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I attended the Porsche World Roadshow event at the Ridge near Shelton WA (the "Seattle" 3 day event) on Saturday. I went with wife and daughter, but wanted to drive my Boxster to the event to better tell the differences between the GTSes and my S, so we ended up travelling with two cars...:crazy:

The event was well organized and the track at Shelton is fairly new and technical. We joined the 1pm presentation that was very well booked. Track was wet from the rain and there was a constant NW drizzle for most of the track session that stopped later in the day.

First there was an intro with some light track-theory and some of the standard, but cool Porsche commercials and some light sales pitch (mainly about competitive lease options, yawn). They had 3 programs: A round around the track in each of the sports cars, two times around the auto-X with a Panamera GTS and a Macan Turbo, and then a hot lap in either a Cayman GTS or 911 Turbo S driven by one of the PCNA drivers.

We first went to the track part. Unfortunately they did not let my 18 year-old daughter drive herself (the Porsche info was conflicting, some said 18 and other said 21 and older), but that meant I got to drive each of the track cars (Boxster GTS, Cayman GTS and 911 Targa 4S) twice around the track :). Even though we did nowhere go near the limits of the car (about 80mph was the fastest at the end of the straight) it still was enough to show the differences.

The Boxster GTS (the silver version with GTS interior "silver" trim) was basically like my 981S. I could not feel a lot of difference. The interior was nice but I liked my racing yellow accents better ;). The 10 additional hp was not that discernible and handling was great and the same. The PSE
was not that much louder than mine either. Not worth upgrading from a 981S, but if you go with all the options anyway, I would still go with the GTS (I expect better resale and it is a cheaper package with a bit more power).

The Cayman GTS (the red version with GTS interior "red" trim) was however discernible better than the Boxster around the track. Sharper turn in, and I can notice the 25 more horsepower over my Boxster S. And the PSE sounded so much better inside the cabin than the base and S Caymans (without PSE) that I test drove last year. While I would not upgrade my Boxster S to a Cayman or Cayman S, but I definitively would consider a Cayman GTS; not as a replacement, but additionally for the few days I cannot lower the roof and for track duty (or wait for the rumoured GT4 :hilarious:).

The 911 Targa 4S was a bit of a disappointment. Gorgeous to look at, the PSE sounding awesome from the outside, it was just too heavy. I was enjoying myself looking at the 4-wheel torque distribution monitor, but after having driven the scalpel-like Cayman GTS just before the Targa, I could feel how much heavier and bigger it felt. My wife also thought it sounded like a vacuum cleaner inside :hilarious:). Fortunately I know that the 991S and of course the GT3 are lighter and the later definitively sounds much better inside :).

The Auto-X was showing off the handling of the Panamera GTS and the Macan Turbo. I loved the Macan's handling, for an SUV it was outstanding. And even though it was the same weight as the Panamera GTS, it actually felt lighter and more nimble. The Panamera GTS had a nice V8 growl from the outside, and is a very luxurious and beautiful place to sit in. But that's were it ended for me and my wife. Too big, too heavy and since we don't do a lot of constant 200 km/h+ Autobahn driving, completely useless for our driving needs and pleasures.

Unfortunately, the hotlap had to be cancelled since someone drove off the track in his session and the track cleanup had to be done for the next group to start on time. A pity, I would have loved to experience the Cayman GTS closer to its limits, even if only as a passenger.

To summarize, for both my wife and I, the 981 Boxster in S guise (and GTS if you order now and get the options anyway) is still the best car for us, given that we enjoy driving it on twisty mountain roads with the top down. But for pure driving experience, the Cayman GTS was the best car, before the Boxster GTS, and then - at some distance and for a different purpose - the Macan Turbo. Only then comes the Targa 911 4S before the Panamera GTS for handling (although if I have to drive in style over long distances, I may prefer the Panamera, but then there are many other cars in that category).

On the way home, my daughter and I enjoyed the reappearing sun top-down with the PSE making music behind us, and switching positions with some 911s on the drive back on 101 and I-5. (pictures to follow).​

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