After 33 days, 44 drivers, 4,567 litres of fuel and 19,767 kilometres our Panamera S and Panamera Turbo have successfully completed their one lap tour of mainland Australia to celebrate the local launch of Porsche’s first gran turismo.
What started on September 1st in Melbourne amid nerves and trepidation ended back in Melbourne on October 3rd – the official on-sale date for Panamera in Australia – with hugs and celebrations.
The two Panameras and the accompanying Cayenne Diesel did not miss a beat in their month-long adventure – negotiating everything from pristine highways to rugged country roads and talcum powder soft sand.
The gran turismos also managed to thankfully avoid stray kangaroos, camels, cattle, sheep, emus, lizards and wild horses as they toured the mainland. Ambient temperatures ranged from close to zero on the windswept Victorian coastline to a searing 40-degrees C in Darwin.
“Right Round Down Under has been as much about the journey and the people encountered along the way as it has about the new Panamera itself,” explained Porsche Cars Australia Managing Director, Michael Winkler. “While both cars proved their grand touring ability with the panache and performance expected of a Porsche, the journey was made much more enjoyable by the fascinating characters met on the tour.”
These characters included a 91-year old grandmother making her 18th solo drive around Australia, Harley Davidson-riding bikies with long beards stopping for a chat, cyclists pedalling across the Nullarbor, a honeymooning German engineer involved in the Panamera’s development and a string of Porsche customers sprinkled around the continent.
Porsche’s first luxury four-door car showcased its gran turismo qualities by averaging 10.9 L/100 kms (Panamera S) and 12.2 L/100 kms (Panamera Turbo); all the while offering the instant acceleration and handling sure-footedness so critical when overtaking highway traffic or negotiating deteriorated back roads.
Porsche aligned itself with the Make A Wish foundation for Right Round Down Under, offering seriously ill children the chance to take a drive in the Panameras long before customers were given the opportunity. Make A Wish activities were conducted in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Alice Springs, Gold Coast and Sydney.
The Right Round Down Under tour also visited all 11 Porsche Centres on the mainland, giving staff and Porsche enthusiasts the chance to share in the experience.
Daily blogs and images, not to mention hundreds of Twitters, were posted on a special website www.rightrounddownunder.com where they can still be viewed.
Right Round Down Under was the most ambitious event ever undertaken by Porsche in Australia to launch an all-new model, retracing along the way some of the route taken by the very first Porsche – a 356 Coupe – imported into Australia which successfully completed the famous 1953 Redex Trial.
Porsche Cars Australia thanks its key partners Michelin and Mobil1 for their support in Right Round Down Under.
RRDU: the figures:
Kms driven: 19,767
Fuel consumption: 10.9 L /100 kms (Panamera S)
12.2 L /100 kms (Panamera Turbo)
Oil consumed: 0.0 litres (Panamera S)
0.4 litres (Panamera Turbo)
Flat tyres/Punctures: Nil
Mechanical issues: Nil
Drivers: 44 (including 22 National journalists, two from NZ, one from Japan)
Longest day: 1,104 kms from Wilpena to Border Village
Shortest day: 60 kms from Adelaide to Barossa Valley
Porsche Centres visited: 11
Make A Wish joy rides: 8
Photos taken: more than 10,000
Blogs written: 24
Twitters sent: 278
rightrounddownunder.com UBs: 5,637
Bottles of water drank: 315
Pies eaten: 96 (plus 0.5 litre tomato sauce)
Packets of Mentos chewed: 186
Free caps given out: 1,200
Collateral damage: One bruised but still going medium build kangaroo, approx 356,596 bugs, five birds (not going), one Cayenne indicator lamp, one chunked tyre, two pairs of sunglasses.