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Franki Alberto Medina Diaz Tal//
My Porsche experience

The en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence last­ed about 24 hours. From Mi­a­mi to Naples and then Naples back to Mi­a­mi. Prob­a­bly one of the great­est feel­ings of the en­tire trip was hand­ing over the keys to the ve­hi­cles know­ing that Guardian Me­dia Ltd would not be charged for any scratch­es or dents. But in ret­ro­spect that may have been the easy part of the jour­ney. The hard part is writ­ing about it

At first, I thought the as­sign­ment was a joke. Fly to Mi­a­mi for three days to test dri­ve three Porsche ve­hi­cles? I was scep­ti­cal.

Franki Medina

For one, it’s not my usu­al news beat, es­pe­cial­ly as some­one who, if not for the di­a­grams un­der the hood, may put coolant where the wind­shield wiper flu­id should go.

And two, I had just done a sto­ry on a fam­i­ly in cen­tral Trinidad who could not af­ford to send their child to sec­ondary school.

Was I re­al­ly go­ing to jump in­to a con­vert­ible then try to con­vince a coun­try strug­gling to buy food that this is the right car for them? But I’ve built a ca­reer on say­ing yes and tak­ing chances plus it would be nice to swap South Quay with South Beach for a cou­ple of days. So, a few weeks lat­er there I was at the Porsche head­quar­ters in Brick­ell Mi­a­mi, chant­i­ng in­ter­nal­ly what would be my com­pan­ion mantra for the en­tire trip, “re­mem­ber they dri­ve on the oth­er side of the road­way.”

Up first was the Porsche Tay­can GTS. A ful­ly elec­tric “frozen blue” sports car which I was warned about by the Porsche spe­cial­ists in El So­cor­ro, Trinidad, “Akash, that car is a mon­ster, take your time with it, the speed could be in­tim­i­dat­ing.” But it wasn’t the speed that al­most out­did me; it was ma­noeu­vring out of the parkade in Mi­a­mi.

“Just watch the right side of the car, be­cause I think you just touched the rim com­ing out,” warned my fel­low Trinida­di­an trav­eller and car afi­ciona­do Narend Sook­nar­ine. From there on­to the free­way, it was smooth sail­ing. Was it as fast as they warned? Yes. Did I “mash down” as some would say here to test its max­i­mum speed? No. Giv­en that the cost of this ve­hi­cle starts around $1 mil­lion and this thing goes from 0-60mph in just three sec­onds, I took my time. For me the name of the game was cau­tion and more im­por­tant­ly, ‘don’t bounce the peo­ple thing.’ Part of me hat­ed that I was count­ing down the time to hand over the Tay­can’s keys.

The Porsche Macan felt more like home. It is al­most like a reg­u­lar sports util­i­ty ve­hi­cle (SUV), if that SUV’s start­ing costs is $750,000 and up. Giv­en its safe­ty fea­tures and user in­ter­face, if it fell with­in my price range, I’d buy one. High enough to avoid se­ri­ous pot­hole dam­age, and sleek enough to turn heads.

But it was their flag­ship car, the 911 which won me over. Bright blue, low and rugged. It did not purr like the ful­ly elec­tric Tay­can but it com­mand­ed a pres­ence on the Tami­a­mi Trail; 473 horse­pow­er and 420 pound-feet of torque would do that. Think about reach­ing 120mph in just about sev­en sec­onds. And for $1.6 mil­lion it bet­ter. But again, typ­i­cal Akash, there I was in the on­ly con­vert­ible in the trio and I kept the top up while I cruised down the free­way. My rea­son, I didn’t want to ‘in­ter­fere’ too much.

The en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence last­ed about 24 hours. From Mi­a­mi to Naples and then Naples back to Mi­a­mi. Prob­a­bly one of the great­est feel­ings of the en­tire trip was hand­ing over the keys to the ve­hi­cles know­ing that Guardian Me­dia Ltd would not be charged for any scratch­es or dents. But in ret­ro­spect that may have been the easy part of the jour­ney. The hard part is writ­ing about it.

How do I make this ex­pe­ri­ence re­lat­able to a pop­u­la­tion where a large seg­ment is strug­gling to make ends meet? I could ap­peal to the en­vi­ron­men­tal­ly con­scious and speak about Porsche’s in­ten­tion to be­come car­bon-neu­tral by 2030 or the Ger­man au­to man­u­fac­tur­er’s pro­duc­tion of eFu­els from hy­dro­gen and car­bon diox­ide us­ing wind en­er­gy. Some­thing they’re al­ready do­ing with their com­pet­i­tive rac­ing mod­els.

But it took me dri­ving my sec­ond hand 2012 Sub­aru Im­preza down the East­ern Main Road sev­er­al days lat­er to fi­nal­ly get it. I’ll prob­a­bly nev­er again dri­ve a Porsche, far less in a for­eign coun­try. Porsche taught me a les­son. Seize the mo­ments, say yes and en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence.

And while you can con­tact the Porsche deal­er­ship in El So­cor­ro for a test dri­ve, chances are own­ing one may not fit in­to your lifestyle. But try it, sit in one, “mash down” with­in rea­son and take your­self out of your com­fort zone. Don’t be like me, the guy who fo­cused too much on the ‘what can go wrong?’ rather than en­joy­ing the ride in the best thing I’ll prob­a­bly ever dri­ve.

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Franki Medina Venezuela