Month: July, 2013
Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout–APEAL–is how JD Power measures the gratification customers experience with each new model on the market. For automakers, the vehicles that are the most gratifying, those with the highest APEAL, tend to remain on dealer lots for shorter periods, command higher transaction prices, and are more likely to create owner loyalty when they are ultimately sold or traded-in.
The results of the latest APEAL Study are based on the responses of people that have bought or leased new vehicles. In the study, they are asked to evaluate their vehicles on 77 different attributes (e.g. infotainment, safety, fuel-economy) and from this a score out of 1,000 maximum points is calculated. The 2013 study was fielded between February and May 2013 and incorporated responses from over 83,000 people.
It is probably no surprise that Porsche has once again captured the highest-ranking spot in the study, making it its ninth consecutive win. Porsche scored 884 out of the possible 1,000 points. Close behind was Audi with a score of 857 and BMW in third with 854 points.
The Porsche 918 Spyder supercar made its official debut at the Goodwood Festilval of Speed this year. The car completed a demonstration run up the hill and wow-ed the audience, providing a fascinating insight into the performance potential of this innovative hybrid machine.
Porsche designers and engineers were given a blank slate, allowing them to come up with a no-compromise concept. Designed entirely around the hybrid drive system, the 918 Spyder demonstrates its potential to a degree never before seen, where efficiency and performance co-exist and not at the expense of the other. This DNA will serve to be the basis from which future Porsche sports cars will developed.
The 918 embodies the essence of Porsche philosophy: combining pedigree motor racing technology with superior everyday versatility and maximum performance with minimum consumption. The task the design team took on was the challenged to create a super sports car for the next decade with a highly efficient and powerful hybrid drive.
According to Porsche, the 918 Spyder reveals its close links to motorsport in a variety of ways. It has been designed, developed and produced by Porsche engineers who build race cars, in co-operation with series production specialists. A great deal of insight gained from the development of Porsche race cars for the Le Mans 24 hours in 2014 is thus integrated into the 918 Spyder – and vice versa. The structural concept of the 918 Spyder with a rolling chassis as its basis – a basic vehicle that can be driven even without a body – is race car tradition at Porsche. The concept of the V8 engine originates from the LMP2 RS Spyder race car. The load-bearing structures, the monocoque and subframe, are made of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP). Porsche has many years of experience with this high strength, lightweight construction material and has again achieved top results with the development of the series production 918 Spyder. Many parts of the super sports car come from manufacturers who have a proven record as suppliers for motorsport vehicles.
The main source of power generation is the 4.6-litre, eight cylinder engine that produces over 600 horsepower. The engine is derived directly from the power unit of the successful RS Spyder, which explains why it can deliver engine speeds of up to 9,150 rpm. The engine is also linked to a 115 kW, hybrid module on rear axle and 95 kW, electric motor on front axle, making a combined power generation of 887 horsepower. The powertrain is mated to a seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK), ensures hassle free driving.
The supercar is expected to reach 62 mph in just 2.8 seconds, with top speed listed at 211 mph. As a plug-in hybrid, the 918 also offers a silent pure electric mode that lasts up to 18 miles where 0 to 60 is achieved in about 7 seconds, before topping out at 93 mph. The 918 Spyder features Porsche Active Aerodynamic (PAA), a system of adjustable aerodynamic elements, ensures unique and variable aerodynamics. Its layout is automatically varied over three modes ranging from optimal efficiency to maximum downforce and is tuned to the operating modes of the hybrid drive system.
It is expected that the first few production versions will be delivered early in the new year and the last we heard, Porsche had not sold all 918 build slots for the car. So if you’ve got $845,000 to spare, you can still own one.
Work continues to progress on the Porsche Driving Experience facility in Southern California, the fifth such site planned by the German sports-car maker. Slated to open next summer, the facility is situated on 53 acres in Carson near the intersection of the 405 and 110 freeways, about 10 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport.
The site incudes a test track, a handling course, and an off-road area designed to showcase the full lineup of Porsche vehicles from the Boxster two-seater up through the Cayenne SUV. As part of the test track, the center will have special surfaces, including an ice hill to replicate ice, rain, and snow conditions.
Porsche will offer a variety of driving courses for adults and teens and will rent the facility out to car clubs and corporate clients. Another unique aspect of the facility is the Porsche Human Performance Center, which includes a complete sports-science lab and training programs similar to those used to prepare Porsche factory racing drivers.
Porsche is also building a similar facility at its new headquarters campus (under construction) in Atlanta, near Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The other Porsche Driving Experiences are located at the Silverstone circuit in England and in Leipzig, Germany; a facility in Shanghai, China is slated for later this year.
Critics had deemed it impossible for Porsche to make it to the podium on the 50th anniversary of the 911. However, they did just that. Triumph was overcast by tragedy as this year marks the first time in over 30 years that a driver lost his life during the race. Only nine minutes into the race, 34 year old Danish driver, Allan Simoneson lost his life while at the wheel of the #95 Aston Martin.
Watch the following video as Porsche documents their return and pays tribute to the loss witnessed at this year’s event: