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2018

Porsche Exceeds 250k Deliveries in 2018

2018 was a record-setting year for Porsche, culminating in a gargantuan 256,255 global deliveries. This final sales figure capped a year of month-on-month improvements over the preceding year. December saw a 3.2% improvement over the preceding year in North America. In November, sales were up 2.1% over the previous year. These sales increases were mirrored in most global markets, with the exception of Europe and Germany in particular.

The Panamera saw the strongest year across Porsche models, with a 38% sales increase over the preceding year. Despite the pending introduction of a new generation of 911, 911 sales also increased by 10% to 35,573 vehicles.

By volume, Porsche sport utility vehicles drove the brand. The Macan led the marque in sales with 86,031 total deliveries, followed by the Cayenne with 71,458 deliveries.

Sales Changes By Market

Once again, China and other Asian markets led the world in sales. Growth in the Chinese market hit 12%, with a total of 80,108 vehicles. The United States was the brand’s second biggest sales market, with deliveries increasing 3% for a total of 57,202 vehicles. Deliveries in Europe dropped slightly, with a 3% decrease in the market as a whole and a 4% decrease in Germany. Per Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board responsible for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG:

“The switch to the new WLTP test cycle and gasoline particle filters in Europe mean that we faced significant challenges in the fourth quarter of 2018, and these will continue to be felt in the first half of 2019. On top of that, we stopped offering models with diesel engines in February 2018. »

 
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New Porsche 992: first look

It looks much the same, but there are significant changes. Not least, Porsche has future-proofed the 992 model for hybridisation, using a re-engineered eight-speed PDK transmission from the Panamera that’s got a space in it for an electric motor. It won’t be called into action just yet though, says 911 boss August Achleitner, because he’s not convinced the battery tech is good enough for now, but don’t rule it out for the Gen2 model.

That hybrid preparation also means there’s some space in the body for battery packs, though like the gap in the gearbox they’ll remain unused at the 992’s launch. All Carreras will now be widebodied, with the Carrera S we’ve been in the same width as the GTS. The front axle gains 40mm, while there’s new technology like Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning and the option of Night Vision. A march to autonomy? Achleitner says no, saying the 911 will be one of the last cars to do so, adding that at its core it’s a driver’s car.

All the new equipment inevitably adds weight, though the use of aluminium in the body helps mitigate that, Porsche’s engineers targeting a weight the same as the outgoing 991 for the new 992 model. There’s a new standard driving mode, the 992 detecting wet roads and priming the stability with tweaks to the gearbox and the rear wing’s angle of attack. Achleitner says that’s the result of the 911 being a relatively light car on wide tyres – with staggered wheel sizes of 20 and 21 inch, wearing 245/30 ZR20 and 305/30 ZR21 tyres respectively.

The engine remains the same turbocharged 3.0-litre flat-six, with a number of significant revisions. There’s piezo injection, an entirely new intake and exhaust system, re-positioned intercoolers (on top of the engine, 993 Turbo style), while EU cars have an exhaust particulate filter, too. The output is up, 450hp in the Carrera S – the Carrera anticipated to have 385hp or so. In the S, Porsche’s engineers are saying it’ll match the performance of the 997 Turbo, so a sub-4.0 sec 0-62mph time, and a 190+mph top speed.

The slightly slower Carrera will follow the S’s intro, it adding the seven-speed manual to the line-up, while the inevitable Turbo, Turbo S, GT3, and GT3 RS models following, too. Word is the Turbo is punching out 650+hp.

We’ve ridden alongside Achleitner and his team of engineers as the 992 is signed off prior to its November reveal in LA. Be sure to read the full inside story of the new, future-proofed 911 in Total 911 issue 172, out October 31st.

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Rare Ruf cars to star at upcoming Porsche sale

A delectable duo of extremely rare, highly exclusive RUF sports cars are to be among the lots at Silverstone Auctions’ 2018 Porsche sale. Established as a highlight of the calendar year, the 2018 Porsche Sale in association with Porsche Club GB takes place on 28th September at a new premises at the Dallas Burston Polo Club. The sale of all things Porsche takes on added significance in the midst of the company’s 70th year celebrations, though two lots which caught our eye hail from the production line of revered German manufacturers and Porsche tuners, RUF Automobile GmbH.

This 996-based 2002 RTurbo, resplendent in Speed yellow, was formerly used by RUF as a Nürburgring press car, featuring in the promotional ‘RUF RTurbo Nurburgring Lap’ video while also appearing on the front cover of Marc Bonger’s book ‘Porsche and RUF Sportscars’. Equipped with 550hp, a six-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel-drive, the RTurbo hails from a private collection and boasts just under 30,000 miles on the clock. Its estimate is £180,000-220,000.

Silverstone Auctions are also pleased to announce a 993-based BTR2, one of just 15 produced, will also be presented for sale on 28th September. Estimated at £150,000-200,000, the BTR2 produces 420hp, races to 62mph from standstill in just 4.1 seconds, and powers on to a top speed of 191mph. Finished in Arctic silver, the car has returned to Rufplatz every 12,000 miles for servicing, with other maintenance work carried out at OPCs.

“RUFs are a very special breed of vehicle. When you take a car as well respected as a Porsche and try to improve it, it can lead to some incredible results,” says Harry Whale, classic car specialist at Silverstone Auctions. “The pair of RUFs on offer at the Porsche Sale are truly impeccable examples, one from a single ownership and a vendor who has clearly cared for the car dearly, and another which is famous around the world for appearing in RUFs own promotional material, taking on the legendary ‘Green Hell’, the Nurburgring. We couldn’t ask for two better examples of RUFs unbeatable engineering prowess and skill.”

For more information on the Porsche sale and to browse the lots ahead of auction, visit silverstoneauctions.com.

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Ruf Automobile: a tour of Pfaffenhausen

Rufplatz, Pfaffenhausen. A roundabout in the middle gently guides local traffic in an anti-clockwise fashion, the buildings around the outside playing home to an automotive showroom, service centre, main production factory, panel beaters and paint shop belonging to one of the world’s most renowned car brands.

Sound familiar? The set-up is not too dissimilar to that at Porscheplatz some 180 kilometres away, yet Rufplatz, like the Ruf Automobile company itself, has always liked to do things its own way. Founded in 1939 by Alois Ruf Sr, ‘Auto Ruf’ was originally a general vehicle repairer. Alois Ruf Jr arrived in January 1950 and immersed himself in his father’s business as he grew up, though it took a bizarre accident for Ruf as a company to become involved with Porsche vehicles. “My grandfather was driving his bus when a Porsche 356 Karmann shot past,” says Marcel Ruf, third generation of the Ruf family dynasty. “The driver lost control during his attempt at passing and put the 356 in a ditch, rolling it twice.”

“My grandfather stopped to check he was okay and explained he owned a garage who could repair the car. A few days later he ended up buying it as salvage. Once repaired, he was driving the 356 through Munich when a man stopped him and my father at some traffic lights and offered to buy the car. A deal was done, and my grandfather realised he was on to something: for years he had been dealing with customers who offered trade-ins or wanted to haggle for cars, and yet here was a guy who wanted to pay good money for the car at the side of the road!”

From that moment on, Ruf became intertwined with Porsche cars, enthusiasts of the 911 turning to Pfaffenhausen for performance upgrades in the 1970s as Porsche hesitated in its development of the Neunelfer. “In 1978 the 911 SC was detuned at 180hp. Our cars were capable of 230hp,” Marcel says, clearly proud of his family’s past achievements.

The culmination of this came in 1981 when the German Federal Motor Transport Authority recognised Ruf as a vehicle manufacturer in its own right, something which has separated the company quite spectacularly from its rivals in the tuning sector ever since. By 1983, the first sports car with a Ruf chassis number was born in the Ruf BTR, a turbocharged car with 374hp and, significantly, a five-speed gearbox. Porsche meanwhile would continue to use a four-speed gearbox on its 911 Turbos for another six years.

Ruf’s seminal moment came in 1987 at the Nürburgring with that video of Stephan Roser dancing the Ruf CTR ‘Yellowbird’ at speed through the hazardous Green Hell. Later posting a monumental top speed of 342kph against its rivals for a magazine test at Nardo, Italy, the Ruf Yellowbird was duly crowned the world’s fastest production road car for 1987.

Iconic creations with wonderfully acronymed names such as the Turbo R, RCT and RGT have all followed since, each one a breathtaking and often record-breaking feat of automotive engineering. Even in our contemporary world where specialists clamber to offer backdates of the Singer-inspired variety, Ruf still remains wholly relevant to an audience as loyal as it is large, as proven by the release last year of the all-new CTR 2017. A 30-year celebration of that first Yellowbird, it came equipped with a monstrous 700hp and a mere 1,200kg mass. Unbelievably, it sold out within a week.

Pleasingly, despite such prolonged growth and continued success, Ruf remains a family-run business, spearheaded by Alois and his wife Estonia, while son Marcel oversees day-to-day operations. It is Marcel who takes us for a tour, informing us the company has some 60 employees at Rufplatz, with an impressive 30 hand-built cars rolling out of the factory each year – more than one a fortnight.

Stepping onto the factory floor itself reminds us of more traditional times up the road at Porsche. There’s no moving production line, employees instead busy working around individual cars wearing braced overalls in the customary dark green of Ruf. Everything at Ruf is hand built, so there are no robot arms whizzing panels and components from one station to the next. It’s a breath of fresh air and goes some way to explaining how Ruf can offer an unrivalled attention to detail in so many aspects of its builds.

Ruf enjoys a close relationship with Porsche, the extent of this being the opening of a Porsche Service Centre on Rufplatz some nine years ago. It means the company can oversee the care and maintenance of factory Porsche cars as well as its own. “It’s good for everybody,” Marcel says as we take a look at both new and old 911s gracing the ramps.

Ruf is proud to be a manufacturer in its own right though, the fruits of which can be found with both the CTR and recently revealed SCR, which
uses a carbon-monocoque chassis for the first time. It’s a huge investment for a company of this size, but there are plans to use the chassis as a base for other projects going forward.

As well as its SCR, built to commemorate 40 years since the birth of the original SCR in 1978, Ruf has worked hard on the evolution of its first Yellowbird as we’ve previously mentioned. Very much a modern-day take of the original, the CTR 2017 has a 7cm-longer wheelbase than the Eighties car, despite its overall length being the same. The car is 3cm wider each side, noticeable at the base of either side of the windscreen, while an extra 2cm of body has been added to either side of the front bonnet. “Its appearance is more muscular,” Marcel himself says. “It’s as if the CTR has been to the gym.”

Production of both these breathtaking cars is already in earnest, making Ruf an ever-more busy and exciting place to be. The company will celebrate its 80th birthday next year, a quite remarkable achievement for a company used to creating, well, the remarkable.

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NFL Legend Walter Payton’s 1979 911 Turbo is For Sale and it’s ‘Sweet’.

Celebrity ownership doesn’t usually tend to do anything to increase a Porsche’s value at auction, unless that celebrity is Steve McQueen or others closely and famously associated with the marque. In this case, however, an exception might be made for one of the best NFL players of all time, Walter Payton (or Sweetness as he was known around the league). The record-breaking running back still ranks as one of the best, and while his records have been eclipsed, he certainly earned his place in the hall of fame. As is the case with many professional athletes, Payton loved his sports cars. He had a Lamborghini Countach, a Ferrari Testarossa, a Nissan 300ZX Turbo, and this 1979 Porsche 911 Turbo with era-appropriate Gotti wheels and few monster upgrades from Ruf (including the biggest intercooler we’ve ever seen).

While the Lambo, Ferrari, and Nissan were sold off, this Porsche was the only car he never sold. In death, Payton demanded that the 911 be kept up for his son Jarrett to receive on his 25th birthday. Payton had purchased this 930 brand new from the dealership in 1979 after five years in the NFL, and a year before Jarrett was born. To this day, the Porsche has under 10,000 miles on the odometer, and plenty of in-period aftermarket modifications (including Nakamichi speakers, an Alpine head unit, and chrome Gotti wheels) make this an incredible snapshot of a very successful man at the peak of his career.

Jarrett Payton: “This was his first sports car. This was the first big-name sports car that he bought. He bought it in 1979, the year before I was born. He got into the league in ’75, and early on, his main focus was just playing football. That focus helped him become the leading rusher with the most carries those first three years. He worked hard to ensure he had established himself, so when he was getting to the good part of his career, when the ‘80s came around, he wanted to treat himself.”

“He loved the silver on that body style. He had it to match the chrome rims on there; he just always wanted it to look super clean. He wanted the hottest thing out, and you know, I respect him because when you work hard, and you have the means to do those things, why not treat yourself? He knew the grind and the hard work being in football, not taking a day off … that’s what made the car special.”

“My dad loved music, so it was a good opportunity to drive around listening to new music together.”

Jarrett has been the caretaker of his father’s Porsche since 2005, and has given the 911 the same level of care ever since. He says that he hasn’t bonded with the car the way his father did, and wants to move it on to a collector as passionate about Payton’s legacy and historically significant automobiles as Payton was himself. He has his father’s jerseys and rings as keepsakes, and would prefer others to share in the story of the 911 Turbo. The Porsche will be offered at Mecum’s Chicago auction in Schaumburg, Illinois, as Lot S134. Payton, as you may know, wore jersey number 34, making that lot number extra significant. And being that Payton helped drive the Chicago Bears to their only Superbowl victory, giving the venue an extra level as well.

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