… and what a thrilling day it was!
Sporty performance and pure driving fun were the top attractions during Marhaba Motoring’s visit to the Porsche Track Experience in Leipzig, Germany where we really appreciated the Porsche brand’s motorsport DNA – brought to life through the exciting 718 series comprising the Cayman hardtop coupe model and the Boxster retractable soft top/cabriolet. Both these super-attractive mid-engine sports cars feature a combination of athletic design, light-weight construction and powerful engines, all resulting in an outstanding driving performance as well as handling.
Reflecting the sporting spirit of the legendary 718 race cars which claimed numerous race wins in the 1950s and 1960s, the new Boxster and Cayman models showcased their power, agility and emotive drive experience on the 3.7 km track at Porsche Leipzig, one of the most exciting venues in Europe. Designed with the thrill of driving at its very heart, the circuit reproduces eleven world-famous bends taken from racetracks across the world of motorsport, including Monaco, Laguna Seca, and the Nürburgring. During the Porsche Track Experience programme we were given the chance to try out a range of skills, including slalom, oversteer, ideal line driving and guided laps, tested the credentials of the four-cylinder flat engines with turbocharging to the maximum.
And what a day it was; using cones strategically placed on the racetrack, we learned how to take bends faster and faster, how to brake later and later before the chicane, and then how to accelerate quicker coming out of it. Wow, so many things to learn and cope with!
Then on to the inside of the track to practice sliding on the skidpan, thoroughly soaked in water for our better sliding pleasure; how about some slaloming, that is twisting around a straight line of cones, or coping with the infamous corkscrew bend from Laguna Seca where one (split) second all you see is sky and the next (split) second your neck is jerked earthwards and you’re looking straight down on tarmac.
Porsche’s 718 models really show how unrivalled racetrack success can be combined with iconic styling and everyday usability. The 2.5 litre engine of the 718 Boxster S and Cayman S produces 350 hp and propels the sporty two-seaters to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds with a top speed of 285 kph when equipped with Porsche Doppelkuppling (PDK) and Sport Chrono Package. Featuring the same options, the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds with a top speed of 275 km/h, thanks to a 2.0 litre, 300 hp engine. In the S model, Porsche also uses a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry (VTG). Thus, the 718 Boxster S joins the 911 Turbo in using VTG technology, making Porsche the only manufacturer to use this technology in production vehicles with petrol engines.
The flagship of the 718 line, the GTS, features improved performance, a trademark sporty sound and distinctive design characterise the model with its redeveloped intake duct and optimised turbocharger. The Sport Chrono Package comes as standard and with the optional PDK, the 365 hp, 2.5 litre 718 Boxster GTS and 718 Cayman GTS models sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 290 km/h. Visually, the GTS stands out thanks to the new Sport Design front apron, black-tinted lights, black logos, black rear apron and centrally positioned black sports tailpipes of the sports exhaust system. Black GTS logos on the doors and 20-inch wheels painted in black complete the side view, whilst inside, Sports seats Plus, Alcantara trim and embroidered GTS logos further set the models apart.
Across all 718 models, the chassis and brakes deliver passionate and agile driving dynamics whilst the athletic performance is showcased by the sporty exterior design. Large cooling air intakes, independently styled wings and side sills, air inlet panels, with two fins as well as doors without handle recess covers add to the sporty feel. Inside, the latest generation of Porsche Communication Management (PCM), with a beautiful, large, state-of-the-art touchscreen, gives intuitive control.
Porsche’s 718 series unites the sporting history of yesterday with the sports cars of tomorrow – and meanwhile, you can enjoy every twist and turn – today, with Porsche.
The Porsche 718 series is available in Qatar via Porsche Centre Doha. Visit their showroom at Medina Centrale, The Pearl-Qatar. Call 4459 9666 or log on to Porsche Centre Doha website.
Author: Terry Sutcliffe
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