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From wild to wacky: Porsche reveals 15 “Unseen” concepts

2016 Porsche Le Mans Living Legend
We think that some of Porsche’s previously “Unseen” concepts should be built, with the Le Mans Living Legend at the top of the list.

Those fortunate enough to have attended a major auto show (remember those?) will know that some of the most exciting new reveals are concept cars and prototypes, yet for some reason Porsche has hidden away most of its non-production gems, until now that is.

As part of a new “Porsche Unseen” project that includes a hard cover book and website, Porsche dusted off 15 of its previously hidden concepts, showing some that were clearly inspired by the brand’s motorsport success and others that influenced today’s production models. There’s a number of gorgeous modernized historical recreations too, not to mention others that pay tribute to the brand’s previous rally racing triumphs. All were organized into four appropriately named categories, including Hypercars, Little Rebels, Spin Offs, and What’s Next? So without further ado let’s delve into each one in order to see all that Porsche has been hiding from us over the past decade-and-a-half.

Hypercars: Will any of these concepts influence Porsche’s next supercar?

2013 Porsche 917 Living Legend
Porsche made more hypercar concepts than any other.

The Hypercars category is by far the largest, incorporating six concepts that’ll easily get your head spinning. The first arrived in 2013 and the most recent was created in 2019, with the result being six glorious years of would-be supercars. Before we start complaining about none in this six-pack getting the green light for production, we should remember the brilliant 918 Spyder that was actually being produced during much of this era. Still, how we’d love to see production runs of some of these others. At the very least, these concepts will inspire future designs, which might have to be good enough.

2013 Porsche 917 Living Legend: Gorgeous race car for the street

2013 Porsche 917 Living Legend
You might have seen this 2013 Porsche 917 Living Legend before, and it looks just as stunning today.

We covered the stunning 917 Living Legend at length previously in these pages, as it was the only car from this collection to see daylight thanks to Porsche’s 50th anniversary “Colours of Speed” exhibition that took place at the brand’s museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany in 2013. If the name didn’t give it away, its modernized take on the legendary 917 KH race car makes its heritage known immediately.

The famed model was responsible for Porsche’s first Le Mans win (that now total 19) in 1970, so it’s only appropriate that the concept wears a revised version of the original’s Salzburg red-and-white paint scheme. The 1:1 industrial plasticine model fittingly marked Porsche’s return to the top-level LMP1 class of FIA-sanctioned sports car racing.

2015 Porsche 906 Living Legend: Once again pulling inspiration from motorsport

2005 Porsche 906 Living Legend
A racer for the street or track? The 2005 906 Living Legend follows a motorsport theme that dominates Porsche’s concepts.

Following a motorsport theme, the 906 Living Legend was heavily inspired by Porsche’s 906 race car that took part in the 1966 Targa Florio road race. Specifically, the 906 Living Legend’s front lighting elements can be seen in the cooling ducts, not unlike those on the original, while its red and white livery references the classic racer too.

“The design process for such visions is very free,” stated Porsche’s Chief Designer, Michael Mauer. “It is not necessary to keep to pre-defined product identity characteristics. For example, the headlights were positioned in an air intake as a futuristic light source. When we were later developing an identity for our electric models, we took another look at these designs. The radical idea of simply integrating a light source in an opening instead of a glass cover seemed appropriate for us. We are now approaching this ideal.” Additionally, Mauer said, “Modern hypercars are greatly dependent on their aerodynamics and openings resulting from the enormous ventilation requirements.”

2017 Porsche 919 Street: From racetrack to perceived public roads with little modification

2017 Porsche 919 Street Concept
If the 2017 Porsche 919 Street Concept looks like an LMP race car, it’s no coincidence.

The 919 Street, created in 2017, is in fact a road-going 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car, in 1:1 clay model form at least. The track-only 919 Hybrid, which laid waste to all LMP1 sports car challengers, achieving four consecutive FIA World Endurance Championships from 2014 to 2017, was an ideal starting point for any road-going hypercar.

Therefore, Porsche kept the basic design of the race car’s bodywork and underpinnings intact, including its carbon-fibre monocoque and 900 PS hybrid drivetrain, not to mention its overall dimensions including its track and wheelbase, which are identical. It’s hard to imagine why Porsche didn’t build this beast, as every example would’ve been snapped up by collectors in minutes.

2019 Porsche Vision 918 RS: This one owes its existence to the 918 Spyder supercar

2019 Porsche Vision 918 RS
The 918 RS might depict a future Porsche hypercar.

Porsche was seriously considering producing the 918 RS, however, having moved the concept along all the way to the development stage. As you may have guessed (or read in the title), this 1:1 hard model rides on the backbone of Porsche’s hybrid-powered 918 Spyder, but unlike the ultra-fast roadster this one wears a permanent roof.

The fixed head coupe profile wasn’t the only original bit of bodywork either, with as plenty of other upgrades were made to give the 918 RS its own unique look. Is this the future of Porsche hypercars? Being one of the most recent, we think it provides a hint of what the Stuttgart brand has in store.

2019 Porsche Vision 920: A future LMP1 car?

2019 Porsche Vision 920
Don’t expect to see the Vision 920 on the street, but we may catch a glimpse of something similar on the track.

The Vision 920 is more about looking into the future than the past. Hopefully it’s imagining something track-ready for Porsche’s next foray into sports car racing, as the car looks armed and ready for FIA LMP (Le Mans Prototype) sanctioned events. In true dedicated race car fashion, the solo driver occupies the centre position behind a wraparound jet-fighter like windshield.

Likewise, all the aerodynamic ducting and exposed suspension hardware make this motorsport concept appear like a future series champion, so let’s hope they build it and head back to Le Mans.

2019 Porsche Vision E: Is this Porsche’s future? 

2019 Porsche Vision E
Another track star, the Vision E combines the best from Porsche’s Formula E car with year-round usability.

Porsche left sports car prototype racing to focus on the all-electric Formula E series, which is probably why the Vision E concept exists. It’s powered by an 800-volt, fully-electric power unit, although unlike Formula E cars this more road-worthy alternative is fully-enclosed to had its single occupant from the elements.

Tiny motorcycle-like fenders make it kind of legal, theoretically, although being that it was just a 1:1 hard model we’ll never know. Porsche did move it all the way up to the development stage, mind you, but so far nothing similar has shown up in any future model section of the German brand’s website.

Little Rebels: These are the little cuties we know you want most

Few brands pay greater tribute to past triumphs than Porsche, but then again, few brands have such storied pasts to draw upon. The Little Rebels category pulls design elements from a few Porschephile favourites, so make sure to let us know which one you’d like to have in your driveway.

2013 Porsche 904 Living Legend: Autocross star in the making

2013 Porsche 904 Living Legend
Porsche was on a roll in 2013, and this 904 Living Legend is a clear example of concepts done right.

Can we get a vote? Is the 904 Living Legend your favourite so far? It certainly ranks high on our list of cars we’d love to see Porsche build, even if it’s already eight years old. Interestingly, this retrospective sports car was actually based on the VW XL1 streamliner, a fuel-economy-focused diesel-powered (are we allowed to mention that word anymore?) prototype.

Porsche dug into a different VW group brand to source the 904 Living Legend’s engine, however, resulting in a high-revving Ducati V2 motorcycle engine that no doubt has little problem moving this 900-kilgram two-seater like a rocket.

While our fingers are crossed something similar gets created with Porsche’s fabulous turbocharged four-cylinder stuffed into the engine compartment, resulting in a German interpretation of Lotus’ Elise, or more accurately a modernized version of the late great 1963 Porsche Carrera GTS (it’s inspiration after all), we’re not ponying up down payments just yet.

2016 Porsche Vision 916: Beautiful, fast and clean 

2016 Porsche Vision 916
The Vision 916 is 100 percent electric and gorgeous.

The Vision 916 might look like supercar, but in reality, the sleek two-seat coupe is a lot more down to earth. In fact, the Vision 916 features a 100-percent electric battery and hub-motor drivetrain, combining for blisteringly quick acceleration and zero emissions.

Porsche says it was inspired by a six-cylinder-powered version of the ‘70s-era 914, dubbed 916, which was never produced for mass consumption, but we can’t see much of a resemblance to the squared off mid-engine model.

2019 Porsche Vision Spyder: Boxster of tomorrow?

2019 Porsche Vision Spyder
We’d be happy if Porsche pushed 718 Boxster styling in the direction of this Vision Spyder concept.

The more rectangular Vision Spyder, on the other hand, has 914 written all over it, and we’re hoping it influences the next 718 Boxster. Yes, Porsche’s entry-level roadster still looks great, but every model needs updates, and pushing 718 series design in the Vision Spyder’s direction certainly wouldn’t hurt.

The 1:1 hard model receives a classic silver, red and black motorsport livery that would cause any Porschephile to be hopeful for a potential spec racing series, or at least provide some happy thoughts about future weekends at a local autocross course.

Just like today’s 718 series, this Vision Spyder receives its ideal handling balance from a mid-engine layout, while some styling highlights can be traced back to the 1954 550-1500 RS Spyder. As noted, we’re also eyeing some 1969-1976 914 in this design, particularly in its angular elements and fabulous looking roll hoop.

Spin-Offs: These ones are closer to reality

When you think of spin-offs, what comes to mind? Normally the term conjures up the next Star Wars prequel or sequel, or perhaps another Marvel comic strip coming to life. In Porsche-speak, however, it’s all about modifying an existing model to the nth degree, so that its purpose becomes expanded beyond its original scope.

2012 Porsche 911 Vision Safari: The ultimate rally car?

2012 Porsche 911 Vision Safari
Which Porsche enthusiast wouldn’t want a 911 like the Vision Safari? Bring it on!

Those who’ve loved Porsche for multiple decades may remember the phenomenal 959, which when after debuting in 1986 became the fastest production car in the world. Being four-wheel drive, Porsche went about raising and beefing up its suspension in order to take the car rallying, which resulted in immediate first, second and sixth place finishes in the 1986 Paris-Dakar rally—7,500 of the most grueling miles any car could endure.

Seeing something similar based on the even more attractive 991 body style is even better, especially when factoring in that it probably wouldn’t set its buyer back anywhere near the $6 million USD needed to pick up a race-experienced 959.

Of course, this one-off concept would be worth a fair penny if Porsche decided to sell it, but that’s not likely to happen. Instead, they might want to combine an updated version based on the latest 911 Turbo with a spec off-road series. Hey, we can hope.

2013 Macan Vision Safari: Porsche should build this awesome 4×4

2013 Porsche Macan Vision Safari
Update its styling to the gen-two design, and a production Macan Vision Safari is a no-brainer.

While an off-road capable 911 sounds awesome, a 4×4-ready Macan makes more sense from a sales perspective. If that sounds too farfetched to contemplate, stretch your mind back to when the original Cayenne arrived. It was actually quite handy off-road, so we know Porsche isn’t against getting dirty when it needs to.

Despite being based on the first-generation Macan, this Vision Safari concept shows just how amazing a muscled-up version of Porsche’s entry-level SUV could be. Look a little closer and you might notice that this 1:1 scale hard model isn’t only about big tires and bulky body-cladding, it’s also been transformed into a two-door coupe. We’d like it with four doors too, so hurry up and build it, Porsche.

2014 Porsche Boxster Bergspyder: the perfect mid-engine track star

2014 Porsche Boxster Bergspyder
The perfect track star, Porsche’s 2014 Boxster Bergspyder would be ideal for a spec series.

Back on tarmac, Porsche’s 2014 Boxster Bergspyder would be better suited to smooth surfaces than anything unpaved. Based on Porsche’s lightweight roadster, with yet more mass removed via a barchetta-style permanently open roof, the elimination of the passenger seat (two’s a crowd anyway), and substitution of critical components with lighter weight composites, the Bergspyder has track star written all over it.

Additional updates include 911 Speedster-like shorten windscreen pillars along with cool dual roll hoops ahead of a Carrera GT-style double-bubble rear deck lid for a truly exotic look. The cabin’s primary gauge cluster comes straight out of a 918 Spyder, while a useful helmet shelf sits where the passenger would have previously.

If you thought dropping the Boxster’s weight down to a featherlight 1,130-kilos was good news, the inclusion of the Cayman GT4’s high-revving 3.8-litre flat-six is pure icing on the cake.

2016 Porsche Le Mans Living Legend: this is the one we want the most

2016 Porsche Le Mans Living Legend
How can they not built it? We think the Le Mans Living Legend is fabulous in every way.

The Le Mans Living Legend is a Boxster/Cayman-based sports coupe that pulls memories from the ‘50s. Inspired by the stunning 1953 550 Le Mans racing coupe, this one-off boasts a mid-mounted V8 with “excessive sound development,” or so says Porsche. It’s mated to a manual transmission, which is surprising yet ideal, and without doubt would clean up on any competitors that would dare to race it.

The divided rear window is a design element we’d love to see somewhere in Porsche’s future lineup, not to mention the classic exposed fuel cap mounted smack dab in the centre of the hood. Beautiful is an understatement, so let’s hope Porsche has plans to build it.

What’s Next? One that’s already here and another only displaying technology

The Vision Renndienst (Race Service) and Vision Turismo are the only two concepts that fall under the “What’s Next?” menu, but don’t let the name of this category make you think we’re about to be inundated with little electric delivery vans wearing Porsche badging.

2018 Porsche Vision Renndienst: It’s what’s underneath the skin that matters

2018 Porsche Vision Renndienst
Porsche should build the Vision Renndienst, but with a VW badge.

A Porsche minivan? While this cute little runabout wears Porsche’s famed crest up front (albeit a faded grey version with a transparent background), the Vision Renndienst is more about the all-electric skateboard platform design it sits upon.

Styled after the race service vans used in early racing programs, the Vision Renndienst has accommodations for six occupants, with the driver up front in the middle, either facing forward or rearward for relaxing while being driven autonomously.

A neat concept that would probably be better accepted with a big VW badge on the front panel, the Vision Renndienst nevertheless points the brand toward an electric future, a common theme these days.

2016 Vision 960 Turismo: Meet the Taycan’s early prototype

2016 Porsche Vision 960 Turismo
The 2016 Vision 960 Turismo was a technological predecessor to the Taycan EV.

The Vision 960 Turismo is an all-electric four-door coupe, looking for all purposes like a 918 Spyder supercar in front and a Panamera in the rear. The 1:1 scale model looks fabulous, although so does the Taycan in a much more modern way, so therefore it appears Porsche made the right decision to look forward with its first electric, rather than backward.

The 15 “Unseen” Porsche prototypes are currently on display at Porsche’s museum in Stuttgart, while a 328-page “Porsche Unseen” hardcover book that includes photos from Stefan Bogner with accompanying text by Jan Karl Baedeker, can be purchased in the Museum gift shop. It’s published by Delius Klasing Verlag and made available at Elferspot.com (ISBN number 978-3-667-11980-3) too.

As for now, sit back, relax and enjoy the “Porsche Unseen: Uncovered” video below that follows.

Porsche Unseen: Uncovered (47:52):

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

CarCostCanada

Porsche increases battery size and EV range of the 2021 Cayenne E-Hybrid

2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
All 2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid models get a bump in battery size for increased range.

Just in case you’re having a déjà vu moment, rest assured that you previously read an article on this site about Porsche E-Hybrid battery improvements, but at that time we were covering Panamera variants and now it’s all about the electrified Cayenne.

Like last year, both the regular Cayenne crossover SUV and the sportier looking Cayenne Coupe will receive Porsche’s E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid power units, but new for 2021 are battery cells that are better optimized and improve on energy density, thus allowing a 27-percent increase in output and nearly 30 percent greater EV range.

2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe
Although it looks as if it should be faster, the 2021 Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe is a fraction slower to 100 km/h than the regular body style.

The new battery, up from 14.1 kWh to 17.9, expands the Cayenne E-Hybrid’s range from about 22 or 23 km between charges to almost 30 km, which will force fewer trips to the gas station when using their plug-in Porsches for daily commutes. Likewise, the heftier Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid gets an EV range bump up from approximately 19 or 20 km to 24 or 25 km.

Added to this, Porsche has reworked how these Cayenne plug-ins utilize their internal combustion engines (ICE) when charging the battery. The battery now tops off at 80 percent instead of 100, which in fact saves fuel while reducing emissions. Say what? While this might initially seem counterintuitive, it all comes down to the E-Hybrid’s various kinetic energy harvesting systems, like regenerative braking, that aren’t put to use if the battery reaches a 100-percent fill. Cap off the charge at 80 percent and these systems are always in use, and therefore do their part in increasing efficiency.

2021 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid
The regular Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid body style and the Coupe are identically quick.

Additionally, the larger 17.9 kWh battery can charge quicker in Sport and Sport Plus performance modes and default or Eco modes, making sure the drive system always has ample boost when a driver wants to maximize acceleration or pass a slower vehicle.

Net horsepower and combined torque remain the same as last year’s Cayenne plug-in hybrid models despite the bigger battery, with the 2021 Cayenne E-Hybrid retaining its 455 net horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque rating, and both Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid body styles pushing out a sensational 670 net horsepower along with 663 lb-ft of twist.

2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
No matter the 2021 Cayenne body style or trim line, the view from inside is impressive.

Standard Cayenne E-Hybrid models can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 5.0 seconds when equipped with the Sport Chrono Package, before maxing out at a terminal velocity of 253 km/h, while the Sport Chrono Package equipped Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe requires an additional 0.1-second to achieve the same top speed. Alternatively, both regular and coupe Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid body styles catapult from standstill to 100 km/h in an identical 3.8 seconds, with the duo also topping out at 295 km/h.

The 2021 Cayenne E-Hybrid starts at $93,800 plus freight and fees, while the Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe is available from $100,400. After that, the Turbo S E-Hybrid can be had from $185,600, and lastly the Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe starts at $191,200. You can order the new electrified Cayenne models now, with first deliveries expected by spring.

Take note that Porsche is offering factory leasing and financing rates from zero percent, so be sure to visit our 2021 Porsche Cayenne Canada Prices page to find out all the details. CarCostCanada also provides manufacturer rebate information, when available, plus dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands on your next purchase. Learn how it all works by clicking on this link, and also download our free app.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

CarCostCanada

Jeff Zwart races rare Porsche 935 up Pikes Peak in just 09:43.92 minutes

Jeff Zwart races rare Porsche 935 up Pikes Peak in just 09:43.92 minutes
Jeff Zwart races this rare Porsche 935 reissue up the Pikes Peak hill climb in a mere 09:43.92 minutes.

We just can’t get enough of 2018’s Porsche 935 reissue or the sensational 911 GT2 RS it’s based on, so we thought we’d shed some light on an impressive entry in this year’s Pikes Peak hill climb, not to mention the man at the wheel, racing legend Jeff Zwart.

Zwart, with 16 Pikes Peak hill climbs to his credit, celebrated his 17th entry with an impressive run up the 20-km uphill course of just 09:43.92 minutes. He later admitted to going easy on the 700 horsepower, $780,000 USD rear-wheel drive car (which equaled exactly 1,025,000 CAD at the time of publishing), due to it belonging to a personal collector, but he nevertheless ended up fifth overall and second in his Time Attack 1 class, which only allows track and race cars based on production models. Zwart may have been a bit rusty too, having not driven the course in five years, but he certainly had high praise for the modern-day 935.

Jeff Zwart races rare Porsche 935 up Pikes Peak in just 09:43.92 minutes
Jeff Zwart now how 17 Pikes Peak hill climbs to his credit.

“It’s the most comfortable race car I’ve ever driven,” stated Zwart after his run. “The combination of the turbo, the bodywork and the motorsport chassis is wonderful.”

Weighing in at just just 1,380 kilos (3,042 lbs), the 935 reissue is one of just 77 created after being introduced at the historic “Rennsport Reunion” motorsport event at California’s Laguna Seca Raceway on September 27, 2018. It’s a race-prepped single-seater riding on Porsche’s 991-generation 911 GT2 RS platform, but features special 935-like body panels from nose to tail, the latter boasting a longer rear section (just like the original) for increasing downforce.

Jeff Zwart races rare Porsche 935 up Pikes Peak in just 09:43.92 minutes
The gorgeous 935 reissue has Pegasus branding denoting its Mobil 1 sponsor.

The car used in the hill climb is owned by Porsche collector Bob Ingram, while its livery included support for his son Cam’s Porsche restoration shop. It sported white, grey and red paint with Pegasus branding on its rear fenders thanks to sponsorship from Mobil 1.

Clint Vahsholt, who drove a Formula Ford in the Open Wheel category, achieved the fastest overall time in this year’s event, managing only 09:35.490 minutes, whereas the quickest Porsche was a GT2 RS Clubsport piloted by David Donn, who, also in the Time Attack 1 category, achieved a 9:36.559-minute time.

Jeff Zwart races rare Porsche 935 up Pikes Peak in just 09:43.92 minutes
Zwart claims the 935 reissue is an easy car to drive quickly.

The Pikes Peak road course in Colorado is officially 19.99 kilometres (12.42 miles) long and features 156 turns, while climbing 1,440 metres (4,720 ft) of elevation averaging 7.2-percent grades. The uphill race starts at Mile 7 on the Pikes Peak Highway before ending at the 4,302-metre (14,115 ft) elevation. Multiple vehicle classes take part in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb every year, making it very popular in the motorsport community.

Being that 935 reissues such as the one Jeff Zwart was driving on his Pikes Peak run are worth upwards of $1.5m USD on the used market, and original 935s can fetch much more, we recommend you take a look at our 2021 Porsche 911 Canada Prices page or 2020 Porsche 911 Canada Prices page to check out more down to earth 911 trims. There you’ll be able to get helpful info about factory leasing and financing rates, which are current at 0-percent, plus up-to-date rebate information as well as dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands on your next purchase. We recommend downloading our free app as well, so you can have all this money-saving info at your fingertips when you need it most at the dealership. See how the CarCostCanada system can work for you.

Also, make sure to enjoy the awesome video footage showing Jeff Zwart racing the sensational 935 reissue up Pikes Peak:

Jeff Zwart | Full Run Onboard + Driver Interview | 2020 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (11:00):

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo and video credits: Porsche

CarCostCanada

Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge champion Brandon Hawkin to get his day on the track with a 718 Cayman GT4 Club Sport

Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge champion Brandon Hawkin to get his day on the track with a 718 Cayman GT4 Club Sport
Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge champion Brandon Hawkin won every single race.

Are esports really sports? They certainly require focus, stamina and a lot of hand-eye coordination, plus in the case of e-motorsports, foot coordination too, but most serious sports fans would probably rank them beside video games, which in fact they are. Still, esports are incredibly popular, which means that automakers would be missing out on a great opportunity to connect with their fans, especially automakers already involved in motorsports.

Porsche has a long history in motorsports, competing soon after the engineering company was founded in 1931. In fact, the car most historians credit as the first Porsche, the Type 64, which was based on the Volkswagen Beetle that Ferdinand Porsche designed, housing a 50-horsepower flat-four mounted in the rear, was solely meant for racing. That car was set to be entered in a Berlin to Rome race scheduled for September 1939, but for reasons you can probably guess the event was cancelled, and thus the car never saw the track until a restored example, brought back to life by the one and only Battista Farina of Pininfarina fame in 1947, went on to win the Alpine Rally in 1950 when driven by then-owner and Austrian motorcycle racer Otto Mathé. By then the new Porsche 356 was already in production and within a year was taking class victories, the first at the 1951 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge champion Brandon Hawkin to get his day on the track with a 718 Cayman GT4 Club Sport
All 30 contestants drove digital 718 Cayman GT4 Club Sport cars.

Fast forward through countless contests and numerous championships to the point that Porsche became the winningest brand at the annual Le Mans 24 Hours weekend, its 919 hybrid having become the circuit’s overall winner for three consecutive years from 2015 through 2017. Porsche contests many other sports car categories too, plus the performance brand is now deeply involved in Formula E, the FIA-sanctioned 100-percent electric racing series.

History’s race drivers would have benefited greatly from modern-day race simulators, or for that matter regular gaming consoles that racing fans use every day from the comfort of their homes. As it was this year, due to our health crisis professional drivers spent the first half of the year racing each other digitally, while Porsche Canada witnessed this trend and made it possible for fans to race each other in the same way via the Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge Canada one-make virtual race series.

Launched last May in concert with online games company iRacing.com, which is best known for its “Grand Prix Legends” and NASCAR 2003” games, the Esports Sprint Challenge Canada series pitted 30 virtual drivers at the wheel of one 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport car apiece, resulting in Lindsay, Ontario’s Brandon Hawkin winning every single race.

Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge champion Brandon Hawkin to get his day on the track with a 718 Cayman GT4 Club Sport
iRacing.com, which is best known for its “Grand Prix Legends” and NASCAR 2003” games, created the digital elements of the Esports Sprint Challenge Canada series.

“The series was organized very professionally and it was a pleasure to race with everyone – what a fantastic experience,” said Hawkin. “It will be extremely memorable based on how competitive the series was with lots of track battles.”

While the series trophy would have probably been enough of an award, Hawkin was also given the opportunity to join Porsche Canada on the track for the Porsche Experience program, an opportunity of a lifetime for any performance car fan.

“Driving a Porsche on track is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child,” continued Hawkin. “I’m so excited and thankful that I’ll now get that chance and join the Porsche Track Experience program!”

The series runner up was William Levesque, while Giovanni Romano took third. Both will receive consolation prizes along with the other 27 contestants, plus iRacing threw in some online game credits allowing those at the back of the pack to hone their skills.

Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge champion Brandon Hawkin to get his day on the track with a 718 Cayman GT4 Club Sport
Could Brandon Hawkin be Porsche’s next great works driver? Fortunately, he’ll get his chance to prove his mettle at the track.

“It was incredible to see the group of talented sim racers we have across Canada push each other in the virtual racing world,” said Marc Ouayoun, President and CEO, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. “Congratulations to all the competitors, especially to Brandon Hawkin, as he will have the chance to bring his skill sets to life at Porsche Track Experience in the very near future.”

To learn more about the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, check out our 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman Canada Prices page that shows Porsche factory leasing and financing rates from zero-percent. CarCostCanada provides members with rebate info and dealer invoice pricing too, both capable of saving you thousands during negotiations, while you can also download the free CarCostCanada app from the Google Store or Apple Store, allowing you to have all of our money-saving info at your fingertips when you need it most, at the dealership.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

CarCostCanada

BMW unveils polarizing new 2021 M3 and M4 featuring available AWD

2021 BMW M3
The new 2021 BMW M3, shown here in Competition trim, makes sure you can see its twin-kidney BMW lineage from a mile away.

Say hello to Thing 1 and Thing 2. They’re not very pretty, but they can shoo, shoo, shoo, shoo!

Ok, Dr. Suess we’re not, but you’ve got to give us some credit for having a little fun with BMW’s two new cartoonish cars. The 2021 M3 sports sedan and M4 sport coupe were unveiled Tuesday, September 22, after which the world’s performance car netizens let their feelings be known in (mostly) unsatisfied ways. Artist’s renderings soon popped up showing how BMW should have designed the oft-criticized duo, which certainly isn’t the best of initial signs.

2021 BMW M4
Will this M4’s grille grow on you? Or maybe you like it already? Either way, it’s certainly causing a buzz.

Of course, plenty of pandering professional pundits were merely calling the new M cars “bold” or “dramatic”, which probably shows more kindness than the polarizing cars deserve, but to each his or her own, as the saying goes, so whether we like BMW’s new styling approach or not, we can at least revel in their engineering prowess.

Certainly, BMW is reaching back into its storied history for inspiration, possibly pulling new M3 and M4 frontal design cues from the original mid-‘60s 2000 C and 2000 CS sport coupes that eventually became the much-loved and highly collectible 1968 to 1975 E9 CS series of coupes, not to mention much earlier 1930s and ‘40s-era 300 series cars that wore then-typical tall and narrow radiator grilles. Either way the Bavarian automaker has the automotive world abuzz, which isn’t such a bad thing on its own.

2021 BMW M3
No one should complain about the M3’s rear styling.

The new M3 (G80) and M4 (G82) are the products of BMW design head Domagoj Dukec, who made sure everything rearward of the massive vertical dual-kidney grille is sleek and acceptably stylish, not dissimilar to the F80, F82 and F83 compact M cars that came before. Even these models were more aggressive than any previous M3 (the M4 only came into existence with the F models), featuring subtler bodywork that more easily slid past the radar.

Now the new M3 and M4 look as fast as they are. Both are capable of sprinting from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds in their most basic “core” trims, plus 80 to 120 km/h in only 4.1 seconds when their standard six-speed manual transmission is placed in fourth gear, and on to a top speed of 250 km/h unless upgraded with an M Driver’s Package that pushes their terminal velocity to 290 km/h.

2021 BMW M4
The longer wheelbase makes the new M4 look even sleeker than the outgoing version.

As is now part of the M business model, upgraded Competition models can be had that chop the M3 and M4’s zero to 100 km/h time by 0.3 seconds to a mere 3.9 seconds, while the two cars’ 80 to 120 km/h passing capability gets axed by a whopping 1.5 seconds resulting in just 2.6 seconds to accomplish the feat, or so says BMWblog.com.

BMW’s 3.0-litre TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine, now internally dubbed S58, has been upgraded for its new application, with two mono-scroll turbochargers boasting quick-reacting electronically-controlled wastegates, plus ultra-efficient air-to-water intercooling. Like the old S55 twin-turbo I-6, the new engine is built upon BMW’s B58 engine architecture introduced five years ago.

2021 BMW M4
The carbon fibre roof reduces overall weight as well as the two cars’ centre of gravity.

The entry-level engine used in M3/M4 core models produces 48 additional horsepower over its predecessor for a maximum of 473 hp at 6,250 rpm, whereas the even more potent Competition version puts out 59 more hp for a max of 503, also at 6,250 rpm. Redline is a lofty 7,200 rpm, impressive unless comparing it to the 2007-2013 E90/E92/E93 M3 that stuffed an absolutely brilliant V8 behind its subtler grille, which easily wound up to 8,400 rpm and delivered an auditory sensation second to few.

2021 BMW M4
The standard M4 diffuser and four integrated tailpipes are tastefully aggressive.

The two M models’ quad of 100-millimetre diameter tailpipes should blat out an enticing soundtrack nonetheless, thanks in part to electrically opening/closing flaps controlled by an M Sound button. This lets drivers reduce exterior sound levels when driving through quiet neighbourhoods or merely wanting a more refined experience, or alternatively adding more sound when pushing the envelope, which requires opting for SPORT or SPORT+ modes.

Wire-arc sprayed cylinder liners lower friction and weight for a more free-revving engine, while a lightweight forged crankshaft reduces rotating mass further. Both are attached to a rigid closed-deck engine block, while the engine’s cylinder head boasts a 3D-printed core to provide better coolant flow-through along with less weight.

2021 BMW M3
The new M3’s interior appears even nicer than the current model’s, which is no small feat.

The core models’ torque rating is identical to the previous M3 and M4 at 406 lb-ft between 2,650 and 6,130 rpm, with Competition cars getting 73 lb-ft more for a new maximum of 479 lb-ft between 2,750 and 5,500 rpm.

In place of the core model’s standard six-speed manual gearbox, which features a rev-matching Gear Shift Assistant that makes any driver sound like a pro when downshifting, Competition model buyers need to accept BMW’s eight-speed M Steptronic automatic with Drivelogic. Drivelogic features three drive settings including “ROAD”, “SPORT” and “TRACK”, the latter only available after selecting the cars’ M Drive Professional setting. The autobox can be shifted with steering wheel paddles, which is par for the course in this class, but take note that it will remain in its chosen gear without automatically upshifting when in manual mode.

2021 BMW M4
The M’s details are beautifully done.

The M3 and M4 once again arrive standard with a rear-wheel drivetrain, although now new Competition trim can also be had with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive. The system is rear-wheel biased under normal conditions to promote BMW’s classic driving feel, but an Active M Differential apportions some of that torque to the front wheels when those in the rear experience slip.

When the aforementioned Sport mode is selected, however, additional power will be directed to the wheels in back for a more enjoyable driving experience, even so much that the rear end of the car will be able to slip sideways for some tail-wagging fun. This said, driving experts can shut off traction control entirely in order to utilize oversteer to their advantage. The M Traction Control system controls it all, with 10 different settings from near total intervention to wholly unchecked.

2021 BMW M4
The M4’s seats are sensational.

Considering the eyeball-pulling power of the new M3 and M4’s front grille design, you may not have noticed the longer wheels that extends 45 millimetres past the outgoing car’s axle separation, while it also includes slightly wider track for what should resulting in better ultimate road manners. A beautiful carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof panel is now standard, helping to lower the car’s overall centre of gravity. Lastly, the new M3 and M4 are weight-balanced front to rear ideally at 50/50.

2021 BMW M3
The M3 gets a gorgeous set of seats too.

If you think all good things happen in threes (or was that bad things?), the M3 and M4’s transmission isn’t the only component with preset driving settings. The cars’ chassis also gets three preset settings to optimize varying road conditions through an electronically-controlled Adaptive M suspension that features Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus modes. Together with a progressively stiffening setup, the M Servotronic steering system increases sharpness for better response, while 275/40ZR18 front and 285/35 ZR19 rear performance tires benefit core and Competition model handling with their rear-wheel drivetrains. Alternatively, all-wheel drive Competition trims get a set of 275/35ZR19s up front and 285/30ZR20s in back.

2021 BMW M3
Do you think this BMW Performance Parts car looks better in white?

Braking performance has been enhanced to mirror the two M cars’ engine and suspension improvements too, with new six-piston fixed-caliper binders clamping down on 380 mm rotors in front and single-piston floating calipers biting into 370 mm discs at the rear. The brand’s M Carbon ceramic brakes are also available, featuring bigger 400 mm front and 380 mm rear rotors for even shorter stopping distances and reduced fade, enhanced thermal stability, and longer overall life. They’re easy to differentiate thanks to gold-painted calipers in place of standard blue or optional black or red. An electric “integrated braking” actuator helps improve braking response further, no matter which brakes are chosen.

2021 BMW M3
We think the new M3 looks best in black, as its deep grille is less noticeable.

Notably, the M Carbon ceramic brakes are available as a standalone option or as part of the M Race Track Package that also adds light-alloy wheels and lightweight M Carbon front seats. The M Drive Professional upgrade package, which comes standard on Competition models and is optional with core cars, features an M Drift Analyzer that records oversteer as well as opposite lock events, including the timed duration, line and drift angle. Your personal results are rated from one to five stars.

BMW Canada is promising 2021 M3 and M4 deliveries to start next spring, with pricing set to $84,300 for the sedan and $85,100 for the coupe (plus freight and fees), while pricing and details for the 2021 M4 Cabriolet should arrive sometime within now and then. Competition trim seems to be excellent value at just $4,000 extra, so therefore we think it will be most buyers’ first choice.

2021 BMW M3
This carbon fibre wing is available from BMW’s parts catalogue.

Just a final thought before signing off, anyone wanting the performance of the new M3 or M4 yet uncomfortable with the attention-getting grille might want to check the cars out in all-black trim. Sure it’ll be a scratch, dirt and dust magnet, but a photo of one that emerged as part of BMW’s simultaneous Performance Parts catalogue launch shows the four-door version in a much more appealing light. The digital catalogue promoted a Darth Sith-like red and black version too, which was even more over the top than the dayglow yellow and soylent green launch models, as were the counter table-sized rear wing and triangular quad of exhaust pipes. A white M4 wearing traditional M-striped BMW livery was pretty good looking though, so it appears some of the grille’s initial wow-factor can be downplayed with a subtler colour choice.

2021 BMW M3
This triangular taillight treatment is another BMW parts catalogue offering. Aggressive enough?

Then again, if a new M3 or M4 won’t work for you stylistically, consider snatching up a 2020 model while they’re still available. We’re showing up to $2,000 in additional manufacturer incentives on 2020 models as this story was written, which is a good starting point when sitting down to negotiate. On that note, make sure to check out all of CarCostCanada’s money-saving information, including available manufacturer financing and leasing rates, manufacturer rebates, and even dealer invoice pricing that may save you thousands. Also, remember to download the free CarCostCanada app from Google Play Store or the Apple Store.

BMW Today – Episode 25: World premiere BMW M3 & M4 (13:15):

Story credit: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: BMW

CarCostCanada

16-year old Chloe Chambers breaks Guinness slalom record

Talented teen Chloe Chambers sets Guinness World slalom record in Porsche 718 Spyder
Young 16-year old Chloe Chambers has set a Guinness World slalom record at the wheel of a Porsche 718 Spyder.

When someone says “age is just a number” they’re usually being positive about making the most of one’s retirement years, but in the case of Chloe Chambers, a talented young kart racer from New York, the feel-good story is in her lack of years.

Competitively driving karts since the tender age of 11, the now experienced 16-year old moved up from open-wheel racing to a luxury-lined production Porsche 718 Spyder in order to take on the Guinness World Record for quickest slalom time.

Talented teen Chloe Chambers sets Guinness World slalom record in Porsche 718 Spyder
Watching Chambers in action (see video below) clearly shows her ease at the wheel.

The number worth remembering in this instance is 47.45 seconds, or 0.66 if you’re wanting to count the difference between her time and how long it took the previous record-holder, China’s Jia Qiang, to snake through 50 cones at the wheel of a Chevrolet Camaro two years ago.

“It looks easy, but it’s really not – to weave between 50 cones as fast as possible, trying to beat a record time and knowing I couldn’t touch a single one for the run to count – I definitely felt the pressure,” stated Chambers. “Everything came together on my final run; the car worked beautifully and I found the grip I needed. Thank you to my family and to Porsche for supporting and believing in me.”

Talented teen Chloe Chambers sets Guinness World slalom record in Porsche 718 Spyder
Young Chambers signed this Guinness World Records cap showing her record-setting slalom time of 47.45 seconds.

Another number that stands out is the 718 Spyder’s 414 horsepower, this impressive total the result of a specially tuned, horizontally opposed 4.0-litre six-cylinder “boxer” that redlines at 7,600 rpm. Combined solely with a six-speed manual gearbox, the 718 Spyder shares its powertrain and underpinnings with the 718 Cayman GT4, both of which feature Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with adaptive dampers, helper springs on the rear axle, and 30 millimeters (1.18 inches) shaved off the regular 718 models’ ride heights. With an engine mounted just in front of the rear axle for near perfect front-to-back weight distribution, all Porsche 718s provide superb road-holding performance.

Talented teen Chloe Chambers sets Guinness World slalom record in Porsche 718 Spyder
Sometimes the sheer responsiveness and agility of youth can overcome experience, but a good car helps too.

“We couldn’t be more proud that Chloe set the record,” commented Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America. “From the whole Porsche family, we send our heartfelt congratulations – we’re pleased to have been able to support Chloe with her ambitious record attempt and share her relief that it was successful.”

Take note that Porsche is offering factory leasing and financing rates from zero percent on the 2020 718 Spyder, 2020 718 Boxster and 2020 718 Cayman (the latter including the GT4). Be sure to visit each model’s price page to learn more, and don’t forget that a CarCostCanada membership will not only provide available financing and leasing info, but information about rebates and all-important dealer invoice pricing, which could save you thousands on your new vehicle purchase. Also, download our free CarCostCanada app from the Apple Store or Google Store, so you can have all of our money-saving info at your fingertips when you need it most.

Story credit: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

CarCostCanada

Porsche tops 2020 J.D. Power and Associates APEAL study

2020 Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche’s sports cars are amongst the industry’s most reliable.

Everyone knows that you can’t depend on a sports car, right? Those familiar with all things Porsche will already know that’s a common misconception, and their belief would’ve been further strengthened when learning about Porsche once again ranking near the top of all premium automotive brands in the current 2020 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study.

It should therefore hardly be a surprise to find out that Porsche also places highly in the customer satisfaction studies, the automaker most recently earning the highest possible position in J.D. Power and Associate’s 2020 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, an honour it’s managed to achieve for two years in a row.

2021 Porsche Macan GTS
Porsche models are more APEALing, says a new J.D. Power study.

The APEAL study, which surveys customers that have owned current model year cars for at least 90 days, queries about their ownership experience, including how their vehicles drive.

“I am gratified at how excited our customers are with their new dream cars,” commented President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, Inc, Klaus Zellmer. “Porsche believes in continuous improvement and winning the top spot again just encourages us to find new ways to delight our drivers.”

2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo S
Will Porsche have the most appealing electric model too?

To clarify, the 2020 APEAL Study delves into the “emotional attachment and level of excitement” that U.S. owners have for their new car, truck or SUV, and covers 37 attributes in order to come to their conclusions. The study also questions owners about their “sense of comfort and luxury” upon sitting inside, as well as the “power they feel when they step on the gas,” plus more, says Porsche North America in a press release.

The 2020 APEAL index score was measured on a 1,000-point scale, with Porsche earning 881 points resulting in this year’s highest brand average. Comparatively, competitive premium brands averaged 861 points.

In order to be sure of its findings, J.D. Power sampled 87,000 purchasers and lessees of 2020 model vehicles, collecting all of its data between February and May of this year. The study is now in its 25th year.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

CarCostCanada

Porsche announces new 2021 911 Turbo with pricing and specs

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo
As beautiful as it is powerful, the new 911 Turbo is here sporting 572 horsepower.

We’ve all been waiting for it. Now Porsche’s 911 Turbo has been officially unveiled and is available to order as a 2021 model, with deliveries expected later this year.

The 2021 911 Turbo fills one of two holes in Porsche’s lineup between the 911 Carrera S and 911 Turbo S, with the newest generation 911 GTS, which will slot in just below the Turbo, still awaiting official announcement.

Last April the 911 Turbo S was announced first, and considering the output of its 3.8-litre horizontally opposed engine is a staggering 640 horsepower it might at first seem as if the advent of the new Turbo becomes less eventful. Still, the non-S variant’s near identical flat-six has the highest output of any Turbo in history at 572 horsepower, and being that many more Porschephiles will purchase the much more affordable version it remains the more significant new model launch.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo
Even those this is an all-new model with no body panel remaining the same as the previous 2019 911 Turbo, it’s unmistakably a Porsche.

Of note, the new 911 Turbo makes 32 more horsepower than its 2019 predecessor, not to mention 30 lb-ft of extra torque for a total of 553 lb-ft. That allows it to blast past 100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono Package added onto its slightly lighter Coupe body style, or 2.9 seconds from zero to hero in the Cabriolet. Both times are 0.2 seconds quicker than the 2019 911 Turbo Coupe and 911 Turbo Cabriolet, incidentally, which is a major leap forward on paper, at least (it’s more difficult to feel by the seat of the pants).

All of its performance gains can be attributed in part to new symmetrical VTG (variable turbine geometry) turbochargers that incorporate electrically controlled bypass valves, a reworked charge air cooling system, plus piezo fuel injectors. These improvements result in quicker throttle response, a freer rev range, stronger torque delivery, and improved performance all-round.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo
The new 911 Turbo strikes a powerful pose.

The new 2021 911 Turbo sports the identical standard eight-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic transmission as the 911 Turbo S, by the way, while both models also include standard Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive. With the 911 Turbo, a car that can attain track speeds up to 320 km/h (198 mph), such control is needed.

What’s more, the new 2021 911 Turbo boasts the same buffed up exterior contours as the Turbo S, including 46 mm (1.8 in) of extra width than the Carrera between the front fenders and 20 mm (0.8 in) more between the fenders at back. This provides more room for bigger performance rubber measuring 10 mm (0.4 in) more front to rear.

Similarly, the front brake discs are 28 mm (1.1 in) wider than those on the previous 911 Turbo, while those opting for the upcoming 2021 Turbo can also purchase the same 10-piston caliper-infused ceramic brakes made optional with the new Turbo S. Additional extras include the aforementioned Sport Chrono Package, a Sport suspension upgrade, Porsche Active Suspension Management, and a rear-wheel steering system.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo
The new 911 Turbo includes all of the interior updates as all new 911 models, plus more.

As you might have expected, Porsche has modified the new 911 Turbo’s cabin with all of the same updates as found in the regular Carrera models, plus some of the features found in the new Turbo S. Standard 14-way powered Sport seats will no doubt provide as much comfort as support, while a standard Bose audio system will keep those not solely enamoured with the sound of the powertrain entertained. Also available, a Lightweight package deletes the rear jump seats (that are only useful if you have small kids or grandkids), and exchanges the standard 14-way front Sport seats for a special set of lightweight performance buckets, while also removing some sound deadening material (that make the engine and exhaust sound better), resulting in 30 kg (66 lbs) of weight savings.

A 911 Turbo Sport package is also on the menu, including some SportDesign upgrades like black and carbon-fibre exterior trim plus clear tail lamps, while a unique sounding Sport exhaust system is also available. Additionally, the options list includes lane keep assist, dynamic cruise control, night vision assist, an overhead parking camera with a 360-degree bird’s-eye view, a Burmester audio system upgrade, etcetera.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo
Infotainment and other interior features have been dramatically improved in this latest generation 911.

The all-new 2021 Turbo Coupe is now available to order from your local Porsche retailer for $194,400, while the new 2021 Turbo Cabriolet is available from $209,000, plus fees and freight charges.

Before making that call, mind you, you should check out our 2021 Porsche 911 Canada Prices page as there are factory leasing and financing rates from zero percent that you’ll want to get more info on. Also, take note of any rebates that only CarCostCanada members will find out about, while CarCostCanada members also have access to dealer invoice pricing that could save you even more. See how the CarCostCanada system works now, and remember to download our free CarCostCanada app onto your smartphone or tablet from the Google Android Store or Apple Store, so you can get access to all the most important car shopping info wherever you are.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

CarCostCanada

911 Cabriolet’s intelligent climate control automatically adjusts when roof opens

2020 Porsche 911 Cabriolet
The new 911 Cabriolet features an innovative climate control system that automatically adjusts to maintain individual temperatures while the top is opening.

During the launch of the all-new 911 Carrera, Porsche put on a runway-style fashion show highlighting each of the iconic model’s eight generations, along with numerous body styles and other permutations. While it would’ve been incorrect to dub any of these 911 successors as “retro”, being that the car was and still is an unbroken continuation of an ongoing model, some features, particularly its triangular “no-draft” vent windows, were only removed near the turn of the century with the onset of its water-cooled engine. Now Porsche is a leader in multi-zone automatic climate control system technology, particularly when it comes to the new 911 Cabriolet.

2020 Porsche 911 Cabriolet
The new automatic climate control system will keep both upper body and lower extremities at the same temperature no matter the weather outside.

The German automaker recently developed an interior temperature sensor that can detect when the 911 Cabriolet’s retractable cloth top is opening, and then quickly make all the necessary adjustments so that front occupants won’t feel a change in cabin temperature. The advanced system incorporates 20 external and 20 internal sensors to continuously process 350-plus signals in half-second intervals, these including outlet, exterior, coolant temperatures, engine speeds, insolation, and vehicle speed. Once factoring in information from the soft-top, doors and seat positioning the system will slowly suppress a specific sensor while the convertible top is being opened, resulting ideal air temperature, air ventilation volume and air distribution to each occupant.

2020 Porsche 911 Cabriolet
Now the 911 Cabriolet’s interior air temperature is as comfortable as its cabin overall.

In a press release Porsche goes so far to claim that “911 Cabriolet drivers are surrounded by a pleasant freshness” “… even in the searing summer heat of the city,” stating that its new intelligent climate control system is especially useful at low speeds.

The system is also effective when driving with the top down in cooler temperatures, eliminating the all too common “warm feet, cool head” scenario that anyone who’s driven al fresco in winter will be familiar with. Porsche’s intelligent climate control system disseminates more warm air through the centre vents, which gives the driver and front passenger “a cozy veil of heat without having the unpleasant sensation of air being blown in their faces,” continues Porsche.

“Blissfully warm hands on the steering wheel” is another bonus that allows the 911 Cabriolet’s driver to forgo warm winter gloves, claims Porsche, while both front occupants can stow their winter jackets in the trunk.

Story credit: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

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Porsche endows new 2021 Cayenne GTS with twin-turbocharged V8

2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS
Porsche has brought back its Cayenne GTS for 2021, complete with twin-turbo V8 power.

Following Porsche’s usual product launch plan, a new Cayenne GTS has surfaced for the 2021 model year, and while this might normally be a small story about blackened trim, Alcantara interior detailing and a lowered suspension, quite a bit has changed since a Cayenne GTS was last offered three years ago.

As many reading this will already be aware, the Cayenne received a ground-up redesign for 2019, and while such would always occur before a new GTS release, this time around there are two third-generation Cayenne body styles instead of just one, including the regular Cayenne and the new Cayenne Coupe, both of which will be available in new GTS trim.

Also new, the two 2021 Cayenne GTS models will be powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 instead of the outgoing twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre V6, the change upping horsepower by 13 and torque by 14 lb-ft resulting in a new total of 453 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque.

2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe
The Cayenne GTS Coupe can be upgraded with a special high-frequency sport exhaust denoted by two larger oval tailpipes in the middle of a more aggressive rear diffuser.

Needless to say the new 2021 Cayenne GTS is faster than its three-year-old predecessor, with both body styles sprinting from standstill to 100 km/h in a scant 4.5 seconds when equipped with their Sport Chrono Packages, which is 0.6 seconds quicker than previous examples. The base Cayenne GTS achieves a zero to 100 km/h sprint in 4.8 seconds, by the way, while both are capable of a 270-km/h terminal velocity, this being an 8-km/h improvement of their predecessor.

The 4.0-litre direct-injection V8 utilizes a new intelligently designed thermal management system as well as adaptive cylinder control to achieve its performance targets, while Porsche’s eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission was once again chosen for shifting duties. Additionally, Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive continues to be standard equipment.

2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS
The regular Cayenne GTS and base model GTS Coupe have their quad of tailpipes poking out either side of the rear valance.

A beefy standard exhaust system shows two large circular tailpipes poking through each side of a sportier rear fascia, for a total of four, the new look appearing menacing to say the least, while in a press release Porsche claimed they produce “a rich, sporty sound with a unique character.” Those opting for the Cayenne GTS Coupe can alternatively choose a special high frequency-tuned sports exhaust system when also upgrading to the Lightweight Sports Package, the tailpipes on this version of the SUV denoted by even larger oval tips emanating from the centre of the rear bumper.

The renewed Cayenne GTS also gets some suspension upgrades such as a set of redesigned Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) dampers that, when combined with the standard three-chamber Air Suspension, lower the utility’s ride height by 30 mm compared to the current Cayenne S, while Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) is standard equipment too.

2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe
A carbon-fibre roof is available on the Cayenne GTS Coupe.

The base Cayenne GTS and Cayenne GTS Coupe models ride on a special set of black-silk gloss 21-inch RS Spyder Design alloy wheels, although take note that many wheel and tire packages are available. Likewise, grey cast iron 390 by 38 mm front and 358 by 28 mm rear brake rotors come standard, as are a set of red-painted calipers, but the new GTS can be had with the tungsten carbide-coated Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) system, or better yet the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system. Two additional options include rear-axle steering, and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) active roll stabilization.

The two new GTS model wouldn’t be complete without a bevy of styling enhancements from the exterior to the interior, so Porsche has added the usual blackened trim bits outside via the standard Sport Design package, which darkens accents on the front air intakes, side window surrounds, exhaust tips, plus the Porsche badges and model designation in back. Likewise, the LED headlamps, which feature the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS), are tinted black too, as is the new LED taillight bar.

2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS
The Cayenne GTS is once again enhanced with suede-like Alcantara trim.

As is normally the case with GTS models, Porsche covers the interior door and centre console armrests in rich suede-like Alcantara, not to mention the seat centre panels, the roof liner, and more, while dark-brushed aluminum accents separate the GTS’ cabin from the brighter aluminum used on other Cayenne trims.

The standard eight-way powered front sport seats are improved with larger side bolstering too, as well as “GTS” embroidery on the head restraints, but this isn’t the only place you’ll find the renowned GTS emblem. Check out the primary gauge cluster’s tachometer dial, the door entry sills, and the front outer door panels too. Those wanting more can opt for a GTS interior package that features Carmine Red or Chalk colour accents, including decorative stitching.

The new 2021 Cayenne GTS and 2021 Cayenne GTS Coupe are now available to order from your local Porsche dealer ahead of arriving during Q4 of 2020, while respective pricing starts at $120,400 and $126,500, plus freight and fees.

Story credit: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche