Porsche World RoadShow 2019 – Puerto Rico

Porsche World RoadShow 2019 – Puerto Rico

What a weekend! Porsche Centre Trinidad sent us to San Juan, Puerto Rico for the Porsche World RoadShow 2019 last week. To say we had a blast would be a gross understatement. It was a fantastic experience driving the various models Porsche has to offer all around the scenic island of Puerto Rico. It must have been a sight for motorists there to see 18 brand new Porsche vehicles blasting through the streets, highways and byways of their island, many a phone camera came out.

TriniTuner.com was invited along with a select group of Porsche enthusiasts from around the Caribbean and Latin America to this unique Road Tour Edition of the Porsche World Roadshow. Usually these events are done at a race track at various countries around the world. However, the Puerto Rico experience is different in that invitees are treated to real world driving and handling of the vehicles on the public roads of Puerto Rico, including city driving, freeways and winding mountain passes. This gives a much better daily-driver feel for each of the models. Invited guests hailed from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, I may have missed out a few.

We started off at the Porsche Centre on Kennedy Avenue in San Juan, that avenue by the way has almost every car dealership brand imaginable all on one street. A breakfast spread and a presentation by the team at Porsche including Elizabeth Solis, Manager, Public Relations & Communications for Porsche Latin America started the day’s activities.

The 36 invitees were grouped into three teams of 12. Each team was given 6 current model Porsche vehicles to drive. In the parking lot, our team were greeted by a black Cayenne Turbo S, a chalk Macan, Panamera 4 Hybrid in Mamba Green Metallic, a Carmine Red 911 Carrera S, a white 911 4S and a 718 Cayman Boxter GTS in Lava Orange. We paired up and drove out of the Porsche Centre car park in a convoy, two enthusiasts per car, one driving and the other in the passenger seat. Radios were used to keep in contact. Unfortunately, the spectacular Lizard Green 991.2 911 GT3 RS that was supposed to be part of the event stayed behind at the Porsche Center due to the unexpected rain that morning. It was fitted with tyres that would have been a challenge for some of the enthusiasts given the car’s unbridled power.

Myself and Luis Muñoz, a Puerto Rican native that lived and worked in Miami previously, started off in the Cayenne at the back of the line, Luis helped me a lot with the translation as my Spanish is a bit rusty. I took the passenger seat hoping to get some rolling footage. That was easier said than done, each acceleration in the very torquey Cayenne Turbo S made it difficult to hold the camera straight but I have to admit, the ride was incredibly refined even on the bumpy Puerto Rican roads and I had a chance to run through the various vehicle, suspension and mode settings on the large glass capacitive-touch touch screen on the centre console.

As we drove south of San Juan, on to the Raphael Martinez Nadal Expressway, we made our first stop to switch over drivers and switch cars from the Cayenne to the Macan. This one had an alcantara wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters and a mode select dial that felt very race-car like in my hands. The group stopped at scenic locations along the entire route throughout the day, each time we moved to the car in front, switching passenger and driver. Overtaking was allowed once we got back into position by the next stop. They seem to be very relaxed about the speed limit in Puerto Rico. At the end of the day each of us were able to drive each of the cars available. This freeway headed south to Caguas, located in the Central Mountain Range of Puerto Rico. This was one of the more scenic stops in the mountains.

Driving the Panamera 4 Hybrid, the car felt a lot smaller than it looked. It’s not a small car by any means, longer than even the soon-to-be-released all electric 4 door Taycan. It felt nimble yet very settled on the road. The two seats at the back offered vast amounts of leg room and their own glass touch screen in the centre. I drove the Panamera testing out all the various modes from Sport+ to Hybrid and E-Power. In the latter, the car runs on the electric motors only, it is super silent. In Sport+ both the combustion engine and the electric motors work together to deliver a punch to all four wheels that pushes you back into your seat more than you’d expect.

The narrow winding mountain roads heading up into Cayey reminded me of Trinidad’s Lady Young Road and the North Coast road but x10. In Puerto Rico, like the U.S. they drive on the right and the cars are left hand drive. The 992 911 Carrera 4S was incredible on those winding uphill and downhill sections. Felt a lot like tougé. I set the suspension to Sport and the vehicle mode to Sport+, opened the exhausts and the car barked up those sections with ease, the all-wheel-drive making it a breeze, almost effortless. Maybe I connected with the 4 wheel drive better since my daily driver is an Evo. But this 911 Carrera 4S made the biggest impression to me, this is living!

We stopped for lunch at El Mesón de Melquiades, a classy mountain top restaurant in Cayey. Perfectly prepared steak, salmon and chicken fueled us up very well, while the cars parked outside were also refueled by a gasoline tanker brought up to the restaurant car park for us.

We switched cars again, this time in the 911 Carrera S (rear wheel drive). We drove from the north coast to the south coast to the east coast and back (Thanks again to Luis for the route map below). 

The incredible open exhaust note on the 911 in Sport+ mode, crackles and pops as it backfires, heavenly! 

By the time we were making our way back to the Porsche Centre at 4:30pm I was driving the 718 Cayman Boxter GTS, my camera gear in the boot in front in this mid-engine 2 seater. This was definitely the most fun to drive, the fantastic engine sounds right at your back and the handling, impeccable. This must be one of the best handling sports cars for the price.

Back at the Porsche Centre, after some light refreshments and a group photo, we were each presented with certificates and a photo on a custom Porsche Experience frame. This in addition to the Porsche designed computer mouse that was brought to the hotel room as a gift prior to the event the day before, a great gesture!

The hardest part of this entire experience is, having driven all these various Porsche models for an entire day, to go back home to drive your regular car, it just can’t compare!

A special thanks to Lifestyle Motors and the Porsche Centre Trinidad for making this experience possible.
@porschecentretrinidad #porschecentretrinidad

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