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Auto blogMon, 16 Dec 2013 08:31:00 EST
That Porsche is returning to Le Mans next year with a top-tier LMP1 entry is no news - we've known that for some time. We've even seen pictures of the car in question undergoing testing at various racetracks across Europe, been told who'll be driving it and given some basic parameters of what will make it go. We just haven't known what to call it, but now we do.
In detailing its full endurance racing program for next year at its Night of Champions in Weissach, Porsche has revealed that its new LMP1 racecar will be called the 919 Hybrid. So, something like the 918 Spyder, only one faster. With a four-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors, the 919 Hybrid will be taking on the top class at Le Mans next year, with a compelling roster of drivers on the docket: along with Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Neel Jani, Porsche has assigned its works driver Marc Lieb and F1 test driver Brendon Hartley to the effort. But that's not all Porsche has in store.
The factory is also supporting teams that will campaign the 911 RSR in the FIA World Endurance Championship as well as the United SportsCar Championship here in the US, taking Porsche off the pit wall and right in the race seat for next year as part of a comprehensive new racing program, details of which you can read in the press release below.
The new Macan may be getting all the attention lately, but Porsche hasn't forgotten about its larger crossover - the one that put it on the map in 2002 and on the road to profitability, with over half a million sold so far. So to keep the Cayenne at the top of its game, Porsche has announced several key upgrades for the 2015 model.
For starters, Porsche has updated the Cayenne's appearance with new front- and rear-end styling. The front bumper, fenders and hood are entirely new, with air fins flanking the nose to direct air into the intercoolers (each model now being artificially aspirated), and new bi-xenon headlamps and daytime running LEDs on every model but the Turbo, which goes all-LED. Around back there's also new taillights, tailgate handle, lower rear fascia and exhaust pipes. Meanwhile the interior has been upgraded with a 918-derived sport steering wheel and reformed rear seats with available ventilation.
The bigger news is under the engine bay, where Porsche is offering four choices. The base model is gone as the range starts with the Cayenne Diesel, followed by the Cayenne S, the new Cayenne S E-Hybrid and the top-of-the-line Cayenne Turbo. The Diesel model carries over the same 3.0-liter turbo diesel with 240 horsepower. The Cayenne S however packs a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 that's similar to the one found in the Macan Turbo and packs the same 406 lb-ft of torque but more power at 420 hp, 20 more than either its little brother or the model it replaces to reach 62 mph in 5.2 seconds.
Road & Track recently staged its first annual Performance Car of the Year test, pitting 13 new and updated performance cars against each other on track, then graduating the top six to a road test before picking a winner. Additionally, the magazine staff picked the best automobiles of the year in eight categories.
But first, let's cover the PCotY segment. Here's the list of cars brought to the comparison test: Audi R8 V10 Plus; BMW 435i; BMW M6 Competition Package; Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51; Ferrari F12 Berlinetta; Ford Fiesta ST; Jaguar F-Type V8 S; Jaguar XFR-S; Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model Wagon; Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series; Mini John Cooper Works GP; Nissan GT-R Track Edition; and Porsche Cayman S.
To find out the results of the comparison, head over to Road & Track's website or check the press release below, where you'll also find the magazine's top-rated vehicles in eight categories. Want more? Head over to the 2013 PCotY hub. But before you do that, take a stab at guessing the winner of PCotY (we'll give you one hint: it isn't a Porsche).