The Mad Dash: Driving a Porsche Macan GTS from Delhi to Mumbai

It’s not everyday that you get the keys to a Porsche for a cross-country dash. No wonder Shivank can’t stop thanking his lucky stars after completing a thousand-and-a-half kilometres marathon with the mighty Macan GTS...

By Shivank Bhatt | on May 2, 2023 Follow us on Autox Google News

It was 3 am. We had been on the road for close to 12 hours. Our final destination, Porsche Centre Mumbai, was still an hour or so away. Sunil had already passed out and was happily snoring away in his dreams. Me? Well, I couldn’t do that because I was behind the wheel. The roads were dark and the truck traffic was thick, and I had miles to go before I could sleep…or even bat an eyelid.

Sure, to keep myself alert for the remainder of the journey, I had already gulped a can or two of Red Bull. However, it wasn’t the caffeine in my blood that kept me from dozing off. Instead, I was kept wide awake by this small and unassuming dial on the Macan GTS’ steering wheel. You just need two clicks on it to go from ‘Normal’ to ‘Sport Plus’, and the kind of adrenaline rush that it delivers, well, no energy drink can deliver that kind of heady fervour. In a blink of an eye, it turns the Macan GTS into a vicious animal – maximum power gets unleashed, cogs are dropped ferociously, revs rise up to stratospheric levels, the exhaust valves blow open at full chat, and the whole drama that unfolds, it sets your soul on fire. Oh man, what a night it was! 

The Relay Run

Let’s go back to the start to get some context. A few days ago, Porsche India invited us to be a part of its Macan GTS India Relay Drive. Basically, it was a 12,000-odd kilometre cross-country road trip. However, most of the journey was already over – except for the last leg from Delhi to Mumbai. And it was yours truly who was assigned to drive the Macan GTS home. Truth be told, I don’t enjoy non-stop long-distance driving – and even if I did, Delhi-Mumbai would be the last thing I would sign up for. But, then, when you’re offered the keys to the mightiest Macan in the range, finished in a ravishing Python Green paint shade no less, you have no other option but to bow down and accept your, ahem, fate.

Delhi To Mumbai Road Map

Launch Start

On day 1, we had to cover Delhi-Udaipur, covering a distance of 600-odd kilometres. With the new Delhi-Mumbai expressway partially open till Dausa, and a companion like the Macan GTS, it was going to be an easy-peasy task – or so I thought. Sadly, it wasn’t the case. Owing to some logistics hurdles, we started from Gurgaon in the afternoon. Before even twisting the key (yes, there’s no Start/Stop ignition button here), I knew I was going to have a long day ahead. That said, I had 434 horsepower at my disposal and an arrow-straight 14-lane expressway, so how could I possibly complain?

Porsche Macan GTS Front Three Quarter

The first 250kms were a breeze, thanks to the newly built Delhi-Mumbai expressway as well as the staggering firepower of the GTS’ 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6. However, after just five minutes of driving, I quickly realised that I was in big trouble. You see, in a fire-breathing monster like the Macan GTS, it was impossible to stick to the speed limit of 120km/h. It was like a walk in the park, honestly.

The GTS can clock 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds, albeit it’s not the mad turn of speed that blows your mind in here, but the ferocity and theatrics that this thing does it with. Each gearshift of the seven-speed PDK (dual-clutch automatic) is brutal and the cogs are swapped in such quick succession that it feels like firing a salvo every time you go pedal-to-metal. Not that you can max out each gear on public roads but, still, the acceleration is ruthless. Club this with the exhaust’s wild banshee howl, and the whole exercise turns into what you would term a petrolhead’s wet dream!

Now, I’ve been on the Delhi-Mumbai expressway several times now, and I have to say that it does get pretty boring after a while. It wasn’t the case in the Macan GTS, though. It can keep you entertained all day, every day.  All you have to do, from time to time, is step hard on the gas pedal, lift off once you hit the speed limit, and roll down the windows to hear the exhaust pipes produce pops and crackles on the overrun. Believe you me, you can’t get bored of this. 

Into the Night

It was already dark when we got off the Delhi-Mumbai expressway. We had still 300-odd kilometres to cover, but instead of taking the truck-infested highway between Jaipur-Udaipur though, I decided to take the inner state roads that go through the towns of Tonk, Shahpura and Bhilwara. It’s a single carriageway but the road surface was smooth and there was less traffic. We crossed many little villages and towns on the way and, thankfully, it was all dark, so we didn’t grab much attention. 

Right before Bhilwara, we came across an amazing section of hill road. It was dark. It was empty. And, as anyone in their right mind would do in a Porsche, I sent it! 

Porsche likes to sell and market the Macan as an SUV – which is technically correct, but it’s a hilarious thing to say, really. You see, this thing is a full-blown sports car on stilts. And the GTS version is more so, for it is the most hardcore and sportiest version in the Macan family. It is for this reason that it gets sticky and low-profile Pirelli P Zero tyres with massive and delish-looking 21-inch RS Spyder wheels. And when you couple its fiery twin-turbo motor with rear-biased AWD traction, a scalpel-sharp steering rack, sport air suspension, and Porsche Active Suspension Management (adaptive dampers), what you end up with is an SUV that grips and corners like it’s on rails, especially in Sport Plus mode. There’s no body roll – it corners flat! 

After the short hill run, we were back on the main highway to Udaipur. Although I was comfortably cruising at 100-120km/h on this highway, the road surface wasn’t the best. Due to heavy truck movement, the road is uneven and rutted. In the GTS, thanks to its fat and low-profile staggered tyres, I was experiencing heavy tramlining on such roads. Under braking, it was even more pronounced. What’s more, the ride quality tends to be jittery on bad roads and it feels skittish if you go over road undulations at high speeds. Switching to Normal mode definitely made it relatively better but, overall, the GTS is not as comfortable as regular Macan and S derivatives. 

Porsche Macan GTS Rear Three Quarter 2

Home Run

We made it to Udaipur in the dead of the night at 2 am, and after getting some shut-eye, we were back on the road. Driving out of Udaipur was a cakewalk as the roads leading up to the Gujarat border are magnificent, and unlike the night before, the road surface was also much smoother the next day. However, once we entered Gujarat it was already dark, and after crossing Vadodara, the truck traffic was a nightmare, to say the least. Honestly, it’s the worst highway that I’ve come across in recent times and the less said about it the better! After 8 hours of slaloming between trucks and an uneventful drive for the most part, we finally made it to Mumbai. 

Also read: New Porsche Cayenne Bookings Commence in India

A thing of beauty…

Driving a two-crore worth sports car or high-performance SUV on Indian roads is always a challenge, so doing a 1,500km road trip was borderline bananas!  To many people, this whole mad Macan dash may seem like a pointless exercise but if you think like that, you’re missing the point…

You see, a mental-looking sports car doesn’t just bring joy to the one who’s behind the wheel, but it also brings happiness to the faces of everyone who gets to witness one in action. Watching a monster green Porsche zip by at breakneck speeds while producing the sound of thunder isn’t something that one sees every day. It’s as much an occasion on the outside as it is from behind the wheel. And, perhaps, it’s that aspect that I enjoyed the most while driving the Macan GTS from Delhi-Mumbai. Seeing onlookers’ jaws drop, their faces lighting up in excitement, smartphones being drawn out hurriedly for a quick selfie and how awestruck everyone in the crowd would feel seeing the Macan GTS fly by. And, this, precisely is the point – it’s all about bringing the sports car experience to mere mortals. In short, it’s a service to mankind, and that’s exactly what I did...

Porsche Macan GTS BadgeDriving from Delhi to Mumbai is a tedious task. But not when you’ve got the keys to a mighty Porsche Macan GTS, in a loud green paint scheme (Python Green). You just can’t say no!

Porsche Macan GTS Side Profile DynamicThe newly inaugurated Delhi-Mumbai Expressway allows you to cruise at 120km/h comfortably. However, in the Macan GTS, we were struggling to keep it within the speed limit. 

Porsche Macan GTS 2 Over the course of the trip, the Macan GTS returned 5km/l! Not that we were aiming for higher efficiency figures, but that is the price you pay to have this much fun, and it’s totally justified.  

Porsche Macan GTS Power Window SwitchesOnce we entered Gujarat, the roads weren’t as smooth as they were in Rajasthan. So, the average speed took a hit. Plus, the truck traffic at night was a nightmare, especially on the Vadodara-Mumbai stretch. 

Porsche Macan GTS Infotainment ScreenWe covered nearly 1,300km and spent nearly 24 hours on the road. However, each of those hours, or minutes for that matter, behind the wheel of the Macan felt like an event in itself. 

Porsche Macan GTS Rear Three Quarter2It’s always good to start the day with some TLC, isn’t it? The Macan GTS getting a much-needed shower break after a mad overnight dash.  

Also read: Driving a Porsche Macan GTS to Wales

Tags: Porsche Porsche Macan GTS

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