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The Panamera Turbo S e-Hybrid Contains A Wonderful Dichotomy


Porsche’s big wagon has nearly 700 horsepower, it’ll go nearly 200 miles per hour, and it weighs more than 5000 pounds. Somehow it is big and comfortable but also incredibly sporty. Somehow it manages to dawdle around in silent electric-only mode, then seconds later crank up a huge turbocharged V8 when you swap to Sport mode. It can move five people in comfort, as well as all of their stuff. It can also haul ass. Carfection reviewer Henry Catchpole says « It’s a bit like a 918 Spyder in this [wagon] body, » and I don’t know about you, but that sounds tremendous.

The Panamera Turbo S e-Hybrid Sport Turismo is one of the longest names in Porsche nomenclature history, but it all sort of makes sense when you boil it down. Obviously it’s a Panamera. The Turbo S means it has a 550 horsepower turbocharged 4-liter V8. The e-Hybrid bit gives the car a 136 horsepower electric power bump. And finally, Sport Turismo means it’s got a humpback that can fit your tall luggage better than the standard Panamera body with a trunk.

« Possibly the most ridiculous car I think I’ve ever driven »

And of course Henry means ridiculous in the most endearing way possible. This car is a step toward everything for every driver. It’s fast and fun and incredibly loud when you want it to be, but calm and quiet and eco conscious when you need it to be. This is imperative for many large European cities, which don’t allow cars to run on gasoline power in city centers without paying a quite hefty fee. You can easily swap to eco mode and crawl around the city on full EV power before you head out to the country for a romp around on full turbo power. It’s the best of both worlds.

 
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The Story of the 1957 Emory Outlaw Speedster

About two years ago I had the pleasure of sitting down for dinner with Rod Emory. Over the mutli-course meal provided by our friends at Michelin, I had the opportunity to listen at length to a bona-fide Porsche legend. Rod turned out to be soft-spoken and unfailingly modest. His calm manner seemingly only built in furor when discussing clever solutions to the quirks of classic Porsches. Though best known for his signature Outlaws, which range from relatively tame to the wildest 356-based creations ever conceived, Rod also restores classic Porsches to their former glory. This car, a 1957 Speedster, is a mix of the two styles.

A racecar from nearly new, this ’57 Speedster was one of about twenty similar cars that participated in the Speedster Wars on California circuits in the 50s and 60s. By the time it came to Rod in the late 1990s, decades of competition had left the car rather ragged. The owner wished to continue to race the car, and as such it received a new nose, extensive bodywork, and chassis stiffening. Rod also crafted a custom headrest, faring, metal tonneau cover, and even integrated concealed suspension adjusters into the cockpit.

Curiously though, the car was to remain road-legal, allowing it to participate in road rallies as well as circuit events. After years of use in its open-top configuration, the owner commissioned a brave addition- a Glaspar removable hardtop that accommodated the faring behind the driver’s headrest. To the average home fabricator, this would be an unbelievable challenge. To Rod, this, and all the other difficulties involved in constructing this car, were just another day at the office for the world’s most demure Porsche fabricator.

Build photos for this distinctive Speedster can be found on the Emory Motorsports website.

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Here Are Some Of The Loudest Porsche Race Cars Of All Time

Porsche’s glorious flat six engine is known for its sonorous high-RPM note, and when the engine is unmuffled, it only sounds better, but is also much louder. Often times, at big racing events, the Porsche competitors are driving the loudest cars on track. There are some Porsche engines that are even louder than that, however, as the 928’s V8 can make a huge rumble, and Porsche’s Formula 1 flat-eight is louder still. The loudest thing Porsche has in the collection, though, is allegedly the 1974 911 Turbo RSR.

At 138 decibels, the Turbo RSR is nearly as loud as a small jet engine aircraft taking off. It’s loud enough to cause hearing damage after more than 30 seconds of exposure. It’s not just a weapon on the track, but an attack on the senses. Literally.

Across the top five, Porsche’s assembled a few really rare and really exciting race car models. Obviously, without the need for mufflers, race cars are quite loud at the race track, but I can imagine they feel quite a bit louder standing feet away from the loud end while in a quiet museum building. The premise of this video is absurd, but incredible at the same time. You can tell these two are just having a blast doing their job.

 

 
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What Is The New 992 Like To Drive? Ask Chris Harris

There are very few people who have driven the newest version of Porsche’s iconic 911. One of those lucky few is Top Gear host Chris Harris. He’s been an incredible car reviewer for as long as I can remember, and his is an opinion worth trusting. When you give him the keys to a new 911, he’s going to hang the rear end out a bit and tell you the hard facts of how it compares to the competition.

While a track test isn’t going to do much for on road feeling, as roads tend to be considerably bumpier and unforgiving than race tracks, it’s encouraging that Harris is still impressed with the new 911’s handling and dynamics. It’s bigger, heavier, more powerful, and allegedly better on fuel, but is it better? Well, it’s nicer. The interior seems to be an improvement still over the 991 while providing a throwback to prior generations of 911.

The car is really fast, but it doesn’t bristle quite the way an older 911 did. It’s still a sports car, says Harris, but it’s too comfortable and competent to really inspire. It’s not a revolution, but a sensible and clever evolution. All of that might seem like a big negative, but in Harris’ eyes it’s a nice piece of kit. I think it looks properly good in Speed Yellow, too.

Complaints? The cupholder is ugly and hardly useful. The door handles are fiddly little pop-out deals. The engine is, as before, hidden under a couple of fans and a plastic cover. And, despite being a brand new 8-speed PDK, the gearbox is « a little lackluster » compared to the unit in a last-gen GT3. If you can live with that, the new 911 might be a really good choice.

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Porsche Explains The Exterior Design Of The 2019 911

Porsche’s Top Five videos have typically involved some kind of historical model, or moment of Porsche’s past. For this one, the company chose to highlight some of the designer’s favorite details of the 992-generation 911. You can watch the full video below, including Porsche’s director of exterior design Peter Varga, talking up the 992 in perfect German. If you don’t ‘spreken doich’ make sure the subtitles are turned on to get an inkling of what he might be saying.

First thing out of the gate he mentions his love of the vertical third brake light assembly. If I were asked, I might say that particular design element is my least favorite of the 992 generation.

Next is the revised lower rear fascia, which integrates the exhaust surround and the intercooler air exit into the same design element. It’s a slick way to do things, for sure, and especially so when the painted element of the rear bumper extends below that rear fascia. It’s a unique look that works well for the 992.

After waxing poetic about the car’s new sculpted sides and the way the headlights integrate into the shape of the front bumper. It’s at the front that we see the other element of the 992 that I personally find slightly offputting, and that is the squared off corners of the front trunk lid. On a car that is so round and smooth, this sharp edge seems incongruous.

Overall, the 992 is a handsome design, and Porsche (as well as Varga) are right to be proud of it. In the final element highlight, Varga talks about the « Sports Car Shape » of the new 911, but it’s definitely matured enough that it can’t rightly be a sports car anymore. The 992, a larger and more comfortable experience, is more a Grand Tourer with a few sports car pretenses remaining these days.

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