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Old 10th July 2016, 14:16   #1
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Default Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera

I shall try and keep this post as short as I can, but also definitely try and put in words the feeling of driving a Porsche 911 for the first time. This post is definitely going to be more of emotions and very less of anything technical.

Now that the disclaimer part is done with, let me quickly write what this post is about. A one liner explanation would be : To share info on Porsche Drive to anyone visiting Stuttgart. Detailed write up follows...

I visited Stuttgart couple of months back. The visit was on a very strict budget and out the couple of cool things I did, one of them was driving a Porsche.

What is this Porsche Drive?

Porsche Drive is a rental program by Porsche (the company itself) which lets anyone with a valid drivers license to rent a Porsche on an hourly, daily or even weekly basis. The rental prices...errmmm...well, it's Porsche hence it's painfully high even by a rich man's standard. Find all the information regarding Porsche Drive here.

Let me also share that I had the opportunity to go visit their factory, attend a factory tour as well.

Quick random things I remember from their factory visit:
  • Stuttgart is Porsche's headquarters and they make all the sports car here. Some of the not so attractive models like Cayenne, macan and Panamera might be built and assembled in their other factories but even then the heart (engine) is strictly from Stuttgart. Every single Cayman or 911 is made in this factory and shipped out world wide, from wherever they receive an order.
  • The factory has 3 main buildings, the center one being the main assembly line and the parts + body shell are fed into the main assembly line from either sides.
  • It takes Porsche 5 days to build an entire car from scratch.
  • Porsche make 200 + engines and tests them in a single day. Each and every day they have targets mentioned on a board in the workshop.
  • Each engine goes through cold testing and if they find a leak or a failure in the engine, they take it out and repair it. Then the failed engine goes through cold and hot testing. Cold testing is where the system is pressurized at a set pressure above operating pressure and checked for its functionality and leaks. Hot testing is when the engine is run at a set rpm and all the systems are checked for its functionality and leaks. About the testing that I mentioned here, this is my best memory and I didn't have a notepad to jot down some more info from that day. They also mentioned that the leaks are mainly related to some hoses or something very minor.
  • Some of the vendor supplied items may be excluded from the test since they are tested prior to delivery at the vendor factory. Probably Porsche makes sure that it is tested with a FAT (Factory Acceptance Test) certificate is my best guess.
  • Most of the repetitive works are automated. I'm sure everyone can guess that, but it is amazing to see a robot taking reference, measurement of the frame and then comparing it with the measurement of windshield which is held by the robot in other hand and then finally fixing the windshield. Everything happens under 5 mins, both front and back. Very impressive system.
  • The warehouse where they store the raw materials is quite interesting. Whenever the main computer receives a requirement in terms of raw materials, the red light over the rack where this material is available lights up. The automated vehicle aka robot goes there and picks it. There are a few people monitoring it but otherwise it's all automated. The entire process looked very impressive.

The guides (2 of them) who came along for the factory tour were students doing part time job and were wonderful chaps. A five by five to them for being friendly and taking time to explain things to me. I had the weirdest of questions like 'What pressure do you cold test your system?' To which they didn't have an immediate answer but finally managed to put a number, which is around 1.5 bars for the hoses, smaller stuff and around 7-10 bars for the engine block and the tougher lot. I'm not sure about how right or wrong it is, but the point is that they were bang on with their explanations. I would have loved to do their job. I think that is the coolest part time job to have.

I can keep going on and on but lets move on.

How did I get to know about Porsche Drive and What are the requirements for Porsche Drive?

What is Germany without driving beautiful cars? I was searching for rentals which offered luxury cars. I stumbled upon Porsche site and that is how this post occurred. The cost of rentals and other details are in the above link I have posted. Email them in the given Porsche Drive email address after you select your date and timing and they will reply back confirming your booking, with all the details including how to get there.

The requirements for renting a Porsche,

1. A valid license (original) from your country (a smart card not book) with issuance date not less than 5 years from the date of your renting.
2. An International Drivers Permit (IDP) original.
3. A credit card with a lot of limit. They block 2500 Euros or even more depending on the car you are renting. They also charge the rental charge from this credit card.
4. Original Passport.

They are not flexible with any of the documents and no concessions are given. I learnt it the hard way, which I will write as a short story.

On the day of Porsche Drive:
I was very excited. Nothing abnormal in most cases but my case is entirely different. I was supposed to drive a Cayman GTS, always wanted to. But I couldn't. In all the excitement, I forgot two important documents in my bag. My passport and my international drivers permit. The two most required documents.

Every would call me a moron at this point, but trust me. Not once did I remember and never had such an incident occurred in my life. I would remember it at least once before I completely forgot about it but this is a new record in my life. So to conclude, I went there like a blithering idiot without the required documents.

The moment I reached Porsche museum, I saw the blue Cayman outside waiting for me. What joy! I still had time to go before I could walk to the reception and ask for the keys. To make the best use of the remaining time, I pulled out my camera and started clicking some pics.

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0317.jpg

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0310.jpg

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0314.jpg

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0313.jpg

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0309.jpg

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0312.jpg

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0320.jpg

Later I walked to the Porsche Drive reception and they asked me for the documents, clean bowled! They were kind enough to check if there was another Porsche available for me that was not booked. Targa! they said. I was given 2 hours to go back and get my documents. I reached my stay, pulled out the documents, messaged the UAE Bhpians to know if Targa was worth my money and effort. Any Porsche except Cayenne and Panamera would be worth the effort but I was very much disappointed not getting a shot of the Cayman. It was the most in demand car and I had lost my chance.

I got back in 2 hours. At the counter while filling up some form, I spoke to the in charge who was a Pakistani guy basically, raised in Germany. We spoke about Dubai; how his relatives moved to Dubai while his parents moved to Germany. A wonderful guy, decent and moreover very very helpful. He broke the news that I'm not going to rent a Targa but the new version of 911 Carrera, which is the base model. Powered by a 3.0L turbo charged flat six engine, 370 hp which 20 hp more than the Cayman. They said that they would give it to me at the price pre-agreed by us, which is 69 Euros, and not charge me the extra 30 Euros which they do for a 911 model. The PDK gearbox was not exactly what I was looking for but they didn't provide manual gearbox cars for Porsche Drive, not even for the Cayman.

About the Looks, Interiors, Drive, Handling and every other thing:

Probably one of the most pressing hours of my life. I couldn't concentrate on clicking pictures. Heck, I couldn't even spend much time adjusting my seats. I was off after a couple of pics. I also had to disappoint a couple of kids who came and spoke to me in German, to which I replied in Malayalam. They left and I carried on.

Looks
The air intake at the rear looks different. Apart from that no quick visual differences. That should be no surprise given that it's Porsche.

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0332.jpg

The air intake I mentioned. Also these oval exhausts are the Sport exhaust (sold as an option), the standard ones are round in shape (like the one in Cayman above). More eargasm....bring it on.

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0323.jpg

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0326.jpg

Interiors
Black interior is pretty nice. One thing you will definitely notice is the touch screen on the center console. The infotainment system, which goes well inside and for me it was very user friendly. Apart from that no comments.

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0321.jpg

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0322.jpg

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0325.jpg

Ride, Handling ....
I was only allowed 100 kms for an hour. I could only manage 70 kms, major of which I blame on traffic which is where I spent my 20-25 mins. The rest of the time on

Autobahns:

On contrary to what we generally think, the German Autobahns are guided by speed limits in most of the places. There are only little stretches far from city where you can hit those YouTube speeds. In 1 hour that is impossible, so the next best thing to do is make the most of my drive. Drive on the Autobahns, drive through the countryside and get back.

On the expressway, it was just a matter of pushing the gas a bit more to make a comfortable overtake. Ample of power to get you rolling very quickly in every gear. The last thing I wanted to do was get flashed by a speed camera. Like any rental company, I expected Porsche to charge their fine and the speed ticket from my credit card resulting in a huge eye watering sum. 5 mins down and I forgot about this.

Unmentionable speeds, hell yeah!!!!

I started off in the normal mode since I was suggested not to turn on the sport mode till the engine had warmed up. But for most of the autobahn I drove on normal mode. Once you put your foot down, it still turns into a mean machine and it still leaps ahead with great speed. The shifts are real quick in the PDK and there is no ripple effects in exhaust note in the normal mode. The autobahns were bumpy when I compare it with UAE roads(which I reckon is the best roads in this globe). The road were 3 lanes wide on one side but very well organized traffic. People know how to use the fast lane and no one stays in the fast lane. It's treated like a toilet... you go in, do what you have to and then finally leave. People pull into the fast lane, overtake and people come back to the losers lane.

The suspension is a bit forgiving in the normal mode but still it makes known of a bad section. That is to be expected from any high performance cars. Switch to the sport mode and the suspension stiffens up with a noticeable change in the exhaust note. There is a dedicated button with graphics of two silencer barrels, which makes the exhaust note heard even in the heavens. It's got some fancy name like Active sport exhaust? Not sure. I switched it off when I was in city and on the highways and every other ways, it was roaring its throat out. I would shift a gear down and giggle for a min.

Before I get too carried away and type longer essays, like an Engineer attending his exam, let me sum up my Porsche experience on the autobahns. It can do amazing speeds, the suspensions gives you a hint of the road (not that it matters, but just telling it for argument sake), the car is very stable at 'unmentionable speeds', the driver sits low on the ground (the way I like it), wonderful wonderful noise.

Country side:

First of all, why country side? Simple. Least amount of traffic, minimum speed cams, amazing winding roads, beautiful scenery. Carrera went through a rigid handling test and came out with flying colors. The car sticks to the ground as if someone has stuck it with super glue. I was doing 'very unmentionable' speeds on the country roads and my oh my, what handling. I am yet to drive a car that turns at 'very unmentionable' speeds like this car did. Not an inch of the tire went into the other lane even at those speeds at 45 and almost 60 degree bends. A seven out of five for handling.

Moving on I activated sport mode, activated sport exhaust and it was nirvana. The rumble after a high rev shift, the eagerness to leap ahead with the slightest of inputs, the amazing brakes. Overall what an experience!

STOP...End of rant.

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0327.jpg

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0329.jpg

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0328.jpg

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-tn_dsc_0330.jpg

I returned back via the autobahn trying to control myself and failed miserably in that attempt. Luckily I didn't see a speed cam and none of the speed cams saw me.

Now lets talk about the fuel consumption. I know I know, I'm not going to complain but since I'm writing my experience, I might as well mention this. For doing those 70 kms stretch, I filled in fuel worth 24 Euros (high octane). You can do the math if it costs 1.35 Euros to fill a liter.

I got back to the base, returned the car without any incidents, went back home as a happy man.

But yeah, driving a Cayman still remains an unfulfilled dream.

PS: Driving in Germany as an Indian can be quite tricky. Having driven in UAE for a bit has helped me a lot in quickly adapting to their ways though I had to do my fair share of research about road rules and regulations. I could write more about it but this post is not meant for that....just count this as a general warning. Cheers!

PPS: My GoPro video turned out to be a disaster. Sad that the set up was so pathetic even I can't look at it, leave sharing in any online forum. But let me check if I can cut some small bit of it and share here. But that's for later.

Last edited by voyageur : 10th July 2016 at 21:38.
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Old 11th July 2016, 10:07   #2
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Default Re: Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Test-Drives Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11th July 2016, 10:35   #3
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Default Re: Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera

Nice story there! I am sure you enjoyed that hour in the Porsche a lot!

Prices seem to be decent actually. Not much higher than the amount on luxury rentals we are asked to pay in India! 69 Euros (even the regular 99 Euros) for 100 kms isn't bad at all!

BTW, how come Cayman is most in-demand car? Was it a manual? Given an option, I would have picked up the 911 Carrera if I was in your place. So yeah, you drove the right car IMO.
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Old 11th July 2016, 11:14   #4
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Default Re: Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera

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Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
Nice story there! I am sure you enjoyed that hour in the Porsche a lot!

Prices seem to be decent actually. Not much higher than the amount on luxury rentals we are asked to pay in India! 69 Euros (even the regular 99 Euros) for 100 kms isn't bad at all!

BTW, how come Cayman is most in-demand car? Was it a manual? Given an option, I would have picked up the 911 Carrera if I was in your place. So yeah, you drove the right car IMO.
Hello Ace,

Glad to hear you enjoyed my story. Thank you!

If you have a bit more budget, you can rent a Porsche for a day for 250-300 Euros. I shouldn't be complaining, my bad. Everything about Porsche Drive was amazing.

From the charts, Cayman was the most in demand model. It was a PDK gearbox, but it's 69 Euros as compared to the 99 Euros for 911. There is only one Cayman, but a few 911 models like the Carrera S, Cabriolet, Targa etc. I got lucky and the staff there were really generous because they knew I had done a long way back and forth just for this.

Cheers!
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Old 11th July 2016, 14:07   #5
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Originally Posted by voyageur View Post
Cayman was the most in demand model. It was a PDK gearbox, but it's 69 Euros as compared to the 99 Euros for 911.
If it was PDK, then the affordability seems to be the driving factor for Cayman! Never the less, I feel good for you that you got to drive the real Porsche (although I am not undermining the Cayman by any means here, speaking relatively between the two)!
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Old 11th July 2016, 15:13   #6
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Default Re: Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera

Fantastic writeup...

Capturing all your excitement and enthusiasm along with the flavour of the experience, in just a few words. I'm not even a sports-car guy (my automobile wild dreams would be something like tons of Bentley) but I could still hear the roar of the exhaust in your post.

I don't know how you managed to cope. If you did sit me in a car like that, I would want more than one hour, manual in hand, familiarising myself with the controls and the displays!

Well driven! Well written!
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Old 11th July 2016, 18:17   #7
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Great write-up Voyageur!

I have been given the wonderful opportunity of renting any porsche (except the 918, carrera GT and the GT3) along with a personalized factory tour. It was a wedding gift from my fathers friend who is a privileged customer of Porsche in Stuttgart (having owned over 15 customized Porsche 911's over the years).

Was also given a limited edition medallion and a fabulous 2016 calendar which was brought to India and handed over to me personally.

Looking to find some time from the busy schedule at work to take a few days off. Hope to make it there before the monsoons and winter.
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Old 12th July 2016, 01:37   #8
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Fellow Malayali from Kayamkulam, "Gaffoor ka dost", in Stuttgart , man we should have met! Every morning I catch my bus from the very same place where you took the photos. Next time you do something like this, do ping me, will tell you a route without speed guns / radars, where we take our prototypes for handling tests. A short 3 km sprint inside a forest road.

This is what I get to see each day.

Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera-12985557_1149636141722887_4739328124643827058_n.jpg

Spike

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Old 12th July 2016, 09:34   #9
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Excellent write-up of your unforgettable hour ! You have lived the dream of millions
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Old 12th July 2016, 11:56   #10
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Default Re: Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
If it was PDK, then the affordability seems to be the driving factor for Cayman! Never the less, I feel good for you that you got to drive the real Porsche (although I am not undermining the Cayman by any means here, speaking relatively between the two)!
I'm also glad I have lived the 911 dream, if there is a next it should be Cayman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Fantastic writeup...

Capturing all your excitement and enthusiasm along with the flavour of the experience, in just a few words. I'm not even a sports-car guy (my automobile wild dreams would be something like tons of Bentley) but I could still hear the roar of the exhaust in your post.

I don't know how you managed to cope. If you did sit me in a car like that, I would want more than one hour, manual in hand, familiarising myself with the controls and the displays!

Well driven! Well written!
Hello Thad,

Thanks a ton.

It was just MEGA (as Chris Harris would put it). I hope every petrolhead gets to drive a Porsche at least once.

Having a German car back in UAE helped me a bit. There was this gorgeous lady from reception who came along and noted all the scratches and dents, as well as does a quick intro of the car. She helped me with the infotainment system and setting up the maps, placing that bottle of water on the cuppy holder as well. Trust me, all you need is the throttle, flappy paddles, brakes, sport mode, sport exhaust and traction control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fullrevs View Post
Great write-up Voyageur!

I have been given the wonderful opportunity of renting any porsche (except the 918, carrera GT and the GT3) along with a personalized factory tour. It was a wedding gift from my fathers friend who is a privileged customer of Porsche in Stuttgart (having owned over 15 customized Porsche 911's over the years).

Was also given a limited edition medallion and a fabulous 2016 calendar which was brought to India and handed over to me personally.

Looking to find some time from the busy schedule at work to take a few days off. Hope to make it there before the monsoons and winter.
That's a wonderful gift. He is definitely a petrolhead for sure. Here we boast about an hour of 911 drive.
For the Porsche drive, there were even GT3 RS in purple. The price was some 250 Euros per hour. I don't know if there were any other requirements.

I hope you rent the GT3 RS and be sure to take your GoPro.

Cheers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
Fellow Malayali from Kayamkulam, "Gaffoor ka dost", in Stuttgart , man we should have met! Every morning I catch my bus from the very same place where you took the photos. Next time you do something like this, do ping me, will tell you a route without speed guns / radars, where we take our prototypes for handling tests. A short 3 km sprint inside a forest road.

This is what I get to see each day.

Attachment 1527650

Spike
I'm also from the same place, "Gaffoor ka dost". If I had known, we could have had a Porsche museum meet. Don't tell me you work for Porsche.

You are a lucky man. Stuttgart is a wonderful wonderful place and I totally loved that place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankverma View Post
Excellent write-up of your unforgettable hour ! You have lived the dream of millions
Hello Mayank,

It's the dream of millions and feeling glad that I could live it. I'm glad I picked Stuttgart over other places in my list. It was a very nice trip overall.

Have a great day!
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Old 14th July 2016, 11:59   #11
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Default Re: Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera

Beautifully written Anoop. Glad you enjoyed the rides.
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Old 16th July 2016, 10:59   #12
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Beautifully written Anoop. Glad you enjoyed the rides.
Hello Affsal,

Thank you for the compliment. It's great to know you enjoyed my post.

I'm glad too, to have gotten a chance to drive this car. Looking forward to such experiences in life

Have a great day!
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Old 19th July 2016, 02:18   #13
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Default Re: Porsche Drive (Rentals): With a Porsche 911 Carrera

A small clip from GoPro which was mounted pretty bad in terms of angle.



Very little of the exhaust note can be heard due to wind noise, but the spoiler that went up never came down. That is the rule of automotive industry as well.
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Old 19th July 2016, 17:08   #14
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I shall try and keep this post as short as I can, but also definitely try and put in words the feeling of driving a Porsche 911 for the first time. This post is definitely going to be more of emotions and very less of anything technical.
This brings back the memory of my own visit to the Porsche Museum at Stuttgart. I had a very busy 5 day trip to Stuttgart - Landed there on a Sunday evening and started back early Saturday morning the same week. There was hardly any time for me to buy even chocolates, but still managed to squeeze some time to visit this wonderful Porsche Museum!

On week days, the museum closes by 6 PM. So, you can see how difficult it can be for an office-goer to visit this place! I hardly found some 45 minutes to visit this place.

The architecture itself is awesome, and there were cars even displayed upside down in the gallery! The display itself included nearly a hundred cars including classics and modern cars. You can get some scale model cars as souvenirs here - they are quite expensive by scale model standards, but bought a Panamera anyway. (Our minds simply multiplies every price displayed with 75 to arrive at the Indian Rupees - so you see everything would be expensive. Still, money is useful only if converted to happiness!)

Next time when I go there, if I have time, I will surely get my hands on a real Porsche. Thanks for the Rental idea!
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Old 19th July 2016, 22:10   #15
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This brings back the memory of my own visit to the Porsche Museum at Stuttgart. I had a very busy 5 day trip to Stuttgart - Landed there on a Sunday evening and started back early Saturday morning the same week. There was hardly any time for me to buy even chocolates, but still managed to squeeze some time to visit this wonderful Porsche Museum!

On week days, the museum closes by 6 PM. So, you can see how difficult it can be for an office-goer to visit this place! I hardly found some 45 minutes to visit this place.

The architecture itself is awesome, and there were cars even displayed upside down in the gallery! The display itself included nearly a hundred cars including classics and modern cars. You can get some scale model cars as souvenirs here - they are quite expensive by scale model standards, but bought a Panamera anyway. (Our minds simply multiplies every price displayed with 75 to arrive at the Indian Rupees - so you see everything would be expensive. Still, money is useful only if converted to happiness!)

Next time when I go there, if I have time, I will surely get my hands on a real Porsche. Thanks for the Rental idea!
Porsche museum is a very good visit. One of the top to do things in Stuttgart. So is Merc museum. I will recommend Merc museum for the next time if you get a chance to visit Stuttgart.

I'm glad my post could help you and I hope you get to try out rental Porsche the next time

Cheers!
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