If you’ve ever fantasized about driving a Porsche (who hasn’t?) but just couldn’t justify the financial hit of ownership, the Porsche Performance Tour could be the answer to your dreams.
Or, if you’re already a Porsche owner, you might relish the opportunity to try out some other models or gain a bit more track or off-road experience, all while being treated like royalty.
Three days, two five-star hotels, Michelin Star quality meals and more than two million dollars worth of Porsches to play with – that’s the Porsche Performance Tour. It includes some pretty nasty off-road stuff, many laps of a race track at speed and hundreds of kilometres of gorgeous country roads.
For the road and track portions you rotate through a dozen different variations of the Boxster and 911 Carrera, ranging in as-tested pricing from $82,000 to $175,000. The off-road segment is tackled in a bevy of Cayenne S models. The track and off-road portions of the program served to brilliantly demonstrate the engineering and dual-purpose capability of these vehicles.
While you might never take your own Porsche very far off road, a specially-prepared course offers a variety of conditions, including 45-degree slopes, water “hazards”, sand and other yuckie stuff. A few hours in these conditions will instil a newfound respect for the product and its ability to cope with anything you will run across in an average lifetime.
A similar experience will occur on the track where hot laps in the full array of Porsche sports cars reveals why the are often referred to as the ultimate sports car. The turbocharged two-doors revel in this environment, lap-after-lap of hard-charging with nary a hiccup or pause. They can keep it up all day, always ready for more, never tired until the rubber runs out and they need to be re-tired.
From the most inexperienced novice to those with a competition background, there are thrills to be had and lessons to be learned in this environment.
The off-road and on track sessions bracket a day of driving through a wide variety of secondary roads especially sought out for this experience. Little traffic, elevation changes and a huge variety of corners will challenge you and provide first-hand experience of the duality of these cars. Quiet, supple and comfortable with all the latest luxury features on one side – howling to redline through the gears and/or experiencing severe G-loads in the corners the next minute you get an appreciation why you pay more – you get more!
The Porsche Performance Tour is offered from two Canadian locations – Otttawa and Vancouver. We checked out the program on its eastern stop, which began and ended in Ottawa.
The off-road and track sessions are only part of the Porsche Experience. The entire program road is conducted by a group of expert young instructors who were excellent at dealing with a wide variety of experience and skill – patient with those in need, yet able to keep a tight rein on those who tend to be a little too enthusiastic.
The on-road driving was conducted at a brisk pace in two groups in follow-the-leader style with stop every 30-45 minutes to change drivers and vehicles. Over the period of the program, everyone got to drive all the Boxsters and Carreras.
We stayed at the historic Fairmont Chateau Montebello one night and the luxurious Chateau Frontenac in the nation’s capital the next. Each evening featured an exceptional five-course dinner in the hotel’s main dining room. Breakfast was also in the same room the following day with lunch at unique spots along the route.
All this pleasure and pampering, of course, is not inexpensive – but neither is any Porsche experience. At $3,995 exclusivity and first class amenities and meals are expected - and provided.
Several of the participants in this group were doing it for the second or third time, including two couples – one from Calgary and another from Vancouver who had done a similar three day Porsche Experience on the west coast, and had come east for the fall colours and some more fun at the wheel.
A pair of hard-working, car-loving buddies from Quebec had left their work and families behind for the three days of what they called “well-earned R&R”. They had participated in the Porsche Camp4 winter driving experience.
Three days and three different Porsche models in three different conditions – a gift for yourself or a loved one? An opportunity to try out different Porsches in extreme conditions before making your choice? Or perhaps you are already a happy Porsche owner and want to spend time with some others.
Porsche Performance Tours are scheduled again in June 2017 out of Vancouver and October 2017 out of Ottawa. You can find more information at http://www.porsche.com/canada/en/eventsandracing.