WHEN YOU’VE BEEN IN the automotive journalism business for as long as I have, there are a few unwritten rules that one would do well to abide by if any sort of career longevity is expected. One of the few that comes to mind is to always be mindful that even if the car company lays on the air tickets and accommodation, don’t assume that it’s an all expenses paid trip. If you’re inclined to watch “I’m here to fix the plumbing 17” (spoiler alert, it’s not a home improvement show) on the, ahem, pay per view channel for example, it’s probably wise to make a discreet cash payment before checking out. You also won’t want to look at a fully stocked mini bar as a challenge to do a Keith Richards.
When it comes to a dress code, it is better to over-dress a notch up. If the programme indicates casual for example, maybe business casual – throwing on a sport coat for example – would make you look more professional than showing up for dinner in shorts and flip-flops as some younger journalists did at the Lamborghini international launch. It was all the more glaring considering the Italians seem to have this effortless sense of style that makes them look so well put together without even trying. My bellhop looked more like a Latino crooner ready to take to the stage rather someone whose job is to carry my luggage.
The two cars that you will read about in the following pages couldn’t be more different on paper. The updated Porsche 911 GT3 now has a 500hp 4.0-litre engine and the option of a manual gearbox has been reintroduced. The Lamborghini Huracan Performante on the other hand, makes more power than ever from its 5.2-litre V10 – 640hp to be precise. But this figure, as well as both cars’ 300-plus km/h top speeds and century sprint acceleration times are mainly academic on Singapore’s roads in the same way no one needs a diver’s watch that can function at Fifty Fathoms.
Instead, what matters is how emotional these cars are to drive when you’re having too much fun to look at the speedometer because you’re aiming for the next apex. Ordinarily, those inclined to the more focused driving experience the 911 GT3 is known for wouldn’t take heed to a Lamborghini – too much Rod Stewart and not enough Jackie Stewart However, the Huracan Performante has raised some eyebrows when its maker announced that it broke the Nurburgring Nordschleife lap record – previously set by Porsche’s 918 hybrid hypercar – by five seconds. Is the latest Raging Bull realty that good? Also, can the new 911 GT3 win back some pride for Porsche? Read on to find out.