Driving five Porsches totalling $935,000
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).