Oh how we all enjoy an impressively good road trip. Just think about it; I’d wager that for most reading this fine bookazine, there’s not too much in life that can usurp the idea of slinging some essential luggage into the front of your Porsche 911 and taking on a drive to unfamiliar territory, hitting up some of the most delectable roads on Earth in the process. It is what Butzi’s seminal sports car was built for, after all.
Your editorial team is no diferent, of course, and you’ll commonly find our excursions through the continent documented in detail among these very pages. A Total 911 road trip usually sees us head east, too, this being the direction you’ll find most of Europe from the bookazine’s humble UK offices. However, for our latest venture I’m breaking with tradition and heading to the second most westerly territory in Europe: the Republic of Ireland. Ireland’s blend of coastal and mountain roads are among the best on the continent to drive, ofering plenty of technically challenging routes set among stunning natural topography. Better still, the roads on the Emerald Isle are quiet compared to the oft-driven mountain passes on Europe’s mainland. Previously in Total 911 we’ve championed the merits of the Wild Atlantic Way, an extraordinary trail of some 1,600 miles that closely follows the jagged extremities of Ireland’s stunning west coast. This time though, my automotive playground is the Wicklow Mountains, an expansive national park of some 20,483 hectares situated just southwest of the capital, Dublin. The roads are great, the accompanying views beautiful, and there’s plenty of history to unearth from the area, too.
Already, this is sounding like the perfect road trip. My steer for the jaunt across the Irish Sea is a 991.2 Turbo S Cabriolet. In striking Miami blue, my mission is to fi nd out if this all-singing, all dancing 911 has any real substance to its drive, or if it really is the mobile poseur’s paradise it looks like from the outside. The roads I’m headed for will help settle that dispute in no time.
I awoke early to a glorious day in Dublin, having arrived on the Emerald Isle the previous evening. My journey over in the Turbo S was pretty much standard fare: after negotiating the rural roads through the West Country and the never-ending M4 motorway along the bottom of Wales, the Turbo S and I eventually arrived at Pembroke docks with 40 minutes to spare before our boat set sail (UK-Ireland crossings only require a half-hour check-in period prior to departure).
Four hours and one smooth crossing of the Irish Sea later, I was headed north from Rosslare harbour in County Wexford to my nightstop just outside the capital. Venturing out to the Turbo S at 9am, the clear blue sky high above prompts the removal of the roof. As with all 991-generation Cabriolets and Targas, this operation can be done remotely via the key, so I stand next to the wide-bodied 911 and watch as its four-panel roof peels back and folds onto itself before stowing immaculately between the engine and rear seats.
The decklid panel, more expansive across the rear of open-topped 911s, swings out during the procedure and locks back into place over the stowed canvas, neatly hiding the entire roof and running gear. With the roof deployable at speeds of up to 30mph, the process is sheer engineering perfection. I pick up my photographer, Louis, from the airport to the north of Dublin, before pointing the Turbo S back south to our fi rst point of interest at Ticknock Park. Ticknock is actually in the Dublin Mountains, situated to the immediate southwest of Ireland’s capital city.