Fall Colors in the Trees and on the Road
You never need a good reason to go out and drive a Porsche.
But if you have two good reasons…fall foliage in Vermont, cheddar cheese—
Hold it. Three, three good reasons:
Fall foliage, cheddar cheese, and maple syrup.
No, wait…four, four good reasons:
Fall foliage, cheddar cheese, maple syrup…and winding roads…
Damn! I forgot Mount Equinox.
OK, five, five good reasons to drive a Porsche.
Weeeellll…maybe one more good reason.
It’s a 2007 415-horsepower GT3 RS Porsche.
You can never call any Porsche ordinary, but the GT3 RS is way above and beyond Extra-Ordinary. It’s wider at the back than the run of the mill GT3, but lighter by 40 pounds, helped along by the carbon fiber wing, plastic rear deck lid, and lightweight plastic rear window. That rear end also puts all those 415 horses to the road in such an efficient manner that you are doing illegal speeds faster than you can say “Was I going too fast, officer?” But the sound the engine makes at redline is just about worth a run-in with the guy in the mirrored sunglasses.
At the same time, you don’t have to go crazy to enjoy this car. It’s not ridiculously high strung; it can be driven at normal speeds and not complain. The RS is the purist version of the GT3. And at this age it is still very much an analog machine, not a lot of electronic minders to get in the way and it still has that familiar 911 vibe behind the wheels.
A pretty country road is your best friend. With lots of grip, plenty of taut roll stiffness, the RS’s carefully balanced setup motivates the driver to be smooth – and when you are, you are treated to a car that turns in with laser-like precision. Then the VarioCam system gives you an extra shot of torque to kick you on your way.
Skirting Connecticut and Massachusetts on your way to Vermont, you get to enjoy all the eastern New York color and scenery that keeps you from having your right foot tell the 3.6-liter engine “I want to be there now!”
When you cross the border into Vermont near Bennington and get on 7A heading north you shortly arrive at Skyline Drive. This toll road – open from May 27th through October 31st – takes you on a 5.2-mile ride up to the top of Mount Equinox. You reach 3,248 feet in elevation, your ears popping while rounding hairpin turns, and giving it the gas across “The Saddle” with a very wide grin on your face. The GT3RS eats the road for lunch, even if it is on the bumpy side. Go there in the late summer and watch as the VSCCA run a hill climb for pre-1964 cars. There you’ll see older relatives of the RS battle it out for fastest time of day. If you’re quick, you do this in less than 5 minutes.
As the road is open to two-way traffic this time of year, your speeds are a bit slower. But when you reach the top, you are looking out over five states. The view is so amazing most people hardly notice the black and orange hot rod. But when they do, there is plenty of car talk to be had.
Get back down to the bottom and enjoy all the other cool stuff to do in the area. Rent a canoe or kayak to float down the Batten Kill River (you won’t be bringing your own on the RS) or do a bit of fly fishing…just make sure your rod folds up really small. You’re in the land of the Subaru Outback, but you still get the thumbs up driving the RS around. Maybe it’s the detail colors that match the pumpkins in the fields – or maybe it’s just a crazy cool car.
You have everything you want in and around Manchester, VT. Good food, great inns, and winding roads. When it’s time to leave, just sit yourself down in that Alcantara bucket seat, turn the key, crank up the stereo, and look forward to every mile it takes to get yourself home.
‘Til you can come up with some other reason to go out and enjoy your Porsche.
More from this months RS Magazine