The white 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S howled with delight, shifting effortlessly into 4th gear as we rounded a sweeping left turn. Near north Ontario is famous for intoxicating roads such as this, but too often they are crowded with cottage-goers trying their best to leave it all behind. Not today, or at least not here. This road is mine and should anything get in our way, I will simply go around it and continue on with a smile.
Power for this 911 comes in the form of a much revered horizontally-opposed 6-cylinder engine. Matched to a 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission, it delivers 400 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and 375 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,600 rpm. Zero to 100km/h takes a scant 4.3 seconds while top speed reaches 297 km/h.
All that is well and good, but as Canadians we know there is little chance of driving slightly more than the speed limit, so does it really matter if this Porsche 911 achieves almost 300 km/h? In short, no! But what does matter is how fast it gets to 100 km/h and slightly above. As well, road holding is par excellence, especially when equipped with Porsche’s Stability Management system, torque vectoring and all-wheel drive. You can have your cake and eat it too!
Outside, the shape is one every car lover knows well. Inside, optional 18-way power black leather seats keep me in place at speed, while a BOSE audio package takes over now and then from the rapturous sounds of the flat 6 engine. Sport exhaust allows for a little extra pleasure as I push the button and let the good times roar!
Cobble Beach Resort on Georgian Bay is our destination of choice for this 2-night getaway. Set on 574 acres of prime emerald green real estate, it is a simple 2.5 drive north from Toronto on Highway 10 or the slightly more scenic Hwy 6. Once there, the Nantucket-style Inn and newly constructed cottages help strip away any lingering memories of another crazy week at work and suburbia.
Entering the Inn, hardwood floors great our arrival and set the pace for a relaxing stay. Off to my left is the check-in reception area, to my right the golf pro shop. Check-in can wait; let’s see what’s new in golf equipment! Tee-time set, it’s time to check out the rooms.
A total of 10 deluxe suites define Cobble Beach Inn. Names like Manitou, Blue Herron, Reefsong, Calypso and Normac have a much greater appeal than the usual numbering system. Colours are muted earth tones with deep comfy bedding and thick carpeting. A tall window looks out over the 18th fairway, calling to me like Sirens luring a ship towards a rocky coastline.
Dining options include indoor and outdoor settings. Sweetwater Restaurant, the main interior dining area, is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows. On the covered deck, the view of Georgian Bay is unrestricted. Today the air is clear, sky blue with only a few clouds and seagulls squawking overhead. Where possible, menu choices are sourced locally, adding to the sense of northern Ontario pride.
The next morning it is time to tee off on one of Canada’s finest award-winning golf courses. Total yardage for the immaculate 18-hole course is 7,174 from the blacks. I take the advice of the starter and choose the white tees for a total of 6,055 yards. It’s a little easier, but still poses a dramatic challenge with superb elevation changes, water, sand and incredible scenery. This is far and away one the most well groomed courses I have ever played.
Later in the day we take advantage of the Spa at Cobble Beach Resort for a unique couples massage. A full treatment menu is available, from massage to facials, day treatments and men’s treatments. Lying on the warm table, it doesn’t take long for the strong fingers of the massage therapist to work their magic.
Sightseeing is a must in this part of Canada. Over the course of two days, we take the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S on a drive through the countryside, exploring the beauty of the Georgian Bay community near Owen Sound, Ontario. Our route takes us to Inglis Falls, the “Niagara Falls of the north”, and several others on the local waterfall tour.
Dinner on this night is served at The Falls Inn at Walter Falls. The view is stunning as we sit under the late afternoon sun, overlooking the rushing water from our high perch on the deck. Casual fine dining is accompanied with local beverages. Earlier in the day, we took time to stop at Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery for a tour of this unique facility. A total of 25 acres produce superb red and white wines with names like “Marquette”, “Into The Light White” and “Back From The Dead Red”. It was enough to convince us to buy a few bottles for consumption later.
On the final day of our visit, lunch is served at the Rocky Raccoon Cafe in downtown Owen Sound. Owner and host Robin Pradhan is a long way from home having grown up in Nepal, but that doesn’t stop him from bringing a little of his home cooking to the shores of Georgian Bay. We feast on exceptional food prepared with incredible spices and complimented with Ontario beverages. Robin’s goal is to source at least 70% of his food within 100 miles of the restaurant and the quality of his menu reflects this choice.
Back in the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, it is time to once again return to the daily grind of real life. The drive home is equally inspiring, though I take a few less corners at speed. My smile is just as wide, but somehow all the more satisfying with a full stomach of Nepalese-inspired dishes. Sometimes it’s best to ere on the side of caution, at least for now.
2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S
Trim Levels: 4S
Model: 2-door sport coupe
Price as tested (before taxes): $140,275.00
Available engines: 3.8L 6 cylinder
Available transmissions: 7-speed PDK
Fuel economy ratings: 11.3/7.5 L/100 km city-hwy
Warranties: 4 years/ 80,000 km (basic); 12 years/body shell (corrosion)
Competitors: Audi R8, Aston Martin DBS, Jaguar XK, Nissan GT-R