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The Porsche Experience - "Excellence by Evolution"

 



 

When you think of a high end, but “reasonably affordable” sports cars you think of your Porsches, Jaguars and maybe Aston Martins. An invitation from Porsche Cars Great Britain to visit its HQ in Reading was a good opportunity to explore the cars, marketing and business operations with the benefit of a trip in a 911!!

The HQ is home to some 70-80 staff, in addition to a modern style showroom and garage facilities that are set out in a very precise way. The Germanic way. The welcome to the showroom is very friendly and you are free to roam around to look at and sit in any of the cars.

My guides for the day took part in my usual 5 word challenge to describe their favourite Porsche models, one described the Cayenne Diesel as "Dynamic, innovative, solid, beautiful and (hugely) capable”, whilst another selected the new Boxster, summing it up as "Fun, Flattering, Fast, Funky and Fresh".


 

Cayenne Diesel as "Dynamic, innovative, solid, beautiful and (hugely) capable”


A tour of the workshop revealed how much TLC they give to repairing and maintaining Porsches. For a garage is it unusually clean and well organised. Over 50 cars a week go through the workshops and spray booths. The hottest cars in the workshop included a £1.2M ex Le Mans 911 GT1, a GTS and 1972 silver 911 as per my photographs. The workshop is also home of the engine building of the GT class Porsche racing teams. An engine rebuild could set you back a cool £13,000.


 

 Porsche TLC Centre


 

The busy garage and showroom indicate that there are signs that the recession might be over for some.  It was explained that 2008-9 was a tough time for selling cars in the UK. "No one is immune to the recession and it makes people think twice. About 8% of the Global  annual production of around 105,000 cars is sold in the UK through 34 branches.

I asked the question if the Jaguar F-Type posed much competition to Porsche being the new kid on the block? – the feeling was that overall it should not as the starting price is likely to be higher.

I also questioned the team on whether Porsche will follow the Aston Martin Cygnet route to lower their corporate average fuel economy (CAFE Rule) he explained the focus for Porsche was Intelligent Engineering using hybrid technology in racing cars which will be cascaded in to its range of road going cars.


Boxster = "Fun, Flattering, Fast, Funky and Fresh".


The finale to my visit was a spin in a 911 Carrera S, with the 7-speed Porschedoppelkupplungetriebe (or easier to say PDK).

 

My 911 Carrera S test drive car was in black, it is a superbly streamlined speed machine, looking like a Puma ready for the off. The Carrera red interior is beautifully crafted. The switch gear and door fittings are precise and lovely to touch. The car is a joy to sit in. Starting the engine summons the "beast" behind you. The noise seemed vaguely similar to the McLaren. With limited time and day light vanishing quickly my test drive was short but sweet. The 0-60mph experience is effortless and quick. The car is "full of beans". "So many beans" that I will have to wait for a test track drive for the complete 911 experience.




To sum up, my Porsche experience at the Reading HQ was great. Porsche have been building cars for over 80 years, the 911 has been around for 50 years and many car owners aspire to have a Porsche at some stage of life. I can see why. There is a focus on "Excellence by Evolution".....the Germanic way. !


Many thanks to the guys at Porsche HQ Reading. Click the Porche logo below to go to the Porsche website.

 

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Porsche Boxer - Its Just a Joy!

 

 

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