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First Look: 2012 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Sky’s the limit on a cold January morning as Porsche returns to Detroit Auto Show.

by on Jan.05, 2012

The 2012 Porsche 911 Cabriolet will reach market in time for the spring thaw.

With the temperatures hovering in the low 20s one doesn’t often think of convertibles this time of year in Detroit.  But Porsche is hoping to get a more balmy reception when it pulls the covers – and the top – off its new 911 sports car next week as it makes a return to the Detroit Auto Show.

After a long absence, the maker returned to the largest of the U.S. car shows – from a news standpoint, anyway – last year with the 918 Concept and it is hoping to make big news again this year with the 2012 Porsche 911 Cabriolet, the latest in what will be a string of variants to share the new sports car platform reviewed back in November. (Click Here for that first drive.)

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“Detroit was deliberately chosen for the world premiere of the new 911 Cabrio because the USA is far and away our largest 911 Cabrio market,” said Bernhard Maier, Porsche AG Board of Management Member for Sales and Marketing.

It’s also Porsche’s largest market overall.


Porsche Unveils its “Purest Panamera”

Maker announced new “Experience Center” for California fans.

by on Nov.17, 2011

Porsche bills the 430 hp GTS as its "purest" Panamera.

For those who’ve wondered what the limits are for Porsche’s quirky Panamera, the maker is pushing closer with the L.A. Auto Show unveiling of the new Panamera GTS.  Short for Gran Turismo Sport, it puts the emphasis on the “wow” factor, adding 30 more horsepower and 15 pound-feet to the already impressive numbers made by the S version of Porsche’s 4-door sports car.

“No other four-seater is more track-capable,” declared Porsche Board Member Wolfgang Hatz during an L.A. Auto Show news conference that also saw the official launch of the seventh-generation Porsche 911.  (Click Here for our review of the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera.)

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Though the new Panamera GTS gets such performance niceties as an air suspension system with adaptive damping and increased braking performance it also gives up the Launch Control system found on the more mainstream – if one can use such a term – Panamera S.

Notably reflecting shifting consumer demand and the evolution of the semi-automatic technology Porsche will only offer the Panamera GTS with its lightning-fast 7-speed PDK double-clutch transmission. (more…)

First Drive: 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera

Evolution of an icon.

by on Nov.09, 2011

Porsche rolls out the seventh generation of its iconic 911 Carrera sports car.

As the styling chief for Porsche, Michael Mauer knew he had one of the biggest assignments of his career when he was told to redesign the maker’s flagship 911 sports car.  Few vehicles are more iconic, so, few projects would be more challenging.

The first thing Mauer recognized were the limits confronting him.  While he was asked to come up with something distinctive for the seventh-generation he knew that a radical redesign simply “wouldn’t be a 911.” That meant maintaining the car’s distinctive shape, starting with the long hood, bulging headlamps, “flyline” roof, and, of course, its rear-engine layout.

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What Mauer and his design team have come up with is somehow very different and yet surprising familiar – a Porsche 911 that is at once familiar and yet radically different.  There’s not a single panel or part carried over but for the powertrain – which nonetheless undergoes some significant enhancements.  The 2012 Porsche 911 is longer, lower and wider.  It delivers an array of new technologies intended to make it more powerful and more dynamic – while also improving its fuel economy by an estimated 16%.

The 2012 Porsche Carrera S is longer, lower, wider -- and 100 pounds lighter.


First Look: 2012 Porsche 911

Rebirth of a legend.

by on Sep.13, 2011

Look familiar? No surprise as Porsche rolls out the 2012 911 Carrera and Carrera S.

What to do with an icon like the Porsche 911.  Fact is it’s been around for nearly half a century and still looks surprisingly much like it did when it first debuted.  And so it will still once the new 2012 model – which debuted today at the Frankfurt Motor Show – rolls into showrooms.

Not to say the updated sports car is just more of the same.  There are some nice, if subtle, tweaks to the new 911’s design – though one of the biggest changes is the availability of a new 7-speed manual gearbox.

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“This car embodies the core values for the brand,” explained CEO Matthias Muller, almost as an apologia for the evolution-over-revolution approach to the new 911’s design.  But he also stressed that it’s not all about tradition, it’s also “the ability to look forward.”