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Taste of excellence

Taste of excellence

Mikko David

Fine dining and driving a Porsche are more closely related than you might think. Sure, they both cost an expensive sum, and some might say that defines their association. But it’s more than that.

Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands hotel, yes, that one with what looks like a cruise ship on top of three towers, is hosting the two-week-long Food and Wine Festival until the 28th of May. For two weeks, paying patrons can experience gastronomic delights as chefs prepare exquisite menus that liven up your palate. Both Porsche and Marina Bay Sands are luxury partners in Singapore and it made sense for this synergy to happen.

Marina Bay Sand’s Food and Wine Festival

We had the opportunity to sample the curated menu of world-renowned Australian chef Luke Mangan last May 18th as he prepared a delectable threecourse selection of Kingfish sashimi, confit ocean trout, and seared and poached wagyu beef combined with his choice of fine wine.

It was indeed an experience as we dined. Not only did the food bring out flavors that a regular everyday rice meal would have diluted in oil and MSG, but this selection by Chef Mangan also showed what real food, with real flavors, prepared by an expert pair of hands can taste like.

Hiramasa Kingfish Sashimi

Much like the Food and Wine Festival, the Porsche World Road Show also offered the finest and tastiest models in the German brand’s lineup. Also happening in Singapore this month at the Changi Exhibition Center, PWRS brought 26 of the brand’s finest models from Germany for ticket-holders to try out.

Sumptuous cuisine

At SGD 688 per ticket, the PWRS experience is not for the faint of heart. But much like the SGD 720 ticket to the Great Chef Showcase by Luke Mangan, it will bring out the flavors of the German thoroughbreds like you’ve never tasted them before.

You see, PWRS is not your routine test drive around the block. It has five driving exercises designed to take the cars to their limits, from braking and slalom tests, to simulated offroad driving with the Cayenne, to driving on public roads with the Panamera, Macan, Cayenne, and the Taycan EVs.

With over 10,000 horsepower at the event, we, along with curious clients and Porsche customers, could sample the different tastes each model brought to the table. And like experienced chefs, PWRS’ team of certified Porsche instructors was on hand to guide the drivers and make sure they understood the dynamics of the vehicle in each exercise.

A bevy of models lined up at the Porsche World Road Show Singapore showcasing the brand’s extensive 26-car lineup open for experiential test drives.

What really stood out for me was the handling exercise where we got to sample a Taycan EV, a 911, a 911 Turbo, a 911 GTS, and a 917 GT4 RS. The last model riled up our senses the most. Making a robust case for internal combustion engines, the Cayman 917 GT4 RS was a feast for the senses. The noise it made as it snarled toward its 9,000 rpm rev limit was a heavenly aural delight. The crisp handling and purposeful Alcantara-laden interiors made for the perfect setting to experience the best of Porsche.

The course was a mix of six hairpins and two straights that ended in chicanes. It was meant to unleash the power of the car from second to fourth gears while at the same time demonstrating the sharpness in handling and the consistency of the cars’ grip and braking. The 917 GT4 RS was, for all intent and purposes, the main dish of the day as it was served fresh and hot at the exercise.

But what really made our collective jaws drop was the fact that our instructor was actually driving the all-new 992-generation 911 GT3 RS, which was unveiled for the Singapore market at the opening ceremony of the afternoon.

Those who love driving at the limit know what the GT3 RS can do. Designed with track-focused aerodynamics that all lead to the most enormous rear wing ever installed in a production Porsche, the 911 GT3 RS can make you drool just by looking at it.

Everything it had on had a purpose. No decorative parsley here. Just the right spices and seasoning to make its authentic flavor stand out.

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When it did hit the track, however, it looked poised to do the job. Its wide staggered Michelin rubber did the business and provided the low-speed mechanical grip. The tires were so sticky, they even picked up small stones all afternoon long, just like slick tires would.

It was awesome to see the GT3 RS in its element. But perhaps sweeping curves would have made it stand out even more as it was built to thrive in them.

The 4.0-liter flat-six at the back with 525 horses and 465 Nm of torque let it accelerate quickly off the slow turns, making us in the Cayman GT4 RS behind it, engage the throttle even more. I could only wonder how our instructor felt each time he looked at his mirrors to see if we were keeping up with him.

But the action wasn’t limited to the asphalt. The Cayenne even had its 15 minutes of fame as it negotiated steel structures that resembled off-road formations. The mid-engine Boxster excelled in the slalom exercise with its centralized weight distribution. And the Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo demonstrated how a battery electric motor with 1050 N-m of torque felt off the line and how, despite the EVs extra weight, its brakes were able to stop it in a dime.

Overall, it was a very satisfying experience to drive and have a taste of all these Porsches. It’s not every day one gets access to such a variety of machinery and be able to take them to the limit, as they were intended. And like the exquisite dining experience we had which served each fine dish prepared to Chef Mangan’s expert liking, these sports cars were all engineered to deliver the finest driving experience one can buy.

And as with every luxury in life, the exclusivity of both experiences only served to make us want them even more.