Porsche & European Car Club Cairns joins together in 2017

Porsche Club Cairns has been running since 2003.

European Car Club Cairns ran for about 6 years and was shut down through lack of interest. Now in Oct 2017, we have decided to join the two clubs together.

Charles remains the president, and Kelli is the membership co-ordinator and social director. We will vote for other office bearers in due course.

Like all clubs, there were times where there were factions within the clubs. This will not be allowed to happen this time.

Contributions to these pages are very welcome. Please send email with details to be posted to info@porscheclubcairns.com.

We will then insert it into these pages. All postings on all sorts of European cars welcomed.

Club Enquiries can also be sent to this email above.

Next Porsche 911 GT3 and RS will feature manual option, shift focus to reducing weight

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According to the man behind the Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 RS, his team will focus more on weight reduction rather big jumps in power output for future editions.Andreas Preuninger, head of Porsche’s high performance division, told Car magazine that he’s “not a believer in this horsepower monster, up, up, up, more, more, more”.In his opinion, “500bhp [373kW] is enough, because 700-800bhp (522-597kW) calls for bigger brakes, sturdier suspension, it gets heavier and heavier logically”. 911 GT3 RS

For the record, the current 911 GT3 RS (above) has a 368kW/480Nm 4.0-litre naturally aspirated flat-six, while the 911 GT3 (below) is equipped with a 3.8-litre six-cylinder with 350kW/440Nm.That said, when the next GT3 and RS are revealed, don’t expect them to have less power. Preuninger says that the company couldn’t be seen to “go back”. Instead he and his team will spend more of their time to “make the car lighter again [and hit] a specific horsepower per kilo”, rather than engineer a big power hike. Porsche-911-GT3

Although the regular 911 range will, in the near future, be an all turbo proposition, Preuninger believes that naturally aspirated engines are “more linear, [have] better driveability, [are] lighter, more emotional”.In an effort to engage with buyers’ and enthusiasts’ emotions, the next 911 GT3 and GT3 RS will likely be offered with the option of a manual transmission.As for the race between manufacturers to produce vehicles with record-breaking lap times around the Nurburgring Nordschleife, Preuninger states that “it would be relatively easy” to build a car that could do a 7 minute 15 second lap, but that “it’s important that everyone has fun with the car, can drive fast for his own capabilities, and get better with it”.

Is Porsche planning to kill the Carrera?

Those looking forward to a facelifted Porsche 911 next year could be in for a shock: a recent report claims that almost all future 911s will be turbocharged. Only the GT3 is expected to breathe freely… for now.

A mid-life refresh for the current 911 is expected in Autumn 2015. As with previous generations, the visual changes will be kept to a minimum; the major changes will be beneath the smoother skin. It’s worth remembering that the second-generation 997 introduced Porsche’s PDK twin-clutch gearbox, a massive improvement over the Tiptronic set-up it replaced. But the main technological change set to materialise in the 991.2 is one that will drive a stake into the hearts of Porsche enthusiasts: in the November issue of the British magazine CAR, renowned German journalist Georg Kacher suggests the majority of the line-up will be served by turbocharged engines.

According to Kacher’s contact pool and research, this ‘blow’ will affect all future 911s up to the enthusiast-focused GT3. The existing 3.4-litre base engine will be replaced by a turbocharged 2.9-litre six-cylinder, yet have an output of more than 400bhp, a significant jump from the 345bhp of the current lowest-rung model. Meanwhile, the Carrera S is said to retain the 3.8-litre six – albeit with blown support – and Kacher says this could produce more than 500bhp. This would effectively mean the new S outguns the current Turbo (which is traditionally replaced a year or two later). Surely Porsche’s huge faction of marketing experts would have something to say about that?

Kacher is less definitive about what this would mean for the track-focused GT3 and GT2 variants, although he suggests Porsche’s engineers will concentrate on reduced weight rather than forced induction for increased performance – a wise decision, perhaps, considering their purist audience. But at a time when Ferrari has admitted it will soon stop the production of free-breathing V8 engines, who knows what the future has in store for long-held traditions?

The Porsche 911 Targa top is back!

Detroit Motor Show – Making its debut on the Porsche stand at this week’s Detroit motor show is the latest addition to the iconic 911 sports coupé family: the 911 Targa.

While Porsche-spotters will recognise cues from the classic Targa, introduced in the late 1960s, this one comes with an ingenious new twist. Just like the original, the new Targa has a wide roll-bar in place of the B-pillars behind the doors, a removable roof section above the driver and passenger, and a wrap-around rear window with no C-pillar.

But, unlike the classic version, you don’t have to get out, unclip the roof, lift it off and put it away in the boot – just press a button and the roof automatically folds up and stows itself behind the rear seats.

Rear-biased Porsche Traction Management all-wheel drive is standard for optimum driving dynamics on all road surfaces and in all weather conditions; in fact, up to the window line the new Targa is virtually identical to the Carrera 4 Cabriolet – but the wide rear body that’s typical of all-wheel drive 911 models, the roof bar and the dome-shaped rear window combine to create a distinctively sporty profile that makes the Targa very much its own car.

FULLY AUTOMATIC

The roof has two movable parts: a fabric soft top and a glass rear window. The rear window, which is attached to the convertible top compartment lid, is opened and tilted at the push of a button. At the same time, two flaps open in the Targa bar, the soft top is released, folded into a Z-shape as it opens, and drops into a stowage area running across the car behind the rear seats.

Then the rear window moves back in to position – all of which takes about 19 seconds in either direction and can only be done when the car is standing still.

There’s also a wind deflector in the cowl panel frame that can be erected manually when the top is down, noticeably reducing drafts and buffeting inside the car.

TIGHT FIT

When it’s up, the fabric section is stretched tight by a magnesium roof shell and panel bow. It has an extra layer of sound-absorbing material to reduce road noise when the roof is closed, which also serves as a thermal insulator, and a headliner of black fabric to match the black alcantara interior trim of the Targa roof bar.

The rear edge of the soft top connects up to the fixed Targa bar, which has steel roll-over protection inside and painted cast-alloy trim elements outside, with three gills and ‘targa’ lettering on the sides of the bar as a nod to the original 1965 Targa model.

The rear window is made from two layers of thin, partially pre-tensioned glass separated by a film interlayer, with very fine heating elements covering almost the entire surface of the glass to ensure a clear rear view even in unfavourable weather conditions.

CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON

The new Targa comes in two flavours, each Euro 6-compliant, with a seven-speed manaual ‘box and all-wheel drive as standard.

The Targa 4 has a 257kW. 3.4-litre flat-six that’s good for a claimed 0-100 in 4.8 seconds and 282km/h flat out, when ordered with the optional PDK double-clutch transmission and Sport Chrono Package, at a cost of 8.7 to 9.5 litres per 100km, depending on which transmission you’ve asked for.

Want more? The Targa 4S delivers a quoted 294kW from its 3.8-litre ‘boxer’, and Porsche says it will do 0-100 in 4.4 seconds and top out at 296km/h, while burning 9.2 to 10.04 litres per 100km on the NEDC cycle, depending on transmission type.\

BELLS AND WHISTLES

Standard kit includes leather trim, sports seats, automatic climate control, bi-xenon headlights, 180mm colour touch-screen with satellite navigation, digital radio, a universal audio interface with MP3 connectivity and 19” alloys.

The Targa 4S adds 20” rims, active suspension, and torque vectoring via a limited-slip rear differential.

Driven: Porsche’s lusty new 911 Turbo

Driven: Porsche’s lusty new 911 Turbo


 By: Denis Droppa in Paderborn, Germany

 

Launched almost exactly 50 years to the month after the first-generation Porsche 911 was unveiled to the world at the Frankfurt motor show in September 1963, the latest and greatest version of the iconic sports car – the 911 Turbo – has hit the streets.

 

For humans, turning 50 can be a fraught affair with the onset of the dreaded middle-age spread and constantly mislaying one’s bifocals. For the 911 Turbo, it’s more a case of middle-age cred. What is arguably the world’s most well-rounded sports car, the new generation 911 Turbo is faster and fitter than ever, with a two second per lap improvement around the Nurburgring racetrack.

 

TWO FLAVOURS

 

Stuttgart’s street missile is available in two flavours, both of which will be launched in South Africa in October: the standard 911 Turbo, and the 911 Turbo S with added power and racetrack-attacking ability.

 

The key figures for the “basic” 911 Turbo are a 3.8-litre flat-six biturbo engine which fires 383kW and 660Nm (710Nm with overboost) to both axles via all-wheel drive and a seven-speed Porsche Duppelkuplung transmission (PDK to you and me). Thus endowed, the rear-engined sports car is capable of a 315km/h top speed and a 3.4 second 0-100km/h sprint (3.2 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package) according to factory figures.

 

The 911 Turbo S gets 0.2 bar of additional boost pressure to hike outputs to 412kW and 700Nm (750Nm with overboost), presenting the driver with 318km/h ability and a claimed 0-100 sprint of just 3.1 seconds.

 

The transmission and all-wheel drive system of the two cars are mechanically identical and both come with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with electronically controlled dampers, as well as a controlled rear-locking diff with Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus. The S version gets additional stopping power via ceramic brakes and the body-roll-defeating PDCC (Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control).

 

REAR-WHEEL STEERING

 

With a longer wheelbase, wider track and lower centre of gravity than the outgoing 997-generation turbos, the new Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S also introduce two new laptime-enhancing features: a variable front spoiler (which is a world first) and rear-wheel steering.

 

At speed the front spoiler lip, along with the movable boot spoiler which is a carry-over from the previous generation, both extend to increase downforce by up to 132kg at a speed of 300km/h. When crawling along or entering driveways, however, the front spoiler retracts to give the sports car better ground clearance.

 

The rear-wheel-steering system turns the back tyres opposite to the fronts to reduce the turning circle at looking-for-parking speeds; while at higher speeds they turn parallel with the fronts for improved stability in fast direction-changes.

 

Though based on the 911 Carrera 4, the two 911 Turbo models are recognisable by their puffed-out wheel arches along with distinctive front lights and bumpers.

 

Filling those arches are 20” mags (with centre wheel nuts for the Turbo S) which have grown from the 19s used in the previous-generation turbo 911s.

 

The 911 may not have the glamorous styling of a Ferrari or a Lambo, but when it comes to the business of driving, the rear-engined German has its mojo going and needn’t stand aside for any car.

 

TRACK CHAMPION

 

Last weekend Porsche hosted the car’s media launch at the new Bilster Berg circuit near Paderborn in Germany, a roller coaster of a test track with tricky complexes and major elevation changes, where I put the 911 Turbo S through its paces.

 

En route there along public roads, the car displayed the impressively civilised road manners of 911 renown, with a comfortable everyday-commuting ride quality quite out of synch with the concept of a red-blooded track car.

 

But once on that track it didn’t take more than a few corners to reconfirm what a supreme driver’s car this is, and why the new 911 Turbo S snipped two seconds off its already very agile predecessor’s Nurburgring laptime.

 

The car’s grown in size but mass is unchanged due to some lightweight materials being used. The iconic solid feel hasn’t been affected and the 911 still feels like it’s machined from a block of steel.

 

LUSTY HOWL

 

The acceleration’s lusty and lag-free, and that PDK transmission’s a perfect match with its rapid-fire shifts. Good news is that there’s a lusty howl to match the violence of the thrust, compared to the rather vapid-sounding previous-generation turbos.

 

The all-wheel drive Porsche clings to the road with Pratley-like intensity, and when you eventually find the adhesion limits the tail breaks traction gradually, not in a sudden throw-you-off-the-road way. The steering weighting is darn-near perfect and the big ceramic brakes bite like bull terriers to wipe off speed fade-free for lap after lap.

 

It all makes it a forgiving sports car that flatters an average driver and still thrills a competent one.

 

Yup, 50 years is a good vintage for the 911. The legend grows.

Porsche’s 911 GT3 on hold after fires

Berlin, Germany – Porsche has halted deliveries of its new 911 GT3 after two of them caught fire recently. Engineers at Porsche’s Stuttgart-based headquarters are examining the remains of the gutted vehicles, used in Switzerland and Italy, to determine the cause of the fires. Porsche expects to conclude the investigation this week, a spokesman said, adding that the company had already delivered 322 of the GT3 models this year. Porsche has yet to announce whether those cars will be recalled. The latest GT3 is a track-focused machine, powered by highly modified normally aspirated 3.8-litre flat six that revs to 9000rpm and pushes outputs of 350kW and 440Nm. According to Porsche, the GT3 takes just 3.5 seconds to get to 100km/h, tops out at 315.3km/h and laps the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in less than 7m30s.

Porsche Turbo and Turbo S derivative of the 911

Porsche has revealed the Turbo derivative of the 911, coinciding with the Turbo model’s 40th birthday. As you would expect from a car with such pedigree, the 991-era Turbo is another festival of lightning performance and advanced technology.

For the first time since its introduction to the Porsche line-up four decades ago, the 911 Turbo goes without a manual gearbox. As with the latest 911 GT3, the new model will be sold exclusively with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto.

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Now in its sixth iteration, the latest 911 Turbo will see numerous technological advances to ensure it stands proud at the top of the 991-generation tree.

Retaining its customary four-wheel-drive layout, the Turbo benefits from a power increase to 513bhp (552bhp in ‘Turbo S’ form) from the twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre flat six, good for a 0-62mph sprint of 3.2 seconds in Turbo guise (with Sport Chrono Plus Package) and 3.1 for the Turbo S. This is achieved while also managing to improve fuel economy by an average of 16 per cent.

The changes applied across all 991 models (aluminium composite chassis, 100mm wheelbase extension) meet those first seen in the 911 GT3 (rear-wheel steering, PDK-only transmission), but the Turbo also brings some of its own cards to the table.

Adaptive aerodynamics is now the order of the day in this performance bracket, and Porsche has given the Turbo a front spoiler and deployable rear wing, both with a choice of attack angles. These combine to enable the driver to choose between optimal efficiency (you’ll need this to attempt the claimed 198mph top speed) or dynamic performance – with the latter, Porsche’s engineers shaved two seconds off the car’s Nordschleife lap time.

The Turbo is visually differentiated from more sedate 911s not only by its traditional signifiers such as the wider arches (the 991-gen Turbo is the widest road-going 911 ever) and the vents on the rear haunches, but also its new all-LED headlights – with camera-based beam control – and two-tone forged 20-inch wheels. The latter will have central locking hubs on the Turbo S.

The Turbo S also receives the novel PDCC active anti-roll system, Sport Chrono Package Plus with dynamic engine mounts and PCCB ceramic brakes, all of which are also available as options on the standard Turbo.

The 40th anniversary of the Porsche 911 Turbo is to be celebrated in style with the introduction of the fastest, most powerful and most technically sophisticated version yet: the new 991-series.

The sixth generation of the 911 Turbo, pictured here ahead of a planned public unveiling at the Frankfurt motor show in September, will be offered with the choice of two power outputs as Turbo and Turbo S models.

In standard guise, the new four-wheel-drive 911 flagship’s twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre flat six engine produces 20bhp more than its direct predecessor, at 513bhp. That’s double the output of the original 1974 model, whose feisty turbocharged 3.0-litre flat six produced 256bhp.

In more sporting Turbo S guise, the new 911 Turbo’s reserves swell by 30bhp over the previous version to 552bhp. That’s sufficient to provide it with claimed 0-62mph acceleration in a McLaren 12C-equalling 3.1sec, together with a 198mph top speed.

Porsche has yet to confirm the torque rating of its new engine, but indications are that it has risen above the 516lb ft of the old model, if only slightly.

As with all recent 911 models, the new Turbo has grown in size. Length is up by 40mm, at 4490mm, and width extends 28mm beyond that of the latest Carrera 4 to 1878mm, due to customary flared rear wings.

The adoption of aluminium in the inner and outer body structure is claimed to bring the new car under the 1570kg kerb weight of the old 911 Turbo for a vastly improved power-to-weight ratio.

The increase in external dimensions brings a significant change in chassis geometry, with the wheelbase growing by 100mm to 2450mm and the front and rear tracks extending well beyond the 1490mm and 1550mm of the old model. Larger wheel housings permit the fitment of 20-inch wheels and those on the Turbo S feature centre-lock wheel nuts.

In line with the latest 911 GT3, the new 911 Turbo receives four-wheel steering. Porsche claims that this provides it with new levels of agility and the ability to lap the Nürburgring in a time that undercuts that of the Carrera GT, at a claimed 7min 30sec. It forms part of a new steering system that adopts electro-mechanical operation for the first time.

Also included is a new active aerodynamic package, with a three-stage front spoiler and a modified three-stage rear spoiler to improve downforce.

Further developments include Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, which uses hydraulically operated anti-roll bars to reduce body roll, pitch and lift. It comes as standard on the new 911 Turbo S and — in combination with dynamic engine mounts, carbon-ceramic brakes and full LED headlamps — will form part of the Sport Chrono package available as an option on the 911 Turbo.

Reacting to criticism of the old 911 Turbo, the new model receives a so-called ‘sound symposer’ to accentuate the sound of the inlet manifold and heighten the overall acoustic qualities of the revised engine.

For the first time since its introduction to the Porsche line-up four decades ago, the 911 Turbo goes without a manual gearbox. As with the latest 911 GT3, the new model will be sold exclusively with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto.

Also included is a revised multi-plate-clutch four-wheel drive system. It now sports water cooling for improved efficiency and an added ability to place the 911 Turbo’s reserves to the road.

The Porsche model offensive in the anniversary year of the 911 is reaching new heights. 50 years ago, the 911 made its debut at the Frankfurt International Auto Show.

And just ten years later, the first 911 Turbo prototype was at the IAA. On this 40th anniversary Porsche is now presenting the new generation 911 Turbo and Turbo S – the technological and dynamic performance peak of the 911 series.

New all-wheel drive, active rear axle steering, adaptive aerodynamics, full-LED headlights and the up to 560 hp flat six-cylinder engine with bi-turbo charging underscore the role of the new generation 911 Turbo as a circuit racing car, everyday car and technology platform.

Playing an equally crucial role are the entirely new chassis in lightweight design with a 100 mm longer wheelbase and larger 20-inch wheels. The PDCC active anti-roll system, which is being offered for the first time in 911 Turbo models, increases dynamic performance even more.

This system is standard equipment in the 911 Turbo S, as is the Sport Chrono Package with dynamic engine mounts and PCCB ceramic brakes; all of these features are also available as options in the 911 Turbo.

The results: The new 911 Turbo S shortens the lap time for the North Loop of the Nürburgring to well under 7:30 minutes – naturally with standard production tyres. The standard sound symposer intensifies the driving experience; it transmits induction sounds of the turbo engine to the passenger compartment via a speaker diaphragm.

More power, fuel economy improved by 16 per cent
The performance partners in the powertrain area are the further advanced engines and the new PTM all-wheel drive system. The turbocharged 3.8-litre six-cylinder engine with direct petrol injection produces 520 hp (383 kW) in the 911 Turbo and 560 hp (412 kW) in the S model. Porsche continues to be the only carmaker to offer two turbochargers with variable turbine geometry for a petrol engine.

Power is transferred to the drivetrain via the seven-speed dual clutch transmission (PDK), which now enables an auto start/stop function with engine shutoff that now activates earlier during coasting to a stop as well as a coasting function. Together with the new thermal management system for the turbo engine and the PDK transmission, fuel efficiency technologies have reduced NEDC fuel consumption by up to 16 per cent to 9.7 l/100 km; these figures apply to both models.

New all-wheel drive with electro-hydraulic control

For an even faster and more precise power distribution to the two axles, Porsche developed a new all-wheel drive system (PTM) with electronically controlled and activated multi-plate coupling. The system is equipped with a new water cooling function, so that it can direct even more drive torque to the front wheels if necessary.

Simultaneously, the optimised interplay of the engine, transmission and all-wheel drive systems takes the new top 911 to even better sprint capabilities. The 911 Turbo with the optional Sport Chrono Package accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, which is even one-tenth better than the value of the previous 911 Turbo S. The new 911 Turbo S handles the standard sprint to 100 km/h in just 3.1 seconds. The car’s top speed is 318 km/h.

Widest body of all 911 cars

The two new top models display their performance visually more than ever. The characteristic, expansively wide rear body panels of the new generation 911 Turbo are 28 mm wider than on the 911 Carrera 4 models – they feature a nearly level surface, about the width of a hand, between the C-pillar and the outer edge of the car body. Other differentiating characteristics include two-tone forged 20-inch wheels – on the 911 Turbo S they have hub wheel locks.

The Turbo S is also making its appearance with new full-LED headlights that feature four-point daytime running lights and dynamic, camera-based main beam control, which can be ordered as an option for the 911 Turbo.

Rear axle steering sustainably improves handling

The introduction of rear axle steering in all turbo models immensely improves both circuit racing and everyday performance of the two new top sports cars. The system consists of two electro-mechanical actuators instead of the conventional control arms on the left and right of the rear axle.

The steering angle of the rear wheels can be varied by up to 2.8 degrees, depending on vehicle speed. At speeds up to 50 km/h, when the front wheels are turned the system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction. This actually corresponds to a virtual shortening of the wheelbase by 250 mm, which gives the 911 Turbo unrivalled performance in bends. The system lets the car turn faster into the bend and offers more dynamic steering response. This noticeably simplifies manoeuvring and parking.

At speeds above 80 km/h, the system steers the rear wheels parallel to the turned front wheels. This is equivalent to a virtual lengthening of the wheelbase by a significant 500 mm and gives the sports car tremendous stability, especially at high speeds. At the same time, the steering input by the driver leads to significantly faster build-up of lateral force at the rear axle, which initiates the change in direction more spontaneous and harmoniously.

Active aerodynamics improve efficiency and performance

Porsche developed an active aerodynamic system on the new 911 Turbo models for the first time — Porsche active aerodynamics (PAA). It consists of a sturdy, retractable three-stage front spoiler, whose segments can be pneumatically extended, and a deployable rear wing with three adjustable wing positions.

This makes it possible to tune the aerodynamics of the 911 Turbo to fulfil driver wishes for either optimal efficiency (speed position) or top dynamic performance. In the performance position, all segments of the front spoiler are fully extended, and they generate considerable downforce at the front axle. Similarly, the rear wing is extended to its maximum height with the greatest angle of attack.

This also generates more downforce at the rear axle. Dynamic performance is improved to such an extent that lap times at the North Loop of the Nürburgring are improved by up to two seconds due to this system alone.

New interior with high-end features

The interior was completely redesigned in both 911 Turbo models, and it builds on the 911 Carrera family. The S model is particularly well equipped, offering such features as an exclusive interior in a black/carrera red colour combination and adaptive sport seats plus with 18-way adjustment and memory.

In addition, the seat backrest shells are leather upholstered with double cap seams and various elements in carbon look. Like on the previous models, the Bose sound system is installed as standard; for the first time, a Burmester system is also available as an optional feature.

A radar-controlled cruise control system, camera-based road sign recognition and speed limit recognition are other new options being offered.

Big price reductions for Porsche

 

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Porsche Australia has dramatically reduced pricing across its sports car and SUV ranges by up to 13% as part of its strategy to double local sales over the next 7 years.

The cuts range from $5500 to $36,300 and cover the 911, Boxster, Cayman and Cayenne.

The price drops come ahead of the 2014 introduction of the new Macan medium SUV, which is expected to be a major part of Porsche’s sales offensive.The German manufacturer topped 1373 Australian sales in 2013 and has set the annual target of 2500+ locals sales before 2020.

While the price cuts are a result of taking on competitors offerings, the company says Porsche will still carry a price premium as part of the brand’s exclusivity strategy.

The brand is not volume driven and says the move is more about reducing discounting, with many dealers already selling vehicles well below the recommended price in the attempt to stay competitive.

“We aim to bring transaction prices closer to the list prices,” says Bernhard Maier, member of the board of management responsible for sales and marketing.

Some cars have received bigger discounts because Porsche is trying to more closely align them with pricing in overseas markets.

New Panamera gets plug-in power

The second generation of Porsche’s ugly-duckling Panamera sedan includes a model that Porsche claims is the world’s first plug-in luxury hybrid car, the Panamera S E-Hybrid, with 307kW of system power.

The 10-strong Panamera range will also include two luxurious Executive versions – the long-wheelbase Panamera 4S and Panamera Turbo (which will be available only in left-had drive markets) and an all-new three-litre biturbo V6 engine in the Panamera S and 4S.

Porsche has tightened up the car’s lines using the same design language as on the new Boxster and the 991, making the 2013 Panamera a lot less blobby than its predecessor, with sleeker LED headlights and a wider rear window in a new, flatter tailgate.

E-HYBRIDThe E-Hybrid system, developed from the previous conventional hybrid system, brings in a more powerful electric motor – 70kW versus 35kW – a new lithium-ion battery with more than five times the capacity of the nickel metal hydride unit it replaces (9.4kWh, compared to 1.7kWh) and, of course, the ability to be charged using external electrical power, which takes about two and a half hours when connected to three-phase industrial power and four hours using a 220-volt domestic outlet.

Porsche boast that the Panamera S E-Hybrid is not only quicker (135km/h) and more fuel-efficient than the parallel hybrid version (3.1 litres pr 100km in NEDC testing, compared to 7.1) but also that it achieved a pure-electric range of 36km.

However, they concede that NEDC testing is unrealistic in that it’s done under ideal conditions with the air-conditioning and heating switched off. Nevertheless, says Porsche, the plug-in Panamera should be good for between 18 and 36km on battery power in the real world.

USING GRAVITY TO RECHARGE THE BATTERY

Mash the pedal to bring in both petrol and electric power, and the E-Hybrid will sprint to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds – half a second quicker than before – and top out at 270km/h.

It’ll also coast on long downhills with both clutches open and petrol engine shut down, using gravity to recharge the battery.

Using a smartphone app, the owner can check the battery charge status, turn on pre-heating or pre-cooling, check the remaining driving range – or find his way back to wherever it’s parked!

FLY BUSINESS CLASS

The Executive models add an extra 150mm of wheelbase (all of which is in the rear footwell) as well as standard air suspension, for exceptional rear-seat passenger comfort.

An entirely new twin-turbo, three-litre V6 replaces the naturally aspirated 4.8-litre V8 in the Panamera S and 4S, delivering 15kW and 20Nm more than the V8 while using up to 18 percent less fuel.

Most Panameras come with a seven-speed double-clutch gearbox, but the diesel and E-Hybrid have an eight-speed Tiptronic S auto transmission.

First deliveries of the new Panamera are expected from July 2013, with a Turbo S and a long-wheelbase Turbo S Executive, as well as an all-new 220kW diesel, to follow in 2014.

2014 Porsche 911 GT3

2014 Porsche 911 GT3 wallpaper image

this new car is quicker, faster, and more powerful than the previous-generation GT3. We estimate that the new 991-based GT3 will get to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, compared to the 3.8-second time we achieved with the most recent GT3 (the 997-based car). And the new car should be able to cover the quarter-mile in 11.8 seconds at more than 120 mph. Porsche claims that the new car tops out at 196 mph. That’s a largely meaningless distinction compared to the 194-mph top speed of the previous GT3, but still admissible information for braggarts. The new GT3’s 3.8-liter flat six now uses direct injection and produces 475 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque, up 40 hp and 8 lb-ft compared to the 997-based GT3. Based on the engine out of the latest Carrera S, the new GT3 version uses forged pistons, forged titanium rods, hollow valve stems, a 12.9:1 compression ratio, and a dry-sump oiling system with seven oil pickups. The engine redlines at a spectacularly high 9000 rpm. Its power peak arrives way up at 8250 rpm (compared to 7600 for the last GT3). Bummed out that even BMW M cars use turbochargers instead of mad revs to produce power? Then this is your car. Oh, its mill also is 55 pounds lighter than the unit it replaces.

2014 Porsche 911 GT3 wallpaper image

A more radical technological departure from previous GT3 is the new car’s seven-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic. It used to be that the GT3 was offered only with manual transmissions, based on the premise that its buyers likely knew how to drive. Now that dual-clutch provides better, more-foolproof performance on the track than the manual, its inclusion in this car seems only right. We’d still like at least the option of rowing our own. The dual-clutch auto has only two modes of operation: “sport” and “racetrack.” Its ratio spread is 4.5, down from 6.3 in the regular Carrera PDK (indicating that its gear ratios are more closely spaced). The GT3 also has a shorter final drive than the standard Carrera (3.97: vs. 3.44). That should keep the maniacal six on the boil.

2014 Porsche 911 GT3 wallpaper image

The most radical departure for the new GT3 might be the in the steering department, where the old GT3’s splendid steering is replaced by an electric-assist unit based on the standard Carrera’s. We’re cautiously optimistic. Oh, and there is the small matter of Porsche adding a four-wheel-steering arrangement to the GT3. Now, that’s new. The system uses two actuators to steer the rear wheels up to 1.5 degrees. At low speed (below 30 mph) the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction of the fronts to improve maneuverability. Above 50 mph, the rear wheels change course and point in the same direction as the front to aid high-speed cornering and stability. The GT’s track stretches an additional half-inch up front and 1.5 inches in the back. Naturally, to accommodate all of this, the GT3 wears a wide and curvy body.

2014 Porsche 911 GT3 wallpaper image

Those rear wheels (and the fronts) are 20-inches in diameter, up from 19s worn by its predecessor. Despite the increased size, Porsche says the wheel/tire assemblies are lighter than the old one. They are, of course, center-lock wheels for added sweetness. The GT3 uses a suspension very much like that of the standard Carrera but with stiffer springs. It’s standard PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) system uses firmer damper settings. Overall, the GT3 rides 1.2 inches lower than the Carrera.

It just wouldn’t be a GT3 without a big ol’ wing on that back. And this GT3’s got one­—a big, fixed unit that, along with the splitter on the nose, produces more downforce than the previous car. How much, Porsche isn’t yet saying.

2014 Porsche 911 GT3 wallpaper image

2014 Porsche 911 GT3 wallpaper image