Auto blogWed, 15 Oct 2014 16:29:00 EST
The idea of a diesel-powered Porsche is the sort of thing that sounds really, really weird... until you actually drive it. The result of sticking glow plugs under the hood of Stuttgart's finest, though, is a vehicle that's nearly as entertaining as a gas-powered model but with much more torque and better fuel economy. Considering that, we think it's absolutely splendid news that following previous reports, Porsche has now confirmed a diesel-powered Macan for the US market.
"We are now busy with the development and the engineering," Andre Oosthuizen, Porsche's North American marketing VP, told Automotive News. "I can confirm that V6 diesel offering with about 245 horsepower."
Yep, that's the same 3.0-liter V6 found, most notably, in the CUV's Audi Q5 platform-mate as well as a plethora of other Volkswagen Group vehicles, both in the US and abroad. Stuttgart already offers the 3.0-liter oil-burner in the Euro-spec crossover, where it churns out 258 hp and 427 pound-feet of torque.
Different countries have different safety standards, but most of them revolve around a similar set of tests: front impact, side impact, offset impact, rollover... the usual. But Sweden has its own test. It's called the Moose Test (or the Elk Test), and it's unique to Scandinavia: a car has to be able to avoid a theoretical antlered mammal on the road while traveling at 43.5 miles per hour and return to its previous course without flipping over. The Jeep Grand Cherokee ran afoul of the uniquely Nordic maneuver a couple of years ago, but even more surprising is the way the Porsche Macan has reacted.
Under testing by Sweden's Teknikens Värld, Porsche's downsized crossover - specifically the Macan S Diesel, for what it's worth - didn't flip over, but it skidded off course. In real-world conditions, it follows, the vehicle could run off the road or into oncoming traffic. The testers ran the test several times, and even removed excess weight from the vehicle, and each time it reacted the same way.
In response, Porsche has explained that the behavior is the result of its Active Rollover Protection system kicking in. When the system detects that the vehicle could drastically oversteer, flip over or lose its tire, it momentarily applies the brake on the front outside wheel, allowing the vehicle to shed the cornering forces without losing it completely.
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 19:58:00 EST
"There have been some small mistakes and we will do it better. For example the design could be better." - Matthias Mueller.
The design of the Porsche Panamera has been divisive, to say the least. Pretty much any Porsche with four doors was going to draw the ire of enthusiasts, but the fast-back-style roofline, prominent curves and seemingly never-ending hood have particularly irked some brand loyalists.
We live in a high-tech supercar renaissance, with the Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari all duking it out for performance supremacy. All three members of this power trio place the engine behind the driver and use some kind of hybrid assist. However, each one finds a slightly different way to make that setup work. While all of the tech is insanely cool, let's just admit that we are all really wondering which one is the quickest and which is the fastest. Autocar aims to find out in a new video pitting two of them against a surprise challenger in the standing mile.
Unfortunately, the race is missing the Ferrari, despite Autocar's best efforts. So instead, it has another limited-edition, high-performance vehicle from Italy in the form of the Ducati 1199 Superleggera. The bike has just two cylinders, but at 1.2-liters of displacement, it makes over 200 horsepower, and all that gumption is packaged into a magnesium monocoque body with carbon fiber bodywork to keep weight low. Granted, the cycle is going up against the 875-hp Porsche and 903-hp McLaren, but traction, aerodynamics and gearing all play a part in this fascinating video.
There's no sense in ruining the winner before watching, but Autocar teases that the finish is one of its closest drag races ever. Check out the video to find out just what that means.
To say that Porsche is big in racing is like saying that Warren Buffett dabbles in mergers and acquisitions. But while it fields the 919 Hybrid at Le Mans and in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the bulk of its racing activities are undertaken by private teams that buy customer racecars from the factory. Those in turn are largely based on the 911, but the latest intel from the motor racing world indicates that Zuffenhausen is planning a more accessible customer race car.
The new, more affordable competition car is to be based on the Cayman and built to GT4 specifications, slotting in below the 911-based GT3 Cup, GT3 R and RSR. Autosport reports that Porsche has already developed a prototype and will shortly commence testing. Details are scarce at the moment, but the Cayman GT4 would seem to compete against the likes of the Aston Martin Vantage N24, Nissan 370Z Nismo GT4 and Maserati GranTurismo MC. It will also likely help Porsche foster enthusiasm for a potential road version that's already been spotted undergoing testing. Previous GT4 racing conversions of the Cayman, like the one pictured above, were carried out by third-party racing constructors not recognized by the factory.
Porsche may not be the only one showing interest in the category, however. BMW is said to similarly be considering a GT4-spec version of its M235i Racing model to compete in the same class, taking the place of the defunct M3 GT4 as the Bavarian marque's entry-level customer racing car.
China has already surpassed the United States as the world's largest automotive market, so it's no surprise that one day soon it will be the world's largest Porsche market.
In fact, that day may already be here, as the PRC's Porschephiles outbought their American counterparts in September. Porsche's Chinese dealers sold 4,344 cars last month to America's 3,607. Through all of 2014 so far, though, the US is still the larger market for the German brand.
"The U.S. performed very well this year, after a great year in 2013, but China is growing fast, thanks to the Cayenne which is our best seller there," Porsche's sales and marketing boss, Bernhard Maier, told Automotive News Europe.
As an automaker's identity evolves over years, its signature becomes defined by any number of factors - heritage (Mercedes-Benz), image (Lamborghini), or market share (Toyota). In the case of Porsche, it was an engineering quirk that forged the German company's most enduring character trait.
Porsche would not have survived - let alone, thrived - in today's saturated landscape had it not been for the 911, and that slope-tailed sports car wouldn't have sprung to life without its predecessor, the 356. While phenomenal success of those rear-engine icons built the company, forays into the mid-engine configuration have played a significant part in establishing the brand's identity.
The Mid-Engine Prototype Of Ferry Porsche's Dreams
Purists often criticize Porsche for creating products like the Cayenne, Panamera and recently launched Macan, saying they dilute the true sports car spirit of the brand. It's an argument we've heard before, and one we counter with two points. First: No they don't. And second: These are Porsche's volume superstars, and the money they rake in allows the company to create dozens of versions of its well-liked sports cars. Want proof? Have a look at the gallery above, where you'll see four new versions of the 911, all with GTS badges on their rumps. This means Porsche now offers 19 versions of the 911. Nineteen.
Porsche offered a GTS version of the 911 in its previous generation, and this new one seeks to slot somewhere between the standard car and the hardcore GT3. It's available in coupe and cabriolet forms, with either rear- or all-wheel drive, starting at $114,200, *not including $995 for destination. The GTS Cabriolet comes in at $126,100, while models equipped with AWD will set you back $120,900 or $132,800 for the coupe or convertible, respectively.
All GTS models get the 430-horsepower version of the Carrera S' 3.8-liter flat-six with the Powerkit, which also includes the Sport Chrono package and the sport exhaust. If equipped with the PDK dual-clutch transmission, the 911 GTS will hit 60 miles per hour in just 3.8 seconds (or four seconds flat, if you've got the Cabriolet) - one tenth of a second quicker than the normal Carrera S. The car's top speed varies, depending on trim or transmission, but Porsche says the car will hit anywhere from 187 to 190 mph, flat out.
There's one fewer Porsche 918 Spyder zipping along the roads of Toronto, Canada, today. A fire at a gas station over the weekend claimed one of the hybrid supercars in a massive blaze, and a portion of the inferno was caught on video.
According to our partners to the North at Autoblog Canada, the cause of the fire hasn't been officially confirmed yet, but witnesses reportedly claimed gasoline somehow came into contact with the hot exhaust outlets that exit out of the top of the supercar's engine bay. This was just one of two 918s believed to be in the Toronto area.
Other than a possible broken heart from the owner, the fire reportedly caused no injuries, and only the Porsche and gas pump appeared to sustain serious damage. Warning, the video of the conflagration does contain some explicit language.
We love Motor Trend's annual World's Greatest Drag Race video. Now back for its fourth appearance, the idea of lining some of the world's fastest cars up for a ten-wide, straight-line, full-throttle run is, well... it's pretty freaking badass.
The lineup this year boasts some impressively fast cars to be sure. The group of ten includes the following darlings: Alfa Romeo 4C, BMW i8, BMW M4, Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Ford Fiesta ST, Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, Nissan GT-R Nismo, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Subaru WRX STI and, last but not least, the Volkswagen GTI. Give us any one of those for the weekend, and we're happy to take the keys.
It must be said though, that for a publication that draws as much water as Motor Trend does, there are some big cars that we might expect to be here instead. The Lamborghini Huracán or Ferrari 458 Speciale would have added some exotic flare to the list, and the omissions of the Chevy Corvette Stingray (for the second year in a row) and the Dodge Challenger Hellcat are real head-scratchers.