BLOWN AWAY

Driv­ing five Porsches to­talling $935,000

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

THE drive was short but sweet.

A heart­pound­ing blast down the Rex Range from the top to the bot­tom and a gen­tle run into Port Dou­glas.

The 309 kW car did not dis­ap­point.

The power, the grip and the brakes were phe­nom­e­nal.

The $300 K Carr era Sis re­garded as the best all-rounder of the com­pre­hen­sive 911 range which tops out at more than $500K for the Turbo S.

Sure, there are quicker and more sexy ver­sions, but the Car­rera S best epit­o­mises one of the most fa­mous sports cars of all time.

The 911 sling­shots from cor­ner to cor­ner, with tremen­dous bursts of ac­cel­er­a­tion and then hard on the brakes be­fore the rear engined two door burst out of each turn to meet the next just as quickly and vo­ra­ciously.

Bend af­ter bend the 911 did not dis­ap­point, most of it in sec­ond gear as the nee­dle hit the red-line time af­ter time.

De­spite its rear weight bias, the flat six re­mained flat and true to line.

You could feel the weight at the back of the car, but it never turned to bite me.

Once down on the flat a few bursts from 0-100km/h re­vealed the ex­plo­sive na­ture of the turbo six as it slammed through the dual clutch gear­box ra­tios, push­ing the oc­cu­pants back in their seats. Plus the sound. What a glo­ri­ous au­ral de­light to theear sofa rev head. It cer­tainly put a smile on my dial.

My pas­sen­ger was speech­less, but was anx­ious to ex­plain that the stain in his shorts was wa­ter spilt from his bot­tle.

On the run into Port Dou­glas the car stayed in sec­ond gear as the com­puter had “read” my ear­lier in­ten­tions and thought I still wanted to play.

I kept hav­ing to d r iv ei t man­u­ally to slip into higher gears while the elec­tron­ics even­tu­ally sorted out that I was now in cruise mode.

Sadly, it was all over af­ter ab o u t 2 0 mi n u te s an d 3 0 kilo­me­tres.

But, wait there is more. The day in c l u de d fo u r ot h e r Porsches as well: two Boxsters, a Ma­can and a Cayenne.

I was one of eight en­thu­si­asts who were given ac­cess to the five Porsche s, wi t h pr i c e ta g s to­talling more than $935,000.

Porsche does not have a phys­i­cal pres­ence in Cairns with the near­est dealer in Townsville.

Bu t th e t ropic a l ci t y i s con­sid­ered cru­cial to grow­ing mar­ket share in the Sun­shine State.

As­sem­bled to drive the range were ei­ther cur­rent own­ers of the brand and/or those with the fi­nan­cial ca­pac­ity to af­ford a Porsche. They in­cluded own­ers of a Porsche 911 Turbo, a BMW X5 and a M4, a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and an Audi S7.

My first stint was in a man­ual 718 Boxster, one of two and the lat­est Porsche.

The drive was from the CBD to the bot­tom of the Ku­randa Range so I didn’t drive it to its best po­ten­tial.

The gear­box i s a sw e e t chang­ing unit although I found the brake and clutch ped­als too high off the floor.

The engine is a turbo four and not a flat six but there was plenty of grunt. It’s prob­a­bly a bet­ter op t i o n fo r ou r ro ad s an d con­di­tions than a 911 or the more pow­er­ful Boxster S.

The Ma­can GTS was next in line.

I like this SUV. It’s com­posed with a bit of at­ti­tude.

It is fun to drive and prac­ti­cal at the same time.

For the real world of fam­ily, work and shop­ping, as well as the re­gion’s roads, it is the most sensible.

The fast and full size SUV Cayenne GTS drives like a car but felt “looser” than the tighter Ma­can.

It’s a great cruise mo­bile and was nice and com­fort­able on the open road be­tween Ma­reeba and Mt Mol­loy.

Im­me­di­ately af­ter the 911, the Boxster S with the PDK du­alc l u tc h tr a n s m i s s i o n was dis­ap­point­ing.

It felt and sounded harsh and dis­jointed. It was not fair to drive this af­ter a 911. In iso­la­tion it prob­a­bly is a cracker.

As much as I would love a Porsche 911 Car­rera S it’s just not suited to the Far North.

It would get me into too much trou­ble plus the price is mind blow­ing.

On bal­ance and at the end of the day the Ma­can GTS is the ideal Porsche for Cairns.

It ’s a SUV with a sport­ing bent, prac­ti­cal and easy to drive, packed full of gear and fun too.

DRIVEN: Porsche 911 Car­rera S (main) and the Boxster S (be­low).

Porsche Boxster

Cayenne GTS

Ma­can GTS

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