We were delighted to receive this review of the Porsche Experience Centre from one of our Owners. Thank you Jonathan for sending this into us and sharing your day. We hope it inspires other drivers.
Last Friday was perhaps was one of the best and most memorable days of this year as it was when I was kindly invited to drive the new 992 GTS at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone, but I’ll share my thoughts on that later.
For us petrolheads with the love of driving the last eighteen months have had its restrictions with essential trips only, track days cancelled and our treasured sports cars locked away in our garages while we eagerly awaited a return to normality.
My love of Porsche goes back many years when my 911 journey started in 2002 with a 996 Targa and then progressed to the wonderful 997 Turbo in 2007, however, the arrival of our twin boys suspended 911 life but I did what many Dad’s reading this do and bought a Cayenne!
So fast forward fourteen years and the lure of that classic 911 design rekindled my relationship with the Porsche brand and the first of many great customer experiences in the hands of Porsche Centre Preston’s sales consultant Richard Mander.
The new 992 GTS is for me the perfect combination of performance, practicality and design. Once in my hands, it will spend daily life on the road and occasional trips to its homeland navigating the twists and turns of the famous Nurburgring.
With 2wd, 4wd, Coupe, Targa and Cabriolet there’s a style for all, but a 2wd GTS 480hp Coupe with rear-wheel steer and finished in that striking Agate Grey is my choice and perhaps the next best thing to the glorious GT3.
So, with my decision made the order was placed with Porsche for an early 2022 build and like many enthusiasts, we count down the days like grown up kids awaiting Christmas.
While I patiently await that exciting day of delivery the team at Preston really know how to keep their customers engaged which recently included an invitation to an excellent evening’s entertainment with the 2021 GT3 Cup Champion Dan Cammish and ITV Commentator and GT3/Touring car legend Tim Harvey.
For a Porsche enthusiast, the above event made November a great month but it was only to get better as an email dropped into my inbox inviting me to drive the new 992 GTS at the Porsche Experience Centre and within hours thanks to Charlotte a day was soon booked into my diary.
The Porsche Experience Centre concept is available to customers in various countries around the world and sets to welcome owners new and old to the brand where they can enjoy driving a chosen model, have 1:1 driver training and even learn about human performance. It is a superb facility enhanced by a team of professionals with Porsche DNA running through their veins and a passion for customer excellence.
Seeing the GTS in the flesh for the first time was a real treat where the unique features stood out from the traditional Carrera making this one of the finest practical sports cars you can buy. My car for the day was a 4wd 992 GTS gleaming in Guards Red fitted with the PDK gearbox.
My own circumstances were slightly different than the norm in that due to a motorcycle accident 24 years ago I now need to drive with hand controls but having discussed this with the PEC team this was clearly not a problem and indeed nor was anything else with wheelchair access everywhere giving a really inclusive feel.
Their technicians had taken my portable hand controls while my son and I enjoyed a delicious three course lunch overlooking the circuit hosted by a team of waiting staff who were as passionate about the Porsche brand as the food they presented to us.
There were three circuits to explore that allowed you to experience the way the car handled a tight and twisty circuit, high speed acceleration and braking zones along with a wet weather track with a kicker plate to test your corrective driving skills.
To ensure we could maximise the day our driver and human performance coaches first undertook a briefing in their striking presentation suite where the track layout, driving agenda and an insight into how sportsmen and women best prepare their mind, body and diet. This was fascinating and with a few pounds to lose was something I should probably have experienced but sometimes we have to make tough decisions… a fitness assessment or track time in the GTS? I think you’ll guess my decision!
In any business it’s the people that really make a difference and my Porsche Consultant, Mark Robins was the perfect gentleman to act as my driver coach. His personality was relaxed, intuitive and just made the whole afternoon great fun for me and my son. His driver skills made me feel like reaching for my “L” plates but in such a short time he imparted live-saving braking and anti-skid techniques along with top tips to get the best out of my GTS.
A fourteen year absence from the seat of a 911 has been too long and as I reluctantly handed the GTS keys back to Mark it was a joy to see how the 992 has evolved from my last 997 yet still maintaining the wonderful 911 spirit. The performance is simply exhilarating, the handling razor sharp and aided by a sports exhaust the sound was spine tingling.
And there I finish my thoughts on a perfect day at Silverstone that ended too quickly and my thanks go to Porsche Centre Preston and the Porsche Experience Centre for this opportunity. It’s there for all to enjoy whether you own a Porsche or not and while you may be invited if you purchase a new car you can also buy an experience as a gift too…maybe for someone this Christmas!
For more information on the Porsche Experience Centre, please click here.
*Data determined in accordance with the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) as required by law. You can find more information on WLTP at www.porsche.com/wltp . For Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) range and Equivalent All Electric Range (EAER) figures are determined with the battery fully charged, using a combination of both battery power and fuel.
Values are provided for comparison only. To the extent that fuel and energy consumption or CO₂ values are given as ranges, these do not relate to a single, individual car and do not constitute part of the offer. Optional features and accessories can change relevant vehicle parameters such as weight, rolling resistance and aerodynamics which may result in a change in fuel or energy consumption and CO₂ values. Vehicle loading, topography, weather and traffic conditions, as well as individual driving styles, can all affect the actual fuel consumption, energy consumption, electrical range, and CO₂ emissions of a car.
** Important information about the all-electric Porsche models can be found here