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Ok so I bought the Spyder and suitably impoverished headed towards the furthest reaches of Scotland to escape my creditors - sorry, I mean for a quick mini-break.
Bearing in mind I'm limited to 4k rpm for a what looks on paper a faintly ridiculous 1800 miles the Spyder is fast, frighteningly so. The pickup from the midrange is both brutal, linear and smooth, if that isn't a contradiction in terms. The engine note is chock full of character, starting to quietly howl as I'm forced to change at 4k.
I'm also happy to report that the 'roof' is waterproof and displayed no signs of ingress despite the best efforts of the Scottish climes, and yes it rained non-stop for four days. The traction you have in these conditions is quite surprising considering the tyre size and rubber wielded, and I didn't get any intervention from the nannying controls (switched in, I know, I know).
I did have a particularly hairy moment when my stomach interfaced with the quality Porsche overmat when following a local at high speed on some twisties, I hit a corner too fast and it just kept tightening, took me three steering inputs and a lift (not full) to get round. It wasn't pretty but the car looked after me thank goodness.
The only other moment was a low speed one where my satnav directed me to a bridge where I stopped and asked the co-pilot to see if it was wide enough for the car. I'm not kidding, this bridge had steel facings about 4 or 5 inches high each side to seriously f**k up your alloys.I had about an inch or 2 each side and I thought seriously about reversing, but was now at the head of a queue. Gritting my teeth and with slanted eyes and bullets of sweat forming on my forehead I travelled over the bridge at a manly 5mph praying to the alloy wheel gods, don't let me kerb them. Don't let me kerb them, don't let me kerb them.
Made it, and testicles having once again descended I fabricated my plan to return at a later date and blow the bastard bridge sky high - I mean what the hell, an Evora wouldn't have fitted, and the guy we were visiting told us a couple of horror stories about a Ferrari (!) and an MX-5 piloted by a woman who leant her passenger side alloys on the rail and proceeded to guide her car with screeching alloys along the whole traverse. At the end she got out and looked at the drivers side to see what the noise was...
Later I was pulled by a copper at an RTA, he said they'd discussed it and decided that they were going to impound my car, drive it around for a bit, then return it in 4 hours or so. I laughed and legged it, at no more than 4k naturally.
Yep, no camera with him for the Scotland trip,
so these are from when I saw the car for the first time /Juan
If you need a car to cover epic miles effortlessly then this'll do it at high speed with no drama. I'm getting 31mpg according to the computer (which I suspect may be lying) but bearing in mind the power on offer, that doesn't seem too bad. If you want a car to do twisties this'll do that too, seemingly shrinking around you as you howl along with lovely poise in the corners and no sign of understeer.
Bad points; the two front facing radiator pods suck in leaves, grit, cigarette butts and pedestrians, so need cleaning regularly, a failure to do so means debris rots and eats the rads, this is a bad thing. I'm hoping for some grills like the ones you can get for Boxsters / Caymans. Visibility isn't great roof up and back window in, but if you take out the back window and leave the roof up the view is good and as a bonus the engine is louder.
I think I felt a slight hesitation in pick up once or twice, but that might have been related to sub-standard fuel I was forced to get in the wilds, so I'll keep an eye on that. The gearbox could be a bit more stiffly sprung . 5th to 4th baulked a little a couple of times, but that could just be me. Finally the brakes although strong smell after a run, I'm hoping this will fade as they bed in more.
A thousand miles in a few days, not over 4k, not ideal. But as an opener, a chance to begin building up knowledge and a relationship with the car, not a bad start.
Steve discusses with Cleggy how he laughs in the face of practicality when it comes to his fleet
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