For over 30 years, the Porsche Car Club of America (PCA) has hosted Tech Tactics on a yearly basis. The event was historically confined to the east coast, but recently expanded west for the third year in a row. Last year I gave a talk on 996 ownership, but this year, on November 23rd, I was fortunate to attend from the perspective of an official spectator.
Tech Tactics is a PCA National event, in cooperation with Porsche Cars of North America, dedicated to disseminating Porsche technical information to club members. But that only begins to scratch the surface. First and foremost, it should also be seen as PCNA’s unwavering commitment to their US customers. What other car manufacturer would open up their factory training center, brimming with unprotected Porsche DNA, on a Saturday, with a full staff of PCNA trainers and execs…to complete strangers? They fed us, trained us using their best and brightest, and sent us away with goody bags filled with awesome things Porsche, including a hardcover Macan book.
Beginning at 8 am, we feasted on the latest P-car technology, new vehicle offerings (2014 is a big year for new wares), and great PCA member comradery. We got up close and personal tech intros to the S-E Hybrid Panamera, the exotic 918 Spyder supercar, the awe-inspiring 991 Turbo and Turbo S, and the new compact SUV, the Macan. All of this from the same PCNA Trainers that train our dealer techs.
During the Turbo presentation, we saw a live demonstration of rear wheel steering. Amazing stuff. With the engine running and the car in gear at high speed on the hoist, the sweet note of the 560-hp 991 Turbo S engine lulled us into Fantasyland as we watched the rear wheels turn in and out. I overheard one trainer say it’s like the car moves sideways as you change lanes at 100 mph (in Germany, of course). Where else could you see this technology live?
Moving from one lecture to the next, it was one jaw-dropping Porsche performance factoid after another. Get this: two electric motors accelerate the plug-in hybrid 918 Spyder to 100 km/h in a mere seven seconds, and that’s without ever waking the 600 hp 4.6L V8 monster of a gas engine. If you're interested, check out this explanation of the 5 driving modes of the Porsche 918.
Michelin, Mobil Oil, Griot’s Garage, Porsche Motorsports, and PCA tech committee speakers (Tony Callas, Allan Caldwell and Chris Powell) were the others that made the day more than worthwhile. There was even a Porsche Parts Store available throughout the day.
If this sounds like $50 worth of fun, then mark your calendar for Tech Tactics East in Easton, PA, March 2014. Limited 125 entrants, this event sells out quickly. More information is available on the PCA website. You must be a PCA club member to sign up.
About the Author: If you don't know Charlie Burke by name, there's a good chance you know his work. Charlie is the Senior Editor at Bentley Publishers and the man who leads the team responsible for the great Porsche service manuals so many of us have come to rely upon. We've been fortunate to get to know Charlie over the last few years and hope to have more contributions from him in the future.
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