Features/ Travelogues/ Porsche Cayman GT4 RS X Mercedes AMG E53 Cabriolet X Land Rover Range Rover Sport | Divided By Performance, United By Passion

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS X Mercedes AMG E53 Cabriolet X Land Rover Range Rover Sport | Divided By Performance, United By Passion

This is one of those “If you had 3 Crores to spend, what car would you pick for the weekend

The world is busy, and we all run through the week with the hope of making it to the weekend. We work with passion, determination, ambition, and tenacity throughout the week. When the weekend comes, all you’re left with is your passion. The world is driven by passion, but how many of us drive with passion? While the rest of the world is kicking it, the passionate are gearing up to put the pedal to the metal simply because they can. I headed out for a lovely weekend drive with three dashing vehicles accompanied by two fellow enthusiasts I know. 

The first was the Mercedes-AMG E53 Cabriolet. A convertible powered by a menacing inline-six under its hood that pushes out 429 bhp of power and 520 Nm of torque. Sending power to all four wheels, you’ll rarely ever be short on traction and arrive everywhere you go in style. Quite the perfect vehicle for the weekend, wouldn’t you agree?

Next, we’ve got the Porsche Cayman GT4 RS. If you know anything about Porsche, then you know they’re dedicated to their craft of making the ultimate driving machines. The Cayman GT4 RS embodies that in the most extreme track-ready way possible. Powered by a fiery flat-six that produces a whopping 493 bhp and 450 Nm of torque. The kicker is it revs all the way to 9,000 and sounds like an absolute menace. 

Lastly, we’ve got the Land Rover Range Rover Sport. A true go-anywhere baller loved by all across the spectrum and is known for their versatility and style. The Range Rover Sport we were driving was also powered by a six-cylinder. However, this V6 was a diesel, making a respectable 345 bhp of power and a whopping 700 Nm of torque. Sure, it may not showcase the same handling prowess, but it packs the comfort and the ability to tackle everything from broken tarmac to dirt roads. 

We decided to take all three machines and head to the nearest hill station to Mumbai called Lonavala. The road to Lonavala is a good mix of straight highways, curvy mountain roads and tight B-roads that would be the perfect playground for all three vehicles. We aimed to see which of us would have the most fun getting there and back. Ramesh picked the Porsche Cayman GT4 RS since he wanted the loudest and proudest. He had trouble waking up that morning, and the GT4 RS served as the perfect dose of caffeine for his early morning.

Meanwhile, Pratik picked the Mercedes AMG E53 Cabriolet since he wanted to start his morning with the wind blowing his long luscious hair. While I did the sensible thing and picked the Land Rover Range Rover Sport. Not only because I wanted a nice massage on my way to Lonavala but because it looked dapper as hell, and let’s not forget, it’s also quite comfortable.  

We started at 4 am, aimed to beat the weekend rush, and managed to make it to the top right off the crack of dawn. The golden hour lit up these three beautiful machines, and they looked mesmerizing as ever. Despite being quite different in shape and design, there’s no denying they were three beautiful-looking cars. I doubt I could pick one over the other if it was a beauty contest, but the Cayman GT4 RS in this shade of blue was quite a show-stopper. Once there, we reviewed each other’s choices and poked some fun. 

As expected, I was the butt of the joke for picking a luxury SUV for a fun weekend out. Well, as exhilarating as a weekend should be, it should also be relaxing and a stress buster. If you ask me, having to drive a high-performance car around a busy road doesn’t seem like a stress buster. Of course, they disagree and think a weekend can be exhausting if what you’re doing is something you love. And yes, the taboo three-letter word that starts with an “S” and ends with an “X” often became a bane to my argument in context with the point I was trying to make. So I sat quietly as I watched the other two complain about traffic and poor roads and smirked through it. 

After admiring each other’s rides and some banter, we decided to swap rides on the way back, and instinctively, I went for the GT4 RS. Around the twisty roads on Lonavala, it brought the silent woods to life with its raw screams. Though the ride was hard, it was a ton of fun around the relatively smooth streets of Lonavala. Darting from one corner to another and exiting each with great aggression and drama, the Cayman GT4 brings out your inner child and grants you childish giggles. 

The Mercedes AMG E53 Cabriolet is a fantastic machine and surprisingly practical for a cabriolet. Rarely does it seem too tedious over tall speed breakers, and I cleared most of them quite effortlessly. With the top down, you can enjoy the open sky and clean air blowing through your hair, and I see why Pratik picked it. It has the right balance of comfort and sporty, and though it may not be as agile as the Cayman GT4 RS, it’s undoubtedly a boon to drive around these twisty roads. 

Last but not least, the Land Rover. It doesn’t flaunt nearly as much agility or acceleration, for that matter, but around these tight roads, it had just the right amount of oomph to drive a fun one. Wrestling its weight around sharp bends and handling its immense torque is quite engaging, and for an SUV of its size, it does a relatively decent job of holding its own. What I found particularly amusing was the V8 rumble being pipped in through the speakers, which could fool the untrained ear into believing their diesel V6 rumbles like a petrol V8. Alas, my ears were anything but untrained, but I found it amusing nonetheless. 

We all made it back safely, and what a joyful day this has been. We hoped we’d have a conclusive choice for which of these made the best weekend car, but truth be told, they’re all different flavours of the same beverage. Each excels with advantages and disadvantages, aiming to be fun and purposeful companions. If you had north of Rs. 1.50 Crore and wanted one of these machines, I can guarantee you’d have a boon living with them, and your ownership would be anything but uneventful.

TopGear Magazine December 2023