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tail of the dragon

Here’s What It’s Like To Drive The 2020 Porsche 992 Carrera 4S On The Tail Of The Dragon

Porsche really wanted to make a splash with the new 992-generation of its iconic 911. The company invited several automotive journalists, including friend of the site Matt Farah, to Germany to drive the new 911 around for a couple of days. So far, that’s pretty standard for how this industry works. Then came the unorthodox bit. Porsche instructed Matt to point his GPS to the airport where the car was loaded onto a pallet and into a cargo plane. He then boarded the plane with the car, and transited across the globe to Ohio of all places (it’s a DHL hub). Then Porsche sent these folks with some of the first 992s in America down the spine of the Appalachians to the wonderful Tail of the Dragon, US 129 in Deals Gap, North Carolina. Sounds like an epic road trip, right?

After spending more time with the 992 than anyone else outside of Porsche employees, Farah got a pretty good sense for what the car was capable of. Check out his impressions in this most recent one take video below. It’s definitely worth your time to watch. And surprisingly the 992 sounds better than I remember the 3-liter Turbo sounding when I drove that engine in the 991.2 a couple of years ago.


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Watch This Singer Have An Incredibly Close Call

CODE BROWN! I’m going to need a change of shorts over here, please.

When navigating the infamous Tail of the Dragon, one must exercise a little caution. Blind bends and off-camber turns dot the eleven-mile stretch of country road in Deals Gap, North Carolina, and too much gusto can lead to a very costly incident.

Even more the case if the car one’s driving is the pinnacle of Porsche customization. Fortunately, this Singer driver’s bit of lockup only leads to a trip onto the shoulder, but you can imagine his nerves as the plumes of grey smoke spat from the wheel wells and that hillside approached. Had it been worse, he would’ve been kicking himself in a best-case scenario, especially since the typical cost of a Singer is around the $500,000-mark.

Locking the brakes so near the shoulder on a tightening bend, this man’s day could’ve ended far worse than this.

Despite the brief excursion into the gravel,the man continues boldly on his jaunt. Clearly, these cars stir something primal in a driver and get them to charge in a way that a sober man wouldn’t—especially one not interested in parking a half-million dollars in a ravine.


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Tail of the Dragon, North Carolina, USA

Nearing the Dragon,I climbed out of North Carolina and into Tennessee to an elevation of 1,756 feet at Deal’s Gap. 11 miles long and packed with over 300 curves, the ‘Tail of the Dragon’ is one of the most technical roads I’ve ever driven.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m scared of the driving dynamics of an old 911, and the road’s technicality unnerved me at times. Taking advantage of the plethora of sweeping banked turns and quick dips and dives can prove difficult if you don’t have a wealth of experience at the wheel of such a car. I wanted to push my own 911 harder, but never had the chance in the circumstances.

The problem with the Tail of the Dragon, you see, is that it is filled with traffic. If you ever find yourself in a post-apocalyptic America, the route from Deal’s Gap may in fact be one of the most challenging roads on Earth, but until then it’s hard to think of it as anything more than a tourist trap, rife with opportunities to get yourself into trouble with cyclists or pedestrians.

Tail of the Dragon 2

The Tail of the Dragon is often touted as the best road in America, although there are other great roads for enthusiasts in the area too, should you wish to venture off course.

Approximately two hours south from Deal’s Gap, you’ll find the Unicoi Turnpike in Helen, GA, as one such example. West is Highway 348 and Gainesville Highway, and some more of the best roads I’ve ever personally driven on unravel once more, offering everything Deal’s Gap may not be able to provide on a busy day. Quiet and untravelled, they twist around on themselves.

Essential info Location: Deal’s Gap, North Carolina Latitude: 35.4910N/839400W Length of drive: 11 miles Points of interest: Tail of the Dragon, State Parks, Miles upon miles of good roads Food and accommodation: Tapoco Lodge Deal’s Gap Motorcycle Resort

The scenery, if you dare to look, is beautiful. I learned a lot about my car on those roads, and the 911 chassis handles better than I’m willing to push it. I did drive some of these roads in a pretty dedicated manner, but didn’t need to push too hard to get the best from car or road.

Looking back, I can see that I missed even more great driving roads. I didn’t think to pull out my phone; I was too busy enjoying the absence of radio and cruise control in the twists and turns of North Carolina.

What’s your great driving road? Upload your own route and share it with driving enthusiasts the world over.


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