This year has been rather busy for crankandpiston so far. Not only have we toured Portugal in a Mini Coupe Roadster, plus a bit of seat time in the BMW ActiveHybrid 5, we’ve also been invited to drive the new 991 in anger at Yas Marina. This latest event was the big one though: testing the new Porsche Panamera GTS in Spain.
A wide cavernous gulf split opinion over the Panamera’s looks when it was first launched, though its performance and panache soon won the hardcore 911 crowd over. In the Middle East, the Panamera counted for a significant number of Porsche sales last year, so this GTS model had some seriously big shoes to fill. And we were keen to see how it fared.
Only one of the C&P elite would make this journey though, and I took great pleasure reading my name on the invitation before hurrying home to pack my bags.
Fate had obviously taken a shine to me, since our long-haul flight to Madrid had been booked for mid-morning, as opposed to the crack of dawn alarm calls we’d grown accustomed to. Having braved the morning commute unscathed, check-in at Dubai International Airport was a breeze.
Not so for the delightful Anja, our Porsche PR guru for the journey. With just T-minus one hour to go before takeoff, she had not yet made it to the terminal, a hastily-written text message informing me that her car had not shown up: I crossed my fingers; Anja chewed her nails.
In the departure lounge, I met up with my fellow Middle Eastern invitees, and we discussed the weekend’s coming events over a light breakfast. With the Panamera’s drivetrain fully detailed over several large espressos, we headed for the gate, where an out of breath and rosily cheeked Anja finally caught up with us.