2010 Tesla Roadster Sport vs. 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder

April 5th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

2010 Tesla Roadster Sport vs. 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder

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 S 2010 Review

March 5th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche makes great sports cars and that’s a fact. It’s why the company has experienced longevity and why the 911 is the world’s most recognisable ride. But Porsche knew it had more to offer the automotive world and developed the Cayenne SUV. The Cayenne has proved a sales success for the German firm but it’s still not enough. Now Porsche is filling out its range with an ambitious entry into the luxury sedan segment with the new Panamera. Rather than making a confined four-door coupe the Panamera is designed to be a true ‘gran turismo’ automobile, uncompromising in its cabin space and road trip practicality while still offering traditional Porsche driving characteristics. It sounds great on paper but has this demanding ideal been achieved? Car and SUV slid into the Panamera’s leather driver’s seat to seek out the answers.

For all the technology and power a modern Porsche has on offer it’s the styling that is always called into question before a key is turned or a spec sheet browsed. From when the first concept sketches were revealed critics have been shouting ‘ugly’ at Porsche’s first four-door sedan but in the flesh it’s not so simple. What’s noticed first is the car’s dominant size and presence; it’s a big machine that’s 1931mm wide, just 1418mm in height but almost 5 meters in length. The Panamera has typically elegant Porsche styling cues at the front and rear particularly around the light clusters and bumpers. However, view the vehicle in profile and elegance turns to awkwardness. While the front end is low the rear is high with a fastback look that is muscular but ultimately unbalances the Panamera. An upswept window-line and thick rear pillars help ease the odd overall shape but it’s the rear styling that will polarize opinion. Exterior quality is excellent with gleaming paintwork, tight shut-lines and 5-spoke 19-inch rims finishing the look. Love it or hate it, the Panamera is a true head-turner that offers the eye both familiarity and novelty the same glance.

Continue reading “Porsche Panamera S 2010 Review” »

Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in concept unleashed

March 3rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s all about hybrids at this year’s Geneva Motor Show and Porsche has come to the party with its 918 Spyder concept.

With styling that borrows from the Carrera GT, the 918 Spyder is powered by both a 500-horsepower V8 and a pair of electric motors – for each axle – which produces an additional 218 hp or 160kW. At full gallop, the concept can theoretically reach 100 kph in 3.2 seconds and reach 318 kph at the high end. On the flip side, Porsche says it can also achieve 3.62l/100km economy and release just 70 grams of CO2 per kilometer.

How exactly can a supercar have such range? The 918 Spyder concept is what’s called a parallel hybrid like the now struggling Toyota Prius. That means that both powertrains, gas and electric, can operate together or separately to shift the wheels into motion. There are four modes in total that configure the powertrains for anything from maximum efficiency to maximum performance and measures inbetween. The E-Drive mode means pure electric power, and the car can reportedly last up to 25 kms  electricity alone. Then there is Hybrid mode, which uses both motors and would probably be the mode for everyday around town driving. The Sport Hybrid mode again uses both powertrains, but tips the needle a bit more towards performance with most power reaching the rear wheels.

Finally, the Race Hybrid mode means everything is going for all-out performance. There’s an even a handy push-to-pass button that adds a bit of Electronic-boost and regenerative braking plays its part.

The concepts interior is also a point of interest with Porsche saying it will offer a glimpse at future interiors for the automaker.

Porsche’s first sports car leaves Germany

February 23rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Back in 1938 Ferdinand Porsche first developed what the German automaker now considers the ancestor of all its sportscars. Named simply the Type 64, this car employed a number of construction methods and styling that would later come to typify the brand from the first 356 all the way to the modern 911.

The aerodynamic Type 64 has sat as the most prominent exhibit at the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen since it opened in January of 2009. Now, the priceless Type 64 body shell will be shipped outside of Germany for the first time since being carefully restored by the automaker when it shifts to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

The Type 64 will be on display in Atlanta for the The Allure of the Automobile exhibition running from March 21st until June 20th. While the Type 64 is on the road, the Porsche Museum in Germany will show off the wooden buck that was used as a frame to beat out the aluminum shape of the Type 64.

Check out images of the Type 64 in the gallery below.

Porsche 911 GT3 R hybrid going to Geneva

February 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche has just revealed the first images and details on its new racer, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid.

Based on the rear-drive 911 GT3 R that’s set for serious privateer racing later this year, the GT3 R Hybrid uses a rear-mounted, 480-hp 4.0-litre flat-six in conjunction with two electric motors that drive the front wheels. Residing in the space normally used by a passenger seat sits a flywheel, which harnesses kinetic energy under braking and can rotate up to and over 40,000 rpm. Once enough energy is stored, the system can release a boost of up to 120 kilowatts to the front wheels in six to eight second bursts that’s controlled by a steering wheel-mounted button.

Porsche hasn’t released official performance specs, but the GT3 R Hybrid’s world debut is set for the Geneva Motor Show before it hits the track for its motorsports debut at the endurance Nürburgring 24 Hours on May 15. Devised to test this new hybrid system after it takes to the Green Hell this year, Porsche plans to campaign for the 24 Hours of LeMans in a refined version in 2012.

It’s a unique ride, check out the images and graphics in the gallery below.

2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S revealed (+video)

February 9th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche will be pushing the limits on its 911 series when it introduces the 911 Turbo S at the Geneva auto show next month.

The 911 Turbo S features a significant increase of 30 bhp over the standard 911 Turbo, bringing horsepower up to 530 bhp (390 kW), while torque sees a slight increase to 700 Nm (516 lb-ft). Top speed is lifted slightly (by 3 km/h) to 315 km/h. Fuel consumption also remains the same as the standard Turbo at 11.4 liters/100 km.

Additional buyer-attracting upgrades include providing the 911 Turbo S with all the options available on the 911 Turbo as standard. The 911 Turbo S will come with Porsche’s 7-speed PDK (double-clutch) transmission, Porsche traction management (PTM) for the all-wheel drive system, as well as Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) which includes a differential lock for the rear axle. Another part of the top-spec Porsche standard package is the Launch Control and Sport Chrono systems that help accelerate this 911 Turbo S from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 3.3 seconds, shaving up to a tenth of a second from the standard 911 Turbo’s time with PDK.

Aesthetic features include 19-inch central locking wheels in an RS Spyder design and a two-tone leather finish in either Black/Crema or Black/Titanium Blue.
The Porsche 911 Turbo S will come as both a cabriolet and coupe model. It will be available in global dealerships starting from May.

German pricing has been announced, €173,241 ($346,500 NZ) for the Turbo S Coupe, and €184,546 ($368,500 NZ) for the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet.

9ff offering 1000hp GTurbo conversion kits

January 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

German tuner 9ff has a set of conversion kits for the Porsche 997 GT3 and and 997 GT3 RS that it claims can turn a sports car into a supercar.

First off 9ff will stack on the power with a bi-turbo conversion kit that can boost output up to 1000 hp. This handily allows for the creation of 3 seperately named models: the 9ff GTurbo750, GTurbo850 and GTurbo1000. The numbers, naturally, denoting the horsepower figures. The torque figures are respectively 850 Nm, 910 Nm and 940 Nm.

Performance times for the golden boy GTurbo1000 are apparently 2.9 seconds for the 0 to 100 km/h sprint and a mere 8.2 seconds to reach 200 km/h. The 300 km/h mark is reached in just 16.5 seconds. A top speed of 392 km/h is supposedly possible, dependent on gearing selection.

An aerodynamic kit is also available from 9ff, which includes air intakes on the quarter panel for the intercooler and air outlets at the front to help reduce pressure in the wheel wells at high speeds.

There are also new front bumpers (with LED indicators) and rear aprons, side skirts and an option pack for side exhausts.

The aerodynamic kits is priced at 8,900 euros, with taxes, mounting and painting excluded.

A set of 5 double spokes light alloy wheels, 8,5×19″ / 11×19″ (front/back), can be had for a mere 4,980 euros and a set of GTurbo design rims with a central lock system comes in at 5,950, taxes and painting excluded.

Prices for the severe engine tuning mods have not made available.