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Porsche Cayenne Coupe

Porsche Cayenne Coupe revealed: the acceptable alternative to a BMW X6

Porsche Cayenne CoupeThe Porsche Cayenne Coupe is another addition to the burgeoning coupe-SUV sector. It aims to be more focused than a Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe and less visually offensive than a BMW X6. It is on sale in the UK now, with prices starting from £62,129.

Derived from the third-generation Cayenne five-door, the Cayenne Coupe keeps the same rear doors but grafts on an entirely new rear section. It is more curvaceous and, with the roofline falling away towards the rear, “more dynamic,” said Porsche styling VP Michael Mauer.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe

The looks “position it as the most sporting-looking model in the market segment,” he explained.

Overall, it is 20mm lower, and both the windscreen and A-pillar are shallower than a normal Cayenne five-door. This is a comprehensive, no-expense-spared restyling job.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe

Rear doors are redesigned to blend in with both the roofline and rear wheelarches. The latter have swollen by 18mm, giving the car a much more muscular stance.

There’s a visual trick here, too: the rear number plate has been moved down into the rear bumper, making it seem lower to the ground.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe

The Cayenne Coupe also has not one, but two rear spoilers. A fixed roof spoiler sits above a new adaptive spoiler positioned on the leading edge of the bootlid.

It equips the car with active aerodynamics – or, in Porsche parlance, Porsche Active Aerodynamics: PAA.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe

As on 911 coupes, the spoiler extends at speed, stretching out an ample 135mm at speeds of 56mph and above, reducing rear-end lift without affecting fuel consumption at slower speeds. We assume there’s an override button for inner city posing.

There are two choices of roof as well: a 2.16 square metre panoramic fixed glass roof or optional contoured carbon fibre as pictured here. Yes, you have seen it before: it’s like the one on the 911 GT3 RS.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe

The carbon roof comes as part of a series of three ‘lightweight sports packages’.

These also throw in lightweight 22-inch GT Design alloys, carbon and Alcantara interior styling, plus retro-style seat centres in classic checked fabric.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe

Porsche says the Cayenne Coupe is a four-seater, with chunky sports seats in the front and bucket-style seats in the rear.

Passengers sit 30mm lower in the back, so there’s still ample headroom despite the plunging roof.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe

Behind is a 625-litre boot, which expands to 1,540 litres with the rear seats folded.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe

Engines? Pick from a 340 horsepower 3.0-litre V6 turbo in the base Cayenne Coupe, or a 550hp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in the Cayenne Turbo Coupe.

The base car does 0-62mph in 6.0 seconds, or 5.9 seconds if you go for one of the lightweight packages (yes – it really does have an effect). Top speed is 150mph, CO2 emissions are 212-215g/km and fuel economy is 22.2-23.9mpg.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe

The Cayenne Turbo Coupe does 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds, will blastto 177mph, chews through fuel at a rate of 20.2-20.8mpg, and emits 258-261g/km CO2 (all WLTP figures).

Porsche is taking orders for the new Cayenne Coupe now, with first deliveries expected at the end of May. The V6 is priced at £62,129, with the Cayenne Turbo Coupe marking quite a jump to £104,729.

Naturally, both are well equipped: 20-inch alloys, front and rear Park Assist, reversing camera, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and the Sport Chrono Package are all standard. And you can, of course, spend much, much more once you hit the options list…

Porsche restarts production of 911 GT2 RS after delivery boat sinks

Porsche GT2 RS sink Mexico

As reported on Carscoops, Porsche is due to restart production of the now-defunct 991 GT2 RS. The reason? A boat loaded with cars due for Mexican customers has sunk. As such, Porsche has some cars it needs to replace…

Production of the GT2 RS actually finished in February. Nevertheless, Porsche obligated to deliver cars to customers that have lost theirs to the Mexican depths. Luckily, none were due to find their way to the new Porsche ‘cathedral’ in Palm Springs.

The ship, named Grand America, sank off the coast of France earlier in March 2019 after a fire on one of the containers. It wasn’t just precious 911s that were lost, either. Reportedly, the boat was loaded with as many as 2,000 cars, including Audi A3, A5, Q7, RS4 and RS5 models.

Porsche GT2 RS sink Mexico

Porsche never actually confirmed that its cars were lost on this same ship, but Carscoops was tipped with a letter of apology from the marque to a prospective customer. A rough translation opens as follows: “We are sorry to inform you that, due to a fire, a Grimaldi group ship that was transporting your vehicle sank on March 12, 2019. For that reason, your GT2 RS cannot be delivered”.

The letter goes on to profess that ordinarily, resuming production wouldn’t be on Porsche’s to-do list. However, due to the special nature of the car and the loyalty required by Porsche from a customer in order for them to get their hands on one, they’re firing up production again.

Porsche dealerships get brand-new prototype look

Amazing Porsche ‘cathedral’ opens in Palm Springs, California

Porsche dealerships get brand-new prototype look

Porsche has revealed a new prototype, but this time it isn’t teasing spy photos of the forthcoming Taycan electric car.

Instead, the German manufacturer has held a grand opening for its new dealership in Palm Springs, California. It matters because the design sets the scene for how Porsche may want future dealerships to look.

It also moves beyond simply selling cars, towards the idea of bringing enthusiasts together to pay homage to everything Porsche.

Preaching to the converted

Porsche dealerships get brand-new prototype lookFor some, Porsche ownership is already almost akin to a religion, so it maybe shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the new Palm Springs dealership almost resembles a cathedral.

The giant windows, the elevated roof, and the dramatic illuminated frontage all aim to pull in the faithful.

California is the leading market in the United States for Porsche purchasing, meaning the choice of Palm Springs was a natural one to test the reaction. Two more dealerships will follow, with Dortmund, Germany and Hangzhou, China further refining the approach seen here.

Welcome to ‘Destination Porsche’

Porsche dealerships get brand-new prototype lookTaking into account the range of cars Porsche now sells, along with the fervent interest in the brand’s back catalogue, Porsche Palm Springs attempts to incorporate everything under one glass roof.

Alongside new and pre-owned cars is an area dedicated to classic models, while the dealership also features a ‘Porscheplatz’ meeting space, aimed at groups of enthusiasts.

A total of 13 media screens are packed into the building, with two of them measuring an impressive 16×9-feet in size. Touchscreens will also form part of the configuration process, with a dedicated ‘Fitting Lounge’ to help buyers choose paint and interior options.

Porsche is number one in luxury experience

Porsche dealerships get brand-new prototype lookAll the work put into the new Palm Springs dealership is set to build on Porsche’s latest success.

The company has won first place in the 2019 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Index, improving on the second place it achieved in 2018.

Measuring the experience of customers with vehicles aged between one and three years old, the survey includes elements such as service quality, facilities and vehicle pick-up.

New dealerships will be just one of the strategies Porsche employs to connect with customers. The brand also has plans on more pop-up stores, along with ‘Porsche Studios’ created within urban locations.

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet review: no longer the soft option

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Forget Nordschleife lap-times or willy-waving top speeds. Sports cars are all about sensation: how they look, the noises they make and – above all – how they feel to drive. And nothing heightens those sensations like removing the roof.

Try telling that to Porsche purists, though. They have traditionally seen the 911 Cabriolet as a soft option: a car for boulevards, not B-roads. Granted, the drop-top 911 can’t boast a motorsport pedigree, or indeed a back-catalogue of RS- and GT-badged greatness. But its credentials as a driver’s car have never been in doubt.

So, let’s put snobbery to one side and judge the new Cabriolet simply as a sports car. Here’s hoping it’s, well, sensational.

It starts from six figures

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

First, the bad news: you can’t buy a 911 Cabriolet for less than six figures. At least not yet. The two-wheel-drive Carrera S starts at £102,455, with the 4WD Carrera 4S from £108,063. That’s around £10,000 more than the coupe.

Only 450hp ‘S’ versions are available at launch, although an entry-level Carrera will follow later (and likely dip below £100k). Likewise, you must have the paddleshift PDK auto ’box for now: a seven-speed manual comes in 2020.

As you’d expect, the list of options is also longer than an orangutan’s arm. I’ll come to those later.

It does ‘schnell’ very well

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

The 911 Cabriolet weighs 70kg more than the coupe (1,585kg total), but 450 German Pferdestärke – the same as a 2005 996 Turbo S – means it’s savagely quick. Nigh-on supercar quick.

Zero to 60mph takes 3.7sec in the S – or 3.5sec with the optional Sport Chrono pack, which includes launch control. In both instances, the 4S is 0.1sec swifter. Find an empty Autobahn and you’ll hit 190mph.

This latest 3.0-litre flat-six also serves up a monstrous slab of turbocharged torque: 391lb ft from 2,300rpm. Full power isn’t achieved until 6,500rpm, though, at which point you still have another 1,000 frenzied revolutions per minute left.

Not a case of copy and paste

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Designing a new 911 is, one might assume, the easiest job in motordom. A straightforward case of copy and paste. However, it’s also something of a poisoned chalice. Get it wrong and the faithful will never forgive you.

To the untrained eye, the 992 does look near-as-dammit identical to its predecessor. In fact, just 15 percent of parts are carried over and the bodyshell is all-new: now 70 percent aluminium, versus 31 percent in the 991.

The most obvious difference is the full-width rear light bar. Once the preserve of the Carrera 4, it’s now applied across the entire Porsche range. All 911s now have fulsome, Turbo-style hips, too – there’s no longer a ‘narrow body’ option. They’re needed to accommodate larger alloys, now 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear.

One pleasing nod to the past is the bonnet recess in front of the windscreen. It was inspired by the original A- to G-series 911s, built from 1963 to 1989.

It’s a bit of a looker (even with the roof up)

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Unlike some 911 Cabriolets of yore, this one also looks good with the roof up. Its hood retains the iconic teardrop shape of the coupe, arcing smoothly into the 992’s bulbous backside.

Electrically lowering or raising the roof takes 12 seconds, at speeds up to 32mph. Once retracted, it lies hidden beneath the rear deck. And going al fresco doesn’t impact on luggage space because, well, the boot is in the front.

Rather than being strictly a ‘soft-top’, the Cabriolet roof consists of four magnesium panels covered in cloth. These allow for that sleeker profile, reduce interior noice and make the hood effectively slash-proof.

At last, the cabin doesn’t let the side down

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Ergonomics have never been a 911 forte. The outgoing 991, with its bewildering array of buttons, lagged at least a generation behind the rival Audi R8.

Thankfully, the 992’s cabin is a genuine step-on. Sure, there are a few age-old 911 quirks – such as the five-dial binnacle, with its outer gauges obscured by the steering wheel – but the new 12.3-inch touchscreen media system (shared with the Cayenne and Panemera) is intuitive to use and looks gorgeous. One notable black mark: there’s Apple Carplay connectivity, but no Android Auto.

Quality has taken a leap, as the 911 treads the blurred boundary between cosseting GT and serious sports car. I particularly like the kurled toggle switches on the centre console, which offer swift access to the drive modes and chassis settings.

Lest we forget, the 911 Cabriolet also has rear seats. The backrests are bolt-upright and it feels horribly claustrophobic with the roof up, but they’re still a useful advantage over many competitors.

It’s a 911 turbo that sounds like a 911 Turbo

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Among the many things to rile 911 superfans over the years (“You changed WHAT?”), the switch from naturally-aspirated to turbocharged Carreras was a notable line in the sand. Throttle response will never be as electric, they fretted, and the engine won’t sound the same.

Fire up the 992, though, and the rumble from behind your back is unmistakeably a flat-six. The difference here – particularly when you select Sport mode – is that Porsche is no longer being coy about forced induction. The new 911 whooshes and whoops, its wastegate chattering like a WRC car. It sounds overtly and gloriously turbocharged.

At higher revs, that noise swells to a full-bodied roar, the tailpipes snarling and spitting in unbridled fury. And it’s all amplified by having the roof down.

It’s good at playing Gran Turismo

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

My drive starts on the outskirts of Athens, on roads peppered with potholes and forlorn 1980s hatchbacks. Time to ease myself in gently and test the 911’s grand touring credentials.

Its driving position is infinitely adjustable and very comfortable. The view ahead is framed by those voluptuous front wings and the curvaceous flanks fill the door mirrors. I select Normal mode and leave the gearbox, now with eight speeds, in automatic mode. So far, so good.

On the move, the 911 feels supple without being floaty or imprecise. The PDK shifts seamlessly and the engine remains muted. If you’ve just eased yourself out of a Mercedes-Benz SL or BMW 8 Series, you’ll feel right at home.

With the roof down, the cabin stays impressively calm, particularly if you deploy the pop-up wind deflector. You can chat to passengers at motorway speeds without straining your voice.

But scratch the surface and it’s still a 911

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Still, I didn’t come to Greece to pose topless (ahem). So I head inland for the mountains beyond Athens, and the sort of roads that resemble a hand-drawn scribble on the nav screen.

My Carrera S has Sport Chrono, so there’s a manettino-style dial on the wheel for engaging Sport and Sport Plus modes. I start off in the former and switch to manual mode, sensing the 911 stiffen and tense its fibres for action. The whole car suddenly feels emancipated.

On steeply climbing switchbacks, the combination of an engine beyond the back axle and steamroller 305-section rear rubber means incredible traction. The 911 hunkers down, then slingshots out of bends like a scalded cheetah. It makes you question the need for the four-wheel-drive 4S.

All that grip is complemented by an almighty wallop of torque, catapulting the car between bends with sustained, elastic speed. Those on-paper numbers don’t deceive: the 911 is awesomely and addictively rapid.

A car with Sports Purpose

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Nonetheless, a 911 isn’t defined by its point-to-point pace. How it goes around corners is what matters most.

You can breathe easy. The 911’s electric steering (another former bugbear of the fanboys) has evolved to the point where it feels as alert and engaging as a hydraulic system – while adeptly filtering out unnecessary white noise.

Equally, the 992 is a car you steer with the throttle, trimming its line with minute flexes of your right ankle. You feel the car pivot, sensing the available grip through the seat of your pants. It’s approachable and benign, yet aggressive and all-consuming. Having blasted to the summit, I turn around and do it again.

Our car had the optional PDCC chassis control, which all but elimates roll by actively stiffening the suspension. Even with it disengaged, however, body control feels iron-fisted. Any concerns about the 911 Cabriolet being a soft option have evaporated.

Half-way through my second ‘lap’ of the mountain, it starts to rain and the acoustic sensors in the front wheelarches suggest I switch to Wet mode. This ramps up the stability control and calms the car’s responses. I cruise back to Athens with wipers on and the roof firmly in place.

The joy of specs

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Like any upmarket German car, you can ‘personalise’ your 911 to the point of financial meltdown. The good news, as ever, is that most of it is window dressing. The basic package – including LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive suspension and navigation – is all you really need.

Since I’m spending made-up money, I’d go for Sport Chrono (£1,646) and the gorgeous RS Spyder Design wheels seen here (£1,650). I’d also be tempted by the Sport Design Pack (£2,853), which improves the rear-end styling by relocating the number plate higher up. Oh, and perhaps by one of the eye-poppingly bright paint colours, such as Lizard Green (pictured).

My test car was fitted with rear-wheel steering (£1,592), boosting agilty at low speeds and stability as you go faster. However, without trying a 911 not thus-equipped, I can’t fully comment on its effectiveness.

Porsche 911 Cabriolet verdict: five stars

2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

The 911 Cabriolet is indeed a feast for the senses. Its brutally quick and deliciously tactile to drive. Against the odds, it’s aurally awesome too.

What impresses most is the 992’s sheer breadth of ability. How it can switch from calm to combative without pausing for breath. And how it’s still relatively practical for a sports car. As a daily driver, it would surely tick most boxes.

If I’m honest, I’d still err towards the coupe. But that’s more due to irrational prejudice than any discernable shortfall on the Cabriolet’s part. Perhaps I’ll just save up and wait a couple of years for the Targa.

Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet: specification

Price: £102,455

Engine: Flat-six cylinder twin-turbo 2,981cc petrol

Drivetrain: Rear-engine, rear-wheel drive

Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch automatic

Wheels: 20 inches front, 21 inches rear

Power: 450hp@6,500 rpm

Torque: 391lb ft@2,300rpm

0-60mph: 3.7sec (3.5sec with Sport Chrono)

Top speed: 190mph

Fuel economy: 31mpg

CO2 emissions: 208g/km

Length/width/height: 4,519/1,852/1,299mm

Kerb weight: 1,585kg

Porsche 911 Cabriolet review: in pictures

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15 percent of the new Porsche 911 isn’t new

Porsche 911 isn't new

As much as 15 percent of the new 992 Porsche 911 is carried over from the outgoing 991-generation car that first debuted in 2011.

Spoiler alert, you might be thinking (sarcastically). Indeed, the 992 feels like a facelift and then some, rather than a completely all-new car.

That’s not such a bad thing, is it? The 991 evolved into an excellent car in the end, after a rather shaky start. Indeed, the 997 of 2004 was something of a refinement of the all-new generation of 911 that came in with the 996 in 1997.

Porsche 911 isn't new

“The entire car is itself an innovation, with plenty of details which true Porsche enthusiasts will appreciate”, Member of the executive board for procurement, Uwe-Karsten Städter reassures us.

“The car follows firmly in the tradition of our previous rear-engine sports cars, though the familiar contours of the shell belie the cutting-edge technology underneath: more than 85 percent of all parts are new.”

So what does the 992 actually borrow from the 991? Well, though similar looks may deceive, almost nothing carries over body wise. Even the door handles are new flush items. The track is wider, the body is all aluminium and the cabin has been completely overhauled.

Porsche 911 isn't new

Underneath is where we start to see familiarity. The engines, in particular, are a development of the turbocharged units seen in the outgoing second-generation 991. You can expect some smaller, more insignificant, marque-wide components to be carryovers, too. Nothing to write home about, if you will.

Indeed, none of this takes away from the fact that the 992 got rave reactions from the outset. Something the then all-new 991 sorely missed when it introduced direct fuel injection, a controversial seven-speed manual transmission and electric steering back in 2011.

2019 Porsche Macan 2.0 review: still the driver’s choice

Porsche Macan review

The Macan is Porsche’s SUV breadwinner. It’s the car that makes 9,000rpm-revving manual 911 GT3s financially possible for the marque. 

Although some enthusiasts lamented its arrival, the cashflow the Macan generates means the cars they really love continue to get better. Indeed, the Macan triples the sales numbers of the 911.

The Macan also brought much of what makes Porsche so revered to a new customer base. We’re not talking scintillating sports car dynamics or spine-tingling engines, but a Porsche-specific design aesthetic, a high level of quality and Germanic common sense.

All that being so, the Macan was not alone in offering these traits. The Audi Q5 and Volkswagen Tiguan provide premium build quality at a more accessible price-point. The Range Rover Evoque has style previously reserved for those with the keys to a ‘proper’ Range Rover.

Yet while sporting dynamics weren’t front-and-centre to the Macan’s appeal in the context of the Porsche range, they were still class-leading among rivals.

Porsche Macan review

That was all nearly five years ago, and the car industry moves on quickly. There’s a new Evoque, Q5 and sporting rivals in the form of Jaguar’s E-Pace and F-Pace. What has Porsche done to keep the Macan relevant in this competitive segment? It’s facelift time…

The biggest change is under the skin. A new 245hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine joins the bottom of the line-up, taking the place of the old diesels. There is no oil-burning option this time around.

A more powerful 354hp 3.0-litre V6 turbo heads the range for now in the Macan S. All cars come with Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch transmission. A Turbo, GTS and Turbo S will be along soon, with the latter potentially sporting up to 500hp.

For now, the Macan and Macan S are all we’ve got, priced at £46,344 and £48,750 respectively, although it’s not difficult to imagine those starting prices swelling with a dusting of options. They could increase by 10 percent in the event of a no-deal Brexit, too.

2019 Porsche Macan: first impressions

Porsche Macan review

Even the staunchest of SUV detractors can’t deny the Macan is a bit of a looker. It was certainly much better received than the larger Cayenne when that first came out.

Then again, Porsche did play it safe, with a familiar face, swooping proportions, pleasing hips and a bulbous backside. All hallmarks of other – more conventionally desirable – cars it’s better known for.

The facelift goes some way to emboldening the Macan and we’re really quite fond of it. The focus of this mid-life nip-and-tuck was definitely the rear, with a width-spanning light bar bringing the Macan into line with Porsche’s new family design. The bar fills dark spaces when you unlock it at night, luminous like a lightsaber.

It’s really rather lovely in person. The Porsche lettering standing bold in the 3D light cutout is a nice touch. The front is a bit sharper, but you’d need old and new cars side-by-side to spot the difference.

Our car came with 20-inch Turbo wheels (£2,576), sports exhaust tips (£548), LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus (£767) and Dolomite Silver paint (£632). That’s more than £4,000 of exterior upgrades alone.

Inside the 2019 Porsche Macan

Porsche Macan review

Onto the Macan’s cabin and it’s good news for the most part. An 11-inch screen replaces the old seven-inch unit. It comes complete with excellent resolution, superb touch sensitivity and response, plus a user interface we couldn’t find fault with. The vents that used to flank the smaller screen in the pre-facelift car are now beneath it, to lend those extra inches.

Otherwise, it’s pretty much standard Macan fare, which is where our concerns begin. See, when the car came out, it was pretty much the final Porsche with the 2009 Panamera-style button fest on the centre console.

A lot of that is retained on this updated car and, teamed with the now somewhat old-school analogue dials, it serves to date the cabin from the off. This is discernibly a mid-life refresh, not to 2019 standard in the same way the brand new 992 911’s cabin is – or indeed the current Panamera.

In fairness, the Macan’s instrument cluster features part-digitisation in the form of a screen in one of the ‘pods’. It’s an easily configurable and welcome companion to the big screen, with a pleasing aesthetic. But it’s quite obviously a vestige of the previous-generation car.

Porsche Macan review

Practicality could be better, too. While front occupants should be fine (with their standard eight-way electrically adjustable seats, no less), rear passengers could find themselves a little cramped. This is absolutely fine if you want a car for your nuclear family – kids will be comfy in the back – but average-sized adults will struggle for headroom due to that sloping roofline.

The boot is far from class-leading in terms of space, but 500 litres is enough for a week’s shopping or a couple of suitcases. The opening is a little high up, although the optional (£1,860) air suspension can go some way to remedy this. An electrically powered tailgate is, pleasingly, also standard. Even in the world of posh crossovers, you don’t buy the Porsche for its load-lugging capacity or ability to carry five fully-grown adults with ease.

We fear we’re being a little harsh. There’s a lot to praise and as great as it ever was. It all feels absolutely solid, starting with the ‘thunk’ as you shut the door. The quality is second to very few rivals, if any, and there’s a real sense that everything’s been meticulously thought through.

2019 Porsche Macan: on the road 

Porsche Macan review

Let’s get this out of the way now. A fire-spitting 911 GT3, this is not. But nor does it need to be: this is the people’s Porsche. Nevertheless, a level of expectation in terms of the dynamics comes with the badge. Pleasingly, it acquits itself very well and keeps the rest of the class honest.

We first observed a surprisingly compliant ride, thanks in no small part to the comparatively small wheels. Comfort doesn’t come at the expense of cornering, though. The Macan feels wieldy for an SUV, with a remarkable lack of lean. It’s not shot-through with feel and it will push on if you’re bullish, but it’s nicely balanced.

The elephant in the room is the engine. It’s a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit with 245hp, going to ground via a seven-speed PDK transmission. It’ll get you from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 141mph.

Porsche Macan Review

Those are good numbers for a crossover, but it doesn’t feel that fast. Put your foot down on a run and it’ll dispatch a few downshifts with ease, but the four-pot sounds uncomfortable as the car ekes out every last rev to muster up performance. Indeed, peak power comes in at 5,000rpm, so you’re well and truly spinning it up before you get everything it has to give.

It’s not like losing a litre and a couple of cylinders does the economy any good either. Porsche quotes 34mpg, but we struggled to top 30mpg when not being extra careful. We’d go for the Macan S with the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 – 354hp from six cylinders sounds much more like it, much more Porsche.

None of this will matter in a couple of years when the second-generation Macan comes with all electric power, of course. We’re rather looking forward to it.

2019 Porsche Macan verdict: 4 stars

Porsche Macan review

The Macan is, by virtue of its badge, subject to judgement by lofty standards.

The cabin is a very nice, generously equipped and well put-together. The performance is ample for the average SUV buyer. Yes, we’d take the V6, but it’s down to personal taste. The four-pot just felt a bit too far out of character.

As for the practicality, well, you don’t buy a Macan for class-leading boot depth, you buy it because it’s a Porsche. It’s an SUV-shaped taste of a marque so adored by many, which exhibits the style and quality, if not the purity, that the badge promises. We fully understand why they sell as well as they do.

For all its little flaws, it’s still a great car. Nevertheless, that all-new electric successor on the horizon is a bit too close for comfort. We couldn’t whole-heartedly recommend the updated Macan, based on the fact an all-new model will be out while you still have a year left on the PCP contract.

Porsche Macan review

If we were to buy one, we’d save up for the rumoured Turbo S that will see off the combustion-powered Macan. If horsepower isn’t your tonic, perhaps holding on a year for some run-out deals would be a good idea.

Five 2019 Porsche Macan rivals

Range Rover Evoque

Audi Q5

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Jaguar F-Pace

BMW X4

How much did our test car cost?

Porsche Macan 2.0: £56,977 (£46,344 without options)

Which engines does Porsche offer with the Macan?

2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder, 245hp

3.0-litre turbo V6, 354hp

Opinion: An all-electric Porsche Macan is a great idea

Porsche Macan Electric

Porsche has just announced that the next-generation Macan SUV, coming in 2021, will be electric-only.

That means no petrol, no diesel, no hybrid. Electric only. And we think that’s a great idea.

Better performance, better looking

An electric Macan makes sense. Firstly, the shape of small SUVs is conducive to electric powertrains. There’s plenty of room for batteries, and lowering the centre of gravity would be no bad thing.

More freedom to style and shape the body wouldn’t hurt either. There’s no way current crossovers will get worse in terms of looks or handling if they go electric-only.

But better than Tesla?

Porsche Macan Electric

Imagine, if you will, a smaller Tesla Model X, with more range and quicker charging. It has also exchanged silly doors for Porsche badges, Porsche styling and indeed Porsche build quality. And it costs £30,000 less.

That sounds like a pretty appealing package to us.

Better than the current four-cylinder

The four-cylinder engine at the bottom of the current Macan range simply isn’t enough. It sounds asthmatic and has nowhere near the get-up-and-go you expect of a Porsche.

There’s no joy lost in exchanging it for electric motors and an 80kwh bank of batteries. You can bet the electric Macan won’t hang about.

More range than petrol?

There probably won’t be any economy or range lost either. We estimated we’d get a maximum of 450 miles out of a tank in the four-cylinder Macan when tested.

That was based on it achieving a deeply unimpressive 30mpg. Even that proved ambitious at times.

Porsche Macan Electric

We’d wager that the next-generation electric Macan will get very close and possibly surpass that range, with performance to frighten a Macan Turbo. Indeed, it’s due to get a version of the 800-volt technology we’ll see in the Taycan later this year.

We hope we’re not being optimistic with our number plucking. An electric Macan that can do all of the above sounds like Porsche-badged perfection in an Elon Musk electric utopia.

It’s time for electric cars without caveats. And if anyone can do that, it’s Porsche.

Super-rare 911 RS tops perfect Porsche collection

Gooding & Company Amelia Island sale

When Jan Koum and Brian Acton sold WhatsApp to Facebook for a staggering $19 billion (£14 billion) in 2014, the pair made quite a bit of cash. Koum, for example, walked away with $7.5 billion (£5.8 billion) and, like many of us would do with a sizeable windfall, he went car shopping.

But now, he has decided to offload 10 limited-production Porsches, saying: “If I had unlimited time and unlimited garage space, I would never sell any of them, but nevertheless I’ll be very happy to see the next owner driving these special cars on the road or on the racetrack.” If you fancy being that next owner, pop along to the Gooding & Company Amelia Island sale in March.

Porsche 964 Carrera RS 3.8

Gooding & Company Amelia Island sale

The cars are to be offered with no reserve, but that doesn’t mean you can expect to grab a bargain at the Amelia Island auction. As Koum said: “Many of these Porsches offered for sale are the best examples in the world and they are all an important part of my collection.” This Porsche 964 RS 3.8 wouldn’t have come cheap.

It’s one of 55 built and one of only 12 finished in Speed Yellow. Widely regarded as the ultimate 964 model, Koum’s car was sold new in Japan and has seen very little use. Although there’s no guide price or reserve, it is widely expected to sell for at least $1 million (£777,000).

Porsche 964 Carrera RS

Gooding & Company Amelia Island sale

Another rarity is this 1992 Porsche 964 Carrera RS. One of only 1,910 lightweight models built, this low-mileage example was delivered new in Italy and ordered in paint-to-sample Blossom Yellow.

These ‘Basic’ models were designed to be highly responsive street or track cars with no luxury options available. All but the essentials were removed to save weight – even the electric steering was dispensed with. At last year’s Amelia Island sale, a 60,500km example sold for $218,400 (£170,000).

Porsche 993 Carrera RS 3.8

Gooding & Company Amelia Island sale

The 1995 Porsche 993 Carrera RS was the final air-cooled Carrera RS model, built as a homologation special to qualify the RSR 3.8 for BPR GT3 and GT4 racing. It was never offered in the US when new, but, unsurprisingly, some have made their way stateside.

At its heart is a 3.8-litre flat-six engine developing 300hp, with the engineers in Stuttgart going to great lengths to create a lightweight RS model. This example was delivered new in Germany and finished in Speed Yellow. It’s one of a handful of 993 Carrera RS models in the US.

Porsche 997 GT3 RS 3.6

Gooding & Company Amelia Island sale

This 2008 Porsche 997 GT3 RS 3.6 is one of just 53 North American specification examples finished in RS Green and is a highly optioned example with 12,000 miles on the clock.

“These meticulously curated Motorsport Department models illustrate the remarkable evolution of Porsche performance over the past 25 years – from the air-cooled Carrera RS of the 1990s to the latest groundbreaking supercars,” said David Brynan, senior specialist at Gooding & Company.

Porsche 997 GT3 RS 3.8

Gooding & Company Amelia Island sale

“We are thrilled to be presenting these examples of Porsche greatness from a dedicated collector who has painstakingly assembled an unrivalled collection,” continued Bryan.

This 2010 Porsche 997 GT3 RS 3.8 is equipped with carbon-ceramic disc brakes and finished in the colour combination Porsche used at the vehicle’s launch. It’s powered by a 3.8-litre flat-six engine producing 450hp and could sell for upwards of $200,000 (£155,000).

Porsche 997 GT3 RS 4.0

Gooding & Company Amelia Island sale

This 2011 Porsche 997 GT3 RS 4.0 is one of only 600 examples built, with just 158 specified for the North American market. According to Gooding & Company, it’s the only North American car with carbon-ceramic brakes, red and black two-tone seats and adaptive sports seats.

Amazingly, it has covered just 150 miles since new. Porsche offered the 997 GT3 RS to its most loyal customers, each one with a price tag of ‘just’ £128,466. A small price to pay for what was, at the time, the definitive Porsche 911.

Porsche 997 GT2 RS

Gooding & Company Amelia Island sale

This is the fourth and final 997 in the Koum collection: a GT2 RS with just 500 miles on the clock. Of the 500 built, just 142 were supplied new in North America, and it was the first production Porsche 911 to break the 600hp mark.

It went around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7min 18sec – faster than the Carrera GT – and it could hit 100mph in less than seven seconds on its way to a top speed of 209mph. Last year, one of these sold for $445,000 (£345,000) at Monterey Car Week. This one could top half a million dollars.

Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach

Gooding & Company Amelia Island sale

If last year’s auction results are anything to go by, this Porsche 918 Spyder will fetch at least a million dollars, possibly even $1.5 million (£1.1 million). A single ownership example with just 225 miles sold for $1.4 million (£1 million) at the RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary auction.

That was a non-Weissach car, whereas this is one of just seven Weissach 918s painted in Liquid Metal Chrome Blue. What’s more, the milometer hasn’t even reached 20 miles. Name your price…

Porsche 911 R

Gooding & Company Amelia Island sale

Good lord. Not only is this one of just 991 examples built, it still retains its delivery packaging from the factory. That’s right, this Porsche 911 R has never been used. Back when this was new, the 911 R was one of the hottest tickets in town, with the waiting list all but rendering the £136,901 price tag null and void.

What will this delivery mileage example sell for? Well, at last year’s RM Sotheby’s London sale, a 37-mile example sold for £332,375, while a 20-mile car sold for $379,000 (£295,000) at Monterey. This car should set the tone for prices in 2019.

Porsche Cayman GT4

Gooding & Company Amelia Island sale

Concluding Koum’s collection is this 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4. It was specially ordered in paint-to-sample Signal Yellow and optioned with a lightweight build that included carbon-ceramic brakes, carbon-fibre bucket seats, radio delete and a lightweight battery.

It has just 500 miles on the clock. Jan Koum said he would be “very happy to see the next owner driving these special cars on the road or on the racetrack.” You know what to do.

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Porsche Taycan gets a rally legend’s seal of approval

Porsche Taycan Walter Rohrl

Porsche has canvassed a hero of the old school for his thoughts the new Taycan – its first all-electric car. So, what does rally legend Walter Röhrl think of it? And can any EV possibly be a proper Porsche?

This was Röhrl’s second outing in the hotly-anticipated Taycan. His expectations were high in terms of improvements needed in the calibration of the steering and brakes, along with the management of weight.

After his second outing, though, he seems quite ‘taken’ with it…

The feel of the Taycan

Porsche Taycan Walter Rohrl

“I’m surprised because you barely notice the weight any more. The engineers have done a great job on the tuning and have made excellent use of the low centre of gravity. The steering and even the brakes handle superbly,” enthused Röhrl.

“The weight and the feel of the steering – and yes even the brakes, which are far more difficult to get right because of the combination of recuperation and conventional brakes – they’re all right on the money. And that’s what a Porsche should be all about.”

The performance of the Taycan

Porsche Taycan Walter Rohrl

“It’s crazy. In all my years of rallying, I’ve never experienced such performance. The Taycan goes so well at such speed, really tremendous.

“Even in my fastest rally cars, I have never experienced performance like it – and the immediate response, this instant reaction that makes me smile every time.”

Driving an electric Porsche

Porsche Taycan Walter Rohrl

“I would never have expected that the lack of any sound from the drive system could mean no loss of performance. In fact I really like the quietness of the Taycan; it’s something of an experience in itself.

“If I had to drive it blindfolded, I would still know immediately that I was sitting in a Porsche.”

Living with the Taycan

Porsche Taycan Walter Rohrl

“I think they are already on the way to delivering a fantastic product. However, my opinion is that they need to get infrastructure in place quickly, because I think I would go mad if someone was in front of me at the pump and I had to wait.”

Encouraging words, even if they are from a man on Stuttgart’s payroll. Nevertheless, it would take a brave man to bet against Porsche.

On the more practical side of things, it’ll pull enough charge for 100 kilometres (62 miles) of driving in as little as four minutes, thanks to its 800-volt architecture. Let’s hope Röhrl’s wishes for a stronger infrastructure to support it come true.

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These are the most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Last year was absolutely huge for record-breaking classics, including the most valuable car ever sold at auction.

That – plot spoiler – was a Ferrari, but it wasn’t all about Prancing Horses of the Swinging Sixties. Indeed, the top 12 sales of 2018 weren’t short on diversity…

1958 Porsche 550A – £4.03 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

We kick off with a very appropriate sale for 2018. In Porsche’s 70th-anniversary year, this 1958 550A made a cool $5.17 million (£4.03 million) at the Bonhams Scottsdale sale.

It was a factory-backed car in period and, unsurprisingly, has quite a provenance and race history. How does second-in-class (fifth overall) at Le Mans and a class win in the Nürburgring 1,000km in 1958 sound? Few cars are as important to the genesis of Porsche as the 550.

1955 Maserati A6GCS/53 Spider – £4.03 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Last year was big for Maseratis, as we crown the new most expensive car to wear the trident ever sold at auction.

This one-of-three Frua-bodied 1955 A6GCS/53 Spider is a former concours winner and deserving record-holder, achieving the same $5.17 million (£4.03 million) at Pebble Beach as the Porsche. Interestingly, that was a few hundred thousand dollars short of the estimate.

1932 Alfa Romeo Tipo B Grand Prix Monoposto – £4.5 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

This Alfa Romeo Tipo B earns its place thanks, principally, to its significance as the winner of the inaugural Donington Grand Prix in 1935, plus its status as the first successful central single-seat Grand Prix car.

It’s also a veteran of Scuderia Ferrari’s formative years – that is, as a team rather than a manufacturer. What price for this unique piece of racing history? Try $5.83 million (£4.5 million) for size.

1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar – £4.6million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Perhaps the biggest surprise of this list is this comparatively modern legend: a 1985 Porsche 959 Dakar. It sold at RM Sotheby’s Porsche anniversary sale for $5.95 million (£4.6 million).

Resplendent in its Rothmans livery, this unique rally-fettled supercar campaigned at the 1985 Paris-Dakar, is an Amelia Island concours winner and has seen action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with Jacky Ickx at the wheel.

Interestingly, unlike the road-going 959, it does without turbochargers. Perhaps natural aspiration is more reliable when charging through hot desert sands? It’s one of just seven developmental examples built, of which four remain in Porsche’s care.

1958 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Berlinetta – £5.2 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

The Tour de France name was recently applied to the fastest, most extreme version of the Ferrari F12, but its origins date back to the 1950s. The 250 GT TdF Berlinetta comes from an era when road-going GTs also competed in endurance events. The car seen here raced in both the 1958 Targa Florio and Trieste-Opicina hillclimb.

With coachwork by Scaglietti and a V12 beneath its long, voluptuous bonnet, this TdF pushed bidders up and up and it sold for $6.6 million (£5.2 million) at Pebble Beach last year. It was previously owned by a renowned Ferrari collector for 52 years.

1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Speciale – £6.4 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Now, this is something a bit, um… ‘speciale’: the only 275 GTB built by Pininfarina and the personal car of company boss Battista Pininfarina. The Ferrari has numerous bespoke design details and was displayed at many motor shows in-period, including Frankfurt, Paris and Turin.

Its V12 engine has the desirable six-carb specification but hasn’t been started in many years. As such, vendor Gooding and Company advised it ‘will require mechanical attention prior to road use’. The car sold for $8.09 million (£6.4 million) at Scottsdale in January.

1966 Ford GT40 Mk II – £7.7 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

This is one of the three 1966 Le Mans GT40s that cemented this Ferrari-beating blue-collar legend into history. As racing provenance goes, it doesn’t get much better than that – which is why this third-placed GT40 sold for $9.8 million (£7.7 million) at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale.

Since that famous finish at Le Mans in 1966, it’s been wheeled out at numerous historic motorsport events, including appearances at Goodwood (both for the Festival of Speed and Revival), and indeed Monterey. It received the people’s choice award at 2003’s Pebble Beach concours.

1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato 2 VEV – £10.08 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

One of the most famous Aston Martin racing cars ever made is a coach-built victim of a prang at Goodwood. With F1 legend Jim Clark at the wheel, driving his – and the car’s – second Goodwood TT, it spun into the path of John Surtees’ Ferrari 250 GTO at Madgwick. The result was two bent super-GTs and one of the most famous crashes in Goodwood history.

Fitting, then, that this one-of-three super lightweight Zagato was up for grabs at the 2018 Festival of Speed. It eventually crossed the block for £10.08 million. Prior to the sale, the car had been in the same family for 47 years. In 1993, a previous keeper was involved in another prang in ‘2 VEV’ on the Isle of Man. Since then, after a painstaking restoration, the car has led a somewhat more static concours-winning existence.

1963 Aston Martin DP215 – £16.9 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

A Le Mans racer that reached 198.6mph on the Mulsanne Straight in 1963, this aero-enhanced Aston Martin sold for $21.5 million (£16.9 million) at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale. That makes it almost the most valuable British car sold at auction – beaten only by a $22.5 million (£17.7 million) Aston Martin DBR 1 in 2017.

DP215 is a true one-off and the final racing Aston of the David Brown era. It was restored with help with designer Ted Cutting, who was originally tasked with building the car in just two months – with a budget of £1,500. Sadly, although DP215 led Le Mans for two hours, it would retire with gearbox problems.

1935 Duesenberg SSJ – £17.3 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

This high-class hot rod became the most expensive American car ever sold at auction when it appeared at Pebble Beach. Dripping with raffish, jazz-age glamour, it’s one of only two SSJs built, combining a short-wheelbase chassis with a 400hp supercharged in-line 8-cylinder engine.  

Duesenberg had factories in Minnesota, New Jersey and Indiana, and rivalled Cadillac, Rolls-Royce and Bugatti in its day. Production lasted from 1913 until shortly before World War II.

This particular car was delivered new to Hollywood actor Gary Cooper, then later owned by racing driver Briggs Cunningham.

1956 Ferrari 290 MM – £17.3 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

Racing pedigree always boosts the values of classic cars – and this $22.005 million (£17.3 million) 290 MM has a suitably star-studded competition CV. It was a Scuderia Ferrari works car for the 1956 and 1957 seasons, driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, Peter Collins and Stirling Moss.

One of just three surviving 290 MMs, the car retains its original Scaglietti bodywork. It was restored by Ferrari’s in-house Classiche department in 2015, including a respray in 1957 ‘12 Hours of Sebring’ livery.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO – £38.1 million

Most expensive cars sold at auction in 2018

In first place on our list, somewhat predictably, is a Ferrari 250 GTO. This 1962 example enters the record books as the most expensive car ever sold at auction – with a hammer price of $48.4 million (£38.1 million) at Monterey in August.

The 250 GTO is the third of 36 examples built and won its class in the 1963 and 1964 Targa Florio. It still has its original engine, gearbox and rear axle, while factory Series II bodywork was added in period by Scaglietti. Will its record be beaten in 2019? If so, only another 250 GTO seems likely to top it…

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