There aren’t many vehicles which can be guaranteed instant classics the moment they’re announced, but the Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 announced overnight, is one of them. Only 600 will be made for worldwide consumption, going on sale in July at GBP128,466, EUR178,596 across Europe and AUD$409,000 in Australia. A roadgoing version of the GT3 RSR race car, the RS sports the biggest 911 engine ever at 4.0 liters, and the most powerful non-turbo 911 engine ever at 500 bhp. It can lap the Nurburgring-Nordschleife circuit in 7:27 if you’re good enough, hits 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, and comes ready with a half roll cage, seat belt harnesses, fire extinguisher, and a battery cut-off switch if, or maybe when, you get it rubber side up.
has unveiled the top dog in its Gran Turismo line. The new Panamera
Turbo S raises the four-door sports car bar with a 4.8 liter, V8 biturbo charged engine that delivers 550 hp (410 kW) , which is 50 hp (37 kW) more than the engine found in the Panamera Turbo. The Panamera Turbo S also ups the torque from 700 to 750 Nm, while an overboost function in “Sport” and “Sport Plus” mode sees the torque peak at 800 Nm. These improvements allow the car to go from a standing start to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.8 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 306 km/h (191 mph).
First shown as a concept at the Geneva Motor Show 2010, Porsche's highly innovative and deliciously proportioned Hybrid 918 Spyder
is now available for order. Powered by a 500 hp V8 assisted by two electric motors, no more than 918 units of the new two-seater supercar will be made with production slated to begin in September 2013. The asking price: US$845,000.
We’re a little non-plussed on Porsche’s announcement of a reconstructed Semper Vivus, which it is claiming was presented at the Paris Show of 1900. There’s a video of the construction of the vehicle, but the scant info available is at odds with previous Porsche historic information on the Lohner Porsche
and the normally fastidious Porsche press department hasn’t issued any details of the Semper Vivus yet. The Semper Vivus was a series electric hybrid with its two engines charging the batteries and Porsche electric hub motors delivering the power. It must be said the Porsche execs looked anything but comfortable driving the Semper on stage.
Porsche added another hybrid to its range overnight. The new four-seat Panamera S Hybrid shares the power train (3.0-litre supercharged 245 kW V6 plus a 34 kW electric motor) of the Cayenne S Hybrid, offers a best case fuel consumption of 6.8 l/100 km (NEDC), CO2 emissions of 159 g/km and claims the mantle of the most economical Porsche of all time thanks to the aerodynamic advantage it has over the Cayenne. That’s also streets ahead of any other hybrid production vehicle in the luxury car class yet it still delivers Porsche acceleration all the way to its 168 mph top speed.
Total production of the Mazda MX-5 sports car reached 900,000 units today at Mazda's Hiroshima plant in Japan. The milestone was achieved 21 years and 10 months after mass production of the first-generation MX-5 commenced in April 1989 and further extends the Mazda MX-5's lead as the best selling two-seater sports car of all time. Indeed, the MX-5 took that title from the MGB (1962-80) in May 2000 when production reached 514,853 units to exceed the iconic British sportster. Second place on the list is now held by Porsche's 911 series (1964-present and pictured) which has sold over 700,000. It's also fifty years this year since Jaguar launched the first affordable super sports two-seater, the E-Type (pictured), but more on that shortly.
When Porsche promises a world premiere you expect something very special and as the curtain went up on the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) this morning, it delivered. The company has taken the drivetrain of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid
and spliced it together with the silky lines of the 918 Spyder Concept
to create the Porsche 918 RSR – a mid-engine coupé that puts out a remarkable 767 hp at peak using the combined forces of its direct injection V8 engine and electric motors on each of the front wheels.
Twenty-eleven is rolling in and we'll be heading back to Detroit to check out the best of what the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) has to offer. We've already been teased with the prospect of an all-new Toyota Prius
, concepts from Ford
and a new Benz C-Class
. So what else can we expect to see under lights at the COBO Center come mid-January?
Porsche’s 911 GT3 R Hybrid racing project uses Williams Hybrid Power's KERS Flywheel technology (think of it as a mechanical supercapacitor), to capture energy from regenerative braking and then give it back as horsepower under acceleration. After showing lots of promise in its early races, the hybrid has come home with a rush in the closing stages of the season, winning its class and finishing sixth outright in the final round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. Last night its true standing as a significant automotive innovation shone through once more when it won Powertrain Innovation of the Year, Vehicle Development of the Year and Design Engineer of the Year at the Professional MotorSport World Expo in Koln, Germany.
Not all that long ago, the mere thought of running a diesel in any form of motorsport would have had you laughed at. Diesel victories are now commonplace in long distance races thanks to the excellent power characteristics, reliability, the low fuel consumption of diesel engines and a battle between the two main TDI-engined cars in the form of the Peugeot 908 and Audi's R15. Audi Sport Team Joest added to the diesel legend on the weekend with a 1-2-3 victory using newly developed Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG) turbo-chargers on the R15's 440 kW V10 engine. The Peugeot 908s locked out the first two rows in qualifying and led the race until the 16 hour mark, but one by one, they suffered engine failure, and after 24 hours, Audi took all three steps on the podium. It wasn't exactly a rerun of the hare and the tortoise though, as the winning R15 racked up more 5,410 kilometers - more distance than has ever been achieved in 78 prior runnings of the French endurance classic. This was all the more remarkable in that it eclipsed a record set in 1971 by a Porsche 917 when the Hunaudières straight had no speed-slowing chicanes. Well done Audi!