AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Supercar World Series
We are back with this week’s installment of AutoGuide’s newest, interactive weekly feature ‘Commute, Toy or Destroy’.
Due next year is an update for the highly controversial Porsche Panamera model, a restyling change that should make it more appealing to the eyes. But rumor has it that the German automaker has much more planned for its sedan in the near future.
The 2013 update should also bring a long wheelbase variant, which will undoubtedly be popular in China. But the interesting rumor is that Porsche could be working on shooting brake (wagon) and cabriolet variants for its Panamera model. Despite Porsche product planning wanting to bring the second-generation Panamera to market in 2015, the early revamp will surely bring more variants in order to extend the new lifecycle.
Industry spies are also predicting that Porsche will produce a smaller Panamera model, perhaps named Pajun, and could arrive in 2017 with two or three different body styles.
To compete with the BMW X6, Porsche may also be introducing a four-door coupe version of its next-generation Cayenne and could hit showroom floors in 2016.
While much of the above are just rumors, we can surely expect the second-generation Cayman later this year along with more variants of the new 911. Expected soon is the Carrera 4, 4S, Cabriolet 4, 4S, GTS, and Porsche may have a surprise with a 911 Targa in 2014. The 991 version of the 911 Clubsport, Turbo and Turbo S, GT3, and GT2 RS will probably still be a couple of years out.
[Source: Automobile Mag]
For decades now, Porsche has reserved their turbocharged engines for its top-of-the-line models, such as the 911 Turbo, Panamera Turbo, or Cayenne Turbo. But given the success rival German automaker BMW has been having with its turbocharged powerplants across several of its models, it appears that Porsche may be interested in doing the same.
Turbochargers are being used by several automakers to help boost performance while maintaining great fuel economy with smaller, four-cylinder engines. Now that reliability with turbos isn’t a major issue, a Porsche engineer hinted recently that a four-cylinder, turbocharged boxer engine isn’t out of the question.
The last time the German automaker used a turbo-four in any of its model was back in 1995 on the 968. This move would make sense for Porsche considering their extensive knowledge with turbochargers, and could increase performance in their lower-end models like the Carrera and Carrera S. Whether or not those models will sport the Turbo badge is another question because clearly Porsche wouldn’t want to dilute the prestige of their higher-end models.
Interestingly enough, the engineer also spoke about the potential of a 911 Hybrid, stating that the automaker has no hybrid version of the 911 planned as of yet. The move hasn’t been made due to the extra weight the technology brings, but he did reiterate that it’s not entirely out of the picture. “But, never say never. The required technology is in-house, as seen with the hybrid versions of the Panamera and Cayenne, and the platform is suitable for the powertrain.”
The newest generation Porsche 911 Turbo has tough shoes to fill trying to live up to its highly regarded marque. Our spy photo photographers caught the newly designed 911 out testing in a Winter wonderland somewhere near the Arctic Circle.
The 911 Turbo shares its wheelbase with the Porsche Carrera, although it will be four inches longer and sit on a bit of a wider expanse between the tires. Porsche will continue its use of the 3.8-liter horizontally opposed six cylinder engine, but the new 911 will run with a tri-turbo setup, boosting the cars power from 495 to 525 horsepower. The tri-turbo setup will incorporate three seperate turbos, each designed to operate better at different RPMs. This allows the acceleration of the car to be turbo charged as well as the top end, eliminating the rubber band effect found on many turbocharged engines.
The new 911 Turbo is slated for the 2013 model year, so expect more details soon.
GALLERY: 2013 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet
There have been many amazing Lego creations over the last few decades including life size people and skyscrapers several stories high, but this latest creation might just take the cake.
Documented in this video is a mechanical masterpiece, a Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet PDK made of Lego. Everything on the 911 works, from the retractable hard top roof to the flat-six engine. The Porsche even has the same steering ratio as the actual car. In total, there are over 3,500 parts, including eight electic motors, three remote controls and around 21 feet of wiring. Even’s Porsche’s high-tech PDK dual-clutch transmission is fully functional, coupled to an operational all-wheel drive system.
This will blow you away. Check out the video after the jump!
Catching sight of Bigfoot is rare, having a close encounter with an alien is rarer still, but a Porsche recall has to be the rarest thing ever.
Yes, this usually bullet-proof manufacturer with a unrivaled reputation for building fast and reliable cars, has just issued a recall for 1702 examples of their 911-model. The defective part is the wheel hub for models fitted with the central locking wheel device.
This system, as used in Porsche racing cars, is intended to reduce rotating mass, while also allowing for quicker tire changes. However, 911 Turbo, Turbo S, GT2, GT3 and GT3 RS models built between May 2009 and September 2010 can be affected by a defected hub which would wear prematurely and that could lead to a crash. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) had notified Porsche of the potential problem, and now Porsche will fix all these cars with a new, improved part.
RUF has produced some of the world’s finest modified Porsche variants for as long as we can remember. Their newest rendition was on display at the Geneva Motor Show and showed just how proficient RUF has become with modifying Porsches to perfection. The RUF Rt 12 R is based on the 911 Turbo, but instead of the factory 500-hp and 516 ft-lbs of torque, RUF takes it to new heights with 730-hp and 693 ft-lbs of torque.
RUF doesn’t just focus on the performance of the 911 Turbo however, the Rt 12 R has also been overhauled with carbon fiber fenders, hood, luggage cover, seats and optional roof. To further shed some unwanted pounds, the side and rear windows have been swapped in with plastic counterparts to the factory glass. RUF has already claimed an impressive 230-mph top speed in the Rt 12 R.
Located on all four corners are lightweight, forged aluminum center-locking wheels sporting a staggered 19-inch setup.
Official press release available after the break.
GALLERY: RUF Rt 12 R
While most of the world claims that there are only two things in life that are guaranteed, death and taxes, we’d like to add TechArt customization for every single Porsche model to the list. Anytime there’s a new Porsche you can bet that TechArt will be hot on its heels with upgrades for that particular chassis.
For the current generation Porsche 911 Turbo, TechArt has released two performance kits with part numbers TA 097/T1 and TA 097/T2. The T1 kit is fairly basic but still manages to boost stock horsepower by 70 (from the stock 500) through an upgraded ECU and TechArt Sport air filter.
The latter of the two kits mentioned boasts 620-hp and 605 ft-lbs of torque. It includes the Sport air filter, TechArt exhaust manifolds and a Sport system exhaust. Obviously this frees up the air flow from in-to-out along with the reprogrammed engine management that probably ups the boost and fine-tunes the fuel for the additional airflow.
Best of all, TechArt has had the reputation over the decades of not only fantastic engineering, but over-the-top quality that is fitting for every Porsche owner.
GALLERY: Techart Porsche 911 Turbo Upgrades
Mosport International Raceway Plays Host to Traveling Porsche Experience
Photos: Stew Lawson
For the first time ever the traveling sportscar (and SUV) experience that is the Porsche World Roadshow has made its way to Canada. Held at Mosport International Raceway, just outside Toronto, the former Formula 1 facility played host to the vast majority of Porsche’s fleet of cars, with activities both on and off the track.
The Porsche event will be in Canada for several weeks, offering current and prospective Porsche owners a chance to truly appreciate the capabilities of these amazing machines. But before the event was officially opened, Porsche Canada invited us to bang gears, hit apexes and even go off-roading, to experience just what a Porsche can do.
In total, we had the chance to get behind the wheel and experience a Boxster S, Cayman S, 911 Carrera S, 911 Targa 4S, Cayenne, Cayenne GTS, oh… and a 911 Turbo. Other vehicles on-hand included several Cayenne S models, a Cayenne Turbo and a GT2 (which was strictly reserved for instructors to give hot laps in).
OFF-ROADING IN CAYENNES
First up during the busy day of activities was an off-road course, which was a genuine eye-opener. In just a standard Cayenne I drove through ditches, clawed my way up steep hills and climbed treacherous inclines – even dropping off small cliffs and getting the luxury SUV’s wheels up in the air at times.
Possibly even more amazing is how relaxed such an off-roading adventure can be in a luxurious Porsche cabin that doesn’t creak or squeak. Even the engine seemed relaxed, thanks in part to the low-range gearing that can be selected, a setting that also tells the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) to give maximum range to the active front anti-roll bar, allowing the wheels a greater range of movement.
The only real sounds detectable from inside the cabin are the differentials locking and the traction control ticking and clicking away, giving you maximum grip to get up a dirt slope you never dreamed a Porsche could.
The Cayenne, our instructor informed us (and we experienced), is capable of tremendous off-road feats, even though very few drivers will ever need or want such back-country credentials. Greater off-road capability is possible, however the Cayenne, being a Porsche, needs to sit somewhere in the middle to ensure the best possible on-road performance as well.
Normally a Cayenne has 215mm (8.46-inches) of ground clearance, while selecting the High Level I will give 241mm (9.49-inches) of clearance for speeds below 50 mph. A special High Level II, which we used, stretches the maximum ground clearance to 271mm (10.67-inches) and stays that way for speeds below 19 mph.
In the High Level II setting the Cayenne has an approach angle on gradients of 31.8 degrees and a departure angle of 25.4 degrees, with a ramp breakover angle of 24.7 degrees – all of which we used to their full extent.
OUT ON THE GRAND PRIX RACE TRACK
And so with mud covered SUVs we headed back to the main tent and exchanged our Cayenne keys for a set of sportscar starters. In groups of two we followed instructors out onto the Mosport Grand Prix track (officially the third fastest race track in the world), where we had the chance to toss around a Cayman S, Cayenne GTS and two 911s (a Carrera S and Targa 4S).
I felt the most at home in the Carrera S with the Targa 4S a close second. Both cars kept me pushing the instructor harder in his Boxster S, with the roadster’s smaller and less powerful 310hp 3.4-liter engine no match for the 385hp 3.8-liter engine in the 911s – especially on the back straight.
Having never had the opportunity to track drive a Cayman, I wasn’t as blown-away as I expected to be. There was nothing wrong with the car, as it delivered a well-balanced and neutral experience. I think I can chalk up my experiential discrepancy to the fact that unlike a lot of folks I’ve always felt at home in a 911, despite its rear-engine layout.
The final vehicle was a 405hp Cayenne GTS, which was certainly a surprise. It handled fabulously for a big SUV and I had no problem hanging with the Cayman driver in front of me. Body lean was incredibly minimal and the brakes were equally as good.
BOXSTER AUTOCROSS, 911 TURBO BRAKE TEST
The final two events of the day involved the Boxster S on a large autocross track and a 911 Turbo, which we used for a braking exercise.
The Boxster really is a fabulous vehicle for autocross and when combined with Porsche’s PDK double-clutch transmission (which automatically upshifts, taking one element of difficulty out of the equation) is incredibly easy to drive hard. Even when the body does pitch and roll (as evidenced by the photography) it never felt that way inside the cabin.
As for the braking exercise, it’s arguably a waste of the 911 Turbo’s acceleration talents, however, it proved an excellent way to get a feel for the Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes (PCCBs).
We did also get a chance to try out the Turbo’s torque converter that allows the car to build boost while sitting still for better off-the-line performance. Just place your left foot on the brake, with your right foot on the gas and watch (and hear) the boost build on the dash gauge. Once you’re at a suitable level (0.8 bar or 11.6 psi in our instance) just release the brake and hold on.
HOT LAPS… AKA REVENGE
As the day drew to an end, there was one final event left. Referred to as “Hot Laps” a more accurate name would be “Revenge,” as the instructors took willing journalists out for a full-speed romp on the Mosport track.
Unfortunately, with the huge number of journalists in attendance it wasn’t possible to get a ride in every vehicle. We all drew straws for our “hot laps” and unfortunately I didn’t draw the GT2. Instead I got the Carrera 4S and Cayenne Turbo.
First up was a Carrera 4S, which rocketed around the track with precision and poise. Next was the Cayenne.
As both the Cayenne off-roading experience the Cayenne GTS track drive proved to be the most surprising events of the day, I decided it wouldn’t be wise to pass up a tour around the track in a Cayenne Turbo. Boy was I right… this was no Sunday drive.
Along with two other writers I went for the ride of my life as our 26-year-old instructor manhandled the Porsche SUV with frightening vigor. Throwing the big truck around with the fearlessness of youth on his side, it wasn’t until we reached turn 8 at the end of the back straight that things got really hairy. After shaving off some speed, he flicked the steering wheel and sent us into a completely sideways drift, all four tires screaming for their lives as we defied gravity and never even came close to rolling over. Knowing full well that we were moving at a good clip, I chanced a glimpse at the German-spec speedometer and sure enough it read 160 km/h (100 mph)!
Porsche needs to work this into its marketing materials for the event. “The Porsche World Roadshow: 100 MPH… Sideways!”
AN EASY SELL
As I mentioned earlier, this was the first time the Porsche World Roadshow was held in Canada, and it’s not likely to be the last time either. Every aspect of the experience leaves participants with a specific impression of just how capable a Porsche is.
It’s hard not to think how successful this sort of event must be for securing vehicle sales. Who wouldn’t want to take this experience home with them?
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