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Auto blogTue, 10 Sep 2013 06:31:00 EST
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.
A few weeks ago, we bid a fond happy 40th anniversary to the automotive dark ages of 1973-84 that have come to be known as "The Malaise Era" - the performance ice-age when 160 horsepower was a lot and a 0-60 time of under 10 seconds was remarkable. Like music in the 1980s, everything in automobiledom didn't suck, however. There were a few bright spots. Here are five of our favorites:
1976-79 Porsche 930, aka 911 Turbo Carrera (above)
Photo Credit: Dorotheum
Commenting on the rush of events that rocked beginning and end of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Paul Truswell of Radio Le Mans said "the race is about the ability to endure, not just the ability of drivers to do what they do for a long time." The entire race machine, all the way down to the pit boards and radios, has to survive the stress and abuse of the entire day. This was the race to prove those words.
There were two Toyotas, two Porsches and three Audis, five of the seven led the race at some point, six of the seven ran in the top three. Toyota will be hugely disappointed that it didn't win when its car and drivers were so, so strong, but they gave Audi the kind of scare we haven't seen since the best of Peugeot's days, and Toyota did a better job of it even in the loss. Porsche blew away everyone's expectations, falling 3.5 hours short of a fairy tale ending that would have made Disney cry.
But Le Mans doesn't really do fairy tales. Well, not that fairy tale. Audi's Twitter handle during the event was #welcomechallenges. As usual, Le Mans answered for the entire field.