On the first day of Christmas!

It’s that time of year, when the world falls in love; every song you hear, seems to say, “Merry Christmas!”

Let’s be frank, nobody sings the season like Mr. Sinatra. There are many classic holiday tunes to enjoy from so many gifted singers; Mariah Carey, Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, The Boss, Amy Grant, the list is long and yes, I know I am dating myself. But seriously, what’s with the current stars, why isn’t Taylor or Rhianna cranking out some Christmas cheer? Whether it is a mega-star like Ol’ Blue Eyes or a few people gathered on a street corner trying their best to harmonize while singing Silent Night, it’s always good to hear songs that speak of family, love, joy and peace. The warmth it creates never gets old.

The same can be said for automobiles. While they may not sing a tune happy tune in the conventional sense, they bring their own sense of comfort and joy throughout the season. The rise of electric vehicles, autonomous cars, all manner of sport utility vehicles and so much more made 2017 an unforgettable year for the automobile. Here are some of our favourites as we bring you the second edition of our annual “The 12 Rides of Christmas!

Let’s start off with a trumpet blast! Kelly Taylor highlights what every Santa really wants for a sleigh ride, a classic Porsche 911.

2017 Porsche 911 GTS

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… 911 GTSs…

It was May in northern California. We were winding out the 2017 Porsche 911 GTS on some twisty roads near Lake Tahoe when the treeline broke and gave way to a stunning vista: on either side of the highway, the terrain broke down and away and we were driving along a ridge.

It was at once freaky and awe-inspiring.

Awe is a good word for the 911 GTS, as well. The GTS is aimed at that 911 buyer who wants a little bit more but isn’t prepared to make the $80,000 leap to the Turbo. It offers larger twin-turbos and boosts 911 horsepower by 30 and torque by 37 pound-feet and drops the 0-100 km/h times to 3.6 seconds when equipped with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Of course, this is Porsche, which knows purists comprise a large part of its market, so a manual transmission — seven speeds! — is also available.

There are some cosmetic touches, as well, most notably centre-lock wheels for that race-car inspired look. It’s also wider, with a wider track, and includes some distinctive satin-black trim pieces outside.

The real story is value, since the $136,000 starting price of a GTS is $9,000 less than the price of a Carrera loaded up with the same level of toys (except the centre-lock wheels, which are only available on the GTS).

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