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How to Buy a Porsche 911: When Passion And Reason Collide

The Porsche 911 has been in continuous production for more than 50 years, making it one of the oldest car models on the planet. With more than one million 911s produced to date, it has a rich and storied history. Indeed, the Porsche brand has become synonymous with the 911. Some would say it’s the only true Porsche produced in any meaningful numbers. But the 911 is really just a platform. This is what can make the buying process so dizzying, as there are four different types of 911 — Turbo, Carrera, Targa, and GT — with the addition of convertible (Cabriolet), high-performance (S), extra-high-performance (GTS), and all-wheel-drive (4) versions offered across several of them. Then add the hundreds of options from which to choose. One can spend hours at the Porsche.com car builder and just scratch the surface. The potential configurations number in the millions.

Article source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-buy-a-porsche-911-when-passion-and-reason-collide_us_597f7070e4b0d187a5968f33

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Review – Road Test for the New Porsche …

Earlier this month, RT editor-at-large Sam Smith attended the global media launch of the 700-hp 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Smith’s formal drive review of the GT2 RS will see print in an upcoming issue of Road Track. In the meantime, he emailed us his first dispatch on the car, in the form of an interview he conducted with himself. He writes this way a lot. Don’t ask why. We don’t know.

If you want a more straightforward review of the 911 GT2 RS, please visit our sister publication, Car and Driver, and read correspondent Mike Duff’s thorough dissection. For now, here’s an awful lot of words on an awful lot of 911. —Ed.

What are we dealing with here? Besides that nutso rear wing.

The GT2 RS is a heavily modified, two-wheel-drive, track-focused version of the current 911 Turbo S. That car costs $188,100, weighs more than 3500 pounds, and is four-wheel-drive; its 3.8-liter flat-six produces 580 hp. The GT2 RS uses a 3.8-liter flat-six to produce 700 hp at 7000 rpm. Porsche says the car weighs 3241 pounds. It costs $294,250 but is lighter than the Turbo, faster, festooned with carbon-fiber, and generally the angriest, weirdest new 911 that money can buy. Plus the fastest factory-built 911 road car in history.

So it’s a 911. Like every other 911.

Not really. From a performance standpoint, this car makes every other current 911, including the naturally aspirated, 9000-rpm GT3, look like a rusty VW Beetle with three wheels missing. In Porsche’s testing, the GT2 RS lapped the Ring 10 seconds faster than the company’s own 918 Spyder, which cost just under $1 million when new. This is no small accomplishment.

But what of the special features and neat tricks? Dear God, there must be special features and neat tricks. Please tell me of the features and tricks.

There is an optional set of carbon-fiber sway bars; they are paired with carbon-fiber end links. The RS’s roof is magnesium, with an option to go for carbon-fiber instead. Ceramic brakes are standard. The rear wheels are 12.5 inches wide and wear 325-section tires. (Perspective: The now-dead Dodge Viper wore 355s out back; when that car left production, those tires were the widest of any contemporary mass-production car.) Water injection, for cooling the engine’s intake charge, is standard. Optional magnesium wheels. A titanium muffler. Carbon hood hinges. Lightweight carpet.

And here I thought it took dunkel. #991gt2rs #porsche911 @roadandtrack

A post shared by Sam Smith (@thatsamsmith) on Nov 3, 2017 at 4:54am PDT

Whoa. That’s a lot of stuff.

There’s more! The GT2 RS’s glass is thinner than that of the Turbo S. There is less sound deadening; from the cockpit, you can hear road debris bounce off the car’s underside. There is also significantly more spring rate, a quicker-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission, and more aggressively tuned dampers. You can delete air-conditioning and opt to not install a navigation system, from the factory. There is no rear seat, just a carpeted shelf. The front seats are hard-shell carbon buckets like those found in the 918. In Europe, the car comes standard with a steel interior roll bar. A titanium bar is an option.

No manual gearbox, huh?

Nope. Porsche is adamant about this: RS cars are the most focused part of the company’s lineup. Speed is paramount. And a manual is noticeably slower than PDK, Porsche’s famed twin-clutch automatic gearbox. Which is, admittedly, the best on the market. It’s a mind-reader, both smooth and blazingly quick.

Aw, boo.

Well, sure, we think so. Manuals are more fun and require skill to operate. Automatic gearboxes are basically condoms: The motions are undoubtedly the same, but unless you’re a robot, the joy of the process takes a hit. If you think motion is the sole purpose of a fast car, then hey, great. If you like the process and want to feel stuff, stay with a clutch pedal.

But all isn’t lost. If you want this kind of performance without losing three pedals, the 755-hp Corvette ZR1 still offers a manual transmission. Go figure.

The GT2 does not sound slow.

Porsches with a “GT” in their name are usually not. Porsche says the car will find 60 mph, from a standstill, in 2.7 seconds. The company also claims that the car will do a 10.5-second quarter-mile.

This is slower than the 918 Spyder, which ran a 9-second quarter and sprinted to 60 in around 2.2 seconds. But again, that car cost nearly a million dollars. And is slower around the world’s most demanding road course.

In Porsche-badge-speak, “RS” stands for renn sport, or rennsport. Motorsport. Literally, “racing sport.” A nice definition, but not exactly indicative of what you get. When I first got started in club racing, a Porsche-loving friend told me that “RS” meant “RipShit.” “It’s what those cars do,” he said.

Those numbers don’t mean much to an ordinary person.

Consider the 911 Turbo S. It is a shockingly fast and remarkably durable car. It will, without hesitation or mechanical hiccup, run 0–60 sprints for weeks at a time without a fall-off in performance, and allow you to win nine out of ten stoplight drag races pretty much anywhere in the world. And, like most modern supercars, if you go by American speed limits, the Turbo S is illegal about halfway through second gear.

Porsche says the GT2 RS is 300 pounds lighter than a Turbo S. The GT2 RS also makes 120 more horsepower. The GT2 RS is thus basically the Turbo S minus the mass of a middleweight superbike. With that bike’s engine output thrown in the trunk for good measure.

Or, you know, the power of a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, minus around 1200 pounds of weight.

Put another way: The average household refrigerator weighs between 200 and 300 pounds when empty. The GT2 is Hellcat thrust, minus the weight of at least four refrigerators.

Barely impressed. You heard of Koenigsegg? Their One:1 makes more power and weighs less. Or that Hennessey Lotus turbo-V-8 crazy thing. Or the cars from [insert tuner nutjob here].

First off, that Koenigsegg is bat-guano. You see the video of that thing doing a top-speed run in Nevada? It is now the world’s fastest car. Pay attention to how hard the car pulls when the driver stops short-shifting, close to 200 mph. Sweet Jesus.

More important: Yes, tuners and specialty manufacturers make more powerful, and often lighter, cars. It is reasonably safe to say that those cars are not delivered with the warranty, or with the durability, service-interval, and comfort/HVAC standards of a major manufacturer. Or the breadth of envelope.

This is partly because small carmakers are small carmakers, and large carmakers are large ones. Scale brings benefits. It’s also because Porsche designs its cars to pass international safety and emissions standards, and to be used every day.

When you are not railing on the GT2 RS, it is a relatively calm device. Loud. But comfortable, easy to see out of, designed to be driven every day. By way of illustration, a fortunate friend is currently considering the purchase of a GT2 RS for daily-driver use in Ohio. He recently checked with his local dealer and discovered that Porsche offers a factory snow-tire fitment for the car.

People do not do this sort of thing with a One:1. Most chunks of tuner weirdness would collapse in an Ohio winter. You can probably guess why.

That Ohio man is a hero.

He’s a good dude.

Seven hundred horsepower. From a 3.8-liter 911. How?

Thank the magic of turbocharging. The technology is basically ubiquitous at this point; you can buy a three-cylinder Ford Fiesta with a single turbocharger, or you can buy a Bugatti Chiron, with four. Porsche’s basic engine designs are so durable, with such a safety margin in their construction, that chasing power is often simply a matter or knowing where to look. Next to the Turbo S, the GT2 uses larger turbochargers, unique pistons, a modified engine crankcase, and a reworked cooling system, among other details. The compressor side of the turbocharger alone goes up 9 millimeters in diameter, from 58 to 67. The ducts on the rear fenders feed 27 percent more air, in volume, to the intercoolers.

The output curves are absurd. Monstrous.

Sounds diabolical.

Oddly, it’s not. The engine is the star of the show, obviously. If the GT3 makes you work for shove, nothing below 6500 rpm or so, the GT2 has grunt always. Explosively. Everywhere. It madhouses its way to the horizon, finds it, and then madhouses its way wherever the hell else you point it.

Or at least, it feels that way for the first few laps. Then you realize that the engine really needs to be revved to go from Quick as Hell to Obscenely, Outlandishly Fast. So you start revving it more, maybe a gear lower here and there. At which point the back tires move around on exit throttle, little dabby slides. No straight is ever long enough, as with most supercars. None of what happens is freakish or surprising. There’s a noticeable, if modest amount of turbo lag in the bottom third of the tach, but there’s so much torque off-boost, it’s hard to care. The torque hit is addictive, just a wall of instant smack aimed at the small of your back. Compounding, instant, smack.

Maybe this sounds nuts. It feels nuts, if I’m honest. The press event I attended took place at the Algarve International Circuit, in Portimao, Portgual. Fast track, with big elevation change and a few ballsy-fast corners. The drive day was half dry, half wet—sun at first, then rain around lunchtime. I was allowed a handful of dry laps, and a handful of laps once the circuit was well and truly soaked. We drove a bit on the road before and after. A mix of mountain twisties and suburban highway. The car just seemed friendly, in all of it.

What do you even do with a 700-hp 911 track special on the road?

Break laws, mostly. Gratuitously, and in spurts, when you feel like you can get away with it. You also listen to rocks pinging off the underside, because the GT2 has as much sound deadening as a tin hat. At one point, my ears followed a particularly interesting pebble from the front wheel well all the way back to the rear bumper. The car is enough of a loudbox that you can pinpoint precisely where on the car a rock goes. I think the ting! that pebble made before it left came from the titanium muffler.

But really, most of what you do is groove into the GT2’s killer mechanical grip. If you don’t want to get arrested, you drive it like you drive any supercar on the road: Gliding through corners at double the speed limit while barely leaning on the tire. It’s not as engaging on a back road as the GT3, mainly because it doesn’t make that car’s obscene yowl and seems to want more pace in order to feel like it’s working. Like most fast modern Porsches, the shocks have a heavy amount of rebound damping, and the car is stiffly sprung, so lumpy pavement occasionally puts wheels in the air. (In Portugal, I saw the rear wheels come up at least once, on a sweeping, fast two-lane covered in relatively minor, 70-mph yumps. We came down fine, no drama, but it happened.)

The GT2’s engine also puts out a boomy, annoying drone in cruise between 2500 and 4000 rpm. It is worth noting that no GT3 in history has ever been referred to as “annoying.” At least not by anyone with half a brain.

So you’re saying this is really for track people.

Not exactly; it’s a fine road car, if a bit demanding in terms of ride quality and cabin noise. But given the price, there’s not a relative amount of added joy, on the road, over most current 911s. The car wants a track. I’m a decent club racer, not incompetent, but not Schumacher or Hamilton, either. And two laps into that media event, on a track I’d never seen, the GT2 RS felt like an old friend. Like a GT3 with more stability at high speed and a little more front-end grip. It sounded like a 935 I drove once—quiet in some moments, guttural and chesty in others.

The previous GT2 required a bit of care at the limit. It had to be delicately put into or dragged out of a corner. High-speed work required underwear fortitude. The engine’s turbo lag necessitated a decent amount of forward planning. Not bad, not in the slightest, just a lot to handle. A big gun.

This is also a lot to handle, but it’s different. When the RS slides, it does so gradually. I could be wrong—the last GT2 I drove was almost ten years ago—but I don’t remember the old car being this docile. You have to assume it has something to do with the 991’s longer wheelbase, stiffer structure, and more refined suspension geometry. Plus tolerance stackup from a zillion changes related to where the car carries its mass. It feels less rear-engined than you’d think; it seems to ask less of you than you expect, in terms of wanting special treatment in a corner.

The rain was a hoot, by the way. Wipers on full blitz, fast as they would go. Braking down from a buck-fifty or sixty or whatever into a gloss of standing water. A wash from the nose if you didn’t carry the brake properly. Slow hands on the wheel to go fast, or big hammy ones if you want the car to dance.

Wait. Are you seriously saying that a 700-hp Porsche 911 is easy to drive in the rain?

Well, no. But it’s not exactly terrifying, either. Given the reputation of the classic, high-powered, rear-drive 911, you would think it would be terrifying. Instead, it just requires respect.

And is hilarious. Should-not-be-possible, hilarious.

Do they all look like this? Fillips and crazy headliner colors and carbon-fiber “stripes” on the hood?” What the heck are those ridiculous, gaping holes in the front bumper?

From certain angles, yes, it looks ridiculous. The GT2 RS is not my taste, but then, I like subdued classicism, and supercars do not generally deal in that. At least, modern ones don’t. Maybe this is your taste. Maybe Ferry Porsche, rest his soul, would love this. Or maybe Ferry Porsche would see the giant P-O-R-S-C-H-E lettering on the top of the GT2 RS’s rear wing, available with the optional $31,000 Weissach Package, and the plastic body cladding that seems to climb halfway up the rear bumper. And maybe he would roll his eyes hard enough to see the forward half of his spine.

Styling is subjective. Few modern cars are truly beautiful. This one really only looks great in profile, when it resembles a 911 RSR viewed through a tab of acid.

Still, you don’t have to buy it in a crazy color. Or with a crazy interior. One of the cars on the launch was a particularly subdued shade of gray called Chalk. It looked nice, if a little at odds with itself—like an AK-47 painted with pink polka dots. Wearing a sun dress.

I guess I like it? I mean, it grows on you. The front—those air intakes—it kind of looks like Ambrose Burnside. If Ambrose Burnside were a car. And peeved.

Porsche makes a lot of 911s. The company currently offers 23 variants of the car—from base Carrera to GTS and GT3 and Turbo and Turbo S, with a few convertibles and targa-topped models thrown in for good measure. If you buy a GT2 RS, if you spend that three hundred grand and rip out of the dealer’s parking lot with your 700 hp, you probably want your car to look a little different from the 370-horse base Carrera that some subpar dentist just paid $90,000 for.

Put another way: An old line holds that fast 911s are really only bought by people who want fast 911s. The car is weird and compromised enough, at the upper limits of its price range, that you have to specifically want it. As opposed to fast Ferraris, for example, which are often just bought by folks who want the most expensive Ferrari and don’t care what it is. For the same money as a GT2 RS, you could buy a lot of other vehicles. Some of those vehicles are Italian and look like rolling sex.

When you are spending more than a quarter-million dollars on an automobile, you are almost certainly buying a serious piece of machinery. Rolling sex is what Italian carmakers do when they get serious. Porsches are engineered and (often) built in Germany. When German carmakers get serious . . .

Well, they’re always serious. So they get more serious. This is what that looks like, if you blend it with 50+ years of tradition (the 911 has been around, in one form or another, since 1963), an adherence to a certain mechanical and philosophical blueprint, a mild dose of tacky details (insert joke about German culture here) and the unique needs of a 211-mph (speed-limited) automobile shaped like a throwback airfoil. You get an odd cross between awkward and muscled, loose and constrained. Like most German art.

There’s also the whole culture-caricature thing. Porsche undoubtedly could have packaged the GT2’s talents into a more cosmetically subtle, less obvious vehicle. If history is any guide, this is not what the supercar market wants. Generally speaking, the people buying a quarter-million-dollar German car do so because it oozes a specific time and place. Because it does things in a way that a quarter-million-dollar American car, or a quarter-million-dollar Italian car, would not.

At this price point, you are dealing with vehicles that address the rarefied fringes of human want. And the fringes of want are rarely subtle.

Wait. Two hundred and eleven miles per hour . . . and it’s speed-limited?

Fun fact: Only two series-production Porsches have ever been electronically speed-limited from the factory—the 997-generation 911 GT2 (620 hp, 205 mph, launched in 2011) and this car, which is built on the 991-gen (current) 911 platform. All the rest were limited “naturally”—by gearing and/or aerodynamic drag.

Why limit the car? What do these people have against GT2s?

Nothing, really. I think they quite like them. The problem is tires. One Porsche rep I spoke with unofficially estimated the 2018 GT2’s top speed to be 220–225 mph. Porsche expects its cars to be capable of their VMax for sustained periods. Hours, days at a time, whatever. No problems of engine temperature or tire management, not a hiccup until the fuel runs out. Like virtually everything engineered by human hands, however, tires are the result of compromise. They must balance lateral grip with water evacuation, water evacuation with high-speed stability, steering feel with everything.

If Porsche asked a tire manufacturer—likely Michelin or Dunlop, the GT2 RS’s current suppliers—to build a tire capable of withstanding 220 mph, that tire would likely not produce the lateral grip and transient behavior necessary for a 6:47 lap of the Ring.

So Porsche chased one metric over the other. Guessing, rightly so, that more people will care about an impressive (if somewhat nebulous) Ring lap than the ability to do an extra 10 or 15 mph on a derestricted, low-traffic autobahn. (Assuming you can even find that magic pairing, because the German highway system is becoming more crowded by the day.)

After the rain. The traditional sticker, replacing the hood badge. Weight savings, ostensibly—though it sure seems like they left other weighty bits on this thing, stuff you could do without. Whatever. Sticker is cool. #991gt2rs

A post shared by Sam Smith (@thatsamsmith) on Nov 3, 2017 at 10:58am PDT

Neat. Give me some random trivia I can think about when I put my head on the pillow at night.

The hood badge on the GT2 RS—Porsche’s famous crest—is a sticker. This was ostensibly done to save weight, but really, we’re talking grams. Not a huge difference in how the car behaves, plus or minus, though you could argue that grams add up. (Cue outcry from forum weenies: I replaced my badge sticker with the heavier enamel one and was cursed with crippling understeer! I write this from a hospital bed after plowing headlights-first into a fence, after which they had to amputate my tuchis! PORSCHE COMMUNITY, I BESEECH YOU, SAVE YOURSELVES, DOUBT NOT THE FACTORY, LEARN FROM MY ARROGANCE!)

The now-discontinued 911 GT3 RS also wore a nose-crest sticker. No badge. The tradition dates back to the 1960s 911 R, when Porsche was young and its cars were lighter, smaller, and more simple. In the modern era, you have to assume that Porsche’s GT department uses the decal because they like it.

But the specifics are neat. In 2016, Porsche won the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall. The 919 hybrid prototype that took that win also wore a crest-sticker on its nose. And you can buy that exact sticker at your local Porsche dealer—all you have to do is give them the part number for the nose badge of a GT2 RS. It’s the same part.

That’s cool as hell. I want one of those stickers. And the whole car.

I know. I don’t want a GT2 RS, but that’s just me. It’s monstrously fast but too much of a blunt instrument. Several new cars at or below this price point, including Porsche’s own 911 GT3, offer more involvement with only a slight downgrade in pace. If you want to be the biggest dog at your local track day, and you have almost three hundred grand, and you have to have a new commute-worthy German road car with a warranty . . . Hey, go nuts.

Still, it’s a remarkable achievement. Seven hundred horsepower, in a track-focused special, and relatively friendly. Wow.

Are the Porsche purists going to have some kind of problem with it?

Probably. A predictive list of potential and yet undoubtedly irrelevant or incorrect gripes: The front tires are too narrow; the car’s too big; it’s comically styled; it doesn’t sound good enough; it’s cynically priced; it’s a 3200-pound track beast with a carbon roof and fabric straps for door handles, but heavy door panels and a complex folding cupholder. Whatever.

Something tells me the people who buy this thing aren’t going to care a whit.

You are almost certainly correct. They will laugh all the way to each and every apex, and then they will laugh all the way to the bank, a few years from now, if they go to sell the car. This is how Porsche GT cars work. Haters hate. Fast Porsches get faster and more powerful. And somehow, in one glorious and thoroughly eye-popping moment, we arrive at seven hundred horses.

Article source: http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/first-drives/a13719154/2018-porsche-911-gt2-rs-review/

Porsche 911 GT2 RS: Everything you need to know about Porsche’s …

The 911 GT2 RS is too loud. At highway speeds, wind noise is quickly overwhelmed by burdensome tire whine, which itself is only outdone by the droning exhaust note. This is a cacophonous car, and if you have a long enough commute, your ears might ring. But then again, maybe you deserve ringing ears because you decided to commute in one of the most capable, exhilarating cars on our beloved earth. Shame on you for sullying this epic Porsche’s good name with such plebeian work!

New for 2018, the 991-chassis based GT2 skirted the schedule set by the previous 997 generation and jumped straight to the most extreme RS model embued with the most extreme specs. 3800cc’s of engine displacement generate 700 horsepower at 7000 rpm (for reference, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, which we love, makes 707 hp, but does so with the help of an additional 2.4 liters). Equally mighty, there’s 553 lb-ft of torque available between 2500-4500 rpm.

Digging into the details, you’ll find the usual array of tech like variable valve timing and lift. But basically, Porsche powertrain engineers made this much power by cramming 22.5 psi of compressed air into all six cylinders all while maintaining a relatively high 9.0:1 compression ratio. I believe we have to thank modern computing power for precisely controlling combustion and mitigating detonation without the safety net of a lower compression ratio or reduced boost.

Only one transmission is available in the GT2 RS and it’s not a manual. The seven-speed PDK (dual-clutch transmission) is the gearbox du jour for the first time in any GT2. Power then channels through a trick, electronically controlled limited-slip differential and spins funny-car wide 325/30ZR21 rear tires on 12.5-inch wheels. 265/35ZR20 tires wrap around 9.5-inch wheels in front.

More than motor, Porsche rid most of the suspension of simple rubber bushings, replacing them with steel ball joints, that, along with lightweight suspension links yanked from the GT3 RS, bridge the gap of response between road and race car. Dynamic engine mounts stiffen up under high lateral loads to keep the engine from becoming a pendulum. And rear-wheel steering helps stabilize the GT2 at the high speeds common in a car with a weight-to-power ratio of 4.6:1.

Among the other highlights, the ceramic brakes are barely worth mentioning, but they come standard and are massive: 16.1-inch rotors in front, 15.4-inches in back. Yet they weigh about half as much as the iron system mounted on the 911 Turbo S. Seeking similar benefits, exhaust flows through a titanium system, saving 15 pounds. Even the inside door handle is a simple, and light, strap. Oh, and switching from all- to rear-wheel-drive helped too. Added together, the full-of-fuel curb weight is 3241 lbs., 286 lbs less than the 911 Turbo S.

Still too heavy? Well maybe you have $31,000 weighing down your wallet. In that case, opt for the Weissach package. Doing so changes the roof, front and rear anti-roll bars, shift paddles, and tie-rod ends to carbon fiber. Furthermore, aluminum alloy wheels are traded for magnesium. The package sheds about 40 extra pounds. Boasting of said shedding comes courtesy of a stripe on the front trunk lid and roof, as well as “Weissach RS” embroided on the seat’s headrest.

Weissach or no, the inside is full of purpose. The seats come with deep bolsters both low and high, so once you’re in, you’re snug. The down side, of course, is unavoidably awkward egress. The steering wheel is very comfortable in your hand. It tilts and telescopes its way to the perfect position. One nice touch, the red “tape stripe” that runs around the steering rim at the top, just like a race car.

Also like a race car, Porsche will sell you the GT2 without air conditioning or a radio, which, again, saves weight and gives you a little extra track rat credibility. The radio would not be missed — this particular boxer six went through rigorous voice training and belts out a baritone beat with bravado. Air conditioning?  Well, depends on your local climate.

Porsche sent us to the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao Portugal to test track credibility and the GT2 RS delivered in spades. It provides neutral balance and confident braking and intense straight-line acceleration. Just be careful not to turn in too quickly, as the car responds to your inputs aggressively and will snap the rear loose, which in turn sends stability control ablaze.

Slow your hands down, however, and the rear-end remains stable, holding the road with duct-tape-like adhesion. Turn-in is what requires patience, in the relative sense at least, because the car behaves brilliantly at track-out. Feeding power in keeps the rear stable and the car can exit every corner with mega speed. You almost think it’s still has all-wheel-drive.

Braking, too, is highly competent and forceful. This is a good time to thank the engineers for all of the weight savings employed, since even if you brake deep, the pedal feel remains constant and linear. I felt zero fade. That’s despite reaching insane-for-a-road-car speeds down the Algarve front straight.

The pull seems endless; approaching turn one, a quick glance at the speedometer showed 274 kph (kilometers per hour) and my foot was still matted another few moments before stabbing the brakes with “I don’t want to die!” urgency. It was easily better than 280 kph, which is 173 mph, which is not slow for a jetliner taking off, let alone a car on the road.


Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Now I have something to say that may offend some: I didn’t miss the manual transmission.

Before the mob forms, hear me out. There’s so much power, shifts come quickly and changing gear would keep any driver quite busy on the track. The computer for the PDK, on the other hand, has the time and is like minded to my choice of gear and happy to take care of it. Secondly, the automatic gave me the chance to left-foot brake full-time, which I vastly prefer. Sometimes you want throttle, other times brakes, and you never know when you might change your mind in a hurry.

With a production car Nordschleife lap record under its belt, I’m sure the GT2 RS’ track prowess surprises no one. But it’s even better on the road; a splendid machine to experience. Even with all the intimidating stats, it’s easy to quickly feel comfortable and connected to the car. The whole ‘man and machine as one’ shtick totally applies here.

If forced to point out a fault, there is a small dead spot on-center in the steering at higher speeds, which is otherwise connected, solid, and fantastic. But in reality, it’s hard to find anything wrong with a Porsche possessing supercar capability (0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds, 0-124 in just 8.3, 211 mph top speed) and yet is no harder to drive than any other 911.


2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Epic cars like this do not come cheap, of course. $294,250 is the price of entry and the Weissach Package, too enticing to ignore, adds $31,000, so we have a realistic starting price of $325,250 — well into LamborghiniFerrari, and McLaren territory. Hell, we’re not that far away from the latest Ford GT. But what makes the GT2 RS stand out is how approachable the performance is.

To call the 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS good is like calling the Grand Canyon a neat hole in the ground. Truth is, despite its price tag, the experience it provides converges on priceless. If you ask Saturday Night Live’s Stefon, he’d agree, this 911 GT2 RS has everything: center-lock alloy wheels, an intercooler with its own water cooling system, up to 1000 lbs. of downforce at top speed, NACA duct brake coolers…maybe even MTV’s Dan Cortese.


Robin Warner


Robin Warner

– Robin Warner is Editorial Manager at Autoweek. He once tried and failed to become a professional race car driver, but succeeded in learning about debt management and having a story to tell. A former engineer, Warner loves cars for their technology and capability.

See more by this author»

Base Price: $294,250

As Tested Price: $325,250

Powertrain: twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-6, 7-speed PDK, RWD

Output: 700 hp @ 7000 rpm, 553 lb-ft between 2500 – 4500

Curb Weight: 3241 pounds

0-60 MPH: 2.7 seconds

Options: Weissach Package, $31,000

Pros: Amazing car to experience, beautiful to drive

Cons: More than triple the price of a base 911

Article source: http://autoweek.com/article/car-reviews/porsche-911-gt2rs-first-drive-review

2017 Porsche Panamera First Test Review: The Ultimate Four-Door …

No Obligation, Fast Simple Free New Car Quote

If you need a Mercedes S-Class but lust for a sports car, the 2017 Panamera is the Porsche for you.

Hunkered low like a 911—even the revised tail end styling lays claim to the 911’s iconic buttocks—the Panamera is a true four-door sports car. But having four doors doesn’t necessarily make it a sedan, and that means your passengers might have to make a sacrifice or two in exchange for sating your sports car lust.

With tighter proportions, a better stance, and, as Car of the Year guest judge (and former Chrysler design czar) Tom Gale noted, surfaces and graphics that are “all Porsche,” this Panamera is a stunner.

The new model marks the debut of VW Group’s new front-engine, rear- and all-wheel-drive MSB architecture—for which Porsche was the development lead—and the new Porsche-developed 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8. Compared with the old Panamera, the wheelbase has been stretched 1.2 inches to 116.1 inches, with the front axle moved forward half an inch relative to the firewall.

The entry-level Panamera is powered by the familiar 3.0-liter V-6 with 330 hp. Panamera S models get the new Audi-developed 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 massaged by Porsche to deliver 440 hp and 406 lb-ft. The Panamera Turbo V-8 develops 550 hp and 568 lb-ft and features cylinder deactivation—a first for a Porsche engine—which reportedly delivers up to a 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.

Wait, we’re not to the best part yet. The Panamera E-Hybrid combines the 330-hp V-6 with a 136-hp e-motor to deliver a total system output of 462 hp. And the Turbo S E-Hybrid combines the V-8 and electric motor for a system output of 680 hp.

The base model is rear drive; the rest are all-wheel drive. The transmission is a new eight-speed PDK, even on the plug-in hybrid models, which have a pure EV range of about 20 miles. Despite all that ridiculous horsepower, the Panamera’s plug-in port gets you carpool lane access in California, so you can legally tailgate that Bolt going the speed limit.

We tested two Panamera variants, the 4S, which transacts at $100,950 ($126,705 as tested), and the Panamera Turbo ($147,950 for its “base” model and a rare-air $172,495 as tested).

The 4S is plenty machine for most every American horsepower hound. In our testing, it gets to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, tears through the quarter mile in 12.3 seconds at 111.3 mph, comes to a halt from 60 mph in 101 feet, and can carry 1.01 g around the skidpad. Its 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 carries a crazy 150.2 hp/liter, which it needs to propel 4,498 pounds to those sorts of extremes.

But for those of you for whom this sort of performance is merely OK, the Panamera Turbo’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 dashes to 60 in 3 flat, blitzes the quarter mile in 11.4 seconds at 121.2 mph, shaves 7 feet off the 4S’ braking distance, and still circles the skidpad at 1.01 g despite weighing 4,662 pounds.

“The super sweet turbocharged V-6 ensures a smooth power delivery and a smooth soundtrack to go with it,” Detroit editor Alisa Priddle noted from our Car of the Year testing. “When the 4S performs this well, it makes you wonder whether you need the twin-turbo V-8. Then you get into the V-8 and are blown away by the power at your disposal.”

And although these supercar-worthy numbers would conjure images of harrowing chassis dynamics, the Panamera achieves these extremes in complete serenity. Indeed, as I cruised the Hyundai Kia proving ground’s high-speed oval at a placid 120 mph and introduced the gas pedal to the firewall, the speedometer needle arcing rapidly in response, I felt as though I could have assembled a club sandwich in the passenger seat. That, friends, is composure.

Still, when asked to perform radically, the Panamera responds, as senior features editor Jonny Lieberman discovered: “It cornered so hard the windshield wiper fluid came out onto the windshield. I got a tire pressure warning at 189 mph. I decided to hit 190 mph anyhow.”

How can it do this? The Panamera’s air springs, electronic shocks, rear steering, active anti-roll, and torque vectoring is overseen by what Porsche calls 4D Chassis Control. Like the innovative Side Slip Control developed by Ferrari for the 488 and GTC4Lusso, 4D Chassis Control analyzes the vehicle’s trajectory and driver inputs in real time and orders a coordinated response from all systems to ensure optimal turn-in response, agility, and stability.

Panameras with air suspension can also be fitted with optional active stabilizer bars, which use 48-volt electromechanical actuators to twist them in the opposite direction to the cornering forces and virtually eliminate body roll.

“This big ol’ car really shrinks around your hips on the winding road,” features editor Christian Seabaugh said. “This doesn’t drive like a big car. It drives like a small one—amazing considering its limolike dimensions.”

However, in the truest sense, a four-door sports car means a sports car suspension—which means most every imperfection (no matter how minor or harsh) is transmitted into the cabin. Your passengers might feel quite a bit more jostling than in a Mercedes S-Class or Lexus LS. The Panamera simply cannot walk away from its Zuffenhausen roots. For Porsche drivers, that is a reassuringly good thing. But your passengers, who might expect that four doors means a plush ride, will discover otherwise.

Bearing that in mind, COTY guest judge (and former Ford product development executive) Chris Theodore complained of racket from the rubber: “What was a minor tire-noise complaint from the back of the 4S has becomes a major issue on the Turbo. Stay away from these sporting Continentals—a bad trade-off for minor improvements dynamics.”

The new Panamera is bigger all around but looks smaller and more rakish. So let’s look inside. With crisp, businesslike lines and contours, the Panamera interior fits within the contemporary, Bauhaus-modern model we’ve come to love from German automakers.

Although enthusiasts might prefer a 911, if a usable rear seat is required to drop the kids off at school or double-date to the ballet, the Panamera offers more car within the same pricing ladder. Critically, 6-foot-plus adults still comfortably fit in the rear.

Our lanky Seabaugh found the back seat roomy enough but said, “It feels more constrained than the old version. I sit lower and more leaned back than before, with slightly less legroom. Headroom is still good, as is foot room.”

Despite its dimensions, however, the back seat carries a bit of a claustrophobic vibe due to the sloping roofline intruding on your rear passengers’ peripheral vision. Moving still farther back, the trunk is massive, easily carrying several sets of golf clubs and probably eight cases of wine. You know, for when you get to your mountain lair.

Then there are the little details that remind you why you paid all this money. Take the oscillating HVAC vent in the center stack. Some of you might say, “Big deal, the Mazda 626 had those,” but no one else has since. And Porsche has indeed found a cool way to improve air circulation in the roomy cabin.

The problem, as editor-in-chief Ed Loh noted, is that changing the oscillation or direction of the fans is a frustrating process: “Why on earth would I go two layers into a menu screen (climate; center vent) and then fiddle with digital vent controls when said menu screen is positioned roughly 4 inches above the plastic vanes of the central vent? Why, when in anywhere from a quarter to a tenth of the time, I could quickly and easily manually direct the vents in any direction I please (with my wrist resting on the shifter and eyes on the road)? This is akin to manufacturers removing volume and tuning knobs for digital sliders and buttons.”

You get the point. Sometimes automakers can be too clever. And although international bureau chief Angus MacKenzie lauds the infotainment screen as the clearest in the business, many complained about the Star Trek–like panel for numerous vehicle controls in the horizontal center console. It looks super cool, especially backlit at night. But once there’s daylight, things wash out quickly in the glare. And because there are no protrusions or recesses for buttons or switches, your fingers glide aimlessly across the slick surface, craving haptic feedback. You end up taking your eyes off the road to look for the hieroglyphed control you seek (and you will be looking away for a while given the array of controls). Fortunately, the button-crazy steering wheel and steering column stalks have lots of redundant controls, but you have to learn those, as well.

Then there’s the notorious Porsche options list. For a car with a $100,000 starting sticker price, it seems wild to pay extra for radar cruise control, keyless locking, or self-steering systems when literally every Honda Accord has them. And although our Panamera 4S had heated, eight-way power front seats, they did not come with lumbar support. That’ll set you back another $1,780. But there you are.

Are our criticisms a bit harsh? Perhaps, but for a vehicle with this much excellence involved in its performance, we felt compelled to take out our microscopes.

Concluded Seabaugh: “It might not be as outright opulent as the S-Class, but the Porsche manages to balance luxury with true sports car performance in a way no other automaker can.”

Article source: http://www.motortrend.com/cars/porsche/panamera/2017/2017-porsche-panamera-first-test-review/

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS first drive: Purposeful perfection

The 911 GT2 RS is too loud. At highway speeds, wind noise is quickly overwhelmed by burdensome tire whine, which itself is only outdone by the droning exhaust note. This is a cacophonous car, and if you have a long enough commute, your ears might ring. But then again, maybe you deserve ringing ears because you decided to commute in one of the most capable, exhilarating cars on our beloved earth. Shame on you for sullying this epic Porsche’s good name with such plebeian work!

New for 2018, the 991-chassis based GT2 skirted the schedule set by the previous 997 generation and jumped straight to the most extreme RS model embued with the most extreme specs. 3800cc’s of engine displacement generate 700 horsepower at 7000 rpm (for reference, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, which we love, makes 707 hp, but does so with the help of an additional 2.4 liters). Equally mighty, there’s 553 lb-ft of torque available between 2500-4500 rpm.

Digging into the details, you’ll find the usual array of tech like variable valve timing and lift. But basically, Porsche powertrain engineers made this much power by cramming 22.5 psi of compressed air into all six cylinders all while maintaining a relatively high 9.0:1 compression ratio. I believe we have to thank modern computing power for precisely controlling combustion and mitigating detonation without the safety net of a lower compression ratio or reduced boost.

Only one transmission is available in the GT2 RS and it’s not a manual. The seven-speed PDK (dual-clutch transmission) is the gearbox du jour for the first time in any GT2. Power then channels through a trick, electronically controlled limited-slip differential and spins funny-car wide 325/30ZR21 rear tires on 12.5-inch wheels. 265/35ZR20 tires wrap around 9.5-inch wheels in front.

More than motor, Porsche rid most of the suspension of simple rubber bushings, replacing them with steel ball joints, that, along with lightweight suspension links yanked from the GT3 RS, bridge the gap of response between road and race car. Dynamic engine mounts stiffen up under high lateral loads to keep the engine from becoming a pendulum. And rear-wheel steering helps stabilize the GT2 at the high speeds common in a car with a weight-to-power ratio of 4.6:1.

Among the other highlights, the ceramic brakes are barely worth mentioning, but they come standard and are massive: 16.1-inch rotors in front, 15.4-inches in back. Yet they weigh about half as much as the iron system mounted on the 911 Turbo S. Seeking similar benefits, exhaust flows through a titanium system, saving 15 pounds. Even the inside door handle is a simple, and light, strap. Oh, and switching from all- to rear-wheel-drive helped too. Added together, the full-of-fuel curb weight is 3241 lbs., 286 lbs less than the 911 Turbo S.

Still too heavy? Well maybe you have $31,000 weighing down your wallet. In that case, opt for the Weissach package. Doing so changes the roof, front and rear anti-roll bars, shift paddles, and tie-rod ends to carbon fiber. Furthermore, aluminum alloy wheels are traded for magnesium. The package sheds about 40 extra pounds. Boasting of said shedding comes courtesy of a stripe on the front trunk lid and roof, as well as “Weissach RS” embroided on the seat’s headrest.

Weissach or no, the inside is full of purpose. The seats come with deep bolsters both low and high, so once you’re in, you’re snug. The down side, of course, is unavoidably awkward egress. The steering wheel is very comfortable in your hand. It tilts and telescopes its way to the perfect position. One nice touch, the red “tape stripe” that runs around the steering rim at the top, just like a race car.

Also like a race car, Porsche will sell you the GT2 without air conditioning or a radio, which, again, saves weight and gives you a little extra track rat credibility. The radio would not be missed — this particular boxer six went through rigorous voice training and belts out a baritone beat with bravado. Air conditioning?  Well, depends on your local climate.

Porsche sent us to the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao Portugal to test track credibility and the GT2 RS delivered in spades. It provides neutral balance and confident braking and intense straight-line acceleration. Just be careful not to turn in too quickly, as the car responds to your inputs aggressively and will snap the rear loose, which in turn sends stability control ablaze.

Slow your hands down, however, and the rear-end remains stable, holding the road with duct-tape-like adhesion. Turn-in is what requires patience, in the relative sense at least, because the car behaves brilliantly at track-out. Feeding power in keeps the rear stable and the car can exit every corner with mega speed. You almost think it’s still has all-wheel-drive.

Braking, too, is highly competent and forceful. This is a good time to thank the engineers for all of the weight savings employed, since even if you brake deep, the pedal feel remains constant and linear. I felt zero fade. That’s despite reaching insane-for-a-road-car speeds down the Algarve front straight.

The pull seems endless; approaching turn one, a quick glance at the speedometer showed 274 kph (kilometers per hour) and my foot was still matted another few moments before stabbing the brakes with “I don’t want to die!” urgency. It was easily better than 280 kph, which is 173 mph, which is not slow for a jetliner taking off, let alone a car on the road.


Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Now I have something to say that may offend some: I didn’t miss the manual transmission.

Before the mob forms, hear me out. There’s so much power, shifts come quickly and changing gear would keep any driver quite busy on the track. The computer for the PDK, on the other hand, has the time and is like minded to my choice of gear and happy to take care of it. Secondly, the automatic gave me the chance to left-foot brake full-time, which I vastly prefer. Sometimes you want throttle, other times brakes, and you never know when you might change your mind in a hurry.

With a production car Nordschleife lap record under its belt, I’m sure the GT2 RS’ track prowess surprises no one. But it’s even better on the road; a splendid machine to experience. Even with all the intimidating stats, it’s easy to quickly feel comfortable and connected to the car. The whole ‘man and machine as one’ shtick totally applies here.

If forced to point out a fault, there is a small dead spot on-center in the steering at higher speeds, which is otherwise connected, solid, and fantastic. But in reality, it’s hard to find anything wrong with a Porsche possessing supercar capability (0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds, 0-124 in just 8.3, 211 mph top speed) and yet is no harder to drive than any other 911.


2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Epic cars like this do not come cheap, of course. $294,250 is the price of entry and the Weissach Package, too enticing to ignore, adds $31,000, so we have a realistic starting price of $325,250 — well into LamborghiniFerrari, and McLaren territory. Hell, we’re not that far away from the latest Ford GT. But what makes the GT2 RS stand out is how approachable the performance is.

To call the 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS good is like calling the Grand Canyon a neat hole in the ground. Truth is, despite its price tag, the experience it provides converges on priceless. If you ask Saturday Night Live’s Stefon, he’d agree, this 911 GT2 RS has everything: center-lock alloy wheels, an intercooler with its own water cooling system, up to 1000 lbs. of downforce at top speed, NACA duct brake coolers…maybe even MTV’s Dan Cortese.


Robin Warner


Robin Warner

– Robin Warner is Editorial Manager at Autoweek. He once tried and failed to become a professional race car driver, but succeeded in learning about debt management and having a story to tell. A former engineer, Warner loves cars for their technology and capability.

See more by this author»

Base Price: $294,250

As Tested Price: $325,250

Powertrain: twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-6, 7-speed PDK, RWD

Output: 700 hp @ 7000 rpm, 553 lb-ft between 2500 – 4500

Curb Weight: 3241 pounds

0-60 MPH: 2.7 seconds

Options: Weissach Package, $31,000

Pros: Amazing car to experience, beautiful to drive

Cons: More than triple the price of a base 911

Article source: http://autoweek.com/article/car-reviews/porsche-911-gt2rs-first-drive-review

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS review: the Widow Maker returns

WHAT IS IT?

The alpha male of the 911 range. It’s the GT2 RS, a car infamously known as the Widow Maker and, in this fourth-generation form, as the most powerful road-going 911 ever built. Power comes from the same basic 3.8-litre twin-turbo six used in the Turbo S, only tweaked to produce 515kW/750Nm, sent solely to the rear wheels. Meaning it should be a bit of a handful…

WHY WE ARE DRIVING IT
To see just how much of a handful it is. Porsche happily admits it wanted the GT2 RS to be an animal; a car that commands respect. Even Mark Webber, who helped with the GT2’s development and is used to driving F1 cars, warns this is a machine that should be approached with caution.

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS rear
MAIN RIVALS
McLaren 720S, Ferrari 812 Superfast, Ferrari 488 GTB, Lamborghini Huracan Performante, Porsche 911 GT3 RS

PLUS: Prodigious speed; powertrain immediacy; braking performance and feel; chassis dexterity; edgy personality
MINUS: Prodigious price tag; cost of Weissach pack; tyre noise; exhaust drone

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS side
THE WHEELS REVIEW

IT’S NOT quite a gasp, more a sharp, involuntary hiss that rushes through my teeth as I hit the brake pedal at 290km/h and watch, wide-eyed, as the shimmying silver rump of a 918 Spyder grows ever larger through the windscreen. Porsche’s reborn 911 GT2 RS is fractionally better under brakes than its four-year-old hypercar (thank a lighter 1440kg kerb weight), but for a heartbeat I panic, worried I’ve left it too late to hammer the left pedal. A finger of white hot fear flashes up my spine as I quickly calculate the cost of this potentially monumental cock up ($1,500,000 + $645,700 = $2,145,700) but then the GT2’s Michelins bite, the moment passes, and we’re off again: me in the GT2 chasing Porsche’s test driver as we climb and turn around Portugal’s Portimao circuit.

It’s a demanding track this, made more so by the GT2’s prodigious performance. Forget for a moment that this is a car infamously known as the ‘Widow Maker’ and consider the numbers: 515kW/750Nm, two swollen turbos, rear-wheel drive and a Nurburgring lap time of 6m47s, which incidentally makes it the fastest production car ever to lap the Green Hell. If the naturally aspirated GT3 RS is the scalpel-sharp, track-honed member of the 911 family, the GT2 is the slightly unhinged one. The scary one.

Porsche proudly admits it wanted the GT2 to be wild, to command respect, and even Mark Webber, a man au fait with Formula 1 cars and who helped develop the GT2, says it needs to be driven with a degree of caution.

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS  alex inwood driving
It’s enough to make you think Porsche’s 911 flagship will be boosty, edgy, unforgiving, unpredictable. Yet strangely, it’s not. Well, not intimidatingly so. Yes this is a car that demands your full attention when driven quickly, but it’s no window-licking, straightjacket-wearing lunatic. It’s easier to explore the outer edges of grip than I expected, to hold small slides on corner exit and revel in the sheer power and tsunami of torque delivered by the twin-turbo six. It’s the same basic 3.8-litre unit used in the Turbo, only tweaked to produce 118kW more in a body weighing 155kg less. Bigger turbos account for most of the leap in grunt, helped by bespoke pistons, a modified crankcase, a reshaped carbonfibre air inlet and a free-flowing titanium exhaust, the latter saving 7.5kg over the rear axle. There’s a water-spray cooling system too, fed by a 5L tank housed in the boot, that shoots water onto the larger, redesigned intercoolers to help reduce charge air temperature.

Deploy all this at the track and the results are remarkable. I can’t think of a stronger factory-spec turbocharged engine on sale, or one with a louder exhaust note. Genuinely engaging turbo motors are rare, and while it mightn’t have the spine tingling howl or stratospheric top-end of the GT3’s free breathing 4.0 (max engine speed here is 7200rpm), the GT2 is angrier, with a blunter, guttural soundtrack that seems to come from deep within. And the way it accelerates is ferocious. Porsche claims 0-100km/h in 2.8sec but it’s how the GT2 piles on speed beyond three figures that’s most impressive. Even at 290km/h at the end of Portimao’s long straight it’s pulling just as hard; no fuss, no unnerving wobbles or hiccups, just pure, unrelenting speed. This makes it wildly addictive on track, but point the GT2’s jutting front splitter at the public road and it requires a slight recalibration. Suddenly, even gentle squeezes of the throttle, or swift prods to execute an overtake, result in velocities that will have the authorities scrambling for their infringement pads. The strengthened 7-speed PDK gearbox, which uses shorter ratios and elements from the 918 Spyder, plays a part here too, delivering swift upshifts that barely interrupt the torrent of acceleration.

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS steering wheel
The real magic, however, lies not in this insatiable appetite for speed, but in how the GT2 drives. Suspension changes include stiffer springs and softer anti-roll bars than the GT3 for a set-up that’s closer to Porsche’s cup car, and the results are rock-solid body control and unerring grip during steady state cornering. Rear-wheel steering does its bit to aid stability, as does a unique calibration for the chassis electronics tasked with containing the forces sent through the specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s (265/35R20 front and 325/30R21 out back) – the rears claiming the crown of the widest tyres ever fitted to a 911.

There’s aero trickery afoot too. Like the GT3, the GT2 uses the wide body from the Turbo but the aero package is more aggressive, with wider intakes at the front and on the bulging haunches, taller carbon fins over the front wheel arches and a huge, adjustable rear-wing.

2017 Geneva Motor Show: Porsche 911 GT3 revealed

Those seeking an even more hostile appearance and performance bent can tick the optional Weissach pack that, for $70,000, adds magnesium wheels, a carbon roof in place of the standard magnesium one, carbon anti-roll bars and suspension couplings and a titanium rollcage. You also get carbon spokes on the steering wheel and carbon shift paddles, a six-point racing harness, plus bonnet stripes and PORSCHE spelled out on top of the rear wing. All up the pack saves 30kg, bringing the GT2’s kerb weight down to 1440kg (just 10kg more than the GT3 RS, despite the extra hardware), and Porsche expects 80-90 percent of owners to go for it. “When you’re spending this kind of money you don’t care,” says Frank Walliser, vice president of Porsche motorsport and GT cars. “When you can get something that makes your car more special, you just do it.”

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS gear
I’d feared that being so heavily turbocharged would mean the GT2 would feel boost-heavy and have crippling levels of lag. Instead I’m stunned at the engine’s response; at how the power ramps up as the tacho sweeps through the rev range. There are no engine modes to play with, just a PDK Sport setting for the gearbox and a button for the dampers and another for the exhaust, and while there is some lag low in the rev range (peak torque arrives between 2500-4500rpm), the base engine is strong enough that it never really feels off boost. And because the power delivery is so immediate, with small adjustments on the throttle quickly altering the car’s attitude, you have the confidence to attack in the GT2.

But it’s the clarity of feedback that defines the experience. Information fed through your hands, feet and bum provides an uncommon connection to the tyres; to understand, for example, that after eight laps the hot Michelins aren’t quite as crisp as they were when you started. The standard carbon-ceramic brakes are a highlight too, not just for their sheer 918-avoiding stopping power, but for the feel through the pedal and their unwavering performance.

Porsche 911 Hybrid building charge

Yet despite the obvious highs, the GT2 isn’t as intuitive or as forgiving to drive on the limit as a GT3. Perhaps it’s the weight of the turbos, but you’re more aware that the GT2 is rear-engined; that a significant portion of the car’s mass is positioned behind the rear axle. And despite the immediacy of its controls, if you lift mid-corner or get too greedy on corner exit, there’s an edginess lurking beneath the surface that harks back to GT2s of old.

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS  racetrack
On the road, things are surprisingly civilised. There’s no escaping the track-focussed suspension is taut, but it never crashes through. And while you do notice the lack of travel over big bumps, the body is tightly controlled, at least on Portuguese back roads. It feels as amenable as a GT3, only arguably easier to drive quickly. Where the GT3 comes alive high in the rev range, the GT2’s huge reserves of torque make it an instantly gratifying experience, as the PDK quickly and intuitively cycles through the ratios to keep the engine in its fat mid-range. Only a high degree of road and tyre noise, and a booming exhaust drone under light load if you leave the exhaust button switched on, detract from what is an otherwise perfectly acceptable on-road experience.

So is the GT2 RS the ultimate 911? If your measuring sticks are pure speed and excitement then yes, absolutely. Nothing in the current range comes close for white-knuckle exhilaration or delivers such an adrenalin hit. Whether it’s as rewarding or as pure as a GT3, which costs significantly less, is debatable, but the GT2 RS feels analogue, mechanical, special and while not as scary as its forbears, remains a car that demands a certain level of respect. It is, quite simply, the alpha male in the 911 range.

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Specs

Model: Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Engine: 3800cc flat-six, dohc, 24v, twin-turbo
Max power: 515kW @ 7000rpm
Max torque: 750Nm @ 2500-4500rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch
Weight: 1470kg
0-100kmh: 2.8sec (claimed)
Economy: 11.8L/100km
Price: $645,700 (162,600 more than a Turbo S cab)
On sale: Q1 2018

Article source: https://www.wheelsmag.com.au/reviews/1711/2018-porsche-911-gt2-rs-review

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS review

 Seven hundred: That was the magic number for engineers as they began honing the fastest 911 of all time.

Early in the development process of the GT2 RS they’d eked 650 horsepower from the 3.8-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder until now reserved exclusively for the 911 Turbo.

The car was fast – very fast – but it wasn’t enough, at least for the head of Porsche’s GT cars, Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser.

He wanted a neat 700hp, or 515kW. And with German engineers being the way they are, he got it.

Bigger turbos contribute to the extra shove, while larger intercoolers keep intake temperatures down to maximise the output of the horizontally-opposed six.

There’s even a water spray system that vaporises distilled H2O onto the intercoolers, in turn reducing the temperature of the air being thrust into the engine by up to 21 degrees. The gorgeously styled carbon fibre tank in the luggage area is only accessed when required – in hot weather or when it’s being driven hard – but adds crucial punch on the way to the 700 target.


2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Photo: supplied

Walliser admits the engine is near its limit in terms of achieving the output Porsche wanted with the legendary reliability that means it can be driven like a race car every day without fear of components giving up.

But power is only one part of the GT2 equation. Minimising weight took on new levels of detail.

The first thing to go was the Turbo’s all-wheel drive system, shedding 50kg. Magnesium replaces aluminium in the roof – saving 1kg – and the bonnet is made of carbon fibre (another 2kg). Thinner, smartphone-like Gorilla glass saves 3.5kg, lightweight carpet 3.3kg and the omission of the rear seats 9.6kg.

For those wanting to stretch the kilo-shedding friendship you can even leave the clock, radio and air-conditioning back at the Stuttgart factory.

Even Walliser doesn’t recommend saving 15kg on AC, though, pointing out that Porsche race cars live with the penalty because the driver remains more comfortable, in turn making fewer mistakes and dishing out more consistent laps.

Remaining focused is important with the GT2. As senior development driver and dual World Rally Champion Walter Rohrl describes it, the GT2 RS is a 911 for the men, not the boys.

Yet despite its animalistic tendencies, it’s not an untamed beast.

Along with Australian F1 ace Mark Webber – also a Porsche development driver – Rohrl called for some of the oversteer to be dialled out.

The propensity for the tail to slide wide was seen as too ambitious on a track.

Even so, the 750Nm of torque that arrives at 2500rpm is more than enough to overwhelm the enormous, 325mm wide 21-inch rear tyres.

Feed on some throttle at 120km/h and the engine wins out in the war over traction, making for some exciting rides.

Ultimately the beautifully tuned stability control stops any overt tyre smoking antics, but get it right and it allows enough slip angle, making for some enthralling exits.

And it’s an engine that simply does not give up. Top speed is electronically limited to 340km/h, only because the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber isn’t designed for more. Seventh gear can theoretically do 370km/h, although engineers admit that aerodynamics will slow things somewhere in the 350s. Besides, they figured 340km/h was probably enough.

Anything south of 300km/h, though, and the GT2 is pulling immensely.

Watching the digital speedo flash up 291km/h at the end of the straight at the undulating Portimao track is an impressive feat in a car that an hour earlier was battling Portuguese traffic.

More impressive is the eye-popping pace at which the carbon ceramic brakes arrest that speed. The brake pedal is firm but sinks closer to the floor, initially triggering the ABS on a slight rise at the tail of the straight. But as the nose squats and the sticky Michelins do their thing the GT2 dials up something approaching 2G of decelerative force.

It’s a phenomenal feeling you never tire of, each application devoid of brake fade, helped in part by the bonnet vents that feed fresh air directly to the front discs. Few road cars, if any, stop as quickly as the GT2.

In that respect the GT2 is not wildly different to the GT3, a car with which it shares much of its body and its overall track-focused philosophy. Except the GT2 is travelling so much quicker than the non-turbo GT3 when it arrives at a corner.

Trail braking into bends is key to getting the front wheels to point the nose, especially around tighter turns.

With 61 percent of the weight over the enormous rear tyres the front benefits from some extra balance on the limit, even when up to 416kg of downforce is distributed between the rear wing (271kg) and front spoiler (145kg).

It’s a fine balance, though, because too much brake and the tail wants to follow the nose, something the electronics keep in check.

But it’s firing out of corners and accelerating down the straight that the GT2 unleashes its full fury, the turbo engine teaming with the short ratio seven-speed PDK twin-clutch automatic.

The exhaust note is much deeper than a GT3, so lacks the shriek at stratospheric revs.

Instead, it’s shifting just prior to its 7200rpm limit, the purposeful snarl one of many mechanical noises that make for as frenetic din in the cabin.

Whereas a regular 911 Turbo is relatively long-legged, the GT2 is grabbing third gear at just over 100km/h and kicks into sixth at 264km/h.

That short gearing is particularly noticeable when tackling a launch control start. The initial surge is not as brutal as a 911 Turbo, but once it’s past the inevitable wheelspin it’s a rush of revs and gear shifts, clocking 100km/h in 2.8 seconds. From there the journey to 200km/h takes another 5.5 seconds.

With so many (fast) gear changes, it’s no wonder Porsche didn’t consider a manual for the GT2.

“You would not be able to shift fast enough,” says Walliser.

On the road, the GT2 regresses to a brisk point-to-point bruiser, albeit one with compromises. The suspension is taut, albeit not abrasive.

Cruise at 110km/h, though, and you’ll have to raise your voice to maintain a conversation, such is the roar from the tyres.

And you have a greater appreciation for the mechanicals, some of which you’ll hear clanking and clanging, the most obvious reminder of the lack of sound deadening in the lightweight body.

Pressing the sports exhaust button adds some beef to the note, although it drones annoyingly around 2000rpm.

Then there’s the price. At $645,400 it’s by far the most expensive Porsche to flow through an Australian dealership.

And it’s easy to spend plenty more than that, with the Weissach pack most owners will choose – it sheds another 27kg through things such as carbon fibre suspension components and a carbon roof – adding a cool $69,900.

Exclusivity and engineering excellence will help ease the sticker shock, although you also get that in cars such as the McLaren 720S ($489,900) and Ferrari 812 Superfast ($610,000).

In true Porsche fashion the GT2 isn’t the quickest thing in a straight line – although it’s plenty quick enough – but it blends wonderful mid-corner precision and grip with superb braking to create a blisteringly track machine. And one that gives the impression it will continue doing its go-fast thing for decades to come.

At the same time, it adds some old school animal to the 911 formula. Enough to make it the most exciting and engaging of the breed. If you dare. 

 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Price and Specifications

On sale: March, 2018

Price: $645,400, plus on-road costs

Engine: 3.8-litre twin turbo horizontally-opposed six-cylinder

Power: 515kW at 7000rpm

Torque: 750Nm at 2500-4500rpm

Transmission: 7-speed twin-clutch auto, rear-wheel drive

Fuel use: 11.8L/100km

- For more information visit our Porsche showroom

Article source: https://www.drive.com.au/new-car-reviews/2018-porsche-911-gt2-rs-review-116311

2017 Porsche Panamera First Test Review: The Ultimate Four-Door Sports Car

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If you need a Mercedes S-Class but lust for a sports car, the 2017 Panamera is the Porsche for you.

Hunkered low like a 911—even the revised tail end styling lays claim to the 911’s iconic buttocks—the Panamera is a true four-door sports car. But having four doors doesn’t necessarily make it a sedan, and that means your passengers might have to make a sacrifice or two in exchange for sating your sports car lust.

With tighter proportions, a better stance, and, as Car of the Year guest judge (and former Chrysler design czar) Tom Gale noted, surfaces and graphics that are “all Porsche,” this Panamera is a stunner.

The new model marks the debut of VW Group’s new front-engine, rear- and all-wheel-drive MSB architecture—for which Porsche was the development lead—and the new Porsche-developed 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8. Compared with the old Panamera, the wheelbase has been stretched 1.2 inches to 116.1 inches, with the front axle moved forward half an inch relative to the firewall.

The entry-level Panamera is powered by the familiar 3.0-liter V-6 with 330 hp. Panamera S models get the new Audi-developed 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 massaged by Porsche to deliver 440 hp and 406 lb-ft. The Panamera Turbo V-8 develops 550 hp and 568 lb-ft and features cylinder deactivation—a first for a Porsche engine—which reportedly delivers up to a 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.

Wait, we’re not to the best part yet. The Panamera E-Hybrid combines the 330-hp V-6 with a 136-hp e-motor to deliver a total system output of 462 hp. And the Turbo S E-Hybrid combines the V-8 and electric motor for a system output of 680 hp.

The base model is rear drive; the rest are all-wheel drive. The transmission is a new eight-speed PDK, even on the plug-in hybrid models, which have a pure EV range of about 20 miles. Despite all that ridiculous horsepower, the Panamera’s plug-in port gets you carpool lane access in California, so you can legally tailgate that Bolt going the speed limit.

We tested two Panamera variants, the 4S, which transacts at $100,950 ($126,705 as tested), and the Panamera Turbo ($147,950 for its “base” model and a rare-air $172,495 as tested).

The 4S is plenty machine for most every American horsepower hound. In our testing, it gets to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, tears through the quarter mile in 12.3 seconds at 111.3 mph, comes to a halt from 60 mph in 101 feet, and can carry 1.01 g around the skidpad. Its 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 carries a crazy 150.2 hp/liter, which it needs to propel 4,498 pounds to those sorts of extremes.

But for those of you for whom this sort of performance is merely OK, the Panamera Turbo’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 dashes to 60 in 3 flat, blitzes the quarter mile in 11.4 seconds at 121.2 mph, shaves 7 feet off the 4S’ braking distance, and still circles the skidpad at 1.01 g despite weighing 4,662 pounds.

“The super sweet turbocharged V-6 ensures a smooth power delivery and a smooth soundtrack to go with it,” Detroit editor Alisa Priddle noted from our Car of the Year testing. “When the 4S performs this well, it makes you wonder whether you need the twin-turbo V-8. Then you get into the V-8 and are blown away by the power at your disposal.”

And although these supercar-worthy numbers would conjure images of harrowing chassis dynamics, the Panamera achieves these extremes in complete serenity. Indeed, as I cruised the Hyundai Kia proving ground’s high-speed oval at a placid 120 mph and introduced the gas pedal to the firewall, the speedometer needle arcing rapidly in response, I felt as though I could have assembled a club sandwich in the passenger seat. That, friends, is composure.

Still, when asked to perform radically, the Panamera responds, as senior features editor Jonny Lieberman discovered: “It cornered so hard the windshield wiper fluid came out onto the windshield. I got a tire pressure warning at 189 mph. I decided to hit 190 mph anyhow.”

How can it do this? The Panamera’s air springs, electronic shocks, rear steering, active anti-roll, and torque vectoring is overseen by what Porsche calls 4D Chassis Control. Like the innovative Side Slip Control developed by Ferrari for the 488 and GTC4Lusso, 4D Chassis Control analyzes the vehicle’s trajectory and driver inputs in real time and orders a coordinated response from all systems to ensure optimal turn-in response, agility, and stability.

Panameras with air suspension can also be fitted with optional active stabilizer bars, which use 48-volt electromechanical actuators to twist them in the opposite direction to the cornering forces and virtually eliminate body roll.

“This big ol’ car really shrinks around your hips on the winding road,” features editor Christian Seabaugh said. “This doesn’t drive like a big car. It drives like a small one—amazing considering its limolike dimensions.”

However, in the truest sense, a four-door sports car means a sports car suspension—which means most every imperfection (no matter how minor or harsh) is transmitted into the cabin. Your passengers might feel quite a bit more jostling than in a Mercedes S-Class or Lexus LS. The Panamera simply cannot walk away from its Zuffenhausen roots. For Porsche drivers, that is a reassuringly good thing. But your passengers, who might expect that four doors means a plush ride, will discover otherwise.

Bearing that in mind, COTY guest judge (and former Ford product development executive) Chris Theodore complained of racket from the rubber: “What was a minor tire-noise complaint from the back of the 4S has becomes a major issue on the Turbo. Stay away from these sporting Continentals—a bad trade-off for minor improvements dynamics.”

The new Panamera is bigger all around but looks smaller and more rakish. So let’s look inside. With crisp, businesslike lines and contours, the Panamera interior fits within the contemporary, Bauhaus-modern model we’ve come to love from German automakers.

Although enthusiasts might prefer a 911, if a usable rear seat is required to drop the kids off at school or double-date to the ballet, the Panamera offers more car within the same pricing ladder. Critically, 6-foot-plus adults still comfortably fit in the rear.

Our lanky Seabaugh found the back seat roomy enough but said, “It feels more constrained than the old version. I sit lower and more leaned back than before, with slightly less legroom. Headroom is still good, as is foot room.”

Despite its dimensions, however, the back seat carries a bit of a claustrophobic vibe due to the sloping roofline intruding on your rear passengers’ peripheral vision. Moving still farther back, the trunk is massive, easily carrying several sets of golf clubs and probably eight cases of wine. You know, for when you get to your mountain lair.

Then there are the little details that remind you why you paid all this money. Take the oscillating HVAC vent in the center stack. Some of you might say, “Big deal, the Mazda 626 had those,” but no one else has since. And Porsche has indeed found a cool way to improve air circulation in the roomy cabin.

The problem, as editor-in-chief Ed Loh noted, is that changing the oscillation or direction of the fans is a frustrating process: “Why on earth would I go two layers into a menu screen (climate; center vent) and then fiddle with digital vent controls when said menu screen is positioned roughly 4 inches above the plastic vanes of the central vent? Why, when in anywhere from a quarter to a tenth of the time, I could quickly and easily manually direct the vents in any direction I please (with my wrist resting on the shifter and eyes on the road)? This is akin to manufacturers removing volume and tuning knobs for digital sliders and buttons.”

You get the point. Sometimes automakers can be too clever. And although international bureau chief Angus MacKenzie lauds the infotainment screen as the clearest in the business, many complained about the Star Trek–like panel for numerous vehicle controls in the horizontal center console. It looks super cool, especially backlit at night. But once there’s daylight, things wash out quickly in the glare. And because there are no protrusions or recesses for buttons or switches, your fingers glide aimlessly across the slick surface, craving haptic feedback. You end up taking your eyes off the road to look for the hieroglyphed control you seek (and you will be looking away for a while given the array of controls). Fortunately, the button-crazy steering wheel and steering column stalks have lots of redundant controls, but you have to learn those, as well.

Then there’s the notorious Porsche options list. For a car with a $100,000 starting sticker price, it seems wild to pay extra for radar cruise control, keyless locking, or self-steering systems when literally every Honda Accord has them. And although our Panamera 4S had heated, eight-way power front seats, they did not come with lumbar support. That’ll set you back another $1,780. But there you are.

Are our criticisms a bit harsh? Perhaps, but for a vehicle with this much excellence involved in its performance, we felt compelled to take out our microscopes.

Concluded Seabaugh: “It might not be as outright opulent as the S-Class, but the Porsche manages to balance luxury with true sports car performance in a way no other automaker can.”

Article source: http://www.motortrend.com/cars/porsche/panamera/2017/2017-porsche-panamera-first-test-review/

Video: Stock BMW M2 Drag Races Porsche Boxster with Surprising Result

The BMW M2 is a brilliant car to take to the track. Almost all reviews posted online claim that the M2 is basically the best car BMW offers right now, considering the price/performance ratio. But is that good enough to take on rivals considered more up field like Porsche, for example? The BMW M2 would be a good rival for the Cayman on the track but in the video below we’re not on a race track and the car going up against it is not a Cayman.

Instead, we’re looking at a good old-fashion drag race done on an airfield. The cars going at it are a BMW M2 and a 718 Porsche Boxster S. That’s right, the M2 is going up against the cheapest Porsche you can get. Does that mean the Stuttgart machine is slow? Well, as you’re about to see, that’s pretty far from the truth. The thing is, the Boxster, just like most of the Porsche range, received a new engine recently.

Capture 10 830x449

These days, the Boxster is powered by a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that makes, in the Boxster S configuration, 350 HP and some 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) of torque. Those figures seem like easy pray for the more powerful BMW, right? The M2 comes with a 3-liter straight six configuration, good for 370 HP and up to 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque. The thing is, the Boxster still bests it when it comes to power/weight ratio, with 4.4 kg/hp compared to 4.5 kg/hp.

Sure, the difference is small but so is the gap between the two cars at the end of the race. Even though both of them come with launch control, in typical GT Board fashion, the race is done from a rolling start. If they would’ve had a standing start, the figures on paper claim the M2 should be just 0.1 seconds faster with a 4.3-second dash to 100 km/h (62 mph) in automatic guise. No matter how you look at it, these two are incredibly close.

Article source: http://www.bmwblog.com/2017/11/10/video-stock-bmw-m2-drag-races-porsche-boxster-surprising-result/

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk (2017) review

► Cherokee Trackhawk tested
► Ultimate Jeep driven
► As American as apple pie

Car names are universally boring now all the generally violent animal ones such as Mustang, Pantera, Viper and so on have been taken. One commendable exception in recent years is the Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

A lairy, fighterplane-inspired name like that needs to be backed-up by an equally aggressive powerplant, and the Dodge delivers with a near-700bhp, 6.2-litre supercharged V8. That Hellcat motor is now available as a plug-and-play crate engine to help custom shops spice up their vintage muscle cars, but it’s also available under the bonnet of a full factory-built production car soon to be sold in the UK: the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Hang on, an SUV with more power than a Ferrari 488 GTB?

Yes! You get 697bhp at 6000rpm and 645lb ft of torque, so 0-62mph falls in 3.7 seconds and the top speed is limited by the car’s bluff aero profile at 180 mph.

That means it’ll breeze past German rivals from Porsche, BMW and Audi. Granted there’s no Cayenne Turbo S yet, but even so, it’ll need to be three tenths quicker than the standard Turbo in order to overtake the Jeep: 

  • Porsche Cayenne Turbo – 542bhp and 568lb ft, 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds
  • BMW X5M – 567bhp and 553lb ft, 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds
  • Audi SQ7 – 429bhp and 664lbs ft, 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds

You’ll need to activate the launch control to get anywhere near that sprint figure, which in turn switches on the Torque Reserve system. This essentially winds up the supercharger to give you 6psi of boost on the line, while the gearbox prioritises torque transfer rather than quick shifts for maximum acceleration.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk front end tracking

As a result the Jeep boasts an 11.6sec quarter mile and feels every bit as fast as those numbers suggest. It gets out of the blocks remarkably quickly for a 2.4-tonne vehicle and transmits its power to the tarmac cleanly and without fuss. It’s like freefalling in an outhouse.

Why is it so heavy?

Believe it or not the Jeep is only marginally weightier than its rivals, and that’s largely down to the fact it has a 6.2-litre lump under the bonnet.

It’s a magnificent engine with serious Detroit muscle credentials. The technical specification features heavy metal descriptions such as ‘forged-steel crankshaft with induction-hardened bearing surfaces’ and ‘powder-forged connecting rods with high-load-capacity bushings and carbon-coated piston pins’. Make no mistake, this is a proper fire-and-brimstone powerplant.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk engine

Cold air from a scoop where the driver’s-side fog lamp should be feeds a 2380cc per revolution supercharger that breathes out 30,000 litres per minute at 11.6 psi. Integral charge-air coolers and a low-temperature cooling system help to keep the intake air temperatures below 60degC, and Jeep says you should be able to complete six full laps of a hot circuit in Texas before the Trackhawk needs a breather. Impressive stuff.

What’s it like to drive?

We only had a limited number of laps at the Spring Mountain Motor Resort near Las Vegas but on the whole the Trackhawk impressed. It felt softer than European rivals, with greater body movements when turning or braking, but plenty of grip from the Quadra-Trac on-demand four-wheel-drive system giving way to understeer unless you provoke the car on the brakes. 

It’s not a particularly subtle or precise experience as per a Porsche Cayenne, but there’s no denying the potency of the Hellcat lump, which propels you down the road at an alarming rate. 

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk rear tracking

Driveline and chassis components have been beefed up to deal with that extra power, including the eight-speed automatic gearbox and rear driveshafts, plus there’s a new, stronger rear axle, and revised rear limited-slip differential.

Most notable of all, though, are the stronger Brembo brakes, featuring six-pot yellow calipers up front, and four-pots at the back. Jeep says it’ll haul up from 62mph in 37 meters, and we found ourselves braking closer and closer to the track limits as the laps went by.

Jeep’s Selec-Track drive modes give you five options plus an individual mix-and-match setting, altering parameters for the four-wheel-drive system, steering, transmission, and the Bilstein adaptive suspension:

  • Auto uses a 40/60-percent torque split
  • Sport uses a 35/65 torque split and shortens shift times – the stability control, suspension, four-wheel-drive and steering systems are set up for enthusiastic road driving – paddle shifters active
  • Track sends 70% of power to the rear wheels and slashes shift times by 68% to 160 milliseconds, while the stability control, suspension, four-wheel-drive and steering systems are set for track performance – paddle shifters are enabled
  • Tow features a 60/40 split, alters the torque delivery off the line for greater smoothness, and adjusts suspension to combat pitch and yaw
  • Snow maximizes traction reduced engine horsepower and a 50/50 torque split

Any luxuries?

We drove US-spec cars which were very well-equipped, with 20-inch titanium-finish wheels, heated and ventilated seats front and rear, adaptive cruise, brake assist, blind-spot monitor and parking sensors plus Nappa leather and suede seats featuring an embroidered Trackhawk logo.

The centre console features an 8.4-inch touchscreen with Trackhawk Performance Pages (a bit like the graphical gauges in a Nissan GT-R) and the Uconnect 4 system, featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk interior

Styling-wise the Trackhawk is distinguished by quad 4-inch black chrome exhaust tips, a redesigned front bumper, flared arches and side sill cladding. It rides one inch lower than the standard Grand Cherokee.

Options include dark ruby red leather, a panoramic sunroof, dual-screen rear-seat entertainment and an 825-watt Harman Kardon audio system with 19 speakers. Lightweight 20-inch alloys save a total of 5.44 kg, which isn’t a lot, but every little helps, right?

Verdict

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk doesn’t handle as well as a Euro-spec super-SUV but it’s adept for a car of this bulk. The Hellcat V8 is an epic motor that sounds like two tigers stuffed in a Spitfire, and revs so cleanly you’ll need to concentrate to avoid hitting the limiter. This is not the apologetic turbo’d six-pot or diesel lump we Yurrupeans insist on fitting in our fast SUVs.

Best of all the bottom line ($86995, which is approximate to £66,297, although UK pricing is TBC at the time of writing) means you can afford to chuck tenners out of the window at a BMW X5M driver as they disappear in your rear-view, which is surely reason enough to buy one.

A bold and brash American SUV with a hawk on the bootlid and eye-wateringly low fuel economy is never going to sell in massive numbers over here. That’s a shame, because my goodness, what a laugh it is.

Check out our Jeep reviews here

Article source: http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-reviews/jeep/jeep-grand-cherokee-trackhawk-2017-review/