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2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S First Drive | Turbo by name, turbo by nature

NEWBURY, England — There are Porsches with turbocharged gasoline engines not badged as such, while electric ones now carry the famous script despite lacking an internal-combustion engine of any sort. There is, thankfully, no such confusion with the new 2021 911 Turbo S and the excesses of power, performance, tech and swagger it stands for.

We were supposed to experience this around Laguna Seca (plus the Central California roads shown in these pictures), where 1,000-plus horsepower turbocharged Porsches of the legendary Can-Am era once prowled. Instead, more modest, localized drives have been arranged. Hence the key to the Turbo S comes wrapped in a Ziploc bag, pushed at arm’s length across a screened counter with firm instructions to be back by 3 p.m. for full decontamination.

With some 200 horsepower and 200 pound-feet more than a 992 Carrera S, the new Turbo S is unequivocal in its superiority over regular 911s, that huge firepower augmented with expanded aero and tech I’d love to have tested at Laguna Seca. Narrow, twisty English lanes don’t hold quite the same romance, but exploring the huge disparity between the Turbo’s abilities and what you can responsibly get away with at road speeds is an interesting challenge in its own right.

There is still plenty to appreciate. The basic format is familiar, given a 3.8-liter, twin-turbo flat-six driving all four wheels through a PDK transmission (now an eight-speed), active anti-roll bars, four-wheel steering and more. Up to 368 pound-feet of drive can now go to the front axle, and the car’s footprint has increased, thanks to a 1.8-inch wider front track and bigger wheels, now 20 inches up front and 21 at the rear. The scope and modes of the active aero have also been greatly expanded, with a variable-position rear wing and three-piece, deployable front splitter. To protect the latter, an optional nose-lift system is also available and will, at a later date, gain GPS-enabled actuation to remember locations of steep curbs encountered on regular drives, be that your driveway at home or the entrance to the parking lot of your favorite morning coffee stop.

The engine is new and based on the 3.0-liter in regular 992 Carreras, employing bigger, variable-vane turbos in a new “symmetrical” layout fed by the scoops on the rear fenders and new, additional intakes ahead of the rear wing. Power is up from 580 horsepower to 640 with torque now at 590 pound-feet, the latter increased by 37 pound-feet. Top speed is still 205 mph, but the car gets there quicker, with 0 to 60 mph coming in just 2.6 seconds, while the quarter-mile is demolished three tenths sooner at 10.5 seconds. So, it’s fast. Really, really fast.

You knew that, though. The important thing for the 911 Turbo is not how fast it goes, it’s how it goes fast. And an area Porsche has been working on since the previous 991. In general, the 992 is more refined and GT-like than any 911 that’s gone before. Does the new Turbo follow this path? Or has it been permitted to retain a little of the rawness engineered into its predecessor?

The answer, thankfully, is both. When cruising, you appreciate the improved refinement and reduction in the tire roar that made previous Turbos a bit of a chore on poor surfaces. As in regular 992s, the new PDK is so slick your only notification of a shift is a twitch in the tachometer needle and slight change in tone. The low-slung cabin is comfortable, expensively finished and full of tech.   

Then you turn the little mode selector on the wheel to Sport Plus and realize the $203,500 MSRP is fair, given that you effectively get two cars for the price of one. Increased tech bandwidth puts greater distance between the extremes of the Turbo’s nature, accentuated further by the optional PASM Sport suspension and Sport Exhaust System on our test car. The former drops the car 0.39 inch closer to the ground while the latter unleashes exciting rasps, gargles and whooshes from the engine bay to remind you the Turbo script represents more than just a trim level.

The swell — and sound — of boost is a thrilling appetizer for the explosive rush of acceleration that comes fractions of a second later, this merest hint of lag actually more exciting than the more binary power delivery of older Turbos. Want it even more hardcore? A Lightweight package saving 66 pounds through removal of the rear seats, reduced sound deadening, thinner glass, fixed buckets and a lightweight battery also will be available (at a price yet to be confirmed).

Even without that, there’s a sense of tension and focus in the sportier modes contrasting with the more relaxed vibe in the normal setting. You know everything is synthesized, augmented and filtered. But it feels so seamlessly harmonized. Any slack to the wheel is instantly dialed out, the response sharp but faithful, the extra range of movement in the rear-wheel steering helping to shrink the car around you, no matter that it measures 6 feet 3 inches across the rear.

It’s now nearly as wide at the front but, through the corners, that characteristic 911 weight transfer endures. Even at street speeds, you get a whisper of hip shimmy under braking, a lightness in the nose if you don’t settle it before turning in, the squat and rotation as you nail the throttle and the violent eruption of boost-enhanced acceleration as the wheel unwinds on corner exit. That Porsche has used tech as a means to communicate these sensations even at relatively modest speeds is a relief to those fearing a digitized Turbo experience. And you know it could deliver the same 365 days a year on any road, come rain or shine.

There is nothing revolutionary about the new 911 Turbo S. But that’s not what anyone wants. Based on more than four decades of rich heritage, there is absolutely no confusion about what Turbo stands for.

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Alois Ruf details 80 years of history in ‘RUF: Love at the Red Line’

Alois Ruf, Jr. knows the exact moment he and his father Alois Ruf, Sr. realized just how fanatic Porsche people are about their cars. While sitting at a stoplight in their Porsche 356 Karmann hardtop one Sunday afternoon, a stranger knocked on the window and begged for a chance to buy that exact car. The Rufs agreed to follow the person to his house, and the random buyer used cash from a candy box to overpay for the car that same day. After handing the cash over, the trusting stranger then loaned the Rufs a different Porsche to use to grab the necessary paperwork. “These Porsche people, they must be crazy,” Alois, Jr. remembers his father saying. “Everything is different with these people. Something is there that is not normal.” The Rufs went on to use craziness to build an 80-year business that is now engrained in Porsche lore.

Marking eight decades of service, Ruf put together a 30-minute documentary about its own history and recently released the project in full on YouTube. The video is spearheaded by Alois, Jr., and includes several other notable Porsche employees, owners, historians and fans. Ruf remains headquartered at Pfaffenhausen, Germany, where Alois, Sr. first opened a small repair shop.

Senior’s first Porsche was the result of a terrible crash. In 1963, while driving a Mercedes-Benz O 321 HL, he witnessed a Porsche 356 Karmann hardtop pass his slow-moving omnibus. When the Porsche try to correct into the proper lane, it lost control, drove into a ditch and flipped twice. Senior calmed the man down, brought him to the hospital, and explained he had an auto shop that could repair the car. But the owner ended up selling the car to Alois, and Alois sold it about a year later in the previously mentioned scenario. From that seed, a lasting relationship grew.

The car RUF is known for, the Yellowbird, came from an idea that emerged back in 1979. At the time, Junior called it the 945 R, and he planned to give it 450 horsepower with a twin-turbo version of the 935 engine. He ended up building the CTR 1 out of a shell from a 911 Carrera 3.2, and the car’s pure performance characteristics filled a gap left by Porsche at the time. In part due to a popular VHS tape, that car later became a legend.

Learn more about RUF’s beginnings, and how the business progressed, straight from Alois, Jr., in the video above.

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The Last Porsche 991 is Auctioned in Aid of Coronavirus Charity

The 991 production run was one of Porsche’s best 911 series to date. It has now come to an end with the limited-edition Porsche 991 Speedster. As we move into the 992 generation, during very uncertain times, Porsche has decided to offer one final 991 as a donation towards the United Way Worldwide’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund.

Porsche North America has joined RM Sotheby’s to offer the vehicle for public auction. The auction is happening online with bidding opened from 15 April 2020. It runs through to 22 April 2020 when the winning bid will take this final 991. With 4 days left, 17 bids have pushed the asking price up to $385,000.

Supercar driver totals Gemballa Mirage GT in massive NYC wreck

Police arrested the driver of Gemballa Mirage GT — an ultra-rare exotic based on the Porsche Carrera GT — after it struck several other vehicles and left a trail of destruction on 11th Avenue in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan Tuesday morning.

Police did not release the name of the driver, but said he was the owner of the vehicle and charges are pending, per reports. Road & Track did some sleuthing and reports that it was likely Benjamin Chen, a supercar collector and the co-founder of Gold Rush Rally, an annual rally of exotic and luxury vehicles that he once described as a “rolling party with over 200 of your friends.” And sure enough, the car looks just like the one he talked about in 2014 with the DuPont Registry Daily. There’s even an Instagram video of the hoodie-wearing driver, who resembles Chen, being ordered out of the vehicle. He initially appears to stumble when exiting the cockpit.

The car, a modified Porsche Carrera GT that can cost north of $750,000, had Massachusetts plates reading “Nine 80” and came to a stop at 11th Avenue and 44th Street on Manhattan’s west side, just north of the Javits Center, which is being used as a makeshift field hospital for coronavirus patients. The car looks to be a total loss, its entire front right corner sustained heavy damage, with the panels missing and the body structure badly mangled. Other photos showed the wheels cocked at different angles, windshield shattered, part of the rear fender missing and its hood lying on the sidewalk. Helicopter footage from Fox 5 in New York showed it surrounded by ambulances and other emergency vehicles after it was stopped.

One video showed it careening out of control at high speed down a mostly abandoned 11th Avenue and slamming into a white Toyota Sienna minivan, but then trying to flee.

Chen was involved in a wreck while driving a McLaren 12C Spider during the goldRush Rally in 2013 in Texas.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S dressed up with Exclusive Manufaktur parts

The last time the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur overhauled a 911 Turbo S, the result was a more powerful limited edition called the Exclusive Series, with carbon fiber racing stripes and carbon wheels. Stuttgart’s couturier is at it again with the 2021 911 Turbo S, this time to show off what’s possible with off-the-shelf Exclusive Manufaktur components, the same way it did recently with the Taycan’s SportDesign Package Carbon.

The makeover begins with a coat of Indian Red paint. As far as we can tell from perusing Porsche forums, Indian Red has a long and convoluted history with, but little difference from, Guards Red. The naming seems dependent on international market, model year, and which Porsche factory built the car. We make the point because the Porsche USA configurator offers Guards Red but not Indian Red. 

The configurator does, however, present the choice of the staggered, center-lock Exclusive Manufaktur wheels that were fitted to that low-volume 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. The rims add $2,490 to the price. Normally painted Platinum Silver, for this application the wheels receive a silver and black finish that could cost more. The exterior comes with additional alterations including black-rimmed LED Matrix Design headlights for $970, clear taillights for $990, and rear side air intakes in high gloss black for $600.

Plenty of Indian Red has bled into the cabin, the hue running along the doors, the length of the instrument panel, and around the center console. That is a no-cost option, which is pretty special from a carmaker that charges $370 for a rear windshield wiper and considers the $900 painted black brake calipers an exterior performance option. There are no such gimmies for the extended red accents in the tachometer ($420) and dash-mounted Sport Chrono clock (also $420). Deleting the “S” logo on the seat headrests in order to put the Porsche crest there requires $290. In case that switcheroo causes occupants to forget the particular model they left the garage with, embossing the center console lid with the Turbo S logo can be done for $340.

Those aren’t the only upgrades being prepared for the new GT. CarBuzz found early photos of a new SportDesign Package and Aerokit designed for the Turbo S. On the Carrera Coupe, the optional SportDesign Kit costs $4,890 to add a new lower front bumper and splitter, deeper, body-colored side sills, and new rear bumper with a matte black diffuser. Carrera buyers can also get just the SportDesign front fascia for $3,240, while the Aerokit includes all of that and adds a fixed, high-rise rear wing for $6,910. We don’t have detailed info yet on the breakdown of the Turbo S packages, but combined, they install the new lower front fascia, sharp side sill extensions, new rear fascia with a reshaped diffuser, two large oval exhaust pipes instead of the four square pipes, and a new active rear wing design with curled-up edges.

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Range Topping Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe and Cabriolet Debut

One of the biggest launches not to happen at Geneva this year is the Porsche 911 Turbo S. The first of the true performance 911’s, this is the one people have been waiting for. Let us tell you, it does not disappoint!

The new Porsche 911 Turbo S has been revealed, but we are yet to hear anything about the lesser Turbo. You will be pleased to hear that Porsche has not downsized, the Turbo S gets a new version of the iconic 3.8-litre boxer engine. It includes two VTG turbochargers, which deliver 650 hp, 70 hp more than its predecessor. Torque is now rated at 800 Nm and the eight-speed PDK helps translate those figures into a 2.7 second 100 km/h sprint. Top speed is unchanged at 330 km/h.

The new engine gets a redesigned charge air cooling system, new turbochargers and electrically adjustable wastegate flaps. Piezo injectors improve responsiveness, as does a new intake system. The air filters are now situated in the rear wings with four intakes overall.

The Porsche 911 Turbo S gets larger with an increase of 45 mm at the front axle and 20 mm at the rear axle. The modified track widths, developed aerodynamics and new mixed-size tyres contribute to its dynamics. The track is now 42 mm wider at the front axle and 10 mm wider at the rear axle.

The adaptive aerodynamics include controlled cooling air flaps at the front. The larger rear wing has been designed for greater downforce. It has 20-inch tyres with unique 255/35 dimensions at the front and 21-inch 315/30 tyres at the rear.

The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) sports chassis has been lowered by 10 mm and a sports exhaust system has been fitted with adjustable flaps. The Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel-drive system is now capable of delivering up to 500 Nm of torque to the front wheels.

At the front, the standard LED matrix headlights gets dark inserts. The tailpipes at the rear are rectangular, finished in high-gloss Black, typical of the Turbo.

Inside, the standard equipment list includes a full leather interior and carbon trim in combination with Light Silver accents. Two-tone interiors will be available through Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur as an option. The 18-way adjustable sports seats feature stitching that pays homage to the first 911 Turbo and the interior has all of the comfort and tech from the rest of the 911 range.

The Porsche 911 Turbo S will be available in Germany at a price of €216,396 including country-specific equipment and 19 per cent VAT. The Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet will be priced at €229,962.

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Believe the Hype: The Porsche Macan S Is Every Bit a True Porsche

When Porsche introduced its first SUV, the Cayenne, in 2002, enthusiasts lost their mind over the idea of the archetypal sports car company betraying its heritage by serving up a jacked-up soft-roader. (Not helping matters: the fact that it looked like a bloated fish carcass.) But the crossover proved a gold mine for the company, providing the funds that helped enable the continued excellence of the 911 and Cayman / Boxster, as well as projects like the 918 Spyder and the company’s return to the top tier of endurance motor racing.

It’s been the smaller Macan, however, that’s turned out to be the company’s true cash cow. The compact crossover has perched high on Porsche’s sales charts ever since it arrived six years ago, in spite of the fact that it shares some of its bones with the lesser Audi Q5. Still, its comparatively proletarian roots apparently haven’t caused it harm: enthusiasts and journalists alike have been singing its praises ever since it arrived.

But as the old saw goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the proof of the car is in the driving. So we nabbed a Macan S for a few days of highway and byway driving around the greater Detroit area to see how it really feels to drive Porsche’s pocket crossover.

It feels every bit like a Porsche from behind the wheel

Porsche has long been a master of giving vehicles off shared VW Group platforms a unique brand feel, and the Macan is no exception. From the moment you twist the key (mounted, of course, to the left of the wheel), every control serves up the distinctive connectedness and directness that every car designed in Zuffenhausen these days serves up.

The steering is far sharper and more involving than any crossover’s rack has a right to be; the brakes grab decisively; the suspension keeps the SUV level and balanced even while dissecting tight turns. The 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 may be the base engine in the larger Cayenne and Panamera, but it doesn’t feel one iota like a cheapo choice; its 348 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque are more than enough to let this cute ‘ute rip around like a hooligan.

If you snap the Macan S into Sport or Sport Plus modes, the gearbox holds the revs closer and closer to the meat of the power band; left in Comfort, it promptly shuffles up to the highest cog for better fuel economy, although slamming the gas pedal to the firewall will, as in most VW Group cars, spur the engine into the lowest possible gear. (You can also always switch to manual mode and shift with the paddles, too.)

It’s the looker of the carmaker’s SUV lineup

The Cayenne may be newer and more expensive, but the Macan has it beat when it comes to visual appeal. Unlike the taller, chunkier Cayenne, the Macan is lean, low and muscular, with curves that channel the company’s famous sports cars.

The corporate face works better here, too; it has less sheet metal to be stretched across, and the matte black trim pieces make it look more ferocious, evoking bared fangs. It all adds up to one of the most attractive SUVs on the market — at least, if you prefer them more svelte and car-like, rather than boxy and brutalist.

An old interior isn’t always a worse interior

The Macan also whups the Cayenne (and the new Panamera) when it comes to interior usability. Unlike those newer Porsches, it has yet to move over to an almost-all-glass touchpad control, instead sticking with a combination of a 10.9-inch touchscreen display and a series of hard buttons and dials below it and around the shift lever. The resulting combination of physical controls and crisp, clear touchscreen may be one of the best infotainment and car control setups to be found today, bringing the best of the iPhone/Android world and merging it with the muscle memory-optimized realm of tactile controls.

Sadly, other new Porsches like the 992-generation 911 and the all-electric Taycan suggest the carmaker is pretty much all-in on glassy touchscreen interiors for the foreseeable future. But with the current Macan expected to stick around for at least another few years — likely being sold alongside its electric replacement for a while — there’s still time for Porsche to change its mind before it ditches this delightful control system for good.

Will Sabel Courtney

Will Sabel Courtney is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Editor, formerly of The Drive and RIDES Magazine. You can often find him test-driving new cars in New York City, cursing the slow-moving traffic surrounding him.

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Try to spot the new Porsche 911 GT3 in this Super Bowl commercial

When Porsche chose YouTube for the reveal of its Super Bowl commercial, the biggest news was the Stuttgart sports car maker returning to The Big Game after 24 years away. Depending on whether you’re more interested in the annual commercial-palooza or the products therein, Porsche hid even bigger newness inside “The Heist:” A sneak peek of the 992-series 911 GT3. As far as we can tell, Motor1 was first to catch the trickery, a Porsche rep confirming the subterfuge to Motor Trend. The presentation begins at 43 seconds in the video above, ending at 49, the culprit being the blue coupe on the lift above the yellow GT2 RS.

What can we tell from these snapshots? That the prototypes haven’t lied. It’s real busy in back, with a high-rise wing above a ducktail spoiler. The current 911 GT3 uses a pair of solid supports at the base of the engine cover supporting the wing from the bottom. Prototypes we’ve seen of the new GT3 fit a pair of thick stanchions set higher up on the body, next to the backlight, that clamp the wing top and bottom. Our guess is engineers needed to make room for the ducktail spoiler across the width of the car. We can’t quite make out the arrangement on the GT3 in the commercial, but it looks like the prototype plinths have been shaved down to a pair of thin braces next to the rear glass. Beneath all that, the rear bumper shows the same recessed section across its width. And an inordinate amount of the coupe’s flanks is taken up by big, 10-spoke, center-lock wheels fronting giant rotors.

Curiously, the GT3 Touring prototypes spotted at the Nürburgring lack both the big rear wing and the ducktail spoiler.   

Don’t be surprised at a Geneva Motor Show reveal in March. Technical specs have homed in on a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six with up to 550 horsepower, the choice of a manual transmission, and a speculated ‘Ring lap time of around seven minutes, which would take about 12 seconds off the current car’s time.

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Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman GTS Ditch Four-Cylinder Engine

Porsche took the covers off of the 718 Boxster and Cayman GTS this morning. The release had been expected, the inclusion of the 4.0 litre inline six, less so.

The GTS ditches the 2.5-litre flat four engine from its previous generation in favour of the six cylinder unit found in the GT4. It is detuned compared to the GT4, making do with just 400 hp. The six cylinder model is available with a manual six-speed transmission and sports exhaust system for full driver engagement. It manages 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 293 km/h.

It’s also quite efficient. Porsche offer adaptive cylinder control as standard which switches off one of the two cylinder banks at low loads, direct fuel injection with piezo injectors and a variable intake system.

The GTS is intended to bridge the gap between the hardcore GT4 and the road-focused S models. As a result, it gets Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) sports suspension, a 20 millimetre lower ride height and Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) as standard. Sport Chrono is also standard.

Inside, black contrasting design elements and a dark Alcantara interior have become typical of Porsche’s GTS models. Porsche fit Sport Seats Plus and the optional GTS interior package adds another contrasting colour: either Carmine Red or Chalk. The new models should be available in Germany from March 2020. Pricing details are yet to be announced.

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Updated Porsche Macan GTS Revealed

A refreshed Porsche Macan GTS launched earlier this week. The GTS has become a staple model within the Porsche range. In the 911, Cayman and Boxster ranges it links the standard Carrera models to the hardcore RS range. For the Cayenne, Macan and Panamera, it sits between the standard models and the Turbo versions. It blends performance and comfort.

The latest version of the Porsche Macan GTS uses a 2.9-litre V6 engine with turbochargers mounted inside the V. It puts down 380 hp and 520 Nm, mild increases over the outgoing model. The changes are enough to propel the GTS to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, three tenths faster than before. It has a top speed of 261 km/h.

The GTS gets a reworked PDK dual-clutch transmission and an optional Sport Chrono package. The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) damping control system has been specially tuned with the suspension sitting 15 mm lower than standard. The Macan GTS gets optional adaptive air suspension too, this drops ride height by another 10 mm.

The GTS rides on 20-inch RS Spyder Design wheels and generously sized cast iron brakes (360 x 36 millimetres at the front, 330 x 22 millimetres at the rear). Two further brake options are available including the Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) with tungsten carbide coating or the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB).

2020 Porsche Macan GTS Rear

The Sport Design package is standard with the Macan GTS with a new front trim, rear trim and side skirts. Black painted elements – a feature of all GTS models – are plentiful. The LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) and the three-dimensional rear lights with LED light bar are darkened.

Inside, Alcantara is available on the seat centre panels, the centre console armrests and door panels. A multifunction sports steering wheel is fitted as standard. The GTS gets a unique seat set with eight-way adjustment. In Germany, prices start at 77,880 euros including VAT.

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2020 Porsche Taycan 4S Review

The Porsche Taycan has landed and made not just a splash, but tsunamis in the automotive world. The model was unveiled and released in Turbo and Turbo S forms at first, models that boasted tremendous power and stats aimed at dethroning Tesla as the king of AC/DC power. The Turbo models are astonishing and fulfil the brief of being high performance vehicles that sit as flagships of the range; as a result the pricing was a breathtaking as the acceleration. 750 bhp does not come cheap.

To broaden the appeal of the Taycan Porsche unveiled this, the 4S and I was shipped over to the -19 degree icebox that is Kittilä, Finland to experience the 2020 Porsche Taycan 4S. The 4S is, of course, down on power compared to the Turbo and Turbo S. As standard 523bhp is available on overboost with a range of 405 kilometres. One option that I suspect will be ordered by all customers is the Performance Battery Plus that increases power to 563bhp and the range to 462 kilometres for around €5,000. 0-100 with either battery is done in 4.0 seconds.

At this point I would love to share my driving impressions with you. I will, but it must be noted that it was horrifically cold, this really was a winter wonderland and there is no tarmac in sight, just icy surfaces and standard winter tires to connect with it. There were no spikes in sight. As a result, any feedback in muted and power statistics are almost irrelevant as traction management is far more important.

That being said, I have driven a handful of cars in similar conditions so am somewhat familiar with how cars typically handle when dancing on ice. The first part of the program was a 90-minute road drive in the darkness of the Finnish winter. First impressions are all about traction and the mighty impressive Goodyear winter tires. Although absent of spikes, traction under gentle braking and acceleration. The Taycan 4S felt balanced and incredibly quick, even on the slippery ice. The 992 steering rack that feature in the Taycan still felt well weighted, of course, there was very little feedback on the ice. Braking was still reasonable although the weight became evident when braking harder and the ABS cutting in.

The main event was the Porsche Experience set on a frozen lake, the ideal place to exploit instant torque from the 800volt batteries powering all four wheels. First up was a tight twisty circuit. The aim if the game was to understand the torque split front to rear and swing the car into delicious drift angles. It is harder than you would imagine, opposite lock doesn’t help and you have to be gentle with the power or the car does what it is meant to do and drags itself into a straight line.

Next on the list of activities is a slalom where the weight and its distribution would be tested. The 4S weighs in at 2,215 kilograms and often had me questioning just how thick the ice on this frozen lake was. It is still some 200 kilograms lighter than the Turbo S model but it is still a substantial mass for anything that is considered ‘sporty’. The slalom test highlights the impressive agility that comes courtesy of the antiroll and stability systems.

The third and final test was the drift circle. Again, this is a test of balance and the torque split and where feedback and feel are key. This is a Porsche and at times the Taycan really did feel comparable to a 911, it is spooky, but there is just a level of disconnect that you would never find in a conventional petrol burning 911. The instant torque is spectacular, the acceleration, even on ice, takes you by surprise despite this being the 4S and not a Turbo or Turbo S. The Taycan in 4S is an extremely capable car. If the greater power is not of paramount importance to potential customers, I would strongly argue that the 4S is the pick of the bunch.

The case for the 4S is further heightened by the significant saving over the Turbo models. In the United Kingdom, the 4S starts at under £90,000, a considerable £50,000 less than a base Turbo S. The 4S is the electric car that offers significant steps forward in the industry at a realistic price point with stats and prestige that make it capable and desirable in equal measure. Let’s hope Porsche can build them quickly enough.

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New Porsche hypercar could use F1-spec hybrid powertrain

Not long after the Porsche 918 Spyder went out of production in 2015, the automaker began internal debate about what kind of powertrain it would use in the follow-up. Four years later, the debate is ongoing. In 2017, Porsche voiced its desire to move its hypercar game on with a battery-electric powertrain, beyond the hybrid 918. The problem — echoed by McLaren — was that battery technology wouldn’t make such a BEV possible until at least the middle of the 2020s. In 2019, the same issues remain, with solid-state battery tech not progressing as quickly as hoped. Autocar reports that Porsche could switch to Plan B in the meantime, that being an as-yet-unused 1.6-liter V6 hybrid engine Porsche Motorsport developed in order to return to Formula One as an engine supplier.

Porsche has been mentioned as a potential new F1 entrant for years, but uncertainty at the Volkswagen Group and in the F1 rulebook compelled the German sports car maker to walk away from the opportunity, opting for Formula E instead. However, after leaving LMP1, 40 Porsche engineers from the Le Mans effort began working on a six-cylinder version of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid from the 919 Hybrid. That work turned into the creation of a 1.6-liter V6 hybrid along the lines of an F1 engine but without “the complex and expensive” MGU-H unit that converts exhaust heat into electrical energy. Motorsport chief Fritz Enzinger says that engine is still in development, having got as far as running on a test bench for “analysis with regard to series production relevance.”

There’s no info on the hybrid component yet, but Stefan Weckbach, who oversees Porsche’s EV projects, said the company could turn to its partnership with Rimac for that aspect.

Even though Porsche has a motor ready, the board hasn’t decided on whether to go electric or hybrid, and sports car boss Frank-Steffen Walliser says he doesn’t care what kind of powertrain goes into the car as long as it can tick off a 6:30 lap time at the Nürburgring. So according to Autocar, what kind of bodywork might surround this powertain “remains at conceptual stage, with an introduction unlikely before 2023 at the earliest.” We don’t think the 917 Concept from 2014 would be a bad place to start. If Porsche goes with the 1.6-liter hybrid, though, the market would get a clearer competitor to the Mercedes-AMG One, and the platform could provide entries to the ACO’s new so-called Hypercar class in the World Endurance Championship and to IMSA’s Daytona Prototype class. 

2020 Porsche Macan Turbo Review

Porsche have been extremely busy recently. The Taycan has been dominating the headlines and the German brands agenda and, as a result, it is not difficult to forget that the SUV market is where Porsche make most of their money. The Macan and Cayenne are more important than ever before. I drove the updated Macan and Macan S on Mallorca a few months ago and now the range topping Turbo has been treated to the same facelift. I went to South Africa to see if it was any good.

The Macan sits in purgatory, it has been updated but is still essentially a generation old compared to other models such as the Cayenne, Panamera and 992, the interior is a mix of old and new. This dominated my initial impressions, somewhat unfair seeing that I had been in the most modern and futuristic car in the world, the Taycan, just two days before. The reason for the Macan not being completely overhauled is simple. The next generation is set to be dominated by electric variants, I am promised that there will be combustion variants, but they may be market specific.

The mid-sized SUV market is one that has been evolving at an impressive rate. The Macan Turbo used to rule the roost, its success inspired the likes of Mercedes-AMG, Alfa Romeo and others to up their game. The Turbo faces competition that simply outgun the Porsche. The GLC 63 from AMG is a powerhouse and the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is a magnificent car to push through twisty roads. BMW’s X3 M is a recent addition to the list of rivals.

With such illustrious competition, the Macan must shine, it does, but it is not the fastest and arguably no longer the most desirable car in the class. That being said, it is still mighty fine in a number of respects. The steering feel is magnificent, the same can be said for the braking feedback, but only after you adapt to the unbelievably sensitive pedal (potentially better without the optional carbon ceramics on my test car). The good old 3.6-litre V6 is out, replaced by the 2.9 V6 twin-turbo (hot V) that you’ll find in the Audi RS5 as well as the Cayenne and Panamera. In the Macan it packs 434bhp, 39 more than in the Macan Turbo it replaces. Maximum torque of 406lb ft is developed between 1800 and 5600rpm via a seven-speed PDK transmission. This means, with Sport Chrono equipped, 0-100km/h is done in 4.3-seconds. Not bad considering this is a near 2 tonne car (1945kgs).

The new engine is not as impressive, the accompanying soundtrack leaves much to be desired and the gearing is far too long. Fortunately the chassis is a highlight worth shouting about, typical Porsche. The car handles in a way that a two tonne SUV simply should not be able to. Over rough South African roads it is pliant, even on 21-inch wheels, and remains impressive as you start to push on harder, this comes courtesy of the optional air suspension. It begins to trip over itself under braking where the mass has nowhere to try and disguise itself, even with the dampers in their sportiest mode. Push harder still into bends and it will understeer. Traction is supreme but it is led by the front wheels. There is no oversteery tomfoolery that you could provoke in the aforementioned rivals despite Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus doing its thing via the rear diff.

The Macan Turbo is a car that represents itself as a well balanced, competent and attractive car to own. It is a car that will never let you or the family down as a city city car or a highway cruiser. There is enough power and poise to meet your daily needs and it will still put a smile on your face when you find yourself on your favourite road when you left the 911 at home. It is a fabulous all-rounder. It is the sensible choice, if you want something a little more spicy turn to AMG, if you want something to set your pants on fire, it has to be the Quadrifoglio.

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Porsche Taycan Turbo S Review

This is a big deal and perhaps the most significant car I have ever written about in my short, prepubescent life as an editor writing about cars. I am also a sceptic of electric cars, I am just not a fan, this is a chance for Porsche to change my views. Some 350 journalists have been driving the Taycan before me, specifically the Turbo and Turbo S models, on a mega road trip starting in Oslo. Nineteen days later, the convoy would reach the spiritual home of Porsche, Stuttgart and I had the honour of driving the final leg of the journey from Berlin.

Stepping into the Taycan is quite an overwhelming experience for me. Knowing that I would be able to finally drive a car I have sat in on multiple occasions before and even been a passenger in when in pre production form, it was my time to drive one of the most eagerly anticipated and important cars in a decade.

When I jump behind the wheel the first thought is that there is a wall of screens to comprehend. There are a lot of screens, four in this car (including optional passenger screen). That being said, it all is very clear and logical, futuristic but still familiar in a typical Porsche way. If you have not previously sat in a Taycan you may need a second to: a) know whether or not is is on, b) find the gear selector (it is hidden to the right of the wheel like it was in a 918 Spyder).

Orientation completed, what is it like to drive? Crawling around the congested streets of Berlin in a Taycan is a quiet and tranquil experience. Then you find yourself in the left turning lane but you need to take a right. Sport Plus engaged…red, red, red. GREEN. I am pinned to the seat and crossing four lanes and feeling like a naughty school child. The feeling of speed is intensified by the synthesised spaceship noise the accompanies the neck snapping acceleration, the noise can be turned on or off at the touch of a button. So it goes like a Porsche, a very fast one at that. The Taycan Turbo S will do 0-100 in a blistering 2.8 seconds, that GT2 RS quick, in a family saloon that will fit four adults and has two boots. As I am sure you would have seen, the Taycan Turbo S recently set the fastest Nurburgring lap time for a four door EV with a sterling time of 7min42, a time that was seemingly set on very ordinary tires, bring out the Cup 2 Rs and watch Tesla cry.

Out onto the country roads of rural Germany the Taycan can stretch its legs, and boy, it has legs. The acceleration from standstill is potent, instant and and honestly, takes your breath away. When you’re up to speed you can focus on placing the car fabulously using the brilliant steering, typical Porsche. Thread it through a corner and the acceleration out of the bend dominates again. Into the next one and it dawns upon me that I am chucking a 2.4 tonne car through the corners like a car that weighs a tonne less. The weight is all down in the floor, the Taycan has a lower centre of a 911 and it shows. There is little to no body roll, there is supreme control and composure. The only time the illusion wears thin is under heavy braking, you can’t cheat physics forever. It stops well and hard using the giant carbon ceramics, but the inertia can be felt.

So it is a revelation for electric cars in the way it drives, it has a futuristic interior and it looks the part. The car is fabulous, but then we come to the other side of the coin: the infrastructure.

When setting off from the start line in Berlin the navigation was set and the car displayed an estimated battery change percentage upon arrival. It read 12% to the lunch stop where the car would be charged at one of the Ionity 800watt chargers. 12% is a reasonable level and my passengers and I felt confident that we could arrive without giving the range much thought. Remember that quick lane change in the city that I mentioned earlier?

That switch into Sport Plus and the pedal to the metal acceleration cost 1% of that 12% estimate. A few amusing accelerations from standstill to the speed limit cost a further 5%. A short 3km autobahn blast to the vmax of 260km/h and the estimated battery upon arrival is at 1%. With more than 100kms to go, the famed range anxiety set in. I shift into Range mode to try and earn back some precious power. This is where things get a little dull, there are some stunning roads coming up, but I cannot push or my passengers and I will be stranded on the side of the street playing I Spy.

Some careful driving and arduous steady kilometres later we are close to the destination with around 4% charge remaining. Into sport plus I hope to make the most of the remaining power, only to find the car is warning me to preserve the remaining charge and it has limited the max speed. Killjoy.

Throw in a short unexpected detour, such as dropping a friend to a train station a few kms off the route and you will not make it to your final destination without having to visit another charger on the way, make sure it supports 800watts or you’ll be sat around for far too long staring at the percentage of charge in a service station memorising the Burger King menu.

The Taycan is a fabulous machine, one that has, without a doubt, changed perceptions and the expectations of electric cars. I cannot help but question how the concept of electric cars can be considered feasible in a world where the infrastructure is not yet ready to alleviate the woes of range anxiety. We are so accustomed to the convenience of having endless access to petrol stations where we can brim our tanks with fossil juice in seconds. Until we can charge our batteries in less than the time it takes to do a shot of espresso and chomp down a Snickers bar, there will always be sceptics of the need to build in 20-30 minute stops to recharge a battery. For day-to-day short commutes in congested towns and cities like London, the efforts of the BMW i3s or Renault Zoe are far more compelling. A week of commuting can be completed on a single charge overnight on the weekend, a real alternative to combustion motoring. Why claim that electricity is ready to replace fossil fuels in all scenarios?

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Porsche Panamera 10th Anniversary Editions Revealed

It’s hard to believe that the Porsche Panamera is 10 years old. The production version debuted at the Auto Shanghai International Automobile Show in 2009. It was a controversial design back then. It has mellowed in recent years, yet it has also proved a massive sales success, shifting 251,000 models.

The Porsche Panamera 10th Anniversary Editions have been revealed to celebrate the milestone. The special edition package is available for the four Panamera 4 models; the Saloon and Sport Turismo models of the Panamera 4 and Panamera 4 E-Hybrid.

Each example will get a ‘Panamera 10’ badge repeated on the interior and the exterior. White-gold decorative stitching will punctuate the interior leather.

The Porsche Panamera 10th Anniversary Editions will get new 21-inch Panamera Sport Design wheels in satin-gloss White Gold Metallic.

A huge amount of additional equipment will also be bundled in; LED matrix headlights including PDLS Plus, Lane Change Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, Park Assist, panoramic roof system, privacy glass, heated 14-way comfort seats and the BOSE Surround Sound system.

The special edition models will also receive adaptive three-chamber air suspension, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and Power Steering Plus.

The catch? The Porsche Panamera 10th Anniversary Edition will only be made available in Germany.

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Here’s a Look at the Porsche Taycan’s Interior

The Electric Porsche’s Cabin Is Gorgeous

The Porsche Taycan is the company’s first all-electric car, and it will be an impressive machine by all accounts. The company will reveal the car in full on September 4 of this year. That’s not far away, and the company has been teasing the car recently to great fanfare. The most recent teaser sent out were some shots of the car’s interior. 

Technology Everywhere

You might expect the cabin of the car to be pretty tech-savvy, but there’s even more than we thought. The cabin is completely full of screens and advanced technology. There are four different screens on the dash and center console, including a digital instrument cluster. The passenger gets their own touchscreen. 

The digital instrument cluster is a massive 16.8-inch curved display that uses real glass with a vapor-deposited, polarizing filter. This makes the cluster anti-reflective. By doing this Porsche could get rid of the unsightly cowl over the cluster that so many cars have. To either side of the instrument cluster are some touch buttons for basic controls like the lights and driving settings.

2020 Porsche Taycan Interior2020 Porsche Taycan Interior

The main, central infotainment screen measures 10.9 inches. It provides access to Porsche’s user interface and gives you access to apps, navigation, phone connections, media, comfort settings, and Porsche Connect. Below this screen is another with haptic feedback. It’s an 8.4-inch screen used for the climate controls and offers a handwriting area. This means you can write in an address you want the navigation system to use. 

The screen in front of the passenger is for just the passenger. It won’t even turn on if the driver is the only one in the car. TechCrunch reported that Porsche is playing with the idea of having it stream video, but right now it’s just for making adjustments to settings that impact the passenger. 

Minimalistic Interior

2020 Porsche Taycan Interior2020 Porsche Taycan Interior

The overall design of the cabin is minimalist. Porsche stayed true to its roots for the most part. The lines of the interior are simple and actually look considerably similar to the 911. This is no surprise. Why mess with a good thing? The 911’s interior is handsome and recognizable, and it makes sense for the Taycan to follow suit. 

When it comes to interior materials and colors, you can expect some of the best. Porsche will have wood trim, matte carbon, aluminum, fabric, and leather in it. You can get a leather-free version if you’d like. The car also comes with your choice of three color schemes: black-lime beige, blackberry, Atacama beige, and Meranti brown.

The Taycan’s interior lives up to the hype of the overall car for us. With the interior looking so good, we can’t wait for the rest of the car to be revealed in September.