Porsche Almost a century after its founder started designing automobiles, Porsche is still going strong and that's the result of a premier cure for a mid-life crisis similar to Harley-Davidson. Porsche's lineup includes four model lines: the Boxster, the 911 models, the Cayenne SUV, and the Carrera GT. And if these vehicles are too expensive, Porsche also offers watches, luggage, and tennis rackets bearing its name. Descendants of the founding family still control the company and these days it has enlarged its area by offering consulting services to other companies involved in auto and furniture manufacturing, mechanical and electronic engineering, and construction. Over the years, Porsche transformed itself from serious money-loser into one of the most profitable car companies in the world, all this while other car manufactures toil over cash incentives, market share and strategies for the Chinese market. Porsche has constantly rolled out new products and despite the costs and risks is has quadrupled its annual unit sales in just under a decade. The most recent debuts are the Boxster and the Cayenne. And so far, the key of their success seems to be the long product life cycles and the company intends to maintain this strategy. Porsche: The Beginning It's hard to say exactly which is the beginning of Porsche story. It could be in 1950, when the famous Max Hoffman introduced the Porsche 356 to the United States. Or in 1948 when the first automobile to bear the name Porsche was introduced. But in order to understand Porsche's heritage and its philosophy we need to go back to 1875, when, in September, at the home of a tinsmith in the Bohemian village of Haffersdorf, a son was born. His name was Ferdinand Porsche. Since his adolescence, Ferdinand Porsche showed glimpses of technical genius: at the age of 18, he wired family's home for electricity in 1893. Still, he didn't show many signs of disciplined engineering skills that will eventually become his trademark. Even if the "Doctor" is usually appended to his name, it is in essence honorary, since his only formal technical training was as a part-time engineering student in Vienna. By the age of 25, the young Ferdinand Porsche had entered the field of automotive design. His first car design was already accepted by Lohner & Co. of Vienna. Over the next 20 years, Ferdinand Porsche, the temperamental but brilliant engineer succeeded in associating with every major automobile manufacturer in Germany. At the same time, he designed a dozen of the most technically significant cars in history. Working for Mercedes-Benz, he helped develop the most revered Mercedes-Benz cars of all time: the SSK series. For NSU, he designed Auto Union Wanderer and the Type 32, a precursor of the Volkswagen Beetle. After being dismissed from Mercedes for disagreeing with the firm's staid engineering policies, Porsche decided to establish what later became Porsche A.G.: his own engineering consulting group. In a small office in Stuttgart, the senior Dr. Porsche gathered a select group of engineers to work under the dramatic name, "Doctor of Engineering Ferdinand Porsche, Inc., Construction Facility for Land, Air, and Sea Transportation." One of his employees was his youthful son, Ferry. His primary interest was one that any young man might select: sports and racing cars. The senior Dr. Porsche and his team were kept extremely busy. The consulting firm developed for Steyr (now the utility-vehicle wing of the SteyrDaimler-Puch combine), the Austria luxury sedan, but it did not progress beyond the prototype stage. They worked a lot for Auto Union, now Audi: the company developed the Front, the world's first front-drive economy car. They astonished Auto Union with the mid-engine Grand Prix cars and their supercharged V-12 and V-16 engines which, together with Mercedes-Benz racers, dominated European auto racing for nearly a decade. After that, the firm created its best-known designs for NSU and Zundapp. The pair of prototypes was characterized by Dr. Porsche's patented torsion-bar suspension and a rear-mounted engine. Since neither company moved rapidly enough to manufacture the designs, Porsche sold the concept to the German government. Then, he oversaw the construction of a plant on Wolfsburg to manufacture the design. His drawings called the car the Type 60. The world came to know it as the Volkswagen Beetle. After the second World War, the Porsche Company started to create vehicles that beard its name, and so became knows world wide. Now, nearly a century later, Porsche became the marque and the family that created outstanding, often unique and surely lasting contributions to automotive engineering and design. Porsche: A Brief History Ferdinand Porsche played an important role in the development of airplanes and racing cars, and the construction of tanks for the Wehrmacht. He is an automobile engineer with more than a thousand patents to his name. He was appointed chief engineer at Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart in the 1920s. Later on, he set up his own engineering workshop and designed among others the Volkswagen. At the plant where Volkswagen was made, Wolfsburg, he was chief of operations and at the end of the war he was interned by the Allies. He was released a few years later and started building his first car with his son, Ferry Porsche. The car was named the Porsche 356 and it was a sports car and a reminiscent of the Volkswagen. It had the same four-cylinder boxer engine that was rear-mounted, just like the VW. It was far from being a powerful sports car, developing only 40 bhp and a maximum speed of 87 mph (140 km/h). First produced as a convertible and later as a hard top it distinguished by the very elegant and innovative body. It was developed in the workshop of Erwin Komenda, a master of restrained streamlining who had been in charge of sheet metal and design techniques at Porsche since the VW Beetle. The new style of closed coupe was designed by Komenda and it soon became the embodiment of the sports car, thanks to its fastback. This tradition was continued by Komenda and Ferdinand "Butzi" Porsche, the founder's grandson, with the 911. The 911 became easily recognizable: it had attractive sloping bonnet and what later became characteristic "frog eye" headlights, curves running from the top edge of the windscreen to the rear bumper and a straight waistline. From a functional and technical point of view it was more like BMW 1500, although it retained the stylistic features of the original Porsche. The new 911 will become the foundation stone of Porsche's identity, even though the design was not always appreciated. During the 1970's and 1980's, the designers attempts to distance Porsche from its legendary design brought the company to the edge of disaster. The more modern 924 model, "a people's Porsche," developed with Volkswagen, as well as the 928 were far from fulfilling the expectations. In the 1990's, the company realized that what for over twenty years was perceived as a straitjacket, it was in fact a market advantage. During the 1990's, Porsche became highly profitable since they now knew that the typical Porsche features were timeless. Nearly forty people now worked in the design department on further developments of the long-running 911. These developments included the 911 GTI, a powerful combination of sports and racing car, put forward by the in-house designer Anthony R. Hatter. In 1999, chief designer proudly presented the new Boxster which enabled Porshe to establish a second independent range of models. Porsche 64 Many consider the Porsche 64 (also kn own as the VW Aerocoupe, Type 64 and Type 64K10) as being the first automobile by Porsche. It was built mainly from parts from the Model 64 VW Beetle and there comes the model number. Its flat-four engine produced 50 bhp and gave a top speed of 160 km/h. Porsche Burro designed the body after wind tunnel tests made for the Type 114, a V10 sports car that was never produced. Dr. Porsche wanted to enter the car in the 1939 Berlin-Rome race. The bodywork company Reutter built three cars in shaped aluminium. Out of the three, one was crashed in the early World War II by a Kraft durch Freude (Volkswagen) bureaucrat. The two remaining were used by the Porsche family. Later on, they put one of them in the storage and used only one. In May 1945 American troops discovered the one put in storage, cut the roof off and used it for joyriding for a few weeks until the engine gave up and it was scrapped. Pinin Farina restored the remaining Porsche 64 in 1947, as it was owned and driven by Ferry Porsche. In 1949, the Austrian racer Otto Matte bought it and won the Alpine Rally in 1950 in it. Porsche 365 The Porsche 356 is the first Porsche production automobile and it was sold from 1948 through 1965. Although many consider Porsche 64 as being the first automobile produced by the German company, the 64 was never mass-produced and it was only a drivable test-mule. The 364 was created by Ferdinand Porsche and his son, Ferry Porsche, designed by Erwin Komenda and its engine features derived from the Volkswagen Beetle, deigned by Mr. Porsche Senior. The models available were initially coupe, cabriolet (luxury convertible) and then roadster (a stripped down convertible). Before being withdrawn in 1965, it went through several changes. The most desirable versions were 356 "Carrera" (often sold for well over $150,000), "Super 90" and "Speedster." In the late 50's, the original selling price for a Porsche was $4,000. In 1954, Max Hoffman, the only importer of Porsches into United States needed a lower cost, racier version for the American marker. Therefore, the company created 356 "Speedster" that became a instant hit thanks to the low, raked windshield (easily removable for weekend racing), bucket seats, and minimal folding top. These days, this car is still very appreciated as it is sold for over $100,000 and it has been used in several films, including 48 Hours, its sequel - Another 48 Hours and Top Gun. In 1957, the production of Speedster peaked at 1,171 cars. In 1959 it was replaced by the Convertible D model, which featured a taller, more practical windshield, glass side windows, and more comfortable seats. Year after year, the basic shape of Porsche 356 remained the same and was easily recognized and remarked, even though changes were made, especially in the mechanical area. Coupe and cabriolet models were produced every year up to 1965, with the last 356B Roadster built in early 1963. The final model build was 356 C that featured disc brakes and the most powerful pushrod engine Porsche so far: the 95HP "SC." In the year that Porsche launched 911, 1964, Porsche 356 production peaked at 14,151 cars. Still, the company continued to sell the 356C in North America through the end of 1965 as a lower-cost vehicle. When the customers complained the price for 911 was too high (almost twice the price of the 356), Porsche started producing the 912, using the 356 engine. The 912model was sold between 1965 and 1969. 56 years after the beginning of the production, Sports Car International named 356C number ten on the list of Top Sports cars of the 60's. Today, the 356 is a respected car among the collectors, as it stood the test of time. Worldwide, thousands of 356 owners maintain the tradition, preserving their cars and driving them regularly. Porsche 550 Spyder In 1953, Porsche needed a race car more powerful than the 356. So they created the 550. This was the first true competition car from Porsche. It was lightweight, it had two seats, aluminum body, tubular frame and an open top. They were racing only with Volkswagen. The initial pair of 550 dominated their class at Le Mans finishing one-two in the 1500cc division. Then, one of the two cars won its category in the famed Pan Americana Mexican road race. Subsequent 550's carried on what the initial 550's had started. They were fitted with the four-cam Carrera flat four cylinders. They soon became dominant cars world wide. During races, it was fast and easily maneuvered so no other car stand a chance. But people loved it purchasing every one of these quick little cars they could find. In 1956, Porsche started to produce the 550A, a slightly modified Spyder. It was a hit, shocking the entire world by winning in its first Appearance in Targa Florio, a brutal road race. It also humbled well-known and more powerful rivals such as Ferrari, Maseratti and Jaguar. In the next five years it won almost all the races in which it competed. It became a car that attracted more attention for its occasional losses than for the nearly non-stop victories. Porsche Turbo 1975 - now In 1975 Porsche introduced the first Turbo. The engineers experienced this new engine and Chairman Ernst Fuhrman decided that they could use a turbo on a production car. The first prototype was displayed at several European shows in 1973. In 1974, "911 Turbo" went on sale and at the time it had a 3.0 liter 260 bhp engine. The new Porsche was full of luxury. The standard Turbo had air-conditioning, electric windows, tinted glass, headlamp washers, a leather interior and Bilstein shocks. Originally, it was supposed to be a limited edition, with only 500 models to be sold. However, the demand was so high that more than 1000 cars were sold. It was now clear that Turbo would have a secure future. What attracted so many customers was its huge rear wing, widened wheel and big tires. This great look combined with the powerful engine made the Turbo look faster than any other 911. In 1978, the model was improved by the increase of the engine capacity to 3.3 liter and some other modifications. Now the engine produced 40 bhp more. The rear wing was also revised: the two separate grilles were replaced by one larger smooth surface, placed a little higher in order to make room for an intercooler. In 1979 though, the Turbo was withdrawn from US and Japan, as a response to the second energy crunch. In 1986, Turbo became again available in the US. This was the first year Porsche used flares that were created in the stamping - process of the fenders. In 1992 Porsche showed the Turbo S at Geneva's Motorshow. It's engine delivered 381 bhp. The car weighted 120 kg less then the standard Turbo and this helped making Turbo S really fast. There were built only 80 Turbo S. In 1993, the engine capacity was increased again, now reaching 3.6 liter. It was easily recognized by the Turbo 3.6 badge. Also, there was a 93 Turbo 3.6 based 911 Turbo S built. In 1996 Porsche launched yet another Turbo, based on the 993 series. Its engine produced 408 bhp, featuring a six-speed gearbox and four-wheel drive. It looked more elegant thanks to the less evocative rear-wing. The wheels are 18 inch in diameter. It saves 20% of the weight because the five spokes are hollow. The front wing has air-ducts that lead extra cooling air to the brakes, making them more powerful than before. They can stop the Turbo from 100 hm/h in 2.6 seconds and from 200km/h in just 5 seconds, increasing car's safety. Porsche has recently introduced the 996 Turbo. The styling is different from the previous Turbo models. Its aerodynamics are improved, making it much faster than the 993 Turbo. It gets to 100 km/h in only 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 305 km/h. The new Turbo has a few details that make it easy to recognize: bi-xenon headlights, air intakes behind the doors and a movable rear-spoiler. Porsche 911 highlights The 2005 Porsche 911 redesigned rear-wheel-drive models. The models are available as coupes and convertible Cabriolets. They all have a rear-mounted, horizontally opposed 6-cyl engine. The redesigned Porsche 911 has subtly altered styling and dimensions and changed the interior. There are two types of 911: The Carrera, with a 325-hp 3.6 liter engine and The Carrera S, with 355-hp 3.8 liter. The 6-speed manual transmission is standard to all 911s. Optional, we can choose the 5-speed automatic with manual shift gate and steering-wheel controls. Standard, the 911s have antilock 4-wheel disc brakes, antiskid/traction control and front side airbags. The redesigned Careras include side airbags in the windowsills for head protection. In the convertibles models, we find a power top and heated glass rear window. A suspension with lowered ride height and shock absorbers are standard on the Carrera S and optional on the Carrera. This system helps adjusting firmness within driver selectable Normal and Sport models. All other Porsche models have 18 inch wheels, but the Carrera S has 19s. An option for the Carrera is a Sport Chrono Package. It includes a dashboard-mounted stopwatch and it allows altering various engine and chassis controls in order to improve driving performance. All 911s offer a navigation system. Porsche 911 Turbo In 2006, Dr. Ing. H.c. Porsche will extend it's current product line with the addition of a new 911 Turbo, the sixth generation of the 911 series. This top-of-the-range model will have its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on February 28, 2006 and as from June 24, 2006 it will be available in German dealerships. The 911 Turbo (type 997) has a few improvements. It has an output of 480 bhp at 6,000 rpm, a 3.6 litre engine, a rated torque of 620 Nm and a maximum torque available between 1,950 and 5,000 rpm. All these numbers are translated into driving performance, as the 911 Turbo with six-speed manual transmission only needs 3.9 seconds to get from zero to 100 km/h. The coupe reaches 200 km/h in 12.8 seconds. Despite these performance statistics, Porsche developers succeeded to keep the average consumption to 12.8 liters per100 km. For those who need even more speed, the 911 Turbo offers the optionally Tiptronic S automatic transmission. This way, it can reach 100 km/h from a standing start in just 3.7 seconds and 200 km/h in a mere 12.2 seconds. Both manual and automatic transmissions have a top speed of 310 km/k. Available for the first time, the optional "Sport Chrono Package Turbo" enhances the vehicle's flexibility even further. The Porsche 911 Turbo features a redesigned all-wheel drive with an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch. The result will be the transfer of the available power to the road. That's because, depending on the driving conditions, this system will determine the optimal torque distribution to ensure the best-possible drive. Also, Porsche Traction Management (PTM) ensures variable power distribution to the two driven axles. This means that on the road the 911Turbo will prove outstanding traction in the rain or snow, high agility on narrow country roads and optimal active safety even at high speeds. The new 911 Turbo's driving performance is duly tempered by its brake system, which comprises monobloc fixed-caliper disc brakes with six pistons at the front axle and four at the rear. The diameter of the internally ventilated and perforated brake discs at the front and rear wheels is 350 millimeters. An optimized ceramic brake system that Porsche offers is Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB). This high-tech system reduces with 17 kilograms the standard brake system and provides an excellent fading stability. The major bodywork change of the 911 Turbo is the modified front end with its distinctive, tautly drawn cooling air inlets. Combined with the standard oval bi-xenon headlights, it will define the new unmistakable image. From the rear perspective too, the Turbo will seem more powerful. This is due first and foremost to its tail end, 22 millimeters wider than that of the previous model, to which the redesigned wing spoiler element has been aligned. Secondly, the lateral air inlets behind the doors have been redrawn and now they offer a more efficient supply of cooling air to the charge-air intercoolers. The basic price for the 911 Turbo is 115,000 Euros. In the USA, from July 8, 2006, the vehicle will be available at $122,000 (not including taxes). Porsche 914 Introduced in September 1969, the Porsche 914 was a sporty, mid-engined two-seater with a targa top and a 4 cylinder boxer engine. The idea for this new model came up as Volkswagen and Porsche collaborated to create a new car. VW would take 914 bodies and finish them as 914/4s, and Porsche would take their portion of the body shells, and build 914/6s. When sold in North America, however, all 914s would be considered Porsches. Porsche 914 is not like other Porsches. It has pop-up headlamps, a vertical rear windshield, and a flat deck lid covering the rear trunk and engine. It has no backseats so when you sit down, you are practically on the floor, which is on the road. The interior of the 914 is quite simple, not luxurious but with all necessities. There's not too much space other than the passenger seat. The transmission is like the 928's with 1st down and to the left. The 914 has a targa top, and like 911's, it stores in the trunk. But if you take off the top and roll down the windows, the Porsche 914 is a pretty nice little roadster. Porsche 968 Porsche 968 is basically the successor of the Porsche 944. It has a low nose and wide wheel arches that helps accentuating the beautiful lines of this classic shape that in a Porsche Guards Red is a real head turner. It has also the classic GT front engine, rear wheel drive layout with the added advantage of a rear transaxle giving almost perfect weight distribution. Instead of the hidden headlights of the 944, the 968 has visible pop up headlights, similar to the Porsche 928. This brings the look of the car inline with the new Porsche 997-911. This change has also a practical advantage: the headlights can be washed along with the rest of the car instead of having to pop them up to wash them. As for the interior, it remains the same as produced in the 944, keeping the famous "oval dash." The designers used the same robust materials which have given all Porsche owners many years of trouble free motoring. The exterior has a few differences: the door mirrors have been streamlined with the tear drop effect and the wheels have 5 spoke Cup design alloys. The rear bumper is more blended and with integral rear light clusters, making it almost indistinguishable from the bodywork. All these bodywork changes made the 968 look a lot like the 928, and added the engine heritage, some people have referred to it as "the daughter of 928." The engine is a version of the one first used on the 944 S2: it is a 4 cylinder, 3 liter, 16 valve unit. And they added VarioCam for optimum power throughout the speed range. It has 240 HP at 6200 rpm and a torque of 305 Nm at 4100 rpm, given by the improved combustion chamber and inlet manifold design. At the time of production, it was a remarkable engine, having the highest displacement per cylinder of any car engine and also the highest torque output of any unblown 3 liter engine. Clearly, the result of Porsches investment in this engine paid off. The rear-mounted gearbox is a 6-speed manual or 4 speed tiptronic. It is the first ever mounted on a production car. The chassis has almost perfect weight distribution and very stiff characteristics. Usually, most cars start to fail when it comes to breaks and the reason is that it doesn't matter how fast the car is in a straight line if you can't take a bend (turn) at the right safe speed. But Porsche brakes have always been the envy of most road sports car manufacturers. You will notice little or no or no discernable fatigue even under harsh use of Porsche 968. ABS adds even more safety to the already excellent braking system. Also, what makes the brakes so effective is that the wheels themselves are designed to prevent the tire from coming off the rim in the event of a sudden pressure loss. Porsche 977 bodyshell A new Porsche 911 is always fascinating because it's interesting to see how after more than 40 years of development the Porsche team still manages to bring changes and improvements to this icon model. The new 997 bodyshell combines the sleek modern looks of the 996 series with the popular retro styling cues from older 911s. The front end is completed with round lights and separate parking/fog/indicator lights. This change, combined with wider hips echoes the last of the air-cooled 911s, the 993. Other changes in the bodyshell are the new door handles, wing mirrors and the stylish cut of the rear wings into the bumper/lights. Even if the 997 looks a lot like the previous model, the 996, the new car is actually 38mm wider which creates a more aggressive appearance. With each new model introduced, Porsche has aimed to reduce the drag co-efficient helping the 911 slide through the air more effectively, and so aiding performance. The same thing has been done with the new car, and if we compare the 993 Cd of 0.34 to the 997's 0.28 we can see how far the aerodynamic game has moved on. The latest body shell and rear wing combine with new underbody paneling to also offer increased levels of down force for this latest evolution of Porsche's finest. The latest Porsche model is the best handling 911 ever. Improving a car's rigidity helps ensure the suspension can work more effectively and while not making such a quantum leap as the team did with the 996. Porsche i mproved torsional rigidity by 8% and added as much as 40% more flexural strength. For the new car, Porsche wanted to improve crash safety so they added two new air bags located in the side of each front seat back-rest, designed to protect the thorax. They kept the previous two front and two side airbags, which means that now there are six in total. For the same reason, crash safety, the reinforced body shell features further protection such as a more extensive use of super high strength steel. The latest model is also 50 kg heavier than the 996. The reason is that modern crash safety regulations kind of force the new cars to come with increased weight, despite the usage of a large range of weight saving measures, including an aluminum bonnet. Aside from the crash safety improvements, much of the additional weight can be attributed to the higher standard specification of the new cars. Power to weight is similar with the latest car offering 233 bhp per tone against it's predecessors 238 and the new models improved aerodynamics must help it post Porsches claimed performance figures, which are identical to the 996.
2005 Porsche Carrera GT Unofficially, the Porsche Carrera GT is a racecar, a racecar built for the street. What makes it a racecar is not necessarily the huge power produced by its V10 engine or the carbon fiber construction that keeps everything very lightweight - although these features surely make it a fast car. It's more the sum of its parts that make this car worth every bit of its $440,000 price tag. The Porsche Carrera GT was introduced as a 2004 model and until 2005 there were already a few changes in order to make the Carrera GT the new Porsche super car. These were minor updates in order to make it a little more street friendly. Between the supplemental bar hoops is now mounted a glass screen. The seats height is adjusted along with the additional bolstering in the thigh area. The Carrera GT is easy recognizable, as it's a low, sleek, lightweight roadster, very beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside. Two removable panels that can be stored in the front trunk make the foul weather protection available. The car has unique features, among which are: 5.7 liter, 605 horsepower V10 engine, monocoque chassis with Porsche-patented engine and transmission mounts made of carbon-reinforced plastic and the first use of a ceramic composite clutch in a production car. A very important aspect is that The Carrera is safe and stable at speeds up to 205 mph, thanks to its aerodynamic and race-bred suspension package. The design of the suspension is so sophisticated that the shape of its components improves the Carrera GT's aerodynamics. The designers used lightweight materials such as magnesium for the car's substantial wheels and the frames of its special sport seats, the result being a faster and safer car. To prove so, The Carrera GT accelerates from a standing start to 62 mph (100km/h) in only 3.9 seconds reaches 100 mph (160 km/h) in less than seven seconds, 125 mph (200 km/h) in less than 10 seconds, and can achieve a top test-track speed of 205 mph (330 km/h). What makes this car have these impressive results is it's 5.5 liter, normally aspirated V10 engine for racing created in the development center in Weissach, Germany. That engine's bores have been enlarged to displace 5.7 liters in the Carrera GT. It has a very low center of gravity, a 68-degree V angle and four valves-per-cylinder heads. Since the block, crankshaft and camshafts are all made of light alloys, the engine weights only 472 pounds (214 kg). To stop this "monster" Porsche's team used a high-tech braking system. Developed for demanding motorsports applications, ceramic brakes are the first to work for on-road use. The massive 15 inch ventilated discs and six-piston calipers have the amazing capacity of bringing the car to a sure and safe stop, matched only by the stunning acceleration of Carrera GT. Porsche Carrera GT is definitely a exotic appearance, a car that can do it all: fascinate you with its good looks, astound you with its performance and abilities on the race track. Porsche Panamera In 2009 is set to be laun ched a four-door, four-seat coupe, called Porsche Panamera. The car, powered by a modified version of the 4.5 L V8 found in the Cayenne, equipped with the FSI system will be front engined and rear wheel drive. Although it is extremely unlikely, rumors is that an option for the Panamera will be the V10 engine from Porsche's limited-run Carrera GT supercar. Porsche Panamera will be produced in the new plant at Leipzig alongside the Cayenne. It is the first V8-engined sports car built by Porsche since 1995, when the 928 was discontinued and some consider it a suitable successor to the two-doored 928. The company built the new model as a direct competitor to the Mercedes-Benz CLS 55 AMG and Maserati Quattroporte and (to a lesser degree) a less expensive alternative to expensive vehicles such the, Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, Bentley Continental GT and Aston Martin Rapide. Like Porsche Carrera's name, the Panamera's derives from the Carrera Panamerican race. Before it, there were other four-door sedans prototypes, such as the 1991 Porsche 989 prototype or the even earlier 4 door prototype based on the 911, but they never went into production. Porsche Cayenne Twenty years ago, the idea of a Porsche sport utility vehicle would have seemed absurd. And the reason is not that it lacks experience with off-road cars since their engineering have developed all-wheel-drive military vehicles. It's more that, compared to General Motors, Toyota or Daimler-Chrysler, the automotive giants, Porsche represents a tiny fraction of the production volume. For 50 years, the company has produced quick, nimble, small sports car, or in other words, the opposite of the SUV's. When Porsche decided to invest in an SUV and a new factory to build it, it became clear the times, as well as our taste, have changed. And now, after creating the most anticipated new Porsche in decades, the company is proud that its SUV is what many expected it would be: technically slick and remarkably fast, with on-road handling that belies its bulk. Also, the Cayenne delivers what most SUV buyers demand, including decent cargo space, more than enough capability for casual off-road use, and impressive towing capacity. When it comes to pricing, Cayenne is a true Porsche. A very expensive Porsche. With tax and license, a loaded Cayenne Turbo can crack the $100,000 barrier, and that alone will knock it off most shopping lists. But for the connoisseurs, the Porsche Cayenne will be truly appreciated for its performance and driving satisfaction. Porsche Cayenne - the engine With every new automobile, Porsche tried to redefine the meaning of performance, by creating a more powerful engine. Cayenne Turbo makes no exception to this rule. Like all Porsche engine, it is hand assembled and the twin turbo V8 rises to an exacting level of technical excellence. Motronic ME7.1.1 is a system that controls the split-second precision of the Cayenne V8 and V6 super engine. This new highly intelligent engine management system balances impressive power with great smoothness. All this to prove that Cayenne's "brain" matches its brawn. The Motronic system is built to monitor a wide range of sensors and engine components. It compares streams of data with corresponding sets of reference values, all this in a speed of milliseconds. Then, if it finds any differences, the system adjusts key engine functions, such as the ignition of fuel injection, based on this comparison. Into Motronic management are included other key systems, such as onboard diagnostics and cylinder-specific knock control, with automatic adaptation to any change in fuel quality. All this for optimal performance in all driving conditions. This process is seamless and automatic so the engine has a great level of power and torque. Also, another great result is better fuel economy and lower emissions in the exhaust stream. Another function of the Motronic system is the managing of air flowing into the engine to ensure maximum levels of performance. It does that by regulating boost pressure on the Cayenne Turbo. The Cayenne model includes another system, the resonance induction system with a variable-length intake manifold. This is also an inventive engineering concept that uses pressure waves created by the inlet valves. It does this to increase the density of the incoming air, which, in the end, will increase the amount of energy released during combustion. There are two intake tubes, and depending on the speed, the system will select one of them. The longer tube is used at lower speeds in order to maximize low-end torque. At around 4250 rpm, it switches to shorter Intake tube so that it maximizes power output with a more eager throttle response. The Porsche Cayenne engineers wanted to improve combustion for more power, better fuel economy, reduced emissions and less maintenance. To do so, they created a static high-voltage ignition system with separate ignition coils on each individual spark plug. This is an advanced method that allows a longer spark-plug life. The sequential fuel injection system is equally advanced. A returnless fuel supply system serves each injector in order to continuously adjust the precise air/fuel mix. The result is of course a better environment, because it controls the emissions. Porsche Cayenne - the interior Porsche offers three versions of the four-door Cayenne: the Cayenne, The Cayenne S and the Cayenne Turbo. The standard models of the Cayenne and Cayenne S come with features such as: 18-inch alloy wheels, stability control given by the Porsche Stability Management, leather seating, power seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 350-watt, 15-speaker Bose audio system. Since it's a true Porsche, Cayenne's ignition switch is on the dash's left side. The gauge cluster is nearly perfect but the climate and radio controls are indecipherable cluster of buttons and knobs. The good thing is that the satellite steering wheel controls are standard which means that they will be easier to find. The Turbo model comes not only with additional power but also with more technical and luxury features. Among those we enumerate: an adaptive suspension with automatic ride height and damping adjustment (Porsche Active Suspension Management), bi-HID headlights, a CD-based navigation system, heated seats front and rear, seat memory, sonar front/rear parking assist and power adjustment for the steering wheel. But the options the Cayenne offers are meant to increase functionality and personality. These options are: four-zone climate control, bolstered sport seats, various wheel/tire upgrades and trailering preparation. With a maximum cargo capacity of 63 cubic feet, the Cayenne has slightly more capacity than the Range Rover but less than the Infiniti FX45. Porsche Cayman In comparison of the engine, The Porsche Cayman is positioned between the Boxster and 911. Still, it has its own different personality. It is snappier, easier, and not burdened by heavy weight hanging out the back and the need to manage the effect of that weight. The Cayman is strictly a two-seater because the engine sits where the rear seats would otherwise be. This means that the engine is not quite readily accessible, although there's a way into the oil filler via the boot. Under that long tailgate, is revealed a generous luggage area to supplement the front 911/Boxster-sized boot. Like all other Porsche, the Cayman is not very big, which makes it very practical and usable. And for all its obvious Boxster genes, the Cayman is very much its own car with its curvaceous rear wings and neat fastback roof. As with other Porsches, there's a movable rear spoiler, which deploys above 120km/h. Going back to were we started, the engine, the Cayman has 3.4 litres, a mix of the cylinder barrels of a 911 with the crankshaft of a Boxster. A 911 engine is of 3.6 or 3.8 liters and a Boxster S has a 3.2-litre engine. It's a strange thing, but even though today's Porsche engines are water-cooled, they still overlay their intake and exhaust notes with a breathy whine like that of the giant air-cooling fans of old. Basically, the Cayman is a mix and it doesn't have a huge number of new and unique parts. In short, the Cayman is a structure two and a half times stiffer because it's just a Boxster with a roof. In turn, that means that the driving experience becomes much more focused because its suspension can have tauter, sportier setting. Porsche Cayman reaches a maximum speed of 275 km/h and gets from zero to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds, even if the fuel thirst is low for such pace. The Cayman is especially good with the optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), but unlike a 911, it works well enough without it, thanks to a ride that's firm but seldom turbulent. PASM makes the Cayman sit 10mm lower, and in its Sport mode it tautens the damping. And it feels absolutely fantastic when you have the Chrono option (complete with stopwatch for timing your hot laps). Bottom line, Porsche Cayman is a remarkable illustration of a rigid, solid-roofed bodyshell's advantages. The Cayman S has all the positive Porsche attributes you could want, and none of the snags. It's not the fastest Porsche, not the fiercest, not the most breathtaking. It is a pooling of other Porsche parts, which means that the Cayman is not expensive to develop but it will generate big profits. The new car, by the way, takes its name not from a tax-haven archipelago, but from a type of crocodile. Porsche Boxter The Porsche Boxster and Boxster S are fast, powerful cars and most of all the best-handling production roadsters on the planet. Introduced in 1996, it remained essentially unchanged, other than moderate horsepower and interior- options tweaks. That's what Porsche usually does with the successful models: it retains car look and configuration for ages. A more powerful second-generation Boxster was introduced in 2005 and it keeps Porsche's conservative evolutionary path. Like its precedent, it is a mid-engine, six-cylinder two-seater that looks like Porsche Spyder. Still, over half of Boxster's structure and electronics are borrowed from the 911 Carrera. The 2005 Boxster looks sprightlier than its 2004 equivalent, thanks to the revision of the torque and the 15 added hp and the extra power coming on strongly between 2000rpm and 4000 rpm. The 2005 Boxster S virtually equals the acceleration and top-speed performance of Porsche's expensive 911 Carrera. The Boxster exhaust has been tuned to play a distinctive tromboning wail like no other car. This is a amazing thing thinking that both engines are smaller versions of the six-cylinder in the Carrera. The transmission for base Boxters is five-speed manual but the optional variant offers a six-speed. Both models can also be fitted with a five-speed Tiptronic, the superb Porsche-designed automatic transmission that began the trend toward manually shifted automatics. The bodywork and the interior of the Boxster are of high quality, but considering that there's noting tricky or purely decorative, we can definitely say that these are not opulent cars. Still, the interior has been improved since the old car was often criticized for being to cheap-looking. The center console has been upgraded with revised switch-gear and titanium look paneling. The seats are more supportive and body-shaped in the new version, making them look absolutely superb. Unlike other roadsters, the Boxster has no problem swallowing luggage for a long trip: it has two trunks, a small one in the rear and an amply deep one under the front hood. One of The Boxster's best qualities is the powered convertible top, very quick to retract or re-erect. In the new Boxster, the top can be operated at speeds up to 30 mph. The triple-layer padded cloth tops (with a heated-glass rear window) is as weather-tight and quiet as most metal roofs. The Boxster is called a mid engine-car. The reason is that the sweet six- cylinder engine is mounted behind the seats, just fore of the rear axle. So if you wand to see what's under the hood once in while, well: you can't do that with The Boxster. The only way to see the engine is from underneath or by meticulously removing body panels, which mechanics must do to service the engine. But, the good news is that having the engine mounted closer to the center of the car makes for better weight distribution. And that's what makes the car handle so well. Porsche Boxter built in Valmet In 1998, Porsche realized that if they wanted to sell more Boxsters, they needed to produce more cars. To do so, they contracted with a plant in Finland called Valmet because the plant in Zuffenhausen couldn't handle the increased production. The initial plan was for Boxster to be produced in Finland for only two years. Everybody thought that by that time the demand in Zuffenhausen would decrease so that plant could handle all production. But the Boxster demand remains high, and so does the one for 996, so against all expectations the plant will remain busy for the foreseeable future. Zuffenhausen can assemble 30,000 cars per year, so the only way the Boxster would be moved entirely to Finland is if Porsche could sell the better part of that many 996s. In the short term, that isn't likely to happen though. Most of the cars destined for North America are built in Valmet. Now it became impossible to specify where a car was built. Even ordering Tourist Delivery doesn't force a Stuttgart build. Apparently some cars are shipped from Finland to Stuttgart for Tourist Delivery. Porsche - floor mats Floor mats are probably not the first thing you are thinking when you buy a new Porsche. Yes, you think more about the Boxster engine and the acceleration and the bodyshell color, but unless you're going to hand your keys to the butler every night, Porsche floor mats are an essential purchase. We are talking about Porsche floor mats. The floor mats are important for every car and even more when you are thinking about a Porsche. After all, they will cover some extremely expensive carpet. The combination of high quality and good looks that will complement the interior of your car, no matter what floor mats you choose. You will be driving a car worth a hundred grand and you won't want your Porsche 911 floor mat, Porsche Boxster floor mat, or other Porsche floor mat on the carpet look like it came from the dollar store. You can find protective and attractive high-end floor mats for year-round use in fair climates, and also heavy-duty rubber floor mats if you use your Porsche to trek through deep winter locales. Porsche - checking fluids In order to avoid big, expensive problems, you should check under the hood of your Porsche on a regular basis. By following these simple monthly checks you will find and solve these potential problems. First of all, you should check the oil, but only when the engine is warm. That's because it expands when it's hot and contracts when it's cold; different temperatures will give you different readings. And since you're already checking the fluids you should also check the brake fluid. It's easy to do and only takes a minute. Radiator fluid, or coolant, is the most important part of your Porsche's cooling system, which protects your engine from overheating. Low coolant can lead to a breakdown and expensive repairs. Before checking the power steering fluid (which is also easy on most cars) you should see if you have it. Try to parallel park with one hand and eat an ice cream cone with the other. If you can do that, then you have it. If you have an automatic transmission, you'll want to check the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) every month. Also, if your Porsche has a hydraulic clutch that connects the clutch pedal to the transmission, you should check that fluid too. "Porsche Approved" When a pre-owned Porsche meets the high quality standards set by the brand, it will receive the name "Porsche Approved." So if you want a Porsche but you can't afford a brand new one, a Approved vehicle is your best choice since you can be sure that it will meet your expectations. But what is the difference between a Porsche Approved certified vehicle from a conventional pre-owned vehicle? First of all, the Porsche Approved cars are inspected by factory trained technicians and if they find any faults, repairs are carried out in line with the strict Porsche quality criteria. Secondly, every Porsche Approved vehicle comes with a comprehensive Warranty: - If sold while under the new car warranty, Coverage is up to 6 years or 100,000m/160,000km total, whichever comes first - If sold once the new vehicle warranty has expired, Coverage is 2 years from the date of sale or up to 100,000m/160,000km, whichever comes first. And last but not least, you will get membership in Porsche Road Assistance that offers exclusive support server & security. The result of owing a Porsche Approved is that you will enjoy driving a safe, quality value which really cannot be described as a pre-owned vehicle. Porsche and Formula One When Porsche entered into races, Porsche astonished the world with its performances. But participation in Formula One races brought mixed results. In the 1961-1962 season, Porsche participated as a constructor but produced just one win in a championship race, claimed by Dan Gurney at the 1962 French Grand Prix. In a non-championship race, one week later Stuttgart's Solitude it repeated the success. At the end of the season, Porsche retired from F1 due to the high costs. In 1983, Porsche returned to Formula One, supplying engines badged as TAG units for the McLaren Team. It was a success as the Porsche-powered cars won two constructor championships in 1984 and 1985 and three driver crowns in 1984, 1985 and 1986. Less than ten years later, in 1991, Porsche returned as a engine supplier, but this time the results were disastrous: Footwork, the Porsche-powered cars, didn't score a single point and at over half of the races it even failed to qualify. Since that year, Porsche has not participated to Formula One. Still, lightly-modified Porsches participate in many competitions around the world, mostly in amateur classes for enthusiasts. The only professional category is the Porsche Michelin Supercup raced as a support category for European Formula One rounds. Porsche vs Ferrari Porsche and Ferrari are German and Italian sides of the same coin, interpretations of the sports car idea. Both founded by a dominant patriarch, both honed in racing, both more than 50 years old, both with engineering and styling integrity. Whether on the track of Le Mains or on the streets, the two have always been put head-to-head and compared. Even the most naive motorist associates these two names with both performance and style. We've decided to compare the methodical Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and the passionate Ferrari F430 because both of them astonish with their performance while attempting to maintain a reasonable amount of practicality but do not pretend to be anything other than sports cars. A modern sports car should feature these characteristics: it should be started easily, maneuvered around town, blasted on a couple of country roads, it looks and performs the part on a racetrack but at the same time it is very safe. The easier way to separate the two cars is by measuring figures since both of them have mastered the modern sports car requirements and basically there's no other way to choose between these two phenomenal cars. What initially impresses is Ferrari's lightning fast 4-second 0-100km/h acceleration and thrilling exhaust tone. As the occupants are pinned to the seats, the new generation 4.3-litre V8 pushes out 368 snarling kilowatts. Porsche's acceleration also offers that kick in the pants a super car should deliver, although it is 0.8 seconds slower at the 100 km/k mark. With such acceleration performance, it comes natural for both cars to excel in the braking department. The two cars offer optional ceramic discs for impressive stopping. Porsche's engine gets the upper hand as it is more refined and on the economy rank leaps ahead Ferrari with a 11.8 liters per 100 km as opposed to 18.3 liters. Both cars deliver the power through impressive 6-speed gearboxes and offer top rate handling performance. Both F430 and Carrera4S offer great interior comfort and even if the space is limited, the occupants don't feel claustrophobic and flustered. Although an impressive mix of suede, carbon fiber and aluminum abound in the Ferrari, the Italians stand no chance when it comes to the high finish level attained by the Germans. Speed and silence are key elements for any super car. The look and appearance is the biggest draw card. The Carrera 4S is a typical Porsche, despite the new proportions. It is a great looking car, like any other 911 but somehow the styling no longer creates the jaw dropping reaction that the Ferrari does. Indeed, traditionalists may say that Porsche pays homage to its roots, but the truth is that Ferrari F430 simply draws the attention. However, even if Ferrari F430 takes your breath away with its appearance, the super car title goes to the Porsche Carrera 4S with a more complete all round package.
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