Thursday, June 30, 2011

Video: Porsche Returns to Le Mans in 2014

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2012 (991) Porsche 911 Specs Revealed

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According to a post at Teamspeed forums, venerable buff book Car And Driver recently sent journalist Juergen Zoellter to South Africa to ride along with Porsche's development team as it put the finishing on touches on the next 911 (991 generation), and a few new details have hit the Web as a result.

Perhaps the most notable is that the car will increase 2.2 inches in length and 4.0 inches in wheelbase, in order to accommodate an available hybrid powertrain, which will debut in 2016 as part of a mid-cycle refresh.

The Carrera will share a 350-horsepower 3.4-liter direct-injection horizontally-opposed six-cylinder with the Boxster S, while the Carrera S will have a 3.8-liter direct-injection horizontally-opposed six that makes 400 horsepower. Both engines will be available with either a seven-speed manual transmission or seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic. Both transmissions are manufactured by ZF. Launch control will be available with both transmissions.

Porsche claims a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds for the Carrera S, the same time as the current model, and a top speed of 186 miles per hour. The story notes that those times might be conservative, since the new car shaves 55 pounds in curb weight.

Other highlights include improved fuel efficiency (12-15% on the Euro cycle), an electronic parking brake, a full-length sunroof, 19-inch wheels on the Carrera, and standard 20-inch wheels on the Carrera S (optional on the Carrera).

Porsche says the 991 Carrera ran the Nurburgring in 8:04 and the Carrera S did in 7:50.

The next 911 launches in September.





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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Video: 2012 Audi R8 GT Review Test

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Audi R8 V8 Limited Edition honors Le Mans victory

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In celebration of their 10th victory at Le Mans 24 hours, Audi has announced the R8 V8 Limited Edition.

With only 100 units scheduled for the UK market only, the Limited Edition receives an exclusive titanium effect paint finish, R8 GT-inspired titanium-look alloy wheels, red brake calipers and an optional Carbon Package consisting of carbon sigma sideblades, door mirrors, monoposto, inlays, door sill trims and an engine bay surround frame.

Inside, the Limited Edition is detailed in crimson red trim accents/stitching along side the Black Fine Nappa Leather-upholstered seats and headrests.

The R8 V8 Limited Edition is available to order from July with a price starting at £93,935 OTR. First deliveries begin in October.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Audi Q3 S coming in 2012

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With BMW considering an X1 M, it's no surprise Audi is reportedly cooking up a Q3 S.

Auto Motor und Sport says the crossover will be powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine with 300 PS (221 kW / 296 hp). Additionally, we can expect revised styling, a sport-tuned suspension and bigger brakes.

The Q3 S could be unveiled in the fall of 2012, so stay tuned for more information.

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Never mind the body of the current, 6th generation Golf featured on these test two Volkswagen prototypes snagged by photographers in Germany; these are test mules for the upcoming Mk7 Golf GTI and its more powerful sibling, the Golf R.

Despite the fact that both vehicles look alike at first, a closer glance shows that the GTI is the one with the twin tailpipes while the R features a quad exhaust outlets. Another important detail worth mentioning are the rear wheel arch extensions that suggest a wider rear track for both models.

The next generation of the VW Golf which if not further delayed, will arrive towards the end of 2012 or early 2013, will be based on German firm’s cost-saving modular transverse architecture, more commonly known by its German abbreviation "MQB”.

The range-topping Golf models will use a new 2.0-liter TSI force-fed gasoline engine with more oomph producing somewhere around 220 to 230 horsepower on the GTI and close to 300-horses in the Golf R which will be equipped with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system.

As for what the new Golf will look like, VW accidentally gave us our first look at a very early clay prototype of the Mk7 Golf featuring a sharper snout and more steeply raked windscreen through an official video back in 2009. The company had then quickly erased the scene with the clay prototype but not before the screen shots were saved and can be seen below.



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Monday, June 27, 2011

2012 VW GTI Edition 35 - Drive Review

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The Volkswagen GTI is one of our favorite cars, and not just among compacts. It terms of driving enjoyment and overall refinement, it’s a difficult car for anything on the market to top, especially when you take price into consideration. Sure, there is the far more powerful 270-hp Golf R, but that car carries a 282-pound weight penalty over the GTI, not least because of its all-wheel-drive system. Now, though, VW is trying to slot a car right between the GTI and the Golf R: the GTI Edition 35, conceived to celebrate the GTI's 35th anniversary in Europe.

VW did more than just add a few badges to create this special edition—although it did add badges, too. Most important, the Edition 35 receives a more powerful engine. While the U.S.-market GTI makes 200 hp and the European car delivers 210, the GTI Edition 35 produces 235. It is fitted with the old EA113 engine, which also is used in the Golf R and can handle the extra power and torque better than the newer EA888 in its current state of evolution. Compared to the U.S. engine’s 207 lb-ft of torque—which it produces from 1800 to 5000 rpm—the 35 makes 221 lb-ft from 2200 to 5500 rpm.

The pumped-up EA113 is perceptibly more powerful, but only if you squeeze it hard. It needs to be revved higher, with the sweet spot somewhere around 5000 rpm, and it sounds stronger and more masculine—thanks in large part to a modified exhaust system. Even so, the Edition 35 probably needs a vigorous tailwind to get anywhere close to the claimed top speed of 154 mph (ungoverned). There is a fuel-economy penalty, of course: Consumption in the European cycle climbs 10 percent over the regular GTI’s.

Dual Clutch, Single Mind

The power is transferred to the front wheels through either a slick-shifting six-speed manual or VW's equally delightful six-speed dual-clutch transmission. In light of the fact that the smaller Polo GTI is no longer available with a manual, what does the future look like for the traditional box in other hot VWs? Not to worry, a VW engineer assures us. He says, “The GTI is a typical manual-transmission car.”

One of our favorite features of the Edition 35 is that it allows the driver to switch the stability control off completely—something the regular GTI doesn’t do. The only other thing we wish for is a real limited-slip differential. Unfortunately, VW only fits the car with XDS, which keeps the inside front wheel from spinning in turns by applying its brake. It helps keep the GTI neutral up to the limits of adhesion, but a true limited-slip would do wonders for the car’s corner exits on track. “We want to keep the GTI Edition 35 a typical Golf with the qualities of a daily driver,” explains an engineer, adding, “A limited-slip differential is something we might consider for the Golf R.”

What about the show-off credentials of the Edition 35? Unique 18-inch “Watkins Glen” wheels are standard, and painted 19-inch “Glendale” wheels are optional. The car also gets a unique lower front fascia, Recaro sport seats, red stitching on the carpet and seat belts, black mirrors, and darkened taillights.

While all of these changes might seem minor, they’re enough to set the Edition 35 apart at a glance for the seasoned eye. To the casual observer, though, it’ll just be a GTI. That’s not a bad thing at all. We like the GTI Edition 35 not predominantly for its enhancements, but because it's still a GTI.



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Sunday, June 26, 2011



The 2011 24 Hours of Nürburgring race came to a close under sunny skies today, with a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR taking the overall win after setting a new distance record of 156 laps (2,511 miles) of the grueling 16.1-mile track. A BMW M3 GT finished in second, while third was captured by an Audi R8 LMS.

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Video: Porsche GT2 RS road trip to Pikes Peak

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Jeff Zwart dominated the 2WD Time Attack class at Pikes Peak last year, setting a new record of 11:31.095 in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. He's returning to the mountain this year, but will be driving a completely stock Porsche 911 GT2 RS.

Unlike most competitors, however, Zwart won't be towing his car to Pikes Peak. Last week he picked up the 911 GT2 RS at Porsche Motorsport North America in Santa Ana, CA, and drove all 1,132 miles to the event in Colorado. Filmmaker Will Roegge tagged along, and has produced an excellent video chronicling the road trip.



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Video: Nürburgring 24 Hours by night

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Saturday, June 25, 2011



Porsche to revive 550 - Latest 'baby' Boxster Intel

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More details on the much-rumoured 'baby' Porsche have emerged. The new model, which will be based on a mid-engined platform debuted by the VW Bluesport concept, is set to carry the legendary 550 tag of the original 1950s Spyder.

It is also set to feature an all-new engine – a 1.6-liter flat-four-cylinder 'boxer' unit. This will be turbocharged giving a power output of around 200bhp. Driving the rear wheels through a conventional manual gearbox – although a PDK twin-clutch could be offered too – the new sub-Boxster machine will arrive in 2014.

There are no details regarding performance, but weighing around 1,200kg, the two-seater should be able to do 0-60mph in around 6.0 seconds and hit a top speed of 145mph. But it will also be efficient, returning 40mpg and emitting less than 160g/km of CO2 thanks to start-stop.

With a manually operated folding canvas roof, the two seater 550 will be a very back-to-basics Porsche. Smaller than the Boxster, it will be even more agile and one of the most driver-focused cars in the line-up.

The same mid-engined platform will spawn a production version of the VW Bluesport – which was revealed at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show – and an Audi-badged roadster to sit below the TT, badged R4. The latter will move the TT upmarket in terms of price, and the same will happen with the 550 and Boxster, with the new entry-level model starting at around €39,400 pushing the Boxster to €45,029+.

While we'll have to wait until the summer of 2014 for the new 550, plenty of Porsche sports cars will be launched beforehand. The wraps will come off the all-new 911 at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September while the new Boxster and Cayman are due in 2012.



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Video: Audi A6 vs Mercedes E-Class vs BMW 5 Series

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Intern Designs Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Livery

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Porsche Cars North America has selected the winning livery design from intern Anna Frey for its 911 GT3 Cup racecar, which is entered this weekend in the inaugural Porsche Carrera World Cup race that precedes the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.

Frey, an industrial design major, is a recent graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology.

The PCNA racecar will be piloted by Melanie Snow, the American Le Mans Series GTC champion and the only female racer entered in the Carrera World Cup.

The car will be crewed by six PCNA employees who were "selected from submitted video and written essays detailing their motorsports passion," the company said.



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Video: Introducing Nürburgring 24 Hours

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Video: Autocar Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 review

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Video: 2012 Audi A6 3.0T Quattro Track Test

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One of the most important racing events of the year in Germany is the 24-hour race of Nürburgring, which will take place this weekend (25/26 June). Porsche will enter the endurance race with eight factory cars, most prominent of which is the updated version of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid that led the event for eight hours last year in its first outing.
For this year, the organizers have changed the rules, restricting the flat six’s output to 448 hp which is directed to the rear wheels. But the hybrid system that features two electric motors driving the front wheels adds another 200 hp.

The general configuration of the 2011 “Version 2.0” hybrid 911 remains unaltered, with a flywheel motor spinning up to 40,000 rpm and storing kinetic energy, which would otherwise be wasted into heat, during braking.

Porsche’s R&D department in Weissach worked on optimizing the hybrid components, increasing each electric motor’s output from 65 to 75 kilowatts. Apart from offering the driver the option of adding the equivalent of 200 hp for a few seconds at a time, this also resulted in reducing overall weight by 20%, enabling the 2011 car to be competitive while at the same time offering considerably lower fuel consumption.

At the helm of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid will be factory race drivers Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria), Patrick Long (USA) and Marco Holzer (Germany), who were all involved in the car’s development.



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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Porsche 550 coming in 2014

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Enthusiasts have been longing for an entry-level Porsche roadster and a new report is indicating the wait could soon be over.

According to Autobild, the highly-anticipated successor to the 356 will be launched in the summer of 2014. The magazine says the car will be powered by a mid-mounted, turbocharged 1.6-liter engine with approximately 200 PS (147 kW / 197 hp). More importantly, the model is expected to cost €39,000 which is roughly €8,000 less than the current Boxster.



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Volkswagen is using its research subsidies wisely.

They are working on a system called Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP) which can semi-automatically drive a car on its own under limited conditions.

TAP works by combining other functions like ACC adaptive cruise control and Lane Assist (which helps keep the car within a lane) into an integrated system. Always monitored by the driver, and always leaving her/him the ability to override the system when needed, TAP can drive a car 'semi-automatically' at speeds of up to 130 km/h (81 mph) on a highway.

The system was developed by VW as part of the EU funded R&D project HAVEit ("Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport") where the TAP system was presented as a complete project.

Said Volkswagen's Executive Director for Research, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold:

"[This is] an important milestone on the path towards fully automatic and accident-free driving."

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Video: Porsche 997 GT3 RS on the track

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A matte black Porsche 997 GT3RS mk1, fitted with an extremely loud X-Ost exhaust and Manthey Racing setup. Video shows the car on track from many angles, accelerations, fast fly bys, revving scenes and more. Top speed reached in the video is 238 km/h (147 mph) in 5th gear.

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The Audi plant in Ingolstadt hosted a much deserved homecoming for this year's Le Mans-winning Audi R18 TDI and drivers yesterday. Before allowing employees the chance to get up close and personal with the car and team, Marcel Fässler would take a victory lap around the plant in the now-famous #2 R18, with teammates Benoît Tréluyer, André Lotterer and Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich following in a pair of red A5 cabriolets.



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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Video: Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 driven by CAR Magazine

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Porsche 911 GT3 tuned by Magnat

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Magnat might not be a famous name in the tuning world, but they are about to become famous thanks to jobs like this Porsche 911 GT3.

They’ve picked the 911 GT3 which is a particularly great car to start with. It has just the right amount of lairiness, not so little like a normal 911, and not too much like a GT2. Then they’ve tweaked it and added more exclusivity to the package. It’s fantastic.

The snow white body of the car is complemented by a big black stripe that runs through the entire length of the car, and itself is complemented by other black detailing like the side decals, side skirts, front spoiler and the wheels. Speaking of the wheels, Magant has used 19 inch OZ Ultraleggera HLT for this car with Yokohama Advan tires.

With 462 HP and 451 Nm of torque as the result of a remapped ECU and a sport exhaust system, this GT3 is much more fun to drive.

The interior must be the best part of this tuning package. There you will find a magnificent blend of leather and Alcantara trimming with white stitching, plus gloss black accents. The GT3 has also been fitted with a top-notch multimedia system with Magnat Black Core 5 channel amplifier and a 10-inch subwoofer.



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