Porsche to Strangers: Borrow Our Cars

Having already introduced a subscription service for its vehicles, Porsche decided to continue experimenting with alternatives to traditional car ownership. The luxury brand plans to launch two pilot programs on both U.S. coasts (condolences to America’s Heartland) aimed at encouraging drivers to get behind the wheel of a Porsche for brief periods of time.

The first, overseen by Porsche Cars North America, will test exclusively within the Atlanta area, near Porsche’s North American headquarters. Called Porsche Drive, the pilot program launched a few days ago and offers hourly to weekly rentals of new Porsche cars and SUVs. Meanwhile, a second joint venture with peer-to-peer car rental company Turo will service San Francisco and Los Angeles starting next month. That endeavor focuses on the sharing of already purchased (new and vintage) Porsche vehicles by owners inclined to share them.

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Nearly Better Than the Real Thing: Porsche Taps Video Game Tech to Break New Ground in Automotive Design

Porsche has grown rather chummy with the video game community of late. In 2017, the automaker used North America’s largest gaming expo as a platform for the debut of the 911 GT2 RS. You can attribute that to a relatively recent marketing push that resulted in its vehicles appearing in interactive media after a long-standing absence. Porsche, for whatever reason, spent years being exceptionally choosy about which developers can license its vehicles for their games. This usually results in blockbuster titles using “RUF” as a placeholder or simply abandoning Porsche vehicles entirely.

The last five or six years have been different, however. Automakers want to broaden their marketing approach and get away from the big industry trade shows. For Porsche, that means video games, and the relationship is only getting stronger.

This week, Porsche Epic Games and the graphical processing wizards at NVIDIA gathered to showcase what they claim is a major breakthrough in computer design rendering. While we can’t say with any authority that this will forever change automotive design, what they’ve managed to accomplish certainly looks impressive.

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Porsche Drops Technical Specs for Electric Taycan

Electric cars are a polarizing matter among automotive enthusiasts. While a small group of ardent EV loyalists exist, a large portion of car people look at them with varying levels of contempt. However, let’s not kid ourselves, electrification is an inevitability. Even if EVs don’t proliferate like rabbits in springtime, standard powertrains will continue to evolve and electric automobiles will account for some of the most extreme performance models on the road.

We’ve already seen what Tesla can do if given enough money. The Model S P100D can already hit 60 mph in just over 2 seconds — putting extravagantly priced, flamboyant supercars to shame.

More vehicles are coming to fit this mold. Porsche has been working on a rival for Tesla’s sedan for a while now, and recently released the specs. While the Germans seem to have developed a strong performer, ready to feed plenty of internal combustion vehicles a crow supper, it doesn’t appear to be quite as fast as Tesla’s best. Either that, or Porsche is downplaying the Taycan’s (formerly the Mission E) technical specifications.

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Double Check: 2019 Porsche Macan Facelift Revealed, Good Luck Spotting the Difference

When you think about Porsche, you’re probably thinking of the 911. However, you really should be thinking about the Macan. It may have started out as a supplementary model for families interested in the Cayenne SUV but who found it beyond their means, but it’s quickly become the company’s best-selling vehicle. You now see them in every neighborhood where status is the deciding factor in automobile purchases.

Fortunately, the Macan also drives better than any compact crossover has a right to — further helping its popularity. But, with more competition within the premium utility segment than ever before, Porsche can’t leave the model to rest on its laurels. The manufacturer has updated the model for 2019 with loads of changes, but spotting them is a little like tackling the Double Check in a Highlights magazine under the influence of a rather severe childhood learning disability.

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2020 Porsche Taycan: Stop Worrying - This Electric Car Has a Soul, Automaker Claims

Even if some of its buyers don’t have one, Porsche prides itself on building cars with a unique essence, a certain substance that cannot be denied. A soul, in other words. Now, the automaker promises we’ll all discover that same quality in its upcoming electric sedan, which recently picked itself up a new name: Taycan (pronounced “tie-con”).

Formerly called the Mission E (seen in concept form above), the Taycan appears next year as a luxurious, long-range four-door with a price tag that almost certainly begins in the six-figure range. It’s a clear competitor to what was, for years, the only choice in this field — the Tesla Model S.

In a recently released video, Porsche seems to be making the argument that buyers who care the least bit about history and soul will have no use for that other car. It’s also a pretty good piece of marketing in its own right.

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Porsche Reportedly Working on a Two-door Version of a Four-door Car (Don't Worry, There's a Four-door 'Coupe' SUV, Too)

The auto industry has become so unconventional, so bizarro world, that I became momentarily confused after reading a report that Porsche has a Panamera coupe in development.

Automakers don’t develop new coupes. They develop slightly more curvaceous versions of four-door crossovers and SUVs and call them coupes, but they’re certainly not coupes. Thus, I found myself picturing a curvaceous four-door liftback version of a curvaceous four-door liftback. Reality bent and flexed around me and the universe crumbled.

That’s apparently what Porsche is up to, though, and it’s looking like the two-door version of the Panamera — if built — will serve as a spiritual successor to the long departed 928.

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Next Porsche 911 GT3 Could Spin to 9,500 RPM

If you want a good example of evolution, you don’t need to venture all the way to the Galapagos Islands. Simply look at the lineage of the Porsche 911 for confirmation of how a species evolves and adapts over time.

Not long ago, the mighty 911 Turbo was the only example of the breed with a snail attached to its rear-mounted engine. Now, with turbos pervading nearly the entire line, it seemed as if naturally aspirated 911s would disappear like the dodo bird. However, we’re now hearing rumours the GT3 may retain its non-turbo status … with a flat-six that screams its way to 9,500 rpm.

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Porsche Powertrain Boss Arrested in Germany: Report

Jörg Kerner, Porsche’s head of powertrain development, has reportedly been arrested by German authorities for playing an alleged role in Volkswagen Group’s diesel emissions scandal.

Kerner, who sources say is being held on remand due to the potential of being a flight risk, was appointed director of Porsche’s powertrain development division in October 2011. Before that, Kerner worked for supplier Robert Bosch GmbH from 1986 to 2004, after which he oversaw development of engine electronics and software for Audi.

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German Diesel Probe Goes Deep With Porsche

The investigative parade continues in Germany. Prosecutors investigating Volkswagen Group’s diesel-emissions scandal have now turned their attention to Porsche. Roughly 10 facilities owned by the automaker in Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg were searched by around 160 investigators.

Stuttgart-based prosecutors claimed to be interested in three specific individuals suspected of fraud and fraudulent advertising as it relates to the manipulated emissions-control systems of diesel passenger cars. The office clarified that Porsche CEO Oliver Blume was not among them, however.

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Bark's Bites: New York's Greatest Misses

It seems like only last year that the star of the New York International Auto Show was an 840 horsepower, zero you-know-whats-given, single-seated rocketship that did a 9 second 1/4 mile and literally lit things on fire. That’s probably because it was last year. This year, I found myself enthralled by … an in-car audio system.

That’s right — the very best part of the 2018 NYIAS was enjoying Art Pepper and Bonnie Raitt on the ELS surround sound system in the Acura RDX A-Spec (no kidding, it’s freakin’ amazing and it’s worth buying the RDX just because of it).

Yes, there was a yellow Porsche thing and there was a very Lamborghini Orange Corvette, but there was little else for this journosaur to get excited about other than the fact Honda ordered some extra wine for their social hour (see pic at the top, featuring my security detail: our own Bozi Tatarevic), due in no small part to the fact that I drank six glasses of red wine all by myself in less than 60 minutes.

So rather than do what every other autoblog on the planet does, I’m not gonna give you my greatest hits of the auto show. Rather, I’m going to tell you what should have premiered on this year’s show circuit.

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Porsche Clarifies Status of the Electric 911

Rumors of an electrified Porsche 911 have been circulating for months — and were eventually confirmed when CEO Oliver Blume claimed the forthcoming plug-in would be the “most powerful” version of the sports coupe the company has ever built. This, of course, stoked new rumors that automaker might decide to make the 911 a fully electric model.

Porsche wants to put those ideas down before they get out of hand. At the company’s annual results conference in Stuttgart, Blume clarified that the 911 would eventually yield a plug-in variant but would never be purely electric. While we advise all automakers to never say never, Porsche does seem to feel as if a battery only edition of the 911 is preposterous. The CEO even warned that the high-performance hybrid wouldn’t appear until some time after the 922 generation had already been in production. “We are waiting for the further evolution in battery technology so you should not expect a plug-in version in the coming years. It’s currently planned when the 992 is refreshed,” he said.

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Plug-in Porsche 911 Likely to Be the Most Powerful Porsche 911

Last year, Porsche paraded out its 911 GT2 RS at the Electronic Entertainment Expo and dubbed it the most powerful 911 in history. However, its 640 horsepower will seem tepid when the next-generation 911 debuts. Referred to internally as the 922 series, the model will continue to host turbocharged flat-six engines in conjunction with rear- or all-wheel drive. But Porsche is also working on a plug-in hybrid variant of the car that’s scheduled for 2021.

While the 911 Turbo S is rumored to make around 630 horsepower, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume suggests the PHEV should be able to surpass it by a wide margin when it rolls off the assembly line a few years after the internal combustion cars. Assuming it’s using the same electrical system as the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, that could tack on another 136 bhp to whatever six the company chooses to install.

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Green Porsche With a Lot More Junk in the Trunk Debuts in Geneva

Porsche appears to have it out for Tesla Motors. Having already shown its Mission E sedan as a potential rival for the Model S, the German automaker just spawned the Mission E Cross Turismo electric crossover concept for the Geneva Motor Show. Unveiled just a days after Jaguar’s I-Pace, it looks like Europe’s premium brands want a piece of the Model X’s reasonably small — but growing — hunk of the market.

In the United States, Tesla moved 18,028 Model X crossovers in 2016. That number climbed to 24,400 for 2017 and could be higher in 2018, thanks to increased output.

Unlike Jaguar’s I-Pace and Tesla’s Model X, the Mission E Cross Turismo is only a concept vehicle. However, Porsche has already made clear its intent to dive headfirst into the realm of battery-electric vehicles, claiming the crossover will eventually reach production.

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QOTD: Does the Promise, 'No Porsche Will Ever Be Created by a Committee' Ring True?

People tend to associate (and with good reason, because he was a founder) the Porsche company with Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. However, the first Porsche car did not spring from the Dr. Eng. Porsche’s fertile mind, but rather from that of his namesake and son, Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche, known as Ferry. It was he who created the 356 model that established — permanently, it seems — the paradigm for Porsche sports cars that continues through today in the latest iteration of the 911 (itself designed by Ferry’s son, Butzi).

In 1998, for the 50th anniversary of Porsche’s beginnings as a car maker (the design firm was founded in 1931 with Adolph Rosenberger and Ernst Piech, the senior Porsche’s son in law, but the first Porsche branded car appeared in 1948), and apparently just prior to Ferry Porsche’s passing, he appeared in a commercial conveying his view of the Porsche company’s mission statement.

There is wisdom in his words that anyone in business should heed.

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After Falling Out of Love, Porsche's Diesel Divorce Is Now Complete

It always felt little odd whenever a diesel-powered Cayenne sidled up to you next to a stoplight. A Porsche that builds SUVs, we used to mull, and diesels, no less!

The public’s discomfort with a German sports car maker entering the utility vehicle field is long gone, and we can now say the same for Porsche’s short-lived dalliance with diesels. The automaker has stated it’s pulling its last remaining oil-burning models off the market.

A new Porsche is born, cleaner, but perhaps no purer.

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  • HotRod It took longer than it should have, but I respect VW for openly acknowledging the system's numerous flaws. Hearing that they intend to bring back physical controls for commonly used features, and that they wish to standardize them across their lineup was the biggest surprise in VW's announcement. It's just so sensible. Rather than using completely different configurations of physical buttons, capacitive controls and touchscreens for every single model, Hyundai/Kia/Genesis would be wise to consider a similar strategy.
  • Zerofoo Ugh - a MKIV VW. Heavy, slow and terrible interior durability to boot. The 1.8t in these things had awful lag, and was made worse by owners swapping K03 for K04 turbos.No Thanks.
  • Oberkanone I'm into it. An occasional trip on the WABAC machine is of interest to me.Thinking of Nissan I have to suspect being an underachiever is their goal. Not since the SE-R has the Sentra been class leading. "Most likely to be a rental" is as appropriate in Nissans yearbook in 2022 as it was 2012.
  • EBFlex Quality though? Was never on the table at Ford.
  • Oberkanone Prefer Trail Duster on rarity basis. Here is a nice one. 1979 Plymouth Trail Duster Sport 4x4 for sale on BaT Auctions - closed on May 14, 2020 (Lot #31,407) | Bring a Trailer