Porsche

Ned Jasper | 2017 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

Ned Jasper is back, and he’s got the latest on the latest addition to the Porsche model range. It’s not rear-engined, but there’s certainly a lot going on out back!

2017 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

I’m told that good things come to those who wait. So, considering the Panamera Sport Turismo is the first Porsche estate car to leave Stuttgart since the company was founded back in 1931. It better be good! Thankfully, the first impressions are good. Very very good. The front half of the Sport Turismo is near enough identical to a ‘normal’ Panamera. That means handsome looks and road presence akin to that of a supercar.

2017 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

But it’s what happens around the back that matters. Gone is the standard Panamera’s slopping 911-esque roof line. In its place, is in my eyes, the best looking car rear end not just of the year, but of the last decade. The Porsche design language remains clear, with hints of 911 and Macan showing face. However, the combination of the squatted rear, combined with the giant muscular haunches, is just so spot on.

2017 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

The interior of the Sport Turismo remains near identical to that of the standard Panamera. That means svelte materials, contemporary shapes and angles, plus there’s a colour scheme almost as rich as the kind of person who can afford to buy one. Who knew brown could look so good, eh? Move towards the rear and you’ll begin to notice the differences. Or should I say, the difference! With the Sport Turismo being an estate after all, it was only right of Porsche to fit a proper rear bench. It seats three, and is capable of folding flat in 40:20:40 sections. Practical.

Despite the rather large exterior changes, the boot space isn’t too dissimilar to that of the standard Panamera, with the ST boasting just 25 litres extra space. That’s about the same size as a medium suitcase. The total room available is 520 litres or 1,390 with the rear seats folded down – Panamera van, anyone?! (more…)

Motorsport | Can a Porsche 911 really be mid-engined?

With a new Porsche 911 RSR announced, EngageSportMode ponders if anything is truly sacred in 2016.

2017 Porsche 911 RSR

It’s fair to say that 2016 has been something of a rollercoaster ride. From Brexit, to Donald Trump, and even Boaty McBoatface this has certainly not been a ‘normal’ year. However, amongst the madness, there’s always certain automotive things you can count on, right? A Mercedes driver will win the Formula 1 World Championship, more SUV models will be announced at every motor show, and a Porsche 911 has a rear-mounted engine.

After the LA Auto Show, only two of the above statements can be counted on to be true. Yes, 2016 has got to the most hallowed of sports cars – the Porsche 911. Admittedly it’s not a 911 road car, but the RSR racer instead. Yet there’s still something slightly unsettling about a 911 not featuring an engine behind the rear axle.

Porsche claims to have taken advantage of Le Mans GT regulations by moving the engine to “be positioned in front of the rear axle” along with various other technical developments. It’s still powered by a naturally aspirated flat-six – none of the that flat-four turbo nonsense here – but surely a rear-engine position is what makes a 911, well… a 911? It’s probably the key defining feature of the 911 model, as a mid-engined Porsche coupé is actually just a Cayman. (more…)

New – Porsche 718 Boxster and Boxster S

A new name, less cylinders, and the addition of forced induction as standard. Is this still the same mid-engined Porsche roadster?

2016 718 Boxster und 718 Boxster SWe’ll deal with the name first, as that’s potentially the least contentious element here. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, Porsche produced a number of mid-engined sportscars, that were powered by four-cylinder boxer engines, wearing the 718 badge. So whilst there’s an obvious heritage angle to play on instantly, Porsche also argues it brings the Boxster into line with other models like the 911 Carrera and 918 Hybrid. Which leaves us wondering what numbers they’ll pick for the Macan and Cayenne… It does make things a bit of a mouthful, along with adding a fair bit of nomenclature to the back end. Luckily it’s a no-cost option to delete it all should you not want all that lettering.

2016 718 Boxster SIn keeping with established 718 tradition, the new Boxster loses two cylinders to become a flat-four, after two decades of being powered by a classic Porsche flat-six motor. Does it matter? Well, the standard 718 Boxster features a 2.0-litre unit making 300 bhp, whilst the 718 Boxster S engine grows to 2.5-litres and 350 bhp. Performance is improved with a 0-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds for the Boxster, and 4.2 seconds for the Boxster S. Decreases of 0.8 and 0.6 seconds respectively over the previous model, but only if you specify the PDK dual-clutch gearbox and the Sport Chrono pack. In case you’re wondering, those two options add over £3k to the price tag alone. Top speed is 170 mph for the regular car, with the S adding an additional 7 mph.
2016 718 Boxster S (more…)

2015 Le Mans Gallery – Porsche takes historic 17th win with 1-2 finish

Ok, we’ll hold our hands up. We didn’t predict this in our Friday Photo Gallery. Nope, we overlooked the pace of the Porsches in qualifying and, instead, went for another Audi victory. We were wrong, even if we had predicted it a year ago. But congratulations to Porsche for surprising us with a rather impressive 1-2 win!

2015 Le Mans Porsche 919 Race 001In what has been billed as the closest Le Mans LMP1 battle for a generation, Porsche and Audi duked it out for most of the entire 24 hours. After coming so close last year, the Stuttgart outfit were obviously determined to take a record 17th outright Le Mans victory. Oh, and they also seemed to have luck on their side, with Audi beset with multiple bizarre incidents and uncharacteristic reliability problems.

2015 Le Mans Porsche 919 Race 002

Still, that takes nothing away from the efforts of Nico Hülkenberg, Earl Bamber, and Nick Tandy and their error-free drive to the finish. For both Hülkenberg and New Zealander Bamber, this was their first ever Le Mans experience, whilst Brit Tandy had only previously raced in GT classes at La Sarthe. Despite their limited history at the 24 hour race, they drove the #19 car superbly to victory.

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Editorial – Is a Lotus SUV the worst thing in the world?

Possibly the biggest bit of news in the automotive media this week, is the story that Lotus plans to build an SUV model. In China. Some enthusiasts are up in arms about it, but does it really matter?

Jean-Marc Gales - Lotus Group CEO

There seems to be two distinctive camps in the Lotus SUV debate. On one hand are the die-hard purists, who believe the Norfolk firm should produce nothing but lightweight sports cars, embodying the principles of founder Colin Chapman. On the other hand are those who accept Lotus needs to diversify in order to survive. Are the two concepts mutually exclusive, or is it possible to have your cake and eat it?

Add Elise body here. Or maybe something practical?

Add Elise body here. Or maybe something more practical?

Porsche is the prime example of a sporty marque that has made the SUV idea work. It seems quite hard to believe that it’s 13 years since the introduction of the original Cayenne, a vehicle now into its second generation of production. There are entire generations of children out there who could believe Porsche have always made 4x4s. The Cayenne was of course joined by the smaller Macan last year, which is actually more crossover than full-fat SUV.

Has this destroyed the Porsche brand? The fact the Cayman GT4 sold out almost instantly would suggest not. That the interest around the 911 GT3 RS bordered on insane would also counter that argument, too. Oh, and that Porsche delivered 51,100 new cars in January to March this year alone, with a revenue of €5.08 billion, pretty much knocks the dissenters out of the water. Compared to a company 15 years ago that was stuck with just two cars – 911 and Boxster – and an uncertain future, Porsche is now a huge success story. SUV models like the Macan are credited with this; the brand would never have survived just making sports cars with engines in the wrong place. (more…)

New – 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS

Along with shorter days, Halloween, and fireworks, Autumn seems to also be about German manufacturers launching revised performance SUVs. Today, Porsche has released details of the updated Cayenne GTS ahead of its official debut at the LA Motor Show later in the month. 

2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS 001

It actually seems hard to believe that we’re twelve years on from the launch of the first generation Cayenne back in 2002. Loved by some, and derided by many, the big SUV has been credited with almost singlehandedly keeping Porsche in business, such has been its impact on the company. Porsche first added the GTS name to the Cayenne back in 2007, and today marks the launch of the third iteration of its 4×4 model to wear that badge; one which apparently accounts for 11% of Cayenne sales.

2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS 002What’s new for this version, is the replacement of the old 4.8 litre petrol V8 with an uprated version of the 3.6 litre bi-turbo V6 engine. Making 434 bhp and 443 lb-ft of torque, the new V6 unit gains 20 bhp and 63 lb-ft over the outgoing V8. Fuel economy improves, with a maximum combined mpg of 28.8, whilst C02 emissions drop to a potential 228 g/km. It’s that familiar story of more power and less carbon through the magic of turbocharging and downsizing.

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Le Mans 2014 Gallery – Audi wins for 13th time with 1-2 podium

After qualifying, when Audi only managed the 5th quickest time behind Toyota and Porsche, we cautioned against writing off the German giant too soon. Turns out we were right not to. 24 hours is a long time, and Audi proved to have the most luck and reliability in what became a day-long war of attrition. The result was the marque’s 13th top category Le Mans victory in 16 years – quite a record.

Le Mans 2014

There must come a point where Audi starts to wonder just how many times it wants to win at Le Mans. Having all but dominated the event since the turn of the millennium, there surely has to be a moment where the Volkswagen Group board decides the brand should do something else. But, until that day, it almost seems inevitable that Audi Sport will take the top honours year in, year out.

That isn’t to do a disservice to Audi; their professionalism, experience and sheer determination to win means you can never rule them out of contention. The race wasn’t without its difficulties for the German team. The #3 R18 e-tron quattro was ruled out early on in chaotic scenes, as torrential rain lashed down the Mulsanne straight. In addition, both #2 and #1 cars required replacement turbochargers to be fitted – no small task in itself. Oh, and there was the need for the #1 car to be rebuilt from scratch after Loïc Duval’s huge crash on Wednesday!

But, despite all that, Audi Sport brought home a 1-2 finish, with the #2 car of Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer taking first, with Lucas di Grassi, Marc Gené and Tom Kristensen taking second in the rebuilt #1 car. 2014 was perhaps the most open race for sometime; it certainly wasn’t clear-cut Audi would win Until Porsche hit problems with only a couple of hours to go, did it became apparent they just might. But, as ever, there was always that feeling Audi would come through; and they did. Well done Ingolstadt.

Le Mans 24 Hours

#8 Toyota repaired after dramatic early Mulsanne crash to take third.

Early on it had looked like Toyota had the 2014 event already sewn up. The pace of the #7 TS040 HYBRID looked unstoppable for the vast majority of the race, showing the speed which has netted the team two wins in the World Endurance Championship already in 2014. (more…)

2014 Le Mans Gallery – Toyota, Porsche and Audi Qualifying

Thursday’s qualifying sessions at Le Mans produced more incidents and red flags. However, when the cars were running, it also produced some stunning images. Here, in the second of our galleries, we’ve highlighted the battle between the top three LMP1-H teams; Audi, Porsche and Toyota to claim pole position.

 Toyota Racing – TS040 HYBRID

Le Mans 24 Hours

Whilst pole position ahead of a 24 hour long race is largely academic it does, at least, allow that team to score big marketing points if not actual World Endurance Championship ones. For 2014 it was the #7 Toyota TS040 HYBRID of Kazuki Nakajima, Alex Wurz and Stéphane Sarrazin who claimed the symbolic top grid spot. Current World Endurance Championship leaders of Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi managed to secure third place in the #8 car. A strong showing from Toyota, but Le Mans is a much different beast to the 6 Hour races the team has done so well in this year.

Porsche Team – 919 Hybrid

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb

Porsche surpassed Audi as dominant Volkswagen Group competitor in qualifying, after displaying promise in practice.  The #14 car of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb securing second on the grid, with the #20 car of Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley lining up proving to be 4th fastest. Does the 919 Hybrid have the reliability to last the full 24 hours in its first year of competition?

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Le Mans 2014 – First Qualifying Audi and Porsche Gallery

The 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours is already turning into a dramatic event; and that was only on the first day of practice!

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber

 

Loïc Duval’s terrifying crash in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro caused substantial delays, and a lot of worried faces. Luckily he walked away from the 170 mph crash with just minor grazes. The evening qualifying session was also filled with a number of incidents, but in the end it was first blood to the Porsche team. The 919 Hybrids claimed the top two positions in qualifying, with the Number 20 car of Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernard and Mark Webber (yes, of not being as quick as Seb Vettel fame) on provisional pole. Volkswagen Group rivals Audi could only manage fifth and sixth on the provisional grid.

What the first night also produced was some stunning photography. Here we’ve highlighted our favourites of the two German giants battling it out on track:

There’s still lots more running to come, if everyone can avoid triggering more red flags. EngageSportMode will bring you more news and photos from Le Mans as the weekend unfolds.

Porsche 911 Martini Racing Edition – Details and Photos

Porsche and Martini sponsorship go together in the world of racing cars much like, well, Lancia and Martini sponsorship come to think of it. But anyway, the German manufacturer has produced a special edition 911 to celebrate the Porsche’s return to the Le Mans big time. 

2014 Porsche 911 Martini Racing Edition 001

As we saw last week, some of the most famous Le Mans Porsche racers have worn the distinctive blue and red stripes of the Martini colour scheme. Whether this necessarily translates into an attractive road car is another question, however.

2014 Porsche 911 Martini Racing Edition 002

Based on the Carrera S, the Martini Racing Edition is limited to just 80 models worldwide, with only two reported to be coming to the UK. By the time you’re reading this, they’ve probably already been snapped up at a hefty price of £102,862. So, what have you missed out on? That livery for a start. It may be classic Porsche, but the details just don’t quite work. We wonder if it might have looked better with full length centre stripes and without the giant Martini logo on the front.

2014 Porsche 911 Martini Racing Edition

The Cup Aerokit comes as standard, with racer-esque front bumper and jutting splitter, combined with the equally dramatic rear spoiler. We’re fans of the satin platinum finish applied to the standard Carrera S alloy wheels; a little bit motorsport. Inside there are red illuminated side sills, spelling out the model name (nice), dashboard accents in Martini colours, leather electrically-adjustable sport seats and a black tachometer dial. (more…)