Report: Winter short trip to the Maritime Alps: Ice Age

We've all talked to our friends about the scenarios that a real car fan could only wish for.

Report: Winter short trip to the Maritime Alps: Ice Age

We've all talked to our friends about the scenarios that a real car fan could only wish for. Thunder up the Jebel Jais in a LaFerrari, rush up the Großglockner in a Porsche 911 GT1, or maybe chase a Pagani Zonda - manually switched, of course - over the hills of Bologna? How about a few tradition-laden laps with a Porsche 911 GT3 RS on the Monaco Grand Prix track, a Porsche 718 Spyder RS ​​to get a taste of rally air on the Col de Turini or, given the icy December day, perhaps this trip with the supposed off-road monster of the Porsche 911 Dakar that gives you more safety and comfort?

I felt even worse than usual when I set my alarm to send me to sleep at 5:30 a.m. in the huge bed of the opulent hotel in Nice. The watery monsoon shower did nothing to boost one's energy levels, nor did the burnt espresso half an hour later in the empty lobby. The keys to the 911 GT3 and some dark and high-speed tunnels proved to be noticeably more effective until around 9 a.m. The Automobile Club de Monaco is a place full of history, lots of prestige and incredible automobilia. After we got together with other cars, the sports car parking lot in front of the Automobile Club looked more spectacular than ever. From a Porsche 911 Dakar to a 911 GT3 RS to the still magnificent 911 Turbo and a 911 T, the picture was as colorful as it was impressive. This diversity of the 911 family was more impressive than ever - even supported by an early 911 with Monaco license plates. Plus an extremely sought-after oddball - a special car - from Porsche but with a powerful engine directly behind its sports seats: a 718 Spyder RS. But its position on the wrong side of the rear axle didn't detract from the enjoyment - quite the opposite.

On the way to breakfast, the first thing that caught my eye was a large Louis Vuitton suitcase that doubled as a decadent display case and apparently contained the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 trophy. One or two pain au chocolats later, it was time to do what was long overdue: off to the slopes – off to the Maritime Alps. My weapon of choice? Well, it had to be the 911 GT3 RS, because only this one boasts the aerodynamic magic wand called DRS. What impresses most about a GT3 after just a few meters is its suitability for everyday use. It is simply unique how civilized the racetrack-ready vehicle feels as a Cup version on this completely normal road. The driving characteristics are far more impressive than the visual spectacle of the anything but reserved 911 GT3 RS suggests. The only real downside is the gearing and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which means the revs are higher than would be optimal for long motorway journeys. Great for the 0 to 100 km/h sprint, but not for driving on a really fast highway.

After filming on the track and visiting the Maybourne Riviera for more photos with the breathtaking views over Monaco Harbour, it was time to do what these Porsches do best: push themselves to the limit. I grabbed the keys to the only manual sports car in this group - a Porsche 911 Carrera T - which many claim is currently the cheapest and most exciting Carrera on the market, which it did on the intense and beautiful climb to the Col de T -urini confirmed more than impressively.

Afterwards, I spent atmospheric moments with the shameless corner robber known as the GT4 RS and experienced first hand the outrageously dominant, cruel level of intake noise that the car offers - an attack on the eardrums that, depending on the speed, leaves a lasting impression. The breeze at the top of the infamous rally mountain was biting cold even without the Night of the Long Knives. There was snow on the ground and it was freezing cold - time for the Spyder RS. I was waiting for the right opportunity to expose my senses to an equally intense ride in a Spyder RS. A deserted Col de Turini with photographers on every corner and a radio informing me of traffic in the opposite direction seemed like the perfect scenario. Even if the winter temperatures were too cold for the mid-engine Porsche with its Cup tires. Nevertheless, I drove off, engaged the first gear of the PDK and pushed the gear lever to the left to ensure that I could conduct the orchestra on my own.

First course: 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 and more. I'm not sure if I was more nervous about the lack of traction or confidence in my own riding skills. It quickly went higher – much higher. 7,000, 8,000, and finally approaching the 9,000 mark. I pull the lever back, the second one pops in and then the number three comes – down again – up again – again and again. As with the GT4 RS, the volume and sound are more than remarkable and with even less hearing protection both are pushed to new heights. But it's not about the roar itself - the texture and perception of what the engine is doing is so sawing that it doesn't talk to you, but howls, barks or screeches. You quickly learn to ignore the central tachometer in order to know when to shift gears. Your own head merges with this magnificent driving machine and becomes part of this technically unique symbiosis.

It's not often that you get out of a car with so much adrenaline pumping, shaking not because of the cold outside temperature, but because of the concentration and excitement of what just happened to you on the winding roads. The Spyder RS ​​is one of those cars that inspires you and takes you away from the world. In doing so, he shows the all-powerful big-boy 911 that a mid-engine has its advantages. This sportiest of all 718s is something for professionals. I couldn't give up the keys. Not yet, because the addiction had taken hold of me. back into the car – engine on and up again, down and up again. They would have had to rip the keys out of my frozen fingers to stop me.

Eventually I gave up the keys because I think the cold weather was starting to take its toll on my health. It's easier to climb into a 992 Turbo S than to try to put your thin hat on the Spyder RS ​​for the first time. Heated seats and less noise were a more than welcome change in the Turbo S. The 911 Dakar was the only car I couldn't drive on this short trip - and the Spyder RS ​​was the only one to blame. So I hope I can move it again soon. Much later, when I returned to the hotel in Nice, it was time to say goodbye to these unique 911s and the Spyder, because the 24-hour journey of dreams was over. Arguably the perfect way to celebrate six decades of the world's best sports car - with a model range more diverse and exciting than ever before.

NEXT NEWS