Automotive

Published on June 16th, 2015 | by Subhash Nair

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Porsche Driving Experience Returns To Sepang, Features Cayman GTS and 911 Carrera S

Sime Darby Auto Performance, the official imported of Porsche in Malaysia, organised the Porsche Driving Experience for the fourth time on June 12th and 13th 2015 at the Sepang International Circuit. Journalists as well as Porsche customers got to experience the exclusive programme that was designed to demonstrate the athletic performance of Porsche cars through various driving exercises on the racetrack.

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The first exercise participants experienced was a short slalom course which was conducted using the large Porsche Panamera S. The full-sized sedan surprised all with its surprisingly taut control and responsive suspension. The tight steering and limited body roll is achieved using the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system, which preventively stiffens either side of the suspension upon taking a corner.

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The Porsche Cayman GTS – which has yet to be put on sale in Malaysia – was brought out to the skid test for participants to test out. Here, the instructor gave us simple, potentially life-saving advice on what to do when your car starts to spin out on a wet road, then we were asked to demonstrate our understanding by getting the Cayman GTS to oversteer and then bring it to a complete stop before we faced the wrong way. The test was to showed that even with the best traction and stability control (Porsche  Traction Management and Porsche Stability Management here), on a wet surface, physics is your enemy.

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The third test involved the Porsche Macan and emergency braking. By this time, rain had started to come down. The track was a little damp, but that just made the braking test more exciting and the Macan all the more impressive. The braking test is a fundamental exercise that is often overlooked. Most Malaysian drivers only get a feel for how a car handles during emergency stops when there’s an actual emergency. The test demonstrated that ABS-equipped cars can be safely steered out of harm’s way even when full braking was applied. Even with a damp track, the sizeable Macan handled itself gracefully, with performance car agility.

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In fact we have video footage of it. The little ‘Wow’ at the end was not scripted.

 

The final test was similar to the braking test but involved weaving between lanes at high speeds. This lane changing exercise simulated a real world scenario where one’s lane becomes obstructed at the very last second and the driver has no other choice but to steer out of the way and then back onto his lane before applying the brakes. We used Porsche’s largest vehicle, the Cayenne. It was the only diesel-powered vehicle we tested but it still drove like a Porsche in every respect. Just as we began, the rain intensified, flooding parts of the track and making it even more of a challenge for the Cayenne. Despite the weather not being in its favour, the Porsche SUV was a confidence-inspiring vehicle.

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The real highlight of the day was when we were given a chance to take both the 911 Carrera S and Cayman GTS models for a full track drive. Participants got to experience the seamless shifts of the 7-Speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) gearbox, and the wet surfaces really made the aforementioned Porsche Traction Management and Stability Management do its work.

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Having experienced the full capabilities of Porsches, it was easy to throw aside any notion of all sportscars being impractical and unsafe. Porsches in particular, were all balanced, sophisticated machines that were engineered for real world driving situations and equipped with some of the most advanced tech you can find in a car. The brand lives up to the hype and driving one makes you understand the fascination people have of their cars. Here are a few more pictures of the track day we had with these two mighty beasts.

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About the Author

Written work on dsf.my. @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.



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