Ferrari 599 GTO sold out before official reveal

April 19th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The new Ferrari 599 GTO is the prancing horse’s fastest ever road car, which was the reason for Ferrari reviving its most revered badge GTO. It’s the first time the GTO badge has been used since the 288 GTO almost a quarter century ago. The 599 has just been given its official unveil at a ceremony in Modena, Italy.

The V-12 sports car is to be produced in a limited edition of 599 units, and was unveiled at a symbolic place in the city of Modena – the Military Academy’s Ducal Palace. The grand gala, also involved the participation of Ferrari factory test drivers and military cadets in front of a crowd of 500 wealthy clients. You’d think that the fastest road car ever built by Ferrari could speak for itself.

The 599 GTO’s next official appearance will be at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show, which kicks off in China next week. If you were thinking of picking up a new 599 GTO, you’re sadly out of luck as all 599 examples have already been accounted for.

For more info and photos of the 599 GTO, read a previous news item here.

Porsche Panamera V6 coming to NZ

March 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The Panamera range in New Zealand will expand mid-year to include two all new V6 variants — the rear drive Panamera and all-wheel drive Panamera 4.

The two new gran turismos will make their world debut at the Beijing International Motor Show in April, with the new models expected to join the V8 Panamera S, 4S and Turbo in New Zealand showrooms in late July. Both new models are powered by a brand-new 3.6-litre V6 engine with Direct Fuel Injection, developing 220 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque.

In keeping with Porsche’s Intelligent Performance strategy, performance and economy are working together. With the standard PDK Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe double-clutch gearbox and Auto Start Stop function, both models consume below 10 litres per 100 kilometres in the New European Driving Cycle: the Panamera a mere 9.3 L/100 kms and the Panamera 4 9.6 L/100 kms.

Optional 19-inch tyres with optimised roll resistance reduce these consumption figures by a further 0.2 L/100 kms, giving the Panamera a CO2 rating of just 213g/km, the Panamera 4 – 220 g/km. Both V6 versions of the Panamera fulfil the strict EU5 emission standard in Europe and the LEV standard in the United States.

The Panamera makes the use of lightweight construction. The axles, doors, hood, fenders and boot lid are all made of aluminium. The brand-new 90-degree V6 engine built at Porsche’s plant in Zuffenhausen is 30 kg lighter than the V8, contributing to the Panamera’s relative light weight of 1,730 kg for a large luxury four-door.

Final specification and pricing will be announced closer to the cars’ New Zealand on-sale date in late July.

Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the Porsche Panamera S.

Porsche Panamera to get base model V6

February 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Starting from May, fans of the big four-door gran turismo from Porsche will have the option of a more affordable and fuel efficient variant. The V6-powered Panamera and all-wheel-drive Panamera 4 are set to debut on April 23 at the Beijing Motor Show before going on sale globally in the following weeks. The new non-S and non-turbo variants will be motivated by an updated 3.6-litre V6 engine that is shared with the next Cayenne and other Volkswagen Group vehicles.

Within the Panamera, the V6 unit will now produce 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. That’s an increase of 10 hp and 22 lb-ft from the V6 in the current Cayenne. All V6-powered Panameras get Porsche’s seven-speed PDK dual clutch gearbox with drive torque going to the rear wheels or to all four corners in the Panamera 4.

Like the V8-powered Panameras, the V6 versions will also get automatic start-stop. Fuel economy numbers won’t be available until closer to the release date, but early rumours are that they will be impressive.