The first in a series of talking to industry movers and shakers about their favourite cars. Today John Graeme, Director of Redline Specialist Cars tells us what his favourite supercar is, and why.
Having been involved with supercars for over 20 years with Redline, I guess that I am relatively well-equipped to comment on the various crop of supercars currently available, as well as some favourites over the years and what attracts me to them.
Naturally, cars at this level are as much about personal choice and boyhood ambition. A Porsche buyer may be so dyed in the wool that he or she would not consider anything else.
So, getting to the point, my favourite is the Porsche 911 Turbo S – and here's why.
Always a boyhood fantasy, the 911 Turbo was plastered across many kids' bedroom walls. Perhaps a little of this has stuck with me. However, the breathtaking looks, spoilers, aero adornments, and immense turbos promise something very special. A 7-speed PDK twin-clutch gearbox sorts the 572bhp, 0-60 is 2.9 seconds (which Porsche says is conservative), and a license-losing top speed of 205mph – well, we don't go there, do we…
Look at the current stock available for the Porsche 911 Turbo S.
All the electronic goodies are in place to keep you safe. 4WD, active suspension management, Porsche dynamic chassis control, and carbon-ceramic brakes, but even knowing this, nothing can quite prepare you for what's coming.
Settling into the sports seats and starting the engine excites me every single time. Having driven a few miles in the 'S' to become acquainted with its ferocious power reserves, the first time I actually drove it with any urgency was a mind-blowing experience. In the dry with all the electronic goodies turned on, it's almost impossible to break traction.
Just a literally neck-breaking acceleration with almost imperceptible redline gear changes, the Porsche pulls like a Saturn V rocket.
Nothing I have driven feels quite so fast. And with no turbo lag, screaming through the gears brings 70mph in an instant. Circuit driving (obviously), the car just blasts towards the horizon like nothing on earth. Yes, the first time you experience this raw acceleration, you will (like me) have a grin as wide as the Thames Estuary.
However, hitting those ceramic brakes almost smashes your lungs into your ribcage. Mind-blowing doesn't come close to describing the acceleration and stopping power of this masterpiece.
Once you get used to that, then it's time to start pushing around the corners. You would have to be almost suicidal to attempt to come anywhere near its limits. Faster and faster around each corner, it just bites in deeper and drives the line that you input through the sexy little steering wheel.
So why this above everything else that I have driven? McLarens, every Lambo since the Countach, Ferraris, you name it.
I think the best way to explain it is that you don't need to be Nigel Mansell to drive the Porsche 911 Turbo S fast. Throw the keys to your nearest and dearest, and they can collect the jalfrezi. The back seats actually work, as in, at a push, you can carry passengers. The controls are all light and easy, and you can hear the stereo.
It's just the best of all worlds, an all-rounder that does everything perfectly. Screaming like a banshee when you're in teen mode or surefooted in the snow taking the kids to school.
Perfect? Not quite, but pretty damn close.
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