Tag: 911

By on August 11, 2017

broken down car breakdown, Image: Marta_Photo/Bigstock

Long-time readers of TTAC know I am always willing to criticize Porsche in general, and PCNA in particular, for their oft-spectacular indifference towards their own customer base. For much of the previous decade, the company vacillated between denying fundamental problems with their M96/M97 engines and blaming those problems on the customers. When a reckoning finally came, it involved the United States legal system. I stopped buying Porsches more than a decade ago and have rarely felt tempted by the brand since.

With that said, it’s obvious the firm learned from its previous misadventures in consumer relations. The latest generation of flat-six engine, though not perfect, appears far less failure-prone than its predecessor. I’m hearing good things about the quality of recent-build Macans and Cayennes. Finally, there is this: Porsche has just announced a warranty extension to 120,000-miles on their 991.1 GT3 models. This program will go a long way towards holding up the resale value of these occasionally fragile automobiles.

Naturally, Porsche’s absolute mastery of PR has ensured that this warranty extension received nothing but positive press. Compare that to the infamous Honda “glass transmission” goodwill campaign that often saw cars with 90,000-miles on the odometer receive free transmissions nearly a decade after leaving the assembly line. It was often treated by autowriters as an example of Honda’s post-millennium fallibility, rather than as an example of monstrously expensive devotion to customer satisfaction.

We should commend both companies for their sensible and ethical approach to known defects in their automobiles. Which leads to the question: What other candidates are there out there for a program like this?

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By on July 27, 2017

2016 Chevrolet SS - Image: GM

Last week, we discussed the fact that the gap between automotive perception and automotive reality can lead to some remarkable cognitive dissonance on the part of “car people.” That’s why the breadvan Civic Si was sold as a budget-priced Bimmer-beater and the breadvan Scion xB was sold as a Portland-friendly mobile Millennial drum circle. They knew very few Civic “intenders” would look at a Scion and vice versa.

This sort of stuff runs rampant in the business and, if you want any further confirmation of it, just take a look at the staggeringly different demographic profiles for the mechanically similar Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon Denali, and Chevrolet Tahoe Premier.

But wait, there’s more. Thanks to a wide variety of advances in materials, design methods, and computing power, the capability envelope of modern vehicles is expanding in all directions. My 2017 Silverado 6.2-liter just got an average of 22.1 mpg on a 680-mile drive from Ohio to South Carolina; my 2006 Phaeton got 17 mpg flat on the same trip despite being a thousand pounds lighter, 100 horsepower weaker, and considerably more aero-friendly. Next week, you’re going to hear a lot about how the Audi TT-RS is faster than (insert name of supercar here) from 0-60. Much of that will be regurgitated pablum from a staggeringly expensive press trip that includes a private helicopter ride from Manhattan to Lime Rock, and some of it is due to advances in tire tech, but there’s some real truth to the fact that the mighty Ferrari Enzo can be humbled in a short sprint by a car that is basically a VW Jetta in a party dress.

As cars become more capable, they are also going to engage in hitherto-unseen marketplace conflicts. Should you buy a 7 Series Bimmer or a Denali XL? A Corvette or a Macan Turbo S? Which brings us to today’s unusual matchup… but before we click that jump, here’s a reminder to send your most burning questions to askjack@calamarco.com.

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By on October 19, 2016

2016 Porsche 911 Carrera

Let’s get one thing clear straight away: this car doesn’t exist on any Porsche lot. Finding a no-options Porsche 911 is like finding leftover beer at a frat party or a Prius owner who isn’t smug. If you want this, you’ll have to order it.

The base Porsche 911 Carrera starts at $89,400 and is devoid of extraneous technical frippery, making it closer in spirit to mythical 911s of the past than anything else in the current catalog. And yes, I’m aware of the existence of the psychotic 911 R and GT3 RS.
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By on September 15, 2016

Porsche Automoji Sticker Pack App

We all use our phones, and we all receive errant, unwanted eggplant emojis.

It’s time to fight back against this petrolless future with this Porsche-themed iMessage sticker pack for iOS 10 users.

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By on January 31, 2016

The year was 1984. Rally was all the rage. Danger was mainstream. And carcinogens weren’t exclusively advertised by the rumble of tailpipes.

Also in 1984, Porsche was developing a legend, but it was behind schedule: The 959 wasn’t ready when David Richards, the orchestrator of the Porsche-Rothmans deal, wanted to go rallying. So, along with Weissach, 20 examples of the Porsche 911 SC RS were built to take the manufacturer Group B rallying. Those cars also became the foundation of Prodrive, one of rally’s most famous teams.

This is one of those cars. Drifting. In snow.

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By on January 20, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Rebel

FCA has to clean up its act in a hurry, or pay a lot more to sell cars in the future.

That, Europe wants Volkswagen to treat its owners the same as American owners, General Motors’ lawyers get down and dirty and Porsche’s plug-in 911 … after the break!

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By on December 1, 2015

911 Turbo S und 911 Turbo S Cabriolet

Proving that all turbo Porsches aren’t created equal, Porsche announced Tuesday its eye-wateringly expensive 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S hardtop and droptop versions that make up to 580 horsepower and dropkick the car from 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds.

In the trunk is Porsche’s 3.8-liter flat-six married to twin turbochargers that spin up 540 horsepower in the Turbo and 580 hp in the Turbo S (20 more than the outgoing models). The Turbo produces 523 pound-feet of twist (553 pound-feet on overboost in the Turbo S) on the way up to its 7,000 rpm redline (7,200 in the Turbo S). Porsche didn’t directly specify its gearbox, but it’s a pretty safe bet that the new 911 Turbo will only come with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic because of course it will.

Both cars for the first time feature a quasi-antilag turbo system that reduces delay from the turbos by interrupting the fuel injection during changes in throttle position, according to the automaker.

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By on November 26, 2015

Porsche996d

Editor’s note: Some of you loved it. Some of you loved to hate it. Yoav’s story about his brief affair with a Porsche 996 was read far and wide by our own B&B and many in the Porsche community. It originally ran July 30th, 2015. I really should get Yoav back on TTAC.

About two months ago, I purchased my fourth new-to-me car in as many years — and I still had two of the previous three. Of those three, one was purchased for adventure (a 1977 Porsche 911S that I drove cross-country and back nine days after purchasing it), one because of nostalgia (a Honda S2000, I bought one new and missed it), and the third due to reputation (an Acura NSX, I had never even driven one before buying this one online). Those reasons must be the foundation for some sort of automotive cardinal sins list.

However, I bought the fourth one because it represented such a good value. It was a 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera with about 146,000 miles. It hadn’t had the IMS bearing replaced, but I figured that with such high mileage it probably wouldn’t have an issue. Is this foreshadowing? The seller was a friend who had owned it for about two years but had purchased a mid-eighties 911 Targa recently and didn’t want the ’99 as a daily driver any longer.

Painted a pretty medium blue, the 996 was equipped with a beige interior and GT3 wheels. It drove well and — except for mediocre clearcoat and worn leather, a ‘check engine’ light that appeared intermittently, and a blown speaker — it was a solid performer. I certainly didn’t need the Porsche (nor did I have the space), but at $8,500, how could I go wrong?

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By on November 12, 2015

singer-911-silver-15-1100x732

A few years ago, I wrote an opinion piece about Porsche vandal tuner RWB and the ethical aspects of damaging historically valuable air-cooled 911s. Some of you agreed, some of you disagreed, some of you took it very personally.

This past week the article gained some traction again via a wave of FB shares, which happens often enough that the RWB article is in the all-time top 25 most popular TTAC posts. This time, however, a few of the B&B had a new question to ask: What do you think about the “Porsche 911 Re-Imagined By Singer”?

Good question. As you’d suspect, I have an opinion on the subject. But the most fascinating thing about the Singer cars isn’t what they say about the company or its approach to rebuilding air-cooled Porsches; it’s what the Singer phenomenon says about Porsche itself.

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By on November 10, 2015

Nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Editor’s note: With SEMA just wrapped up, there seems to be some renewed interest in Jack’s take on RWB. Here it is for the rest of you who didn’t find it plastered all over Facebook the last couple of days. This article originally ran on November 8, 2011

When Porsche “tuner” Uwe Gemballa was found dead and wrapped in cellophane late last year, everyone in the Porsche community expressed sympathy for his wife and friends. Nobody deserves to be killed the way Gemballa was.

On the other hand, however, at least the guy wasn’t going to ruin any more Porsches. His “Mirage” 911-slant-nose-arossa-droptops were perhaps the most hideous custom supercars ever built, and Gemballa himself never really appeared to develop anything even remotely resembling an aesthetic sense. His goal in life appeared to be to simply create terrible cars, and he was reasonably successful at this. Porsche purists hated the guy. There was only one thing he could have done for us to have hated him more: he could have turned his attentions towards the irreplaceable aircooled cars once again and ruined more of them.

Which is precisely what “RWB” does.

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By on September 8, 2015

944t

So. They finally did it, didn’t they?

Porsche followed the lead of Ferrari (with either the California T or 208GTS, depending on your awareness of history) and Ford (with the Fiesta EcoBoost, of course) by making the entry-level 911 a small-displacement turbo. It had to happen, because in its successful quest to become primarily a manufacturer of unibody “trucks” Porsche became too large to reasonably plead an indulgence, er, exemption from Europe’s state religion of carbon-emissions laws. By the way, the next time you’re reading about the sale of indulgences and all of the other ridiculous behavior practiced by Christian Europe six hundred years ago and you’re feeling very smug about living in era where reason holds sway over craven superstition, take a nice long look at this and tell me how much difference you truly see between now and the era of Leo X.

Will Porsche’s switch to smaller, force-fed engines counterbalance even an hour of one region of China’s use of coal for power? It’s best not to think too much about that. Could Porsche accomplish a similar amount of carbon-production reduction by changing the engines in the Macan and Cayenne, perhaps giving them all ludicrous-pressure four bangers like the one in the AMG CLA 45 and therefore leaving the naturally-aspirated sports cars alone? We really don’t want to think about that. It would be like a husband wondering why his wife comes to bed in curlers but insists on a manicure before his brother stops by for dinner. Could it be that he’s no longer the most important member of the family?

This is not a train that we, the occasional Porsche buyers of America, can stop. And it especially is not a train that you, the person from the Internet who has never bought a Porsche but plans on picking up a Carrera G50 some time in the next ten years if the prices come back down, can stop. All we can do is look back at a few great Porsche Turbos and Monday-morning quarterback Porsche’s new product line.

Let’s do that, shall we?

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By on September 7, 2015

P15_0778_rgb_a4

Porsche announced on Sunday that when its new 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S go on sale in March 2016 they’ll be force-fed air through twin turbochargers — and not naturally aspirated like nature intended.

Instead of a 3.6-liter flat-six behind its rear wheels, the new 911 Carrera and Carrera S will sport a twin-turbocharged, 3-liter, flat-six engine. (Porsche didn’t directly specify in its statement the engine’s number of cylinders, so if you want to play a fun game today, read how some outlets have written around it.)

As our own Tim Cain points out, the output of the new turbocharged Carrera and Carrera S, which is 370 horsepower and 420 horsepower respectively, is shockingly close to the 415 horsepower produced by the 996 Turbo from 2000.

Unsurprisingly, Porsche boosted the price too — a new Carrera will run $89,400 before delivery and options, which is more than $5,000 dearer than the current generation.

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By on August 28, 2015

walker

You really can’t ask for a more pleasant, harmless example of schadenfreude than the recent, and well-publicized, decision by “outlaw” Porsche painter/sticker-applier/Vimeo-movie-star/used-clothing-retailer Magnus Walker to crash into his own car hauler. Nobody was hurt beyond his own sore back and no one besides Mr. Walker himself had any monetary loss from the incident. Heck, with the extra publicity it might be a net gain for the dreadlocked whiteboy from the United Kingdom.

Which leaves us, the viewers, absolutely free to laugh and/or gloat about the whole thing. But if we want to take a minute to be thoughtful about it, there’s a more important lesson to be learned, and it’s not “OMG THE 911 IS DANGEROUS EVEN FOR THE MOST TRAINED RACING SUPERSTAR”.

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By on August 7, 2015

Marta

Rather than begin in media res, let’s recap:

I sold my first Porsche 911 (a “993” as they call it, which means it was built sometime from 1995 to 1998 and was the last version of the 911 to feature air-cooling; mine was a 1996) to a nice guy in Minnesota.

The very next day, my second Porsche 911 (a “997,” which means it was built between 2005 and 2012 and was intended to fix the ugly looks and perceived dubious build quality of its immediate forebear — the “996” 911, which was the all-new car that succeeded the above-mentioned 993; my 997 was a 2007 example of the hardcore GT3 variant) met its end after a teenaged driver failed to yield immediately in front of me, resulting in a collision.

With no means of transportation beyond the shared mobility lifestyle or MARTA, it was time to start shopping for another car. I didn’t really have a defined budget, so I considered cars across a fairly wide price range.

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By on August 4, 2015

johnmido2

Last week, our own Doug DeMuro asked the B&B for their opinion on the stupidest automotive feature. He then gave his personal opinion as to what that feature might be. I’m here to tell you why he’s completely wrong, and why he’s probably also completely right.

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