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Porsche 911 « Sally Carrera » – Personnage du dessin animé Cars

Le film Cars sorti en 2006 et réalisé par Pixar raconte l’histoire d’une jeune voiture de course, Flash McQueen, qui tombe amoureux de Sally Carrera, une Porsche 911. Pixar a fait construire un modèle roulant à l’échelle 1:1 de la Porsche 911 Sally Carrera pour des besoins marketing. Partenariat entre Porsche, Pixar et E.P. Industries …

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Driving A Carrera 3,2 Around The Tropical Green Surroundings Of Kuala Lumpur

To escape the grey days in Germany I travelled to sunny Southeast Asia. As with every trip that I go on, I couldn’t have missed the chance to visit places and meet people related to classic cars. This time, I had the opportunity to meet Joshua from Jags Classic, a car dealer in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

We took a red Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera, to go for a ride looking for the perfect location. This red 3.2 Carrera is currently on sale with 80.000 km. It was previously owned by a die-hard Porsche enthusiast, it’s well driven, yet in mint condition.

Not a garage queen.

The 911 3.2 Carrera was launched in 1984 to replace the 911 SC, around 75.000 cars were sold. A new higher-displacement motor, a 3.2-litre horizontally opposed flat 6-cylinder, was utilized. At the time Porsche claimed it was 80% new. With the new engine, power was increased to 207 bhp (154 kW; 210 PS) for North American-delivered cars and to 231 bhp (172 kW; 234 PS) for most other markets. For me and many other Porsche enthusiasts, it is one of the best 911s ever made, even for today’s standards, it is still a very fast car. Many Porsche owners agree that it’s much faster but not as easy to drive as the 911 SC.

During our tour with this amazing 911 3.2 Carrera around the tropical green surroundings of KL, I asked Joshua from Jags Classic some questions about the classic car market in Malaysia:

How has the market for classic cars developed in Malaysia? Do you see many differences when you compare the current situation to the times when you started out?

The classic car market in Malaysia is definitely booming. More and more people are beginning to appreciate the value of these vehicles –  be it from a financial, emotional or purely FUN standpoint!

What car has been the most popular among your customers? Do you often receive requests for a particular car?

Historically, many of the more usable and daily driveable. Recently though, there’s been an incredible interest in the air-cooled 911s owing to the skyrocketing value.

Has there ever been a car at Jags Classics that you fell in love with and wanted to keep for yourself?

Honestly, almost every car! We fall in love with so many cars being car nuts ourselves that we’d have to close shop if we kept them all!

Do you have any unique stories related to some particular cars in the history of your store?

Some of the best stories have been nostalgia-related. Many instances of clients having grown up with a car their dad or granddad used to have and later sold. Years later, these same kids now come back grown up to relive precious memories.

Many thanks for your time and the nice ride. 

 

There are not many things that can quite evoke the same emotions than the right classic car can.

More about Jags Classic www.jagsclassic.com

The article was created in cooperation with Carphiles

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Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S review – still the ultimate everyday supercars?

For 
Enormous performance and handling ability; incomparable everyday appeal
Against 
Not as thrilling as certain rivals

Even faster facelifted Porsche 911 Turbo continues the trend of being a sensational everyday supercar

The Porsche 911 Turbo, traditionally the ultimate indomitable everyday supercar, might seem at risk from the latest crop of increasingly rounded rivals and new turbocharged entry level 911’s, but the Turbo’s appeal is much like that of a black Armani suit; expensive, sophisticated and timeless.

The 911 Turbo was first released in the 1970’s, but has evolved from the edgy, intimidating sports car it was into the polished and sophisticated everyday supercar of today. Now in its 991.2 guise, the 911 Turbo is as capable and organ-pummellingly fast as ever.

Launched in 2016, the new Turbo is distinguished from earlier cars via a set of redesigned LED light strips in the bumper, fresh wheel designs, revised tail lights and vertical slats on the engine cover (a nod to past 911 models). Available as before with PDK only, the new Turbo has more substance than ever, but it also has more rivals to compete against, so is it still king of its domain?

Porsche 911 Turbo: in detail 

Performance and 0-62mph time > Many have tried to out-launch the 911 Turbo, and most still continue to fail. The fastest Turbo S will hit 62 in a claimed 2.9 seconds, but in typical Porsche fashion, it’s a conservative figure.

Engine and gearbox > More a tool than a beating heart, the Turbo’s engine possesses a different character to the now also turbocharged base 911’s. This is also now a PDK only zone.

Ride and Handling > All-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering and active engine mounts are just the tip of a technological iceberg. In terms of capability, few, if any, match the Turbo for speed across the ground.

MPG and running costs > 31mpg is quoted by Porsche, although drive with any vigour and that will be a optimistic figure to match.

Interior and tech > Classically 911, the interior recently benefited from an upgraded infotainment system and Porsche’s slick new steering wheel. Like the exterior, it lacks the wow-factor of rivals though.

Design > The 911 is a dynasty that somehow doesn’t date. The design is typically conservative, but then that’s probably why it never really dated in the first place.   

Prices, specs and rivals:

The Porsche 911 Turbo is available in two flavours, base Turbo and ‘Turbo S’ spec, and each of those is available in coupe or cabrio form. The standard Turbo is priced from just over £128k with the fabric roofed Cabriolet model demanding a £9k premium (£137k). 

As standard, the Turbo is pretty much fully-loaded with comfort and convenience features, with 20-inch wheels, a full leather interior, adaptive sport seats, full LED headlights and Porsche’s upgraded PCM infotainment system. 

For a substantial £19k premium, the £147k Turbo S builds on the standard car’s kit by offering carbon ceramic brakes, centre-lock alloy wheels and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control on top of the engine upgrades.

The options list is typically vast, but it’s mostly personalisation options with varying degrees of tastefulness. In the 991.2 upgrade, the bright Miami Blue paint made a welcome reappearance on the options list, as have some fetching ‘Fuchs’ like alloy wheel options.

In terms of rivals, few are able to match the dynamic abilities of the 911 Turbo, but that doesn’t mean the Turbo is the automatic choice. Starting within £1000 of each other, the base Turbo has the Audi R8 V10 and McLaren 540C to compete with, both raising the stakes by offering a mid-engine layout and arguably more interesting power units.

The Audi also counters the Turbo Cabrio with the excellent Spyder, although McLaren has yet to produce a drop-top 540C. If you’re looking for something a little more extreme, the Audi R8 Plus (£138k) and McLaren 570S (£143k) both undercut the Turbo S. 

Performance and 0-60mph time

The headline figures are as follows: 0-62 mph is delt with in 3.0 seconds dead in the Turbo and 2.9 seconds in the Turbo S. Cabriolet models each add 0.1 of a second to each respective time, but the complexity here is that Porsche is famously conservative with its performance figures. 

We have seen times as low as 2.6 seconds in the Turbo S if the conditions are right, so the question is how? Porsche’s quoted performance figures from the engine are impressive, but don’t explain why the Turbo consistently out perform rivals against the stopwatch.

Well firstly, the inherent traction afforded by the 911’s rear-engined layout means that the Porsche already has fantastic traction off the line. Next up is the all-wheel drive system, which constantly varies torque between the front and rear axles depending on how much grip each of the tyres has to give, meanwhile the engine’s flat and broad torque curve alleviates turbo lag off the line. The rest is down to the PDK gearbox and launch control function which help make every launch consistently fast by relaxing the traction control system and softening the rear suspension to maximise traction.

But the numbers hardly tell the whole story, as the 911 Turbo’s un-impeachable torque spread and relatively lithe kerb weight make it feel so much faster on the road than its power figures suggest. In-gear acceleration is just as impressive as those 0-62 numbers, with the Turbo S sprinting from 50-75mph in just 1.8 seconds.

Top speed is identical in coupe and cabriolet versions, with the Turbo reaching 198mph, while the Turbo S’ extra power right at the top of the rev range helps it hit an impressive 205mph. 

Engine and gearbox  

The familiar twin turbocharged 3.8-litre flat six remains from the first generation 991 Turbo, but modified inlet ports, new injection nozzles and higher fuel pressure – up from 140 bar to 200 bar – have helped liberate an extra 20bhp. Boost pressure has also risen by 0.15 bar and, for the first time, the S model uses different, bigger turbochargers from the basic Turbo model.

Peak power is up to 572bhp at 6750rpm for the Turbo S, meanwhile torque is a substantial 553lb ft between 2250 and 4000rpm. The Turbo makes do with ‘just’ 532bhp and 523lb ft of torque. To improve response, both new Turbos include a dynamic boost function that keeps the throttle valve open for 1.5-2 seconds after the driver has lifted off the throttle so the turbos don’t drop boost between throttle applications.

Both Turbo models are connected exclusively to Porsche’s all-wheel drive system and a 7-speed dual-clutch PDK gearbox. They also now have redesigned clutch plates in the all-wheel drive system ensuring even faster torque distribution between the front and rear axles, meanwhile the rear axle still features Porsche torque vectoring. Rear-wheel steer and Porsche active engine mounts are also correct and present.

Some worried about the relevance of the Turbo once the cooking 911 models were fitted with their all-new 3.0-litre flat-six turbo, but the difference between the models is thankfully more than just differing power figures. The Turbo has been developed to maintain that turbocharged feeling, with both variants having a more pronounced turbo rush in the mid range. Differences can be seen on the spec sheet, with the turbo models both producing maximum power relatively high in the rev range, while the standard 911 Carreras produce their maximum figure lower down. 

Ride and handling

The mechanical revisions are all fairly minimal, so the car’s dynamic behaviour is very much as it was before the facelift. While you’re not aware of the dynamic boost function operating on road or track, you do appreciate the near lag-free throttle response, even from low engine speeds. 

The rotary dial, meanwhile, is intuitive to use and the Sport Response button really does make passing slower traffic on the road child’s play. You’d need gyroscopic inner ears to identify the extra straight-line performance over the previous model, but as ever, the Turbo S thumps along on an enormous, effortless wave of torque.

>Read our Porsche 911 Carrera review

The smaller steering wheel is an improvement over the old item, which always felt ever so slightly too big in diameter for such a dynamically capable car. The Turbo S remains the definitive all-weather, point-to-point supercar, but as with the previous version you really do need to push very hard on the road before the chassis begins to come alive. The steering, meanwhile, is still very direct and crisp, without ever dripping in feel.

In the dry there seems like endless reserves of grip for the rear axle, unless you’re really trying to break traction. While, in the wet, a degree of caution needs to be applied. Generous amounts of throttle will make the car rotate with ease. The slightly looser calibration of the traction control in Sport Plus mode allows enough angle for you to trim your line while also keeping a safety net should you be too eager with the throttle.

Even with four-wheel drive, the 532bhp and 524lb ft figures of the Turbo suggest it’ll be scary and wild whenever the road is anything other than perfectly dry. This couldn’t be much further from the truth, though. The chassis is transparent enough to make the loss of traction from the rear predictable and controllable. The engine is noticeably turbocharged, but there’s always control

With all the traction aids turned off, there’s still the four-wheel drive system to help you regain grip. The front axle really interjects to straighten the car during a slide. It might not be as fool proof as keeping the traction control on, and it certainly requires you to be alert, but it’s manageable 

The increased adjustability of the Turbo in the wet adds a significant amount of fun that’s lacking in the dry. It might not be able to match the blistering, no nonsense pace it has in the dry, that’s not to say it isn’t still incredibly fast when wet, but the payoff is being able to enjoy the cars performance more.

On circuit there is some understeer in the chassis – more so than a Carrera 4, in fact – but it’s easy enough to dial that out by trail braking or using the mass behind the rear axle to get the car rotating on the way into a corner. 

Four-wheel drive systems usually enable you to reapply power very early in corners, but with the Turbo S that isn’t quite the case. Because of the very light front end and the incredibly grippy rear axle, you actually need to have the car pointed more or less in a straight line before you stand on the accelerator, otherwise the front end will wash out.

With the stability system removed entirely, meanwhile, the Turbo S can be teased into extraordinary angles of oversteer both on the way into a corner and under power on the way out – without any of the snappiness that you might expect of a 200mph supercar. 

MPG and running costs

Sporting a smaller engine with fewer cylinders than most rivals may not have been a disadvantage when it comes to performance, but the boxer-six engine is resultantly more efficient than rivals. With 31mpg for both coupe models on the combined cycle, the Turbo S uses significantly less fuel than the R8 and 570S. CO2 at 212g/km is also impressive for this sort of vehicle, and reliability ratings are general good for these late model 911’s.

Interior and tech

Being a 911, the practical advantages of the Turbo’s rear engine layout come to the fore, yeilding two rear seats and a relatively useful front boot. Visibility is still excellent, although the Turbo’s extra wide body does make it a little less easy to drive on British roads than other 911 models.

Along with the rest of the 911 range, the interior has been given a refresh with additions including the new 918 Spyder inspired steering wheel and a touchscreen infotainment system incorporating Apple car play and Android auto. However, the advances Porsche has made in its electronic architecture in the new Panamera have not been brought through onto this new 911, so it is starting to feel its age.

Unlike the clean, minimalist style of the Panamera and its vast touchscreen, the 911 maintains a button-laden centre console and analogue dials. The familiar interior does mean that ergonomically it still works very well, but it lacks the wow factor of rivals like the R8 and 570S. 

Design

The Porsche 911 is never a source of experimental design, so the changes Porsche made during the 991.2 update are predictably subtle. The front fascia has received new LED lighting strips in place of the previous models more complex lighting signature. The Turbo’s extra wide body remains, as does the large rear wing, but the taillights now have Porsche’s increasingly common quad-light brake lights and vertical strakes on the engine cover in homage to the original 911.

Overall, the 911 Turbo is still the subtle but smart supercar option, attracting far less attention than the likes of an Audi R8 or McLaren 570S. The car is filled with lovely details though, things like the centre-locking forged wheels on the Turbo S and the extendable front splitter all keep the car feeling its £150k worth.

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Porsche Panamera review – A saloon for proper drivers?

For 
Better looking than ever, impressive to drive, mighty performance from Turbo
Against 
Diesel V8 is disappointing, odd brake pedal on hybrid model

The much better looking new Panamera is deeply sophisticated

Considering the old model was hardly a disaster, and that Porsche has managed to produce some very competent SUVs, it comes as no surprise that the new Panamera is an extremely competent saloon car. It’s a big, heavy beast but it controls its heft with aplomb and it’s astoundingly agile. It might not be a sports car, even in Turbo guise, but it certainly has the ability to really appeal to proper drivers.

> Read our review of the Porsche Cayenne

A selection of powerful, torquey engines and a new eight-speed double-clutch gearbox help shuffle the Panamera along at a decent pace, too.

The most significant change, however, is the way the new car looks. Gone is the awkwardly applied Porsche design language and the old too narrow, too heavy-looking proportions. This time around, the Porsche family look has been adapted far more successfully and the new Panamera is stylish, elegant and looks like the 911’s dignified older brother, rather than the village idiot. A fancy three-piece retractable rear spoiler adds some drama, and even though its movement is a touch over the top, we still can’t get enough of watching it unfurl.

Porsche Panamera in detail

> Performance and 0-60 time – The 4-litre V8 endows the Turbo with phenomenal performance.

> Engine and gearbox – Hot-V turbocharged engines and a competent eight-speed dual-clutch transmission

> Ride and handling – For such a big and heavy machine, the Panamera has incredible poise and control.

> MPG and running costs – Quite surprisingly, the 4 E-Hybrid isn’t always the most economical of the Panamera range. 

> Interior and tech – New interior looks excellent and modern, but not as easy to use as traditional buttons. 

> Design – Far, far better looking than its predecessor, the Panamera now looks like a four-door 911. 

Prices, specs and rivals

The most basic Panamera costs £67,898, and for that you get rear-wheel drive and 325bhp. To upgrade to four-wheel drive, but with no extra power, you’ll need to find an extra £3026 for the Panamera 4.

Things start to get very expensive if you do want more grunt. The 4 E-Hybrid, with 456bhp, starts from £81,141, however the less powerful – but lighter and therefore quicker – 4S with 434bhp is £9,150 more at £90,291.

The cheapest eight-cylinder model, the 4S Diesel costs £93,379. The 542bhp Turbo model costs £115,100, however that gets Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and air suspension as standard.

The £137,140 Turbo S E-Hybrid, which is yet to be launched, uses the same V8 as the Turbo but with an 100kW electric motor it puts out 671bhp. As well as the additional power the Turbo S E-Hybrid gets ceramic brakes, Porsche Torque Vectoring (PVT), an automatically-adjustable electromechanical anti-roll bar (PDCC) as well as the PASM and air suspension on the Turbo.

> Read about our experience in the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

These trick chassis gadgets are available across the entire Panamera range, but as options. The air suspension and PASM system costs £1604 while the PVT and PDCC (not available on the rear-wheel drive Panamera and the basic 4) comes as a package together and costs £3527.

The Sport Chrono Package includes an analogue mounted in the centre of the dash and a dial on the steering wheel to allow the driver to switch between different driving modes. It also includes a launch control function that reduces the Panamera’s 0-62mph time, no matter what the engine, by 0.2sec.

For the first time, the Panamera is available with rear-wheel steering allowing the back wheels to turn by as much as 2.8 degrees in the opposite direction to the front wheels below speeds of 31mph, to improve agility and manoeuvrability. Then, at higher speeds, the rear wheels move in the same direction as the fronts to aid stability. It costs an extra £1536.

> Read our review of the BMW M5 here

While the Panamera doesn’t look much like a saloon, all of its rivals have a more conventional three-box silhouette. BMW’s M5 is now a bit long in the tooth, and isn’t based on the latest 5-series platform. However, at £96,200 the M5 Competition Package undercuts the Panamera Turbo in terms of price but has an additional it by 50bhp with 592bhp. The BMW doesn’t have the traction of the Porsche though, and it loses by 0.3sec from 0-62mph.

> Read our review of the Mercedes-AMG E63 S here

The Panamera’s biggest challenge also comes from Stuttgart, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S. At £86,425 it’s cheaper than the M5 Competition and Panamera Turbo, yet it has more power than both with 604bhp and, thanks to all-wheel drive traction, it accelerates faster too. The E63 S will hit 62mph from a standstill in just 3.4sec. What’s more, the new E63 is wonderfully refined inside and real very capable on the road. 

Performance and 0-60 time

Appropriately, as it is a Porsche, there’s no such thing as a slow Panamera. Even the most basic rear-wheel drive model makes it to 62mph in 5.7sec, or 5.5sec when equipped with Sport Chrono that includes launch control. Add four-wheel drive and you can trim that time down by 0.2sec.

The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid comes with launch control as standard, so its 0-62mph time of 4.6sec can’t, officially, be improved upon. Unless you ditch the hybrid drivetrain, that is. With the same engine as the 4 E-Hybrid, the Panamera 4S is 0.2sec faster to 62mph or 0.4sec with launch control.

The 4S Diesel is almost as impressive at the petrol 4S, hitting 62mph in 4.5sec (or 4.3sec with launch control), just 0.1sec behind.

The petrol V8 turbo models are more extraordinary still. The Turbo breaks the 4-second barrier with a 0-62mph time of 3.8sec (3.6sec with launch control, naturally). The Turbo S E-Hybrid will be quicker still when it’s launched, Porsche claims it will hit 62mph in 3.4sec. Like the 4 E-Hybrid, the Turbo S will come with launch control as standard.

Unlike many German saloon cars, the Panamera is not limited to 155mph. Instead the maximum top speed ranges from 162mph for the 4, to 193mph for the 4 E-Hybrid.

Engine and gearbox

The basic rear-wheel drive Panamera and the 4 are both equipped with a turbocharged 3-litre V6 that produces 325bhp from 5400 to 6400rpm. It also puts out 332lb ft of torque from 1340 to 4900rpm.

Despite having a smaller capacity, just 2.9-litres, the V6 in both the 4S and 4 E-Hybrid produces more power and torque than the motor in the basic Panamera. That’s because the 4S’s engine is newer and more sophisticated and features two turbocharged mounted within the banks of the two cylinders to create a hot-V engine. It makes 434bhp from 5650 to 660rpm and 406lb ft of torque between 1750 and 5500rpm. In the 4 E-Hybrid the hot-V V6, when supplemented by a 100kW electric motor, makes a total of 456bhp and 516lb ft of torque.

The V8 in the 4S Diesel, just like the new 2.9-litre V6, is also a hot-V engine. It is the same twin turbocharged 4-litre diesel motor found in Audi’s SQ7. But, unlike the big SUV, the Porsche doesn’t have the electric supercharger to help eliminate turbo lag at low revs. With one fewer compressor, the engine in the Panamera can’t match the 429bhp and 664lb ft of torque that the Audi makes. Instead, it produces 416bhp and 627lb ft of torque.

> Read our review of the Audi SQ7 here

The Turbo is fitted with a twin turbocharged 4-litre petrol V8. As you’d expect, even with the same amount of turbos and the same capacity, this engine makes more power than the diesel – over 120bhp more in fact with 542bhp. It can’t match the diesel’s torque output though, and the Turbo makes do with 568lb ft of torque.

The Turbo S E-Hybrid will use the same V8 as well as a 100kW electric motor to push those figures up to 671bhp and 627lb ft of torque, exactly same as the 4S Diesel.

If that all seems too complicated, and there are a too many options for you, then you’ll be pleased to know there is only one choice of gearbox. Every Panamera, from the diesel to the Turbo S E-Hybrid uses an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Changes are fast without being jerky, and in full-auto mode it can be a little clunky at low speeds but it’s smooth when out of town or on a motorway.

Ride and handling  

The Panamera is an undeniably impressive machine. Yes, it’s got the sports car-rivalling performance but it’s not just fast, Porsche’s big saloon is also enjoyable to drive. The seating position is low and there’s enough movement from the adjustable steering column to move the wheel to exactly where you want it.

It doesn’t ride like a luxurious barge, instead there’s a tension to the way it deals with a road. However it’s far from uncomfortable, the strong structure doesn’t allow any nasty creaks, rattles or shudders.

The taut ride doesn’t try to disguise the Panamera’s size or weight, considering its enormity that would be practically impossible. Instead, the Porsche saloon manages its weight exceptionally well with great body control, and that endows it with an intent rarely seen in a car of this sort.

Its steering is heavy, especially around town, and so is the weight of the throttle. Such substantial controls emphasises that the Panamera isn’t some effortless city car, and as they’re easy to adapt to, they’re far from a hindrance.

The steering rack is quick and precise; there’s a significant amount of front grip too and you can direct the Panamera with remarkable accuracy. You do feel the car’s bulk under braking, but the brakes are more than up to the task on the road. Such a reliable front end allows you to carry huge speed into a corner, so the full force of the brakes isn’t called upon quite as often as you might think.  

Once turned in neatly the Panamera gives you the confidence to jump on the power early and balance the car with the throttle through to the exit. The 4S Diesel’s on-paper performance gives the impression there’d be more than enough oomph to indulge your wild side, but its throttle response is poor and its V8 feels flat. Sport and Sport+ mode improves the way the engine feels, but it still isn’t sharp enough to completely win us over.

The 4 E-Hybrid is much more eager, even from low down in the rev range. However, a lot of the time its V6 sounds bland and then thrashy as the revs increase. Its built-in regenerative braking system gives the brake pedal an extremely odd feel; it shuffles up and down beneath your foot as the system juggles between conventional brakes and the regen. Blending those two methods of braking seamlessly is a fiendishly difficult thing to do and, as it stands, Porsche is yet to master that art with this car.

> Read our full review of the Porshce Panamera 4 E-Hybrid

The Turbo is the one that feels most like a Porsche, it’s a truly fast car. Its V8 emits a menacing grumble and pushes the Panamera along at a startling rate. It responds instantly to throttle inputs and there’s real force right up until its 7000rpm limit.

Its grunt also makes it more malleable in a corner, and liberal use of the throttle adds just a slight degree of attitude as the tyres lose their fight with the tarmac. Feeling the four-wheel drive system hunt for grip, the tyres clawing away at the road, the Turbo gives the impression it’s like a less extreme, less mechanical Nissan GT-R. It’s not as raw, exciting or quite as involving as the Japanese sports coupe, but for a four-door saloon to behave in that manner is deeply impressive.

The Panamera shares elements from its sports car siblings, with great weighting to its controls, a real agility, unshakable composure and masses of grip. However, it doesn’t feel like a true sports car, instead it creates a character all of its own – one that’s less delicate but still involving and enjoyable.

evo tip

The only Panameras that we’ve tried have been fitted with rear-wheel steering. Although we doubt all of the Panamera’s agility and composure is down to the system we suspect it has improved the car’s natural athleticism. And yes, £1536 is a lot of money, but it is only a small proportion on the cost of even the cheapest Panamera.

evo comment

We’re yet to drive the top of the range Turbo S E-Hybrid, but we were granted a passenger ride. Here’s what we thought: ‘After an Adam’s Apple swallower of a launch-controlled launch from the end of the pit lane, the thing about the Turbo S E-Hybrid is that it simply never lets up. Thrust is brutal, instant and always available, the real-time dynamic telemetry info on the head restraint TFT displays a dizzying concert of 1g+ readings as Lars leans on the car’s frankly outrageous grip, traction and braking and uses its two-ton bulk to drive straight across many of the circuits red and white kerbs without upsetting its stability and composure in the slightest. Sometimes, it seems, being heavy has its advantages. And all this in undeniable comfort while being serenaded by a basso profondo soundtrack beautiful enough to make an American muscle car owner weep.’ – David Vivian, contributing editor

> Read more about what we thought of the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

 

MPG and running costs

Oldly, the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid doesn’t offer the greatest on-paper economy figures across the board. It might be able to cover 31 miles in electric-only mode when fully charged, and it might be able to achieve 88.5mpg when covering short, low speed journeys with a full battery, but the 4S Diesel is more economical over long distances with a combined fuel consumption of 42.2mpg.

The Turbo, to no ones surprise, can’t match diesel and hybrid models. Its official combined MPG is 30.1. Don’t expect to get near to that in reality, the car’s performance and the subtle rumble of its V8 make it impossible to keep throttle pedal movements to just the bare minimum.

As it’s a Porsche, tyres, brakes and servicing won’t be cheap. But as it’s a Porsche, and therefore a performance car, you don’t want to be skimping on such items anyway.

Interior and tech

The new Porsche Panamera’s cabin is among the best of any car, anywhere. It’s the first of the brand’s cars to feature a sleek, clean one-piece plastic centre console that removes the masses of buttons that litter the area near the gear lever on most modern Porsches. Expect to see this design adapted to suit the next generation Cayenne and, eventually, Porsche’s sports cars too.

There’s a 12.3-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash, its predominantly black and white interface is replicated on the glossy, touch-sensitive centre console. It looks sleek, modern and cohesive, but with no individual buttons to press you do find yourself deliberately peering down towards it whilst driving to ensure you are in fact cranking the heated seat up rather than switching into a firmer suspension mode. There is a satisfying clunk when you do press the entire panel – it only does this when you’re finger is in the correct place to operate something, accidentally touch a ‘dead’ area and the panel doesn’t move – but with no physical edges to the button areas you could press anything without dedicating some attention to where you’re poking.

As well as looking great, the quality of the materials feels high and there’s never any sense that it hasn’t been put together with the attention to detail that’d you’d expect of a luxury brand.

The only real downside to the Panamera’s interior is that every time you touch the shiny new panel you leave visible fingerprints on it, and that doesn’t look very neat.

Design

The old Panamera was not a pretty or elegant car. It borrowed enough of the marque’s desgn DNA to look like a Porsche, but not one that exuded sophistication or sportiness. This new version, however, looks far better. Its taut lines stop it looking flabby, despite it being relatively large (6mm wider, 34mm longer and 20mm taller than the previous model) and proportions make it look like a four-door 911.

The three-piece retractable rear wing, that folds out to from the centre when you exceed 80mph or select one of the sportier driving modes, is utterly mesmerising. Its action is complicated yet smooth, and it’s a good job you can’t see it in the mirror from the driver’s seat or that could be dangerously distracting.

The Sport Turismo, which we’re yet to drive, is an estate version of the Panamera. Much of what makes the standard car so handsome remains. However, with a rear end that’s not as steeply raked, it’s even more practical.

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Porsche 718 Cayman review – The entry-level Porsche punches above its weight

For 
Beautifully balanced chassis and well considered ergonomics
Against 
Coarse, lumpy engine, made even worse by the memory of its predecessor

Its new turbocharged engine is far from inspiring, but it doesn’t ruin the Cayman’s fine handling

Since its launch in 2005 the Porsche Cayman slowly established itself as a genuine Porsche sports car. Every iteration and improvement helped it become more than just a car for those who couldn’t afford a 911, until now.

The latest change to the Cayman has not only bought about a new name, but its naturally aspirated six-cylinder motor, one of the highlights of the old car, has been replaced by a turbocharged flat-four. The new engine, to no surprise, doesn’t have the same loveable character, sonorous noise or apparent quality as the old unit. And so the new 718 Cayman, along with its close relative the 718 Boxster, has become the go-to car to illustrate the horrors of the industry trend for downsized turbocharged engines.

It’s certainly not all bad, though. The four-cylinder engine may be less than appealing, but it still hasn’t ruined the Cayman and there’s plenty to enjoy behind the wheel. Its small proportions make it an excellent fit for UK roads while its sublime chassis, and perfectly weighted controls mean it’s always enjoyable.

Porsche 718 Cayman in detail

> Performance and 0-60mph time – Both the standard Cayman and Cayman S are usefully quicker than their naturally-aspirated predecessors, with 0-60mph times as low as 4.2 seconds for a PDK, Sport Chrono equipped S.

> Engine and gearbox – The source of much controversy, Porsche’s new flat-four turbo engine has its critics. Unfortunately no matter which model you go for, the Cayman is resolutely a turbo-only zone.

> Ride and Handling – Thanks to a near perfect weight distribution – 46/54 front to rear – the Cayman’s dynamic ability is stronger than ever. Grip is substantial, but more impressively, the handling balance is entirely transparent, a feat not replicated in rivals.

> MPG and running costs – With the rationale behind the contentious new engines based on improved efficiency, you would hope the new Cayman would improve its figures. And it does, but only on paper.

> Interior and tech – Undoubtedly well constructed and ergonomically sound, the Cayman’s cabin is starting to show its age against rivals like the Audi TT.

Prices, specs and rivals

For its 2016 update, the Porsche 718 Cayman went through quite a significant mechanical change. It lost its naturally aspirated flat-six engine, gained a new name and replaced the Boxster as the cheapest car in Porsche’s model range.

Now coming under the 718 moniker, that it shares with the Boxster, both the Cayman and Cayman S have relinquished their lovely naturally aspirated flat sixes for a pair of turbocharged flat-4 engines with 2- and 2.5-litre capacities, respectively.

Paired with 6-speed manual or 7-speed PDK dual-clutch gearboxes, the new 718 for the first time shares its outputs with the Boxster. That means it now undercuts the convertible on price but, unlike the old naturally aspirated Cayman, it’s no more powerful than the Boxster.

In addition to these changes, Porsche has updated the interior with a new infotainment system based on the 911’s as well as new LED lighting. The styling has been subtly updated and the chassis has been revised, taking into account the new engine’s characteristics.

Starting at £39,878, the basic Cayman with a manual gearbox sounds like exceptional value, but thanks to a stark standard equipment list it is easy for the price to skyrocket through expensive yet sometimes essential options.

The few notable additions to the standard kit list are Porsche’s new PCM touchscreen infotainment system and Bi-Xenon headlights, both of which were added for the first time with the 718 update.

If you want Porsche’s PDK gearbox, one of the best dual-clutch transmissions available, it will set you back an additional £1,922. The Sport Chrono pack (£1,514), a sports exhaust (£1,530) and cruise control (£219) are other tempting options.

The basic Cayman competes with the dynamically inferior Audi TT S (£40,315) and BMW M240i (£35,420), although to match those cars on kit, one must dip rather heavily into the options list.

A wildcard rival will be the upcoming Alpine sports car, matching the 718’s mid-engined turbo four combination. However with only 250bhp upon its launch later this year, it will likely take a hotter version to tempt buyers away from the Porsche.

If you want an ‘S’ you’ll have to part with £48,834, again needing to spend extra on the above options. At this price the Cayman takes on the incredibly quick TT RS (£51,800) and brutish BMW M2 (£44,080). Despite being down on power compared to its rivals the Cayman S is the best £50,000 coupe on offer thanks to its more engaging and balanced chassis. 

Go mad with more elaborate options such as the torque vectoring limited slip diff (£890), integrated sat nav (£1,052) or PASM adaptive dampers (£971) and the Cayman will be getting dangerously close to BMW M3 (£57,065) and Jaguar F-Type S (£62,200) prices. Yet still, even at this price, these cars don’t exhibit such a nuanced and immersive chassis as the 718 Cayman.

Performance and 0-60mph time

The controversial move to do away with the Cayman’s sublime, naturally aspirated flat-six may be enough to make enthusiasts wince, but it’s been justified by the car’s on-paper performance.

Porsche claims that a manual 718 Cayman accelerates from 0-60mph in 4.9sec, 0.8sec quicker than its predecessor. Opting for the Cayman’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission trims a further 0.4sec off the time with Sport Plus engaged.

When we timed a manual 718 Cayman S accelerating from 0-60mph we managed to match Porsche’s claimed time of 4.4sec exactly. We didn’t stop at just 60mph though, and recorded a 0-100mph time of 10.2sec and a 0-140mph time of 21.7sec. It also came to a rest after braking from 100mph in a distance of 93.9 metres and just 4.4sec.

When equipped with the PDK gearbox, the 718 Cayman S will reach 60mph in just 4sec.

Despite having one extra gear, the PDK cars don’t reach a higher top speed than the manual equivalents and the 718 Cayman reaches 171mph while the S hits 177mph.

Engine and gearbox

We might, eventually, stop mourning the loss of the Cayman’s old flat-six engine but the replacement turbocharged four-cylinder found in the 718 isn’t going to help us forget about the wailing, revvy unit that made Porsche’s entry-level cars feel anything but.

If you expect the 718’s engine to be in the same vein as the latest 911 Carrera’s turbocharged unit then you’ll be sorely disappointed. Rather than being subtly aided by the turbos, the 2- and 2.5- litre motor is unashamedly boosted, but this has helped the engines put out some impressive figures. The 2-litre of the Cayman produces 296bhp at 6500rpm while the 2.5-litre S makes 345bhp at the same revs.

But the biggest advantage of the new engines is the usable torque they both produce. The standard Cayman makes 280lb ft from 1950 to 4500rpm and the S 310lb ft from 1900 to 4500rpm. The 718 Cayman S develops the same amount of torque as the sublime, evo Car of the year-winning Cayman GT4, but the GT4 didn’t reach its peak figure until the engine was spinning at 4750rpm.

This abundance of torque helps the 718 overcome the one chink in the old Cayman’s otherwise blemish free armour, its long gearing. The 3.4-litre engine in the old Cayman S only managed 273lb ft at a lofty 4500rpm and so the tall ratios often made it feel a bit gutless in slower corners, or if the engine wasn’t quite on-song. Also, as the engine itself was willing to turn at higher revs, gearchanges often weren’t required until you reached quite ludicrous speeds.

For the torque-rich turbo engines, the lack of low-down muscle isn’t a problem. However, there is now less need to change gear as the engine feels punchy even in higher gears. If you’ve opted for the manual gearbox then that’s a shame, as the close gate and snickety action of the lever is incredibly satisfying and longs to be used.

Porsche’s PDK gearbox, a £1922 option, is one of the best dual-clutch transmissions you can buy. It reacts relatively intuitively left to its own devices, while changes are quick, crisp and aren’t accompanied by an unnecessary wave of torque or an uncomfortable jolt.

evo tip

Although we’ve been impressed by Porsche’s PDK gearbox, and it has proved that it’s the quicker transmission, we still prefer the standard manual. There’s a sense of connection with the car that heel and toeing, selecting your gears and feeding in the clutch exactly how and when you want creates that the efficient PDK doesn’t grant you.

Ride and handling

You’ll be pleased to know that Porsche hasn’t been as dramatic with changes to the Cayman’s chassis as it has been with the engine. The delicate and immersive handling that the Cayman is famous for still exists.

For a start, the 718 isn’t too big. With space on the road you have a greater freedom over where you place the car, and you’re able choose your line into and around corners. Sounds like a small point, but as cars get bigger it’s one that’s increasingly important.

Everything about the 718 is well considered, whether it’s the ergonomics and seating position or the weight of the steering and the pedals. It’s simply a satisfying car to use, even when being driven slowly. However, the chassis and the damping exudes quality, making the 718 even more entertaining and capable at higher speeds.

With most of the Cayman’s mass within the wheelbase there’s a real agility to the car. Combined with impressive grip, the 718 is capable of changing direction with ease. There is a slight hint of understeer as you begin to reach its limits, but rather than being frustrating it just helps you gauge how hard you are pushing.

If you spec the optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) it allows you to stiffen the suspension slightly. The softest setting feels fluid and supple allowing you to create an easy flow down a twisting road, while the stiffer setting adds a further degree of control and predictability to the Cayman that suits harder driving. Neither of the damper settings feel wildly inappropriate; the stiffer of the two isn’t too firm, and both settings have their place depending on the road or your attitude.

In terms of feel and connection, the 718’s electronic power steering cannot compete with Porsche’s hydraulic systems of old. But there’s enough detail transmitted through the chassis that the supplementary feel you get through the steering wheel is useful, but not actually necessary for you to be truly engaged with the car.

The extra torque from the turbocharged engines really allows you to indulge in the chassis’ balance and poise – more so than the old naturally aspirated engine. The throttle of the 718 has a greater influence over the car when in a corner, making it easier to push the rear axle closer to the limit of grip and allowing you to manipulate the car’s attitude through a corner.

It wasn’t impossible to replicate these feelings in the old flat-six Cayman, though, even if did it require slightly more commitment. So despite less accessible torque, the sound, excitement and quality of the old engine made it the finer more satisfying car to drive more of the time. And, with an engine that matched the quality of the chassis, the old Cayman felt like a more resolved and desirable product.

MPG and running costs

The main purpose of Porsche downsizing the previous Cayman’s flat-six engines to turbo fours was to reduce emissions in the wake of tightening CO2 regulations. As such, on paper at least, the mpg figure of up to 40.1 for a PDK Cayman (38.7 for the ‘S’) has been a useful improvement.

However as our team has found, real world economy is not obviously better than the old car’s, with the turbocharged engines consuming considerably more in reality than the unrealistic European test cycles suggest. If you are after a manual, MPG figures will drop further thanks to the loss of a seventh gear.

That said in context against rivals, the 718’s overall consumption is still very good, and as such it’s still the pick of the sports car bunch when it comes to overall running costs.

Interior and tech

Always surprisingly practical for a mid-engined sportscar, the Cayman’s front and rear load areas are plenty big enough to swallow everything two could want on a weekend away. The rear deck above the engine and behind the occupant’s heads provides extra useful space for small items, too.

This being a Porsche, ergonomics are spot on with all the controls perfectly positioned and weighted with a quality feel. The driving position is suitably low and from behind the new 918-inspired steering wheel, the dash layout has plenty of traditional Porsche touches like the high mounted gear stick and a rev counter right in the centre of the dials.

Materials and build quality are top-notch, although despite the upgraded infotainment system inherited from the 911, rivals like the Audi TT make the tech feel distinctly last generation. Unfortunately if you want your Cayman with a bit of bling, it all comes via the options list, leaving a standard car looking a little bland.

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