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Would a Porsche still be a Porsche if it weren't as exclusive? That's the question which industry pundits are asking - and customers may soon as well - as the German automaker emerges from the fringe in pursuit of larger volumes.
A dozen years ago Porsche was barely selling over 50,000 units per annum. In a sales surge that has gathered pace as fast as a 911 Turbo, however, it was already hovering around the 100,000-unit mark a few years later. Last year it sold over 160,000, and has targeted 200,000 units by 2018. But it may not even take that long.
Automotive News reports that Porsche has advanced its targets to reach for 200,000 units by the end of this year or the next. The bump in sales would be driven particularly by the introduction of the new Macan, of which it aims to sell 50,000 units annually, starting next year. The Cayenne currently stands far and away as its most successful model. The 911 and Panamera have swapped second place a few times over the past five years, followed by the Boxster and Cayman.
If there's one automaker that certainly doesn't skimp on the special edition models, it's Porsche, and here at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, we're getting our first look at yet another unique take on one of the company's most popular models. It's called the Cayenne Platinum Edition, and while many special models build off of higher-trim vehicles, this one adds a bit of flair to the most basic version of the luxury SUV.
The Platinum Edition is available on Cayennes with the base 3.6-liter V6 or the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. Platinum models are set apart from other models with the addition of silver exterior accents on the grilles, window trim and rear spoiler, as well as the two-tone, black-and-beige interior scheme. It also comes standard with the eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission, Power Steering Plus, Park Assist, the Convenience Package and Bose audio.
The cost of entry? $63,000 for the naturally aspirated Cayenne or $66,900 for the diesel. That's a full $13,000 more than the base model, but Porsche says it's actually a bargain as opposed to selecting all of those options individually. Have a look below for Porsche's official release.
Jay Leno's Garage usually focuses on looking at cars new and old, speaking to their owners and then Jay taking a drive to see what he thinks. However, Leno throws his usual shtick to the curb this week to do a full product test of the carbon fiber wheels from a company called Carbon Revolution. If you're not interested in hearing about wheels for 18 minutes, don't worry. They get mounted on a Porsche and are tested back-to-back with stock wheels, and Leno takes the 911 for a track test, too.
While carbon-fiber wheels aren't exactly a new idea, Carbon Revolution's goal is to create a lightweight, one-piece product that can be mass produced. The company even claims that it already has a deal with an OEM automaker to offer them on a vehicle in a few years. The key to the technology is that it doesn't need an expensive autoclave to be made.
In the meantime, the company's carbon fiber wheels are available as an aftermarket option for about $15,000 a set, according to the video. They weigh in at about 15.5 pounds each and offer OEM-levels of stiffness, so they could cut some unsprung mass off of a performance car. Watch here as Jay and his mechanic Bernard lap Willow Springs and give their feedback about what they think of this cutting-edge technology.