Month: June, 2013
J.D. Power released the result of a new version of its Initial Quality Study last week and the results reveal that Porsche has knocked Lexus off the top spot for 2013, ending the Japanese marque’s two-year reign.
The annual quality study, now in its 27th year, looks at problems experiences by buyers of new cars during their first 90 days of ownership and uses the average number of problems to rank the brands. Lower scores mean a better result.
The industry average this year was 113 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Porsche ranked highest among brands included in the 2013 study, averaging just 80 PP100. While GMC ranked second with 90 PP100 and Lexus ranked third with 94 PP100.
The 2013 study was redesigned to better measure the quality of new technology that is becoming more common in vehicles–including features like voice-recognition, blind-sport monitoring, lane-departure-warning and self-parking systems. The study found that nearly two-thirds of the problems that owners experience with their new vehicles in the first 90 days are related to design rather than manufacturing. In some cases, components were working as they were designed to, but can still pose an issue for the owners because it is difficult to understand or operate.
Because design problems are not the result of breakdowns or malfunctions, the study found that just 9 percent of the problems are taken to the dealership within the first 90 days of ownership. And if they are brought to the attention of the dealer, the problem is fixed only 13 percent of the time, whereas in the case of an actual defect or malfunction, the problem is resolved 42 percent of the time.
The JD Power Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 83,000 owners and lessees of 2013 model year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The results of the 233-question survey are compiled to produce a score for each vehicle measured as problems per 100 vehicles (PP100).
Check out the complete ranking at autos.jdpower.com.
It has been 16 years since Porsche last participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the last one being in 1998. The new LMP1 class prototype completed its first test last week on the Porsche test track in Weissach. Porsche will also take on stablemate Audi and rival, Toyota in the 2014 World Endurance Championship, which has seen a significant change in the regulations that may shake up Audi’s domination of the series and its stranglehold on the Le Mans 24hrs.
The 2014 challenger was built from scratch and, in the hands of factory driver, Timo Bernhard, turned its first laps on the circuit several weeks earlier than originally planned. “We are well on schedule,” says Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1. “Our newly formed team has worked with utmost concentration on getting this highly complex vehicle on the track as soon as possible. This allows us a few additional weeks for more testing and further development. From 2014, the regulations are primarily based on efficiency. This makes the competition amongst engineers more interesting and presents us with completely new challenges.”
The new rules for 2014 also require an emphasis on linking the prototypes to real world, road car technology (even if it is expensive road car tech right now). There’ll be no limit for engine capacity, number of cylinders or turbo boost pressure. Exotic engine materials have been banned, so teams cannot run electromagnetic valves, for instance, reducing cost. A higher dose of KERS will be available (up from 3.5 megajoules to 8.0 megajoules per lap), but fuel tanks will be smaller as well.
The Audi R18 which won last year’s Le Mans 24hrs weighs 915kg, but in 2014 this will drop to 850kg, with private teams allowed another 20kg less. The cars will be faster, but narrower with skinnier tires and the driver will sit higher and further forward for improved visibility. All of this bodes well for great competition among the factory entries.
“I was involved in the development of the new car right from the outset,” says Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard. “I’m very proud that I was the one to take our baby through its first paces today. Already now the car feels great. I look forward to testing the vehicle in the coming weeks and months with my friend and colleague Romain Dumas.” Bernhard (32) and Dumas (35) are the first two regular drivers in the LMP1 project and will carry out the majority of testing on various international circuits.
“During the development of our new LMP1 vehicle, we faced the same challenge as in the series production development of our road legal cars,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG. “Our aim was to achieve the best possible efficiency without compromising performance.”
Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche AG, particularly emphasizes the benefits customers will enjoy from the development of the high-tech race car. “The engineers were able to start with a blank sheet of paper in the design of the new LMP1 car that was out here today on the Weissach race track for the first time. Hence, they were able to apply many new technologies within the framework of the regulations that will also benefit the customers of our road legal automobiles in the future. After all, there’s a race car in every Porsche.”
Get Your Kids Involved!
Hi everyone! May’s Green Tip of the Month is by Pacific Porsche’s Green Team Representative – Sarah Carbajal.
She has fun, easy-to-do recycling tips, apps and games for the family and kids.
All the links below are open for you – have fun!
Healthy habits start early. Get your kids excited and involved by making recycling a part of your childs way of life. My four year old has helped Heal the Bay, walked in charity events and has mastered sorting recyclables. She doesn’t know anything different, she is aware of the world around her and I find that to be a virtue. Here are some easy tips on incorporating a green way of living into your home.
Make your own reusable bags! Before you head out to the grocery store have your kids help create reusable tote bags. They are easy to make (no sewing), functional and eco-friendly. Follow this link to a quick and fun solution to plastic bags:
The “In and Out” Toy Rule: As a general rule whenever an occasion arise where lots of fun new toys are going to brought into our home my daughter must go through her old toys and donate some of them. This has become one of her favorite forms of recycling.
Limit the amount of time spent on electronics. This is the most difficult rule to enforce. With everything these days geared towards kids and video games children tend to lose their focus. I have found a few apps that teach children about recycling :
Let them sort! Kids learn the most by being hands on. Let them be in charge of sorting all of the recycling for your family. It’s the easiest way to help your child grasp the sometimes overwhelming concept of how recycling works.
One pound of recycled newspaper can be turned into six cereal boxes.
A glass bottle can take 40 centuries to be broken down if it’s not recycled.
Last week, Porsche released a video that showcases some of the technical highlights of the new 2014 Porsche 911 GT3. One of the key highlights of the new German supercar that sets it apart from its rivals is its advanced four-wheel steering system, called rear-axle steering, which enables the rear wheels of the new GT3 to actually steer in the opposite direction of the front wheels at low speeds. This feature offers enhanced agility at tight turns. During high speeds, the system steers the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels, thus increasing stability.
As a result, the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 promises to provide handling characteristics that are completely unique and never seen on any other supercar or sports car available. Powering the 911 GT3 is a new 3.8-liter flat-six direct-injection engine that delivers a total of 475 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Consequently, the car is capable of sprinting from to 62 mph in around 3.3 seconds and a top speed of over 190mph.
Other technology highlights include dynamic engine mounts and the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus system . An added bonus are the awesome driving shots of the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 on the track. Check it out.
by Zach McDonald | hybridcars.com
This week, Porsche turned its soon-to-be released Panamera S E-Hybrid over to journalists for a series of test drives at an event in Stuttgart, Germany. Over the course 42 sessions, journalists were allowed to pilot the car through a 28.7 km course “comprised [of] 6.5 km city driving, 9.2 km of country roads and 13 km of German Autobahn.” At the conclusion of the tests, the car had racked up an impressive average efficiency of 53.5 mpg, with one driver managing to push fuel economy as high as 84 mpg.
The Panamera S E-Hybrid debuted at last month’s Shanghai Auto Show and has an all-electric range of about 22 miles. Porsche touted the car as the first plug-in hybrid in its class, promising it would travel in all-electric mode at speeds of up to 83 mph. Estimated average fuel economy stands at 75 mpg by European standards, leading to questions of just how well it will perform under American EPA tests.
But if the recent journalist test drives are any indication, the answer should be “pretty well.” Average speed for the tests was 54 km/h, while the average speed for the European fuel economy testing regimen is just 33 km/h.
The Panamera S E-Hybrid‘s dual drivetrain combines for a total of 416 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque, via a twin-turbocharged V6 engine and 95-hp electric motor. Electric energy is stored by a 9.4 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack. Suggested pricing in the United States will start at $99,000, roughly a $21,000 premium over the gas-only Panamera.