There is an old saying that even a bad day at the track is better than a good day in the office. If that statement rings true, then a great day the track is even better, and thanks to great weather and an invite from Porsche, I’ll agree. Yesterday we left Orlando bright and early for a 10:00AM tee time at Sebring International Raceway for an invite only Porsche event, The Porsche World Roadshow.
The day started with a meet and great followed by a tech session on the basics of performance driving from Porsche Sport Driving School’s Chief instructor Cass Whitehead. After the quick classroom session was over we paired up and headed to a large autocross course where we got to put the newly released Boxster through its paces. I typically prefer more pure driving sports cars, however I was quite impressed with the technology in the Boxster after playing with it’s Sport settings and electronic suspension dampening. The performance of the car could be greatly changed for the conditions simply by pressing a few buttons located next to the shifter.
A second autocross course was setup for the Technology drive featuring the Panamera and Cayenne Hybrids and V8 Counterparts. On the short course we were encouraged to go full throttle on multiple occasions and test the throttle response to compare the differences between the 2. When you think Hybrid you typically think of slow Toyota Priuses clogging the left lane, the Porsche version couldn’t be further than the opposite. The Porsche Hybrid delivers amazing throttle response and low end torque thanks to it’s electric motors assisting a powerful NA engine, which delivers a driving experience that sticks to Porsches pursuit of ultimate performance, all while improving fuel efficiency.
With the performance drive completed it was off to the big track for what most participants traveled long and far to experience, driving the latest Porsches on the famed Sebring International Raceway. The format was a lead follow session on the Sebring modified course in the Panamera GTS, Porsche 991, and the 991S. While the driving was done in a somewhat controlled environment, it still allowed us to push the cars through their paces for a few laps each. I left quite impressed with the new 991, which makes the most of recent technology to deliver a great drive, adding new creature comforts not found in the previous model. All of the models we drove were equipped with Porsches new PDK transmission, something as a purist I should hate, however its a phenomenal piece of equipment and for 99% of the drivers out there exactly what they need. A big thanks to Porsche North America for putting on this event and our good friend Andreas at Porsche Orlando for the invite (If you’re in the market give him a ring). This was the ultimate way to test the newest models and draw our own opinions on them, most of which were positive!