Porsche 911 is an automotive icon, a world-class standard in sports cars. Many of us grew up wanting one. Today's Porsche 911 offers the latest in engine and chassis technology and more performance than all but a few exotic cars sold in America. What's really impressive, though, is how easy it is to drive a 911. It's easier to drive quickly than the Italian exotics or, for that matter, the Dodge Viper, and it's easier to live with on a daily basis. Porsche 911 is built on race-proven architecture with a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine mounted in the rear. Upgraded and enlarged last year, Porsche's normally aspirated boxer engine, which comes on all Carrera and Targa models, delivers 315 horsepower. Porsche strengthened the body structure last year and revised the front styling to make the 911 models look more like the 911 Turbo, less like the mid-engine Boxster. About the only change for 2003 was the installation of a new digital AM/FM in-dash CD stereo. Let's cut to the chase: The 911 Carrera Coupe can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, according to Porsche. That should be more than quick enough for anyone. For those who need more, the 415-horsepower 911 Turbo can accelerate from 0 to 60 in about 4 seconds and is capable of a top speed of 189 mph. The lighter, race-inspired GT2 delivers even quicker performance and a top speed of 195. For most of us, the normally aspirated models are more than quick enough and cost significantly less. New for 2003 is the GT3, the most powerful non-turbocharged Porsche has ever offered for street use in North America. Accelerating from 0 to 60 happens in just 4.3 seconds and it can hit 100 in 9.4 with a top track speed of 190. Handling and braking are extraordinary. Steering is quick and direct, yet the car isn't darty and feels as solid as Gibraltar on the highway. Handling is devoid of any of the characteristics of the Porsche 911s of old. It rides smoothly and more softly than you might expect. It's an easy car to live with on a daily basis, easier than a Boxster. The six-speed manual gearbox is smooth and wonderful. Order the Tiptronic automatic and just about anyone could drive one of these cars. And that sound! The classic Porsche exhaust sound returned to the 911 last year along with the increased power and improved efficiency. Porsche continues to make some of the world's greatest sports cars, and you're looking at one of them. A 911 doesn't come cheap, however. Its purchase price is high, even more so when options are added in, and Porschephiles love options. Past 911s have been costly to maintain. If you can justify the price, though, the latest Porsche 911 should more than live up to your expectations.