Common to all variations of the breed is an unmistakable sound that didn’t change dramatically when the air-cooled boxer was replaced by the water-cooled engine in late 1997; a less-than-ideal weight distribution combined with a high polar moment of inertia; compromised packaging with little room for luggage; and a driving experience dominated by phenomenal grip and traction – while it lasted. Beyond the limit of adhesion, however, 911s of all vintages have frightened us with fickle straight-line stability, a heart-stopping blend of power-on and lift-off oversteer, and the infamously terminal counterswing that punished those who applied too much or too little opposite lock too early or too late with a guaranteed visit to the ditch. Since the low-mounted engine is positioned aft of the rear axle in nearly every 911, this car practically owns the term tail-happy. Even the four-wheel-drive versions channel so little torque to the front wheels that there’s never any doubt about which end of the vehicle will come unstuck first. Despite all these peculiarities, the Porsche 911 has become one of the most coveted cult cars in history. Why? Because it is such an involving and intuitive driving machine, and because mastering the monster is so rewarding.
Source: Automobile Magazine