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Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive LWB (2017) review

 Porsche Panamera Executive review
 We test the new long-wheelbase saloon
 Designed for China, sold in UK too

Yes, you can now buy a long-wheelbase Porsche Panamera Executive – the long-wheelbase version of the sports saloon with a chunky 150mm extra grafted into the wheelbase.

Does this make the Pan-am more of a rival to the Mercedes S-class and BMW 7-series LWB limousines? Sort of, but it’s worth stressing the four-door Porsche remains a sporting saloon at heart.

The ‘Executive’ bit of the badge is what gives the game away, heralded by the chromed kickplates as you climb in through the significantly bigger rear doors.

Does the long-wheelbase Porsche Panamera Executive work? Is it roomy back there?

You bet. The longer back doors make a huge difference. Rather than squeezing through and dropping down into the individual chairs, you now slide through into the rear captain’s seat.

Porsche Panamera Executive long-wheelbase side profile

Ours was equipped with the full-shebang massaging and individually adjustable rear pews. Having driven 10 hours back from the 2017 Frankfurt motor show in one blast, we can confirm they are very comfortable indeed.

Choose from Stretch, Wave, Shiatsu, Lumbar and Shoulder massages, selected on a six-inch digital infotainment screen. Our preferred back treatment? The vigorous Stretch – perfect for rubbing away the excesses of the IAA.

Is the Panamera LWB practical?

Legroom is properly comfy. Even with quite tall front-seat passengers, there’s plenty of space in the rear and the boot remains a very usable 405 litres (enough for four Frankfurt showgoers’ luggage), rising to 1391 litres with the rear seats folded. 

Ours also came with some of the most exquisitely engineered aircraft-style pop-out tables. Now we know where those Porsche turn-of-the-millennium cupholder engineers have been deployed for all those years.

Glitches? The lack of any USB ports in the rear is a surprise omission. We couldn’t find a single one in the rear compartment of our test car…

How does the Porsche Panamera Executive drive? Does the extra weight blunt performance?

Hardly. We tested the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive, with the perky petrol-electric system. Around town, it’ll slip along city roads in a whispered hush for up to 30 miles on EV mode; plug in for extra juice if you commute daily and you’ll rarely have to fill up with fuel if you do mostly short hops in the week.

Digital screens in new Porsche Panamera Executive LWB: a very slick, modern cabin

On a high-speed cross-Continental cruise, we averaged a more mediocre 26mpg, so don’t go expecting miracle fuel economy. Certainly not the claimed combined average of 113mpg. But your tax bills will be remarkably reasonable with CO2 emissions pegged at a (still-risible) 56g/km.

This is a Porsche, though. So stomp the right pedal, and 0-62mph is dispatched in 4.7sec and top whack is 173mph. You’ll never want for performance in the E-Hybrid. That 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine is twin-turbocharged, don’t forget – producing 326bhp and 332lb ft of torque, which is supplemented by a particularly punchy 100kW, or 134bhp, electric motor. It’ll sprint to 40mph in EV mode in just 5.9sec, dammit.

The eight-speed PDK automatic slushes through the ratios with an oily precision; one of the few flies in the ointment is the way it can cog-swap unnecessarily, especially at an M-way cruise, between seventh and eighth. You almost sense the complexities of juggling twin power supplies, its 0rpm ‘gliding’ off-throttle and changing gear are too much for the electronic ECU brain at times.

Whatever, the 150mm wheelbase stretch has little discernible effect on ride and handling. Ours rode on large 19-inch alloy wheels suspended by air springs and proved very comfortable, with just enough of a controlled edge to the damping to remind you’re in a Porsche and not a comfort-biased German limo.

Which Panamera models are available in long-wheelbase?

The 150mm stretch is available on the following models:

  • Porsche Panamera Executive
  • Porsche Panamera 4 Executive
  • Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive
  • Porsche Panamera 4S Executive
  • Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive
  • Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive

However, it is not currently offered on the Sport Turismo shooting brake bodystyle. Read our Panamera estate review here.

Prices, specs and review: we test the new 2018 Porsche Panamera Executive LWB

Price? The LWB Panamera costs £5k over the regular saloon. Yes, that’s nearly a grand per inch!

Build quality is first-rate throughout and the rest of the Panamera package is as per the regular four-door. So you get the rather brilliant new digital screens to control most minor functions, fewer buttons than in the Mk1 and a great driving position.

Verdict

The long-wheelbase model is a welcome addition to the Panamera range. It’s long been sports saloon of choice in this sector, and the latest Mk2 edition adds sweeter looks (the stretch doesn’t affect style, to these eyes) and lashings more practicality.

What’s not to like? Steep price aside, it gives the Porsche Panamera an even more rounded capability and gets the CAR seal of approval.

All our Porsche car reviews under one roof

Article source: http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-reviews/porsche/porsche-panamera-4-e-hybrid-executive-lwb-2017-review/

‘Project Cars 2′ game review: Start slow

As opposed to working up through the ranks, you’ll probably want to do what I did and jump right into the highest racing levels of “Project Cars 2” — IndyCar, WEC, RallyCross, or maybe you’ll just want to rip a LaFerrari around Circuit of the Americas.

That would be a mistake. This simulator, combined with my newly acquired Logitech G29 wheel and pedal setup, has so much more realism and sensitivity that I had to relearn how to control a (virtual) race car at speed. I ran into the same issue when I blew the dust off the first “Project Cars” after I got the new rig. Lift off the gas at the wrong time? Oversteer. Too much gas too early on corner exit? Oversteer. Too much turning input at entry? Loads of understeer.

“Project Cars 2” out Sept. 22 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and XboxOne, is a full racing simulation by Slightly Mad Studios — love the name — who also brought us “Need for Speed Shift” and “Shift 2,” as well as “Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends.”

The new game features 182 cars from 38 manufacturers, including Porsche (no Ruf), Ferrari and Lamborghini, and 46 tracks with 121 layouts total, including a few point-to-point drives in California, France and Germany. Legendary circuits like Road America, Sonoma, the Nurburgring and Circuit de la Sarthe, aka Le Mans, all make an appearance.

“PC2” features rally as a discipline for the first time. That means you can jump into a VW, Mini or Renault on famous RallyCross tracks around the world, or even practice at DirtFish rally school.

Project Cars 2 trailer


Like its predecessor, “PC2” is gorgeous and sounds unbelievable. The lighting, shadows and weather are perfectly rendered, and as soon as I sat in the Porsche Cayman GT4 and pulled out of the pits, I could hear the 3.8-liter flat-six blatting its grumbly exhaust note.

It’s harder to get the hang of than “Gran Turismo Sport,” but easier than “Dirt 4,” and as always, you’ll need a wheel controller to get the full effect either way. It also pays to spring for the good wheel with force feedback; all games are getting better and better with using it, and “PC2” might be the new king.

The curbing makes the wheel shake, as expected, but going off course is also met with a loose wheel in the gravel or grass; the kicker is during hard braking. You can press the left pedal hard, but once you hit lockup, it almost feels like the wheel moves forward and back, simulating that lockup/unlock feel one gets during a holy-crap-there’s-the-turn situation.

Everything difficulty- and control-related is adjustable. You can set the opponents’ aggression and skill level, as well as your own traction control, driving line access, brake and steering help, and restart availability.


Gran Turismo Sport video game driving simulator review

As for tuning, there’s more than anyone who’s not an engineer could ever need. Camber, caster, brake bias, gearing, aero and more can all be set up. Alternately, you can talk to your race engineer, who will ask you what the problem is. For example, “it’s not fast enough” or “it oversteers too much” — the game will tell you what needs to be changed. It’s an obvious and elegant solution to a problem that’s been around since the original “Gran Turismo.” Most of us aren’t engineers, so we don’t know how little aero tweaks or camber adjustments will affect the car’s balance.

I’m not quite ready to rank all of the new driving games. Within the past few months, a bevy have gone on sale, with “Forza 7” and the official “Gran Turismo Sport” release dates still to come. We’ll get a bunch more seat time in all of these simulators in the next few weeks and come back with a hard verdict after those next two juggernauts go on sale this and next month. Stay tuned.


Jake Lingeman


Jake Lingeman

– Jake Lingeman is Road Test Editor at Autoweek, reviewing cars, reporting on car news, car tech and the world at large.

See more by this author»

Article source: http://autoweek.com/article/games/project-cars-2-game-review-start-slow

Porsche Cayenne SUV (2017) first ride review

CAR experiences third-gen Cayenne
We ride shotgun in new SUV
Available to order now

If you’re after a posh or performance SUV, you’ve never had it so good. The booming posh-roader market has meant those with fat wallets and an image to maintain now have more brands to choose from than ever, so Porsche needs to up its game to stay afloat.

Typical Porsche Cayenne buyers not only have the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Volvo XC90 to tempt them away but the Range Rover Sport (or even the Velar), Bentley’s Bentayga and even the upcoming Lamborghini Urus, too. Bearing in mind that three of the Cayenne’s direct rivals are based on similar underpinnings (step forward Q7, Bentayga and Urus), Cayenne v3.0 needs to make sure it stands out from the pack.

We travelled to an ADAC test facility near Dusseldorf to have our first go in the latest Cayenne, albeit from the passenger seat. Here are our findings…

It’s still not a looker…

…and it doesn’t look hugely different from its predecessor, either. In fact, if you parked one alongside its forebear and looked at them from a dead-on front angle, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. It’s only when you get to the rear that there are significantly noticeable changes, design-wise; the rear light bar graphic has been carried across from the Panamera and the 718 range, for example.

Porsche Cayenne 2017

Still, Porsche’s engineers assured us no panel is the same as its predecessor. It’s made from a mix of aluminium and steel like before, but the construction now has a much more aluminium-rich recipe to the tune of 47%.

Plus, Porsche claims that the hotter Turbo model is the first SUV with active aerodynamics, as not only do the vents in the grille move to better direct airflow but it has an active rear spoiler that can deploy at speed, or act as an airbrake.

Are there more changes under the skin?

Beneath the aluminium panels and not-so-different design lies the same basic VW Group ‘toolkit’ derived from the current Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga. Your new Cayenne comes with a 48-volt electrical system for suppressing body roll, can be fitted with rear-wheel steering and Porsche-specific three-chamber air suspension, and weight saving measures applied to every nook and cranny mean it’s 65kg lighter than before.

One of the most pertinent innovations in Porsche’s deck is a brand new brake option that makes its world debut on the new Cayenne. Called ‘Porsche Surface Coated Brake’, the new system comprises regular cast iron discs that have been coated in tungsten carbide, alongside beefy 10-piston calipers at the front and four-piston ones at the rear.

Porsche Cayenne 2017

Christoph Bittner says that the PSCB system has ‘all of the benefits of cast discs with the braking power of ceramics’, as the coated discs fade far slower than regular ones and make for ‘more reliable pedal feel’ when you’re hard at it. Another claimed benefit is an approximate 90% reduction in brake dust production, so Porsche specifically painted the calipers white to highlight how clean they would be even after hard use. They’re standard on Turbo models, or available as an option on Cayenne and Cayenne S for £2105 – around a third of the price of a set of ceramics.

Clever… how about inside?

Been inside the latest Panamera? It’s an incredibly similar dashboard layout, with a very clean design. Gone is the button-fest (to both celebratory cheers and grumbling derision, depending on who you talk to) and has instead been replaced by a massive 12.3-inch full HD infotainment display, haptic feedback touch buttons and more gloss black panelling than Alice Cooper’s Steinway piano.

So what were your findings?

We had the chance to ride in two different versions of the new Cayenne. The first was on road, in a hot V8 Turbo model, which has Porsche’s new Surface Coated Brakes as standard, while the second was a standard Cayenne S without the beefier brakes and on regular steel springs.

They were both pre-production development cars, so there was the disclaimer from our test drivers that some features were a little mismatched as to what will actually end up on the full production run. Plus, bear in mind our rides only consisted of around 10 minutes each.

Riding shotgun in the Turbo was all about on-road performance. We first set off in Normal mode for a sighting lap of the ADAC facility, and we found the ride was firm even on the track’s smooth surfaces but bumps were well damped, as if they had a rounder edge to them. Opening up the taps in Sport showed just how muscular the V8 felt even at five tenths and, to our ears, it sounds pretty evocative.

Sport Plus was where we spent most of our time on road and revealed the adaptive air suspension working hard to keep the car flat; there was very little roll and turn-in was sharp. The Turbo also had the Cayenne’s new rear-wheel steering system fitted, and it showed; there was a tactile sense that the hefty SUV was almost pivoting around the corner from a central point.

Porsche Cayenne 2017

Our Turbo driver, Thomas Reithmüller, also took full advantage of the facility’s skid pan to get the tail out quite considerably. In Sport Plus, the Cayenne allowed the rears to slip on the wet hairpin to produce a progressive slide, then engaged the fronts to pull the big Porsche out of trouble when the steering centred. Porsche calls its all-wheel drive gubbins a ‘hang-on’ system – apt.

We then hopped into a Cayenne S for our off-road gallivant, first using the gravel setting on the off-road submenu of the drive select system to traverse a shingle-strewn track, which the regular suspension mode handled without difficulty.

The next challenge consisted of two extremely steep rocky climbs. Switching into Rock mode unfortunately doesn’t start an Aerosmith concert but primes the suspension for sudden camber changes and properly aggressive terrain. The first steep hill was dealt with in minimal time and with minimal fuss from the all-wheel drive system, as the road tyres maintained their composure through up the rutted and steep terrain. It also gave our off-road test driver, Jochen Möchl, the chance to activate the hill descent control.

Porsche Cayenne 2017

The second incline was… less successful. The incline was similarly steep, but the crest of it was off camber and angled to the right. The same procedure was engaged, so our Cayenne girded its loins and progressively tackled the craggy track… right up to the crest. A wheel-consuming dip in the track brought our Cayenne to a juddering halt, and Jochen’s self-admitted heavy presses of the loud pedal only made our SUV crab backward.

If nothing else, it proves that Porsche’s go-anywhere utility vehicle can still be caught out; it doesn’t prove the Cayenne isn’t good off-road; instead it shows how much the driver still needs to exert their technique to get the most out of it when tackling the roughest terrain.

Verdict

At face value and from the wrong side of the car, our brief demonstration showed that the Cayenne can still (mostly) tackle a light sprinkling of rough stuff, and that the Turbo feels like a bit of a weapon. But we’ll obviously have to drive it for ourselves to give you our definitive verdict – sorry.

Check out the rest of CAR’s Porsche reviews here

Article source: http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-reviews/porsche/porsche-cayenne-suv-2018-review/

Range Rover Velar review: the 375bhp ‘First Edition’

I really want one of these Velars. 

So do a lot of people, it seems. Few cars that don’t have big wings or silly doors attract as much attention as the Range Rover Velar.

People point at it and talk to you about it. They ask you if it’s any good, because their hairdresser’s wife’s sister’s husband’s best friend is thinking about putting his name down and can’t decide whether or not he wants the contrast roof. It gets a bit annoying. 

It figures.

Well, there’s no denying Land Rover’s made a hugely desirable car. It’s supposed to plug the gap between the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque (and feels closer to the former than the latter), which in practical terms means it’s bigger than a BMW X4, but not as big as an X6.

Its underpinnings are shared with the Jaguar F-Pace, but the Velar is longer, narrower and, because it’s a Land Rover, better off-road. Which is great, even though we bet it’s just a tiny fraction of potential owners who’ll give a damn. 

How about on the road? 

This is our first time trying a Velar in the UK, and indeed our first time in the range-topping ‘First Edition’, with its 3.0-litre supercharged V6 making 380bhp. And it drives, well… like a Range Rover. 

Don’t think the fact it shares a platform with one of the best-driving small SUVs means it’s especially engaging – because it isn’t. You still need the F-Pace, or better yet, a Porsche Macan, if you want to have any real fun driving your crossover. 

Shame. 

Not really. The Velar’s still pretty good. It’s a Range Rover, and they’re not for going fast (though we’ve no doubt there’ll be an SVR before long). Even with the F-Type’s big 375bhp V6 on board, you never feel compelled to drive it especially quickly. It doesn’t fall to pieces if you do, but the Velar is best enjoyed a long way south of maximum commitment. 

The steering is well-weighted and precise enough to make placing its near two-metre girth straightforward and stress-free, the eight-speed automatic gearbox is smooth and unobtrusive and the air-sprung ride of our test car coped pretty well with most everything Britain could throw at it – even on those chintzy 22in wheels. It’s a refined and relaxing drive rather than an engaging or thrilling one, and that’s just fine. 

As for the engine – we’d stick with the diesel. The petrol is faster outright (5.3sec to 62mph and 155mph top speed), but it doesn’t half drink (30.1mpg claimed, expect mid 20s) and in this application isn’t particularly rewarding. A lusty, un-stressed six-cylinder diesel is more at home here. That tops 44mpg and is a couple of grand cheaper in First Edition spec than this petrol.

That interior is something else…

Isn’t it? And it actually works too. I mean, I’d still rather have actual buttons for my climate controls and radio presets, but Land Rover’s implementation of the Velar’s two touchscreens – one where you’d normally find it, the other lower down, where the climate controls normally sit – is pretty good. I was a doubter, but I didn’t have nearly as many accidents as I thought I would trying to change radio stations or switch drive modes. It’s still not quite as intuitive or a slick in its responses as it could be, but Land Rover is certainly making progress. For a full run-down of the interior tech, head over to our full review. 

Because our test car was a ‘First Edition’ it had every conceivable bell and whistle. Its RRP was £86,175 – and that’s an outrageous sum for a car of this size and type. Ten minutes spent on Land Rover’s online configurator reveals you can get a sensibly specified ‘proper’ Range Rover for that. 

But a proper Rangie is nowhere near as stylish. 

Exactly. Something is worth what people are prepared to pay for it, and we’ve no doubt Land Rover will have no trouble whatsoever finding people willing to spend circa-£90k on its ‘mid-range’ model.

But if you’re buying on substance as well as style, our money would go on the V6 diesel. The supercharged V6 petrol will sell well overseas but a more torquey, lower-revving diesel better suits the Velar’s character. As for money, we’d dodge the First Edition – you can get a V6 diesel with all the kit you want/need (the twin-screen infotainment is standard, so are the pop-out door handles) for a price that begins with a six.

Article source: https://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/land-rover/range-rover-velar/30-p380-first-edition-4dr-auto/road-test

Project CARS 2

Project CARS 2 is really the best kind of racing game sequel: one that’s improved so meaningfully it’s hard to go back to the previous instalment. The handling is utterly remarkable on a wheel or a pad, the expanded track selection is unmatched and boasts dynamic time and weather on every one, the much-improved car selection hits a whole host of fan-favourite beats, and the sound is seriously stunning. For solo players there’s an absolute ocean of content, and the multiplayer suite seems well-poised to pick up where the original Project CARS left off – while adding a pile of esports-friendly set-up options and broadcast-style flourishes to boot.

I enjoyed the first Project CARS, and I liked the way the touring and GT cars felt in particular, but not everyone agreed. A lot of that is due to the fact that the grip admittedly dropped off a cliff the second you broke traction, and it required a fair amount of finessing to hone the handling to a gamepad. Plenty of people rapidly retreated from the original Project CARS for precisely this reason.

Regardless of what camp your tent is pitched in – whether you dug it or you didn’t – my message is simple: come back.

Project CARS 2’s new handling model is a tour de force.

Project CARS 2’s new handling model is a tour de force. On a wheel it’s brilliant, from the feeling of being able to step the rear end out – and still save your car from what previously would’ve been a certain, uncontrolled slide – to the feel of the steering sharpening as your tyres come up to temperature, allowing you to really cut into corners and gobble up apexes. The sensation of grip is terrific but so is the feel of it going away, which is way, way more linear and realistic.

On a gamepad, though? It’s simply a different game to the first altogether. It’s just so much better. I haven’t even touched any settings; straight out of the box Project CARS 2 feels manageable and planted. It’s a fraction more numb on turn-in compared to the 1:1 directness you get on a wheel but the twitchiness of the first game is just gone. You don’t need a wheel to enjoy this deep, nuanced handling model; there’s a satisfying, challenging, and most of all manageable racing experience to be had here, regardless of your control method.

There are plenty of settings you can massage if you wish, though (and what they do to your controller’s response and feel is way more clearly explained than it ever was in the more obtuse series of settings available in the first Project CARS). It seems like part of a wider, more accessible philosophy everywhere, from the less frantic menu layout, to the calm and informative VO from handling consultant and former Top Gear Stig Ben Collins eloquently explaining each and every aspect of the game as you encounter it. Project CARS 2 is a tremendously deep destination for racing diehards but it doesn’t want to outright intimidate people. There’s even a built-in race engineer that will suggest tuning changes based on the feedback you give it. It doesn’t replace the ability to set your car up manually but it is handy for Cole Trickle-types who need a Harry Hogge to do their car whispering for them.

The massive career mode is similar to the first game, with a few positive tweaks. It offers more freedom to choose the exact teams you want to race for in each motorsport series (and more of them in general) and there’s a new “Manufacturer Drives” event list, which allows us to score gigs as regular factory drivers for many of the included carmakers. You’ll be locked into any career series you sign up for but I found the Manufacturer Drives and other invitational events break things up quite nicely. While career mode still allows you to start in any discipline, skipping anything you’re not interested in, the most prestigious series are locked until you earn a seat in them, injecting a better sense of purpose to the game’s solo offering. You can’t just go straight to the GT3 Pirelli World Challenge, or directly into a rallycross supercar – you need to prove you’ve got the minerals in a lower category first.

[Project CARS 2 is] part motorsport magic lamp, part Al Gore’s personal climate change nightmare.

Of course, if you prefer you can forgo this in favour of the online mode, which now supports and tracks fully-fledged online championships and has dedicated broadcaster and director functionality built into it for budding esports types. If you’re like me, though, you may opt instead to lose whole days fooling around endlessly with custom offline single-player races. The top tier cars and event types are unlocked for custom events, even if you haven’t reached them in your solo career. It’s a powerful system, allowing you to toggle all of the various series’ rules baked into the game, save your favourite race types, and quickly switch between umbrella settings for the game’s nine represented race disciplines.

It’s easy to lose giant chunks of time in custom races because they’re instant fun. Here you’re basically a cross between the world’s richest automotive aficionado and some kind of weather genie. Ali Baba had them forty thieves, but did he ever have to race in the Dubai desert during a blizzard? This is Project CARS 2 at its wildest and wackiest – part motorsport magic lamp, part Al Gore’s personal climate change nightmare.

Jokes aside, the weather options are the cat’s pyjamas. The original has dynamic weather and time of day effects, but not like this. In Project Cars 2 puddles pool in real time as the rain hammers down and shrink when the sun comes out, dissipated by speeding tyres and dried up by high-temp race cars and the warming asphalt. Nothing about Project CARS 2’s tracks feel static; at times they feel like evolving little worlds, especially over long races. F1 2017 absolutely manages this too, but Project CARS 2 achieves it with many more types of racing.

Tackle tracks in the blazing summer sun, or with the landscape blanketed in snow.

Tracks don’t just take on new identities and dimensions based on what time of day it is, or the weather, but also what time of year it is. Tackle tracks in the blazing summer sun, or with the landscape blanketed in snow. The one-size-fits-all approach makes some minor missteps here (for instance, Bathurst shouldn’t be nearly as brown as Project CARS 2 depicts during autumn because nearly all eucalyptus trees are evergreen) but the variety the system injects into the overall atmosphere is worth a few small errors. It helps, of course, that its track roster is simply the best on the market. It’s a mix of all the typical high-profile suspects with hidden gems like Scotland’s Knockhill, or New Zealand’s Ruapuna Park (with a few long-gone classic configurations – like old-school Monza and Spa – sprinkled in for good measure). For the sake of comparison, we’re talking over three times the venues coming in GT Sport, and over four times the layouts. That’s just not a trivial disparity.

Combined with the fantastic car selection there’s just so much game here for a single transaction, especially compared to its closest peers in the PC space. Stuff like iRacing and RaceRoom Racing Experience may be equally admired and accomplished simulations, but there’s no denying the difference in delivery. Project CARS 2 comes with 180+ cars, nine motorsport disciplines, 29 motorsport series, 60 venues, and 130+ living track layouts, straight of the gate. No monthly subscription fees and no need to purchase a bunch of individually-priced, a la carte cars and tracks to get the content you want. I can’t help but see the elegance in that.

The GT3 class is phenomenal, with almost all today’s cars represented, but there’s plenty of retro love, too.

With the addition of Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Nissan, many of the car classes that were a bit too sparsely populated in the original Project CARS have been bolstered, decreasing repetition of the same models padding out large grids. The GT3 class is phenomenal, with almost all today’s cars represented, but there’s plenty of retro love, too. There are still some holes that could do with filling (there’s a distinct lack of muscle, the vintage Lotus Formula cars still lack any relevant opposition, and the fondly-recalled ’90s Group A class relies a bit too heavily on pre-order incentives and day one DLC and would benefit hugely by having the likes of Volvo, Renault, and Holden sign on) but it’s a great cross section of recognisable race cars from a wide range of eras – not just current day. There’s a sizeable smorgasbord of road cars, too, but they’re outshined by the racing models and I’ve only found myself drawn to a few key faves.

Developer Slightly Mad Studios has done pretty well with the AI for all these disparate vehicle types and you can dial both their speed and aggression up and down to find the perfect setting to suit your racing skill. I certainly found myself being unloaded from behind on occasion (but typically only if I braked a fraction too early) and some classes I tested were really struggling taking first corners cleanly on certain tracks. Still, for the most part they’re convincing opponents and will give you room if you force the issue. My biggest criticism in this instance is that Project CARS 2 is a bit heavy-handed with penalties when passing clumps of cars struggling around crowded opening corners, demanding you hand back positions for sometimes unclear reasons (although this too can be toggled off if you’d rather police yourself in these instances).

Like its predecessor Project CARS 2 is still a great-looking game overall – markedly so on a hefty PC though still quite handsome on console. There have been subtle improvements across the board, including the rain (which is far more authentic this time around, slithering up your windscreen at speed like an army of tiny, transparent worms). There are some hitches, however – on console I’ve had the occasional instance where the game will hiccup and drop an isolated slab of frames, and there are a few loose ends with the VR support on PC, with the default helmet cam triggering a fever dream of barf-inducing double vision. Thankfully this doesn’t happen with the conventional cockpit view, and the VR experience is otherwise terrific (albeit sphincter-scorchingly expensive) once you switch to it.

As nice as this game looks, though, it honestly sounds even better.

It’s not just all the whines, squeals, clunks, and violence of the cabin of a real race car; it’s a ton of small, almost imperceptible details. The squeak of a wiper blade’s first few swipes across a dry windscreen, compared to when the glass becomes slick with rain. The chatter of loose debris being flung from a hot tyre after dropping a wheel off track. The thump of a loose bit of aero slapping against the car, reverberating through the cockpit over the bellowing engine.

And those exhaust notes? Just listen to that F-Type Jag above – and this is one of the road cars. You’re allowed to drive it past schools and hospitals. The sound of this thing should only be available in opaque plastic bags from under the counter because it is pornographic.


Project CARS 2 plays like a pumped-up version of the classic TOCA Race Driver 3 from 2006, redressing many of the complaints levelled at the original. The handling has been tuned to a T, the content is excellently curated, and the amount of variety and racing available in it is delightfully daunting. Even if you don’t care about the developer’s esports aspirations there’s still a mammoth solo racer here that’s always ready to roll whenever you are. Now and then I’ll encounter a display quirk or a bug that may botch a race start, and the AI desperately needs a lesson in first corners, but when I’m out on track wringing ten-tenths out of my car against just the right AI level – one eye on the car ahead and the other on the clouds above – this is about as good as real racing gets right now.

Article source: http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/09/18/project-cars-2-review

2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Spices up Frankfurt With 550 HP

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When Porsche dropped details on its third-generation Cayenne SUV a few weeks ago, it neglected to mention one model: The high-performance Turbo variant. Now, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the automaker gives us all we need to know about the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo, including specs that would make some sports cars sweat.

The new Cayenne Turbo is powered by Porsche’s new twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, which makes the same 550 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque it does in the Panamera Turbo. That marks an improvement of 30 hp and 14 lb-ft over the previous model, which packed a twin-turbo 4.8-liter V-8. The engine comes mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission, which routes power to all four wheels via the Porsche Traction Management all-wheel-drive system. This setup is good for 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds in standard trim, or 3.7 seconds with the Sport Chrono package that also raises top speed to 177 mph.

The Cayenne Turbo gets a unique exterior treatment that includes wider air inlets in the front fascia, a quad-tipped exhaust, and special 21-inch alloy wheels in a staggered fitment wrapped in 285/40 front and 315/35 rear tires. The Turbo also receives LED headlights with projector lamps arranged in groups of four, a design theme found on only the highest-performance Porsche models. Like the standard Cayenne, the Turbo’s interior offers Porsche Advanced Cockpit 12.3-inch instrument cluster screen. The Turbo also gets 18-way adjustable seats with integrated headrests, a heated steering wheel, and heated seats all around as standard.

A new three-chamber air suspension with active shock absorbers increases handling ability and comfort. The system has six selectable height levels and five driving modes configured for on- and off-road performance. Further adding to its handling prowess are rear steering, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control roll stabilization, and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus systems. A new Porsche Surface Coated Brake process covers the Cayenne Turbo’s cast-iron brake rotors with a layer of tungsten carbide to increase performance and resistance to wear, all while reducing brake dust. For more stopping power, carbon ceramic brakes are available.

The 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo arrives next fall and will be available to order in the U.S. this year. Better bring your piggy bank to the Porsche dealership, though, as the model will start at $125,650 with destination.

Source: Porsche

 

Article source: http://www.motortrend.com/news/2019-porsche-cayenne-turbo-spices-up-frankfurt-with-550-hp/

First Laps: 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series

WILLOWS, California — Wealthy folk sometimes make it seem as though having cartoonish piles of money is such a bore. When you can afford anything you want, it’s apparently not worth buying if Alistair down at the equestrian club has the same, even in a different color. High-end automakers thrive on this vehicular one-upmanship, releasing limited batches of cars to appease picky, complex-ridden collectors. Stuttgart’s latest and greatest smugmobile, the 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series, is a 607-horsepower, all-options-checked monster that’s as limited as it sounds. Last month, ahead of the 2017 Monterey Car Week, the company rolled out an Exclusive Series for us to drive at Thunderhill Raceway—and discover how it feels to be the one percent of the one percent.

From a brand standpoint, the Exclusive Series makes a worryingly large amount of sense. Compared to hard-nosed adrenaline junkies who snap up offerings like the 911 R, GT3, and forthcoming GT2 RS, Turbo buyers tend to focus more on how the world perceives them rather than knocking fractions of a second off of their lap time. Ever since the 930 911 became the darling of Wall Street back in the 1980s, the Turbo badge has carried weight a GT3 just isn’t able to match.

The Exclusive Series (ES) plays to this social strength. And while Porsche GT products infamously command more for less, with no back seats, radios, or air conditioning, the Exclusive Series follows a radically different formula: pay more, get more.

Similar to the regular, hum-drum 911 Turbo S, the ES arrives wearing nearly every single accoutrement offered in the long catalogue, plus additional details from the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur department, a faction specializing in giving extremely wealthy customers customization options limited only by their imagination and checkbook. Scrolling through endless order books can be so dull, so the ES offers rarity right off the peg.

Everything is massaged, touched, stitched, and wrapped by the Exclusive department. Visually, the ES wears the optional Turbo aerokit as standard, now with great chunks of carbon fiber hanging off of the rear bumper, plus a decklid wing, and rear intake ducts. See those distinctive hood stripes? Those are strategically masked-off portions of the all-carbon bonnet where the bare weave shines through gloss. Black brake calipers and a black exhaust outlet round out the design.

We drove a white ES, but the car might be best ordered in the debut Golden Yellow Metallic, similar to the hue featured in the wheel accents. Inside, things get a little crazy. This is where Porsche Exclusive adds color-matched stitching and extended leather to everything. Check the air vent slats—yep, leather. Underneath the steering column? Stitched leather. There’s the requisite carbon-fiber trim kit as well, but look closer. Porsche wove copper thread into the carbon strands, creating a luminous new design that is sure to make your tennis partner, Hudson, feel inadequate about his off-the-shelf black-on-black Carrera 4.

These surface-level touches are fun, but the package starts to gain momentum under the rear decklid. The 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six is fitted with a model-specific powerkit, boosting output to a stunning 607 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. This is 27 extra ponies over the regular Turbo S, and while that torque figure is unchanged, the ES has 553 lb-ft on tap at all times—the pedestrian Turbo S only sees that peak briefly with the standard overboost function.

More carbon fiber, more power, more speed. Advertised 0-60 time is unchanged at 2.8 seconds, but the 0-124 mph time is cut by 0.3 second, down to a skin-rippling 9.6 seconds. Of course, Porsche is famous for providing conservative performance numbers, and from behind the wheel, its cars usually feel much, much faster. This definitely applies to the ES. Our friends at Motor Trend tested a regular, 580-hp Turbo S at 2.5 seconds to 60 mph, so we’ll settle for a 2.4 second sprint in the ES.

There will only be 500 of these worldwide, so imagine my surprise when this white example sat among the three 911 GT3s on hand at the Thunderhill. While the GT3s were real stars of the show at the time, now featuring a killer 4.0-liter, 500-hp naturally aspirated flat-six and the six-speed gearbox out of the 911 R, the Exclusive Series was a perfect companion piece to the track toys.

After running the sweltering, off-camber, decreasing radius Thunderhill gauntlet in the raw GT3, I fell out of the car a sweaty, sore lump. When I finished guzzling two or three water bottles, Porsche handlers dragged me over to the ES, turned on the cooled seats, and sent me on my way down the first straight, behind Le Mans legend Hurley Haywood and his regular 991.2 Turbo S, which served as the pace car.

Warp drive? This is teleportation. Leave it to Porsche to make 607 hp feel like a billion, especially when facing down a 140-mph straight. One second, you’re staring down the tarmac dragway. Mat the throttle and you hear a whoosh; then, suddenly, the first turn looms ahead. It’s that simple—point-to-point takes on a new meaning.

When you do haul the ES down from speed with the standard carbon-ceramic brakes, the plan of attack is not too far off the same method I discovered in the 991.2 Turbo I drove a few months back. It’s true, all Turbo models are heavier and cushier than their sinewy GT siblings, but don’t listen to anyone who says the Turbo’s not for turning. The trick lies in leaning heavily on the incredibly effective all-wheel-drive system, accelerating through the turn rather than maintaining or sloughing speed. If you give it too much of the 553 lb-ft, Porsche’s excellent torque vectoring and stability management (PTV, PSAM) is there to pick up where you left off.

If there’s a weak spot to be found, it’s in the standard Pirelli P Zero tires, which weren’t ideal for continuous track abuse, returning far more understeer than I would have liked when they became too hot. Granted, this relatively long-lasting rubber is ideal for the target customer, who is sure to keep his or her Exclusive Series far, far away from anything remotely resembling a road course. For those who enjoy risking such an asset, Porsche informed me it will offer buyers an optional set of P Zero Corsas, which wear out quicker and are less usable in inclement weather, but far more suited for trackwork.

I didn’t get a chance to drive the ES on public roads, but rest assured, it is as cosseting and easy to drive as the regular Turbo. It’s viciously fast when you need it to be, calm when you don’t, and fills the gaps everywhere in-between.

If this sounds fine and dandy, get ready to shell out an eye-watering $258,550 for one of the 500 examples. While this isn’t too far off the price tag of a fully loaded regular Turbo S, the ES offers a handful of high-dollar options that’s sure to push it right up to the $300,000 mark. Chief among them are the optional carbon-fiber wheels, setting buyers back $15,000, and the limited edition Porsche Design chronograph wristwatch, allowing you to show off even when you have left your car with the valet.

The 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series is a rolling manifestation of one-upmanship, and that’s fine. If you’re shaking your head in disgust, or still trying to fathom why someone would want this over a regular Turbo, that’s also okay, as you’re clearly not the target audience.

Thanks for the laughs and spinal compression, Turbo S Exclusive Series. I’ll see you on the Monaco Riviera.

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Article source: http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-porsche-911-turbo-s-exclusive-series-track-review/

Get to the mall super-fast in the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Meet the drop-resistant Moto Z2 Force

The Moto Z2 Force is really thin, with a fast processor and great battery life. It can survive drops without shattering.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/pictures/porsche-cayenne-turbo/

VW’s Ruling Porsche-Piech Clan Against Asset Sales

FRANKFURT — Volkswagen’s controlling Porsche and Piech families are against selling any of the company’s assets, the clan’s most senior member said on Tuesday.

Analysts and bankers have been expecting Europe’s largest carmaker to sell assets to make it more nimble and help fund a strategic shift following dieselgate, as well as to meet the cost of the scandal, which has already reached $25 billion.

Volkswagen (VW) asked banks earlier this year to examine options for its motorcycle brand Ducati and transmissions maker Renk, including selling the two divisions, sources have said, as it reviews its portfolio of assets after announcing a major push into electric cars and new mobility services last year.

But after VW’s powerful labor unions have repeatedly opposed any such deal, the carmaker’s controlling Porsche and Piech clan on Tuesday also withheld its backing for divestments.

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“Of course the management board has the right to make such strategic considerations,” Wolfgang Porsche, chairman of Porsche SE, the holding firm through which the two family tribes control 52 percent of VW’s voting shares, told Reuters during the Frankfurt auto show.

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“But (asset) sales are currently not on the agenda. These questions have to date not been discussed on the supervisory board,” Porsche, also the clan’s spokesman, said.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/09/12/business/12reuters-autoshow-frankfurt-volkswagen-assets.html

IAA 2017 Day Two: All the news and photos from Frankfurt Motor Show

Day two of the IAA 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show is here, and we’re receiving car news by the truckload. Here you’ll find all the details, including IAA 2017 news, dates, schedule – and cars, of course.

The Internationale Automobil-Austellung – commonly known as the Frankfurt Motor Show – is officially underway, and we’re expecting major news from some of the world’s biggest car brands, including BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.

Read on for all the details.

IAA 2017 News: The latest news, announcements and cars from the Frankfurt Motor Show

Audi at IAA 2017

Audi used the IAA 2017 to show off a brand new version of the Audi R8 sports cars, duly dubbed the Audi R8 V10 RWS.

As the name suggests, it’s got a powerful V10 engine and operates on a rear-wheel drive system – unique to this model alone. It’s 50kg lighter than its predecessor, starts at £110,000, and will only be available to 999 customers globally.

Credit: Audi

The German carmaker also showed off its vision for the future of driving in the form of the Audi Aicon. A somewhat wacky concept car, the Aicon has no pedals or steering wheel, instead carting round passengers in fully autonomous fashion.

Audi hopes that one day, rich people will sit in the back of the Aicon and enjoy luxury comforts, like hi-res movies and chairs that can move around the back of your car. Fancy, eh?

Bentley at IAA 2017

Bentley used the IAA 2017 motor show to finally debut its all-new Bentley Continental GT. The third-generation grand tourer replaces the old model, which ran/runs from 2011 to 2018.

We’ve not got pricing yet, but we’re expecting the new car to arrive on driveways in the UK in the first quarter of 2018.

In a statement, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer described the car as a “defining moment” for Bentley Motors. It’s easy to see why; the meaty tourer can output an impressive 626bhp, and promises a 0-60mph time of 3.6 seconds, as well as a top speed of 207mph.

BMW at IAA 2017

BMW managed to secure plenty of hype around its new concept car, the BMW i Vision Dynamics.

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Formally debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the BMW i Vision Dynamics is an all-electric vehicle that sits between the existing BMW i3 and BMW i8.

Credit: BMW

It boasts a range of 600km (373 miles), manages a nippy top speed of over 200kmh (120mph), and can accelerate from zero to 100kmh (62mph) in just four seconds. Unfortunately, there’s no word on when (or even if) this car will become a production model, so exercise patience for now.

Bugatti at IAA 2017

The Bugatti stand was drawing plenty of attention at the Frankfurt Motor Show, largely on account of the Bugatti Chiron stationed there.

If you missed the hype, here’s the deal: this vehicle set the production car record for accelerating from zero right up to 249mph (400kmh) and then back to zero again. It managed that impressive feat in just 42 seconds, which is probably quicker than the time it took me to write these two paragraphs.