Like a scene from a North American version of Mad Max, I recently found myself beset upon by a pack of raging Porsches the likes of which I have never before seen. Squinting into my rearview mirror, I watched, horrified, as they began to chase after me, fanning out with a wail like Teutonic banshees that easily infiltrated the sepulchral silence normally dominating the cabin of my borrowed Cayenne Turbo S. I stabbed at the accelerator and provoked the turbos into force-feeding the big V8, feeling its enormous torque claw into the pavement as if this incredible machine, given enough traction, could arrest the Earth’s rotation. I felt my face flatten and my spine shrink as I was pressed deeper and deeper into the folds of the luxurious seat and the Cayenne rocketed down the road, leaving all but the best of the turbo 911s and GT cars in her generous wake. I was gathering some serious speed down a long straight section of roadway, far beyond what I am normally accustomed to. I could sense my vision beginning to narrow as my thundering world morphed into a blur like an impressionist painting, and I was soon caught inside a frightening form of tunnel vision not unlike peering through a periscope. Only instead of making six or seven knots, my speedometer was well into triple digits and rising with an exuberance that can only be described as maniacal. I had two and a half tons of extruded and pressed steel about to shatter the sound barrier when I became aware of a long turn in my immediate future. I glanced in my rearview mirror and could see that I was holding my own, but I knew I was going way too fast for the upcoming turn. I warily pondered the big Porsche’s impressive bulk.
Pounding hard on those Brobdingnagian Brembo brakes, I knew it was only a matter of time before the GT3s and 911 Turbos began nipping at my heals in bloody reminiscence of the undeniable food chain, and I was also aware that my lumbering beast, despite her admittedly monstrous reserves of stamina and pluck, was about to become food. The pace, in the end, was simply too much for her. And it had also become quite clear that I had either wrung out this machine or it had wrung me out, and being a basically honest person I knew that the former was impossible and that the latter formed an imperative that was impossible to ignore. The swarming horde was back there, snapping and snarling like an unearthly pack of colorful Weimaraners, enjoying the chase in the certain knowledge that the day would be won, and that in the end there would be a juicy feast to gorge upon in the slanting rays of a victorious primal sunset.
Heading into a wooded area that would not be amenable to our rate of speed, I slowly lifted the accelerator pedal and floated into the forest, a spooky, heavy feeling settling into my bones as I passed under a shroud of towering pines closely lining the edge of the road. It was then that I spotted my potential escape, for there in the leafy skyline were high-tension wires betraying an access road comprised entirely of dirt ditches and otherwise insignificant mud puddles that would trouble my lioness no more than the scantiest of silly thorns. I hit the brakes and set the nose of my magnificent Cayenne onto the grainy detritus of unpaved America. She took a bite and dug into the firmament with the gusto of a hunted animal. I heard the turbocharger murmuring in the background, imminently poised to blast us into a savage mayhem on this loose gravel road. I checked my rearview mirror and saw, through a thickening cloud of dust, a collection of the finest Zuffenhausen has to offer gathered at the mouth of my dirty road, confused and justifiably reluctant to injure their delicate undercarriages on the rutty aspects of a rural undertaking. I sat back in my seat, as comfortable as a prince upon his father’s pillow, and started fingering the buttons that would pamper me. As I bounced along on my 21st century buckboard I thought to myself: Man, there truly is no substitute.