Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Audi R8 V10, Audi TT RS: Comparison video

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Autocar has pitted the Audi R8 V10 against the Audi TT RS on its track test to find out which is faster.

On the twisty test route Autocar's Steve Sutcliffe gives chase in his long-term Audi TT RS, getting airborne at 90mph as he tries to prove the cheaper car is just as fast.

2010 Porsche Panamera Turbo - Seat Time

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Forget Avatar. The best 3D thrill ride of 2010 is driving the new Porsche Panamera. No cinematic experience can come close to the feel of ripping over an open road in Porsche's newest creation, whether it be in the base rear-drive Panamera S or the all-wheel-drive 4S or Turbo.

I spent a couple dozen laps on Road America's challenging track in the new four-door luxury sedan, and I didn't need dorky spectacles to see that the Panamera is the most exciting example of Porsche genius since the 911 got blown.

Porsche introduced the Panamera to the world's auto writers at Road America, one of racing's most challenging road courses, to prove a point. The track's a hoot for the pros but is a brutal menace to the typical driver in a street car. Even racecars get eaten up by the high speeds, off-camber corners, blind crests and concrete walls, which suck up metal like giant magnets.

I'd already driven half a dozen production cars on Road America, and each time I came away feeling I'd been lucky to escape the near-death experience the pros call a "moment." Road America feasts first on the tires and brakes, chewing away rubber shoulders and scraping pads to the bone, and then gnaws its way into the bones of the car and slowly dismembers it, rivet by rivet. Racecars are made to survive this mauling; production cars are fast food.

Usually-the Panamera was just plain fast.

Porsche's most potent reach into a previously untapped market segment might be burdened by the size and shiny stuff that defines a luxury sedan, but the Panamera ate up Road America as if it craved the punishment. There is simply no other luxury sedan on earth that could have come close to catching it, and more than a few sports cars would have been left sucking on the Porsche's tailpipe.

Surprisingly for a company that makes the best brakes, the brakes on a couple of the cars overheated (none were the optional ceramics). I blamed the drivers, who likely clod-hopped the left pedal beyond endurance. I was in the backseat for one writer's "manly" session as he smoked the brakes, almost made me barf and disgusted our co-driver and instructor for the session, Porsche factory driver Patrick Long.

I ran several laps in each of the three Panamera models being offered the first model year - the S and 4S with a normally aspirated 400-hp V8, and the Turbo with a 500-hp twin-turbo V8 - and marveled at the synthesis of contrasting elements that makes the model such a distinctive car to drive. Porsche's double-clutch gearbox is a perfect fit for the big GT, and though some have complained about gear selection via thumb-actuated buttons on the steering wheel, I didn't think paddles would have made my laps any quicker. In fact, Long advised me just to leave the PDK in automatic sport mode and let its algorithms figure out the shifts. Worked for me.

Any nerves I might have felt from having a professional driver sitting alongside me were quickly dissipated by the Panamera's masterful dynamics. Speed and comfort have never been so deftly incorporated into a single automobile.

I then asked Long to attack Road America with all the skill and youthful exuberance he's so far shown in his short but noteworthy career. I figured he and the Porsche would be an impressive tandem, because I've known the brains who put these cars together for too long to expect anything less than brilliance, and I know Porsche Racing is disinclined to ask just any quick shoe to join the team. What I didn't expect was that a flying lap of Road America in a luxury sedan could feel so much like a spirited Sunday drive around beautiful country lanes. Long and I yakked the whole way around as if we were trundling through the Loire Valley in search of the next wine tasting instead of setting a time that plenty of racecars would envy. Only the lordly roar of the engine and the sloshing of my inner ear fluid told me Long was absolutely smoking it as we chatted about the joys of growing up in Southern California.

The Panamera's fresh synthesis of existing Porsche bits and pieces, along with more than a dash of completely new technology, make it stand out from the crowd like...well, like a certain rear-engine sports car did 50 years ago. Its looks are either a stylish homage to Porsche design history or a clunky refusal to break the mold, but there's no denying the Panamera's lineage. The roofline could be from no other manufacturer, the rounded rear quarters and large hatchback are reminiscent of the 928 (or maybe a Crossfire), and the front end is pure Porsche, with its rounded fenders embracing a steeply sloping hood, large intakes supplanting a conventional radiator grille, and oval headlamp clusters reclining behind body-conforming lenses.

The Panamera may weigh two tons and be longer than two Shaquille O'Neals laid head to toe, but that's what it takes to enter a new dimension of spaciousness and luxury. The four leather-clad buckets are supremely comfortable, even for big American butts, the rear hatch opens to reveal enough luggage space for a foursome on holiday, and scattered around the superbly tailored cabin are all the creature comforts demanded by the car's intense competitive environment. Most impressively, all this was accomplished without compromising the carved-from-a-block-of steel-feel of the smaller, faster Porsches.

Big and heavy is rendered moot, too, when powerful and lithe become the primary factors of the equation. Even when I was pulling up the hill toward Road America's front straight, both of the engines did well to hide the weight behind varied levels of effortless acceleration. And around the bends, the Panamera cut lines like German steel slicing through a Black Forest ham.

Not surprisingly, the Panamera Turbo was my favorite. The standard adaptive air suspension (an option on S and 4S models) was nothing less than remarkable, adjusting each corner as needed to keep the car's considerable heft within the parameters of complete control, and the 500 horses almost had me fooled into thinking I was driving a lightweight two-seater.

Porsche 911 Turbo: Comparison against Dodge Ram 1500

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This isn't a fair fight. When it comes to the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 and the 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo, it's clear that one hauls more than the other.

Ah, but the answer differs depending on what is being hauled, if you catch my, er, drift.

Recently I had to (had to) drive a Porsche Turbo from our test track back to the offices in Santa Monica where, once there, I would trade the keys for those of a 2009 Dodge Ram. My race jack was at the track, so it needed to ride in both machines to trace a path back to my garage.

The rear-engined Porsche, of course, has a "frunk", a forward-placed trunk that's deep enough to hold three carry-on suitcases, standing up. My somewhat pricey OTC aluminum floor jack fits within as if it were made for it, with room to spare. It's locked away, it's not rattling around in there, and it's not banging around inside the passenger comparment. Surprising, actually.

For the homeward leg I was looking forward to the Dodge Ram and its Ram Box. But it can't cope. The space is simply too skinny. I have stops to make and the bed obviously isn't lockable, so the passenger compartment is my only choice. Good thing I have no passengers. I didn't bring tie-downs, so it's going to roll around if I corner too smartly. I don't dare put it on the leather seats and strap it in with a seat belt.

So if you need to haul an aluminum floor jack or haul butt, a Porsche Turbo is the better choice. The Dodge Ram does rather better when it comes to hauling drywall, washing machines, toolboxes, girlscout cookies or racecar trailers, though. Heck, you could tow the Porsche with the Ram, if you needed to.

New York Auto Show: 2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

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Introduced on Wednesday: 2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

What is it? Built on the same basic platform as the forthcoming Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, the 2012 Touareg Hybrid will arrive in the United States a model year later than the redesigned (both lightened and more aerodynamic) standard 2011 Touareg.

Like its platform-mate, the Touareg Hybrid will emphasize performance and luxury over fuel economy: The combined economy of about 26 miles per gallon is so-so for a hybrid, but the compensation is impressive speed and acceleration. Volkswagen says the Touareg Hybrid will go from zero to 62 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds and will have a top speed of 150 m.p.h. The supercharged V-6 is supplied by Audi. Combined with an electric motor with an equivalent of 47 horsepower, the Touareg hybrid produces 380 horsepower. Aiding economy is an eight-speed automatic transmission, with the two top gears as overdrives (eighth reduces engine r.p.m. by 34 percent compared with sixth). Other fuel-savers: A start-stop system, and a “freewheel” feature that disengages the engine from the transmission when the driver’s foot lifts from the accelerator. With a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack, the Touareg Hybrid can cruise at about 30 m.p.h. on electric power alone (but not for very long).

How does it look? With an almost 400-pound weight reduction, the second-generation Touareg is slimmer and sleeker, but not exactly svelte. Luxury hybrid S.U.V.’s have done reasonably well in the market, probably because they offer green bragging rights without much sacrifice. The Touareg could be a choice for well-heeled (it is expected to cost at least $60,000) suburbanites who can’t quite afford its more rarefied cousin, the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

VW Golf GTI Styling by Rieger

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Rieger has released a few details regarding a new styling kit for the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Performance figures were not announced so all we have at the moment is the body kit. It consists of a lip spoiler kit with a fiber glass mesh and ABS inserts for cars with foglight ribs. Rieger made sure it fits in with the existing bumper.

There is a carbon fiber lip spoiler middle splitter, side skirts with cutouts, a roof spoiler and a rear bumper diffuser insert (also in carbon fiber) that fits into the existing OE bumper fascia. The exhaust features a muffler with dual oval tips and an ESD exhaust sound control system. GTIs fitted with Park Assist will get a separate installation kit. Rims and tyres used are VA 8.5Jx20 ET 38s with 235/30-20 and HA 8.5Jx20 ET 38s with 235/30-20 front and rear respectively.

Motor Trend has put together a "Topless Drag Race" between four of the luxury auto segment's most attractive convertibles - the Audi A5, BMW 335i, Lexus IS350 and Infiniti G37. We'll try not to spoil the fun here, so take 2 minutes and watch the video below to see what car comes out on top (or, top down).

VW Golf TDI: Comparison against Mazda3 Diesel

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VW Golf 77TDI ... from $27,490 plus on-road/dealer costs. 1.6-litre, 4-cyl turbo-diesel; 77kW/250Nm; 5-sp man or 7-sp auto; 4.9L/100km (m), 5.1L (a); 129g/km CO2 (m), 133g (a); FWD.
Value Lacks many of the goodies but still gets single-CD audio with MP3 and aux input, 15-inch steel wheels.

Inside Well screwed together with a quality feel, if a little austere in base model trim.


Engine Pulls strongly from a standing start but quick to run out of puff. Little discernible lag in manual form. Frugal.


How it drives Crisp steering feel. Solid, confidence-inspiring stance. Optional dual-clutch auto can be indecisive, manual is the best choice.

Safety 7 airbags, stability control, 5-star crash rating.


Verdict Boasts quality fit and finish and an enjoyable drive but it's light-on for standard gear.


Mazda3 Diesel ... from $29,715 plus on-road/dealer costs. 2.2-litre, 4-cyl turbo-diesel; 110kW/360Nm; 6-sp manual; 5.7L/100km; 150g/km CO2; FWD.

Value Satellite navigation, six-CD audio with MP3 and aux input, cruise control, Bluetooth, 16-inch alloy wheels.


Inside Plusher pews and a roomier back seat. Busier ambience — steering wheel has 18 buttons or switches on it.


Engine Punchier, more flexible power delivery produces surprising acceleration. Thirstier and a little more noisy.

How it drives Firmer, more fidgety ride. Sits flat and stable through corners. No automatic option.

Safety 6 airbags, stability control, 5-star crash rating.

Verdict Costs more but its strong engine and solid value re-set the bar for diesel cars less than $30,000

Audi A8: Making of TV commercial

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REVOZPORT's VW Golf VI GTi Razor

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"Revozport has unveiled a new styling package for the Volkswagen Golf VI GTI.
Dubbed the Razor, the package is available in three different stages. While the company declined to break down the stages, the range-topping Stage 3 kit includes wheel arch extensions (25mm wider in the front, 35mm wider in the rear), LED daytime running lights, an adjustable front splitter, a rear diffuser, a roof-mounted spoiler, and aggressive side sills.
If that sounds like overkill, you can opt for the less extreme Stage 1 or Stage 2 kit. Both feature several components constructed out of carbon fiber reinforced Kevlar (bumpers and hood).
No word on pricing or availability, but Revozport says they are now developing a 290 hp (216 kW / 294 PS) engine mapping program, a new exhaust, and a high performance intercooler."

REVOZPORT's VW Golf VI GTi Razor

With more than 6 months of development and testing from the design concept of the Golf RZR launched in January 2010. The styling kit has finally come to its final production model and has been renamed to "Razor" for its aggressive and sharp edged design.

The Razor styling kit is available for the full line of Golf VI and offer 3 different stages of complete kit catering owners from just a simple unique touch for their everyday use car to those horsepower craver owners who needs to keep their 300+ horsepower front wheels with traction. The highlight feature of this styling has got to be the front bumper's LED Daylight Driving Light and the adjustable front splitter. The LED light is designed to fit to the exact curvature of the front bumper and not disturbing the original lines. The front splitter has 2 adjustments for different down force settings and a good option for those who often have trouble with ramps. The 3 different stages complete kit all offer the approx 4kg lightweight carbon Kevlar reinforced bonnet and the front and rear bumper as standard.

What's more, featuring in the Stage III complete kit. The front and rear wheel tracks are now 25mm and 35mm wider than normal allowing owners to fit staggered wheels and much wider tires. The Golf Razor here is fitted with 235/40/19 with 8.5J and 255/35/19 with 9.5J. Thanks to the 8pcs add?on fender trims with side skirts. With this footwork setup Revozport is now working on a 290hp engine mapping, exhaust system and intercooler.

Audi TT Facelift Debut Announced for Leipzig

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Audi plans to exhibit 25 production and two show cars at the 2010 AMI Leipzig which starts on April 9. The German auto show will play host to a number of home soil debuts for the Audi brand, including the new A1 premium mini car, A8 and RS 5 Coupe.
One of the 25 exhibits will be the facelift TT Coupe and Roadster. The two are making their world premier at Leipzig nearly four years since the current 2007 model appeared. Whether a facelift TT RS will show its new face has not been confirmed.
Other models slated for an appearance include the Detroit e-tron show car and the car that won the 2009 DTM (German Touring Car Masters) in the hands of Timo Scheider. Scheider will be present during the press conference and sign autographs for an hour on the 10th."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Porsche Panamera 4S: Review

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Whistler? Vegas? The Arctic Circle? Panamera 4S is ready for any trip, any time of year - read more after the jump ^click the title^

Audi S1: How to make it in Photoshop

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What the upcoming S1 could look like

Friday, March 26, 2010

Audi: Intel report about electric future

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A3 Hybrid Fleet Cars (Germany mid-2010, USA and China sometime in 2011)
Both Audi and Volkswagen are readying a pilot fleet of current-generation Audi A3s as well as Volkswagen Golfs and Jettas. These cars will use early examples of the group’s transverse hybrid drivetrain in order to test consumer use beginning as early as this year in Germany. Dick tells us that A3s with this drivetrain will be in the US and China by 2011, though strictly as fleet vehicles. The cars will not be sold to the public.

Q5 Hybrid (late 2010)
During our discussion, Mr. Dick confirmed the Q5 hybrid will be shown at some point later this year. Given that this hybrid more than any other Audi hybrid is aimed at North America, we’re guessing the car will bow at the Los Angeles Auto Show given the timeframe.

Though the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg will beat the Q5 to market, the Audi will vary considerably from its corporate cousins. The full-size SUV platform from Porsche and Volkswagen will make use of the Volkswagen Group’s flexible hybrid components paired with the same 3.0T supercharged engine found in the S4. However, the lighter MLB-architecture-based Q5 will go for the more frugal EA 888 Valvelift 2.0T used in the A4.

A3 hybrid and A3 e-tron (2012-2013)
At an evening reveal ahead of the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen Group chairman Martin Winterkorn revealed that hybrid versions of the Volkswagen Jetta will go on sale by 2012 and electric versions of the Jetta and Golf will debut by 2013. We mentioned this to Michael Dick, inquiring what this meant for the next generation Audi A3.

“We will definitely hybridize the A3 successor,” he said and continued, “There will be an electrified version. Audi will use the same technology as Volkswagen through use of lateral modules developed for use across the Volkswagen Group.”

Audi Project Anniversario: Coming to Woerthersee?

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Audi has a long history of showing cars at Worthersee from tuned A3s and TT Speedsters to last year’s Q5 Custom with 3.0T 400hp engine. Annivarsario, a rumored modded A5 coupe with TTRS 2.5T 5-cylinder and built as a spiritual successor to the Sport quattro would fit the bill nicely. We don’t know how much truth there is to the rumor and sources inside Audi tell us that Anniversario has been on-again-off-again status for a while. For reference, the Worthersee tour is coming up May 12-15

Audi A1: New video of competition kit

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Audi has released another great video of the competition kit for the new Audi A1 and it’s heavily inspired by racing. And that’s not a bad thing…

Audi has released a detailed CGI teaser video about the racing and rally inspired competition kit for their new A1 offering. The spot shows plenty of detail about this sporting trim package


New Volkswagen Touareg buyers will be able to choose from a list of options in the Volkswagen Exclusive line. Available options cover the vehicle's upholstery, trim, and wheels.

Amongst these are two two-tone Nappa leather sets, including Pepper Beige/Titan Black and Dark Burgundy/Titan Black. The leather is treated to become "cool leather," making it less likely to scorch your skin after a day under the sun. At €1,725, the upgraded upholstery includes heated 12-way seats, black headliner, door inserts, and tread plates.

Another €1,205 gets the customer real wood trim in "Olive Ash Silky Lustre" varnish. Also included with this are 19-inch alloy wheels.

The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg goes on sale this spring in Europe.
Volkswagen Exclusive options can now be ordered on the new Touareg
Upgrades for the most discerning of tastes
Wolfsburg, 25 March 2010 - Select options of the Volkswagen Exclusive product brand can now be ordered on the new Touareg. Upgrades such as two-tone leather combinations and other high-end details add an even more individualised touch.
Volkswagen Exclusive options for the new Touareg include seat covers in a two-tone leather combination in "Nappa" Cool Leather. This luxuriously worked leather is available in the combination Pepper Beige - Titan Black or Dark Burgundy - Titan Black. In addition to the visual charms of the two-tone leather seat covers, they also offer a very practical special feature. An innovative production process turns the leather into what is known as "Cool Leather". This reduces heating of the seats from intense sunlight - an unbeatable advantage in the summer.
The Volkswagen Exclusive leather seating system treats customers to conveniences such as heated front seats with electric 12-way adjustment, electro-pneumatically adjustable lateral seat supports and head restraints with longitudinal and height adjustment. It also includes leather door inserts, elegant tread plates and a black roofliner. The two-tone leather combinations are available option prices starting at 1,725 Euros (in the Touareg Hybrid, V8 TDI).
Other examples of Volkswagen Exclusive options: high-end genuine wood inserts in "Olive Ash Silky Lustre" and machine-polished 19-inch "Girona" alloy wheels with 265/50 R19 tyres, which can be had starting at 1,205 Euros.

Porsche Marks 60 Years of Selling Performance in America

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Expect Porsche to put on a celebration of sorts at the New York Auto Show next week. The automaker began selling cars in the U.S. 60 years ago, with first sales based out of a dealership in the Big Apple.

Ferry Porsche wanted his company to expand to the States to generate more revenue. He teamed up with Max Hoffman, an Austrian living in NYC who was earning a living importing European cars Stateside.

Hoffman's dealership opened up in mid-1950. "This was something completely new, out of this world," he said. "I was not 100 percent for Porsches. I was 1,000 percent for Porsches"

Soon after, an Austrian living in California, Johnny von Neumann, began bringing Porsche's to the West Coast using a storefront in North Hollywood. By 1954, 11 Porsche vehicles were selling in the U.S. weekly, roughly 30% of the company's production, including two Porsches for James Dean.

One of which was the 550 Spyder Dean died in after an accident.

Since then, Porsche Cars North America was created, eventually employing 180 people. The company's cars are sold in 200 dealerships across the region.

Porsche Marks 60 Years of Selling Performance in America
The love affair between Porsche and U.S. motoring enthusiasts began in New York in 1950, and that passionate relationship stands the test of time
ATLANTA, March 25 - This year marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most fateful and successful decisions in the annals of automotive history -- Porsche's decision to market cars in the United States. But the story of Porsche in America is really the story of the common vision of three men -- Ferry Porsche, Max Hoffman and Johnny von Neumann.
From the beginning, Dr. Ferry Porsche saw the limitations of selling his 356 sports car in the Western European markets. He knew in order to sustain and grow his dream, Porsche would have to export its products to larger, more affluent markets like the United States, which had been virtually untouched by World War II.


This grand show opens in New York City
Enter Austrian ex-patriot and adoptive New Yorker Max Hoffman. Hoffman had already made a name for himself introducing exciting European cars to eager Americans. With the demand for cars running at a fever pitch after the sparse war years' production, Hoffman scoured the continent for marketable products. He knew many returning G.I.s had developed a taste and a romantic fondness for the nimble, fun-to-drive cars they had been introduced to while stationed in Europe.
Hoffman, at the urging of Swiss journalist Max Troesch, accepted the Porsche franchise in the early autumn of 1950. Max caught the Porsche bug, declaring, "I was very excited. This was something completely new, out of this world. I was not 100 percent for Porsches. I was 1,000 percent for Porsches." When Ferry Porsche said he hoped Max could find five American buyers a year, he responded, "If I can't sell five a week, I'm not interested."
In the fall of 1950, Hoffman took delivery of two 1.1-liter coupes and put them on display at his 430 Park Avenue showroom in New York City. While the 356 had only 44 horsepower and cost as much as a Cadillac convertible, he thought this little Porsche deserved a chance.
His faith in Porsche was justified. He imported 32 cars in 1951, and by 1954 he was marketing 11 Porsches a week, or 30 percent of Porsche's production. At its peak, the United States would absorb up to 70 percent of Porsche's yearly production.
Hoffman was also an astute marketer. In 1952 while dining in a New York restaurant, Max told Dr. Ferry Porsche all cars of some standing in the world have a crest. "Why not Porsche, too?" he asked. "If all you need is a badge, we can give you one, too!"
Ferry then grabbed a napkin and began to draw the crest for the state of Baden-Wurtenberg with its curved stag horns. He added a black prancing horse from Stuttgart's coat of arms and the word PORSCHE across the top and handed it back to Max asking, "How about something like that?" With a bit of refinement and color, the famed Porsche Crest was born and today remains true to Ferry's original sketch more than half a century ago.


Porsche and the Hollywood connection
While New York would prove to be central to Porsche's U.S. success, California, even in the early 1950s, was considered the 'Car Mecca of the New World.' The Porsche foothold on the West Coast was established by another Austrian expat named Johnny von Neumann. Von Neumann was the scion of a well-known Viennese doctor and had emigrated to the United States in 1947 and had begun selling cars in the Los Angeles area.
In 1948, he opened up his own shop, Competition Motors in North Hollywood. The name was reflective of von Neumann's primary interest, racing. While most of his business was focused on the repair and maintenance of sports cars, he eventually sold cars, as well.
On a 1951 vacation to New York, von Neumann decided to see his fellow Viennese Hoffman, whom he knew from before the war. "I stopped to say hello and being a 'salesman's salesman,' he asked me to take the car for a ride," von Neumann recalled to a journalist. "I thought the car was way ahead of its time, so I bought one and drove it back to California." It was the first Porsche ever West of the Mississippi.
After selling that first Porsche, von Neumann bought several more, firmly established Porsche's West Coast beachhead, and continued to cater to the famous, the rich and the infamous. It was from von Neumann's Competition Motors shop that James Dean purchased his first Porsche, a 356 Speedster with which he won his first serious amateur race. He then traded that Speedster for the Porsche 550 Spyder in which he famously lost his life while en-route to his first race in the car in Salinas, Calif.
California would become Porsche's single largest market and, if broken out separately from all other U.S. sales territories, would rank as one of the largest markets for Porsche worldwide.

Porsche of America Corp. is born
By 1956, it became increasingly evident Max Hoffman's focus on Porsche had shifted. In addition to Porsche, Hoffman was now importing a sizable portfolio of brands under the Hoffman Motor Cars umbrella. Because of this diversification, it was difficult for Porsche to maintain the support and distribution standards Porsche felt were critical for the growth of the Porsche brand in the United States. This was to be a recurring concern during the history of Porsche in America.
In response to this need, Porsche of America Corporation (PoAC) was established. With headquarters in Teaneck, N.J., PoAC took over and improved and expanded Porsche's distribution network.


The Volkswagen years
For many years Dr. Ferry Porsche felt the only way to sustain the company in the long run and for it to remain an independent entity was for Porsche to develop a lower cost, higher volume model. While Porsche toyed with the idea of a less expensive 911 -- the 912 was one such short-lived attempt -- Dr. Ferry Porsche saw this could diminish the stature of the flagship 911.
In partnership with Volkswagen AG, Porsche developed the 914, a mid-engined, two-seat Targa-type sports car available in two configurations -- the Porsche powered six-cylinder 914/6 and the less expensive and higher volume VW powered 914/4.
But the increased volume these two new cars were intended to generate could not be handled through the existing PoAC channel. And, as the volume 914/4 was to be powered by the flat four from the Volkswagen 411 and utilized many shared components, it made perfect sense to team up with Volkswagen of America (VoA). In addition, the Porsche family had long and close ties with Volkswagen, and in fact had used VoA's distribution chain elsewhere for many years.
During the partnership, VoA and Porsche sold more than 250,000 Porsches in the United States.


The birth of PCNA
In January 1984, the 323 U.S. Porsche-Audi dealers were notified after August 31 they would no longer be receiving Porsche cars, parts or support from Volkswagen of America, but from a new entity, Porsche Cars North America (PCNA).
With the establishment of its plant in New Stanton, Pa., Porsche felt VoA, as a U.S. auto manufacturer, would be more focused on increasing volume of the VW model line-up. The new Porsche sales chief, M. J. Nedelcu stated, "the quality of the marketing organization could no longer develop in sufficient measure to suit our exclusive automobiles."
With the termination of the distribution agreement, PCNA set up its operation in Reno, Nev. in September of 1984 to oversee all of the importation and distribution tasks formerly handled by Volkswagen of America. PCNA remained in Reno until March 10, 1998 when it relocated to its current home in Atlanta.
Today, PCNA is the exclusive importer of Porsche vehicles for the United States. It is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. PCNA employs approximately 180 people who provide Porsche vehicles, parts, service, marketing and training for its 200 dealers. The dealers, in turn, provide Porsche owners with best-in-class service.
PCNA, which imports the iconic 911 series, the highly acclaimed Boxster and Cayman mid-engine sports cars, high-end Cayenne sport utility vehicles and the four-passenger Panamera Gran Turismos, strives to maintain a standard of excellence, commitment and distinction synonymous with its brand.

Senner Audi S5 White Beast

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"German tuner Senner Tuning AG has taken the Audi S5 V8 FSI and given it a new body kit and slightly more power. Aerodynamic improvements came through a large air inlet on the new front spoiler, new front grille, a rear spoiler lip and a rear carbon-look apron. Four steel exhaust tailpipes make it even meatier.
The 4.2 V8 White Beast gets a modest power bump from the standard 260 kW (349 bhp / 354 PS) up to 282 kW (378 bhp / 384 PS) and 475 Nm through things like a performance air filter and exhaust system. Top speed is now 285 km/h.
The suspension is lowered by 40mm at the front and 35mm at the rear. It squats on 9x21' and 10,5x21' front and rear polished light alloy diamond black wheels. Wrapping those up are 255/30 R21 and 295/25 R21 Hankook S1 Evo tyres.
The interior has strong carbon fibre finishes to emphasise the car's performance abilities. Senner charges €18,990 (US$25,338) for the package, including technical inspection costs"

Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid to Debut in New York

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"Making their North American debut, Porsche will be bringing the highly-anticipated Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid to the New York Auto Show next week as well as Cayenne base model, Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo. The second generation Cayenne made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month.

The automaker will sell the Cayenne S and Turbo in the US this July, with Cayenne and Cayenne S Hybrid models hitting the market later in the year.

The hybrid version combines a supercharged 3.0-liter 333-horsepower (249 kW / 337 PS) V6 engine with a 47-horsepower (34 kW / 48 PS) electric motor. Combined output is 380 hp (283 kW / 385 PS), with maximum torque of 428 ft-lb. The engine and motor are mated to a decoupling clutch, with the SUV intelligently choosing between both driving modes. Added to this, the vehicle can travel on all-electric up to 60 km/h (37.2 miles), with the electric motor providing a power burst during hard acceleration.

Weight reductions along the entire Cayenne line also lead to better fuel economy and reduced emissions. We'll have more on the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid when the vehicle is introduced in New York on March 31."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New VW Beetle chases Mini

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"A second generation of Volkswagen’s reborn Beetle will be launched next year with more focus on dynamics and less on retro styling.
To be previewed as a concept at the Los Angeles motor show in November, the production Beetle will go on sale in the UK in May 2011. A cabriolet will follow about a year later."


"Porsche will be selling four packages of options to new customers buying the Porsche Boxster or the Porsche Cayman. The extras are named Comfort, Design, Infotainment, and Sport Design, and are available on the base and S trim levels of each model.

Included in the Comfort kit are leather seats, along with bi-xenon cornering headlights, climate control, cruise control, dimming mirrors, rain sensors. The Infotainment set includes the above, as well as the Porsche Communication Management system with MP3 player input, and an upgraded sound system with Bluetooth.

The Design package has 19-inch blacked-out wheels taken from the Boxster Spyder with matching black tailpipes, and a black interior and exterior trim. Rollbars in the Boxster are also painted black. Meanwhile, Design Sport includes an aerokit that features new spoilers.

Pricing for each package differs depending on the car."

B&B Takes VW Scirocco R up to 362 PS / 357 bhp

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"The standard Volkswagen Scirocco R has 195 kW (261 bhp / 265 PS) on tap and it pulls 350 Nm (258 lb-ft). Those figures have been bumped up in three levels by B&B.
At Level 1 changes were made to the ECU and the electronic injection was optimised amongst other things. Power and torque increased to 228 kW (306 bhp / 310 PS) and 410 Nm at 1,900 rpm respectively. A Vmax of 275 km/h (171 mph) is quoted.
Level 2 bumps this a little further by modifying the exhaust downpipe, optimising air induction, air flows, ignition and fuel injection. As a consequence 238 kW (320 bhp / 324 PS) was released and 435 Nm (321 lb-ft) of torque at 2,000 rpm realised. Top speed increases slightly to 279 km/h (173 mph).
The last state of tune, Level 3, uses a special B&B turbo, sport exhaust and air intake in addition to previous and other changes. Maximum power then goes on to reach 266 kW (357 bhp / 362 PS) and peak torque sits at 480 Nm (354 lb-ft) at 2,600 rpm. Accordingly top velocity increases to 280 km/h (174 mph).
All these modifications utilise the same 2.0-litre TSI engine. Prices are €1,198 for Level 1, €2,798 for Level 2 and €7,998 at Level 3."

Audi A8: Direct Torque Flow (DTF) technology explained

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The Audi A8 is the first which comes with the new Direct Torque Flow (DTF) technology. Read here how it works and what are the benefits.

GKN Driveline’s DTF propeller shaft has been designed to the highest technical standards to meet Audi’s challenging performance and specific safety criteria and is the company’s first launch of this new technology. DTF is a new interface design solution in which the propeller shaft is connected to the transmission in a way that saves weight, assembly time, space and cost.

While still ensuring efficient torque transmission, GKN Driveline has developed its DTF solution to reduce component complexity and make significant weight savings, reducing the risks of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and shaft stability typical in traditional propeller shaft designs. DTF solutions can be used to connect a propeller shaft to both a vehicle’s transmission and its rear final-drive unit.

Another key feature of the GKN Driveline shaft on the new Audi A8 is the unique high-speed constant-velocity joint incorporating technology for efficient operation and an integrated “crash feature.” The latter, in conjunction with other system components, enables the shaft assembly to telescope inwards in a manner defined to support the crash safety strategy of the vehicle.

With the high performance nature of the vehicle requiring the propeller shaft to operate at extreme speeds of up to 10,500 rpm, GKN Driveline’s shaft is designed with a range of other leading-edge features such as a high-strength light-weight steel tube, sealing systems and a low-level of rotational imbalance.

Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid Concept: Action video

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Porsche 911 GT3 RS: Porsche Experience TV

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Inside AreA1 - The premiere Audi A1 event in Barcelona

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2011 Porsche 991 Rendering Based Off WCF Spy Photo

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"Teamspeed.com member 'wild speed' created a new rendering of the 2011 Porsche 991 using a spy pic previously published on WCF. The drawing was done featuring four different exterior colors, including two black 991 units each with its own set of wheels.

After painting over the camouflage, wild speed notes that his images still look quite a bit like the 997. The car fan notes that the large amount of cover-up suggests that Porsche is still completing the look of the car, with the most changes coming at the back.

'Judging from all the spy pictures/videos the car isn't going to be much bigger than the 997,' he said. 'The car looks wider, flatter and sleeker, that makes it look bigger than it actually is...'

Hopefully, we will get a better indication of the Porsche 991 design from the automaker itself."

Audi RS 5 Official Promo Video Released

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Boasting a 4.2-liter V8 with 331 kW (444 hp / 450 PS) and 430 Nm (317 lb-ft) of torque, the RS5 rockets from 0-100 km/h in 4.6 seconds and tops out at an electronically limited 250 km/h (155 mph). If that isn't fast enough, Audi can remove the speed limiter to enable the car to hit 280 km/h (174 mph). Not bad considering the RS5 only consumes 10.8 liters of petrol per 100 km (21.78 US mpg).
To keep the beast under control, Audi installed a new crown-gear center differential. It 'can widely vary the distribution of torque between the front and rear axles. If necessary, up to 70 percent can flow to the front or as much as 85 percent toward the tail end.'
The RS5 will go on sale in Germany this spring, with a base price of approximately €77,700 ($103,870 USD). Unfortunately, Audi has been mum on U.S. availability but it doesn't look promising."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Volkswagen Sharan Pricing Announced in Germany

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VW will sell the new Volkswagen Sharan at a discounted price versus the previous model. The base level MPV will hit the German market at €28,875, €2,475 less than its last retail price. Starting tomrrow the Sharan is available for order.

The base level model uses a 150 PS (110 kW, 148 bhp) 1.4-liter TSI petrol engine, using 7.2 liters per 100 kilometers (39.2 mpg-imp). Also available in Trendline trim is the 2.0-liter TDI producing 140 PS (103 kW, 138 bhp), which uses 5.5l / 100 km (51.4 mpg-imp), the lowest in its class. With a 70 liter fuel tank the theoretical range is 1273 km (791 miles). Priced at €30,950, the diesel is about €1,900 less than a comparable model from the previous generation.

Later in the year the Sharan TDI (170 PS / 125 kW / 168 bhp) and TSI (200 PS / 147 kW / 197 hp) will be available plus all-wheel drive arriving next year. Also available for the first time, all Sharan models can be equipped with a dual-clutch gearbox (DSG).

Both vehicles come in 5 -, 6 - or 7-seating arrangements with rear sliding doors, start/stop, and a kinetic energy recovery system, the latter two as standard.

  • Base price of the Sharan 1.4 TSI (150 PS) amounts to € 28,875

  • New Sharan is € 2475 cheaper than its predecessor

Wolfsburg, 24 March 2010 - Flying change: The current Sharan is sold out, even in the final phase of the Volkswagen van was a bestseller. Now starts the new Sharan: From age 25 March he can be ordered in Germany.

The base price for the Sharan 1.4 TSI Trendline is 28,875 €. Which is powered by a 110 kW / 150 hp high-tech petrol engine. Consumes only 7.2 l/100 km. Despite substantially improved technology and equipment levels (including sliding doors in the rear) is obtained with the model change represents a saving of € 2475 compared to the predecessor. Van was also significantly less expensive than turbo diesel: From € 30,950 cost of the Sharan Trendline 2.0 TDI (103 kW / 140 PS and 5.5 l/100 km Fuel consumption) 1,900 € less than the comparable predecessor model accurately. Both engine versions are supplied as standard with a start-stop system and Rekuperationsmodus (Recovery fitted kinetic energy).

During the year, Volkswagen will be the driving range for a further Sharan TDI (125 kW / 170 hp) and TSI (147 kW / 200 hp) and supplement the following year had all-wheel version. For the first time are available for all Sharan models also the innovative dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) available. In conjunction with the 140 bhp TDI Sharan 2.0 emerges for the efficient and automatic sporting a price of 2,050 €.

Will be offered the choice of 5 -, 6 - or 7-seater Sharan in three equipment versions Trendline, Comfortline and Highline; trend line marks the entry into the program. From a basic version can only be in relation to the model hierarchy of the question. Background: As early as the Sharan Trendline are standard features including air conditioning, new seating concept Easyfold, a radio-CD system, seven airbags including knee airbag, ESP, daytime running lights and a lot of space (up to 2430 liters cargo volume) for a life of travel board