Singer Vehicle Design, builder of meticulously re-imagined Porsches, has partnered with the advanced engineering arm of UK’s Williams F1 team. Together, they’ve created an incredible commission for a well-heeled classic Porsche enthusiast. The sales commission was probably pretty good, too.
With a focus on keeping the weight down, this “Dynamics and Lightweighting Study” has resulted in the beautiful machine you see here, cranking out 500 horsepower and weighing less than 2,200lbs.
Porsche is considering an electrified variant of the iconic 911, which isn’t all that surprising, considering Volkswagen Group wants a battery-enhanced version of every model it builds. But changing the 911 is tantamount to sacrilege among some circles and is likely to receive some mixed responses.
That said, it’s not as if the model remained unchanged since 1963. Porsche has implemented loads of electronic aids over the last decade and even chucked in a turbocharger. Besides, Ruf Automobile already built an all-electric 911 — which it called the eRuf Model A — way back in 2008. The foundation has been set. But we’re not convinced Porsche will walk that path.
Much more likely is that the company will use electric motors to supplement a semi-traditional internal combustion unit, or perhaps utilize a 48-volt mild hybrid system.
For over a decade, the Porsche 924 remained the brand’s entry-level sports car. During its 12-year run, Porsche shifted over 121,000 examples, meaning the normal 924 is not uncommon today and your local Craigslist probably has one for sale.
But what we have here is a special edition 924 that encourages you to buy vermouth while you’re out for a drive. This 924 is the Martini Championship Edition.
After an extended battle with his family, Ferdinand Piëch has finally acquiesced to resign from the board of Porsche Automobil Holding SE and sell off his remaining shares. At 80 years of age, leaving VW Group’s parent company was probably long overdue for Piëch, but you can’t help but wonder if the manner in which his retirement unfolded hasn’t left him bitter.
Still, with his 14.7 percent stake rumored to be worth over a billion euros, he’ll have the means to stage the most elaborate revenge any of us could possibly imagine — assuming that’s what he intends. One certainly could make the case that he’d have valid reasons for doing it.
It’s kind of difficult to imagine if you aren’t old enough to remember, but there was a period in the 1980s when the Porsche 911 was almost removed from the automotive landscape. In 1979, Porsche had made plans to replace the 911 with the new 928. The working logic was that the 911 was too quirky, impractical, and a bit of a handful. Porsche executives figured it just made good sense to swap it with something that had a broader appeal, especially as the company’s finances weren’t looking particularly robust at the time.
However, in 1981, Porsche AG found itself with a new chief executive — a German-born American named Peter Schutz. And he was having absolutely none of that nonsense.
Porsche is apparently seeking 200 million euros — or $234 million — in damages from its Audi stablemate over the costs associated with using its emissions cheating diesel engines. According to reports, Porsche has already issued its claim to Audi and the wheels of justice have been set in motion.
With no verified sources or official word from either automaker, the news is more than just a little strange considering both manufacturers are part of Volkswagen Group. However, Audi did supply both Porsche and Volkswagen with defeat device-equipped 3.0-liter V6s for use in various models. One of those models was Porsche’s Cayenne, and sales of the TDI variant were shelved as the scandal raged.
Porsche Is Mulling a Cayenne Coupe Because the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe Are Kings of the World
On this, TTAC’s authors and TTAC’s audience are largely in agreement: luxury sport utility coupes are not the answer to the vehicular challenges of this age.
So Porsche is probably going to build a Cayenne Coupe.
It’ll probably have four doors. It’ll probably be more expensive than a regular Cayenne. It will almost certainly not be as good or half as attractive as a Porsche Cayenne.
“It is very close to what you saw two years ago at Frankfurt,” Porsche CEO Oliver Blume says of the forthcoming production version of 2015’s stunning Mission E Concept.
“It will be exciting but a bit different from the concept,” Blume told CAR Magazine at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
That’s for beholders to gauge once the production version of the Mission E is pictured in 2019, when the model arrives exclusively with electric powertrains. Oliver Blume did, however, make clearer commitments relative to the Mission E that will delight Porschephiles and — perhaps — convert Tesla fans.
Right from launch, the Porsche Mission E — likely a 2020 model year vehicle — will be marketed with a 350 kW charge rate that “will be enough for a 400-kilometer range on an 80 percent charge,” Blume says. That’s 250 miles of range from a 15-minute charge. All of this in a car that Porsche claims accelerates from rest to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds and tops 155 mph, a car Porsche couldn’t have developed “so quickly without the 919” — the automaker’s Le Mans-winning hybrid endurance racer.
Plymouth Superbird. Lamborghini Countach. BMW 3.0 CSL. A80 Toyota Supra. Ford Escort Cosworth. Acura Integra Type R. Subaru Impreza WRX STI.
Some cars are indellibly linked with the rear wing that sat atop their trunklids. In some cases, the spoilers weren’t mandatory, but in your mind’s eye, you always envision the WRX STI and Countach with large aerodynamic addenda.
Certainly not every edition of the Porsche 911 is fitted with a rear wing. But from ducktails to speed-sensitive units to gigantic struts supporting flat planes, the Porsche 911’s shape has been connected to additional rear bodywork for decades. The faster the 911, the more likely you were to find an extra piece affixed to the “911” above its engine.
But times, they are a-changin’. And in an attempt to mute the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 for a mature, purist clientele, a new Touring Package deletes the GT3’s fixed rear wing and forces the fitment of a six-speed manual transmission.
Touring Package cost?
This season’s must-have fashion for high-end automakers is the proposed elimination of diesel-powered engines. Volvo may keep theirs, but only if they’re supplemented by an electrified unit after 2019, and the same is true for both Jaguar and Land Rover. Mercedes-Benz hasn’t been quite so overt about its own diesel death, but it is pressing aggressively toward mild hybrids.
However, no manufacturer has the same incentive to distance itself from diesels as Volkswagen Group. Porsche, Audi, and VW all suffered from the company’s emissions scandal. Moving away from the fuel was to be expected, but Porsche’s chief executive hints diesel death may occur within a year as the company decides the future of the next-generation Cayenne.
When we previewed the new SUV last month, Porsche mentioned a pair of turbocharged gasoline engines but no diesel option. That was because the brand is still investigating whether diesel even has a place in the Cayenne and, by extension, the rest of its fleet.
Porsche revealed a new, third-generation Cayenne on a new platform late last month, but the U.S. arrival of the third version of Porsche’s original SUV won’t take place until the second half of 2018.
While the new Cayenne will be sold in some markets as a MY2018 vehicle, the 2018 Cayenne on this side of the Atlantic is the outgoing Cayenne. Yes, that Cayenne, the Cayenne that’s suffering from a sharp sales decline.
In August 2017, the Cayenne’s gradual and not entirely unpredictable old-age decline was matched to a sudden downward shift from its smaller sibling, as well. Macan sales plunged 29 percent last month. Cayenne volume was down 28 percent. Jointly, the duo lost 1,003 sales, year-over-year.
You know what that means. The [s]overwhelming majority[/s], [s]the lion’s share[/s], [s]most[/s], [s]nearly half[/s], more than a third of the vehicles sold in Porsche’s U.S. showrooms in August 2017 were sports cars. Yes, Porsche still builds sports cars, rather decent ones, in fact. And in August, Porsche’s sports car sales were very healthy indeed.
Back in August, Tim Cain reported on some rather strong statements made by McLaren. The company’s chief engineer proclaimed that McLaren stood alone among true sports car offerings — quite a stance to take, indeed. Don’t worry, the statement was not without very specific qualifiers.
Today we ask you to set your own qualifiers (or definition) around that term tossed around more than a football: sports car. What defines the breed for you?
Though not the first BMW-powered vehicle in our Rare Rides series, and not the first with two doors, it is the first BMW convertible we’ve seen here. And the two aforementioned doors on this little convertible have One Simple Trick up their sleeve — disappearing into the body of the car. It’s the kind of detail you’d only expect on some crazy old Citroën.
But that’s not the only unique aspect of the Z1. Want to learn something?
The Macan may be Porsche’s best-selling vehicle, but it owes all of its success to the Cayenne. When the SUV began production in 2002, we all scoffed and claimed it would never work. But the vehicle’s success has had us feasting on crow for the last 15 years.
About to enter its third generation, the Cayenne doesn’t appear to have changed much at a glance. Appearances are often deceptive, however, and this would be a prime example of the phenomenon. For 2019, the SUV comes equipped with new engines, new brakes, a new transmission, and gobs of added tech.
Visually, Porsche says the “the new Cayenne retains a strong visual connection to its predecessors.” If that’s code for saying it looks nearly identical to the previous model and, by extension, all modern Porsches, then it wasn’t very difficult to decrypt. But the German automaker knows it has an incredibly well-established design language. It’s not about to shake things up for the sake of being different.
2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Offers Industry-First Braided Carbon Fiber Wheels For The Price Of A Ford Fiesta
Porsche claims to be the first automaker to bring braided carbon-fiber wheels to a production car by offering a quartet of ultra-strong, ultra-light, dark grey rims as an optional upgrade on the 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series.
You remember the one. It’s a regular ol’ 911, only turbocharged and upgraded to S trim and then further upgraded with 27 more horsepower for — make sure you’ve swallowed that last bite — $67,000. There will only be 500. The top speed is 205 miles per hour. The total cost is $257,500, or roughly the cost of a regular 911 Turbo S and a Macan GTS. There’s a lot of Golden Yellow Metallic.
And for the price of a 2017 Ford Fiesta, you could upgrade your 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series with $14,980 wheels.
Yesterday, Tim Cain reported on the new Chevrolet Tahoe Custom trim, which lowers the point of entry on the Tahoe by $3,750 for 2018. If you’re a nerd and enjoy trim-level discussions like I do, this is an important moment. For the first time since the Tahoe grew to four doors in 1995, you’ll be able to buy a trim lower than the LS.
This new (relatively) low-cost trim is seen by many Internet Car Enthusiasts here at TTAC as the way forward: dispensing with unnecessary options like infotainment, large wheels, and a third row seat that rarely sees use. Seems like a decent enough idea, so let’s take it across the board today.
Which vehicles deserve a cost-cutting trim level?
In most cases, it’s a foregone conclusion. When there are multiple bodystyles available, the fewest number of buyers exist for the wagon.
The Porsche Panamera’s case is unique, however. There is no Porsche Panamera sedan. This is a battle between the regular second-generation Porsche Panamera — a hatchback or liftback or fastback or backbackbackgone or whatever you want to call it — and the new Sport Turismo, a shooting brake five years in the making.
Yet with limited practical benefit, “It’s a question of taste; some people like the Sport Turismo more, some people like the sports sedan more,” Porsche’s sales and marketing director told Stefan Utsch, told Motoring.
80 percent of taste buds apparently prefer the regular Panamera.
Rental Car Review: 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera or, I Rented a Porsche to Meet Magnus Walker and I Didn't Even Get a Lousy T-shirt
“You wanna roll up to this thing with Magnus tomorrow?”
It’s amazing how many times I’m just minding my business, living my best life, and I run into my old friend Matt Farah. In this case, we happened to both be in Miami at the same time for work. My work, of course, being of the cubicle-dwelling, advertising-selling variety, and his being of the driving-an-Aventador S-around-Wynwood-slowly-in-front-of-cameras variety. Naturally, I insisted that we meet up at the most Miami place I could think up, Lagniappe, for some wine, jazz, and excellent company on a Tuesday night.
Turns out that Matt’s good friend and occasional TTAC subject, Magnus Walker, was doing a book signing the following evening at Parkhaus1, a veritable institution in the Porsche community. I normally despise this sort of thing. I’m not a particularly social person to start with, and while I had never made the acquaintance of Mr. Walker and I assumed he was a pleasant and genial fellow, I’m not one to stargaze at another grown man.
“Nah, man. Besides, what would I show up at Parkhaus in? My rental Grand Cherokee (which, by the way, is an excellent vehicle and totes deserving of its own review)?”
“Why don’t you get on Turo and rent something dope?” (Matt says “dope” a lot. And “dank.” I’ve tried his vernacular on for size but it doesn’t work for me.)
Now there’s an idea.
A Porsche dealership in Hamburg, Germany fell victim to a fire targeting roughly a dozen vehicles last night and there is some speculation on whether or not the arson was politically motivated — primarily due to its close proximity to this weekend’s G-20 summit. Relegated primarily to 718s and Macans, firebugs apparently missed some of the hotter ticket items in the showroom to burn the less-expensive models sitting in the lot. However, at least one Porsche 911 went up in smoke, along with an almost unrecognizable Panamera.
While the fire may have been unrelated vandalism or insurance fraud, Hamburg protesters spent a portion of the evening starting dumpster fires and setting cars ablaze in other parts of the city. They’ve since geared up and organized for a weekend of globalist opposition near the city’s center as police rolled in with water cannons and riot gear. Organizers of Thursday’s demonstration have titled the event “G-20: Welcome to Hell.”
2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS: FWD, CVT, Semi-Autonomous, Five-Seat Sports Crossover Marketed With Earth Dream Emojis
If you’re going to spend $294,250 on a 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, revealed today at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, you undoubtedly are a Porschephile with high expectations.
That’s why Porsche, having already jettisoned the six-speed manual transmission for a faster-shifting, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, has removed the concept of shifting altogether. What can shift faster than a continuously variable transmission, which doesn’t have to shift at all?
911 GT2s have always been a handful in the wet because of Porsche’s need to distinguish the GT2 from the all-wheel-drive 911 Turbo. That’s unacceptable now, so Porsche has made the CVT-equipped 911 GT2 a front-wheel-drive car.
While the United States concluded its investigation into Volkswagen Group’s diesel emissions scandal months ago, the wheels of justice turn appear to turn more slowly in Germany.
Prosecutors in Stuttgart have launched a preliminary investigation into employees at Porsche to assess whether they were involved in designing any of the company’s emissions-cheating software. Porsche is the latest addition in a governmental probe against Volkswagen Group. German prosecutors have already launched a formal investigation against the core brand and Audi.
Prosecutor Jan Holzner explained on Thursday, however, that the Porsche inquiry was not yet a formal investigation. The same could not be said of managers at Bosch, who Holzner believes may have had a role in aiding and abetting Volkwagen’s emissions fraud.
Porsche unveiled its most powerful production 911 in history and not exactly where you’d expect. Dodge saved the unveiling of its much-teased Challenger SRT Demon for the New York International Auto Show, so where did Porsche choose to present the new GT2 RS? The Electronic Entertainment Expo — the world’s premiere video game convention.
There are two ways to look at this sacrilege. You can either take offense, accusing the brand of betraying its fervent automotive base, or you can see this as one of the smartest marketing choices it could have made. E3 has a lot of eyes on it and video games are a booming industry. For a long time Porsche cars weren’t even in most video games, thanks to an exclusive deal made with Electronic Arts. When that ended, the brand slipped its cars into Forza Motorsport 6 through downloadable content, and the GT2 RS is on the cover of Forza Motorsport 7.
Let’s stop beating around the bush. The Porsche 911 Turbo S is slow.
At first, the upgrade from a proletarian, 370-horsepower 911 to the 540-horsepower 911 Turbo sounds momentous. But, pfft. Puh-leeze.
The 911 Turbo S should therefore be the answer. 570 horsepower. Nought to 60 in 2.9 seconds. 205 miles per hour.
But I remain unimpressed. You remain indifferent. The Porsche 911 Turbo S is found wanting.
Porsche recognizes this. Porsche has heard our demanding cries for a genuinely fast car. This is the Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. It is very exclusive, very expensive, and finally, the 911 Turbo S is sufficiently quick.
I sure have enjoyed my European adventure, although as usual when I’m overseas, much of what I see makes no sense to my adopted-Midwesterner eyes. Here’s an example: Why is it that I see more Porsches out and about in my home town of Powell, Ohio, than I do when I’m visiting Germany? If I am on an Ohio freeway for 20 minutes, I will see a Porsche; if I am on an Ohio freeway for an hour and it is not snowing, chances are that I will see a real Porsche, meaning something with just two doors and an engine behind the driver. There are a half-dozen 911s garaged within a mile of my house of which I am aware, which means that there are probably a lot more of which I am not aware, because general awareness is not my finest personal quality.
You would think the place where they actually build Porsches (some of them anyway) would have a lot more of them than Ohio does, the same way that Ohio has a lot more Honda Accords per capita than you’d find in, say, New Mexico. It is not so. Unless you are in the immediate vicinity of the Nurburgring, Porsches are virtually non-existent on the roads of the Fatherland. Maybe they know something we don’t, or maybe they’re just not buying Caymans and Cayennes at the moment because they are spending all their money on subsidizing all those nice young fellows arriving from parts unknown.
Speaking of Porsches, it’s time for Part Two (Electric Boogaloo!) of Ask Jack: Stuttgart Edition.
Porsche Automobil Holding SE has denied it intentionally misled investors over the severity of the VW emissions cheating crisis in 2015. With Volkswagen AG’s Chief Executive Officer Matthias Müller now personally caught up in the growing market manipulation investigation, it was only a matter of time before Porsche Automobil Holding released a statement to assure investors the board had done its job appropriately.
Müller’s joining of former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, supervisory board chair Hans Dieter Poetsch, and board member Herbert Diess as the focus of government probes has made the situation appear fishier than a trawler’s top deck. However, at this week’s annual shareholders meeting, Poetsch said he is convinced none of the board members are guilty of any wrongdoing — presumably, he included himself in the statement.
“We perceive all legal claims against Porsche SE relating to the diesel issue as unfounded,” he explained.
Guten Tag, err’body! This week, I have forsaken the bucolic paradise of Powell, Ohio, for the pretty much identical town of Nurburg, Germany. I’m in possession of a very fast and very green British car (you can see more details on my Instagram, if you care) and I’m already breaking the hearts of many a Porsche owner through the long curves and blind hills of The Favorite Race Track Of Everybody Who Has Never Actually Raced Anything.
Although I’m far from the only heretic in attendance — Corvettes are more popular than you would expect, in particular — this place is absolutely rotten with late-model Porsches, most of which have been repulsively festooned with a variety of wings and stickers and doodads. So this seems like a good week for an Ask Jack Double Feature, in which we will consider a pair of Porsche-purchase dilemmata. We will get all of this Weissach-centric silliness out of the way this week, and that way when I’m back in the States a week from today I won’t have to think about Porsches for a nice long time.
Let’s start with Jay, who is wondering: To GTS or not to GTS?
Porsche was set to roll out a plug-in hybrid version of the next-generation 911, however the German automaker has now decided not to move forward with the project.
Development lead for the 911 and 718, August Achleitner, told Car And Driver in a recent interview the plug-in hybrid 911 would have introduced too many compromises. While the electrified sportscar would have been extremely efficient, the hybrid powertrain would have made it several hundred pounds heavier than a standard 911, robbing it of some athleticism.
The Pretty New Porsche Panamera Is Already Way More Popular Than the Ugly Old Porsche Panamera Ever Was
The first second-generation Porsche Panamera I ever spotted was missing its front end. It was still distinctly more attractive than the first-generation Porsche Panamera ever was.
My house is near the CN Autoport in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia. Dozens of stevedores drive mostly European-built new vehicles off Wallenius Wilhelmsen ships to parking lots near a main road, incidentally known as Main Road. Typically, if I time my drives past just right, I see long lines of new cars, such as the British-built Honda Civic Hatchback or the Volvo V90, weeks before a single one arrives at your local dealer.
Ever so slightly closer to my home than the Autoport itself is a smaller building where the damaged vehicles go. Today, there’s a Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, sans rear bumper, parked outside. A few months ago, mere seconds before feasting my eyes upon a line of second-gen Porsche Panameras, I saw the aforementioned damaged Panamera. “Maaaaaan, that car is pretty.”
And then I remembered the old Panamera, vomiting a bit in my throat at the thought. And then I saw Porsche’s April 2017 U.S. sales figures. Scroll down, scroll down, there it is: Panamera. 1,098 sales.
Double its typical monthly output. 26-percent better than its previous best. Triple April 2016’s volume.
And proof people prefer pretty.
A segment of the automotive enthusiast community holds a real prejudice against convertibles. While the majority of the ire stems from an irrational bitterness or assumption that any car that sacrifices any amount body stiffness for style is inherently wrong, there is one valid complaint: most convertibles are less safe in a crash than a hardtop.
With that in mind, Porsche has patented an airbag concealed within the A-pillar specifically designed to protect soft-top occupants in the event that the windshield frame bends toward their fragile skulls during an accident — a handy feature for a vehicle lacking roof support. However, there is no reason the system couldn’t also be implemented in vehicles with a rigid ceiling.
While still exclusive, Porsche is gradually becoming a more populous and profitable brand. It delivered 238,000 vehicles last year and posted an operating profit of $4.1 billion — a 14-percent increase over 2015’s accounting.
A little back-of-the-envelope math places the per-car profit at roughly $17,250. As a premium automaker, you’d expect it to rake it in on every vehicle sold. However, Porsche doesn’t limit production to the same extent that Ferrari does in order to maintain artificially high prices. And it absolutely decimates other premium brands that offer exclusivity at a higher volume. BMW and Mercedes-Benz both hover at around $5,000 in profit per car.
Porsche seems to have struck an ideal balance. While its per-car profit was actually higher a few years ago — $23,000 in 2013 — it wasn’t making quite as much money overall. At the time, Bentley pulled in roughly 21 grand per unit and sold fewer vehicles overall. Since then, Porsche has shifted some of its focus downmarket, introduced the Macan, expanded its volume, increased income, and still managed to maintain a sweet profit margin on every vehicle sold.
How did it manage that? Basically, the same way Ford wrangles its F-150.
Meet the new Porsche 911, Porsche will say in two years, same as the old Porsche 911. Same as the 911 before that, which was same as the old 911 before that and, well, you get the picture.
If you’re looking for the kind of revolutionary design changeover seen when Ford introduced a new Mustang in 2005 or Dodge unveiled a new Ram for 1994 or Hyundai debuted the 2011 Sonata, you’re looking at the wrong automaker.
This is the Porsche 911 we’re talking about, the car that causes other automakers to believe they, too, can merely tinker with existing models to please loyalists and protect their resale values. (We’re looking at you, Chevrolet Camaro.) This is the Porsche 911, a car that still carries its engine where Camrys carry groceries. This is the Porsche 911, a vibrant $90,450–201,450 ode to success that sells more often than budget-minded Toyota sports cars and Buick convertibles.
There’s absolutely no reason to change it. As a result, the Porsche 911 that will drop in 2019, CAR Magazine has revealed, will scarcely be distinguishable from the outgoing 911.
Replacing the lead singer in an iconic rock band is a thankless task. Van Halen fans never fully embraced Sammy Hagar. Paul Rodgers’ recent stint as lead singer with Queen was okay, I guess, and Axl Rose is now screaming it out in front of AC/DC. All fantastic singers and more than worthy in their own right, but how to you replace David Lee Roth, Freddie Mercury and Brian Johnson?
Enter Porsche’s 2017 reboot of its beloved mid-engine Boxster/Cayman. Same deal. The operatic flat-sixes that have propelled this duo since their respective inceptions sing no more, replaced by a pair of gruff turbo flat-fours.
Oh, the conundrum.
The name Prodrive isn’t one you’ll stumble across every day, and sounds a bit like a company that might offer teen driving courses. However, it’s one of the world’s most successful race car shops, and bests many individual manufacturer efforts.
How does six World Rally Championships, four Le Mans wins, five World Endurance Championships, and four British Touring Car Championships victories sound for a start?
But while “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” is the parable that motivates many marques in motorsport, Prodrive sells no road cars.
How does a small, generally unheard of firm compete against the likes of Porsche, Honda, and Ford? Simple — those companies hire Prodrive to run their race programs.
Earlier today, I published an article regarding the newest Porsche Club of America auction. Shortly after it went up, I received an email from Vu Nguyen, PCA’s Executive Director. In this email, Mr. Nguyen managed to refrain from calling me an idiot or implying that I could not read contest rules. But this is what he did say:
European Union officials are threatening to sue four countries, including Germany and Britain, for permitting Volkswagen AG to sell vehicles that were designed to cheat on emissions tests. The union has faced growing criticism for taking a more laissez-faire approach to handling the issue while the United States forced the company to settle $15 billion in legal claims.
Meanwhile, German regulators are looking into whether Porsche intentionally manipulated fuel economy data on its vehicles — creating a potential subplot in Volkswagen’s never-ending emissions-cheating scandal.
Countless hours of development, design and construction. Exacting details wrought in boardboardrooms and wind tunnels. Exotic materials, experimental engine designs, hand crafted bodies. The goal?
Simple. Make the fastest car in the world.
But even if a designer or firm achieves that goal, they don’t necessarily have a winner on their hands. Even when the facts and figures support one supercar design over another, intangibles often decide which one will be a success.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some superlative automobiles over a few decades and see how fate played out.
Though it may seem hard to believe, we’re only a month away from celebrating the 50th anniversary of the start of the Wedge Era in automotive designs.
To those of us who still think of the Countach as a sharp enough design to be considered cutting edge, this is a sad reality. Yet the prototype of what would become the 1980s poster child was first shown in a hard-to-conceptualize 1971.
The influence of the angle extended far beyond the Countach in the 1980s. It also started before the scissored doors opened on the stand in Geneva in 1971 and was seen in many more marques than just those wearing the Raging Bull. Even more impressive than its age is the reach of these designs, some of which are still being refined today. So, let’s take a look at some of the interesting and influential doorstop shapes and where they later found a home.
There are currently over one thousand 2014 through 2016 model year Cayenne TDIs in the United States that Porsche cannot sell, all thanks to VW Group’s ongoing emissions fiasco. You might be wondering what Porsche plans to do with its stop-sale utility vehicles. Recycle them? Ship them all to Germany? Burn them on the world’s largest-ever funeral pyre?
Porsche says it doesn’t anticipate the introduction of any vehicles smaller or cheaper than the Macan and 718 in the current production lineup. That’s bad news for anyone who was holding out for Porsche to build a modern day 914/4 and great news for a premium automotive company that doesn’t want to sully the brand with an affordable dud.
J.D. Power & Associates has released its sales satisfaction index, and there’s a familiar tri-shield insignia gracing the top honors. There were also a slew of stinkers we are gradually growing accustomed to seeing on the bottom any list denoting some form of quality.
Tranquility returns to North America as FCA’s ill-fated minivan assembly plant prepares itself for a return to active duty.
That, the used car rulebook is getting an update, an autoworkers’ union puts its hand out for government cash, and Porsche shrinks the price-tag and stretches the length of the Panamera … after the break!
I should have known better than to get excited. My old friend Brian Makse posted a photo of a four-cylinder 718 Cayman S with what appeared to be a partial cloth seat. This is not something that TTAC readers will know about your humble author, but cloth interiors in Porsches are my thing, man. Long before Singer was charging $400,000 to put plaid door cards in an old 964, I had “cloth interior” on my list of things to find in my next Porsche. It’s a tough ask for any car from Weissach after 1982 or thereabouts, and in fact, of the three 9-somethings I’ve owned, only my 944 had anything besides leather on the seating surfaces.
So you can imagine my excitement when I saw cloth in (what should be) the entry-level Porsche. I was so worked up that I stopped doing what I was doing, which was building a Watkins Glen Grey Grand Sport with Hyper Green stripes online, and promptly pulled up the Porsche website to build a cloth Cayman of my very own. I kind of thought it would be a no-cost option to have a fabric seat, but I secretly hoped it was one of those options where you actually get some money back, like a sunroof delete.
You all know how naive this was on my part, right?
With Porsche’s four-door sedan looking less and less like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Paris Motor Show will see Porsche unveil the fourth model in the Panamera line: a plug-in E-Hybrid with all-wheel drive and an electric range of 31 miles (that’s 50 kilometres for the rest of us).
More than just a luxury sportscar with green overtones, Porsche’s new plug-in packs a grab-bag of technology that other Volkswagen Group brands will want to get their hands on.
Want to Buy a Classic Porsche? Here Are 10 Limited Edition 924s That Aren't Selling for Bonkers Prices
There are few better ways to get instant recognition as a connoisseur of cars than to drive a classic. People will applaud your discerning taste, your unique choice in an age of appliance automobiles. Good for you!
You’ve decided to get something German because you like your 1970s classic to run. And you’d like a sports car, which pretty much makes Porsche your default choice. Few models now generate the collective automotive “OOoooo!” of the air-cooled 911. It’s so cool, it’s backwards!
But then you find out what classic 911s cost. If you’ve been living under a rock recently, prices for classic and rare 911s are through the roof. One of the last great air-cooled models just sold at RM Sotheby’s London Auction for £1,848,000. I’ll save you some quick math: that’s $2,460,242 USD at time of writing.
As you wipe the coffee from your screen, allow me to suggest it doesn’t have to be this way. You, too, can have an obscure, classic Porsche for only around 1/1000th the price of an air-cooled 911.
This must be getting boring for the guys and gals in Stuttgart.
For the 12th year in a row, Porsche ranked first in J.D. Power’s new vehicle appeal study, but other automakers are closing in on its crown.
This year’s Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study found that driver-assist safety features cause drivers to fall in love with their vehicles. They also bore friends and co-workers by talking about it all the time.
News Round-up: Oil's Ups and Downs, Porsche Panamera Leaked, and Women Driving Crossover Sales Growth
After a short rally in the price of oil, WTI and brent crude prices have plateaued over the last week ahead of an OPEC meeting Thursday, and increased oil production from Iraq beginning next month.
That, Porsche leaked the new Panamera, and women are more likely to buy vehicles on their own after the jump.
The Porsche 944 is an excellent example of the kind of car that’s worth pretty decent money when in great condition … and worth scrap value beyond a fairly strict threshold of perceived thrashedness. I see plenty of 944s at the fixed price, high-inventory turnover, self-service yards (not to mention many more blowing up in 24 Hours of LeMons races), but I don’t feel inspired to document these cars in their final parking spaces most of the time.
This beat-to-crap early 944 in a San Jose yard, however, caught my attention for some reason.
A pissed-off motorist wants the world to know that a service technician working at a dealership that might take rolled-up bills as a downpayment took his car on an alleged powder-fueled joyride. And he has dashcam video of the whole thing.
A revealing video posted to Youtube yesterday by user “Carrera Chris” documents the April 12 point-of-view journey of his vehicle as it leaves a Palo Alto Audi dealership with the technician behind the wheel.
A federal judge has ruled against a lawsuit that claimed the Porsche Carrera GT driven by actor Paul Walker and Roger Rodas was to blame for their fatal crash.
The suit, filed by Kristine Rodas (widow of the driver), claimed that the Porsche lacked key safety features that contributed to the death of both men, but no evidence could be found to support this.
Front-wheel drive, four-cylinder cars have defined the automotive C-segment for decades, but maybe these automakers aren’t dreaming big enough.
That’s the message being sent by global technology supplier GKN Automotive, which really, really wants automakers to buy a lower-cost version of its eAxle for use in affordable compacts. GKN says the unit would allow the segment to more easily offer electric all-wheel drive and plug-in capability.
Developed by the GKN Driveline division, a high-end version of the eAxle exists in the BMW i8, Porsche 918 and Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in.
Volkswagen Group has until the end of the day Tuesday to submit its final plan to the Environmental Protection Agency regarding its illegally polluting 3-liter TDI engines, primarily used in Audi vehicles, reported Automotive News on Monday.
The deadline comes after an earlier proposal to fix 2-liter TDI vehicles was rejected by the regulatory agency and before Audi takes to the airwaves during Super Bowl 50 where we hope it’ll use the opportunity to tell us something more than just “buy this new, fancy, non-diesel car.”
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.
TTAC News Round-up: There's Something in the Water in Flint, Quebec Company Still Trading on Tesla's Name, and Our Cadillac CT6 Invite Got Lost in the Mail
Flint, Michigan’s water system is in dire straits thanks to a bad decision made by emergency managers. Now lead that’s seeping into drinking water is poisoning thousands of children in the city.
That, Dubuc Motors really wants you to think they are related to Tesla, Jeep might be going commando, Porsche will continue to beat others over the head with a stick, and reviews for the Cadillac CT6 have hit the interwebs … after the break!
Looking for a place to park that retirement cash? Find a Porsche crest.
Last year, the average sale price for 1974-1977 Porsches increased by 154 percent, according to Bloomberg — and the prices aren’t expected to drop anytime soon, according to the report.
“European sports cars in general have been on a real rise in the last couple of years,” Gord Duff, from RM Sotheby’s, told Bloomberg. “Ferraris lead the way and then you go to the next greatest European sports cars, which are Mercedes, and then you get to Porsches. If we are saying Mercedes have peaked, Porsches are the next best thing.”
Five new chiefs for research, sales and production will lead Volkswagen, the automaker announced Thursday, including a new engineering chief to replace Ulrich Hackenberg, the longtime boss at the center of the diesel cheating scandal.
The automaker also announced a smaller, more linear organization for its chiefs. Volkswagen cut in half the number of managers who report directly to new CEO Matthias Müller, according to the automaker, which could help end the cutthroat corporate culture that contributed to the pressure to appease former CEO Martin Winterkorn.
“These structural changes speed up the decision-making process, reduce complexity and increase efficiency,” Müller said in a statement.
Porsche announced Wednesday that it would change the model names for 2016 of its Boxster and Cayman models to “718 Boxster” and “718 Cayman” because there was once a race car in the 1950s and 1960s that had four cylinders and competed in a bunch of races, I guess. Either that, or Porsche is really into the Queens area code.
Oh yeah, and the company confirmed what we heard in September: the mid-engined Stuttgart machines will get a turbo fours instead of flat sixes from here on out. (Maybe GT4 models will retain the 3.8-liter six. Maybe.)
The name change seems, well, odd. Despite the loose association with a 60-year-old car, the switch to 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman seems to add a level of unnecessary naming convention for a German company that counts the ounces of its seatbelts for chrissakes.
Porsche announced Friday that it would build its Mission E car — an all-electric sedan with looks that a Panamera would kill for — and sell the car by 2020. The Mission E concept was announced at Frankfurt earlier this year.
In addition to the car’s 0-60 mph time in under 3.5 seconds, the Mission E (no word on whether that is the final name) will also boast a 310-mile range and an 800-volt charge capability that could recharge the battery up to 80 percent in 15 minutes, providing you can find a charger for it.
Porsche didn’t announce pricing or availability yet, because presumably they’re figuring out exactly how much people will be willing to pay for the Stuttgart coat of arms and how many sales they’ve already lost to Tesla.
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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- MelanieRichardson GOOD
- El scotto @jwee; Sir, a great many of us believe that Musk is somewhere (pretty high) on the spectrum and move on.I work on the fringes of IT. Most of my presentations get picked over extensively and intensely at meetings. I'm smart enough to know I'm not that smart and willingly take advice from the IT crew. I bring them Duck Doughnuts too. We also keep a box of Crayolas in the meeting room.At one meeting an IT guy got way into the details of my presentation, the meeting went long as we discussed my target audience. Same IT guy insisted it was a disaster and would fail miserable and that I was stupid. Yeah, F-boms get dropped at our meetings. I finally had enough and asked if he was such an expert, did he want to stand up in front of 30 senior executives and give the presentation? His response was a flat "NO". He got the box of Crayolas. For you non-military types that means shut up and color. Musk is the same as that IT guy, lots of gyrations but not much on follow-through. Someone just needs to hand him a box of Crayolas.
- FreedMike The FJ Cruiser would be a better comeback candidate. The gang back at Toyota HQ must be looking at all those Broncos flying off Ford lots and kicking themselves.
- Tassos 2015 was only 7 years ago. $58k is still a whole lot of $ to pay for a vehicle. FOrtunately one can buy a flagship vehicle with great active and passive safety for half this amount, if one does the SMART thing and buys a pre-owned luxury flagship vehicle. they have historically been SCREAMING BARGAINS. A breadvan on stilts SUV, wether the more compact Macan or the more bloated Cayenne will never pass as a Flagship Vehicle. No matter how well it drives or how reliable it suprisingly is. It still is a breadvan on stilts.
- Sean Ohsee Bring back the 100 series and its I6 diesel.