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Porsche has released another batch of images of its LMP1 competitor preparing for its debut season in 2014. This isn't the first we've seen of the new car, as June saw four images of the new racer undergoing testing. Where those images looked merely like someone taking pics during the test, the 11 new images seen above have all the hallmarks of highly polished PR shots.
That aside, the camo-covered cars still provide another look at what the new LMP1 car will look like when it arrives next season. The taillights follow the example set by Audi, by vertically mounting ultra-thin LEDs on the tips of the rear wing, while the LED headlights sport the four-prong look that Porsche has been pushing of late. Besides those two items, its difficult to make out many details due to the amount of camo.
Porsche's LMP1 effort will be focused on the FIA World Endurance Championship, which will see the revered brand return to the top flights of the 24 Hours Of Le Mans with F1 ace Mark Webber behind the wheel. As we've mentioned before, the German brand has set up a dedicated microsite that will cover its newest racer's progress.
Driving a vehicle with a military license plate in China provides many privileges. Legally reserved for official vehicles only, the designation apparently allows drivers to enjoy special liberties on the roads, including breaking traffic laws, filling up with free fuel and receiving light-and-siren escorts through congested cities. So attractive are the benefits that there is a secondary market for used legal and counterfeit plates - especially among those wealthy enough to afford luxury cars. But all of that is reportedly coming to an end, as President Xi Jinping, chairman of the Central Military Commission, is on a mission to fight corruption in his country.
A new license plate system goes into effect today, and it is designed to "maintain social harmony, stability and the reputation of the military," says the PLA Daily, the armed forces' official newspaper. While the abuse has been going on for many years, the internet has put the spotlight on the bad behavior, and the negative press does not represent the morals and true colors of the armed forces, say officials.
While military-plated Porsche drivers have been singled out as offenders, Bloomberg notes that all vehicles with engine displacements above 3.0 liters and with a sticker price in excess of about $73,000, will be banned from receiving military plates. This includes vehicles from Audi, Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln and the Volkswagen Phaeton. Even if drivers are savvy enough to circumvent the new issuing system, the military has put technology at toll gates to catch users of counterfeit plates. There has been no word on the punishment if caught.
Porsche has been in the business of slaying sacred cows for the better part of a decade, from venturing into the SUV space with the Cayenne to the four-door realm with its Panamera hatchback. And if those vehicles didn't leave brand purists apoplectic enough, Porsche has been adding diesel and hybrid power to its portfolio, thought to this point, neither alt-fuel motivator has made its way into the brand's sports car lineup.
Today's Frankfurt Motor Show effectively marks the second-generation of diesel power in the Panamera, and this updated 3.0-liter V6 features 300 horsepower (50 ponies more than last year) and a whopping 479 pound-feet of torque, available from 2,500 rpm. That power is achieved with a new higher-pressure, water-cooled turbo and redesigned engine internals that include a new crankshaft and pistons. The newfound increase is said to raise top speed to 161 miles per hour from 152, and drop the car's 0-62 mph time from 6.8 seconds down to 6.0. It also figures to be a better handler, with a new torque-vectoring rear differential borrowed from its gas-powered brethren and a reworked transmission for crisper shifts. The suspension has also been retuned, along with the updated 2014 visuals first revealed at April's Shanghai Motor Show.
No word yet on the North American sales prospects of this diesel Panamera, but we imagine that depends in part on how well the Cayenne diesel is selling.