Porsche Brings Its 911 Turbo S Cabriolet To Newport

Porsche test drive at Hotel Viking

“Push it. Push it.”

“What’s the speed limit?”

“I don’t know. Push it.”

“What about the police?”

“Don’t worry about that. Push it.”

So, I did. Push it, that is. I put the pedal to the metal and let her rip. I was behind the wheel of a 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, a canary yellow powerhouse.

Hotel Viking in Newport, R.I. recently partnered with Porsche to entice guests to test drive the high-performance vehicle Road & Track described as a car that “just gives you confidence.” The roof was down, the sun was shining and I was cruising through the streets of Newport.

Yeah, baby!

While I was in the driver’s seat, race-car-driver-turned-Porsche-instructor Keith McIntosh was in the passenger’s seat, calmly coaching me without taking his eyes off the road. He advised me to focus my view at least five car lengths ahead. Approaching a curve in the road, he guided me to disregard my instinct to touch the brake and let the car do its work. And when we rounded a corner and hit a straightaway, he counseled me to “push it.”

With 580-horsepower, the 911 Turbo S is capable of revving from zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and can achieve a top track speed of 205 mph — a wee bit fast for the streets of Newport, but from the back seat (yes, it seats four), photographer Chris Gaffney observed, “It felt like we were going fast even when we were standing still.”

That’s the power of a test drive. While I wasn’t in the market for a $135,000 vehicle, McIntosh — who returns to Newport for two more rounds of test drives before summer’s end (Aug. 14 and Sept. 12–17) — said the drives have resulted in three sales so far this season. Not a bad ROI, even with cash-light thrill-seekers like me in the mix.

Enthusiasts seeking a longer turn at the wheel in a setting where speed limits aren’t an obstacle can enroll in one- and two-day sessions at the Porsche Sport Driving School in Birmingham, Ala. At $1,800 for a one-day session and $3,200 for a two-day session, it’s a cheap thrill. And you don’t even have to own or buy a Porsche, but once you push it, you might have to break out the checkbook.

Oooh, baby, baby.

Book a room at Hotel Viking on one of these dates and you too can get a chance to drive the new Porsche: August 19-21, August 26-28, and September 12-17.

Lisa test drives a Porsche in Newport
Photo: Christopher J. Gaffney

Written by Lisa Matte.

Top Photo by Melina Abney.