Coty 2016 contender: Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet

Coty 2016 contender: Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet

A class act, as always

The first-generation Porsche 911 has been winning countless accolades since its debut in the 1960s. So, just what is the secret to its timeless appeal? Is it the model’s rich heritage? Is it the way it manages to tread the fine line between sports car and grand tourer, or the way it balances flashiness with elegance?

Well to answer those questions, we asked our judges, many of them own, or have owned, 911s in the past. In short, these are the perfect people to ask.

Hands up, those who’ve yet to own a 911

Said Sam Yeo, “It just feels right without trying too hard … Simply put, it’s a 911!”

Ong Seng Gee was similarly succinct with his praise for the 911, calling it the “perfect all-rounder”.

Tay Liam Wee, no stranger to Robb Report’s Car of the Year, having participated in the Napa Valley edition, hailed the Porsche’s balanced chassis and Sport Response button (which shifts down to the lowest possible ratio for 20 seconds to grant maximum acceleration). He said of the Sport Reponse button, “It’s addictive, the power surge you get, it’s good fun.”

It’s difficult to fault the 911, but neither is it easy to point out its winning features

However, it’s the Porsche’s gentility and practicality that lost it favour among some judges, along with its new turbocharged engine, which Quah De Ren thought didn’t live up to the brilliance of its naturally aspirated forebear.

That said, our judges couldn’t find fault with the 911 on an objective level, with many giving the evergreen classic exceptionally high scores for its drivetrain, handling, build quality and value-for-money.

Interestingly, almost every judge expressed a desire to buy it at some point in the future and recommend it to their friends, conclusive proof that while cars are very much an emotional purchase, the element of rationality is important as well. And that, appropriately enough, is the 911 in a nutshell.