Archive for the 'Porsche' Category

Happy Valentines Day! Chocolate-covered Porsche ladies?

Thursday, April 1st, 2010


See the gallery of this festive holiday treat here:

Oh wait, Happy April Fools! You can’t REALLY eat it!

New Porsche 911, now with Hybrid!

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

It wasn’t all that long ago (summer 2009) that we caught a glimpse of the Batmobile Porsche 911. That car appeared to have a special something hiding under the bonnet – an electric motor and battery. For pictures, see:

As a result ,of those photos, internet forums were set ablaze with speculation of what future iterations of the Porsche icon might include for a powertrain.

Then just weeks ago we heard from Porsche CEO Michael Macht in an interview with AutoCar Magazine that the company had no plans for hybrid technology, but wished to include some technologies including brake regeneration and start-stop. Brake regeneration captures the kenetic energy that occurs under braking conditions and start-stop stops the engine while the car is halted, such as in waiting for a red light at a stop.

In a bluff of some sort, Macht’s company announced earlier in the week the release of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid. Perhaps Macht would argue that a GT3 R is not a road car. Perhaps Porsche is really looking to develop a news sports-oriented technology to repel the charges of batteries adding immense weight to traditional hybrid vehicles. We knows that the company has announced a hybrid Cayenne, and one has to imagine a hybrid Panamera is also being developed. Sports cars, however, must remain light, so the test of this new GT3 is how quick can they make it.


LOTW: James May on the 911′s Styling

Monday, December 21st, 2009
911 Design

911 Design

Check out James May’s views on the 911′s timeless styling in the Telegraph:

Porsche GT3 RS driven on film

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Car porn? You be the judge!

Bugatti sightings… why are we so interested?

Sunday, November 15th, 2009
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 in all its glory!

Bugatti Veyron 16.4 in all its glory!

If there was ever a doubt in the halo effect that accompanies a super car launch… if you ever thought Porsche’s Carrera GT, Lamborghini Reventón, Aston Martin’s One-77, VW’s Phaeton, Mercedes SLR, Acura’s NSX, Nissan’s GT-R, and Audi’s R8 were a waste of space and a money losing venture, you were wrong. VW Group’s crowning achievement is undoubtedly the venerable Bugatti Veyron 16.4.

Acquired in 1998 from Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli, VW immediately set to work building a successor to the EB110. It was considered by many to be the most sophisticated car of its kind at the time, a trait that followed in VW’s iteration called the Veyron 16.4. Even at its introduction and production start in 2005, VW never intended the Veyron to surpass 300 units. Indeed, the company has said that after 300 are produced, the car will be discontinued. Interestingly, this has not resulted in a static design and the company has continued to pump out alterations including “special editions” and a Gran Sport, replete with a removable roof.

It has been said by many that the Bugatti is the ultimate supercar, not just of today, but also of all time. Those who make that argument point to the jaw-dropping 0-60 mph times under 2.5 seconds and a top speed in excess of 400 KM/hour (250+ mph). Others marvel at the 16-cylinder, 4-turbocharger engine or the 10 radiators onboard. Still others marvel that at full speed, the car runs out of full in 12 minutes and the tires burn to a crisp at 15 minutes. All of that in a rather un-dramatic, but stunning fashion.

It is the combination of those factors, the styling, and the EURO1,000,000+ price tag that make the Bugatti the ultimate halo product for VW Group. What is the halo effect, and why is it so important that VW stands to lose millions of euros for each Veyron produced? Halo products in general are the über-expensive, lower volume, highly publicized products that companies produce to create buzz for the company and the other products sold by that company. Even a low volume company like Porsche can benefit from a halo product because these products do so much to bring status and media coverage. A company that produces a rather low quality product can be perceived as one that more generally produces very high-end products. The company may actually lose money selling the halo product, but these halo products are often considered a marketing cost anyway. Ideally, a company would save massive amounts of money on advertising by introducing a product that is constantly covered by the media.

So it is with the Bugatti Veyron. Associating Bugatti with VW Group and providing otherwise sound business strategy has meant that VW has pushed past Toyota (IN A WEAK MARKET!) to become the number one producer of automobiles in not just Europe, but the entire world with 4.4 million units for the year according to IHS Global Insight.

For an example of the aforementioned press coverage, see the following irrelevant, but positive pieces of new coverage:

Early Fall auto news round-up

Saturday, November 7th, 2009



VW in an effort to promote the tons of eco-friendlier cars launched at IAA in Frankfurt in September has decided to pursue eco-sales with a new eco-friendly racing series. The company is starting a single-make racing series where all of the cars run on bio-produced compressed natural gas. The model used in the series is the new Scirocco and should reduce racetrack CO2 output by 80 per cent over today’s racing fuels. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder cars will have 220 horsepower on tap. Not bad for an alt fuel car!


On other green fronts, VW Group is working with Stanford University in California in a US$5.75 million project to make VW the largest carmaker with R&D in Silicon Valley. Already the two companies have produced autonomous (read self-driving) versions of the VW Passat and now the Audi TT-S. The Audi TT-S will attempt to drive itself up the 14,110-foot Pike’s Peak next year, according Wired.



Audi’s Johan de Nysschen, critical of the Chevy Volt, took an interview with Time recently to express his views on the state of the luxury auto industry. He stated that Audi’s goal is to be the “top” German luxury manufacturer, but not necessarily in terms of sales. He also reiterated the push for more fuel-efficient vehicles leading to Zero emissions cars in the not so distant future.



Bugatti has unleashed a new concept car the 4-seat, 4-door (can you believe it???) Galibier 16C. Autocar magazine claims the production will start in 2013 at £900,000. We will believe it when we see it! Interestingly, the car’s engine will be the same as in the Veyron but will only sport 800BHP. Apparently, 200 get lost when adding 2 doors.


Rarely does Caterham make the news, except when they unleash new, wildly fun lightweight roadster, but unfortunately, Caterham’s found Graham Nearn died in late October. Nearn has been selling the then-titled Lotus 7 since its introduction in 1959, and then when the car was discontinued in 1973, Nearn bought the rights and has been producing the car ever since and in more exciting, evolving versions. You can even buy a kit and put a Caterham 7 together yourself. If you are not familiar with this brand, you should be!

Top Gear featured it in a segment awhile back:



Beyond the KM has previously marveled at the sales resiliency of the Ferrari nameplate. But even THIS economy has the prancing stallion kow-towing to the bear market of Wall Street.

Its third quarter results for 2009 showed revenues of 396 million euros (£359m) – down from 450m euros (£408m) in the same period last year. It sold 1454 cars, down 4.3 per cent year on year.

However, Ferrari announced that it has grown its market share in every market it monitors, against a drop in supercar sales of around 40 per cent.


June 2009 sales abysmal for Europe’s automakers

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Gathered, in part from LeftLane:

Volkswagen says its diesel TDI vehicles are selling well. An impressive 81 percent of Jetta SportWagens were equipped with the TDI, as were 40 percent of Jetta sedans and 29 percent of Touaregs last month. Volkswagen, sales were down 18 percent to 19,027.

Volvo saw a 0.6 percent increase in sales compared to June 2008, though the Swedish marque is still off 35.6 percent for the first six months of the year. The all-new XC60 sold 1,032 units.

Porsche had a disastrous June; just 902 of the automaker’s sports cars left dealer lots, a 66 percent decrease that brought the automaker’s year-to-date sales down 36 percent for the year.

BMW, down 20.1 percent to 16,744.

Maserati, down 47.9 percent to 111.

Mercedes-Benz, down 22.6 percent to 15,155.

Mini, down 21.2 percent to 4,105.

Saab, down 58.4 percent to 779.

VW sports great numbers with the new CC and Porsche’s profits go ballistic!

Monday, April 13th, 2009
Ok, it’s true, sales for VW’s American unit are down to 2008, but that’s hardly a surprise since almost every automaker is struggling in this economy. Porsche, however, is making money hand over fist, even in an economy where sales stink. Check out the gallery for VW’s saviour, the CC, the Porsche Panamera and the official sales figures for both VW and the production figures for Porsche.
HERNDON, Va.—Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced March 2009 sales of 15,720 units, a 19.7 percent decrease over March 2008 sale of 19,587 units.  
Volkswagen’s stylish new CC, designed to blend sports car dynamics and dimensions with sedan comfort, posted its best sales month ever with more than 2,300 units sold.
“Volkswagen is encouraged by how well our new products sold in March” said Mark Barnes, Chief Operating Officer, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “Our stylish CC posted its best sales month ever for the third month in a row, and our seven passenger minivan, Routan, doubled its sales over last month. Our 50-state compliant clean diesel Jetta and Jetta SportWagen continue to sell well. Next month our clean diesel luxury SUV, Touareg TDI, will be available in dealer showrooms across the U.S. We’re also eagerly awaiting the arrival of our all-new Golf later this year, which will also be available with our innovative clean diesel engine,” added Barnes.
In other news, Porsche, the parent company of VW (by way of it’s recently acquired majority stock ownership) [post="231"]

Porsche has posted spectacular pre-tax profits of €7.34bn (£6.82bn) for the first half of the German financial year, which runs from August to the end of January.

The profits for the period between 1 August 2008 and 31 January 2009 compare very favourably with the €1.6bn (£1.48bn) profit that Porsche recorded for the same period the previous year.

Porsche is at pains to point out, however, that the bulk of these profits have been driven by Porsche’s cash-settled share options in VW. The contribution of these to Porsche’s balance sheets increased from €850m (£790m) in the first half of the 2007/2008 German financial year to a whopping €6.84bn (£6.36bn) for the same period a year later.

Since this contribution depends on the price of VW shares, Porsche has warned that its profits could yet evaporate by the end of the business year if VW’s share price fails to perform well.

Elsewhere Porsche’s balance sheet doesn’t look quite so rosy. Sales fell by more than a quarter in the first half year. Surprisingly, the Porsche Cayman took the biggest hit, with sales falling by more than 60 per cent to just 3950 units.

(Source: Autocar/Porsche)



Greenest car at Geneva

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Ever a fan of Porsche, and especially the Targa, this car could not go unnoticed. A throwback to the old Targa design but with a new body and drivetrain: one supplied by electricity! Less green, however, was a nicely bleu Bugatti.

Porsche’s latest creation…

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009


Germany’s car companies seem to be in love with themselves these days. Travelers rejoice: no longer is it a “day out” to go and tour a manufacturing line, after all that would require some extensive travel (Porsche produces some cars in Finland, and BMW produces some in America and South Africa). Instead both BMW and Porsche have built self-serving shrines to themselves in the form of public museums. And these aren’t just any museums. They feature the cutting edge in modern-day architecture.

Porsche has just opened their facility in Zuffenhausen, have a look…

Porsche 911 RSR

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Porsche has posted the following about the new Porsche 911 RSR:

The successful Porsche 911 GT3 RSR takes off into the new model year with extensive modifications. The most powerful race car based on the Porsche 911, which last season secured wins in the American Le Mans Series and at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, competes in the GT2 class at international long distance races. The most distinguishing feature of the new GT3 RSR is the redesigned front with large air outlets on the front hood. Under the light-weight bodyshell, as well, major changes were made to the quickest 911.
Noticeable at first sight are the air outlet slots, or the so-called louvers, on the front hood: an indication of the completely redesigned air ducting of the radiators, which became necessary through the new design of supply and discharge air with the installation of an optional air-conditioning unit. The aerodynamics under the rear underwent further optimisation. The rear wing now features a wider adjustment range. The weight-optimised brake system and the lighter wiring harness contribute to further improved handling, compared to the predecessor model.

The capacity of the well-known six-cylinder boxer engine increased from 3.8 to 4.0-litres. After another reduction in the size of the air restrictors for the 2009 season, the engine now delivers around 450 hp (331 kW) at 7,800 revs per minute and develops a maximum torque of 430 Nm at 7,250 rpm. The rev limiter of the efficient six-cylinder unit kicks in at 9,000 rpm. Compared to the forerunner, the rev level for a given power output was significantly lowered. Thanks to this, the engine features an optimised torque curve and offers better driveability.
In the cockpit, a new multi-function display located above the dashboard indicates the opti-mum moment to change gears. Another new feature is the programmable multi-function, onboard supply system control device, giving teams the choice of many individual functions. One of these is the infinitely adjustable blinking frequency of the lights in the front apron, which helps to immediately recognise race cars when they enter the pits in the dark. For eas-ier servicing under race conditions, other modifications were made. The GT3 RSR now fea-tures a new air-jack system with overpressure valve. The oil refill with fast filling function has now moved to the rear lid, giving mechanics better access.

Aside from GT3 Cup and the GT3 Cup S, the GT3 RSR is the third race car based on the Porsche 911 offered by Porsche Motorsport. About 20 of the successful long distance racers have been built in Weissach and are now being delivered to customer teams around the world. The GT3 RSR costs 380,000 Euro plus VAT specific to each country.

Technical Description Porsche GT3 RSR (2009)

Water-cooled, six-cylinder boxer engine; four valves
per cylinder; dry sump lubrication; individual throttle
butterflies; fuel injection; air restrictors 2 x 29.5 mm.

102.7 mm

80.4 mm

3,996 cc

Power output:
331 kW (450 bhp) at 7,800 rpm

Max. Torque:
430 Nm at 7,250 rpm

Max. revs:
9,400 rpm

Six-speed gearbox with sequential jaw-type shift;
oil/water heat exchanger; single-mass flywheel;
hydraulic disengagement lever; three-plate carbon-fibre
clutch; rear wheel drive; limited-slip differential 45/65%.

Monocoque body (basis GT3 RS) of hot-galvanised steel;
aerodynamically optimised front end with front spoiler;
aerodynamically optimised front underfloor; adjustable
rear wing; 90-litre safety fuel tank with fast filling function;
air jack; welded-in safety cage; bucket-type racing seat
(on driver’s side only) with flame-resistant seat cover;
six-point seat belt adapted for use of the HANS
Head and Neck Support; electric fire-extinguishing system.


McPherson spring strut axle; Sachs four-way gas
pressure dampers; double coil springs (main and ancillary
spring); front axle arms adjustable for camber; adjustable
sword-type anti-roll bar on both sides; power steering.

Multi-arm axle with rigidly mounted axle sub-frame;
Sachs four-way gas pressure dampers; double coil springs
(main and auxiliary spring); rear axle tie-bar reinforced
and infinitely adjustable; adjustable sword-type anti-roll
bar on both sides.

Complete suspension infinitely adjustable (height,
camber, track).

Brake system with balance bar control.

Single-piece six-piston aluminium fixed callipers;
inner-vented, 380 mm in diameter; racing brake pads.

Rear: Single-piece four-piston aluminium fixed callipers;
inner-vented, 355 mm in diameter; racing brake pads.


Three-piece BBS light-alloy wheels (11J x 18-34);
central bolt;

Three-piece BBS light-alloy wheels (13J x 18-12.5);
central bolt.

Electrical System:
Motec display with integrated data recording; multi-function
display with integrated gearshift indicator; adjustable
traction control; battery: 12 volt, 50 Ah, 140 Ah alternator.

Approx. 1,220 kg complying with A.C.O. regulations,
1,245 kg complying with FIA regulations.

What’s it like to sit shotgun in a Porsche GT3?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Porsche produces a diesel? Really?

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Porsche’s communications department has release information indicating that the company will in fact sell a diesel-powered version of the Cayenne SUV.

The benefit to Porsche? The obvious benefit is that consumer demand has finally forced even the sportiest of automakers to consider satisfying consumer demand for large vehicles that get 30 miles per gallon or more. As fuel prices increase over time, demand for vehicles that hit the wallet less, will increase. It’s simple economics.

Another benefit to Porsche is that a 30mpg car reduces the company’s overall emissions output. For the Cayenne, Porsche will source VW/Audi’s 3.0 litre TDI engine. This engine apparently produces 240bhp while creating 244g/km of carbon dioxide. Still not super environmental, but it’s a fair start for a sports car maker.

What’s not clear yet is if the car is coming to the USA. Imagine that with the US as the largest buyer of Porsche’s the company is considering this as an option, but American acceptance of diesel-powered cars has never been too great. Rest assured petrol prices will increase again in the not-so-distant future, at which time the case will be re-made for the fuel efficiency that diesel offers.

If it does come to the USA, imagine a price around $50,000. That is a $6K+ premium over the petrol Cayenne. At present, the UK edition will start at £40,250 and will be out in February 2009, just in time to get your wife a nice Valentine’s Day gift!

How a reverse VW-Porsche takeover might work

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Unless you have been living in a cave the last two years, you know that Porsche’s strong financial position has allowed them to make a gradual play for VW’s shares. In fact it is just the latest in what has been a long-time partnership between the two + Audi. You may recall that many years ago Audi+Porsche dealerships often shared the same building.

But what we really didn’t know until recently was how Porsche might use VW in their product portfolio. Remember that the VW Touareg , Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne share the same platform. The benefit being significantly cheaper development costs. Bear in mind that Porsche has had a benefit in this partnership of releasing their Cayenne before VW and Audi have released their products. Ironically, it is the smashing success of the Cayenne product line that has given Porsche the ability to launch a takeover of VW.


Weekend reading: Porsche strikes at hedge funds.

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Porsche has been increasing its stake in VW through a complex set of derivatives trades. This in turn has negatively affected hedge funds to the tune of $20billion (£12.6bn). Those hedge funds had been shorting the stock, and now it has bit them in the butt.

Jeremy Warner of the Independent explains.

Porsche buys more into VW; Economy Tough!

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Just about every automaker today is suffering from a poor economy. Most are wistful that they didn’t start producing small, fuel-efficient cars sooner, but the auto industry was caught off-guard before – anyone remember the late 1970s/early 1980s? Perhaps a read of Steve Miller’s The Turnaround Kid would be require reading for current auto industry execs. Granted most are not in as dire need to assistance as Chrysler was, but they could be if the downturn continues.

But this downturn could prove much more difficult than ever before because we see three issues at work. First, most consumers rely on financing and leasing to purchase vehicles. Even with a huge government investment, banks are using the money to cover themselves for past mistakes, rather than using the monies to start new auto loans. Second, the price of oil remains high and has effectively ended the “we love SUVs” craze. Spending $500 per month on petrol has certainly dried up that part of the auto industry. Third, and finally, government regulation is coupling with the second factor to require significant reduction in CO2 emission and greater gas efficiency. Some automakers have been successful in making changes to drive trains to comply to 130g/km regulations, but even Porsche, which makes among the most efficient sports cars is far from the target.

The New 911

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Yup, there’s a new 911 in town. We publish a new clip about the 2009 997. Of note are the PDK gearbox and the Direct Fuel Injected engine. But rest easy, it doesn’t look radically different!

Lamborghini returns!

Monday, July 21st, 2008

How pleased Lamborghini must be that it’s latest supercar, the Murciélago LP640 has just co-starred with Cristian Bale in the latest Batman flick, the Dark Knight. Who knows if Lambo paid dearly for the product placement, but a 155+ million dollar opening weekend is sure to get them a ton of free advertising.

Auto companies are masters at product placement.

A few examples:

  • Ferrari – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Matthew Broderick steals his friend’s father’s 250 GT California.
  • Porsche – Tom Cruise drives a 928 into Lake Michigan (oops!)
  • Dodge Challenger – Vanishing Point’s star car gets driven into 2 bulldozers at high speed. Big crash!

Tons of other examples exist, I am sure someone will point out the cars from Bullitt and Miami Vice, too…

Look for the ultra-exclusive Lamborghini Reventón to appear in a yet-to-be-determined film sometime soon!

Porsche congestion follow-up

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Last week, Porsche and Boris Johnson’s London government announced that the £25/per day congestion charge that the the previous London government, headed by Ken Livingstone, has sought to impose would be overturned. A judicial review concluded that critical evidence suggested that the enormous charges, more than three times what is currently in place, would actually do more environmental damage, rather than less.

Porsche on congestion charge: the right move

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Now with direct injection and PDK for increased fuel economy!

There are three reasons that Porsche is concerned about London’s impending congestion charge. First the people don’t want it, second it affects the sales of Porsches, and because it unfairly punishes the people by raising money for the city of London through a sort of taxation without direct representation, and is therefore unlawful.

Another observation: Porsche is by no means the carmaker in European Union with the lower overall emissions, but let’s look at the numbers…

The 911 has a 3.6 liter H-6 engine this base Carrera has a combined cycle of 25.7 mpg, with CO2 emissions of 266g/km. The car also costs $73,000 US, or £61,620.

The 2.7 liter H-6 Boxster engine costs $46,000 US or £33,375. It however with it’s smaller engine gets a very reasonable 29.7 mpg on the combined cycle with 227 g/km of CO2 emissions. The 3.4 liter version of that engine produces just 254 g/km. These three models are sports cars. Competitor Ferrari on the other hand produces a V8 engine in the F430, which has output of 420 g/km – quite a lot- and gets only 15.4 miles per gallon. The V12 599 GTB that Ferrari makes produces 490 g/km and drinks a gallon in 13.2 miles.