911 versus the new Corvette Stingray
Has the American come of age, or will Germany reign supreme? Tom Ford finds out...
Posted: 07 Apr 2014
It's noisy and slightly angsty, and frenetic. But it's also exceptionally good fun. Obviously, I'd like to think the distance disparity comes from my exceptional driving skills, honed to perfection by my own healthy ego, but it's more likely that even though the Corvette and the 911 are ostensibly the same weight, the Stingray has a 60bhp power advantage and, more pertinently, 140lb ft of extra leverage from 1,000rpm lower in the rev range. Translated, this means that the driver of the 911 has to be working the flat-six harder, and the wrong gear begets penalties. In the Vette, you can pretty much abandon it in any gear you fancy, and leave 6.2-litres of small block to smother your blushes. It's a hugely elastic engine, with globs of character, not least the noise, which is pure sonic vandalism.
It's not the whitewash that it sounds, though. Get the Porsche in the right gear, the flat-six singing above 6,000rpm, and lean on the light-feeling nose right into a corner, and you'll catch the Vette and keep it. You just have to work a little harder through the gears, and carry more velocity through the corner. While the Corvette has a tendency to want to oversteer - direct front end from sharp steering, lots of torque - the Porsche is pretty much resolutely neutral, slick as a salesman's patter, unless you provoke it. As you drive, it just gets more comfortable, confidence-inspiring and faster.