Grand Tour-ismo

Zooming about in Langkawi in a full range of Porsches

There is a road in the north-west of Langkawi, the only one in fact, that leads to the Datai Cove. The 161, as it is known, is an uninterrupted stretch of bends and straights, a beautiful road for driving. Leading up to the Els Club it is quiet and peaceful most days. On this balmy day, though, serenity was punctuated by growls of Porsche engines rocketing across asphalt.

Driving a Porsche is always an experience. A precise blend of power and style, it is always an invigorating experience. Driving Porsche Malaysia’s entire range of cars – featuring the 911, Boxster, Cayman, Cayenne, Panamera and Macan lines – is a life-affirming experience.

Differing demands require differing models. From the ample space of the Macan to the sumptuous comfort of the Panamera, from the deceptive power of the Cayenne to the raw, unadulterated might of the 911, the range of Porsche is impressive. Underlining all that is the Porsche DNA – its sports car heritage. You’ll notice it, that indefinable and unquantifiable hum of vigour that courses through the contours of the car, be it Porsche’s twist on SUVs or the unmistakable 911. Place your hands on the steering wheel, and suddenly all that mechanical might is yours to harness, egging you on to greatest speeds.

Langkawi is idle to indulge the velocity. Driving from the secluded refuge of the Four Seasons Langkawi in Tanjung Rhu, circuiting the island takes you from bustling urban towns to quiet kampong roads, between paddy fields and beaches, horizontal straights to curvy hilly ascents. The Porsches feel perfectly at home in all these environments, whether it is weaving through traffic in Kuah town, or letting fully loose on unpopulated village roads.

The Macan and the Cayennes represent the SUV segment, here being the Macan S, Macan Turbo, Cayenne S and the E-Hybrid and Diesel versions of the Cayenne S. They feel well-rounded; urban vehicles with an urge to go off-road, tamed beasts that could roar if they choose. The Panamera 4 and the Panamera S (as well as the S E-Hybrid) sedans feel the most practical – domesticated yet capable of going the distance.

And then there is the Boxster, the Cayman and the 911. In towns, they feel bridled. Always itching to zoom ahead, constrained. Once freed from the shackles of traffic, any one of the cars – Boxster GTS, Cayman GTS, 911 Turbo, 911 Carrera GTS, 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet and 911 Targa 4 – assumes its true form. A lean, mean, speeding machine that’s taps into the impulsive node of the cerebrum. On that fantastic stretch of road 161, it really makes you feel alive. Absolutely alive.

There was a moment that summed up the trip, at least for this writer. It was as the convoy was winding its way up the snaking path of Gunung Raya. Flanked on both sides by lush jungle, monkeys are usually found in abundance here. There was one monkey – a crab-eating macaque to be precise – perched on the shoulder of the road. As the Porsches zoomed by, it seemed transfixed. And as the 911 Carrera GTS swept by, the wind flow generated just gently toppled it over. And it laid there, still and still transfixed. That’s what the Porsches are. Automobiles descended from sporting heritage that inevitably command, and maintain, attention.


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