By Autobahn Adventures on 07.21.2014
Porsche has revealed a special edition which celebrates 40 years of the 911 Turbo. Essentially a mobile advert for Porsche’s ‘Exclusive’ personalisation scheme, the 911 Turbo S Exclusive GB Edition plays host to an array of aesthetic additions.
The 552bhp, four-wheel-drive underpinnings of the Turbo S remain untouched, with all of the special edition’s changes affecting the interior and exterior.
There are plenty of gloss black features – 20in Sport Classic alloy wheels, rear spoiler, wing mirrors – while Porsche decals run down the doors. The interior has plenty of contrasting red courtesy of the stitching, seatbelts and floor mats, while the Porsche badge is embossed on the head restraints and, rather more unusually, the Union Jack flag is embossed on the storage bin.
Three colours are available – white, silver and classic Porsche hue Guards Red – while all GB Editions come with a photo book of their production process, an indoor car cover and what Porsche describes as ‘unique design sketches’.
A limited run of 40 will come to the UK, priced at £150,237 – around £9500 more than a standard 911 Turbo S. With a 197mph top speed and a claimed (though pessimistic) 3.1sec 0-60 time, the 991-generation S is among the fastest production cars in Porsche’s history.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 06.10.2014
Porsche introduces 911 Carrera S Martini Racing Edition to celebrate their return to Le Mans this weekend. It wears the Martini racing colors sported by legendary Porsche racers of the 1970s, such as the 917 and 935 “Moby Dick.” The red and blue stripes are complemented by either a black or white body color, and the car gets Porsche’s Aerokit Cup body kit for some added visual flair.The interior features body-color accents with “Martini Racing Edition” badging, as well as red illuminated stainless-steel sill panels. Standard equipment includes a sport-design steering wheel and the performance-enhancing Sport Chrono package; buyers can also specify the Porsche Communication Management package, which bundlesnavigation, a Bose sound system, black-faced tachometer, and black-leather sport seats.
Underneath the stripes, the Martini Racing Edition is mechanically identical to a normal 911 Carrera S. That means buyers get a 3.8-liter flat-six, with 400 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, available with either a seven-speed manual or PDK dual-clutch automated transmission. With the PDK and Sport Plus mode activated, the Martini Racing Edition will do 0 to 62 mph in 4.1 seconds, the same as a stock Carrera S.
The Martini Racing Edition will be limited to 80 units, and will launch in Europe this month. It will then be offered in China beginning in August, and Japan and Latin America beginning in October. So far, Porsche hasn’t discussed plans to offer the model in the U.S.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 05.23.2014
What better way to test drive the new 911 Carrera than on one of our incredible Luxury European Driving Tours. With the combination of high speed Autobahns and twisty Swiss alpine roads it is an experience you will not forget. It’s not too late to join us. Call Now !1 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 11.21.2013
Porsche is expanding its range to include a whole new class of vehicle. The Macan is the first Porsche model to break into the compact SUV segment and is poised to set new standards in the field of driving dynamics and enjoyment – on both pavement and off road trails. The Macan combines the typical handling characteristics that Porsche has represented right from the start: highly competitive acceleration and braking figures, impressive engine power, extreme agility and optimum steering precision. What’s more, all of these features are combined with a high level of comfort and everyday drivability.
Two models comprise the Macan product range at market launch. The Macan S is equipped with a 3.0 liter V6 twin turbo engine delivering 340 hp and features act ive all-wheel drive with an electronically controlled, multi-plate clutch. This all-wheel drive system is fitted on all Macan models. A seven-speed double-clutch transmission transfers power as required and almost without any interruption in tractive force, enabling the vehicle to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds (or 5.0 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package). The Macan S reaches a top track speed of 156 mph.1 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 08.22.2013
The completely-redeveloped fifth generation of the 911 GT3 occupies the top position among Porsche sports cars with naturally-aspirated engines. With an impressive lap time on the Nürburgring Nordschleife of under 7:30 minutes, the 2014 911 GT3 benefits from a new engine, transmission, body and chassis. The car now sprints from zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds on its way to a top track speed of 195 mph.
The powertrain of the new 911 GT3 is composed of a 3.8-liter boxer engine yielding 475 hp (125 hp/liter) featuring a 9,000 rpm redline and a specially developed Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) which drives the rear wheels. The six-cylinder engine is based on the same engine as the 911 Carrera S, although they share only a few common parts. All other components, particularly the crankshaft and valve gear, were specially adapted or designed for the GT3. For instance, Porsche designed titanium connecting rods and forged pistons for this engine.
The Porsche dual-clutch transmission in this application has been specially developed for the 911 GT3: the characteristics are based directly on a sequential gearbox from racing, thereby providing further performance and dynamic advantages to the driver. Highlights include shorter gear ratios with closer spacing, even faster shifting, and shift paddles with shorter travel and increased tactile feedback, which now allow the driver to place the PDK in neutral simply by pulling on both paddles at the same time.
For the first time, Porsche is employing active rear wheel steering to achieve even higher steering precision and improved lateral dynamics. Depending on the speed, the rear wheels steer in the same or opposite direction of the front wheels, improving stability and agility. Other new features that improve driving dynamics are an electronically controlled, fully variable rear differential lock and dynamic engine mounts. Contact with the road is made by new 20-inch, forged alloy wheels with center-locking hubs in place of conventional wheel bolts.
The 2014 911 GT3 will go on sale in the United States late in 2013 and will be priced from $130,400, not including a $950 destination charge.1 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 06.07.2013
Porsche is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 911 at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt with a special model based on the 911 Carrera S: like the original 911, the 911 50th Anniversary Edition is a coupé with a flat-six rear engine and rear wheel drive. Its efficient performance, active sport suspension – and special body have current relevancy: the anniversary 911 features the wide body, which is typically reserved for the all-wheel drive Carrera 4 models. This special edition will be limited to 1963 cars, a number that represents the year of the 911 world premiere.
Two unique colours are available for the anniversary 911, a darker graphite grey and a lighter geyser grey metallic. There are tributes to the original 911 in the interior as well: green labelling on the instruments with white pointer needles and silver caps on the instrument pivot pins, just like 50 years ago. Another special feature is the centre panels of the leather seats, which are designed with a fabric pattern reminiscent of the “Pepita” tartan design from the 1960s. The full-leather interior is designed in agate grey or black with decorative stitching, some in contrasting colour. The gear shift or selector lever – which matches the decorative panels on the dashboard, doors and centre console in brushed aluminium – comes from the Porsche Exclusive program.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 04.08.2013
For five decades, the 911 has been the heart of the Porsche brand. Few other automobiles in the world can look back on such a long tradition and with such genuine continuity as the Porsche 911. It has been inspiring car enthusiasts the world over since its debut as the Type 901 at the IAA International Automotive Show in September 1963. Today it is considered the quintessential sports car, the benchmark for all others. The 911 is also the central point of reference for all other Porsche series.
For Porsche, the 50th anniversary of this iconic sports car is the central theme of 2013. There will be a wide variety of anniversary events all over the world. The Porsche Museum is also celebrating “50 years of the Porsche 911” from June 4 – Sept. 29, 2013, with a special exhibition featuring the history and development of the 911.
The celebrations will culminate in September where Porsche will unveil a special limited 50th anniversary edition 911 at the place where it all started, the Frankfurt IAA automotive show.
Why not join us this year on our Luxury European Driving Tour to celebrate the 911’s birthday.?1 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 11.29.2012
Porsche AG is celebrating the world premiere of the new Cayman at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. The third generation of the Cayman has been completely redeveloped. It is lower and longer, lighter and faster, more efficient and more powerful than ever. A longer wheelbase, wider track and larger wheels enhance the driving performance of the mid-engine sports car to a level without equal in its competitive class. The new two-seater is – after the 911 Carrera and Boxster – the third sports car model line from Porsche to feature innovative lightweight body design. The new generation of the two-seat mid-engine sports car is debuting in two classic Porsche versions: the Cayman and the Cayman S. The base model is powered by a 2.7-liter flat six-cylinder engine with 275 hp (202 kW). It accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds, depending on the equipment, and reaches a top speed of 266 km/h.The 3.4-liter engine of the Cayman S produces 325 hp (239 kW); the best possible acceleration from a standstill to 100 km/h is 4.7 seconds with appropriate features.
The Cayman S can reach a top speed of 283 km/h. Porsche is also upgrading the Cayman with new optional features. For example, the sport coupé is now available with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) for the first time, which controls the distance to the car ahead in traffic and vehicle speed, as well as a specially developed Burmeister sound system. Another new feature for the Cayman is the keyless Entry & Drive system, which is available as an option. We will have the all new Cayman S available for our 2013 Luxury European Driving Tours if you would like to test drive one on the Autobahn. CALL NOW0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 08.27.2012
The new all-wheel drive 911 is being launched on the market in four versions – as the 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Carrera 4S and each as Coupé and Cabriolet. They sport the same traits as the rear-wheel drive versions: their lightweight body design, suspension, engines and gearboxes are identical, the only exception are modifications related to the all-wheel drive. This means that despite a higher level of engine and driving performance, all four models consume significantly less fuel than the previous models; total savings for individual versions are as much as 16 per cent. In addition, the new 911 Carrera 4 is up to 65 kg lighter in weight. The most distinctive feature of the 911 with all-wheel drive is still the wide rear section: compared to the two-wheel drive 911 Carrera models, the rear wheel housings each extend further outward by 22 mm, and the rear tyres are ten millimetres wider. The traditional red light band that connects the two taillights has also taken on a new form by being illuminated. What’s New: an all-wheel drive indicator, Porsche Active Safe, sliding glass sunroof as well as an extended Sport Chrono pack. In the new 911 Carrera 4, a new menu in the instrument cluster informs the driver how the PTM all-wheel drive is currently distributing engine power. In addition, with the debut of the 911 Carrera all-wheel drive models Porsche is introducing the optional Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) to the entire model range, which controls distance to traffic ahead and vehicle speed. Join us on one of our 2013 Luxury European Driving Tours to experience the new Carrera 4 and 4S models first hand.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 08.08.2012
The newly developed TechArt exterior design for the 2012 Carrera and Carrera S models is immediately noticeable because of its yellow paint job. The 991 Carrera S also receives a contrasting interior, which combines the exterior yellow color with the black interior. Underneath, all the changes, TechArt choose the Porsche 911 Carrera S with automatic PDK-transmission and Sport Chrono package as their basis for this car. On the outside, the main differences start of course with the wheels, which are combined with a newly designed front end consisting of a two-part TechArt front spoiler with an integrated splitter. In addition, two aero wings are integrated into the front air inlet vents. They provide the 991 with a more sportier look and a lower stance with respect to the road
At the rear, the looks have been enhanced with a fixed rear spoiler with a trailing edge and an integrated third brake light. The rear diffuser and side skirts on the wing of the vehicle complete the exterior range. Small touches are added in the form of subtle trim panels for the front headlights as well as side mirror panels.
The interior in this car has a combination of leather and alcantara color-matching the exterior look of the car. The stitching is combined with matt-painted interior components in the doors, on the dashboard and on the center console. The sports steering wheel is the only TechArt part fitted inside the cabin and offers integrated paddle shifters. We thinkTechArt has achieved its goal in upgrading the exterior and interior design of Porsche’s latest offering in the 911 range.
TechArt is one of our favourite places to visit when we are in Stuttgart. They are very accommodating and we always look forward to seeing their incredible craftsmanship. Join us on one of our upcoming tours to see for yourself !!0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 07.31.2012
Audi has made its R8 high-performance sports car even more attractive & dynamic, with a totally new 7-speed S tronic transmission. The LED headlights and the new rear tail lights with new technology are standard equipment on all R8 variants.
On the Audi R8 Spyder the lid on the soft top compartment and the side parts are CFRP. The elegant, lightweight fabric top, with its largely aluminum and magnesium linkage, is the crowning touch to the ultra-lightweight design. The top opens and closes electrohydraulically in 19 seconds, and during driving at up to 50 km/h (31.07 mph).
The V10 engine provides a torque of 530 Nm (390.91 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm, with 386 kW (525 hp) at 8,000 rpm. The R8 V10 Spyder with S tronic transmission completes the standard sprint to 60 km/h in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 311 km/h (193.25 mph)
If you would like to drive one of these incredible machines where they were meant to be driven – On the Autobahn, we are taking deposits for our 2013 Audi R8 Spyder Tour !!0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 07.19.2012
Porsches new halo car, the 918 Spyder has been spotted again testing in Germany at the famous Nürburgring, this time dressed up in a stunning Martini liveried white suit. The 918 Spyder will be billed mainly as a hybrid, powered by a 4.6 liter V8 with some 570 hp, a rear electric motor with some 120 hp and a front electric motor delivering some 110 hp. That means the 918 Spyder will deliver close 800 hp. With a price tag at around $850,000 USD, this will not be a car that you see at every corner. Porsche states that only 918 example will be built and will go into production at the end of September 2013 as planned, with the first customers receiving their vehicles before the end of 2013.
Porsche will be offering a “Race-Track” package for the 918, and while we aren’t sure if this is the test mule for that, it sure looks the part. The harder-core “Race Track” package will be an addition charge to the already lofty price of the 918, and come with a stripped-out, club-racer style interior, and get this – the option of no paint, yes you read that right – no paint. Who said less doesn’t cost more ? Porsche says the projected weight for the 918 Spyder is less than 1700kg. The weight saving of the track package is said to be around 30kg. Porsche is figuring about 20 percent of 918 customers are expected to tick this option box. Porsche is still sticking to the total production to consist of only 918 cars which is slated to commence on September 18th, 2013.
Join us on our 2013 Autobahn Adventure and be one of the first to see the Porsche 918 Spyder unveiled at next year’s Frankfurt Auto Show. We have limited spaces available. Contact us now !!0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 05.29.2012
To mark the 60th anniversary of the Porsche Clubs, Porsche has planned something very special. In honour of the 13 founding Porsche Club members and all Porsche Club members worldwide, Porsche Community Management has teamed up with Porsche Exclusive to create an exceptional vehicle: the 911 Club Coupe. The exterior colour is Brewster Green in tribute to the Porsche family colour and these custom-made vehicles are limited to 13.
With extensive custom equipment and a Carrera S Power kit engine upgrade to 316 kW (430 hp), a SportDesign package, 20-inch Sport Techno wheels painted in exterior color and lavish interior refinement, Porsche Exclusive has drawn on the full range of options it offers for ultimate personalization. The colour concept of the dark green exterior and Espresso natural leather interior with contrasting stitching in Luxor Beige references the unforgettable birthday presents given to Ferry Porsche, such as the long-wheelbase 928 S in Oak Green Metallic from 1984. The 911 Club Coupe’s exclusivity is underlined by the switch panel trim strip with logo which is crafted individually for each customer and illuminated door entry guards bearing the model designation and anniversary logo.
Only very few Club members will have the opportunity to acquire this exclusive 911 honouring the first Clubs. Porsche will retain one vehicle on behalf of Porsche Clubs worldwide.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 05.23.2012
Porsche’s hybrid 918 Spyder is a 770 bhp supercar that can top 320 km/h, accelerate from 0-100 km/h in under three seconds and lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in seven minutes 22 seconds. The carbon fiber 918 Spyder will hit showrooms before the end of 2013, with pricing beginning at US$850,000. It’s all standard fare for a supercar except for one small thing – its fuel consumption of 94 mpg. The latest update from Porsche, shown directly above, is all good news. Production scheduling for the 918 Spyder has not moved, and the latest incarnation of the 918 Spyder has more horsepower and drivability – not usually the direction things go for horsepower, looks and functionality when a car changes from concept to reality.
Indeed, it’s fair to say that the 918 Spyder has evolved and is evolving to become a better vehicle than the original. It seems that Porsche is at least partially using the limited edition Spyder as a sort of technology demonstrator with the full carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque, fully adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and the upward-venting “top pipes” exhaust system. The Spyder will make it’s world wide debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show. If you would like to be one of the first to see this amazing super car we are taking deposits now for our 2013 Luxury European Driving Tours and we have a limited number of spaces for the unveiling. Call now to reserve your spot !0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 04.08.2012
The Porsche 911 has been honoured as the “2012 World Performance Car” at the New York International Auto Show. The 911 won the award against strong competition. The choice was between 19 vehicles in all. A high-powered jury made up of 64 automotive journalists from 25 countries gave first place to the 911. The seventh generation of the sports car classic from Zuffenhausen celebrated its world premiere back in September 2011 at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt.
Matthias Müller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG said of the success of the Porsche 911: “The new 911 received its first award only a short time after it was launched in December 2011. Since then there have been many more. But this internationally important prize is certainly the high-water mark to date.”
The redesigned Porsche 911 generation delivers 350 hp as the Carrera and precisely 400 hp as the Carrera S. The 911 attains speeds of up to 304 km/h. The vehicle’s weight fell by as much as 40 kilograms and fuel consumption by as much as 16 per cent.
See why the new 911 received this award by driving it on one of our Luxury European Driving Tours this year.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 03.14.2012
The new 991 inspired RGT-8 made its debut at the 2012 Geneva Auto Salon and features the naturally aspirated V8 developed by RUF that produces 550hp.It is the first V8-powered Porsche 911 (991) in the world. The flexibility of the V8 engine delivers extraordinary performance and a sound track that only a high-revving, flat-crank V8 can produce. The V8 engine was inspired by racing technology and features hemispherically arranged valves, 180 degree flat crankshaft, dry sump lubrication and direct drive ancillaries eliminating all drive belts.The RGT 8 is available with only a six-speed manual transmission powering the rear wheels. The engine produces 550hp at 8,500rpm and maximum torque at 500Nm at 4,000rpm. The top speed is 318km/h.RUF is one of our favorite places to visit and is just one of the many great things you will experience on one of our Luxury European Driving Tours.2 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 02.08.2012
Porsche have released official photos of the all new 2013 Porsche Boxster S. Some of the major changes are listed below. A new 3.4 liter flat-6 engine with 315 bhp. All new interior with upgraded materials.Reduced overall curb weight.The front air intakes are also bigger and more aggressive.Expect the 2013 Porsche Boxster S to make its debut at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show. If you would like to drive the 2013 Boxster S on one of our Autobahn Adventures we can arrange that for you. Give us a call.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 12.13.2011
Looking for the right gift for the adventurous person that seems to already have it all? Give the gift of an Autobahn Adventure – Luxury European Driving Tour.
See what others have said:
“Touring Europe in the world’s premier cars is an event I will cherish forever. ” – Barry
“The cars are amazing, they respond wonderfully, turn and brake on a dime, and were very easy and comfortable to drive. Porche’s are incredible cars, I’ve never driven a car that responds so well! I felt like I was sixteen again and had total freedom!” – Marilyn
“Unforgettable, unbelievable, one of the best trips!!” – Ken
Space is limited so call us right away at (714) 964-0280.2 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 12.13.2011
With the New Year, brings a brand new all inclusive tour featuring the amazing 2012 Audi R8 Spyder.
We start with an exciting tour of the Audi Factory in Ingolstadt, Germany and see the entire process, from a piece of sheet metal all the way to the complete car rolling off the assembly line. Next up is world famous Oktoberfest in Munich. It’s something you really have to experience for yourself.
Once the R8 Spyders are delivered, we will leave Germany and wind our way through Austria to our final destination in Italy.
With the tour being in October, the weather will be perfect for top-down cruising through Tuscany where you will enjoy the picturesque countryside, rolling green hills and the windy Italian roads.
The ” Villa Le Maschere ” is our home for the next three days as we make multiple day trips from the hotel to explore some of the beautiful cities of Tuscany such as Siena and Florence.
After leaving Tuscany we have two more nights at the spectacular ” Lefay Resort & Spa ” overlooking Lake Garda.
As we head back, we will visit the Interalpen Hotel, a customer favorite, for lunch.
We only have 10 cars available so don’t miss this exciting adventure.
- All inclusive – The trip includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, gas and more.
- Driving the 525 HP V10 2012 Audi R8 Spyder
- Luxurious Hotels and Spas
- Oktoberfest in Munich
- Audi Factory Tour
- A luggage vehicle
- Tuscany in October means top down cruising all the time
Get more details about the Audi R8 Luxury European Driving Tour4 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 11.24.2011
Porsche is doubling the driving fun to be had from the new 911 Carrera by putting a Cabriolet alongside the Coupé. The debut of the new generation of the sports car classic is being followed only a few months later by the open-top models of the 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S. What the Coupé began with the new aluminum steel body, the Cabriolet continues with the all-new, unique hood. As a result, the typical 911 roof line is initially retained in its entirety. Intelligent lightweight design which includes the use of magnesium in the hood, ensures less weight and more sportiness, lower fuel consumption and greater comfort. With the open-top 911s Porsche has managed to reverse the weight spiral and make the new Cabriolet models significantly lighter than their predecessors.
Each of the two new Cabriolets have the same engine as their Carrera Coupé equivalent. The Cabriolets also have the PDK available as an optional extra, delivering even lower fuel consumption and shorter acceleration times. With the longer wheelbase, wider front track and the new electro-mechanical power steering, the new Cabriolets offer even sportier driving characteristics as well as greater precision and agility. Depending on model, there are other standard or optional active control systems available that further enhance the driving dynamics. The 911 Carrera Cabriolet will be launched here in Spring 2012.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 11.17.2011
Sure, the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S has sacrificed its traditional hydraulic steering, it’s longer than the car it replaces and it rides on 20-inch wheels. But this is still a 911 and it’s still capable of being both a blindingly fast track car and an everyday driver. Perhaps more so than ever before. When it comes to track use, look no further than the new 911’s 7-minute, 40-second lap of the Nurburgring, which is on par with the times posted by the 997 GT3 and Turbo models and 14 seconds quicker than the car it’s replacing. It turns, sticks and responds better than that car, too, but manages to also have more stability — traits which are — on the surface anyway — at odds with one another. That the new 911 is a massively capable driver’s car is not in question. And when it comes to real-world usability, well, there’s still ample ride comfort, more interior space, wildly adjustable seats and enhanced convenience technologies. It’s a better place to spend time than ever before.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 09.22.2011
The German automaker’s latest and greatest has taken to the Nürburgring where old marks have fallen hard. The 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S beat the time achieved by the prior 997 version by a whopping 13 seconds. With a time of 7:40, the 2012 911 matches the mark set by the previous 911 GT3.
The new time was set with a PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission and the new active Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control hydraulically activated anti-roll bar system – a different system to that used on the Panamera and Cayenne.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 08.19.2011
Here we go! The wait is over and thanks to leaks on the web we can present to you the 2013 Porsche 911.
The new 911 is a little longer than the current model, and you will have a choice of two new six-cylinder engines.
The base model Carrera will be powered by a 3.4-liter flat-six, which will be good for 350 horsepower. The Carrera S will be powered by a 3.8-liter flat-six, at 400 hp.
No matter which engine, you will choose between the all new 7 speed manual or optional PDK dual-clutch transmission.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 07.19.2011
Porsche engineers oversee hot weather testing and glamour shots of the all-new Porsche 911 in South Africa.
Can you wait to get your hands on one of these? Join us on an Autobahn Adventure next year to drive it where it was meant to be driven.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 07.02.2011
Do you know anyone who seriously thinks the current 911 needs replacing? Probably not. But Porsche thinks otherwise. The 2011 Porsche 911 will be replaced later this year by a car that’s as new as its looks are familiar.
We will know a lot more when we actually drive the car later in the year, but for now, after a day riding shotgun in the new 911 through the mountains of South Africa, it is safe to conclude that this is a 911 like no other we have seen to date.
What Has Porsche Done This Time?
The answer is to start again. You can argue that the changes that turn the 997 into the 991 are just as comprehensive and significant as those that ended the reign of the 993 in 1998. Sure, there is nothing quite so culturally shocking as the abandonment of air cooling for water radiators, but the overall transformation into the 991 is at least as significant.
Perhaps most fundamental is the way the new car is made. Roland Achleitner, the man in charge of reinventing the 911 says, “I am neither an aluminum nor a steel man — I am a correct materials man.”
His philosophy explains not only why the bulk of the 991 is now aluminum for lightness where once it was steel, but also why ultrahigh-strength steel has been retained for use in the major crash paths, particularly in the route over the A-pillars and around the passenger safety cell. Had it been built like the 997 the car would now be a minimum of 120 pounds heavier; in fact, it is lighter by a small but still significant (and undisclosed) amount.
But now, and for only the fourth time in 48 years, that wheelbase has been extended. By how much we can’t say, as our access to the car was made on the condition that we would keep certain details under wraps. We can say that the extra space between the wheels does more than merely provide more legroom in the back; it fundamentally affects the character of the car.
Drivetrain Remains Familiar
The engines are probably the least altered part of the car, but only because the direct-injection flat-6 (unrelated to all previous 911 engines) has only been in production since 2009. Even so, the 3.8-liter engine used in the “S” model gets a useful power gain to 400 horsepower, while the standard motor actually shrinks in size to 3.4 liters but offers 350 hp, 5 more than the old 3.6.
Achleitner freely admits that the steering of a 911 is ‘the most important thing to get right.’
Porsche won’t give 0-60-mph times yet, so we’ll guess. Figure the base car will get there in around 4.6 seconds and the S in 4.3 seconds, an improvement of 0.1 and 0.2 second respectively. Directing this power to the rear wheels alone (though all-wheel drive is naturally in the pipeline) is Porsche’s familiar PDK seven-speed gearbox. Nothing too surprising here, you might think.
That is until we realize that one of the cars charging east from South Africa’s Atlantic coast toward the Indian Ocean has a manual version of this transmission. And if you thought a stick-shift PDK was a contradiction in terms, you are not alone. But there it was, complete with three pedals and seven speeds. Porsche hasn’t actually said it’s going to use this gearbox in production cars, nor did it talk about any alternative, so read into that what you will.
Electric Steering Invades the 911
Not content with changing the way the 911 is built or extending its wheelbase, Porsche has not been afraid to meddle with the 911’s most precious possession, one even more key to the car’s character than its flat-6 engine. It has replaced the hydraulic power steering used by every 911 since assistance was introduced in 1989, with an electric system.
If this sounds like a minor, backstage detail, it’s not. We have yet to drive a car that’s been improved by electric steering, and driven plenty that have been ruined by it.
Moreover, Achleitner freely admits that the steering of a 911 is “the most important thing to get right.” He says that he spoke to a huge number of suppliers and that ZF got the job because its system is so good, “you would not be able to tell it is electric.”
So What’s It Like, Then?
There’s a huge sense of occasion when you step into a next-generation 911, even if it’s as moth-eaten as the two hard-worked prototypes pictured here. It is like going to see an all-new production of a much-loved movie: You know it will be bigger and technically more impressive, but there’s no guarantee the heart and soul of the original have been preserved.
The interior, such as we could see behind the camouflage, was good. But quality, ergonomic efficiency and visual presentation have all leapt forward. This is a cockpit with much more in common with the Panamera than any previous 911, and that can only be a good thing.
Sadly our pleas for even a quick drive fall on deaf ears. Even so, there is much we can discover, even without a steering wheel to handle. The engines are as sweet as ever and spin a couple of hundred rpm higher, to something very close to 8,000 rpm. Predictably the smaller engine needs more of these revs to really perform and greater use of the gears, but in a car such as this, many might think of that a bonus.
Despite a near identical output, the 3.8-liter unit is not in the same specification as it is in the Carrera GTS, but you’d need the two side by side to tell the difference. It is smooth and more responsive in the midrange than you’d credit an engine that, let’s not forget, is pumping out well over 100 hp per liter.
This is probably the right time to mention that both engines also produce substantial improvements in fuel consumption. The final figures are not yet in, but they’re likely to register a double-digit percentage gain.
Handling Feels Spot On
But as the 911s head up into the mountains, it is not the acceleration provided by those engines, or the near instantaneous shifts of the PDK box that most grab your attention. It is the chassis.
We’re in the 3.8-liter car and have asked Achleitner to drive as fast as he knows how, which, you’ll not be surprised to know, is really rather fast. What’s curious is the apparent disconnect between the way the car is attacking the mountain road and the complete lack of drama in the cabin.
Part of this is because both the driver and the electronic safety nets are both very good at their jobs, but so, too, does the 911 appear to have found a state of grace missing even from the 997. Once he comes steaming into a downhill left-hand corner, apparently too fast, forcing him to stand on the brakes as he turns into the curve, just as the camber of the road starts to drop away. It’s a situation that would have given even a 997 more work than it would have felt comfortable doing, but the 991 simply sheds all the necessary speed as if it had been braking on a flat, smooth and straight road.
What can be read into this? Clearly that Porsche’s goal of making the 911 more stable and secure than ever before has been realized. However good the driver and support systems, any car that can do what that car did is an exceptionally safe device. To be driven in this car and think its bloodline runs back to those twitchy, tricky devices of the mid-1960s is to see how very, very far the 911 has come in the last 45 years.
But still there remains something we don’t know, something we will not find out until Porsche allows us to swap seats and actually drive the 991. And that is the price that has been paid for this new found security. Until we can sit with the wheel in our hands and feel the response through our fingers, it’s hard to say how much is the car and how much is the driver.
We can say that we would be astounded if the 991 is anything other than a capable, effective and shockingly fast coupe, no matter the driver. We know from the quality of its ride and quietness in its cabin that it will be better over long distances than any other 911. Only one question remains: After all is said and done, will it also be regarded as a great 911? Only driving it can tell us that.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 06.27.2011
Something as simple as getting your car seat set up correctly can improve your posture, comfort and enjoyment behind the wheel. The Porsche Human Performance team, working with the Porsche Driving Consultants have identified a simple process to help optimise your seating position in any vehicle.0 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 06.15.2011
Father’s Day is almost here! This gift is the stuff dreams are made of – an experience of a lifetime. Autobahn Adventures offers several Porsche and BMW driving tours of Europe, each visiting multiple countries and attractions. Each new driving tour is unique, visiting different sites and locations. Autobahn Adventures is much more than an automobile tour of Europe, it is about an experience – a life-changing, rejuvenating, journey where you connect with like minded travel and auto enthusiasts. Whether racing down the high speed Autobahn, driving the high alpine mountain passes or visiting expansive castles rich with decadence and history – you are living your dream. Make this Father’s Day special and surprise your loved one with a gift that will inspire memories that last forever. Book by August 1, 2011 and receive an Apple iPod as our gift to him to enjoy on his Luxury European Driving Tour.
Our September 20th – 30th , 2011 tour is completely sold out. Due to overwhelming demand another tour, September 6th – 16th, 2011, has been added. Don’t miss out on an incomparable dream vacation for the Dad in your life. Click to see more information on the itineraries, hotels, and attractions for our remaining 2011 European Porsche driving tour.1 Comments
By Autobahn Adventures on 06.13.2011
Next Porsche 911 to Launch with 7-Speed Manual Transmission confirmed by Car and Driver.
The important part of the article is that the seventh ratio would offer a tall gear for cruising, reducing engine noise and improving efficiency. There should be no major changes to the first six gears, and according to Car and Driver, you won’t need to worry about re-thinking your cornering gear choice.3 Comments