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Auto blogMon, 16 Jun 2014 10:31:00 EST
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.
Part of the idea behind the new Porsche Macan is that it's less expensive than its larger sibling, the Cayenne. But with a starting MSRP of $49,900, the base Macan S is actually $300 more expensive than the cheapest Cayenne. That, however, is just the start, as you can see from the online configurator.
As is often the case with German cars in general (Porsches especially), tick the right boxes and you'll soon be leaving that base price behind in a cloud of tire smoke. Start off with the Macan Turbo and you're looking at a base MSRP of $72,300, which is already over twenty grand more than the naturally-aspirated version. But even that soon escalates as the options pile on.
Aurum Metallic paint will set you back $3,120. 21-inch wheels, another $3,300. You'll probably want the air suspension, torque vectoring, the Sport Chrono package, adaptive cruise control and lane-change systems, and those each add over a grand to the price. A Burmester surround sound system is the single most expensive option at $4,290. And if you choose them all - and choose all the optional trim packages - you'll soon be looking at a price in excess of $110,000. That's enough to get you into a Cayenne Turbo... assuming you don't tag on all the options to that one, too.
If we learned nothing else from our recent frolic through Porsche's secret museum, it's that the automaker goes to incredible lengths to disguise future products during initial testing. Just as a number of cars in that Stuttgart bunker hid the true identity of developmental mules (like the Audi-V8-powered 911), such could very well be the case with these spy shots showing what, on the surface, appears to be simply a facelifted 991 911 Cabriolet.
Similar to what we saw last month on a 911 coupe, this Cabriolet has obvious styling modifications made to the front and rear fascias suggesting that the 911's still-fresh appearance is already set to get a few tweaks. The big news here is at the rear of the car. The additional vents on the lower edge of the fascia and the mocked-up vent above the engine leads our spy photographer to believe that a new engine could be tucked under the body work - likely a smaller-displacement, turbocharged flat-six focusing more on improving fuel efficiency and reducing exhaust emissions rather than performance.
We last heard rumblings of such a detuned 911 back in August, but could this be our first look at said new model? Have a look for yourself, and let us know what you think - either about this mule specifically or the idea of a "green" 911, in Comments below.