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1981 Porsche 911 Targa SC: old, bad cars are better than …

STUTTGART, Germany—We drive and review many new cars every year at Autofocus, and many of them are good—so good, in fact, they can occasionally be bland, boring.

Many of us – and I’d guess some of you – get nostalgic for old cars, cars with flaws and character, for a time when cars were not all easy-to-drive, when the most important component was the fleshy human at the wheel.

Are we crazy, or was it better back then?

Porsche gave us a chance to find out, by handing over the keys to a 1981 Porsche 911 SC Targa. Yes, 1981 wasn’t exactly a vintage year for classic cars, but for the 911, well, at that point it was still basically the same car that debuted at the 1963 Frankfurt motor show: a small sports cars with a rear-mounted air-cooled flat-six.

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It’s a perfect sunny afternoon near Stuttgart, Porsche’s headquarters: blue skies and green fields.

This particular Targa SC is a museum piece, from Porsche’s collection. It’s got over 100,000 kilometres on the clock, but it is in time-capsule condition. The Targa roof looks like it’s never been folded. The black-and-white checkboard cloth seats show minimal signs of use.

This car, I’m told – as with all 600 or so cars in the Porsche Museum collection – is meticulously maintained by a small cadre of Porsche’s most elite mechanics. If they can keep a LeMans-winning 917 running sweet, then this ’80s 911 would be child’s play.

How much does a replacement Targa top cost today, I wonder, or a new headlight from the factory? I’m glad it’s Porsche looking after this car and not me.

The 1981 911 looks like a squished version of the current one, a 3/4-scale model. It’s impossibly narrow. This was before side-airbags, of course. Opening the featherweight door doesn’t give much confidence in the side-impact protection either.

Once I’ve folded my legs under the steering wheel, the view out the front window is perfect. The high front fenders let you know exactly where the car is on the road, a styling feature that has been diluted in the current 911.

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There are some issues with the ergonomics: chief among them is that I don’t think the Porsche engineers had ever heard that word in 1981. The pedals are offset to the right, and the area in which your shoes are meant to work the pedals is entirely too small. My toes get stuck on something every time I press the clutch in. I’m rubbing shoulders with my passenger. Any closer and he’d be on my lap.

There’s no navigation, no fancy stereo, but there are power windows, which – in this context – feel like a modern luxury.

This was almost the last generation of the Porsche 911. It was due to be phased out and replaced with the front-engine 928. The 911 SC, “Super Carrera,” debuted in the summer of 1977 and was envisioned as a kind of last hurrah.

It had wider rear fenders and came in both Coupe and Targa versions. The first SC made only 180 hp, but this later SC 3.0 Targa makes – wait for it – a whopping 201 horsepower from its naturally aspirated flat-six.

The suspension includes crude torsion-bar springs. Technical highlights are limited to anti-roll bars and power-assisted brakes.

Any complaints about a lack of features vanish when you realize this car tips the scales at just 1,160 kg. It’s a featherweight. Porsche rates the car for zero to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds, and at a top speed of 235 km/h.

Thankfully, the 928 wasn’t a big hit and people just kept buying the 911, so Porsche decided to stick with it.

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Finding first gear is like rowing a canoe. The shift throws are ultra-long and vague. But all the controls are light: brake, clutch, throttle. Well, all controls except the steering, which is non-power assisted. It’s not as much of an issue as you’d think. The skinny tires don’t take much muscle to turn even at parking speeds.

Once on the move the steering becomes almost dainty. It follows every ripple on the pavement. There’s always something to do when driving this old 911, even if it’s just making sure the car stays between the lanes. Today even that’s become partially automated with lane-keep assist.

The gearbox has five speeds, but on these two-lane country roads there isn’t a chance to get above fourth. It takes time to build up speed, but the car doesn’t feel as slow as the numbers would suggest. Partly it’s due to the wind rushing around the open cabin. Partly it’s the fact that with so little weight to move, 200 horsepower is enough. And partly it’s due to the thrumming, air-cooled chortle of the flat-six roaring behind me.

It’s eager to rev, and above 4,000 rpm it flies toward the redline. To drive quickly, you’ve got to keep the motor in that powerband—again, another challenge that has been lost with torque-rich turbocharged engines.

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The ride is surprisingly comfortable. The high-profile tires soak up the road. There’s lots of body roll, but once the car has settled into a corner, most of the vagueness goes away. It’s nowhere near as sharp as a modern sports car, however.

Back off abruptly mid-corner and you’ll get plenty of the old 911’s trademark oversteer. There’s so much to feel at legal speed. Roundabouts become laugh-out-loud fun, a lesson in weight transfer and vehicle dynamics. All inputs have an immediate and visceral output. It’s a cliché, but this classic 911 does feel more alive than the modern car, at least on the road.

You’re unlikely to find an old SC Targa in museum condition, but there are plenty of examples out there. These 911s – unlike pre-1974 models – haven’t seen such extreme price spikes in recent years.

According to Hagerty’s price index, a 1981 SC Coupe in “good” condition would’ve sold for around $18,000 (all figures USD) in 2012. Today prices have climbed to around the $30,000 mark. Compare that to a 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera, which starts at $104,000, or the Targa version, which costs $126,000.

Even if you set aside an extra $15,000 for maintenance and winter storage of the classic 911, you’ve got plenty of cash left over to get a reliable daily driver, even a luxury one like a C-Class, 3-Series or A4.

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As competent and comfortable as the current-generation 911 is, to find real driving thrill and engagement you’ve got to be going very quickly, which is best done on a race track.

Objectively this old car nowhere is near as good as the 2018 model – in fact the SC Targa is quite bad: cramped, noisy, slow – but it delivers everyday thrills the new model simply can’t.

Maybe the trick to making really great cars is to make them kind of bad?

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Disclosure—This writer’s travel and accommodations were provided by the automaker for the purposes of this first-drive review.

Article source: http://www.autofocus.ca/reviews/first-drives/1981-porsche-911-targa-sc-old-bad-cars-are-better-than-new-ones

Quick Spin: Porsche Panamera Turbo


2017 Porsche Panamera. Photo: Supplied

What is it?

The current flagship of the second-generation Panamera is one of the fastest four-door limousines on the planet – and one you’d prefer to drive rather than be chauffeured around in.

The Panamera Turbo blends Porsche’s sports car heritage with genuine comfort and space and brings a new-found level of luxury that puts it on par with the best executive sedans in the business, such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series.

How much does it cost and what do you get?

The Panamera Turbo isn’t a cheap car by any stretch of the imagination with a starting price of $376,000 (plus on-road costs), but it is more affordable than Mercedes-AMG’s short-wheelbase S63 and the BMW M760Li.

Sitting at the top of the tree (at least until the even more powerful Turbo S E-Hybrid model arrives later this year), you get a car that comes fully loaded with a leather-lined four-seater cockpit that has heated and ventilated front seats and introduces Porsche’s latest digital interface with a 12-inch touchscreen that integrates all the vehicle settings plus Bluetooth, Wifi and Apple CarPlay connectivity as well as high-res sat nav and a booming Bose audio system.

Our particular test car was equipped with a few more options that took its as-tested price over $410,000, including 18-way electric adjustment for the front Sports seats and eight-way adjustment in the rear, a two-tone black and red leather interior, electric blinds in the rear as well as larger 21-inch alloys, a sports exhaust, Sport Chrono and rear-wheel steering.

What’s under the bonnet?

The Panamera Turbo is powered by a smaller twin-turbo V8 than the car it replaces, with a reduction in capacity from 4.8-litres to 4.0-litres that ensures it is even more efficient than before.

It’s the same engine that is used across a wide spectrum of top-end performance cars in the Volkswagen group, from the Bentley Continental to the Audi RS6/RS7, and, in the case of the Panamera, produces 404kW and 770Nm – higher outputs than those generated by the larger engine in the previous model, and enough to propel it from 0-100km/h in just 3.6 seconds (when fitted with Sport Chrono) and on to a top speed of 306km/h.

Like before, the Panamera Turbo has an all-wheel drive transmission but it uses a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with a wider spread of ratios, firstly to help improve its accelerative performance and secondly to lower its fuel consumption to a respectable claimed average of 9.4L/100km.

2017 Porsche Panamera.

What’s it like to drive?

Needless to say, with that much power and performance numbers like that, the Panamera Turbo is a seriously quick piece of machinery when you unleash it.

With its maximum pulling power available from just 1960rpm, it rushes towards the horizon with relentless ferocity and sounds glorious while doing so, especially with the sports exhaust’s loudest setting activated.

It’s more than a straight-line steam train though, as it handles like a Porsche should with excellent control and plenty of grip through the bends. It’s not as agile as a 911, or a Cayman, and it can’t mask its near two-tonne heft, but thanks in part to the adoption of four-wheel steering it definitely belies its sheer size to set the benchmark as the sportiest limousine in its class.

On the flipside, it is a much better luxury car than its predecessor with its new three-chamber air suspension offering a relaxed and cosseting ride while the effortless nature of the engine and the seamless gearbox make it a thoroughly pleasant long-distance cruiser.

The only gripe is that its big rear tyres – measuring 325mm at the rear – generate a noticeable amount of road noise that can’t be totally isolated from the cabin, particularly on coarse surfaces.

What’s it like inside?

Building on the driving experience, the Panamera’s new cabin design introduces a more modern level of luxury to the sports limousine.

Like before, the cockpit offers four individual seats that are set low and have generous support and there’s plenty of space, even for tall adults to sit in the rear pews without any compromises, and a sense of airiness thanks to the panoramic sunroof. Those in the back can cacoon themselves from the rest of the world with electric sunblinds in the doors and rear windscreen and have individual controls for the air conditioning in a separate panel.

The overall design is the standout feature of the new-generation Panamera. While similar in concept to its predecessor, with a large centre tunnel cascading from the horizontal dash, it replaces the myriad of buttons with a glass-like surface that has haptic touch-sensitives controls for functions such as the adaptive suspension, exhaust, seat heating and air conditioning.

The big digital screen also looks more modern and has a tile-like operating system that makes its huge array of functions easy to navigate through.

2017 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid.

Is it safe?

While expensive cars such as the Panamera aren’t independently crash-tested, there is no doubt it would be right up there with the safest cars on the planet thanks to a comprehensive suite of electronic driver aids.

Beyond the fact that its responsive handling, and mega braking power, will allow you to avoid an accident in the first place, it is also equipped with autonomous emergency braking, radar cruise control, lane keeping assistance, blind spot warning and a 360-degree camera with automated parking assist.

If, in the event an accident is unavoidable, occupants are protected by eight airbags.

Would I buy it?

Absolutely, I always admired the Panamera for being a genuine sports limousine despite the heavy criticism heaped on the original’s design.

This second generation not only improves its performance credentials but the Panamera is now a much more convincing luxury car than before.

What else should I consider?

The Panamera is unique in that its core DNA revolves around being a sporty limousine at all levels, rather than being a high-performance adaptation of a mainstream luxury car.

But, if it’s not your thing, then the aforementioned Mercedes-AMG S63 and BMW M760Li offer similar levels of speed, power and luxury.

And, while not quite as convincing, the Maserati Quattroporte is a distinctive alternative, as is the Jaguar XJR even though it’s getting a bit long in the tooth and misses out on some of the latest safety and connectivity tech.

2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo pricing and specifications

Price: From $376,000 plus on-road costs

Engine: 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo petrol

Power: 404kW at 5750-6000rpm

Torque: 770Nm at 1960-4500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, all-wheel drive

Fuel use:  9.4/100km

- For more information visit our Porsche showroom

Article source: http://www.drive.com.au/new-car-reviews/2017-porsche-panamera-turbo-review-20170526-gwea26.html

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman S Review: Brave new turbocharged world

In the world of sports car design the mid-engine layout is king, which makes the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman S one of the reigning blue-bloods of the high performance niche. Perfectly balanced, and from a certain perspective affordably priced, the Cayman family of compact coupes has given Porsche a strong throne from which to command its sub-911 empire.

That’s not to say that there haven’t been changes afoot for Porsche’s purebred. As concerned as the company is about heritage, it also possesses a very German capability for balancing tradition with its own evolution – particular as examined from an engineering perspective. This is, after all, an automaker that made the reluctant jump to water-cooled engines in the 911 while resolutely leaving them hanging out over the tail of the car to continue their taunting of the laws of physics.

So it goes with the 2017 edition of the Porsche 718 Cayman, which has swapped the silky sewing machine sounds of its cadre of flat-six motors for the CAFE-pleasing brap of turbocharged four-cylinder units. This is one of those rare cases where less truly is more, at least from a power perspective, as the turbo engines boost their way past the original sixes both on paper and when objectively measured with a stopwatch. Still, the Cayman is widely considered – and I count myself as a holder of this opinion – to be a rare example of the ‘perfect’ sports car, so any alterations to the formula tend to be greeted with suspicion.

The Porsche 718 Cayman S displays two unmistakable tells that it’s dropped a pair of cylinders in favor of a more efficient layout. The first is sound: turn the key and you’re no longer greeted with a reassuring mechanical clatter directly behind your head, but rather the distinct sensation that you’ve just fired up a burbling Subaru WRX. Or is that a Volkswagen GTI? It’s not so much an unpleasant sound, and Porsche has worked hard to massage its rougher edges with its pleasing sport exhaust feature, but it’s definitely off-menu for longtime Porsche fans.

Then there’s the power delivery of the Cayman S’ 2.5-liter motor. With 350 horses and 309 lb-ft of torque on tap, the Porsche’s 3.6-second 0-60-mph time is fantastic, and roughly a half-second quicker than it was the year before thanks to its newfound muscle. How you get there, however, is quite different, as the car asks you to wring the neck of its four-cyl mill in order to enjoy the full herd galloping at a lofty 6,500 rpm, contrasted against maximum twist being available from 1,900 rpm onwards to 4,500 rpm. The experience is not nearly the same as having the previous model’s 6 pistons scream 700 rpm quicker to signal that it’s time for a gear change (via a paddle tap on the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automated manual gearbox optionally installed in my tester).

Again, ‘different’ does not always mean ‘bad,’ nor does it in this case signal ‘worse,’ especially when considering that Porsche has managed to achieve the seemingly disparate goals of building a mightier drivetrain while also improving fuel economy. Although the chassis has been given some attention to deal with the extra beef sitting amidships – springs, shocks, and steering have all been tweaked – the Cayman S’ provides the same supernatural directional control and mastery of momentum that have been hallmarks of the car ever since it was first introduced. I experienced the same joy of machine in hurtling the Porsche through the nearest set of S curves as I did back when the Cayman was burdened with those now-jettisoned cylinders, and while I may prefer the engagement of the available clutch pedal versus the lightning rapidity of the PDK setup (despite the blistering 12-second quarter mile it makes available when equipped with Sport Chrono’s launch control), it’s really a question of how dark do you like your chocolate. Assuming your budget verges on unlimited, you can further complicate matters by way of options such as PASM adaptive suspension, torque vectoring, and larger wheels wrapped in stickier rubber, which sit alongside numerous interior improvements and infotainment selections on the order sheet.

In some ways, the shift to turbocharging currently underway almost across the board at Porsche feels like a lateral move more than a let-down or improvement of the breed. While a substantial segment of the Porsche faithful is content to shop on spec alone, there’s no question that the emotional element associated with purchasing a sports car plays a role for an almost equal number of would-be buyers, especially when spending the upwards of $67,700 (base MSRP for the S). That the Porsche 718 Cayman S is a truly excellent car is not up for debate. Whether the soundtrack it has to offer is on par with the blood-curdling roar of a Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport’s V8 or the carefully-autotuned chaos emitted by the tailpipes of the Jaguar F-Type S is another matter entirely. The Cayman S has certainly won my mind, but the 718 wasn’t quite capable of dislodging last year’s more visceral 3.4-liter model from my heart.

Article source: https://www.slashgear.com/2017-porsche-718-cayman-s-review-brave-new-turbocharged-world-23485872/

Porsche 911 Carrera S car review: one millionth 911 driven | Top Gear

One million Porsche 911s, eh?

That’s right, and this one is the millionth. Chicken feed if your scale is VW Beetle or Toyota Corolla, but a million top end sports cars? That’s a milestone alright and one worth celebrating by making the millionth car off the Zuffenhausen production line something suitably retro-inspired.

You’re referring to the green paint, obviously.

Well yes, but much more than that, too. The whole car is designed to hark back to Ferry Porsche’s first personal 911. Back on 19 October 1964, chassis number 300.003 was presented to him in Irish Green and featuring pepita-patterned seats.

In addition to that Porsche Exclusive has had a good crack at this particular 911. The instruments have silver surrounds just like the original, the handmade mahogany steering wheel has the original Porsche crest at its centre, there’s gold lettering on the engine cover, silver mirror caps, door handles and engine intake slats, plus aluminium window surrounds.

What’s been done to the oily bits?

Nothing. This is a regular 3.0-litre flat six Carrera S with the performance kit power upgrade fitted. That features bigger turbos, which means 444bhp. It’s a manual rather than a PDK and also has PASM and Sport Chrono, dropping the ride height by 10mm, altering the dampers and adding dynamic engine mounts, improved brake cooling and a sports exhaust.

So it drives just like a regular 911?

Absolutely. And whether you subscribe to the move to turbocharging in 911s or not, what you have here is a deeply impressive everyday sports car. Just as it’s always been. Good visibility, four seats inside, superb ergonomics, lovely cabin quality. Some things never change.

And some do. The 911 is a much bigger car now than it was in the Sixties. Still relatively compact by modern standards at 4499mm long and 1808mm wide, but back in 1963 the 901 (as it was first badged at its reveal – more on that later) was 4134mm long and just 1600mm wide. The new one is lower, though: 1296mm plays 1321mm. And also heavier. The old one may have only had 130bhp from its 2.0-litre flat six, but it only weighed 1030kg, this second gen 991 is 1440kg.

How much of a gulf is there in speed?

Vast. Back in 1963 Porsche claimed 0-100kmh in 8.7secs. A new manual Carrera S – even without the performance kit – will hit 100mph in 8.9secs, having passed 100kmh in 4.3secs.

Anyway, the driving?

Oh yes, sorry. What I really like is that Porsche hasn’t thrown the kitchen sink at the millionth 911. No cruise control for instance and no PDK twin clutch gearbox either. It’s like they want it to link back to Ferry’s first 911…

So it’s simple to drive with little interference. The seven-speed gearbox is better than it’s ever been – wrong slotting around fifth, sixth and seventh has been almost entirely eradicated and the shift is light, accurate and easy. It makes you realise that you don’t need a self-shifter even if you do a lot of pootling about town.

Out of town it moves with easy grace and determination. A 911 isn’t a hardcore sports car – that’s the GT3’s job – so you drive it accordingly, pouring it into corners, enjoying the blipped downshifts and then allow the torque to smoothly propel you down out and onwards.

I would like to point out at this stage that the millionth 911 only rolled off the production lines ten days before I drove it. It’s off on a world tour and then heading for pride of place in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. Sending it into the scenery while attempting to judge if the extra weight of the gold badging on the back made it handle more like a trad 911 wouldn’t, I suspect, be well received.

Speaking about badges, what’s the story about the origins of the 911’s name?

It was an entirely pragmatic naming policy. Porsche was a tiny marque at the time, and even then, was looking at a possible collaboration with Volkswagen. Back then VW’s spare parts numbering system ran up to 900, but not beyond, so Porsche decided to name it’s new flat six sports car the 901, with a later four cylinder car planned to be called the 902.

And that’s exactly what happened when Porsche pulled the wraps off the car at Frankfurt in September 1963. But a little over a year later, just as Porsche was poised to begin sales, Peugeot came knocking, pointing out that according to French law, and since they’d been using the designation since 1929, they had the rights to three digit numbers with a zero in the middle.

Ferry Porsche considered a couple of options – adding GT was one – but so close to launch and with things such as the brochure, price lists, fonts and physical badges close to being finalised, he came up with the simplest solution possible: just use the ‘1’ twice…

And 54 years later it’s still going strong…

It is indeed, an average of 18,518 cars per year, or 50.7 cars per day getting us to this point. Not that that’s particularly indicative of sales rate across the board. The first generation sold 81,000 cars across ten years, the latest has sold almost twice that in little more than half the time. Here’s a table for those who like to geek out at this sort of stuff:

Original 911 (1963-1973): 81,100
G-Series (1973-1988): 198,414 
964 (1988-1993): 74,008
993 (1993-1997): 67,535
996 (1997-2004): 179,163
997 (2004-2011): 215,092
991 (2011- end 2016): 152,659

So 967,971 up to the end of last year, and now a million. Could I have one just like this?

You probably could. Irish Green has been on the Porsche Exclusive charts for years, having first been introduced soon after Ferry ordered his original motor. As for all the little details, I expect a call to Porsche Exclusive would reveal all – but whether Porsche would thank you for trying to ape its one-off special edition is another matter. They’d definitely draw the line at an identical plaque.

But then why should number 1,000,000 be any more special than number 1,111,111? Or 1,234,567? Or 1,000,001? Or 1,074,367?

Article source: https://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/porsche/s-2dr/first-drive

Smaller Engine Brings More Cayman Power


In recent years Porsche has expanded its lineup with a couple of crossover SUVs and a full-size luxury sedan.

But it’s with high-performance, two-seater sports cars that Ferdinand Porsche made a name for himself and where the German auto manufacturer has enjoyed a loyal following since the mid-’60s.

For 2017, Porsche has new names for its entry-level performance twins, now calling them the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster.

Both are mid-engine sports cars with the Cayman being a fixed-roof coupe and the Boxster, a soft-top roadster.

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Review

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Review

The 718 designation ties the two variants together as one model and also brings a bit of history into play as 718 was the moniker of an original Porsche race car that campaigned in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

While significant sheet metal updates have been made to both the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster, the cars don’t look all that much different from a styling standpoint.

However, Porsche says that every body part except the trunk lid, roof and windshield have been changed to give the 718 Cayman a more striking, athletic appearance.

 

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Review

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Review

The big news is inside where two new, flat-four twin turbo engines replace the  ‘boxer’ sixes of the past in both the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster, making engine output identical in both the coupe and roadster for the first time.

The base models get a 300 hp 2.0-litre engine, while the 718 Cayman S and 718 Boxster S come with a 350 hp 2.5-litre flat-four.

Although smaller in displacement, both engines produce 25 more horsepower than their respective predecessors and up to 67 lb/ft more torque. At the same time, the engines are 13 per cent more fuel-efficient. It just shows how far engine technology has come.

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Review

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Review

Our tester was a standard 718 Cayman, dressed in a brilliant Guards Red paint colour that was an attention-getter wherever we travelled.

Starting at $61,500, the as-tested price was $74,270 when a six-pack of options and the $1,200 delivery charge were tacked on. The Cayman S starts at $75,600.

Also Read: BMW M2 Review – Channeling M

Two transmissions are offered on the 718 Cayman. Ours came with the standard six-speed manual that has been reinforced with new components and a stronger clutch to handle the increased torque of the new turbocharged engines.

Optional is a seven–speed dual-clutch PDK that offers both automatic and manual shift modes. Interestingly, on this new PDK Porsche says the shift direction has been reversed in manual mode in line with racecars — forward to downshift, backwards to upshift.

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Review

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Review

The chassis has been re-tuned in the 718 Cayman with firmer springs and stabilizer bars, while the steering is 10 per cent more direct, making it more agile and easier to handle during spirited driving. Part of this is due to the new steering gear, making its way into the 718 from the 911 Turbo.

I didn’t get any track time with the 718 Cayman, but we did venture into the country and tested it out on some of the twisties in the region.

It’s simply a treat to drive, perfectly weighted (46/54 front/rear weight ratio) with direct steering that makes even the average driver feel more confident.

Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, but our tester had the optional 19-inch Cayman S wheels. The brakes are bigger than before, 330 mm up front and 299 in the rear.

 

A couple of other optional features that are worth considering are Porsche Torque Vectoring which improves traction and agility, and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) that lowers ride height by 10 mm on the base car and 20 mm on the Cayman S.

The performance enthusiast may also opt for the Sport Chrono Package that now includes four drive settings— Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual that can be accessed through a dial on the steering wheel.

Porsche says the design of the new 718 Cayman emphasizes the close relationship with the 718 Boxster.

Except for the top and the trunk lid, the bodies of the two variants are closer than ever before, much like the 911 Coupe and Cabriolet models.

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Review

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Review

Inside, the cabin has a simple, yet practical layout. It is perhaps a bit more upscale than previous Porsches I have driven; yet it is still driver-focused all the way.

The optional 14-way power Sport Seats are a pricey option ($2,650), yet comfortable and supportive. The test car also came with a navigation system and Porsche Communication Management (PCM), a $1,980 option. Central to this is the seven-inch colour touchscreen with proximity sensors and multi-touch gesture control.

Also Read: Audi TT S has the ingredients for a smile

If I could find one thing to quibble about with the new 718 Cayman it would be the engine noise.

Yes, there’s still that nice burble and gurgle when one downshifts, but the engine drone from behind thanks to the mid-engine layout can become somewhat draining on a long drive if you don’t have the eight-speaker sound system cranked up.

That said, the new 718 Cayman is a delight to drive.

It’s well balanced, powerful enough and with looks that are sure to attract a crowd.

Just what a sports car is supposed to be.

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Review

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Review

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman

BODY STYLE: premium performance coupe.

DRIVE METHOD: mid-engine, rear-wheel drive.

ENGINE: 2.0-litre twin turbo direct inject flat four-cylinder (300 hp, 280 lb/ft of torque) with a six speed manual transmission.

FUEL ECONOMY: (Premium) 11.5/8.3/9.8 L/100 km city/highway/combined.

CARGO CAPACITY: 150 litres in front, 275 litres in rear.

TOW RATING: Not recommended

PRICE: $61,500, as tested $74,270 including $1,200 destination charge.

WEB SITE: www.porsche.ca

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Article source: http://www.wheels.ca/car-reviews/smaller-engine-brings-more-cayman-power/

Edmunds Drive-Thru

The latest expert car reviews from the Edmunds editors, designed to help you find your perfect car.

No other sports car combines speed, civility and driving satisfaction like the 2018 Porsche 911. There’s no denying that it’s an accomplished driver’s car with few equals.

The 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S is no slacker, either. This First Impression video demonstrates that when you push the Sport Response button, giddy laughter may follow.

A long list of features and an attractive price draw you into the 2018 Genesis G80. The quality and refinement might make you drive one home.

In April, the editors were getting the hang of our long-term 2017 Honda Clarity, the carmaker’s hydrogen fuel cell sedan. A plus for associate automotive editor Will Kaufman is that the Clarity “finally sounds like the future I always expected. Braking and accelerating are accompanied by whines and whooshes that are straight out of Blade Runner.”

Article source: https://www.edmunds.com/car-news/drive-thru/edmunds-drive-thru-052617.html

Porsche 911 Carrera S car review: one millionth 911 driven

One million Porsche 911s, eh?

That’s right, and this one is the millionth. Chicken feed if your scale is VW Beetle or Toyota Corolla, but a million top end sports cars? That’s a milestone alright and one worth celebrating by making the millionth car off the Zuffenhausen production line something suitably retro-inspired.

You’re referring to the green paint, obviously.

Well yes, but much more than that, too. The whole car is designed to hark back to Ferry Porsche’s first personal 911. Back on 19 October 1964, chassis number 300.003 was presented to him in Irish Green and featuring pepita-patterned seats.

In addition to that Porsche Exclusive has had a good crack at this particular 911. The instruments have silver surrounds just like the original, the handmade mahogany steering wheel has the original Porsche crest at its centre, there’s gold lettering on the engine cover, silver mirror caps, door handles and engine intake slats, plus aluminium window surrounds.

What’s been done to the oily bits?

Nothing. This is a regular 3.0-litre flat six Carrera S with the performance kit power upgrade fitted. That features bigger turbos, which means 444bhp. It’s a manual rather than a PDK and also has PASM and Sport Chrono, dropping the ride height by 10mm, altering the dampers and adding dynamic engine mounts, improved brake cooling and a sports exhaust.

So it drives just like a regular 911?

Absolutely. And whether you subscribe to the move to turbocharging in 911s or not, what you have here is a deeply impressive everyday sports car. Just as it’s always been. Good visibility, four seats inside, superb ergonomics, lovely cabin quality. Some things never change.

And some do. The 911 is a much bigger car now than it was in the Sixties. Still relatively compact by modern standards at 4499mm long and 1808mm wide, but back in 1963 the 901 (as it was first badged at its reveal – more on that later) was 4134mm long and just 1600mm wide. The new one is lower, though: 1296mm plays 1321mm. And also heavier. The old one may have only had 130bhp from its 2.0-litre flat six, but it only weighed 1030kg, this second gen 991 is 1440kg.

How much of a gulf is there in speed?

Vast. Back in 1963 Porsche claimed 0-100kmh in 8.7secs. A new manual Carrera S – even without the performance kit – will hit 100mph in 8.9secs, having passed 100kmh in 4.3secs.

Anyway, the driving?

Oh yes, sorry. What I really like is that Porsche hasn’t thrown the kitchen sink at the millionth 911. No cruise control for instance and no PDK twin clutch gearbox either. It’s like they want it to link back to Ferry’s first 911…

So it’s simple to drive with little interference. The seven-speed gearbox is better than it’s ever been – wrong slotting around fifth, sixth and seventh has been almost entirely eradicated and the shift is light, accurate and easy. It makes you realise that you don’t need a self-shifter even if you do a lot of pootling about town.

Out of town it moves with easy grace and determination. A 911 isn’t a hardcore sports car – that’s the GT3’s job – so you drive it accordingly, pouring it into corners, enjoying the blipped downshifts and then allow the torque to smoothly propel you down out and onwards.

I would like to point out at this stage that the millionth 911 only rolled off the production lines ten days before I drove it. It’s off on a world tour and then heading for pride of place in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. Sending it into the scenery while attempting to judge if the extra weight of the gold badging on the back made it handle more like a trad 911 wouldn’t, I suspect, be well received.

Speaking about badges, what’s the story about the origins of the 911’s name?

It was an entirely pragmatic naming policy. Porsche was a tiny marque at the time, and even then, was looking at a possible collaboration with Volkswagen. Back then VW’s spare parts numbering system ran up to 900, but not beyond, so Porsche decided to name it’s new flat six sports car the 901, with a later four cylinder car planned to be called the 902.

And that’s exactly what happened when Porsche pulled the wraps off the car at Frankfurt in September 1963. But a little over a year later, just as Porsche was poised to begin sales, Peugeot came knocking, pointing out that according to French law, and since they’d been using the designation since 1929, they had the rights to three digit numbers with a zero in the middle.

Ferry Porsche considered a couple of options – adding GT was one – but so close to launch and with things such as the brochure, price lists, fonts and physical badges close to being finalised, he came up with the simplest solution possible: just use the ‘1’ twice…

And 54 years later it’s still going strong…

It is indeed, an average of 18,518 cars per year, or 50.7 cars per day getting us to this point. Not that that’s particularly indicative of sales rate across the board. The first generation sold 81,000 cars across ten years, the latest has sold almost twice that in little more than half the time. Here’s a table for those who like to geek out at this sort of stuff:

Original 911 (1963-1973): 81,100
G-Series (1973-1988): 198,414 
964 (1988-1993): 74,008
993 (1993-1997): 67,535
996 (1997-2004): 179,163
997 (2004-2011): 215,092
991 (2011- end 2016): 152,659

So 967,971 up to the end of last year, and now a million. Could I have one just like this?

You probably could. Irish Green has been on the Porsche Exclusive charts for years, having first been introduced soon after Ferry ordered his original motor. As for all the little details, I expect a call to Porsche Exclusive would reveal all – but whether Porsche would thank you for trying to ape its one-off special edition is another matter. They’d definitely draw the line at an identical plaque.

But then why should number 1,000,000 be any more special than number 1,111,111? Or 1,234,567? Or 1,000,001? Or 1,074,367?

Article source: https://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/porsche/s-2dr/first-drive

Review: Porsche Panamera v Tesla Model S head-to-head

Luxury hatchbacks that offer super pace but sensible running costs

Those who have made it may rightly want to treat themselves to a fancy machine that can do it all: look smart, go fast, yet still offer enough room for three passengers and their luggage. The two cars we’re testing here certainly do all that: both have premium badges, 0-60mph times of around four seconds but also have four doors and roomy hatchback boots.

They also won’t necessarily cost a fortune to run, despite their list prices of around £90,000. The routes they take are rather different though. The Porsche Panamera 4S Diesel has a big V8 oil-burner, while the Tesla Model S 90D has a zero-emissions all-electric drivetrain.

Porsche Panamera 4S Diesel

Porsche Panamera

Engine: 4.0-litre V8, diesel
Price: £94,234
Power: 416bhp
Torque: 627lb/ft
0-60mph: 3.9sec
Top speed: 177mph
Gov’t fuel economy: 42.2mpg
CO2 emissions: 176g/km

Driving experience

And although they’re surprisingly similarly matched in terms of acceleration, it’s the Tesla that often feels the faster, because its electric motors respond so instantly. The surge you feel when you press the accelerator is genuinely thrilling. It’s less impressive through corners though, and it’s here where the breeding of the Porsche comes to the fore.

The Panamera is simply on another level, with brilliant agility, never-ending grip and loads of feedback to engage the driver. Yet it does all this with a good ride quality too, proving smoother than the Model S’ easily-irritated suspension. Over broken surfaces, the difference between the two is stark.

The Telsa is very refined, mainly thanks to its vibration-free electric drivetrain. At all times, it’s quieter than the Porsche, whose eight-speed gearbox can also be jerky at low speeds, again in contrast to the super-silky Model S. Another big wow factor with the Tesla is its massive 17-inch central touchscreen, through which you mastermind virtually the entire car. It takes a bit of getting used to but is a real talking point.

Interior

The Porsche’s touchscreen is smaller but easier to navigate. It’s good to have physical controls for things like temperature control as well. And the Panamera’s build quality is truly top notch – the Tesla is plush, but there are some surprisingly wide gaps in places, and it doesn’t quite feel as premium as the Porsche.

Tesla Model S 90D 

Tesla Model S

Engine: Twin electric motors, 90kWh battery
Price: £89,380 (not including £4500 government grant)
Power: 417bhp
Torque: 487Ib ft
0-60mph: 4.5sec
Top speed: 155mph
Economy: N/A
CO2 emissions: 0g/km

Both are roomy inside; the Panamera can seat two in the rear and the Tesla can take three. They both have practical hatchback boots and the Tesla’s is the roomier of the two – and, as an added bonus, there’s an additional storage compartment in the front. You can also get the Model S as a seven-seater, although the chairs in the boot are tiny and only good for small children.

Running costs

Running costs are where the Tesla takes a big lead. You get a £4500 government grant with the Model S for starters, and it’s cheaper to tax. The Panamera is marginally cheaper to lease, but the Telsa is cheaper on a PCP scheme, despite retained values 14 per centbehind the Porsche. Where it really scores, though, is if you run one as a company car – drivers will save, get this, £27,674 in benefit-in-kind tax over three years. That’s an astonishing difference.

The electric Tesla is also cheaper to ‘fuel’: 250 miles of range costs £9 in electric, meaning it’s £1100 cheaper than the Porsche to drive for 12,000 miles. Weigh this up against the fact you can fill the Panamera, which should do around 35mpg, anywhere: you need to plug the Model S in.

For company car drivers, the appeal of the Tesla is obvious: it’s a genuine tax champion. It’s less good value for private buyers though, and it also doesn’t drive as well as the Porsche, nor feel as posh. This is why the Panamera ultimately aces it here – with its breathtaking range of abilities, we think it’s well worth the money, despite the hefty tax burden.

Porsche Panamera

Tesla Model S

Porsche Panamera

Tesla Model S

Porsche Panamera

Tesla Model S

Porsche Panamera

Tesla Model S

https://inews.co.uk/essentials/lifestyle/cars/car-reviews/review-porsche-panamera-v-tesla-model-s-head-head/

2018 Audi SQ5

It’s been a while since Audi has done anything to surprise us. But who needs surprises when sales are strong and the cars are good? Audi has been on a roll for years now in the States, and the popular Q5 crossover has been a big part of that success—the first-generation Q5 had its second-best sales year ever in 2016, a full eight years after its debut.

It’s no wonder, then, that the new Q5 and its performance-oriented sibling, the SQ5, aren’t making any sort of philosophical shift for their second generation. Rather than truly redesigning its cars, Audi recently has been refining familiar formulas with a methodical, almost scientific approach to eliminating imperfections and fixing shortcomings.


Upgraded Across the Board

The result is that the new SQ5 is much like the old SQ5, except that it’s better in nearly every way—at least objectively. Audi’s long list of claimed improvements runs the gamut from better fuel economy to a broader torque curve to increased cargo space and more technology features. This vehicle rides on the same MLB Evo platform that underpins the latest A4 and A5, and the six-cylinder SQ5 specifically benefits from some significant suspension tweaks and a different all-wheel-drive system versus the standard four-cylinder Q5.

It also has that key ingredient in any Audi S model: more power. The old SQ5’s supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 gives way to a new turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 (meaning the T in Audi’s V6T badge finally actually stands for turbo). The new six makes the same 354 horsepower as before, but torque rises by 23 lb-ft to 369 and peaks nearly 3000 rpm sooner in the rev range. As before, an eight-speed automatic is the only transmission choice, and all-wheel drive is standard.

There is more differentiation now between the Q5 and the SQ5 in terms of how that torque is put to the road. While the standard model has adopted a new, more efficient Quattro Ultra system that can disconnect the rear driveshaft at times, the SQ5 sticks with a more conventional setup that continuously turns the rear driveshaft as it varies torque between the front and rear axles. To go along with the SQ5’s performance-oriented mission, its Quattro system has a rear bias: It defaults to a 40/60 front-to-rear split and can route as much as 85 percent of the torque to the rear wheels. There’s also an optional Sport Differential, a torque-vectoring differential for the rear axle that can send almost all of the torque to one wheel.

The Sport Differential is part of a $3000 S Sport package, which also includes air springs that bring roughly four inches of height adjustability to the SQ5. The adaptive dampers that we liked so much in our first drive of the Q5 are standard on the SQ5, as are summer tires on 20-inch wheels, with 21s optional for $1000 extra.


Magical Modes

The SQ5 that we drove in British Columbia was equipped with both of the above options, making for $4000 in performance-enhancing extras (there’s also a variable-ratio dynamic steering system available for another $1150). So equipped, the SQ5 felt exceptionally buttoned down and taut without sacrificing ride comfort. The combination of the air springs and the adaptive dampers creates a wide range of dynamic character among the four standard driving modes: Auto, Comfort, Dynamic, and Individual. (The air suspension brings an Allroad and a Lift/Offroad mode as well.) Predictably, perhaps, we wished for more feedback from the electrically assisted power steering, but the weighting is well tuned to the various modes, and the attractive flat-bottom steering wheel is a joy to hold, with just the right rim thickness.

The powertrain also impresses with its ability to change demeanor. In Comfort mode, the eight-speed auto shifts imperceptibly. The SQ5 is mostly hushed at speed, although the 21-inch wheels and Pirelli P Zero high-performance summer tires do hum a bit on the highway; all-season tires, a no-cost option for the standard 20-inch wheels, may be quieter. Switch to Dynamic mode and the gearbox wakes up, executing prompt upshifts and downshifting aggressively as you brake for a corner. Dynamic also brings some hints of overrun on the exhaust, enhancing the V-6’s already throaty engine note.

We suspect that Audi’s claimed zero-to-60-mph estimate of 5.1 seconds is slightly conservative; we think five seconds flat is more likely. That would put the Audi right in the hunt with its closest rivals, the 5.1-second, 380-hp Jaguar F-Pace S and the 4.5-second, 362-hp Mercedes-AMG GLC43.


Look and Feel

As we’ve come to expect from Audi, the SQ5’s interior is impeccably assembled and materials look and feel of high quality. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster is part of the optional $2600 Navigation package on the base Premium Plus trim, but it’s standard on the Prestige model; it’s a worthy upgrade, presenting a ton of information directly in the driver’s line of sight in a clear, attractive, and highly configurable manner. Carbon-fiber trim and faux-suede bits are scattered throughout, as is the custom in any sort of high-performance vehicle these days.

The one area where the SQ5 falls short of some of its competitors is in visual drama. Rivals such as the F-Pace, along with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and the Porsche Macan, are more distinctive than the SQ5, which looks nearly identical to the previous model. Those who like to fly under the radar may prefer the Audi’s subdued looks, but, to our eye, its soft, somewhat nondescript shape does little to convey the athleticism found within.

Audi, though, has never purported to peddle the same sort of excitement as more characterful and extroverted automakers. The SQ5 may not be thrilling, but it nearly flawlessly executes its mission. Don’t tell Lexus we said so, but the relentless pursuit of perfection is really being undertaken at Audi.

View Photos

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Lego Porsche 911 shatters beautifully in a crash test

Car fans and plastic-brick fans alike welcomed the introduction of the stunning Lego Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS kit last year. Now you can watch with a mix of awe, horror and wonderment as all 2,704 pieces of that pristine model ram into a wall for a toy-sized crash test.

The crash test video, released on Tuesday, comes from German automobile club ADAC. It kicks off with an unboxing and a time-lapse of the build, which is no easy feat. Lego suggests the kit is best for builders age 16 and over. The ADAC’s test track is a miniature version of a real crash-test setup.

Luxuriate in the slow-motion footage of doom as the Porsche hurtles towards a wall and then splits into its individual Lego components. See the dance of destruction from every possible angle.

The ADAC notes that the pieces themselves held up well, but the connection points where the bricks click together were the weak spots. Let’s just say that Lego cars aren’t designed with crumple zones.

lego01.jpg

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/lego-porsche-911-crash-test-adac-video-youtube/