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Great Roads: Ebnisee, Germany

This Great Road, written by Kieron Fennelly, was featured in issue 58 of Total 911.

Great Roads: Ebnisee, Germany

So you’ve flown to Zuffenhausen, but the timetable has gone awry and you have only an hour and a half to try out the latest 911 before your flight back. No question of going to the Nürburgring or the Black Forest and the prospect of blasting down the Autobahn is unedifying. The answer? Take one of Zuffenhausen’s original test routes, a challenging 65-mile loop northeast of Stuttgart.

Leaving Porscheplatz, we’re on the dual carriageway cruising at the 120km limit towards Schwäbisch Gmünd. Ten minutes out of the suburbs we are following a valley through hilly terrain and at Schondorf we turn left onto a well surfaced and wide Landstrasse (A road), again following a valley. Then at Rudersberg, we fork right onto a minor road and are climbing into the wooded hills, following signs for Ebnisee.

This road is altogether rougher and the intermittent concrete barriers were certainly there when Ferry Porsche used to come thrashing round in early 356s, probably wondering whether Zuffenhausen should be fitting antiroll bars to the cars.

Today’s 911 absorbs the potholes effortlessly, encouraging us to increase speed, the drive becoming ever more involving as we race between sharp, blind bends in second and third, braking hard for an oncoming truck unreasonably occupying the middle of the road. Slowing through the village of Althütte, we now reach an escarpment with fine views. Heilbronn is on the distant horizon.

This is the Schwäbische Wald (forest). A superb sweeping Landstrasse takes us through a dip, compressing the suspension before we brake for the tiny village of Ebni and its adjacent lake, which Porsche made use of for testing the wartime amphibious typ 128 and for early publicity shots.

A sharp right takes us northwest on a minor road and we descend rapidly through a couple of Alpine hairpins then a string of bumpy but open bends which have no hedges to interrupt the sight line allowing us to use all the road. There are six kilometres of this and the temptation to turn around and race back up in the opposite direction is irresistible.

It is striking how the same road can feel completely different in the reverse direction and you always feel braver throwing a car into an uphill rather than a downhill hairpin. Descending once again, we think of Helmuth Bott or Peter Falk haring down here in the prototype 901s, never certain whether the front or the back was going to break away first.

After this we slow down for the village of Weissach (no, not that Weissach which is 40 miles away) where we rejoin the Landstrasse and follow signs to the town of Backnang which we bypass. Several sets of traffic lights demand patience, but then we are on the main road to the A81 Autobahn. Nine miles of broad open blacktop through rolling countryside enable us to build a satisfying rhythm.

In no time, it seems, we are at the junction for the A81 and we join the southbound carriageway, hopeful of breaks in the traffic to allow us to achieve some real speed in sixth. At junction 17 the signs point to Zuffenhausen and in five minutes we are back in Porscheplatz.

That was 65 miles on as varied a selection of roads as we could hope for and an absorbing time to appreciate, not just the definitive sports car, but also its native heath. From these same roads comes the very DNA of the 911 and we’ve had that satisfying experience of Fahren in seiner schönsten Form.

LOCATION: Baden Württemberg, northeast of Stuttgart, Germany

LATITUDE: 48.661604/9.350134

LENGTH OF DRIVE: 65 miles

POINTS OF INTEREST:
Ebnisee Lake, historic Backnang

FOOD & ACCOMMODATION:
Romantik Hotel
Schassberger, Ebnisee
www.schassberger.de

Hotel Bitzer, Backnang
www.hotel-bitzer.de

Ascot Hotel, Ditzingen
www.ascothotels.de

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greetings from DTLA

last shot of the day for Australian magazine Smith journal


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Porsche Macan, 911 Targa and Boxster/Cayman GTS Details Leaked

A Porsche employee has leaked slides showing the vital information of the 2014 Porsche Macan, 2014 Porsche 911 Targa and 911 Targa S as well as the upcoming Porsche Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS! Starting with the Porsche Macan, it’s …

Porsche Macan, 911 Targa and Boxster/Cayman GTS Details Leaked More news at

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Ferrari F12 vs Corvette C7 vs Porsche 911 C4S!

Ferrari Porsche Chevy

You’ve gotta hand it to the guys over at Motor Trend as they’ve got access to the coolest cars on the planet. Who else can get together a 2014 Ferrari F12, 2014 Corvette C7 and a 2014 Porsche 911 C4S and wring them out at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with Randy Pobst behind the wheel. There is a V12, a V8 and a flat-6 and yet the lap times are so close it’s ridiculous. This is a good one, so make sure to check it out after the jump.

Source: MotorTrend.com

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Great Roads: A87, Invergarry to Uig, UK

This Great Road, originally written by Ali Cusick, was featured in issue 89 of  Total 911.

A87 Invergarry

When it comes to open roads, Scotland is littered with them. Starting in the eastern end at Invergarry by the central Lochs that diagonally split Scotland, this road is no different. Running fairly constantly towards the north-west, it continues towards the mainland coast at the Kyle of Lochalsh, then even further across the Isle of Skye, north to the ferry terminal at Uig. As far as Great Drives go, this is one to really get stuck into.

Granted, it is on a fairly major tourist run between ‘The South’ and the Highlands and Islands, but a large quantity of that traffic dies out around Fort William. After the left turn off the A82 at Invergarry, it can be surprising how little traffic there is.

We auggest this road because it not only satisfies our scenic itch, but contains two other elements that are vital to a 911 drive: bends and substantial length. The A87 generally takes on a weaving, rolling gait around each geographical obstacle for a full 50 miles if you want to stop at The Kyle of Lochalsh. If you want more of a workout, push on to Uig on Skye, and you’ll have pedalled for as good as 100 miles, and probably be grinning like a fool.

The surface is good for the majority – in parts, excellent – and there are plenty of changes to keep you interested, as well as providing plenty in the way of driver challenge. It’s not a steady waft along a straight, level road, as we experience too often in day-to-day motoring. Here, you’ll point from one bend, push on for the next arc, and revel in setting the car up for the next section of curves, with raises in altitude and changes in views aplenty.

There will be slightly longer sight lines, affording safe and social overtaking opportunity, and a few 30 limits for spread out communities – find me 50 miles that don’t have those – but it will be those third gear bends that hold your attention. It is the perfect trip for feeling the car settle at positive throttle inputs; that momentary appreciation of what your 911 is all about.

The whole route is a lengthy jaunt, and if you expect all the trappings of modern life at Uig, or even at the Kyle of Lochalsh, you will be in for a shock. No one comes to this part of Scotland looking for fast food, a Holiday Inn and a nightclub. What you will find is a vibrant local community where rather than corporate blandness, the village pub will be alive with both character and characters, and superb local food will feature highly.

We did this run a few weeks ago, and at times couldn’t see a single car ahead of me, nor behind, for mile after mile. Sitting in the pub that evening appreciating a superb, peaty single malt whisky, we had to say to ourselves, who wouldn’t enjoy driving a 911 to a place like this?

LOCATION: Invergarry Highland to Uig, Isle of Skye

LATITUDE: 57.0693 -4.7955

LENGTH OF DRIVE: 98.6 miles

POINTS OF INTEREST:
Glen Garry viewpoint (Scotland-shaped Loch)
Sea Eagle feeding boat cruise, Portree
Talisker Distillery, Skye
Eilean Donan Castle

FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION:
Ferry Inn Hotel, Uig
http://www.ferryinn.co.uk/index.html

Edinbane Inn, Portree
01470 582414

Invergarry Hotel
www.invergarryhotel.co.uk

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