Porsche has really hit on a winning formula with its series of videos going inside its vault. So far, we’ve seen the V8 911 prototype, mid-engine test mule and aerodynamic prototype. The company is sticking with the 911 theme in the latest entry, but this time it’s an actual production car – the very first 911 Turbo ever made.
Being the first Turbo would make it important enough, but the car was also a birthday present for Louise Piëch, daughter of Ferdinand Porsche and sister to Ferry Porsche, and she regularly used the car. The family didn’t just hand her a random car off the assembly line, either. She got to make it her own with some interesting modifications. She supposedly even painted landscapes from inside the car.
You have to wonder what Piëch thought of her present. The early Turbos had a reputation for being a bit of a handful to drive. The boost tended to bring the power all at once, which wasn’t always welcome when cornering. She deserves some honor just for driving the car on the curvy, alpine roads
The Porsche Boxster and Cayman will forever nip at the heels of their big brother, the 911 Carrera, and perpetuating this tradition are the latest GTS variants, which add yet another arrow to the quiver of the plucky mid-engined platform.
The GTS’ performance enhancements boost horsepower by a mere 15 and shave a tenth from 0 to 60, but Porsche’s clever product planners and engineers have stuck to their familiar formula in making the Cayman GTS more desirable than the Boxster for dyed-in-the-wool performance enthusiasts.
The GTS is expensive, no doubt. But as a new flagship for the Cayman lineup, it delivers even more focused performance in a package that’s easy to live with every day. We can’t wait to see how much further Porsche pushes this platform, but until a higher-performance variant is released, the GTS offers the range’s sweetest spot between outright potency and daily comfort.
With more aggressive front-end aero, a GT3-style air vent ahead of the front hood, a large wing at the back, and spindly alloys packed with over-sized brakes at each corner, this Cayman is clearly more extreme than even the range-topping GTS. The rear diffuser and central exhaust tips look about the same as those you’d find at the back of the Cayman GTS, though.
What we can’t see, of course, is what Porsche has slotted in under the rear glass, how it’s upgraded the interior and how much weight it’s stripped out of the thing to get it down to fighting weight, but you can bet it’ll come with a substantial power bump and a stripped-out interior with racing buckets and little else to open the gap between it and the GTS… and close the gap to the 911 GT3 which it will join as the baby brother in Porsche’s performance-focused lineup.
Scoring a double victory at the six-hour race in Silverstone at the season-opening round of the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC, the Porsche Team Manthey made an excellent start to the season. Facing difficult conditions on the storied British circuit, Porsche works drivers Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) won the well-supported GTE-Pro class with the Porsche 911 RSR. Their factory pilot colleagues Patrick Pilet (France), Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) finished the hotly-contested first race in second place.
At the Silverstone Circuit, spectators witnessed a gripping race with changeable weather conditions from start to finish. Taking up the race from the first grid row at the wheel of the #91 Porsche 911 RSR, Nick Tandy took the GT lead for the first time in lap eleven. A stop-and-go penalty, which his teammate Joerg Bergmeister served after the driver change, saw them lose their lead for just a brief time. Over the remainder of the race, the 470 hp winning racers from Weissach, based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car, often swapped positions for the lead spot. In the end it was newcomer Frédéric Makowiecki who settled at the front of the pack and brought home this important maiden win of the season at his very first race as a Porsche factory driver.
Third place went to Porsche in the season opener and its number 20 919 Hybrid, which was driven by Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber. It was a magnificent start to the German team’s return to top-level endurance racing, although it wasn’t a complete success as the number 14 919 Hybrid failed to complete the race due to technical issues.
Autoblog has released some photos of what might be the next version of the Porsche 911 GT3RS or GT2
Porsche typically keeps to a suitably fast schedule when it comes to rolling out increasingly hard-core performance versions of the 911. After the 997 Carrera debuted in 2004, the GT3 version followed in 2006, and by the end of the 2007, Porsche had rolled out both the GT3 RS and GT2 versions. Then the facelifted 997.5 came out in 2008 and it was back to the start: the GT3 came in 2009, the GT3 RS and GT2 RS in 2010, and the GT3 RS 4.0 in 2011. But things have slowed down some with the latest 991 generation.
The new Carrera came in 2011 and the GT3 followed in 2012. By recent history’s example, we should have at least two more hardcore models by now, but we don’t. Maybe the engineers in Zuffenhausen have had their hands full fixing the spontaneous-combustion issues with the existing GT3, or maybe their attentions have been focused elsewhere altogether. But if these spy shots are anything to go by, it seems like they’re back on the job.
Now we don’t know if this prototype foreshadows a new GT3 RS or a GT2, but it sure looks more hard-core than the existing GT3 that many purists have derided as too soft, what with its automatic transmission and four-wheel steering.
What’s the difference between a GT3, GT3 RS or GT2? We’re glad you asked (even if you didn’t). The GT3 is a more performance-focused version of the 911. The GT3 RS takes things a step further, but keeps the naturally aspirated engine. The GT2 packs twin turbochargers, like the 911 Turbo but without all-wheel drive. Porsche seems likely to do one or the other, and this could be either. But whichever it is – with the turbos or without, manual transmission or dual-clutch – it promises to be one of the most formidable performance machines on road or track.
Porsche Exclusive the division in Zuffenhausen is tasked with creating even more individualized examples of Porsche vehicles, and it recently did up this 911 Turbo Cabriolet – which, at $160,700, is already one of the most expensive Porsches you can order this side of a 918 Spyder: more than any Boxster, Cayman, Macan or Cayenne, any Panamera other than a Turbo S or Executive – not to mention any other 911 short of a Turbo S.
According to Automotive News, Porsche is finally preparing to launch a new boxer four engine in the Boxster and Cayman, following years of speculation. The engine would be based on the same architecture as the company’s famous flat six, but with two fewer cylinders to cut weight. Don’t expect it to cut much in the way of performance, however: Porsche chief Matthias Muller indicates that the new engine could produce as much as 395 horsepower – significantly more than even the 340hp flat six in the Cayman GTS, suggesting that the engine could even find its way into the 911 as well.
It’s no more clear which markets would get the four-cylinder engine, either. But wherever it is offered and in whichever form, it wouldn’t be the first time we’d see a Porsche with a four-pot engine. Not by a long shot. Both the classic 912 and 356 were powered by boxer fours, as was the 914 – not to mention the 718 pictured above and the iconic 550 Spyder. The front-engined 924, 944 and 968 packed inline-four engines, but the last of those were discontinued in the 1990s. The prospect of a four-cylinder Boxster/Cayman has been rumored for many years now, most recently joined by the possibility of a four-pot Macan as well.
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Autocar reports that the so-called MSB platform will likely underpin the Panamera, and it could be shared with Bentley, provided the Volkswagen-owned, British-built brand commits to the architecture. As for the engines, it’s reported that they’ll have a sportier character than the V6s and V8s being built for Volkswagen and Audi’s vehicles.
“Porsche will have its own new V8 that will be common to the new MSB platform,” Porsche’s chief engineer, Wolfgang Hatz, said. “It’s a family for the next 10 years of cars.” Whether the V8 and V6 will be used outside of the Panamera line, though, remains unclear. There’s also no mention of what place turbocharging would have with the new engines.
Outside of the well-known four-door Panamera, the development of the MSB platform should allow Porsche (and Volkswagen Group as a whole) some degree of flexibility in designing new entries. According to Autocar, that could mean the rumored Panamera Coupe or even a two-door convertible remain a possibility, with the MSB being “package protected” – designed with new body styles in mind.
Baby 911. The poor man’s Porsche. That’s what they called the Boxster when it debuted some 20 years ago. They said the same of the first Cayman when it arrived a decade later, but they stopped saying it when the latest iterations hit the scene two years ago. That’s because Zuffenhausen’s entry-level models have long since stepped out of their big brother’s shadow and into their own. And that appears to be all the more true of the new Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS.
Based on the Boxster S and Cayman S, the new GTS models benefit from an enhanced 3.4-liter flat six that produces 330 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque in the roadster or 340 hp and 280 lb-ft in the coupe – representing an increase of 15 hp and 7 lb-ft in either model. Both also come with the Sport Chrono package as standard, along with adjustable suspension and 20-inch alloys, blacked out to match the dynamic headlight surrounds and other muted trim.
Those disappointed by the unavailability of a manual transmission in the fire-prone 911 GT3 will be pleased to note that a six-speed manual comes standard, but those enamored of letting a pair of clutches shift themselves seamlessly will want to spring for the optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. So equipped and with launch control engaged, the Boxster GTS will rocket from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, while the incrementally lighter, more powerful Cayman will hit it in 4.3. Either way you’re looking at a third of a second quicker than the Boxster/Cayman S. The interior has been upgraded with Alcantara trim and sports seats, but while Porsche is offering a stiffer suspension lowered by 20 millimeters in Europe, it doesn’t seem to be offering it in the US.
The first mid-engined GTS from Porsche since the 904 Carrera of 1963 will reach showrooms this summer with sticker prices starting at $73,500 for the Boxster GTS and $75,200 for the Cayman GTS, plus $995 for delivery. That makes both a good ten grand more than their S counterparts, but outfit either with the Sport Chrono package and PASM active suspension that come standard on the GTS, and a few other choice options to make your stand out, and that ten-grand price differential will soon evaporate – without the extra power to go with it.
About a month back, Porsche announced that it was suspending delivery of its 911 GT3 due to reported incidents of the engine bursting into flames. A few days later, Porsche told owners of the new track-ready models not to drive their cars and had their local dealers pick up the cars in question. Just a couple of days ago, Porsche was working on a fix, and now there are official details.
Following an internal investigation prompted by two such incidents, Porsche has confirmed that is has identified the problem as resulting “from a loosened screw joint on the connecting rod.” The loose connecting rod, Porsche found, damaged the crankcase, which in turn resulted in oil leaking and then – in at least two cases – igniting.
In order to fix the problem, Porsche is replacing the engines entirely on all 785 affected units of the GT3, fitting these new engines (as well as new models to be built once production resumes) with “optimised screw fittings.” Our source at Porsche indicates that under 200 of the affected coupes actually reached customers – most are at port (where they will be fixed prior to reaching showrooms), or at dealers.
We also inquired as to whether Porsche had fielded any calls from concerned GT3 owners regarding the replacement engine’s potential impact on their car’s collectibility or resale value, and our source told us that they have not heard of owners raising any questions. Should such a scenario arise, we were told that, “The company will handle the customers on a case-by-case basis. All of this will be documented in the vehicle’s history file that’s maintained by Porsche.” Presumably, if there is clear and extensive official paper trail about the engine swap, would-be used GT3 buyers and collectors would be happier knowing their car is fitted with a correct, trouble-free engine than they are about not having a numbers-matching car.
It is not immediately clear what Porsche plans to do with the hundreds of recalled GT3 engines once it extracts them.
Porsche is set to offer up the very first GTS variants of its more affordable Boxster convertibles and Cayman coupes. This is very good news for enthusiasts. Aside from our original post announcing the hotted up models, though, Porsche hasn’t given us much to go on.
And you know what? This video isn’t much of help either. It’s called The Committee, and we’re guessing it’s meant to highlight the lengths that Porsche went to in designing what are essentially sportier trim levels for its two most affordable entries. Still, it’s a stylized and entertaining video with a few entertaining driving scenes scattered throughout, and it gives just a small glimpse of Porsche’s view of the vaunted GTS badge.
Porsche was first rumored to be working on a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Cayenne over a year ago. However, we had never seen it, until now. The new model was caught almost completely undisguised while testing. In another stroke of luck, we got a glimpse of the upcoming facelift for Porsche’s SUV (pictured above) as well.
According to the spy shooter, it was windy during the cars’ cold weather testing. The cover blew off of the facelifted Cayenne, and there was enough time to snap these pictures before it could be hidden again. The changes are all quite minor but jive with what we saw the last time it was spied. The rear still wears some cladding but is expected to be hiding lights similar to the Macan.
Also it shows off the upcoming Cayenne PHEV. It looks nearly identical to the standard model, except for the extra panel on the driver’s side of the car that hides the electric port. One image even shows the car plugged in. The new version is expected to use the same supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and 9.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack with a combined 416 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque from the Panamera S E-Hybrid. We enjoyed the system when we tested it last year. It’s rumored to debut on the SUV sometime this year.