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Auto blogFri, 03 Jan 2014 12:00:00 EST
It might not be a coincidence that there are rumors of Porsche revealing a safari version of the 911 at April's Beijing Motor Show, just as the Dakar Rally is about to begin. Adding fuel to the dusty desert fire is a just-released official video of Jeff Zwart driving the Porsche 953 that Jacky Ickx drove to victory in the 1984 edition of the race.
In the video, the seven-time Pikes Peak International Hill Climb winner talks about how he grew up with the 911; it wasn't only the car he learned to drive in, it was his choice of racecar no matter whether the course was tarmac or the dirty stuff.
You can decide for yourself if these recent events are mere coincidence while you enjoy the 953's exhaust note in the video below. If you've got the time to see the 953 during its race-conquering drive and find out what the ersatz Paris-Dakar Rally used to be, we've also included a broadcast of that 1984 race below as well. Fast-forward to 19:44 to see the Porsches cross the open dessert and 29:09 to watch one of them tackle the dunes.
Porsche is expecting big things from its little Macan, with CEO Matthias Mueller announcing that not only is a sportier GTS model being considered, but that the CUV will almost certainly help push Porsche beyond its 200,000-unit-per-year sales goal three years earlier than expected.
"We're transferring the genes of the Porsche brand into a new market segment," Mueller said during a speech to kick off Macan production, according to Automotive News Europe. Macan demand should push the brand past 200,000 sales, Mueller said, confirming what we reported back in August. And if Porsche really has a hit on its hands, it is able to boost production of the sporty crossover beyond its initial capacity of 50,000 units, according to the brand's CEO.
Provided that the Macan is the success Porsche hopes it will be, Mueller hinted that the range could expand beyond the initial Macan S and Macan Turbo. "GTS versions have a tradition at Porsche," Mueller said. "We haven't made a final decision yet regarding the Macan, but I'm sure it makes a lot of sense."
The folks over at Jalopnik have published some rather interesting images from what looks to be a presentation held inside Porsche's North American headquarters in Atlanta, GA. What these leaked photos reveal is pretty significant - details about several of the brand's upcoming launches, including GTS versions of the Boxster and Cayman, a new 911 Targa, and information about the Macan crossover that will debut at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show. Of course, none of this information has been officially verified, but it all looks and sounds pretty believable to us. So, let's dig in.
First up, Porsche will launch the Boxster and Cayman GTS models at next year's Beijing Motor Show in April. Upgrades for the GTS models will include a 15-horsepower bump, standard manual transmission (with optional dual-clutch PDK), standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and a slightly quicker 0-60 time. Jalopnik reports that these models will cost around $75,000.
We've spied the soon-to-be-revealed Porsche Macan (pictured right) on several occasions, and these slides suggest that the small crossover will have two different types of turbo power under its hood. The Macan S will use a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, while the Macan Turbo will use a 3.6-liter unit. Seven-speed PDK transmissions are expected to be fitted to both, and this leaked information states that the new, small Porsche will cost $52,000 and $75,000 for the S and Turbo versions, respectively.