Month: May, 2013
For years, Porsche has teased with the its concept version of a plug-in hybrid supercar, the 918 Spyder. Just over a week ago, the car was unveiled in its production form and what a car it has turned out to be.
Powered by a mid-mounted, 4.6-liter V8 combined with two electric motors and a lithium -ion battery, the 918 Spyder’s output is 887 horsepower and accelerates from 0 to 60 in merely 2.8 seconds. Just running on electric power alone, it is capable of driving up to 18 miles around town. Top speed is 211 mph on regular power or 93 mph on electric.
Porsche says its goal with the 918 Spyder drop-top was “the parallel improvement of both efficiency and performance without one being at the cost of the other.” It says the 918 Spyder “will act as the gene pool for the Porsche sports cars of the future.”
It is evident that Porsche is not shying away from the fact that its latest supercar is a hybrid. There are five different driving modes available on the 918 Spyder: E-Power, Hybrid, Sport Hybrid, Race Hybrid and Hot Lap. With all that power mentioned on the track, the 918 is designed with a tamer side to deal with everyday driving. Its electric range is enough for a decent commuter range and it can be recharged from a standard wall socket in seven hours.
Despite the extra weigh of having to tote a hybrid battery, the car weighs only 3,715 pounds. The heaviest components are situated low to give the car more ground-hugging characteristics. Also, the rear axle is steerable to make cornering more precise and the car is all-wheel drive.
Only 918 of them will be built, starting on September 18, or 9/18. When it started taking orders a couple of years ago, the price was $845,000.
The new Porsche 911 is getting a serious dose of added power with the addition Turbo and Turbo S models that were unveiled earlier this month. The 2014 911 Turbo keeps its twin turbos but bolts them to a 3.8-litre flat six for an output of 520 horsepower which is an improvement of 20 horses. That’s enough for a zero to 60 mph time of 3.2 seconds. Even faster is the Turbo S, with 560 horsepower and shaving the same sprint to 2.9 seconds. At the famed Nurburgring, the new Turbo runs the track in well under 7 and a half minutes on production tires.
In addition to all-wheel-drive, which has been standard on 911 Turbos for years, the 2014 models will also have rear-wheel steering. Porsche says that at speeds up to 31 mph, the rear wheels will turn in the opposite direction from the front wheels, leading to greater maneuverability in tight curves and when parking the car. At speeds greater than 50 mph, the front and rear wheels will move in the same direction.
The 911 Turbo models will set themselves apart visually with a wider rear end and unique 20-inch wheels. On the Turbo S, the headlights will be full LED units. Other new items include a three-stage front and rear spoilers. And the interior, of course, gets the full suite of changes brought into the 911 model. For the first time, a Burmester system is also available as an optional feature. A radar-controlled cruise control system, camera-based road sign recognition and speed limit recognition are other new options being offered. And go-fast features include active rear steering, adaptive aerodynamics, and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC).
Check out the video to discover the new 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo:
The experts at Consumer Reports have chosen the Porsche Boxster as their highest rated two-seater vehicle. In testing, Porsche Boxster knocked off the Mercedes-Benz SLK, Audi TT, and BMW Z4. They all did well, but CR proclaims mid-engine Boxster as delivering “the purest sports-car experience of the four roadsters.”
Consumer Reports liked the redesigned 2.7-liter Boxster as they found its engine “very responsive” and the 6-speed manual transmission “smooth and crisp.” Their team was impressed with the power-operated folding soft top and storage areas too, saying “the power top is quick and can be opened or closed on the go at up to 35 mph, a very nice convenience, and the front and rear trunks continue to be a bonus.” Sealing the win, the independent testing agency added, “handling is still excellent despite some loss of steering feedback and the ride is not punishing.”
Which is your favorite two-seater and does it deserve the top prize? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
In July 2004, Porsche introduced a new generation 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S models, which were referred to internally as the 997. Its clear oval headlights with separate turn-signal markers in the front apron were reminiscent of older 911 models, but the 997 offered more than just style.
It was a high-performance vehicle, capable of turning out 325 horsepower with its 3.6-liter boxer engine while the new 3.8-liter engine of the Carrera S managed an incredible 355 horsepower.
The chassis was also substantially reworked, and the Carrera S came with Porsche Active Suspension Management as standard equipment. In 2006 Porsche introduced the 911 Turbo, the first gasoline-powered production automobile to include a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry. A model update in the fall of 2008 made the 997 even more efficient thanks to direct fuel injection and a dual clutch transmission. Never before had the 911 series made such extensive allowances to suit drivers’ individual preferences, and with Carrera, Targa, Cabriolet, rear or all-wheel drive, Turbo, GTS, special models, and road versions of GT racing cars, the 911 family ultimately comprised 24 model versions.