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Auto blogMon, 19 Aug 2013 15:30:00 EST
Just weeks before he was supposed to become CEO of Porsche Cars Australia, Infiniti has apparently offered Porsche COO and Executive Vice President Michael Bartsch a deal he couldn't refuse. Thus, Bartsch has join the company as Vice President of Infiniti Americas, the luxury marque's top North American post. Bartsch replaces Ben Poore, who has been with the automaker since 2008, having led both a 22-percent sales surge in 2012 and the brand's current sales slough, Automotive News reports.
Bartsch, Porsche's No. 2 US executive, has held the COO and Executive Vice President positions at Porsche since 2005 and was scheduled to become CEO of Porsche's Oz division on September 1. Infiniti has experienced a number of recent personnel changes in the past week: it named Vincent Gillet, formerly an executive for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, to lead its marketing efforts worldwide and Simon Cox, a former designer for automakers including Ford and Peugeot, to head a new design studio in London.
Poore reportedly will pursue other interests outside of the auto industry. Read more about the personnel change in the press release below.
Porsche unveiled a slew of refreshed Cayennes just a few months ago, but the base model (right) and high-performance GTS trim (above) were conspicuously absent from that list. There's no more reason to wonder about them, though, because the German brand plans to unveil both at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19.
Sitting below the Turbo in the lineup, the latest GTS still offers plenty of performance. It drops the previous version's naturally aspirated V8 in favor of a tuned version of the twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 from the Cayenne S for some added oomph. The tweaks bring power up to 440 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to rocket the model to 62 miles per hour in an estimated 5.2 seconds. The bump also equates to 20 hp and 39 lb-ft more than the current S and more importantly 20 hp and 62 lb-ft more than the previous GTS, according to Porsche.
In addition to the extra muscle, Porsche also decks the GTS out with some added features. It comes with a standard sport exhaust and Porsche Active Suspension Management system with an air suspension lets the chassis sit about three-quarters of an inch lower (20 millimeters). To bring things to a halt, the high-performance models also takes its brakes from the Turbo model.
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #344 tonight, joined by Doug DeMuro, author of Plays With Cars, formerly of Porsche Cars North America, and all-around swell guy. You can drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module below, and we'll give them extra-diligent attention. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
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