Planet-9 Porsche Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Our original plans to drive to Tail of the Dragon fell through because the couple joining us couldn't go...as such we modified our trip to be more suitable for my wife and I, but we took many pics focusing on the car. Overall, the car was a joy to drive. Compared to the gridline roads with no elevation change we have in S Fla, the car was was finally able to flex a bit on the curvy back roads of NC. We took some vids with GoPro style cameras as well (I'll post those soon). Prior to the trip I had an oil change and had my tires (previously belonging to Voyager 6) installed and balanced on the car. I also bought some all weather mats in anticipation of rain, mud, and even snow although I was grateful we only had minor rain. I packed both the frunk and trunk tightly with all of our belongings and we left for our first long road trip in the 981:

Enjoy the pics :):

First stop: Orlando, FL. A buddy of mine just got a 991S. We washed my car, polished out swirl marks (courtesy of body shop who claimed to give it a complimentary clay bar), and added some AMMO water repellent at the end. The products worked wonders for the trip. Pics are around his home and an old industrial park close by. This abandoned area allowed us to really push both of our cars and do a solid comparison (keeping in mind the posted speed limit and law.) I am by no means a car critic and although I've driven a few exotic and able cars, I don't yet consider myself experienced enough to feel small nuances. That being said, compared to the 981 the 991S just keeps on pulling and pulling; furthermore, that extra 0.4L increase in engine size (not to mention about 100 horse) also throws your head back when you really push the car. I know fully understand why people do the 3.8 swap and why there is such a demand for the GT4 / Spyder. At first I thought eh big deal, but clearly there is a big deal. The 991 feels significantly more powerful, but also quite a bit larger as a whole. This could be an advantage or disadvantage as you see it. The 991 is probably better as a grand tourer and the 981 on the track. The 981 on sharper turns felt a bit more planted and for me I didn't feel I was going to lose the tail even when powering out of turns. I recall this same feeling when I drove both a 981S and 991S on a track. The 991 handled equally as well, but I felt that it was a bit more power than what I was used to and I had a bit more concern about stepping out the tail.The 981 felt peppy and more "lively" to my buddy and I. My buddy has a PSE and I have a Carnewal exhaust. We both noted that my car had a bit more of that high pitched super car tone to it although the PSE burbles are just glorious. Overall, we both gathered that you can't lose with either car. We practiced a bunch of mounting points for the cameras as well. I will post a thread on ideal mounting points, modes, cases...etc for GoPro style cameras as well.


Second stop: Atlanta, GA. Had some good food, met family, stopped by Porsche Experience Center (closed to public because testing new 911), and went to the aquarium. I've not driven in Atlanta in quite a few years. Downtown area was quite awful. I don't know if they make it a habit to throw grenades out of the window and drag washing machines behind semi trucks, but the entire highway in and around downtown is torn up. These were the worst roads on our trip by far--even compared to the dirt / gravel roads we faced in backwoods NC. The drivers also complemented the roads and coming from Miami, I was impressed with the utter lack of care or driving etiquette. Every single person was also on a cellphone...anyway I'll end that rant. The Porsche Experience Center told me that in the month of March they would be sparsely open due to testing of the new 911. Ideally, we were hoping to get a few hours on the track, but it didn't work out for our day. For those planning a stop over the facility is VERY close to airport and there are dozens of decent hotels nearby--its about 15-30 minutes from downtown depending on the time of day. Driving on the track will be a next time thing for sure :).


Atlanta's downtown is wonderful. Tons of great food and tons of culture / flavor. People were quite friendly and homely. We had a great time seeing family and old friends in the midtown area. I've always been into aquariums and have had the Georgia Aquarium on my to do list for some time. The other "next time" thing is swimming in this tank with the 1000s of fish and most importantly the 4 whale sharks they have. Had to post an aquarium pic it was epic!


Final stop Asheville, NC + 50 miles around the town: The town is beautiful. Inviting people, great rustic roads, and basically the 180* opposite of Miami in every single way (mostly for the better). The first day we walked around the quaint downtown and happened into an excellent Korean restaurant (Korea House) and a chocolate / dessert shop (French Broad Chocolate House). The next day we planned to go to Craggy Gardens for a hike based on some recommendations. We checked the website and roads and it seemed to check out fine; however, the trip there was anything but that. We utilized Waze and it showed that the recommended method to go by Google maps included a closed road (I find that to be odd because Google maps owns Waze?). So we took this terrible back road made of gravel via the recommended Waze method. The further we drove, the worse the gravel road became, and consequently the more Confederate flags we saw, so we did the logical thing...and kept going until ultimately the road was blocked with what looked like the edge of a cliff. That being said we had lost all reception and basically turned back so maybe Waze thought this was a potential route. We tried to report the road closure (or lack of road). I was impressed with the clearance of the car and was extremely grateful for my standard suspension. From my quick examination none of the small stones or rocks seemed to have cause any damage to the paint. I took the photo below with the old barn and the gravel roads in front of the car. We around the Blue Ridge Parkway and attempted a second road that appeared to be open; however, when we arrived that road was also closed. We found it interesting because the weather was amazing and somebody just the day before commented about Craggy Gardens on Trip Advisor. Anyway we figured we would salvage our trip by further enjoying the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) and head a bit more northeast to Mount Mitchell which happens to be the highest elevation east of the Mississippi. They have multiple hiking routes that are all very scenic. We took many car and scenery photos. Around the area I found a semi trailer that was missing a hitch. What I thought was a little odd was that without the hitch it would have no way to connect to a semi. Furthermore, the wheels on the trailer were polished and clean and overall it was in excellent condition. Very odd. Anyway I thought it was a cool photo opportunity. That day we went to Wake Spa in the evening for a bit of much needed rest post Hike. We had snacks at Chai Pani a great Indian Restaurant and then finally had an incredible dinner at Plant which is a Vegan restaurant. That was probably my favorite meal this entire trip. The next day went to the grand Biltmore. I thought we'd only need about 2 hours to knock out the entire thing, but I was very wrong. The tour of the home and gardens took us about 3 hours and thereafter we spent another 1.5 hours or so driving around the property taking photos. I took many below. The grounds are absolutely stunning and provide incredible backdrops. Its a dream. Coming from So Fla, where we have abundant palm trees and the same weather year round, it was great to feel the seasons and appreciate the color of the foliage. Biltmore is a must see and I would recommend an entire day for it. My wife left me drive the majority of the trip, but drove around Biltmore so I could snap a few pics.

Driving Impressions (I will preface by saying that I don't condone any unsafe driving on public roads and I was within legal limits): The drive there was gorgeous. We took tons of pictures as seen below. The roads were windy and what I have been wanting for a long time. In fact I actually drove a 15 seater van on this road this past Thanksgiving when our family stayed in a cabin near Asheville. I swore I would be back in the 981 and I'm grateful I was able to come by so soon. That being said it was an absolutely incredible time. I left my PDK car in Sport the entire drive through the BRP I felt like this was needed so that way the power band was accessible at all times. In regards to power I felt that it was more than ample to both enjoy the drive and also not fly off the sides. The posted speed limit signs are quite practical and at times even liberal in the sense that I don't think I would feel comfortable driving close to the limit in some cars. The 981 felt planted and with it at all times. The lanes are quite small on the BRP and I was able to stay in them mostly going around the limit. It was really a fun and engaging task to do so. The entire drive felt like a game and I've never felt that before in So Fla.The brakes did not fade and I was able to manage the car on uphills and downhills with ease. At the end of my run up the mountain (as well as down) I could really smell the Pirelli P0 tires which surprised me because I didn't think I drove the car that hard (and I was driving within reason legally). The car handles supremely well and really I don't know what changes would make it drive significantly better for this application. I should note that this was amongst the first time I actually could appreciate drone on my exhaust. I know people have complained about drone with PSE and some even with the standard exhaust and I never really got that. I understand that drone is very easily masked when you're driving on a flat surface, but going uphill there were numerous times I was in just the right RPM to hear some drone. Again this was not bothersome with a shift down, but I thought it should be noted.


Drive back: we drove down through SC, GA, and Orlando, FL. After the Biltmore we made our way back to Florida. It was definitely a tiring and sleepy drive back, but truly worth the adventure we had through the entire trip.



Overall: We were grateful that the entire trip--roughly 2k miles went smoothly and without any issues. Overall, I did about 29.5 miles to the gallon driving "around" the posted speed limit on the highway. I usually never use cruise control, but for this trip I used it often. The car was left with the auto start / stop function engaged so I could make use of the coast feature. Coasting is truly a great feature (particularly for going straight aways and downhill) although I loathe the auto start / stop. I brought a small canister of Mobil 1 although the car did not burn any oil as per the electronic dipstick. I have 14 way adjustable seats and they were okay. The seats are completely fine for a 3 hour drive without any stop and go traffic, but after a while I found my lower back aching. I did not think this would be the case as I've found the seats very enjoyable for daily driving where I drive about 20 minutes on average. During this drive I played a lot with lumbar support--something I haven't done in nearly the 2 years I've had the car and found it to be useful although nothing felt as good as getting out of the car. On average I got out of the car every 3 hours just to stretch. I don't see any fault in the seats, and concluded that this must just be due to "getting older" although I've done many road trips in our Lexi (LS / ES) and not had issues.

Would I do this again? Absolutely. Its just to great of a car to not drive at all times and especially on such scenic roads. If I were to do it again I would recommend considering all weather mats, frunk / trunk liner, and Schlid protectors for the frunk / trunk. I don't have the latter and this trip made me realize how easily I could have damaged the car by not paying close attention. Fortunately, my wife saved me from damaging the hood a few times. If you take the 981 for a long road trip I would also recommend driving with someone or having someone in another car. I think driving or being in this car is an experience best shared. Moreover, I think driving with a partner / another car would greatly add to safety during the road trip. My biggest fear was getting a flat and losing a tire in the middle of nowhere and being stranded for an extended period of time. Since we have no spare and such a specialty tire its a genuine concern. I had a blow out a few months ago on the highway and fortunately this was in Miami where I could source a tire quickly. That being said I didn't let this possibility keep me from this trip and know others have also had wonderful road trips with this car. I hope to offer insight and if you have questions let me know :).

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
Very nice pics! I wished I lived in Florida! It's too cold here in Nova Scotia.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
cool trip. Im digging your white car with blue top and blue interior, its unique. Congrats!
 

·
Hurricane Region PCA Historian
Joined
·
918 Posts
Great write up and pictures! You had a pretty epic trip, and documented if very well.

Asheville is one of our favorite cities, and the Blue Ridge Parkway is a truly happy place for me. The Biltmore, of course, is simply spectacular and like nothing else in this part of the country for sure.

Thank for sharing, and enjoy the ride!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
Love your pictures! It looks like you had a blast. Your pictures remind me I somethings miss those green sceneries!
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
6,483 Posts
NC is one of the best driving locations in US for sure! Love driving there

That pic with semi trailer is funny as hell! :)
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top