Sun | May 19, 2019

Porsche gives a unique driving experience in Miami

Published:Sunday | April 14, 2019 | 12:16 AMKareem LaTouche - Automotives Coordinator
The Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo 21” Exclusive Design Wheels painted in jet black metallic.
The Targa comes with a BOSE surround sound system.
The top coming off of the 718 Boxster GTS.
There are Adaptive Sport Seats (18-way) with Memory Package.
The Boxster comes with a 7-speed transmission.
Media personnels and Porsche representatives take some time out for a group photo. From left: Cristian Segarra, Elizabeth Solis, Theresa Zorn, Ceola Belix, Kareem LaTouche, Shakira Vargas, Andres Villamizar, Carlos Munera and Giovanni Gibaja.
Porsche PR team for the Caribbean and Latin America, Carlos Munera, public relations specialists; Elizabeth Solis, public relations and communications manager; and Theresa Zorn, public relations intern.
718 Boxster GTS.
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Having recently launched the Macan and Cayenne at the Sandals/ATL Group Aerodrome, Tinson Pen, Porsche is getting the word out about its products. The German brand continued on this high momentum by inviting Automotives to Miami to experience the driving power of three of its most coveted models: the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo, the 718 Boxster GTS, and the 911 Targa GTS.

Not one to dilute the experience, the brand came to impress, picking up all the invited journalists in various Porsche models. For Automotives, it was the Panamera, decked out in 21” rims and a conservative chalk exterior colour, which was quite misleading as it has the most horse power of the lot.

 

It whizzed in and out of traffic on the highway in an effortless manner as public relations officer Carlos Munera eagerly showed off its various functions. His first demonstration was the three-zone climate control, which was welcome on the hot day.

Once you entered this vehicle, it is evident that it is different from any other as the black and chalk interior immediately captures the eyes. Aesthetically, the car’s interior looks contemporary and symmetrical, with buttons running along each side of the gear lever in a bid to make the driving experience customisable.

The plush leather seats add extreme comfort making it joyful to feel the 550bhp coming from the four-litre engine. Despite weighing 4,490 pounds, this vehicle can move quickly but in a luxurious kind of way.

Hard to predict the Miami weather

The next day, all the journalists from the Caribbean and Latin America were up early to experience the Porsche-sponsored event – Miami Open. Unfortunately, it started to rain, which caused the outdoor event to be cancelled. However, Porsche PR team, headed by Elizabeth Solis, got creative and decided to give us a tour of Miami, while allowing everyone to take turns driving the different vehicles.

For Automotives, the convertible 718 Boxster with the lava orange and a black top was the preferred choice. One of the most obvious things was that it sits low to the ground with a clearance of 6.7 inches, which ensures that it has an optimal centre of gravity. This also means that you have to crouch to enter, but once you are inside, the mastermind of Porsche’s design team is showcased.

The interior of the roadster boasts leather throughout, with chrome accents predominantly placed on the steering wheel and around the A/C vents. Everything was designed to precision – from the symmetry of the leather stitching to the customary analogue clock located in the centre of the dashboard.

Being a roadster, there is the usual storage compartment below the bonnet as this is a mid-engine vehicle that gives a very immersive driving experience. Inside the vehicle, there is a luggage net at the passenger’s foot and two retractable cup holders above the glove compartment.

There is also a nifty feature in the middle spoke of the steering wheel, which can be pressed to apply heat to the steering wheel. Nonetheless, the real joy comes with the activation of the different driving modes, with the turn of a small knob attached to the steering wheel. It allows the driver to switch from Normal, Sport, Sport+, and customise modes.

To be fair, this car was a beast in which every mode was chosen, so we recommend keeping it in normal for regular driving. The premise of this car is that it is a sports vehicle designed to be driven on the street, which ensures that it gives an authentic Porsche experience. The steering was precise and the responsiveness of the acceleration pushed persons into their seats. Its 365bhp kept the fun factor of driving a vehicle like this at a maximum speed.

All good things

On the final day of the tour, we got a chance to drive the coveted 911 Targa 4 GTS, which had an exterior adorned by a colour simply called ‘racing yellow’. From a performance standpoint, this car was packed with excitement, which was delivered by the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine.

It eagerly accelerated to any desired speed as the six-cylinder boxer engine responded rapidly. In keeping with this overall theme of speed, the interior is sprinkled with yellow stitching as a visual statement. There are also carbon fibre accents along the door guards as well as sections of the dashboard to give it a premium feel.

When the engine is started, there is a loud growl, letting the driver know that the seven-speed transmission was ready for any challenge. As the five-vehicle convoy drove 113km from Biscayne, in downtown Miami, to West Palm Beach, the Targa showed its true colours on the highways.

Overtaking vehicles effortlessly, it demonstrated why it was easily the favourite of the bunch. Even in Sport+ mode when the suspension stiffened, the adaptive 18-way seats were comfortable and kept occupants firmly in place.

When we reached our destination, Automotives had a clear understanding of what the Porsche experience means. It’s a vehicle that has captured the illusive market of precision engineering, performance and style.