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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.
 |  Apr 11 2013, 12:32 PM

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It’s rare that Porsche’s PDK transmission meets much criticism, but dropping it into the hardcore track-oriented 911 GT3 might be a place to start. That is, until you learn that the system was improved for the new application.

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 |  Mar 18 2013, 5:36 PM

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Porsche brought its 2014 911 GT3 to the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, showcasing its fastest-ever naturally-aspirated car. But just as you would likely expect, there’s an even hotter version coming. 

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 |  Jun 07 2012, 9:31 AM

Perhaps the most pure of sports cars, enthusiasts my cry foul about the next generation Porsche GT3 if the rumors prove true.

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 |  Nov 16 2011, 4:23 PM

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The long awaited 991-chassis Porsche 911 made its North American debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, packing more power, less weight and a longer wheelbase.

The base Carrera comes with a 3.4-liter flat-6 engine with 350-hp, good for 4.4 second 0-60 mph time (4.2 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package). Carrera S models get a 3.8-liter version of the same motor with 400-hp, taking 4.1 seconds to hit 60 mph (3.9 with the Sport Chrono Package and PDK gearbox).

The new 991 is 100 lbs lighter, while a 7-speed manual gearbox (the first ever on a production car) helps improve fuel efficiency. A Carrera will set you back $82,100 for a base model, with Carrera S models priced starting at $96,400.

Gallery: 2012 Porsche 911

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 |  Jul 10 2011, 4:00 PM

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!

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 |  Feb 03 2011, 9:54 AM

Porsche is apparently readying some significant changes to its street-legal race car, the GT3. According to a forum member on Rennlist, the next-generation (991) version of the GT3 will adopt a larger engine, a dual-clutch gearbox and several even more significant changes.

The poster, who goes by the screen name ‘rosenbergendo’ says he received the information from a Porsche Motorsport exec while attending the recent Daytona 24 Hour race.

According to his unnamed source, the 991 GT3 will get a 480-hp motor (up 45-hp) from a larger 4.0-liter flat-six. It will also offer an optional PDK dual-clutch transmission, which is referred to as PDK-S. Apparently Porsche has been reluctant to include a dual-clutch unit in the GT3, not only because it’s a ‘purists car’ but because the PDK setup is too heavy. This new PDK-S unit, however, will solve much of the weight concern.

More significant changes are also in store with a projected weight loss of 180-200 lbs thanks to the use of composite materials, while the engine will be moved slightly forward in the chassis, essentially making it a mid-engine car and significantly improving the car’s balance.

[Source: Rennlist via Auto123]

 |  Aug 15 2009, 9:43 PM

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Tomorrow at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, for the first time Porsche will show off its new Panamera model to the public. Today, Porsche invited AutoGuide to take the controversially-styled Gran Turismo out for a spin on the winding Northern California roads that surround that world-famous golf course.

At 9 a.m. I’m stretching the Panamera’s legs on a nearly-deserted stretch of California’s Pacific Coastal Highway. With a 4.8-liter V8 generating 400hp and 369 ft-lbs of torque mated to a wickedly-quick seven-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission, I’m attacking the curves and blasting down the straits, completely oblivious to the fact that this is a four-door. It sure doesn’t feel like it.

While Porsche’s Cayenne is excellent… for an SUV, the same philosophy isn’t true of the Panamera. It’s not good… for a four-door. It’s just damn good.

The handling is superb with a chassis that doesn’t know the meaning of body roll. And yet the suspension soaks up bumps in the road. It also does an amazing job of keeping the car planted on the ground, as I discovered after hitting a dip in the road at some serious speed. As I popped out the other end of the dip, it actually felt like the suspension sucked the car back to the asphalt.

The steering is precise and direct, like any Porsche. The throttle and brake are responsive and the brakes provide excellent initial bite… like any Porsche. I experienced absolutely no understeer and even with the traction and stability control nannies on, there’s still plenty of room for fun. And the naturally aspirated V8 delivers bountiful amounts of linear power. 

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Inside, the cockpit is truly incredible. With Porsche’s motorsports background and a long history of sports cars, it’s no surprise that the interior of pretty much every model up until now has followed a more basic philosophy. The Panamera, however, is a luxurious oasis, and yet maintains a true Porsche sports car feel. With supple leather coating almost every surface, the Panamera also features solid aluminum trim pieces and (on my model) Teneo wood. And for the first time, possibly ever, I have to say I not only liked the wood trim, but loved it. Instead of plastic-looking overly-lacquered wood, this stuff has more of a matte treatment, giving it a genuine organic look.

There are a lot of buttons, knobs and switches inside, which Porsche PR boss Gary Fong says was a conscious decision. Porsche would rather opt for more easy-to-use buttons, than have drivers hunting through an information system to find what they’re looking for.

I was happy to see a simple-to-use touch screen navigation system and was impressed with the redundant screen located inside the main instrument cluster, meaning a driver doesn’t have to look far to see what’s next on the map.

Now because the Panamera is a four-door, it’s necessary to dedicate a little copy to those two back seats. Equally as sporting as the front ones, there is more than enough room for my long-legged 6’1″ frame, directly behind the driver’s seat – which I had just been sitting in.

My solitary critique of the Panamera remains a big one; the car’s design. Straight on, it’s fabulous, but once you start to see that bulging rear, it’s hard not to shake your head and wonder how the designers came up with it, and how that look made it all the way to production. There are two ways to look at it: the first is to think that it’s a shame that a car that performs so spectacularly well looks so strange; the second is to overlook the oddness and appreciate the drive, which I most certainly did.

You can’t even complain about the price. Sure it starts at a fraction under $90,000, but when put into perspective, a Carrera S will run you $80,000 and the Panamera delivers the same quantity of thrills… which you can now share with not just one, but three passengers.

GALLERY: 2010 Porsche Panamera S

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Official: New Porsche 911 Turbo Revealed

Iconic sports car gets larger engine, more horsepower and improved fuel-economy

 |  Aug 07 2009, 9:16 AM

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Porsche has just released a spattering of details (and a few photos) of the next 911 Turbo, which will make more power, consume less fuel and offer even better performance than the current model.

Displacement for the turbocharged flat-six is up from 3.6 to 3.8-liters, however, this is far more than just a re-worked engine. The new 3.8-liter motor is the first entirely new engine in the Turbo’s 35-year history. Porsche’s variable turbine geometry turbos are back, and the new engine also gets direct-injection for the first time, resulting in an output of 500hp. Also for the first time, the Turbo will also be offered with Porsche’s 7-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission.

Porsche says the new Turbo will be capable of a 0-60 mph sprint in just 3.4 seconds and can blast on to a top speed of 194 mph.

The new engine is also significantly more fuel-efficient than the previous Turbo, consuming just 24.1 mpg with the manual transmission (compared to 22.1 mpg before), meaning it avoids the gas guzzler tax in the U.S. And when combined with Porsche’s PDK tranny the Turbo gets even better mileage at 24.8 mpg.

The 2010 Turbo will be lighter than it predecessor and feature updated versions of Porsche’s PTM and PSM systems. A PTV (Porsche Torque Vectoring) system will also be offered for the first time.

Sales of the 2010 911 Turbo will begin in Europe in November with worldwide sales to follow. Coupe models will be priced at $132,800 ($165,300 CDN), with the Cabriolet costing $143,800 ($178,400 CDN).

Porsche will officially debut the vehicle at the Frankfurt Auto Show this September.

GALLERY: 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo

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Official release after the jump:

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Porsche World Roadshow Travels to Canada

Mosport International Raceway Plays Host to Traveling Porsche Experience

 |  Apr 16 2009, 2:32 PM

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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).

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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.
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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.

I don’t think I’d take mine in the Nordic Gold Matallic (with matching wheels), but the full Alcantara interior was a sight to behold.
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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.

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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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GALLERY: Porsche World Roadshow

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 |  Feb 12 2009, 1:14 PM

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Porsche continues to tease us with photos of its new Panamera grand-tourer, the latest of which are of the car’s stunning interior.

The interior design of the sports sedan is made up of four separate spaces, with seating for four in individual “cockpit-like” seats. Porsche will even offer an optional four-zone climate control system so every individual in the car can adjust the temperate to his or her liking.

Both the Panamera S and Panamera 4S will have eight-way power adjustable seats with a driver memory package. Panamera Turbo models will come with a memory function that includes the steering wheel. An 18-way adjustable front Sport Seats and eight-way power rear seas will be offered.

Porsche will offer 13 color and material combinations for the Panamera models, including four two-tone options and seven trim options, ranging from carbon fiber (yum yum) to Natural Olive wood.

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For the audiophile, Porsche will offer a 1,000 watt Burmester 17-speaker sound system.

In terms of safety, the Panamera comes equipped with front, side and curtain airbags with standard rear side airbags in the rear. Cargo room is significant with 15.7 cubic feet of space in the trunk and 44.6 cubic feet of total cargo space with the rear seats folded down.

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The Panamera S, featuring a 400hp 4.8-liter V8, a 0-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 175 mph will retail for $89,800 ($115,100 CDN). The all-wheel drive Panamera 4S, featuring the same powerplant and a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.8 seconds will retail for $93,800 ($120,300). The top-line Panamera Turbo, with a twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8, a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 188 mph will retail for $132,600 ($155,000 CDN).

The Panamera will officially go on sale October 17, 2009.

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Official release after the jump:

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Chrysler: The Transmission Nazi

"No state-of-the-art dual-clutch transmission for you," Chrysler says to North America

 |  Jan 08 2009, 11:54 AM

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Chrysler continues to expand the use of its new dual-clutch transmission, offering it in a total of three models – just not in North American. Originally offered in the Dodge Journey in European markets, the transmission will now also be available in the Avenger and Sebring.

Designed in partnership with Getrag, the state of the art transmission is similar in design to Audi’s DSG unit or the new PDK transmission found on new Porsches. Essentially it operates like an automatic transmission from the driver’s perspective, and gears can be selected through a manumatic-type system. Because of the dual-clutches, the next gear is always pre-loaded, meaning gear changes are incredibly quick and smooth.

According to Chrysler, it also makes for an improvement in fuel economy of six percent.

Currently the dual-clutch transmission is only available on 2.0-liter turbo diesel engines found in the Journey, Avenger and Sebring overseas.

Official release after the jump:

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