The Porsche way from Guildford to Silverstone

If you've ever dreamt about getting behind the wheel of the legendary Porsche 911 and are thinking of buying one, then Porsche Guildford offer a dream way of handling your car shopping experience. Surrey Life's Ade Holder takes it for a spin

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Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2012

If you’ve ever dreamt about getting behind the wheel of the legendary Porsche 911 and are thinking of buying one, then Porsche Guildford offer a dream way of handling your car shopping experience. Surrey Life’s Ade Holder takes it for a spin

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Buying a sports car can be a very different experience for people: some are just adding yet another of the world’s top marques to their collection, while others have saved for a lifetime to be able to afford such a luxury.

With this in mind, I was really interested to find out that Porsche Guildford not only offer you the chance to buy into one of the most famous names in motoring history, but they also make sure you know what you are doing with your new pride and joy.

With the release of the brand new 911 (991 version), they very kindly invited me to see just how good the buying experience can really be – and how much we can all still learn about driving!

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On a foggy Friday morning, I set the sat-nav to the one and only Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire and hit the road. Why all the travelling? Well, Porsche have their experience centre right at the heart of this iconic raceway.  The centre itself is compact and very stylishly laid out; there is a caf�, TV screens showing all sorts of Porsche excitement and even a small showroom to look round.

After meeting your driver, having a briefing and discussing your track driving experience, if any, you venture out onto the handling circuit built just for Porsche. 

Testing turnsAs you go round the course, you are shown how to use all different settings and how to handle the car properly – there are emergency related obstacles to teach even the most experienced driver a thing or two…

For example, the Kick Plate is a pneumatic piece of road that kicks the back of the car left or right as you drive over it, sending you into a skid across the wet straight. Then there is the Ice Hill, which is a zero friction slope covered in water jets. Both allow your instructor to help you handle the car in different modes and maintain control against all the odds.

The new 911 is a triumph of technology and design and I was lucky enough to drive the 400Bhp Carrera S version. I was not disappointed.

You would be forgiven for assuming a rear-engine car would be a handling challenge, but you would be wrong in this instance as the car turns in with such purpose. Even in the most subtle road settings, it still grips like nothing I have driven.

It can be a very relaxed drive, if that is what you desire, but there are also various settings to choose from with ‘sport plus’ being the most race-like.

This is the kind of car you can imagine taking down the supermarket in style and comfort, and then hurtling round a race track once the bags are all unpacked. On top of that, it will do around 34mpg and produce just 205g/km of CO2.

The Porsche Guildford driving experience offers you the chance to drive a stunning car and, in a safe way, to learn how to enjoy it. It remains one of the most loved sports car brands in the world.

Visit Porsche Guildford, Woodbridge Meadows, Guildford GU1 1BD, call 01483 408800 or go to www.porsche.co.uk/guildford to find out more about the Porsche experience

 

The gear box:

Name: Porsche 911 Carrera (991) Cost: Carrera from �71,449; Carrera S from �81,242 Speed: 0-60 Carrera S, 4.6seconds Power: 350bhp Carrera and 400bhp Carrera S

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