Porsche World Roadshow 2024 at SIC: Speed, sound, pure driving ecstasy

THE intoxicating symphony of roaring engines and blur of speed at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) delivered unforgettable and thrilling experiences for lucky participants of the Porsche World Roadshow (PWRS) 2024.

Held from June 20 to 29, certified international instructors guided groups of driving enthusiasts, Porsche owners and media participants through the meticulously designed PWRS programme on the race track.

The PWRS programme boasted a diverse mix of activities included exciting fast laps in high-performance two-door machines and SUVs (sport utility vehicles), as well as braking and slalom exercises, and off-road driving sessions.

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Porsche Malaysia, represented by Sime Darby Auto Performance (SDAP) hosted this ultimate driving event, which delivered immersive experiences with a wide array of left-hand drive Porsche models including the 911 Targa 4 GTS, 911 Turbo S, 911 GT3 RS, 718 Cayman GT4 RS, Spyder RS, Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid, Macan GTS, new Panamera, new Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo.

PWRS 2024 at SIC also saw the premiere of the updated Taycan line-up, with prices starting from RM575,000 and a sneak preview of the all-electric Macan, which is now available for pre-launch booking.

“We are thrilled to host PWRS in Malaysia as it offers a truly extraordinary driving experience for Porsche dreamers. It offers an exclusive opportunity to experience the full potential of these high-performance machines, providing a real taste of adrenaline and the incomparable Porsche DNA,” said Christopher Hunter, CEO of SDAP.

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Our group started the day in the classy interior of the Cayenne line-up at a purpose-built off-road testing course.

However, exercises involving makeshift hill-climbs and side traverse, had to be cancelled as it had rained heavily the previous night, and the terrain was too water-logged for the tyres to gain traction.

We managed to successfully traverse a soft, muddy and deeply rutted “Elephant Steps” course - with our driving instructor constantly barking “Slow, Slow, Slow!”, but not without losing traction, and getting stuck at one point.

We didn’t stay bogged down for long, after we were told to reverse slightly, and the Porsche Traction Management’s (PTM) high-tech wizardry worked to get us unstuck and moving again.

After lunch, it was about experiencing the exhilarating high-speed action, power and agility of the Porsche line-up on the iconic race track.

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We started with fast laps in the all-wheel drive Panamera 4 sporty saloon, armed with its mighty 353PS/500Nm 2.9-litre V6 turbo engine, which felt glued to the tarmac as we tackled the the twists and turns of the race track.

It was just the beginning of an unforgettable afternoon.

Next, we switched to the updated all-electric, all-wheel drive Taycan Turbo which comes with adaptive air suspension as standard.

With a 105kWh lithium-ion battery, and monstrous 884PS (overboost power) and 890Nm torque with Launch Control, and a neck-snapping 0 to 100kph sprint in a mere 2.7 seconds, the Taycan Turbo is shockingly fast in accelerating out of tight corners and hitting eye-popping speeds on the straight.

This was followed by a quick stint in the Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid, billed as the most powerful Porsche SUV model and showcasing the brand’s commitment to sustainable performance.

This plug-in hybrid was another Porsche magic machine that delivered lots of track fun for us, with its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine and an electric motor with 130kW, resulting in a staggering combined output of 739PS and maximum torque of 950Nm.

The 0 to 100kph sprint is done in only 3.7 seconds, onwards to a top speed of 295kph which translated into more adrenaline-fuelled track racing pleasure for us.

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Next up were braking exercises on a straight section of the track, as a demonstration of Porsche’s safety technology.

The mighty rear-engined 911 Turbo S and Porsche’s famous Launch Control feature took center stage here, armed with its twin-turbo 3.8-litre boxer engine producing 650PS and 800Nm.

Once Launch Control was activated, after we held our feet on both the brake and accelerator pedals simultaneously, we were told to lift off the brake pedal.

This resulted in the 911 Turbo S instantly moving flat-out and surging with incredible speed towards a marked box a short distance ahead on the track.

We found immense emergency stopping power and reassuring straight-line braking performance as we slammed hard on the brakes, and came to a complete stop within the marked box.

Sharpening our reflexes came next, with slalom exercises in the agile 718 Spyder RS mid-engined roadster.

Armed with a naturally aspirated 500PS/450Nm 4.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine, and a sports suspension engineered for driving pleasure on winding roads, the Spyder RS danced nimbly through the cones, showcasing its exceptional handling.

Our driving instructor also gave us invaluable advice on where we can improve, regarding our steering control in manoeuvring around the cones.

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After a short tea break, it was a return to pure speed and adrenaline rush featuring some of Porsche’s most jaw-dropping rides: the 911 Targa 4 GTS, 911 GT3 RS, 718 Cayman GT4 RS, and 911 Turbo S.

Of course, the stars of the show were the two cars with the RS badge – Porsche’s most track-focused, responsive and enthralling high-performance variants.

Both the GT3 RS and GT4 RS have the silky smooth seven-speed Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) and 4.0-litre six-cylinder naturally aspirated boxer engines.

On the GT3 RS, this 4.0-litre flat six produces 525PS and 465Nm while on the GT4 RS, there is slightly less muscle with 500PS and 450Nm of torque.

However, the GT4 RS delivers a unique aural delight with an addictive engine soundtrack that sounds like it’s happening right behind your ears.

This is thanks to the engine induction air intakes behind the driver and passenger windows, which Porsche says “create an emotive induction sound right next to the occupants’ ears.”

Driving the GT4 RS is an intoxicating and immersive sensory event, as you accelerate to blistering speeds on the straight and power out of track bends.

It’s a car that delivers pure motoring joy, and puts smiles on the faces of driving enthusiasts.

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Now, another track-focused predator is the GT3 RS which as expected, carves through corners like it’s on rails, and devoured straights with exhilarating ease.

The GT3 RS rockets from 0 to 100kph in a scant 3.2 seconds.

Throw the slightly faster 911 Turbo S into this phenomenal quartet which delivered a blur of exceptional handling, dream-like steering and unbelievable speeds, and participants were left craving for more time on the track.

As the day drew to a close, participants were treated to thrilling taxi rides on the F1 circuit in the expert hands of instructors, experiencing the full potential of the crème de la crème of Porsche’s sports car lineup.

PWRS events have always delivered a scintillating combination of speed, sound, and pure driving ecstasy, and the 2024 edition at SIC was another incredible and unique opportunity to experience Porsche’s motorsport DNA on the racetrack.

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