The Truth About Cars » Porsche http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:54:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Porsche http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/reviews/porsche/ Geneva 2015: Porsche Cayman GT4 Debuts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-porsche-cayman-gt4-debuts/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-porsche-cayman-gt4-debuts/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 13:39:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1013490 Appearing alongside the 911 GT3 RS, the Porsche Cayman GT4 made its debut at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show. The first Cayman to be granted a GT badge, its motivation comes via a 3.8-liter flat-six pulled from the 911 Carrera S, pushing 385 horsepower to the back via a six-speed manual. Nought to 60 comes […]

The post Geneva 2015: Porsche Cayman GT4 Debuts appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Porsche-Cayman-GT4-02

Appearing alongside the 911 GT3 RS, the Porsche Cayman GT4 made its debut at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show.

The first Cayman to be granted a GT badge, its motivation comes via a 3.8-liter flat-six pulled from the 911 Carrera S, pushing 385 horsepower to the back via a six-speed manual. Nought to 60 comes in 4.2 seconds, with speed peaking at 183 mph.

The Cayman GT4 also pulls from the 911 GT3 parts bin, while aero maintains its grip on the road. Other options include Porsche’s Sport Chrono package, ceramic composite brakes and carbon fiber seats.

Price of admission begins at $85,595, with U.S. dealerships receiving the model starting in July.

Porsche-Cayman-GT4-06 Porsche-Cayman-GT4-01 Porsche-Cayman-GT4-02 Porsche-Cayman-GT4-05 Porsche-Cayman-GT4-03 Porsche-Cayman-GT4-04 Porsche-Cayman-GT4-08 Porsche-Cayman-GT4-07 Porsche-Cayman-GT4-09

The post Geneva 2015: Porsche Cayman GT4 Debuts appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-porsche-cayman-gt4-debuts/feed/ 36
Geneva 2015: 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-2016-porsche-911-gt3-rs-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-2016-porsche-911-gt3-rs-revealed/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 07:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1011298 It’s 2 a.m., and the wait is gone now that the 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS has been revealed ahead of its 2015 Geneva Auto Show official debut. The track-ready 911 derives its power from a 4-liter flat-six throwing down 493 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque to the back through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. […]

The post Geneva 2015: 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Porsche-911-GT3-RS-07

It’s 2 a.m., and the wait is gone now that the 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS has been revealed ahead of its 2015 Geneva Auto Show official debut.

The track-ready 911 derives its power from a 4-liter flat-six throwing down 493 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque to the back through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. Zero to 62 occurs in just 3.3 seconds, with speed topping out at 198 mph.

The body boasts a magnesium roof and carbon trunklid and engine cover for weight reduction, and is said to be wider than the standard GT3 so that it can accommodate its 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels. Aggressive aero and a lower center of gravity from the aforementioned lightening keep the GT3 RS planted on the track.

Finally, for those who salivate over ‘Ring times, the 911 GT3 RS reportedly made its mark at 7:20, 20 seconds faster than the Cayman GT4.

Price of admission begins at $175,900 plus $995 destination, and Porsche is taking orders now with deliveries to begin in July.

Porsche-911-GT3-RS-08 Porsche-911-GT3-RS-07 Porsche-911-GT3-RS-06 Porsche-911-GT3-RS-09 Porsche-911-GT3-RS-01 Porsche-911-GT3-RS-02 Porsche-911-GT3-RS-11 Porsche-911-GT3-RS-12 Porsche-911-GT3-RS-13 Porsche-911-GT3-RS-14 Porsche-GT3-RS-3 Porsche-GT3-RS-1 Porsche-GT3-RS-6 Porsche-GT3-RS-4 2016-Porsche-GT3-RS-03 Porsche-GT3-RS-9

The post Geneva 2015: 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-2016-porsche-911-gt3-rs-revealed/feed/ 5
Porsche Classic Unveils GPS Unit For Classic Porsches http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/porsche-classic-unveils-gps-unit-classic-porsches/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/porsche-classic-unveils-gps-unit-classic-porsches/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1006618 Happen to own a classic Porsche? Want a more elegant solution for GPS than a smartphone on your dash? Porsche Classic has the solution. The GPS/radio unit is designed to fit into the DIN-1 slot of many a classic Porsche, from the first 911s to roll out of Stuttgart in 1963, to the last of […]

The post Porsche Classic Unveils GPS Unit For Classic Porsches appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Porsche Classic GPS Unit 01

Happen to own a classic Porsche? Want a more elegant solution for GPS than a smartphone on your dash? Porsche Classic has the solution.

The GPS/radio unit is designed to fit into the DIN-1 slot of many a classic Porsche, from the first 911s to roll out of Stuttgart in 1963, to the last of the air-cooled 993s from the mid-1990s. Operation is handled between two knobs, six buttons and the 3.5-inch touchscreen nestled in the center.

Drivers can opt for either 2D or 3D mapping for navigation, while the 8GB microSD card that holds the maps is updated regularly. Smartphone can be connected via Bluetooth, and the unit’s integrated amplifier delivers 4×45 watts through either the loudspeakers or the vehicle’s original sound system, perfect for enjoying music and news with little interference in radio reception.

The Porsche Communication Management-based unit is on sale now from Porsche Classic Partners and Centers in Germany for €1,184 ($1,343 USD) plus VAT. The USDM version is undergoing final testing, with pricing and availability due upon completion.

Porsche Classic GPS Unit 03 Porsche Classic GPS Unit 01 Porsche Classic GPS Unit 02

The post Porsche Classic Unveils GPS Unit For Classic Porsches appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/porsche-classic-unveils-gps-unit-classic-porsches/feed/ 49
Geneva 2015: Porsche Cayman GT4 Revealed Ahead Of Show Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-porsche-cayman-gt4-revealed-ahead-show-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-porsche-cayman-gt4-revealed-ahead-show-debut/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 11:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=993490 A fan of Porsche’s 911 GT3, but would prefer something smaller? How about the Cayman GT4? Power for the first-ever Cayman GT comes from a 3.8-liter flat-six derived from the engine pushing the 911 Carrera S along. A six-speed manual with dynamic gearbox mounts is the sole transmission available. Top speed is 183 mph, and […]

The post Geneva 2015: Porsche Cayman GT4 Revealed Ahead Of Show Debut appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Porsche Cayman GT4

A fan of Porsche’s 911 GT3, but would prefer something smaller? How about the Cayman GT4?

Power for the first-ever Cayman GT comes from a 3.8-liter flat-six derived from the engine pushing the 911 Carrera S along. A six-speed manual with dynamic gearbox mounts is the sole transmission available. Top speed is 183 mph, and zero to 60 comes in 4.2 seconds.

Braking, suspension and chassis components throughout the Cayman GT4 come from the 911 GT3, with ceramic composite brakes available as an option. Other features include extensive aero; leather and Alcantara bucket seats with optional carbon fiber composite; sport steering wheel providing direct feedback to the driver; and a Sport Chrono Package with Track Precision app.

The Cayman GT4 is set to bow at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show in March before heading into U.S. showrooms in July. The price of admission will begin at $84,600, plus $995 destination.

Porsche Cayman GT4 03 Porsche Cayman GT4 06 Porsche Cayman GT4 Porsche Cayman GT4 04 Porsche Cayman GT4 05 Porsche Cayman GT4 02 Porsche Cayman GT4 07

The post Geneva 2015: Porsche Cayman GT4 Revealed Ahead Of Show Debut appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-porsche-cayman-gt4-revealed-ahead-show-debut/feed/ 31
Land Rovers, Jaguars Et Al Leave Höegh Osaka After Month At Sea http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/land-rovers-jaguars-et-al-leave-hoegh-osaka-month-sea/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/land-rovers-jaguars-et-al-leave-hoegh-osaka-month-sea/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=991122 Having spent most of January on its side, the Höegh Osaka returned to Southampton, England Tuesday to unload 1,400 premium vehicles bound for Germany. According to The Daily Mail, the car carrier was intentionally run aground in the Solent off the Isle of Wight January 3 when it began to list at 52 degrees shortly […]

The post Land Rovers, Jaguars Et Al Leave Höegh Osaka After Month At Sea appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Land Rover Hoegh Osaka

Having spent most of January on its side, the Höegh Osaka returned to Southampton, England Tuesday to unload 1,400 premium vehicles bound for Germany.

According to The Daily Mail, the car carrier was intentionally run aground in the Solent off the Isle of Wight January 3 when it began to list at 52 degrees shortly after departing for Germany through the English Channel. Around 1,400 premium vehicles were onboard, including Land Rover Defenders, Jaguar XFs, MINIs, a Rolls-Royce Wraith, and a Porsche Boxster.

Presently, each of the 1,400 vehicles aboard are being inspected for any damage, especially the type that would mean a final ride to the crusher. The final total won’t come until early next week at the latest, though a decision to follow in Mazda’s footsteps — the automaker scrapped 4,700 units aboard the Cougar Ace in 2006 — would prove costly; the total value of Höegh Osaka’s cargo stands at £30 million ($45 million USD).

The post Land Rovers, Jaguars Et Al Leave Höegh Osaka After Month At Sea appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/land-rovers-jaguars-et-al-leave-hoegh-osaka-month-sea/feed/ 11
Plan To Increase US Porsche Macan Allocation In The Works http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/plan-increase-us-porsche-macan-allocation-works/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/plan-increase-us-porsche-macan-allocation-works/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=988970 Been waiting a while for a chance to drive home a Porsche Macan? The automaker plans to increase supply to meet demand in 2015. According to Automotive News, Porsche Cars North America COO Joe Lawrence says his subsidiary is pushing for more units because of the Macan’s popularity thus far, and to ensure no customers […]

The post Plan To Increase US Porsche Macan Allocation In The Works appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Porsche Macan S

Been waiting a while for a chance to drive home a Porsche Macan? The automaker plans to increase supply to meet demand in 2015.

According to Automotive News, Porsche Cars North America COO Joe Lawrence says his subsidiary is pushing for more units because of the Macan’s popularity thus far, and to ensure no customers waiting in line will go seek solace in an X4 or Evoque.

Said wait has been six months and above since the premium crossover went on sale in the United States last May: 7,241 units left the showroom from May through December 2014.

As for how many will be allocated in 2015, Lawrence couldn’t confirm, citing production constraints at the automaker’s factory in Leipzig, Germany and high global demand as factors. A diesel model is also expected in the U.S. by the end of this year.

However many Macans do hit the road this year will help Porsche reach its goal of 50,000 sold in the U.S. annually three years ahead of schedule; 47,007 911s, Cayennes, Macans et al were sold in 2014.

The post Plan To Increase US Porsche Macan Allocation In The Works appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/plan-increase-us-porsche-macan-allocation-works/feed/ 18
NAIAS 2015: Porsche Debuts 911 Targa 4 GTS, Cayenne Turbo S http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-porsche-debuts-911-targa-4-gts-cayenne-turbo-s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-porsche-debuts-911-targa-4-gts-cayenne-turbo-s/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 21:55:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=979609 Porsche brought two new offerings to the 2015 Detroit Auto Show: the 911 Targa 4 GTS, and the Cayenne Turbo S [Live photos of 911 Targa 4 GTS now available – CA]. The 911 Targa 4 GTS is a 50th anniversary model celebrating the original 911 Targa, and is also the first time in its […]

The post NAIAS 2015: Porsche Debuts 911 Targa 4 GTS, Cayenne Turbo S appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2016-Porsche-Cayenne-Turbo-S-1

Porsche brought two new offerings to the 2015 Detroit Auto Show: the 911 Targa 4 GTS, and the Cayenne Turbo S [Live photos of 911 Targa 4 GTS now available – CA].

The 911 Targa 4 GTS is a 50th anniversary model celebrating the original 911 Targa, and is also the first time in its history that it has been sold as a GTS model. Thus, it acquires the 430-horsepower GTS boxer, delivering its power to all four corners via its seven-speed PDK transmission. Zero to 60 arrives in 4.1 seconds, with speed topping out at over 186 mph.

Other features for the Targa 4 GTS include a standard Sport Chrono package, four-way adjustable seats, 20-inch matte black center-lock wheels, Bi-Xenon headlamps, and black Alcantara material.

Meanwhile, the Cayenne Turbo S derives its power from the re-engineered 4.8-liter twin-turbo V8 under the hood. The mill produces 570 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, most of which is sent to the back thanks to the SUV’s Porsche Traction Management system. Top speed is 176 mph, can hit nought to 60 in 3.9 seconds, and has a posted ‘Ring time of 7:59.74 minutes.

Aside from power, the Cayenne Turbo S now has 10-piston calipers on its 16.5-inch front discs; the 14.6 rear discs have four-piston calipers. Torque vectoring and chassis control help improve stability and reduce body roll respectively. Sport exhaust, carbon interior accents, and LED lighting are also available.

Both Porsches will be launched in the United States by mid-April. Price of admission for the 911 Targa 4 GTS is $132,800, $157,300 for the Cayenne Turbo S.

Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS Cayenne Turbo S 2016-Porsche-Cayenne-Turbo-S-9 2016-Porsche-Cayenne-Turbo-S- 2016-Porsche-Cayenne-Turbo-S-1 2016-Porsche-Cayenne-Turbo-S-8 2016-Porsche-Cayenne-Turbo-S-7 2016-Porsche-Cayenne-Turbo-S-4 2016-Porsche-Cayenne-Turbo-S-3 2016-Porsche-Cayenne-Turbo-S-2 2016-Porsche-911-Targa-GTS-8 2016-Porsche-911-Targa-GTS-3 2016-Porsche-911-Targa-GTS-4 2016-Porsche-911-Targa-GTS-11 2016-Porsche-911-Targa-GTS-12 2016-Porsche-911-Targa-GTS-1 2016-Porsche-911-Targa-GTS-2

The post NAIAS 2015: Porsche Debuts 911 Targa 4 GTS, Cayenne Turbo S appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-porsche-debuts-911-targa-4-gts-cayenne-turbo-s/feed/ 10
Los Angeles 2014: Porsche Panamera Exclusive Series Debuts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-porsche-panamera-exclusive-series-debuts/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-porsche-panamera-exclusive-series-debuts/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 23:10:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=948041 In the market for a new Panamera, yet fear it may be a tad pedestrian? Porsche’s got you covered. For just $264,895 to start — approximately the same base price for the Rolls-Royce Ghost — one can purchase the Panamera Exclusive Series, based upon the Turbo S Executive. Each of the 100 limited-edition models possess […]

The post Los Angeles 2014: Porsche Panamera Exclusive Series Debuts appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Porsche-Panamera-Exclusive-Series-01

In the market for a new Panamera, yet fear it may be a tad pedestrian? Porsche’s got you covered.

For just $264,895 to start — approximately the same base price for the Rolls-Royce Ghost — one can purchase the Panamera Exclusive Series, based upon the Turbo S Executive.

Each of the 100 limited-edition models possess a 4.8-liter turbocharged V8 upfront that will send 570 horses with 590 lb-ft of overboosted torque to all four corners. The sedans also receive a hand-painted two-tone suit, 20-inch wheels, multi-toned Italian leather, and a newly developed entertainment system — dubbed plus — to keep your friends entertained. The more jet-set crew can enjoy made-to-measure luggage, as well.

Porsche-Panamera-Exclusive-Series-01 Porsche-Panamera-Exclusive-Series-02 Porsche-Panamera-Exclusive-Series-06 Porsche-Panamera-Exclusive-Series-07 Porsche-Panamera-Exclusive-Series-11 Porsche-Panamera-Exclusive-Series-14 Porsche-Panamera-Exclusive-Series-16 Porsche-Panamera-Exclusive-Series-25

The post Los Angeles 2014: Porsche Panamera Exclusive Series Debuts appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-porsche-panamera-exclusive-series-debuts/feed/ 12
Expanding Portfolios Overwhelm Automakers, Consumers Alike http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/expanding-portfolios-overwhelm-automakers-consumers-alike/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/expanding-portfolios-overwhelm-automakers-consumers-alike/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=946586 With as many plentiful lineups as the eye can see, consumers are beginning to feel overwhelmed, as are the manufacturers who are coming to realize that too many choices are just as bad as offering too few. Yahoo Finance reports automakers like Porsche, Audi and BMW are reaching a point where their respective lineups may […]

The post Expanding Portfolios Overwhelm Automakers, Consumers Alike appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
porsche-macan-2013-la-auto-show-11

With as many plentiful lineups as the eye can see, consumers are beginning to feel overwhelmed, as are the manufacturers who are coming to realize that too many choices are just as bad as offering too few.

Yahoo Finance reports automakers like Porsche, Audi and BMW are reaching a point where their respective lineups may soon — if not already — overlap themselves, prompting consumers to go as far as to use Excel just to find the exact model and array of features they desire.

Auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers forecast the growth among German automakers would peak at 230 total models in 2018, then begin to flatten out as they cut production costs and improve differentiation among their portfolios, while also injecting what they sell with the latest technologies available at the time.

However, while automakers like Porsche and PSA Peugeot Citroën are implementing caps or drastically cutting down their offerings, others, such as Mercedes-Benz and Opel, plan to add more vehicles to their lineups. The expansions could lead to situations where models can only be seen in virtual showrooms — such as what has happened for BMW — as well as most consumers walking away from buying any vehicle or feeling less satisfied with the one they do buy, due to feeling overwhelmed.

The post Expanding Portfolios Overwhelm Automakers, Consumers Alike appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/expanding-portfolios-overwhelm-automakers-consumers-alike/feed/ 78
Capsule Review: 2015 Porsche Macan S http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/capsule-review-2015-porsche-macan-s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/capsule-review-2015-porsche-macan-s/#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 13:40:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=938361 The Porsche Macan’s diving roofline severely cramps cargo capacity. The centre hump in the rearward portion of the cabin is almost as high as the seat cushion, which could force the Macan into becoming a four-seater depending on the number of legs possessed by its passengers. The driver’s view out the back is far from […]

The post Capsule Review: 2015 Porsche Macan S appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Porsche Macan SThe Porsche Macan’s diving roofline severely cramps cargo capacity. The centre hump in the rearward portion of the cabin is almost as high as the seat cushion, which could force the Macan into becoming a four-seater depending on the number of legs possessed by its passengers.

The driver’s view out the back is far from expansive, and the driver must also deal with some odd layouts for cruise control, rear wipers, and centre-console mounted switches which are sometimes blocked by the shifter.

The Macan is a pricey piece of kit, with options required on a (USD) $50,895 Macan S to turn it into a car with parking sensors, a backup camera, heated rear seats, and navigation. Our tester costs $58,145 (U.S. market pricing including destination) and it still doesn’t have cooled seats, auto-dimming mirrors, keyless go, blind spot monitoring, sunshades, a proper hi-lux audio system, or any of Porsche’s performance options.

Moreover, even with optional 19-inch wheels, which are free of charge in the U.S. but cost $1440 in Canada, the Macan S still looks like it’s wearing base footwear.

Life’s rough.

Here I had a week of load-lugging to get through, a week that was to end with a 372-mile journey to the wedding of my wife’s cousin in Cape Breton, and it’s warm enough in mid-October to need constant air conditioning, and the Porsche only very gradually cools its occupants. All the while, I’m accidentally turning the heated steering wheel on and off because the button is on the back of the steering wheel, and the button doesn’t have enough feel, and feel is essentially the only thing an auto writer worth his weight in press junket shrimp cares about.

And, in the context of small utility vehicles, everything else is basically perfect.

2015 Porsche Macan SThe experience is literally special from the start. A turn of the key prompts a large bellow from the quad exhaust pipes, and the rumble persists for an extended period as the twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6 (340 horsepower, 339 lb-ft of torque) warms up on a crisp morning. You won’t hear this noise every time you remove your foot from the brake at stoplights – the Macan S has an auto-stop function that can be turned off (and which Sport mode turns off on its own), but the engine comes to life smoothly and quietly in those circumstances.

As a follow-up to the Audi SQ5 I drove the week before, the Macan S’s powerplant felt almost imperceptibly underwhelming. Where the 354-horsepower supercharged 3.0L V6 in the SQ5 delivers its power with a brick-breaking punch at any moment, the Porsche’s engine is more characterful, happier to rev for the sake of revving, and it also makes a better noise.

The SQ5’s 8-speed automatic is also superior to the Macan’s 7-speed PDK, particularly in everyday driving where the dual-clutch Porsche unit tends to lug around in the briefest moments of confusion at low speeds. It’ll certainly snap off barking upshifts in a hurry when under heavy throttle, however. Indeed, outside of comparisons with ZF’s renowned 8-speed, the PDK would likely shine.

2015 Porsche Macan S interiorYet it’s the Porsche’s manners when driven conventionally that cause the Macan to stand out. Yes, the SQ5 is a capable handler; a surprisingly adept vehicle on twisty roads. But the Audi’s always telling you how sporty it is, while the Porsche walks more walk instead of chattering more chit-chat. It rides much more serenely. It’s very, very quiet. The seats, while offering no adjustable lumbar support, are worlds ahead of most optional sport seats in terms of long-distance comfort and provide a huge range of head restraint adjustment. Nevertheless, when given an opportunity, the SQ5-related Macan shows which VAG engineers better understand suspension geometry.

The Macan S isn’t that tall, and despite some true off-road credentials, it’s more of a hatchback than an SUV. Yet viewed as a small luxury crossover contender, the Macan’s planted stance and remarkable agility and lack of body roll are a real shock to the system. Its steering isn’t full of feel, but it’s pleasantly heavy and very direct. Nothing will upset the Macan mid-corner.

Setting aside its quickness and disarming agility, the Macan’s brakes may be the car’s most confidence-inspiring facet. Rotors measure 350mm at the front and 330mm out back. Their outright stopping force is modulated by a progressive pedal where the amount of pressure applied by your foot is perfectly matched by the rate of deceleration. No competitor brakes like this, and no competitor feels like this under braking, either.

Though not terribly special to look at outside, particularly without the 21-inch, $2555 Sport Classics, the Macan does have a few special exterior bits. It does look like a Porsche, and the taillights create a beautiful signature when lit up.

Inside, the Macan is certainly unusual for drivers accustomed to very upright designs. Most buttons and switches are laid out along the trajectory of your relaxed right arm. There are times when, with the shifter in drive and the armrest pushed forward, it’s awkward to access lesser-used buttons. The climate controls also bring your eyes very far down from the road. The whole system is full of touch points, unlike the flush non-buttons in a Cadillac SRX, for example, and if a week isn’t long enough to memorize placements, two should be sufficient. The rear wiper button isn’t properly positioned on the wiper stalk, thereby constantly squirting wiper juice all over the tailgate when all I called for was a solitary swipe, and cruise control functions aren’t intuitive. But the overall sensation in the Macan’s interior, even a moderately optioned one like this, isn’t of a car that is dependent on features to create the aura of luxury. Rather, it’s the low-slung seating position, plentiful glass, thick-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel, and centre-mounted tachometer that produce a driver-centric cabin.

In other words, it feels like a Porsche. The Macan S also drives like a Porsche, and it is thus entirely authentic, like it or not. Perhaps the biggest disappointment isn’t found in the bottom corner of the Macan S’s window sticker but in the way the Porsche makes other otherwise lovely small luxury crossovers feel. How is it that the Macan S both rides more comfortably and handles more effectively and proceeds down the road with more enthusiasm?

TTAC 2015 Porsche Macan S cargoNo, the fact that the Macan tarnishes other small luxury crossovers is not its biggest disappointment. If utility is a prime concern, the Porsche Macan is a big league flop. The cargo area’s flexibility was apparent when, with seats folded, I loaded 224 diapers, four litres of juice, two litres of milk, one cucumber, one dish rack, two pounds of goat yogourt, four bags of chips, and a king size memory foam mattress (still in its box, naturally) with plenty of room to spare. That’s why a Macan driver doesn’t want an M3 sedan. (Also, we drove up a rocky path to the top of Creignish Mountain, which we wouldn’t have done in any rear-drive vehicle, certainly one with less than six inches of ground clearance.)

But with the seats up, the Macan S offers less than 18 cubic feet of cargo capacity, less than half the space behind the seats of a Honda CR-V, which is six inches shorter than the Macan from bumper to bumper. Our Baby Jogger Summit X3 looks tiny in the back of a Subaru Outback; it eats up most of the floor space in the Macan.

That’s a real-world concern, but it’s an issue which may well disappear after a test drive. It certainly did for me after spending a week in this Porsche Canada car. Dynamically, the Macan is in a league of its own, and Porsche has priced it as such. And remember, this is a Macan without performance-oriented rubber, without the ceramic composite brakes, electronically controlled dampers, air suspension, torque vectoring, launch control, a Sport Plus button, or a 400-horsepower 3.6L twin-turbo.

Therefore, this may well be the least impressive Macan, and it’s ridiculously impressive.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

The post Capsule Review: 2015 Porsche Macan S appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/capsule-review-2015-porsche-macan-s/feed/ 57
Consumer Reports: Infotainment System Woes Mark 2014 Reliability Survey http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/consumer-reports-infotainment-system-woes-mark-2014-reliability-survey/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/consumer-reports-infotainment-system-woes-mark-2014-reliability-survey/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=936826 Consumer Reports released its Annual Reliability Survey for this year, focusing some of the attention on the woes experienced by a handful of infotainment systems. According to the publication, the absolute worse of the pack in 2014 was Infiniti’s InTouch system in the new Q50, with over one in five owners wanting to take a […]

The post Consumer Reports: Infotainment System Woes Mark 2014 Reliability Survey appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Infiniti InTouch - Infiniti Q50

Consumer Reports released its Annual Reliability Survey for this year, focusing some of the attention on the woes experienced by a handful of infotainment systems.

According to the publication, the absolute worse of the pack in 2014 was Infiniti’s InTouch system in the new Q50, with over one in five owners wanting to take a crowbar to the whole thing. The brand itself took a beating, dropping 14 points to 20th out of 28 as a result of the Q50’s issues, as well as the overall reliability issues in the QX60. Other infotainment systems ironing out the bugs included Ford’s MyTouch, Honda’s HondaLink and Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s UConnect.

Concerning overall reliability, Lexus once again took the top of the podium, while Toyota and Mazda respectively brought home silver and bronze, and Honda finished in fourth. Buick, meanwhile, was the only brand among the Detroit Three to place in the top 10, jumping from 16th to sixth on the strength of its entire portfolio.

As for why the other Detroit brands failed to reach the top 10, Consumer Reports says domestic small and compact cars, along with full-size trucks, are holding everyone back. Tesla also didn’t make the list, but that was due to criteria than low quality: the publication only rates brands with a minimum of two models, a situation that will be remedied when the Model X rolls out next year.

Finally, Audi took fifth behind the Japanese makes, while Porsche took ninth ahead of Kia. BMW and Volvo remained within the top 20. Only Mercedes-Benz took a hit among the Europeans this year, falling 11 spots to 24th thanks to the new CLA and S classes.

The Consumer Reports 2014 reliability survey obtained its information from 1.1 million vehicles, the largest survey of its kind in the publication’s history.

consumer-reports-reliability-list-1

The post Consumer Reports: Infotainment System Woes Mark 2014 Reliability Survey appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/consumer-reports-infotainment-system-woes-mark-2014-reliability-survey/feed/ 91
Porsche 918 Hybrid Hypercar Nearly Sold Out http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/porsche-918-hybrid-hypercar-nearly-sold/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/porsche-918-hybrid-hypercar-nearly-sold/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=934098 Saving your pennies for a Porsche 918 Spyder? You may want to go ahead and take out a loan to get the down payment on the table, for the hybrid hypercar is nearly sold out. Automotive News reports production of the 918 will draw to a close in July 2015, while planned production is sold […]

The post Porsche 918 Hybrid Hypercar Nearly Sold Out appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Blue-Porsche-918-Spyder-4

Saving your pennies for a Porsche 918 Spyder? You may want to go ahead and take out a loan to get the down payment on the table, for the hybrid hypercar is nearly sold out.

Automotive News reports production of the 918 will draw to a close in July 2015, while planned production is sold out through early April at the latest, according to Porsche Cars North America vice president of marketing, Andre Oosthuizen.

Regarding how many have been made thus far, Oosthuizen declined to say more than that it was doing well for itself. He added that 30 of the $847,945 spyders were delivered to customers around the world — each bestowing Porsche a deposit of $200,000 for the opportunity to own one — thus far.

 

The post Porsche 918 Hybrid Hypercar Nearly Sold Out appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/porsche-918-hybrid-hypercar-nearly-sold/feed/ 17
Ownership Review: Porsche 911 GT3 (997 Vintage) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ownership-review-porsche-911-gt3-997-1-vintage/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ownership-review-porsche-911-gt3-997-1-vintage/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:18:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=928346 The last time my friend Derek allowed me to write for TTAC, I narrated a brief test drive of a Porsche 911 GT3 from the 996 generation, a a car that provided an intense and immersive driving experience, but that presented a heinous proposition as a sole car / daily driver, even for a young, […]

The post Ownership Review: Porsche 911 GT3 (997 Vintage) appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Screen shot 2014-10-10 at 1.22.23 AM

The last time my friend Derek allowed me to write for TTAC, I narrated a brief test drive of a Porsche 911 GT3 from the 996 generation, a a car that provided an intense and immersive driving experience, but that presented a heinous proposition as a sole car / daily driver, even for a young, single owner with a short commute in a sunny clime.  Ostensibly, I had driven the car because I was considering replacing my old 911 with something more livable / less cantankerous / more rapid / etc.  While that particular edition of the GT3 proved a poor match for my needs, I still resolved to join the 21st century by upgrading to a more modern car.

Springtime of 2014 represented a good opportunity to start shopping for a new conveyance, with several enticing and new or recently updated offerings both on the horizon and within my price range.  I considered several options – even several non-Porsches! – including the Alfa Romeo 4C, the all-new F8X family of the BMW M3/4, the C7 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51, and the 981 Porsche Cayman GTS.  Those are all new cars, with full factory warranties.  I’d learned my lesson owning an old German sports car with no factory repair safety net.

As I window shopped for new cars I also perused the Autotrader website and came across an intriguing advertisement for a 997 GT3.  Since the car was introduced, I had intensely desired Porsche’s GT3 from the 997 family, and if Halicki’s Gone in 60 Seconds cult classic were improbably re-made to fit my biography, my “Eleanor” would be a 997 GT3.  Unfortunately, the GT3 that was introduced when I was in high school violated the one sacrosanct rule of this entire exercise – the car was old and out of warranty.  It also featured some frighteningly expensive components (new PCCB brake rotors would cost almost as much as I paid for the 993!).

However.  The car was local.  I knew the seller.  The price was below market.  The car was nicely optioned (blinged-out PCCB brakes, full leather, Xenon lights) and well-maintained, with a clean PPI, perfect DME over-rev report, and only 14,000 miles from new.

I called the owner and bought it over the phone for the full asking price, 100% sight unseen, in less than five minutes.  I broke all of the rules.  I did it for two reasons:  1 – I desired the GT3 moreso than any of the other options, and would have chosen a GT3 over any of them if finances were of no concern. 2 – The attractive entry price, coupled with the dynamics of the GT3 market mean that I’m unlikely to suffer any meaningful depreciation.  In fact, I’ve been using the car as my primary vehicle / daily driver now for six months and plan to continue doing so for another year or two before selling it for about what I paid, perhaps a bit more.

So what’s it like?

Driving Experience:

Engine:

The defining feature of every GT3 from the 996 and 997 generations – up to and including the 4.0 RS zenith of the series – is the race-derived engine that Porsche nerds refer to as the “Mezger” engine, so named for Porsche’s visionary engineer, Hans Mezger, who designed the very first 911 engine, and whose very last project for Porsche was the development of the turbocharged lump that powered the 911 GT1 prototype that triumphed at Le Mans in 1998.  That pedigreed block forms the basis for the production car engine, and in 997.1 GT3 guise it displaces 3.6 liters (100mm bore, 76.4mm stroke), producing 415 bhp and 300 lb-ft of torque.  Performance is produced courtesy of high revs (8,400 RPM redline) and high compression (12.0:1); peak power output comes at 7,600 RPM, with peak torque entering at a lofty 5,500 RPM.  While power delivery is, uh, peaky, the engine is sufficiently tractable and civilized at low RPMs.  I’ve enhanced the car with a bypass exhaust from NorCal Porsche tuner Sharkwerks (mine is serial number 639 – it’s rather popular among the small community of GT3 devotees) and forced the exhaust valves to remain open all the time in order to drop 20 pounds from the rear, create an exceedingly antisocial racket and, most importantly, paint a big grin on my face every time I drive the car.

Click here to view the embedded video.

I cannot overstate the engine’s central role in my enjoyment of the car; it is raw, emotive, immediately responsive, and a key driver of value:  With rare exception, all Porsches ever made with a Mezger engine are appreciating or holding value, whereas those without an engine connected to Hans are depreciating.  Furthermore, the factory still uses the admittedly outdated warhorse engine in its 911-based race cars.  I’ve gone so far as to reference the engine’s provenance with an obnoxious vanity plate:

Screen shot 2014-10-10 at 2.06.32 AM

Drivetrain:

The marvelous engine mates to a close ratio 6-speed manual that features shockingly short throws and a stiff clutch.  When cold or just trundling around town it can be balky and reluctant to engage properly, but the heavy control efforts begin to make sense when driving spiritedly, the intended use for which the entire car is optimized.  Perfectly rev-matched downshifts are a satisfying delight, although the plastic components in the stock lever and linkage feel slightly insubstantial – one of the GT3’s few letdowns as a tool for Freude am Fahren, to borrow a phrase from Porsche’s countrymen in Bavaria.  A dual mass flywheel mates to the aforementioned weighty clutch, whereas the RennSport brethren of the “base” GT3 received the single mass lightweight flywheel.  I have a factory lightweight flywheel in my 993, and I’d love to have the same part in the GT3, but I’d rather have the circa $5,000 associated cost in my pocket.

Suspension and Ride:

The 997 GT3 represented an all-over softening of the preceding generation’s rough edges, coupled with nicer styling – both inside and out – and a bit more grunt. The biggest changes occurred in the car’s suspension, as evidenced in the 997 version’s ride and handling balance. As the first generation of the GT3 to receive PASM – Porsche Adaptive Suspension Management – the contemporary marketing materials and reviews harped on the new, allegedly comfort-oriented suspension setup. The GT3’s PASM setup has two modes, one intended for street usage and the other, harder setting intended for track work. In reality, the “softer” setting is still rather stiff and has a tendency to porpoise over surface imperfections at a variety of speeds while road driving. The stiffer setting has only one legitimate use: illustrating to complaining passengers that the softer setting should be appreciated. The stiffer PASM setting doesn’t bother me in terms of ride quality per se, but it does irk me that that the front tires spend less time in touch with the road than they ought to over anything but perfect pavement. For example, let’s say you perform a panic stop on slightly undulating tarmc – the front wheels will skip over the bumps in the pavement as ABS pulsates away; it’s rather disconcerting. I’ve ridden in and driven all generations of the GT3 sold in North America, and the progressive leap in compliance over time is the most impressive enhancement in my observation. The facelifted 997.2 GT3 brought along mild, evolutionary PASM revisions, whereas the all-new 991 GT3 rides like a Cadillac in comparison to its forebears.

IMG_2684

Handling and Steering:

Despite my niggling complaints regarding suboptimal PASM tuning, I am an avowed fan of the car’s handling and steering feel. Although other cars doubtless offer more outright grip or fractionally higher slalom average speeds, the GT3 dutifully produces the expected objective figures while providing a fulsome stream of involving feedback to the driver. Perhaps you’re driving on a familiar two-lane road when you encounter a mild sheen of rain on the road; you’ll feel it. Perhaps you’re approaching “the limit” around a sweeper and wonder whether you have a bit more grip in reserve; you’ll feel it through the steering wheel and your posterior, and you’ll know. After driving the car for awhile – I’ve put 3,500 miles on mine in 6 months – I’ve gotten used to the chassis’s talents, but time spent driving other cars, including my older 911, brings things into sharp relief once more.

IMG_3026

Brakes:

As mentioned, my car came equipped with the optional PCCB – Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes – setup. Whoever specced my car way back when elected to splurge $8,840 for this option; for that rather immodest sum, they received the following: Massive brake discs (15.0″ front, 13.8″ rear) replete with eye-catching yellow calipers, a circa 40 lb. reduction in unsprung weight, fade-free braking performance, and alleged dust-free operation (untrue). Now, on the other side of the ledger, a few reasons to reconsider PCCBs: Replacing the rotors with OEM parts will run you well over $20,000 (they’re a lifetime part in terms of wear, but, say, running into the gravel trap beyond Road Atlanta’s turn 10A could result in scratching the rotors, necessitating replacement); pads aren’t cheap either (I have a replacement coming soon, it’ll be four figures), and you have to replace them at about 50% life if you’d like to protect your ceramic rotors. Other mitigating factors: PCCBs offer absolutely no advantage versus the standard “Big Red” brakes in terms of stopping distance or pedal feel, and they sometimes squeal around town.

That said, the brakes work impressively, whether you’re executing a full panic stop as an impromptu Heimlich maneuver to help your choking neighbor or wiping off a quick 50 MPH on a back road cruise. Despite the considerable expense, I wouldn’t consider buying another GT3 without ceramics.

Summary Performance Specs:

For the benefit of internet bench racers, I’ve borrowed some performance numbers from the pros in Ann Arbor.

Acceleration:  0-60 in 4.0 seconds; quarter mile in 12.4 seconds at 116 MPH

Roadholding: 0.99g

Braking: 70-0 in 149 feet

Ownership Experience:

Now for the practical considerations and downsides of GT3 ownership.

IMG_5560

Ground Clearance:

The front ground clearance for the car is a scant 3.8 inches.  Not only is the car rather low, but the front overhang is substantial.  Imagine you’re driving around with Jay Leno’s chin skimming along the ground in front of you, under a Damoclean multi-thousand dollar penalty if you hit a speed bump at anything above walking pace!  Exciting.  At first this was the most intimidating aspect of driving the car, as pulling into any parking lot involved an exciting game of wondering “Will I or won’t I scrape the front of my new toy?!?”  I’m already on my second front splitter (mercifully a sacrificial plastic piece that only costs a few hundred dollars), but I’ve learned to proceed with caution and take wide approach and departure angles whenever possible.  My car does not have the nose lift feature that Porsche offered on later GT3s, but I can now live without it, successfully navigating parking decks and gas stations with relative ease.

Fuel Economy and Range:

Speaking of gas stations…  The car makes numerous sacrifices at the altar of motorsports chic, but the small capacity fuel tank – just over 10 gallons – and laughable economy conspire to send me to my local Chevron (premium fuel only, of course) every 130 miles or so.  I can occasionally eke out a bit more range on highway hauls, but my average plummets when I go on pleasure drives on back roads, where I’ve burned a tank in less than 100 miles on several occasions.

IMG_3407

 

Interior:

Despite an MSRP well above $120,000, the GT3’s interior is decidedly no-frills.   The important aspects are executed with aplomb: terrific driving position and ergonomics, touch points swathed in purposeful, tactile Alcantara (ie, synthetic suede) and excellent visibility despite the surfboard / ping pong table out back.  The remainder of the interior, however, leaves a bit to be desired, at least for sybarites seeking sumptuous solace; the seats adjust manually, there is no navigation system, and the puny stereo – featuring only a single disc CD changer, people who own smartphones or MP3 players are out of luck! – is comprehensively overpowered by tire, wind, and engine noise, as the GT3  eschews essentially all sound deadening to pare back mass.  Moreover, the entire car is screwed together so tightly and rides so stiffly that any foreign object in the interior, even a single penny in the console cubby, will induce a maddening vibration / rattle.  As if that weren’t enough, the car makes its own vibrations due to harmonics at about 90 MPH, and they’re sufficiently acute that the view out the rear view mirror is distorted.

Insurance:

Although the car is seven years old now, it’s still fairly valuable and fairly high performance.  I’m 25 and possess a clean driving record (thank you Michael Valentine!), but insurance is still somewhat expensive.  I pay just under $500 per month to insure both the GT3 and 993 through a quality carrier (read: not an insurer that advertises on television).

Summary:

My GT3 is gloriously excessive, embarrassingly wasteful, astonishingly impractical, and supremely indulgent, a pur sang racer diverted from the race track to a relatively quiet, domesticated life at the eleventh hour.

Yet I endure these first world hardships with a smile, because I adore its uncompromising singularity of ideal and purpose.

IMG_2684 IMG_3407 IMG_3026 IMG_5560

David Walton grew up in the North Georgia mountains before moving to Virginia to study Economics, Classics, and Natural Light at Washington and Lee University. Post-graduation, he returned to his home state to work in the financial services industry in Atlanta.  A lifelong automotive enthusiast, particular interests include (old) Porsches and sports car racing.

The post Ownership Review: Porsche 911 GT3 (997 Vintage) appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/ownership-review-porsche-911-gt3-997-1-vintage/feed/ 168
Porsche Injecting Diesel Power Into Macan For US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/porsche-injecting-diesel-power-macan-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/porsche-injecting-diesel-power-macan-us-market/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 13:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=931418 Porsche Macan enthusiasts in the United States who want diesel power will be able to order such a thing over a year from now, as Porsche is now hard at work bringing a diesel Macan to life. Automotive News reports the diesel-powered crossover will get its power from a reworked 3-liter turbo V6 diesel sold […]

The post Porsche Injecting Diesel Power Into Macan For US Market appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
porsche-macan-2013-la-auto-show-13

Porsche Macan enthusiasts in the United States who want diesel power will be able to order such a thing over a year from now, as Porsche is now hard at work bringing a diesel Macan to life.

Automotive News reports the diesel-powered crossover will get its power from a reworked 3-liter turbo V6 diesel sold in its native Europe and other markets, delivering at least 245 horsepower to all four corners. The vehicle would slot between the S and Turbo models as far as price is concerned, coming in at around $60,000 to start; the S has an MSRP of just over $49,000, while the Turbo begins at $72,300.

As for when the diesel Macan would arrive, the crossover may debut at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show before entering the showroom near the end of 2015 or at the start of 2016.

Meanwhile, those hoping for a base Macan in the U.S. will be waiting to exhale for quite some time. Porsche Cars North America vice president of marketing, Andre Oosthuizen, says there isn’t enough capacity to build the base model, sold in the United Kingdom and China, and won’t be under consideration “for the foreseeable future.”

The post Porsche Injecting Diesel Power Into Macan For US Market appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/porsche-injecting-diesel-power-macan-us-market/feed/ 13
Ian James Corlett’s ElectroPorsche: From Beater To Electrifying Showstopper http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/ian-james-corletts-electroporsche-from-beater-to-electrifying-showstopper/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/ian-james-corletts-electroporsche-from-beater-to-electrifying-showstopper/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 13:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=909898 [AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story is one I’ve been pursuing since a couple of days before returning to TTAC on the back of the Bumpasaurus Rex last October. As today is my 36th birthday, this is my gift to you, dearest B&B. – CA] Meet Ian James Corlett and his 1966 Porsche 912. Corlett calls Vancouver, […]

The post Ian James Corlett’s ElectroPorsche: From Beater To Electrifying Showstopper appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
1966 Porsche 912 EV 16

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story is one I’ve been pursuing since a couple of days before returning to TTAC on the back of the Bumpasaurus Rex last October. As today is my 36th birthday, this is my gift to you, dearest B&B. – CA]

Meet Ian James Corlett and his 1966 Porsche 912. Corlett calls Vancouver, B.C. his home, where he works in the entertainment industry as a voice actor, director, producer, author and musician; his son and daughter, Phillip and Claire, also work in the industry as voice actors in their own right.

As for his 912, it may appear to be no more than a beautifully restored vintage Porsche, but as you’ll soon discover, there’s more than meets the eye with this particular sports car.

All photos provided by Ian James Corlett, Brendan McAleer and Wikipedia.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

“I didn’t start with the notion of electrifying a Porsche,” said Corlett. “I was gonna do an old VW Beetle, mostly because I love Beetles, and it was one of the first cars I ever had. But the electric kits and the conversions were relatively available, and lots of people had done them. So, I thought, ‘Well, that’s good, because the geometry works and it’s easy to bolt in an electric motor onto the existing transmission. So, that’s what I’ll do!'”

Corlett’s interest in all things electric began years ago during one of his “reverse midlife crisis” phases, when he happened upon a Vespa scooter whose engine lived up to its Italian heritage. Preferring to ride over working on the Vespa during the few sunny days Vancouver received in a given year, he turned to a since-defunct scooter shop in Seattle for help. There, Corlett obtained a 10-inch hub motor and custom components for the Vespa, then made the switch to electric power back home.

Another reason for going electric: To escape the leasing cycle, and to reconnect with the idea of ownership. Corlett grew up interested in European and Japanese vehicles, finding U.S.-made models of the 1970s and 1980s too big, heavy and brutal to his liking. His first cars included the aforementioned Beetle, his mother’s 1969 Datsun, a Honda Accord — his first new car — two Volkswagen Cabriolets with a Jetta in between, and ultimately, the first of many Porsche 911s.

Porsche_911_993_--_11-26-2011

Though he owned his vehicles through his first 911 — a 1994 993 model — outright, the leasing bug would soon sting him and his wallet:

Somebody introduced me to this wizard of leasing, and they said, ‘No. Actually, people just don’t realize that leasing is all about the differential between what a car is going to be worth in a couple of years, and what you paid for it. You’re only really paying for that difference.’

With the then-low depreciation rates of Porsche’s offering in mind, and the leasing guru’s flexibility in setting up the contract, Corlett found leasing was less expensive than regular car payments at the time. However, the first lease was like “the drug dealer offering [a new customer] the first one for free,” with the second and third leases as easy as the first.

Alas, the rates would soon climb, Porsche began expanding its lineup, and residual values were falling hard. After the sixth 911, Corlett was quitting leasing for good, preferring to own his cars again, as well as use the money that would have gone into a new lease toward his children’s private school tuition and other fiscal responsibilities.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Though his search began with numerous old Beetles, Corlett took to the idea of converting a 912 to electric power after his attempt to buy a converted 912 from an aerospace engineer in the Phoenix area on eBay ended with a last-second loss to a higher bidder; converting a 911 of similar vintage was a bridge too far in his mind. This new journey would end outside of the desert city, where Corlett snagged a 1966 beater with rust galore — thanks to its previous life outside of Arizona — instead of a hoped-for “very dry, desert car.”

“It was really a two-step process,” he explained. “We needed to restore the car, and then fit it and measure it for the electric components.”

The restoration proved to be daunting for Corlett’s electric dream. Opting to perform both steps in Phoenix — the labor costs were lower than in Canada — he left the 912 with a restorer who turned out to be as nightmarish as the vehicle itself upon media-blasting by the following restorer, Arizona Street Customs, months later.

The project ultimately took three years, though Corlett admitted that “it shouldn’t have taken three years,” citing a change in focus toward a move to a new house in Vancouver, as well as project-related issues:

One of the huge delays, as an example, was the batteries. We ordered $15,000 worth of batteries, and they had to come from China. We just made a wrong choice on who the supplier was. That was eight months of waiting, because the guy would sell large amounts of batteries in containers. He waited for a container to be full before he would fulfill his order from China and ship to the U.S. That’s just big, long delay for no good reason.

1966 Porsche 912 EV 15

Since coming home to Vancouver late last year, the 912 has been making the rounds at events throughout the area, such as the Luxury Supercar Weekend at VanDusen Botanical Garden, and the Key West Ford Shine & Show in New Westminster, B.C., where Corlett took home trophies in the best special interest and unfinished categories. He says he enjoys being able to take part in any event that allows him to show off his masterpiece in the brief window of sunny days between June and October.

The reaction to such a conversion? “I have had nothing but jaw-drops and great comments,” he proclaimed. “Now, that’s to my face. I’m sure there are people that feel differently. I’ve been really surprised by some of the Porsche people — and I know a lot of them in town — some of them that are just hardcore, real Porsche fanatics.”

One in particular, his mechanic — a “very abrasive guy of German heritage” who’s “not too fond of electric cars, period” — enthusiastically approved of the 912 during a shakedown following a suspension adjustment, allaying Corlett’s fears of taking a classic Porsche and transforming it into a vintage EV. Nonetheless, he’s very happy with the overall response his car is receiving.

1966 Porsche 912 EV 17

Registration and insurance for a unique vehicle like this was easier to obtain than one might imagine. The most difficult part was importation from the U.S. to Canada, though this was waved away by declaring the 912 as just a restored vintage vehicle. Once at home, registration was simply a matter of switching the “G” — for gasoline — to “E” — for electric — on the paperwork.

Finally, though the 912 has standard insurance at present, it may soon have coverage better suited for its unique features, which would provide the benefit of being insured and appraised properly.

Range testing is ongoing as far as long drives are concerned, having gone as far south as Corlett’s P.O. Box in nearby Blaine, Wash., as well some handling issues that need to be resolved before taking it 9/10ths. In the meantime, he switches between the 912 and his 2011 BMW 135i, the latter his daily driver. His reasoning for the BMW is the same as the 911s before: the ability to go from the school and the studio during the week, to the track during the weekends when not piloting or showing the 912 EV.

As far as future electrification is concerned, an experience with the Tesla Model S has Corlett thinking of an EV suitable for his family’s needs. As the premium sedan is too large, he says the Kia Soul EV will likely fulfill the role, if only because the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive won’t be in Canada anytime soon.

By the way, he still has the electric Vespa, and he aims to have both it and the 912 out on the road to praise the sun next year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 1966 Porsche 912 EV 02 1966 Porsche 912 EV 03 1966 Porsche 912 EV 04 1966 Porsche 912 EV 05 1966 Porsche 912 EV 06 1966 Porsche 912 EV 07 1966 Porsche 912 EV 08 1966 Porsche 912 EV 09 1966 Porsche 912 EV 10 1966 Porsche 912 EV 11 1966 Porsche 912 EV 12 1966 Porsche 912 EV 13 1966 Porsche 912 EV 14 1966 Porsche 912 EV 15 1966 Porsche 912 EV 16 1966 Porsche 912 EV 17 1966 Porsche 912 EV 18 1966 Porsche 912 EV 20 1966 Porsche 912 EV 21 1966 Porsche 912 EV 22 1966 Porsche 912 EV 23 1966 Porsche 912 EV Spec Sheet

The post Ian James Corlett’s ElectroPorsche: From Beater To Electrifying Showstopper appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/ian-james-corletts-electroporsche-from-beater-to-electrifying-showstopper/feed/ 49
Wiedeking Ordered To Stand Trial Over Market Manipulation Charges http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/wiedeking-ordered-stand-trial-market-manipulation-charges/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/wiedeking-ordered-stand-trial-market-manipulation-charges/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=901441 Former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking may be facing jail time in the future if convicted on charges of market manipulation recently revived by a German court. Bloomberg reports the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court ordered both Wiedeking and former Porsche CFO Holger Haerter to stand trial in criminal court over the charges, linked to the failed […]

The post Wiedeking Ordered To Stand Trial Over Market Manipulation Charges appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Wendelin-Wiedeking

Former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking may be facing jail time in the future if convicted on charges of market manipulation recently revived by a German court.

Bloomberg reports the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court ordered both Wiedeking and former Porsche CFO Holger Haerter to stand trial in criminal court over the charges, linked to the failed takeover of Volkswagen AG in October of 2008. The court proclaimed it found “numerous indications” of a possible hidden agenda to increase Porsche’s stake in Volkswagen from 74.1 percent to 75 percent “as they could suggest the opposite evaluation by the lower court.”

Both Porsche and attorneys for the two defendants believe the charges to be without merit, especially as they were overturned in a lower court back in April due to lack of sufficient evidence. The regional court, however, states that as far back as 2006, Wiedeking had plans to take over VW in secret.

In addition to the criminal case, a few civil suits are waiting in the wings in Braunschweig, Stuttgart and Hanover. The plaintiffs — investors who believed Porsche had planned to assimilate VW months before the October 2008 takeover attempt — are seeking over €5 billion ($6.6 billion USD) in damages.

The post Wiedeking Ordered To Stand Trial Over Market Manipulation Charges appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/wiedeking-ordered-stand-trial-market-manipulation-charges/feed/ 6
Corvette Stingray Bests Viper, 911 In Sales Through First-Half Of 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/corvette-stingray-bests-viper-911-in-sales-through-first-half-of-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/corvette-stingray-bests-viper-911-in-sales-through-first-half-of-2014/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=867178 The current Corvette is doing well for itself as of late, not only moving off the lot at a greater clip between January and June of this year than last, but also besting the SRT Viper and Porsche 911. GM Authority reports 17,744 Corvette Stingrays made it to the highway during the aforementioned sales period, […]

The post Corvette Stingray Bests Viper, 911 In Sales Through First-Half Of 2014 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2014-chevrolet-corvette-stingray-convertible-red-front-end-in-motion-05

The current Corvette is doing well for itself as of late, not only moving off the lot at a greater clip between January and June of this year than last, but also besting the SRT Viper and Porsche 911.

GM Authority reports 17,744 Corvette Stingrays made it to the highway during the aforementioned sales period, over three times what was sold during the first six months of 2013. Meanwhile, only 354 Vipers managed to do the same — thanks to its high price and the velvet rope surrounding the one or two models available in most showrooms — as well as 5,169 of Stuttgart’s finest during those months. Nissan’s 370Z, priced much lower than the Stingray, also fared poorly against the Kentucky-built thoroughbred, 4,114 sold this year thus far.

Within the Chevy dealership, 2,723 convertibles and coupes left the lot in June, down from 3,328 in May. National Automobile Dealers Association forecasts the Corvette Stingray is on pace to hit 35,000 sold by the end of 2014, aided by the improved 2015 model and the introduction of the Z06.

The post Corvette Stingray Bests Viper, 911 In Sales Through First-Half Of 2014 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/corvette-stingray-bests-viper-911-in-sales-through-first-half-of-2014/feed/ 37
Porsche Developing Ferrari-Hunter With 600HP Flat-Eight http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/porsche-developing-ferrari-hunter-with-600hp-flat-eight/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/porsche-developing-ferrari-hunter-with-600hp-flat-eight/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 10:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=862113 Feeling outgunned by the Ferrari V8 family, Porsche is working on a suitable hunter that will be armed not with its long-standing flat-six, but with a new flat-eight. Autocar reports the new vehicle — dubbed the 988 within Stuttgart — is part of a new quartet of Porsches in development, including a turbo-four version of […]

The post Porsche Developing Ferrari-Hunter With 600HP Flat-Eight appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Porsche-988-rumors

Feeling outgunned by the Ferrari V8 family, Porsche is working on a suitable hunter that will be armed not with its long-standing flat-six, but with a new flat-eight.

Autocar reports the new vehicle — dubbed the 988 within Stuttgart — is part of a new quartet of Porsches in development, including a turbo-four version of the Boxster and Cayman, and an all-new 911. The 988 is expected to arrive in 2017, and may likely take after the 918 in looks with a long rear deck covering the mid-mounted flat-eight; all four new models will be in place by 2019.

Powering the quartet is a new family of boxers, ranging from the aforementioned 2-liter turbo-four — capable of 280 horsepower — to the 988’s 4-liter quad-turbo-eight, delivering 600 horses and ~400 lb-ft of 458 Italia-killing torque in testing.

Underpinning the quartets will be an all-new architecture that will use different backsides depending on the position of the boxer, shared front structures, and three front axles with optional hybrid/electric AWD such as the system powering the 918.

The post Porsche Developing Ferrari-Hunter With 600HP Flat-Eight appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/porsche-developing-ferrari-hunter-with-600hp-flat-eight/feed/ 21
BMW M235i Bests Corvette, 911 In Consumer Reports Road Testing http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/bmw-m235i-bests-corvette-911-in-consumer-reports-road-testing/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/bmw-m235i-bests-corvette-911-in-consumer-reports-road-testing/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 12:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=855833 BMW’s M235i has earned the highest marks ever bestowed upon the German automaker’s lineup from Consumer Reports, while also besting the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette in road tests whose results were recently released online. Bloomberg reports the coupe earned a 98 out of 100 in its road test, falling one point short of the […]

The post BMW M235i Bests Corvette, 911 In Consumer Reports Road Testing appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
BMW M235i HR 04

BMW’s M235i has earned the highest marks ever bestowed upon the German automaker’s lineup from Consumer Reports, while also besting the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette in road tests whose results were recently released online.

Bloomberg reports the coupe earned a 98 out of 100 in its road test, falling one point short of the all-time leaders, the Tesla Model S and Lexus LS460L. The 911 and Corvette, packing more firepower with less comfort than the M235i, earned 95 and 92 out of 100 in their respective road tests.

Deputy editor Jon Linkov proclaimed the M235i a “dual-purpose car” that anyone “could drive to work every day of the week” without leaving the driver in pain, followed by a weekend at the track taking on the likes of the 911 and Corvette. He added that this particular BMW “has almost a direct lineage” to BMWs of the past that lived up to the marketing of “Ultimate Driving Machine.”

Neither of the trio were recommended by the publication, however, as the BMW and the Corvette were too new for reliability reports, while the 911 has below average reliability according to those surveyed.

The post BMW M235i Bests Corvette, 911 In Consumer Reports Road Testing appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/bmw-m235i-bests-corvette-911-in-consumer-reports-road-testing/feed/ 33
JD Power Initial Quality Study Shows GM, Hyundai, Porsche Leading The Pack http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/jd-power-initial-quality-study-shows-gm-hyundai-porsche-leading-the-pack/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/jd-power-initial-quality-study-shows-gm-hyundai-porsche-leading-the-pack/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 12:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=846905 J.D. Power has released their U.S. Initial Quality Study for 2014, where General Motors, Hyundai and Porsche earned top marks despite consumers still struggling with the gizmology taking over their vehicles. Autoblog reports GM’s Buick, Chevrolet and GMC captured more awards than anyone else in the 2014 IQS, with six vehicles winning in their segments. […]

The post JD Power Initial Quality Study Shows GM, Hyundai, Porsche Leading The Pack appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2013 Buick Encore, Exterior, Front 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

J.D. Power has released their U.S. Initial Quality Study for 2014, where General Motors, Hyundai and Porsche earned top marks despite consumers still struggling with the gizmology taking over their vehicles.

Autoblog reports GM’s Buick, Chevrolet and GMC captured more awards than anyone else in the 2014 IQS, with six vehicles winning in their segments. Meanwhile, Hyundai and Porsche were ranked best overall mass-market and premium brand, respectively, where the former reported 94 issues per 100 vehicles reported in the first 90 days, 74/100 for the latter. Porsche also dominated the IQS, having the best score of all brands surveyed.

On the other end of the scale, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ranked poorly in the study, with Fiat holding dead last at 206 problems per 100 vehicles reported in the survey period. Jeep came second-to-last with 146/100, while Dodge was just below the industry average at 124/100. Only Ram and Chrysler fared the best, matching or just exceeding the average of 116/100.

Part of the results may be due to automakers pushing the envelope on technology and new features to make consumers’ lives easier. J.D. Power Vice President of Global Automotive David Sargent says “almost all automakers are struggling” to introduce these pieces “without introducing additional quality problems.” In turn, some consumers are noting the technologies involved are “hard to understand, difficult to use, or [do] not always work as designed.”

The post JD Power Initial Quality Study Shows GM, Hyundai, Porsche Leading The Pack appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/jd-power-initial-quality-study-shows-gm-hyundai-porsche-leading-the-pack/feed/ 49
Volkswagen To Triple SUV Lineup In Fight Against Toyota For Total Global Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/volkswagen-to-triple-suv-lineup-in-fight-against-toyota-for-total-global-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/volkswagen-to-triple-suv-lineup-in-fight-against-toyota-for-total-global-sales/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=836730 With Toyota still in its sights, Volkswagen plans to triple the number of SUVs in its lineup in its fight for the top sales podium among the Global Three. Bloomberg reports the current offerings — the midsize Touareg and compact Tiguan — will soon be joined by the upcoming seven-passenger CrossBlue-based SUV that will either […]

The post Volkswagen To Triple SUV Lineup In Fight Against Toyota For Total Global Sales appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Volkswagen-T-ROC-Concept-02

With Toyota still in its sights, Volkswagen plans to triple the number of SUVs in its lineup in its fight for the top sales podium among the Global Three.

Bloomberg reports the current offerings — the midsize Touareg and compact Tiguan — will soon be joined by the upcoming seven-passenger CrossBlue-based SUV that will either be assembled in Mexico or Tennessee, coupe and long-wheelbase versions of the Tiguan, the Touareg and a subcompact based on either the Taigun or T-ROC concepts. The strategy would provide VW with the opportunity to meet Toyota across the latter’s range on its way to beat the Japanese automaker in global deliveries by 2018, and would build brand strength in the United States and emerging markets such as China.

Meanwhile, Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche are also moving further into the SUV market, ranging from the Cayenne and new Macan — both of which are expected to account for 64 percent of all Porsche sales by next year, according to IHS Automotive — to the Q1 in 2016 and Urus in 2017. The overall game would net Volkswagen an operating profit boost over 6 percent of sales over the current rate of 2.9 percent, as SUVs are considered to be more profitable than other vehicles.

The post Volkswagen To Triple SUV Lineup In Fight Against Toyota For Total Global Sales appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/volkswagen-to-triple-suv-lineup-in-fight-against-toyota-for-total-global-sales/feed/ 14
Capsule Review: Lone Star Region Porsche Club’s Every-Man’s Autocross With A 911 Carrera 2 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/capsule-review-lone-star-region-porsche-clubs-every-mans-autocross-with-a-911-carrera-2/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/capsule-review-lone-star-region-porsche-clubs-every-mans-autocross-with-a-911-carrera-2/#comments Mon, 26 May 2014 16:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=812682 Porsches and drugs are similar vices. They’re expensive, rather addictive and always fun to try — at least once. But there’s always a “gateway” drug, a low-risk and easily accessible drug to just get a sniff of what the air smells like outside of the box. To the Porsche Club of America, whose events mostly […]

The post Capsule Review: Lone Star Region Porsche Club’s Every-Man’s Autocross With A 911 Carrera 2 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
10150795_10152172248628579_2002862088973711476_n

Porsches and drugs are similar vices. They’re expensive, rather addictive and always fun to try — at least once. But there’s always a “gateway” drug, a low-risk and easily accessible drug to just get a sniff of what the air smells like outside of the box. To the Porsche Club of America, whose events mostly comprise of High Performance Driving Events (HPDE) and track days, they needed a gateway race to warm Porsche owners up to the idea of exploring their car’s potential. What was needed was an autocross, a low-risk and affordable taste of motorsport.

Full Disclosure: Lone Star Region Porsche Club of America provided the 1990 911 Carrera 2 and entry fee for this event.

Enter the Lone Star Region Porsche Club of America’s (LSRPCA) refreshed autocross program. After a mild hiatus, the region restarted the autocross program to draw in new members; and partly to have another reason to autocross, these events can be as fun for the instructors as it can be for the entrants. The morning started at about 7:30 am, I arrived a bit early to talk to a few friends and meet the crew running the event. The staff was compromised of PCA members of all skill levels, from local autocrosses to seasoned factory Porsche racers.  As participants rolled in, the shape of the field began to take shape. There was a gaggle of Miatas, of course. I followed a white first-generation Boxster into the event. A pair of 1LE Camaros made an interesting appearance. A yellow 946 Turbo even made it in, and a venerable array of air-cooled and late model 911’s made up the last half of the field. As a truly open event; even one of the regular rallycross AE86 Carollas nearly made it to the event, but when the alternator quit alternating while driving to Houston, they had to give up on the trip.

DSC_9232
I met up with my friend, Seth, to meet the this 911 I’d be attempting to not ruin. A  beautiful red 1990 Carrera 2 sat in the middle of the lot, basking in the golden-hour light. The car is a clever compromise; the wife’s daily driver, and his weekend toy. With an agreed amount of mechanical sympathy, he shared the keys with me for a day. The ’90 911 Carrera 2 is a time machine. Not knocking on a modern Porsche, but the air cooled ones smell and feel like they’ve just rolled away from a craftman’s hands. Thoroughly brilliant driving dynamics wrapped up in a classic suit. Occasionally the mood is interrupted with a few gimmicks of the era, like a popup cassette tape holder, but you still can’t help wanting to don a smoking jacket and cigar after stepping away from the experience.

DSC_9222
Just look at it. Post-80’s bumper covers really did bring the styling of the then-new 964 up to spec of the modernized chassis. And that RS wing? A little gratuitous, but so perfect. The event is structured like an average SCCA Autocross. Registration and tech inspection are quick and painless, and there’s ample time for course walking at your own pace. Seth and I were walking the course, and talking about how to approach the course with the 911’s quirks in mind. We spotted a rookie pretty quick, a tall fellow in a salmon shirt and white Dockers, and went along to go introduce ourselves. Seth did a course walk around with him, one-on-one, to give a quick run through on course memorization and how to approach each section. We eventually caught up with the main group of instructors, who were leading a group course walk for all interested drivers.  While not a habit for SCCA Autocross, LSRPCA found it beneficial to set time aside to run the groups through and give an introductory lesson.

DSC_9241
The event is ran like a typical autocross. Entrants were given work assignments, a required job using the body count of entrants to help staff the event, mostly as corner workers. Autocrosssing regulars of the region make up the more critical elements the event; like handling lap timing, organizing drivers in grid, and timing the starting gap between drivers, as the course crosses itself in one section. Corner working is simple enough: keep an eye out for cars that have hit penalty cones, radio in the offenders, reset any dislodged cones, and generally be the eyes-and-ears of the event. My morning started running timing, experienced from helping run our local rallycross events. We started on time, and the run group was even keeping to schedule, something that can be difficult with new drivers figuring out the pace and rhythm of the time between runs. Things like drivers being unready when it’s time to queue up, slow driver changes with a shared car, little things.

DSC_9305
The diversity is refreshing. A healthy level of competitiveness is brought out of some drivers when a purple MX5 starts knocking down faster laps than a newly-bought 911. Most of the newer drivers were quick to adapt to the autocross format, and quickly found more and more time. Instructors were available two ways: They can drive you (in your own car, or one of their’s), or they can ride along and provide instruction. I wrangled Steve Bukowski, Performance Driving School Chair for LSRPCA, to help me adjust a bit quicker to the 911’s quirks. With in two laps, I had dropped around 3 seconds off my consistent, but slower early runs. My issue is a common one is a common one of mine. I regularly compete in rallycross. While it teaches a lot about weight transfer, corner entry is a different record in the juke box. My natural habit is to enter hot, upset the chassis, and rotate the car into corner with the nose facing the exit before I even reach the apex. This isn’t how you play autocross, and the Porsche would revolt with sobering understeer.

The 911 is a an interesting car to drive. They behave like nothing else, and if under-driven, will fight you in every direction. With poor weight transfer at lower speeds, it’ll understeer at turn in; and with poor throttle commitment will step out the rear like a rudder if you pull back. I knew that going in; never-lift was the contingency plan. If you trust it, and shift weight forward for just a second, the rear tires build a little slip angle, just enough so that you dial the steering wheel back to center. This is how the edge of a master chef’s knife feels — smooth, sharp. If exploited correctly, you can make a 911 truly dance wherever you want. But it takes work, it’s a state of mind. A break in concentration, or a lack of commitment, and it fights you.

DSC_9316

But it was easy to build confidence with the LSRPCA instructors, including Seth, my loaner 911’s owner. With an approachable, while still technical approach to instruction, his strength is in getting drivers past the mental barrier of entering performance driving. Raceday jitters can paralyze a person, and such was the case of a particular Boxster owner.

After my runs, my work assignment was to help operate the timing system. The system uses a two pairs of light sensors that start and end a unique timer for each car as they break through each pair of sensors. The times are automatically recorded by AX Aware, timing software ran on a tiny netbook. Raw times and raw penalties are separately recorded on paper, as backup.

If a run’s time exceeded 100 seconds, the timing system would begin to miscount the number of cars on course. This should never happen — but it started to happen during my work stint. We quickly identified the driver, and Seth approached him. He was making a common autocross-rookie mistake: Getting lost. Though Houston Police Academy has a nearly figure eight shaped road course, it connects to an open parking lot. Taking that parking lot full of cones, and visualizing a course in it is one of the toughest aspects to autocross. It can be infuriating when, despite the best attempts, the cones never translate into sense.

With the problem now identified, Seth worked with the driver over the next few runs. First thing was course navigation, second was keeping his eyes up, looking forward to the next turn — instead of looking down at the turn he was currently navigating. While the first run with Seth still timed out the system, his next run had dropped his time down into the mid-70’s; a remarkable 30 second improvement. Slowly, the driver began to enjoy himself. His fastest run came down to a clean 68 second run.

DSC_9291
This is who the LSRPCA wants to capture. The Porsche owner who has yet to truly explore their car correctly. It was later mentioned by another racer that our problem Boxster driver had been blasting through traffic that morning, perhaps a bit recklessly, on the way to the autocross. No doubt the autocross was a humbling, though productive experience for him. As drivers become more comfortable with high performance driving, they can easily step up to LSRPCA’s more regular track day events to further hone their skill. The autocross program, from its catered lunch to the friendly instruction, provides an attractive start for Porsche owners. If you’re around the Houston area, and have a Stuttgart speed machine in the garage, look into the Lone Star Region PCA’s website, here, to find out about future events.

The post Capsule Review: Lone Star Region Porsche Club’s Every-Man’s Autocross With A 911 Carrera 2 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/capsule-review-lone-star-region-porsche-clubs-every-mans-autocross-with-a-911-carrera-2/feed/ 19
Stuttgart Prosecutors Call For Appeal In Wiedeking Market Manipulation Ruling http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/stuttgart-prosecutors-call-for-appeal-in-wiedeking-market-manipulation-ruling/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/stuttgart-prosecutors-call-for-appeal-in-wiedeking-market-manipulation-ruling/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 13:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=816001 Two weeks after the Stuttgart Regional Court threw-out charges of market manipulation levied at former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking in December of 2012, prosecutors have called for an appeal of said ruling. Automotive News Europe reports the prosecutors filed a motion to gain more time to review the case prior to deciding whether to appeal […]

The post Stuttgart Prosecutors Call For Appeal In Wiedeking Market Manipulation Ruling appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
wendelin-wiedeking

Two weeks after the Stuttgart Regional Court threw-out charges of market manipulation levied at former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking in December of 2012, prosecutors have called for an appeal of said ruling.

Automotive News Europe reports the prosecutors filed a motion to gain more time to review the case prior to deciding whether to appeal the ruling made in favor of Wiedeking and former Porsche CFO Holger Haerter.

The charges in question came after an investigation of the October 2008 announcement that Porsche, under the former CEO and CFO, would use options to boost its ownership of Volkswagen from 74.1 percent to 75 percent, effectively taking control of the latter. The announcement briefly caused a run on VW stock among short sellers on the basis that the automaker would fail. The charges claim Porsche misled investors during the failed takeover.

The post Stuttgart Prosecutors Call For Appeal In Wiedeking Market Manipulation Ruling appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/stuttgart-prosecutors-call-for-appeal-in-wiedeking-market-manipulation-ruling/feed/ 4
VW Group, Led By Porsche, Aiming For 10 Million In Sales By Year’s End http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/vw-group-led-by-porsche-aiming-for-10-million-in-sales-by-years-end/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/vw-group-led-by-porsche-aiming-for-10-million-in-sales-by-years-end/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:37:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=771258 Volkswagen Group’s goal of selling 10 million units annually may come as soon as the end of 2014, with Porsche leading the way in operating profitability. Automotive News reports the target, originally set for 2018, is on-track to come this year, according to CEO Martin Winterkorn. The group sold 9.72 million units last year, beating […]

The post VW Group, Led By Porsche, Aiming For 10 Million In Sales By Year’s End appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Porsche-911-991-Targa-01

Volkswagen Group’s goal of selling 10 million units annually may come as soon as the end of 2014, with Porsche leading the way in operating profitability.

Automotive News reports the target, originally set for 2018, is on-track to come this year, according to CEO Martin Winterkorn. The group sold 9.72 million units last year, beating General Motors to become the world’s second-largest automaker.

Fueling the growth are rising volumes in Europe and China, and introductions of over 100 models between now and the end of 2015, including new and updated SUVs for Volkswagen and Porsche.

Speaking of Porsche, the premium sports car brand’s profit earnings tripled to 2.58 billion euro last year, while those of VW and Audi fell to 2.89 billion and 5.03 billion, respectively. Overall revenue for Porsche totaled 14.3 billion euro on sales of 155,000 units worldwide.

The post VW Group, Led By Porsche, Aiming For 10 Million In Sales By Year’s End appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/vw-group-led-by-porsche-aiming-for-10-million-in-sales-by-years-end/feed/ 8
Porsche’s Bernhard Maier: China Could Become No. 1 in 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/porsches-bernhard-maier-china-could-become-no-1-in-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/porsches-bernhard-maier-china-could-become-no-1-in-2014/#comments Fri, 10 Jan 2014 12:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=695753 In a sign that the 21st Century could belong to China after all, Porsche’s head of sales and marketing Bernhard Maier predicts that the United States will finish second on the podium to China as far as 911s and Macans are concerned by the end of 2014 at the earliest. Though Maier’s ultimate goal is […]

The post Porsche’s Bernhard Maier: China Could Become No. 1 in 2014 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Porsche 911 GT3-R Hybrid in China

In a sign that the 21st Century could belong to China after all, Porsche’s head of sales and marketing Bernhard Maier predicts that the United States will finish second on the podium to China as far as 911s and Macans are concerned by the end of 2014 at the earliest.

Though Maier’s ultimate goal is for Porsche to have “qualitative, sustainable and profitable growth” — defined as an ROI over 15 percent with a return on equity of over 21 percent, thus allowing Porsche to remain the most profitable automaker in the world while financing their investments through net cash flow — in opposition to volume, he believes that China could become the automaker’s No. 1 single market as soon as 2014, if not sometime in 2015, knocking the United States from the top.

In China, the Cayenne and Panamera are Porsche’s two best-sellers, with more growth potential in 2014 due to a product changeover with the second-generation Panamera creating a shortage in the market. Overall, their current balance of global sales is divided evenly between the Americas, Europe and Asia, with the Macan leading the way toward growth in mature and emerging markets.

Speaking of the Macan, Maier has high hopes for the compact SUV, which will debut in European showrooms in April, with the United States following soon after before China gets theirs in August. Serving as one of two entry points into Porsche’s paradise — the other being the Boxster — Maier expects 50,000 units to head out on the highway by the close of 2014, with overall sales fast approaching Porsche’s 2018 goal of 200,000 units/annually by next year.

Why so soon? Maier says that when Porsche outlined their strategy back in 2011, the automaker sought to go all in with both guns blazing the global marketplace. With market forces expecting an increase in the luxury segment by over 4.5 percent, and annual global sales demand climbing to 100 million, 200,000 yearly sales by 2015 appears to be possible.

The post Porsche’s Bernhard Maier: China Could Become No. 1 in 2014 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/porsches-bernhard-maier-china-could-become-no-1-in-2014/feed/ 9