x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Estate agent likes to keep it real-ty in Porsche Cayenne S

My Car This estate agent can't hide his enthusiasm for cars, especially his latest Porsche, a Cayenne S.

Ross Gardiner is in love with his gleaming 2012 Porsche Cayenne S, and is particularly taken by the exhaust note and better performance when in sport mode. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Ross Gardiner is in love with his gleaming 2012 Porsche Cayenne S, and is particularly taken by the exhaust note and better performance when in sport mode. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

A stylish estate agent and Dubai social scene promoter, 32-year-old Ross Gardiner is eagerly anticipating the biggest day of his life, with his wife expecting their first child in May, which is only a few months after he took delivery of his "other baby" - a gleaming 2012 Porsche Cayenne S.

Originally from Potters Bar in England, Gardiner arrived in Dubai six years ago for a holiday with friends and decided to move permanently, quickly building up contacts and real estate experience during the boom times. The next step was to branch out into his own enterprises, so he became the owner of sales and leasing firm Lannhill Real Estate and a partner in the events and promotions company Calypso.

"I basically fell in love with the place. It obviously made good business sense to be here, but the way of life and great people who live here also combine to make it the perfect residence," he says.

A lover of life in the fast lane, Gardiner replaced his white 2007 911 Carrera S Cabriolet with the rapid four-wheel drive in January after being on the waiting list for more than six months. With a 4.8L V8 packing more than 400hp and reaching 100kph in 5.8 seconds - faster than the Range Rover and BMW equivalents - he's delighted with its performance.

"I saw the new Porsche Cayenne at launch and really liked it but waited to read some reviews from road tests, all of which were positive and it was highly rated; plus, I really wanted a Porsche V8 engine. I looked at other models, such as Range Rovers, which I've really gone off, to be honest. The Cayenne has leapt ahead in my eyes over recent years, particularly in terms of styling without compromising performance.

"The lines are curvier than the previous models and the daytime running lights are a nice touch. The main reason I went for this was the interior, the cabin, seats and PCM [infotainment system] have been duplicated from the Porsche Panamera - a car of which I am also a massive fan," he explains.

And Gardiner has spared no expense when ordering from Al Naboodah, as the interior is full black leather with the aluminium package; it's fully loaded and includes a top-of-the-range Bose sound system.

"One of my favourite elements of this car is when I press sport mode. The exhaust note changes and gears are held onto longer, offering high revs and the suspension lowers and hugs the wheels for better aerodynamics and more stability," he enthuses.

And Ross has never had to rough it in a youngster's rust bucket. "My first car was a 3 Series BMW, which I had a lot of fun in - especially with its rear wheel drive combining with the damp, often frozen, UK road surfaces that made for some very hairy sideways experiences.

"My last car was a 911 Carrera-S, which had wide tyres at the back and was virtually impossible to drift. However, I turned the traction control off and really pushed it until the back flew out and left me fighting to keep it in a straight line. That's the good thing about Porsche 911s - they are very forgiving should you over-cook a corner on entry or exit," he explains.

If he was to choose another dream car, this petrolhead would opt for the gentry of sports cars - the new Bentley Continental GT. "Bentley is renowned for its attention to detail. Its styling and interior, I would say, are the best I've seen in a long time, and more than this - the engine is phenomenal," he says.

It's easy to see how such a car enthusiast got hooked on Dubai's near-constant offering of high-end vehicles driving around the roads. "Sightings of special-edition Bugatti Veyrons and Ferrari FFs and 458s, McLarens and SLS Mercedes supercars as well as VIP Maybachs, Rolls Royces and Bentley Mulsannes at every valet is simply car heaven," he says.

As the daily routine for Gardiner's Cayenne S normally only stretches as far as Sheikh Zayed Road, he plans to give the car a much-needed workout with a trip to the next track day at Yas Island. "I've heard the Cayenne S really performs on this track in sport mode, although four new tyres will be needed after," he says. It's likely Gardiner has already ordered top-of-the-range replacements, just in case.