The rough beauty of nature and the pure performance of the
The day will be hot. In every sense of the word. On the outskirts of Edinburgh in Scotland, the thermometer shows 35 degrees Celsius, the humidity is stifling, and the air is dense with moisture. Then we rendezvous with this
We cruise over the Forth road bridge, gawking at the enormous foundations being constructed for the new crossing that will open next year. Even in the hot season, Scotland is verdant and lush, the countryside is all deep-greens, and the M90 motorway gently sways a route northward, with the GT4 proving to be far more relaxed than you’d ever imagine a track-focused car would be—yet that is nothing out of the ordinary for a
At the moment there’s no opportunity to even come close to revving up the 283 kW (385 hp) six-cylinder boxer engine. The M90 must be the road with the greatest density of speed cameras in Europe—a legacy of its past as a high-velocity access route. Accompanied by the discreet rumbling of the mid-mounted boxer, we cruise along at a relaxed pace toward our destination: the stunning western coast and Munro country to the west of Inverness, with peaks of more than 900 meters. I’m only reminded that the GT4 will cut a 7-minute 40-second northern loop of the Nürburgring when I see the roll cage in the rearview mirror. Shortly thereafter, on the A9, large electronic road signs display the message “WARNING: heavy rain expected.”
The first drops of rain don’t come as light drizzle, more as great dollops of water. Only a few clatter into the
The biblical rain disappears as fast as it arrived and the skies clear, leaving a brilliant blue background peeking between clouds that range from bright white to gray to almost black—something you might see in a magazine and immediately assume was computer-enhanced.
The freeway splits off onto a rural road and the scenery changes again; more intimate than the central highlands, but with empty roads and perfect pavement, the GT4 can now unleash some of that horsepower—within legal limits, of course. The GT4 is all about connection—from the crisp steering to the firm suspension to the manual six-speed transmission. I just can’t get enough of the latter, snicking needlessly up and down through the gears just to enjoy the sensation and hear that engine deliver great barks of exhaust noise on each downshift blip. The GT4 feels wondrously alive at every speed. It is always wide awake, always ready to pounce.
On magical little roads we spend the next few hours skirting the coast before the Hebrides and smiling at the sheer beauty of the place—huge skylines, hidden coves and beaches, and even stop quickly to dip our toes and wonder at the Gulf Stream’s coddling warmth.
Heading back inland the roads become more technical—perfect
The scenery in the Highlands is simply overwhelming. The roads are something else too: smooth, well-sighted, and the perfect width for the
By Chris Harris
Photos by Victor Jon Goico
The capital of the Highlands is also the northernmost major city in Great Britain. At its center, the Victorian Market, built in 1870, is located near the pedestrian zone. On the main road not far from Inverness Castle, the Inverness Museum & Art Gallery displays everything from weapons and jewelry to modern art.
A good 20 kilometers southwest of Inverness lies legendary Loch Ness. Just a stone’s throw away from it is the battlefield of Culloden, where the Highlanders suffered a major defeat at the hands of the English in 1746. The latter then built monumental Fort George, which measures 650 by 280 meters, 20 kilometers northeast of Inverness.
Restaurants and pubs offer whisky from nearby distilleries, beers brewed in the region, and local wines. The food ranges from international cuisine to regional specialties such as salmon and highland cheeses (www.inverness-scotland.com).
* Data determined in accordance with the measurement method required by law. Since September 01, 2017 certain new cars have been type approved in accordance with the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), a more realistic test procedure to measure fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. From September 01, 2018 the WLTP will replace the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). Due to the more realistic test conditions, the fuel consumption and CO2 emission values determined in accordance with the WLTP will, in many cases, be higher than those determined in accordance with the NEDC. This may lead to corresponding changes in vehicle taxation from September 01, 2018. You can find more information on the difference between WLTP and NEDC at www.porsche.com/wltp.
Currently, we are still obliged to provide the NEDC values, irrespective of the testing method used. The additional reporting of the WLTP values is voluntary until their obligatory use. As far as new cars, (which are type approved in accordance with the WLTP) are concerned, the NEDC values will therefore be derived from the WLTP values during the transition period. To the extent that NEDC values are given as ranges, these do not relate to a single, individual car and do not constitute part of the offer. They are intended solely as a means of comparing different types of vehicle. Extra features and accessories (attachments, tyre formats etc.) can change relevant vehicle parameters such as weight, rolling resistance and aerodynamics. Additionally, weather and traffic conditions, as well as individual handling, can affect the fuel consumption, electricity consumption, CO₂ emissions and performance values of a car.