Driving a fast car that costs more than an arm and a leg can be nerve wrecking, but with Porsche, you don’t have to harbour such a ridiculous notion.
Driving on jam-packed roads and narrow carparks in Singapore can be a ball-dropping experience, especially so if the car in question that you’re handling costs upwards of $300,000. Or it can even be the simple case of wanting to man-handle your recently purchased sports car like a hooligan, but you don’t have the courage to do so because you’re not sure if your car’s safety systems is good enough to help keep you on track and in one piece.
The recent experience I had at the famed Sepang International Circuit proved that there isn’t a need to feel afraid of driving a sports car, such as a Porsche, that costs as much as an HDB flat. Here’s why.
1. Safe and sound
We like to think that we’re as good a driver on the roads as we are in bed with a woman. Truth is, we aren’t. From the lack of signalling and the basic rule of turning the head lights on, to road hogging and using our mobile phones behind the wheel, most drivers in Singapore are as dangerous as a loaded gun waiting to fire. Hence, you’ll never know when there’s a need to swerve past pesky drivers with a sudden twitch of the steering wheel to avoid a collision.
Problem is when you perform such an evasive action, most cars will have the tendency to oversteer or understeer, which will have you end up at the hospital or at the car workshop.
With Porsche Stability Management (PSM), however, you can gun a Porsche 911 Turbo S at illegal speeds on the highway and still manage to avoid a collision with a flick of the steering. Thanks to PSM, the car is always stable, which makes the car easy to handle at all times. More importantly, the safety system prevents the car from spinning like a ninja turtle on its shell.
2. Stop in the name of law before you break my heart
Road construction is all over Singapore and it’s inevitable. With the amount of taxes Singaporeans are paying, we do expect improvements to be made to our roads. However, that also translates to driving difficulty due to unexpected situations.
That’s where Porsche’s carbon ceramic brakes come into play. Learning how to brake with a good judgement is one thing but ensuring that you can handle an emergency brake situation is a different ball game altogether. The theory of the ceramic coating leading to greater braking confidence due to the improvement of friction coefficient was proven at the track when I slammed hard on the brakes and steered at the same time to avoid killing cones.
Thumping hard on the brakes and steering away from an object can sometimes cause you to understeer due to the high speed but with the carbon ceramic brakes fitted on the Porsche I was driving shedding speed quickly and efficiently, drivers can easily overcome such an obstacle.
3. Twist a little closer
When an object or a drunk person sudden leaps in front of your relatively fast-moving car, you have to ensure that you’re able to swerve away and back onto your lane without causing an accident. While most of us can do that, our cars may not be able to due to the lack of balance or handling dynamics.
With a Porsche 718 Boxster S, that’s what we tried to do. Clearly planted, well-balanced and dynamically sound, the mid-engined sports car is perfect when it comes to handling. The car is such an elegant dancer on the tarmac that it constantly inspires confidence regardless of the obstacles you face.
That said, the movement of the car is still highly up to the driver. Advice from a Porsche instructor was to to be quick but gentle. This will avoid an understeer and maintain the car’s balance. I managed to succeed a smooth drive without killing a cone or myself, of course, but only after four tries.
4. Corner carving and apex attacking
When it comes to driving on the track, most of us are afraid to fully push our cars because we’re unsure of the limits our cars can actually take. With the slew of Porsche cars that I tested – from the 911 Turbo and the 718 Boxster to the Cayenne Turbo and the new Panamera Turbo – the cars will push as far as your own limits can go.
In my experience, while the Lamborghini Aventador S is by far the most perfect car to track, Porsche has an irresistible draw to enthusiasts and casual drivers who long for excitement, reliability and fun.
If courage is what you need to pilot an expensive fast car, then courage is what you’ll get with Porsche.
06 Jul 2017 | Text by Julian Kho, Photos by Manufacturer