub-4.5 seconds to 100, steers properly and gives me goose-bumps past 4,500 rpm.10p8

3) Some people say Cayman is just as fun for less money, so why not the Cayman?

Oh I love that debate!

I had a 987.2 Cayman S before, and the privilege of using a 981 Boxster S daily for a few months. Loved them both. The mid-engine cars are great, and very different from a 911. Keeping the engine in the centre makes them very agile on public roads…you don’t feel much left-right weight transfer through corners; more like the car pivots around your hips.

But on track, I personally don’t like that. The propensity to pivot means you have to be really measured with your inputs or you’re just a hair from snapping into a spin. If like me you’re not a driving god, that’s hard to catch and it makes me less confident to push, and therefore not as quick. In the 911, I miss that pivot feeling but it’s replaced by a hard-to-describe, but delicious sensation of thrust and steering from behind. On track, all that weight in the ass means absurd exit traction and an ever-present threat of oversteer, but it’s progressive, predictable and easy to catch. But honestly the 991 is so sorted anyway, most times it just sticks unless you’ve overcooked it.


But the main reason I swapped for a 911 is much more “uncle” than all that. After the euphoria wears out, I find the Cayman’s tyre roar as well as the mechanical noise and vibration right behind your ears, all the time, to be tiresome. The 911 is calmer and a better daily driver. It’s like the difference between a 30-something, well-trained, composed athlete up against a teenage jock that’s all talent, testosterone and angst who needs to be slapped regularly to keep in check. The 991 also feels roomier as a daily driver and the symposer thingy pipes in just the nice sounds. Plus I can sometimes ferry the kids in the token back seats 10p10which is a good bonus over the strict two seaters.

4) Oi! You can remember so much stuff with half a brain?! Anyway, how long have you had your 911, anything failed so far?
A couple of years, and yes I’m happy with it. There was initially the usual German Christmas lights (faulty sensors/software spewing out warnings on the dash) but those were dealt with quite swiftly by Porsche Malaysia. A more persistent issue was this annoying buzz from the door speakers when playing music with deep bass but after a few attempts by the techs, the last fix seems to have worked. Fingers crossed. Failure-wise, there was a leak from a faulty high pressure pump. That was replaced and that’s that. Oh, after the last track session, the brakes squeal during light braking, but it’s no biggie.

10p75) What do you like and dislike most about your 911?
Like: The PDK gearbox’s coasting function. It’s amazing how much time one actually coasts off-throttle in daily driving. The PDK box leverages this safely and to great effect, and drivers can exploit this further by consciously planning velocity and momentum and looking far ahead (as one should anyway). It’s like a game for me. Fellow petrol heads can’t believe I average 10.x litres/100km in the city from a 3.4-litre sports car, recording as low as 7 litres/100km on single trips. I guess it helps that I’m not a yahooligan on public roads (best left to the track) and I disagree that you need testicles out constantly to enjoy a good drive anyway.


Dislike: That it’s not a 918. And I have no more kidneys nor brain matter to spare.

6) So you’ve obviously tracked your car. Tell us about the experience.
It feels a bit surreal that this is the same car that gets me to work, meetings, gym, the 7-11, cendol stall, etc., and each time I’m reminded that track duty is what the car is happiest performing. I still haven’t dared to go all out. I think I’ve only gone like seven-tenths at most so I know the car is still laughing at how chicken-s#!+ I am. My tyres are pretty much end of life right now so hopefully there’s more track time on the horizon once new shoes are on.


7) Anything about the car that keeps you awake?
No wor… despite the wonky German electronics, the alarm hasn’t gone off on its own at night.

8) Does it annoy you that Porsche makes owners pay for just about every option they tick?
I think it’s more envy for their acumen, their bulletproof brand equity that lets them get away with such extortion. The flipside though is that you can order any Porsche pretty much any way you like it, whether in terms of cosmetic trim, or creature comforts, right up to performance mechanicals. As far as I know, this is something you don’t normally get from other brands, at least not here. I think what actually annoys me though is that if you let anything after-market near even the same postcode as your Porsche, boom your warranty is void. Like wtf right?

9) Tell us about options in a 911 – what are the “must-haves, “nice-to-haves and “stay-aways”?

  1. 10p6PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) – Standard suspension’s a bit hard on our roads. With PASM, “normal” is comfier than standard, and “sport” is stiffer than standard – great for track days.
  2. PSE (Porsche Sport Exhaust) – Essential to be able to quieten the car occasionally or to eliminate exhaust drone on long highway drives.
  3. Wheels painted in black – I’m not one to keep a car detailed and spotless (it’s a car, it’s meant to be used outdoors, come on!) so it’s nice to have the wheels looking okay when they’re actually caked with brake dust.
  4. PDLS (Porsche Dynamic Lighting System) – Having the lights point into a corner at night is a subtle but empowering bit of safety kit.
  5. Electric Slide/Tilt Sunroof – Great to be able to open up the cabin when the weather’s right, adds very little weight because of Porsche’s minimalist (although somewhat unsightly) approach to a sunroof. Wish mine was the glass version so the openness is there even when closed.


  1. 10p4Seat Ventilation – Because you know, Malaysia is kinda hot.
  2. Red Seatbelts, Red Instrument Gauges – Adds at least 8 bhp because you know, they’re red.
  3. Sport Chrono+ – Adds launch control, more aggressive throttle and transmission maps and you get a dorky clock on the top of the dash.
  4. Electric Seats with Memory Function – This is an odd one. Spec this option and you get the auto-dipping passenger wing mirror when reversing which lets you watch the back wheel grind into the left kerb.
  5. PCCB – Carbon. Ceramics. ‘Nuff said.


  1. Cruise Control – Because you know, you might want to be the one that drives a driver’s drive.
  2. Carbon Fibre, Painted Interior Packages, Painted Key – Because, can you say tacky?
  3. Wheel Centre Caps with Porsche Crest in Colour – Because, yeah.
  4. Air-con Vents In Leather – Last I checked, air-con vents don’t cool better when wrapped in cow hide
  5. Aero-kit or Sport Design Front Apron – OK, you get a smidgeon less front axle lift, but there goes the friendly approach angle.


10) If I were to give you back what you’ve spent on the car, would you buy another Porsche, if yes, the same one? If no, what do you fancy?
As long as we’re talking same purpose (daily sports car), I think I’d stick to a 911 because I still believe the best ones are the ones you can really use all the time. As for which variant, the Carrera GTS is a bit tempting — such a romantic ideal, being at the top of the NA, road-going 911 food chain. But honestly I’d probably still end up with a base Carrera – it’s already plenty quick, I don’t care for bragging rights, and I generally find smaller engines more alluring anyway. Big-engined brute force is a bit “abuden” and just isn’t as sexy to me. I like having to wring out the engine a bit to extract the goods. Besides, emissions and efficiency are still things to keep in mind. I’d spec it a bit differently this time though. Or I may just take the money and buy back some organs, just in case.