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All-New Porsche Panamera Pics Leak out

2017 model gets lighter platform, new, more streamlined body.

by on Jun.24, 2016

A leaked pic of the 2017 Porsche Panamera.

Porsche has been dropping lots of hints as it prepares to formally unveil the newly redesigned Panamera next week. But it turns out you don’t have to wait for that online unveiling or the official public debut of the coup-like sports sedan at the Paris Motor Show later this year.

Along with the teaser images from Porsche, three grainy but quite revealing new pics wound up on Instagram and we’re offering readers a longer look.

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Porsche has never been shy about taking risks, whether introducing its first SUV, the Cayenne, or following with a distinctive, albeit controversial sports car sedan. The original Panamera was a true Porsche in terms of driving dynamics, but generated plenty of controversy over its bubble-back rear end.


Lotus Readying a New Model

Sport-ute, sedan would mirror efforts from Porsche

by on Mar.10, 2015

Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales has the company is taking a common sense approach to recovery, which now likely includes an SUV.

Less than a year ago senior leaders at Lotus were scrambling to determine if the British sports car maker could keep going. What a difference a few months makes; now they’re trying to decide if they should add a sedan or a sport-utility.

“I’m a bit torn between an SUV and a four-door sports car – but in the end I can see that the SUV has the bigger market,” Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales told Reuters. “We’d do an SUV that is very light, very fast on the track and has outstanding handling.”

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Regardless of the choice, it sounds like Porsche could be in line for some competition for the Panamera, Cayenne or Macan, which is exactly where Gales drew his inspiration from for the new product plan last fall. (more…)

Porsche Pushes Into Bentley Territory with Panamera Exclusive Series

Limited-edition sedan lands above “base” Continental GT.

by on Oct.31, 2014

The Porsche Panamera Exclusive Series is creating a little sibling rivalry with the Bentley Continental GT.

When it comes to the upper reaches of the luxury car market, it’s getting hard to tell the players without a scorecard. And that means some sibling brands are suddenly turning into rivals.

The latest example comes with the unveiling of the new Porsche Panamera Exclusive Series. While it’s not the most expensive model the German maker has ever offered – at barely a third the price of the 918 Spyder ultracar – the limited-edition sedan lands well above the “base” Bentley Continental GT and not much below the British maker’s top-line Mulsanne model.

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Then again, Bentley is getting ready to roll out an all-new luxury SUV, which could start siphoning sales away from Porsche, its Volkswagen Group partner. (more…)

The Top-Ranked Vehicles in the JD Power 2014 Initial Quality Study

It doesn't always depend on how much you spend.

by on Jun.18, 2014

The Hyundai Accent scored second only to the Porsche Panamera among all 207 models included in the 2014 JD Power Initial Quality Study.

While the typical 2014 model posted a “somewhat unusual” dip in quality, at least according to the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, there were a number of stellar performers on the list – including some significant surprises.

Porsche led the list among 32 brands covered by the 2014 IQS, while the German maker’s 4-door sports car, the Panamera, had the “single-lowest” number of problems among any of the 207 models the annual survey of U.S. owners covered.

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Even more surprising, perhaps, was the fact that Korean carmaker Hyundai came in fourth overall, and was the highest-ranked of all mainstream makers, beating out such familiar quality leaders as Toyota and Honda. And the little Hyundai Accent, at the other end of the price spectrum from the Porsche Panamera, was the second most problem-free vehicle, the new J.D. Power study found.

“You have some very expensive cars at the top,” noted Dave Sargent, Power’s lead automotive analyst, “and very inexpensive ones.”


Porsche Macan to Debut in LA

Downsized SUV to become Porsche’s 5th model line.

by on Nov.08, 2013

The Macan is expected to become the best-selling model in the Porsche family.

The Porsche Macan will make its long-awaited world debut at the upcoming L.A. Auto Show, one of many global and North American product introductions the maker has scheduled for the annual event.

Set to become Porsche’s fifth product line, the Macan will target the compact crossover niche, one of the fastest-growing segments in both the U.S. and global automotive markets.

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Named for an Indonesian tiger, the Macan is a downsized counterpart to the long-popular Porsche Cayenne and is based on the same platform as the Audi Q5.  Porsche has promised it will “combine all sports car characteristics with the benefits of an SUV.”


Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo’s Paris Preview

For those who didn't find the original Panamera radical enough.

by on Sep.27, 2012

Porsche gives a wagon treatment to the Panamera.

Few recent products created more of an initial controversy than the Porsche Panamera. But Porsche’s coupe-like four-door might seem positively tame after getting a first official look at the German sports car maker’s Panamera Sport Turismo Concept, which is getting a much-rumored preview at this year’s Paris Motor Show.

It may be polarizing, but the Panamera has proven to be one of the most popular models in the Porsche line-up. Could the maker hit another home run with the Sport Turismo?

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Perhaps that alternate term might help it overcome traditional resistance to wagons in the States.  No such trouble in Europe, however, where the wagon has long been one of the most popular body styles, sometimes referred to as a “shooting brake.”


First Look: BMW’s 4-Door, 6-Series Gran Coupe

The lines between coupe and sedan grow fuzzier.

by on Dec.12, 2011

BMW adds a coupe-like sedan to the 6-Series line-up for 2013.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to figure out where to classify some vehicles.  Take the new BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe.  By definition, a 6-Series has traditional been a 2-door, whether with a sweeping hardtop or convertible soft top.  So, what to make of the new BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe?

The latest entry into the 6-Series line-up will feature four doors and 4+1 seating, joining a rapidly expanding list of “coupe-like sedans,” such as the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Porsche Panamera.

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Set for introduction early this summer, the initial BMW 640i Gran Coupe will measure 197 inches, nose-to-tail, a modest 4.4 inches longer than its 2-door sibling – most of the added space devoted to the rear passengers, a good news considering the back seat of the conventional 6-Series coupe is little more than an afterthought.  To put things into perspective, the new Gran Coupe is precisely 4 inches longer than the BMW 5-Series – and also 1.3 inches wider and 2.8 inches lower.


Porsche Aims to Double Volume with New Models

Maker counting on emerging markets but sees more opportunities in U.S., Europe.

by on Nov.09, 2011

The planned Porsche Cajun will be one of a number of new models the maker is planning, company officials told TheDetroitBureau.com

Porsche intends to more than double its current global sales volume – while maintaining its position as the world’s most profitable carmaker – with the steady addition of new products.

The maker believes that much of its growth, going forward, will come from emerging markets like China, Russia and India, but it also believes there’s a significant opportunity to build demand in established markets such as the U.S. and Europe, company officials stressed during a California preview of the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S.  (For a review of the 7th-generation 911, Click Here.)

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“It is our objective to remain the world’s most profitable auto manufacturer,” said Porsche Board Member Wolfgang Hatz.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the German maker can keep up with a Toyota or Volkswagen – in terms of raw dollars – but on a percentage basis it is setting the benchmark, with a target of holding at a 15% Return on Sales, or ROS, and a Return on Investment, or ROI, of 21%.


Kick-Starting Start-Stop

Feds the obstacle with mileage boosting technology.

by on Oct.07, 2011

Porsche was one of the first to offer American motorists Start-Stop technology in a non-hybrid vehicle with the launch of the Panamera.

Are federal regulators inadvertently blocking widespread adoption of new technology that could significantly improve the fuel economy of most new vehicles at a relatively modest cost?

Auto industry officials complain that the Environmental Protection Agency is discouraging the industry from using Start-Stop, a technology that can briefly shut down a vehicle’s engine instead of wasting gas by idling.  The feature, widely used in Europe and Japan, can boost the fuel economy of a typical passenger vehicle by as much as 5%.

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The problem is that the government’s often-criticized fuel economy test cycle does not account for the advantages of Start-Stop, making it hard to justify the added cost – about $300 to $500 a vehicle – if a maker cannot show consumers that it is boosting their mileage and saving them money in the long run.

The 2012 Kia Rio will introduce Start-Stop technology into the mainstream American market.

“Fuel economy is now the number one concern for American car buyers,” notes Derrick Kuzak, Ford Motor Co.’s global product chief.  And that is prodding the maker – and its competitors – to adopt all sorts of new technologies that can increase a vehicle’s fuel efficiency.  That includes new 7-, 8- and even 9-speed gearboxes, low rolling-resistance tires and downsized, turbocharged engines like Ford’s popular EcoBoost system.

But in a hotly competitive marketplace, warns Kuzak, a maker needs to get a return for its investment.  And that means the bragging rights of showing potential buyers an improvement in fuel economy.

Yet even though automotive experts universally agree that Start-Stop routinely yields a 3% to 5% improvement in mileage – and sometimes more – manufacturers have no way to show that on the Munroney window stickers customers routinely check when they go car shopping.

So, for the moment at least, Start-Stop systems are available only on about 2% of the cars, trucks and crossovers sold in the U.S. — primarily on gas-electric vehicles, such as the Ford Fusion or Toyota Prius, where the necessary componentry is already built into the vehicle.

Experts say that today’s engines can save fuel shutting down for as little as 15 to 30 seconds rather than idling at a light or drive-up window.  Start-Stop makes it simpler than having to switch a key on and off.

The basic operation is simple: when a vehicle comes to a stop and the driver steps on the brake the engine shuts down.  Lift off the brake and the engine automatically fires up again.

Federal regulators have promised to examine the technology and may either modify their test procedure or come up with an algorithm that would boost the numbers for a vehicle using Start-Stop.  On a typical car, the savings might add up to $100 or more annually, justifying the added expense, industry observers contend.  And this way, buyers would directly understand the benefits.

Some makers have decided not to wait for the feds to act.  Kia will become the first mass-market manufacturer to offer Start-Stop on a conventional, non-hybrid model.  It will become available on the 2012 Kia Rio as part of a $400 “Eco” option.  The base Rio will go for $14,350.

Ford, meanwhile, says it will begin offering the technology on some of its new models next year.

It’s already available on some high-line products, notably from BMW and Porsche – the latter first introducing it on the Panamera, its 4-door sports car.  The maker claims the technology has proven particularly effective on its high-performance products, bumping up the fuel efficiency of the all-new Porsche 911 by as much as 15% in the European fuel economy test process.

It can take a bit of getting used to Start-Stop, feeling the engine suddenly stop at a light and then restarting, almost like magic, when it’s time to move forward.  But on many models the technology operates so smoothly a motorist might not even know, especially if the radio is on, hiding the sudden silence from under the hood.

Some see Start-Stop as a sort of “bridge” between conventional gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles and all-electric products.  Others contend that with the use of more limited high-tech systems – such as Start-Stop – the internal combustion engine will become so much more efficient it will become hard to justify pure battery-electric powertrains.

Research by IHS Automotive suggests Start-Stop will see a tenfold increase in use in the U.S. by 2017, to around 20%.  Some experts, including Ford powertrain planners, believe the technology could actually become almost ubiquitous in another decade – especially if makers are allowed the bragging rights for the high-mileage systems.

Johnson Controls to Invest $138.5 Million in Toledo Battery Plant

Plant will supply growth of vehicle start-stop systems.

by on Jun.28, 2011

Porsche's Panamera is one of the first vehicles offered in the U.S. with start-stop technology.

Another day, another company announcing expanded production of components for super-efficient vehicles featuring advanced battery technology.

Johnson Controls will invest $138.5 million to convert its battery plant near Toledo, Ohio, into a battery facility for start-stop systems and other high-efficiency vehicles. Subject to final state and local incentives, the facility will be the company’s first such plant in the United States.

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“Start-Stop vehicle technology is emerging globally as one of the most affordable options for consumers who want to buy a more fuel-efficient car for very little added cost up front,” said Alex Molinaroli, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions. “We see this market growing to 35 million batteries globally by 2015, and the United States is an important piece of the market.”