My tryst with Porsche Panamera GTS

How beautiful is this car

How beautiful is this car

Last month, my muse was the sportiest Porsche Panamera to ever to hit the road. In true diva like style, the Panamera GTS that I experienced first hand shows that Porsche really has introduced the head-turning variant of the hugely successful Panamera – this was evident in the comments people made when I arrived at work with the cool red Panamera GTS.

The Panamera GTS delivers racetrack performance, with a striking engine sound that turns heads, yet also offers the space and comfort of a four-seater Gran Turismo….I didn’t transfer my 65 pairs of shoes into the boot from my car but could clearly see that if I ever got the car for a few days, my portable shoe rack would fit into it with no problem.

With more power and upgraded brakes and a body lowered by ten millimetres plus a tuned chassis with air suspension and Porsche Active Stability Management (PASM), this model truly is capable of cutting it on the racing circuit. It sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in under 4.5 seconds, and has a top speed of 288 km/h.

I will be honest that I didn’t go that fast simply because I used the swanky red Panamera to get to work on public roads and did not want to risk a face-off between a Fijian diva and RTA or Dubai Police. I decided to stay safe but I did take an earlier version of the Panamera on the YAS Marina racing circuit two years ago with an official gorgeous Belgian Porsche driver trainer as my co-driver. I almost got kicked out of the training after taking the 5th model of a Porsche on the race track but charmed my way in to stay…the 7th model of the Porsche we trained on was a Panamera and collectively everyone agreed that the Panamera is indeed a shark on the tracks. It was a delight to test the engines and the new Panamera GTS was an equal delight for me on the road.

The Panamera GTS reveals its independence with distinctive design features in the front-end, side and rear area, as well as black highlights. The interior is carefully tailored to underline the sporty personality with sports seats, a SportDesign steering wheel with shift paddles, an exclusive GTS leather interior, and Alcantara surfaces.

Featuring a modified 4.8-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine, which delivers a blistering 430 hp at 6,700 rpm, the Panamera GTS trumps the engine in its Panamera S/4S sister models by some 30 hp. Maximum torque is also increased by comparison, from 500 Nm to 520 Nm.

The basic retail price for the new Porsche Panamera GTS in the UAE is AED 512,000. The one I drove was with some additional cool options that made me feel like a queen of the Dubai roads and with all the extra options, it was roughly AED560,000…not bad if you want to make an already cool car into something that car enthusiasts will drool over.

*PS – if you want to see a closer picture of the screen map (GPS), check I took a picture of this on the road when I really needed to get to an area in Dubai I didn’t know very well.

*Al Nabooda Automobiles is the official dealer for Porsche in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

Panamera GTS

Panamera GTS Shereen Shabnam

PR World Congress comes to Dubai

Diva just got an invite to the PR World Congress….normally I would not be so bothered about it as I have done enough courses and attended enough PR conferences to date but this particular one features speakers I know very well or admire, including the ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia (Anwar Ibrahim) whose house I used to go to to break fast as an International IIU student. I used to love dinners with him and listening to him talk to us young things, telling us we were the future leaders of the Muslim world and we could do great things if we followed our heart. He was very hands on as our patron and took great care of us during the month of Ramadan when we were away from family so dinners at his home was always a regular for expat students.

I must say while I love my life the way it is, I don’t think I’ve done justice in doing things the way he as our University patron would have wanted me to do. I was one of the first PR graduates to work in the UAE beginning of 2000 when the industry was just blossoming here and most of my colleagues were marketing people taking on PR as an added extra. Thankfully UAE has matured tremendously since and PR is an industry in its own right and may I add one of the most successful one at this point in time. Hence my regret that I don’t do enough for this discipline that I love and keep wasting my time in areas that get me nowhere.

So all the prep talks we received from Encik Anwar Ibrahim on being the best in the disciplines we were studying for did sink in but I wish I had taken action and focussed on my talent and dreams more instead of being distracted along the way. It is fine and well to live someone else’s dream or do things they feel you are good at but essentially at some stage you need to take a call and focus on the work that you are cut out to do and excel in.

Nonetheless, I am thrilled about the congress. As a publicity chick perhaps I am a little bias, but I’m always so pleased to read that top-level industry leaders are endorsing public relations as one of the most powerful marketing tools available. Its about time people noticed and respected our work.

PR is incredibly powerful because of the highly trusted third-party endorsements of media organisations of stories that make a difference – in my opinion, you just can’t beat it. For now, I hope I get to attend some of the congress. The last time I tried attending something of significance like this, I was slumbered at my desk doing stuff I should not have been doing in any event so the episode left diva not very impressed. There is a reason why we have support staff to do the mundane stuff. This time round the world can go to pot as my 2012 resolution is to do what I love and PR is my first love above everyone and everything else!