Porsche is now a septuagenarian, with Ferry Porsche, the well-schooled son of the already acclaimed engineer, peoples’ car creator and past Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Porsche, having put the brand’s…

Porsche 911 Speedster Concept combines open-top fun with 500 horsepower

2018 Porsche 911 Speedster Concept
Porsche decided to celebrate its 70th anniversary with this gorgeous 911 Speedster Concept. Will it see production? (Photo: Porsche)

Porsche is now a septuagenarian, with Ferry Porsche, the well-schooled son of the already acclaimed engineer, peoples’ car creator and past Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Porsche, having put the brand’s first car on the road in 1948. 

It all started with the original Porsche 356 ‘No. 1’ Roadster, which received its operating permit 70 years ago on June 8. Speed ahead seven decades and we now have the stunning 911 Speedster Concept that was created to commemorate the momentous occasion. 

2018 Porsche 911 Speedster Concept
The “double bubble” engine cover pays homage to 911 Speedster models from Porsche’s past. (Photo: Porsche)

The 356 was highly advanced for its time, yet by today’s standards it’s as pure as sports cars get. The 911 Speedster Concept is a modern interpretation of that same undefiled spirit, created to provide a purely visceral driving experience, even eschewing a convertible top for a lightweight tonneau cover. 

Unveiled at the ‘70 years Porsche sportscar’ anniversary celebrations in Zuffenhausen, Germany, the 911 Speedster Concept’s sheet metal wears a classic two-tone racing livery design that was often multi-coloured yet looked handsome in white on traditional German silver. 

2018 Porsche 911 Speedster Concept
Do a search for “356 racing cars” and you’ll find many colourful examples of the 911 Speedster’s unique two-tone paint scheme. (Photo: Porsche)

The paintwork and everything else came care of the Porsche Motorsport Centre, which is more notably responsible for the 911 GT2 RS, and more recently the GT3 RS. Good company for this 911 Speedster Concept to be rubbing shoulders with, and wouldn’t it be wonderful if Porsche decided to give us a series-production version of this new roadster. 

Porsche says the “decision on whether to move ahead will be made in the coming months,” with any result of such choice not materializing until 2019. No doubt it’ll be worth the wait. 

2018 Porsche 911 Speedster Concept
Check out a larger version of this photo in the gallery, where it’s easier to see the “X” etched into the headlamp glass. (Photo: Porsche)

Like production 911 Speedsters that came before, the first modern interpretation arriving in 1988 and the most recent example based on the 997 from 2010, the 2018 version gets a set of abbreviated A-pillars set on more of a rearward incline than the current production model, resulting in a shorter more sweptback windscreen frame. The side windows are correspondingly shorter as well, the combination giving the Speedster a “stockier profile with a very low fly line,” says Porsche. 

Of course, this is not only reminiscent of both 1988 and 2010 911 Speedster homage models, but more so the original 356 1500 Speedster. That model actually came along in late 1954, after U.S. importer Max Hoffman advised the powers that be in Stuttgart that a lower-cost, decontented open-top model could become a sales success in the American market. 

2018 Porsche 911 Speedster Concept
The 911 Speedster Concept shows off a classic racing style gas cap on top of its hood. (Photo: Porsche)

While that original 1955 model had a fabric tonneau cover snapped onto its back, the new 2018 version receives a special one-off carbon fibre ‘double bubble’ cover in similitude of the 1988 and 2010 cars’ designs. The new version covers the area behind the front row where the rear jump seats normally reside, and also masks the rollover protection structure that was never part of the 1988 or 1955 model, while a glossy black backing wraps overtop the front portion of the cover to create a shortened Targa-like look. Just behind, the set of contrasting black slats straddling the buttresses are in fact aerodynamic elements, while a Plexiglas wind deflector is set in the middle, highlighted by an engraved ‘70 years of Porsche’ plaque. 

2018 Porsche 911 Speedster Concept
We love the 911 Speedster’s Talbot-style side mirrors. (Photo: Porsche)

Just in case a downpour threatens to ruin the prototype’s beautiful cognac coloured Aniline leather hides, the Porsche Motorsport Centre team has provided a lightweight tonneau cover that, when attached via eight Tenax fasteners, can protect the 911 Speedster Concept’s cabin from inclement weather, but only when parked. When on the road you’d better keep moving. 

The interior in mind, Porsche has kept the true spirit of the 911 Speedster intact by removing weighty features like the navigation, radio and air conditioning systems. Even the steering wheel is purely minimalist thanks to the elimination of ancillary switchgear, while the full bucket sport seats are framed in lightweight carbon. 

2018 Porsche 911 Speedster Concept
From the classic “Speedster” nameplate lettering to the Targa-style buttresses, the 911 Speedster will become a future collectible if it gets the nod for production. (Photo: Porsche)

If you’re wondering what the Porsche Motorsport Centre used for a donor car, look no further than the brand’s 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet, although the concept’s hood, rear cover and aerodynamic components are made from carbon fibre reinforced composite. 

Some stylistic links to Porsche’s motorsport past include headlamp lenses imprinted with “X” markings to denote tape that was often used to preemptively prevent broken glass from littering the racetrack and puncturing tires, while the 911 Speedster Concept also features a 1950s-style gas cap placed in the middle of the hood for quick refueling directly above the tank. Additionally, the side mirrors pay homage to the classic Talbot design that was popular when the 356 was created, while the milled, gold-plated “Speedster” lettering on the thick B-pillars and rear engine cover direct their tribute to the original ‘50s-era 356 Speedster. 

2018 Porsche 911 Speedster Concept
Porsche has gone minimalist inside, removing heavy luxuries in order to save weight. (Photo: Porsche)

Of course, everything is cutting-edge modern under the 911 Speedster Concept’s retrospective skin, its chassis actually pulled from the new 911 GT3, while the low-slung drop-top rides on a set of 21-inch Fuchs alloys featuring “contrasting high gloss polished clover-leaf details,” says Porsche, plus centre locks. 

The flat six hidden under the handcrafted rear bodywork spins to 9,000 rpm on its way to making 500 horsepower, while a set of custom titanium tailpipes are put in charge of freeing exhaust gases. And as would only be appropriate, the Porsche Motorsport Centre team made sure a six-speed manual transmission took care of shifting duties. 

We’ll soon know if Porsche plans to remove the word “Concept” from the 911 Speedster’s moniker, and thereby provide its legions of sports car fans with a modern-day production version of the storied nameplate. Until then we’ll just have to cross our collective fingers and hope for the best.

Few electric cars have caused as much excitement as the Porsche Mission E, but consider for a moment that one of the German brand’s current hybrids makes 680 horsepower and enthusiasm about an upcoming…

All-electric Porsche Mission E to be renamed Taycan in production trim

2015 Porsche Mission E Concept
Porsche just announced the upcoming all-electric sports car based on the 2015 Porsche Mission E Concept will be called the Taycan. (Photo: Porsche)

Few electric cars have caused as much excitement as the Porsche Mission E, but consider for a moment that one of the German brand’s current hybrids makes 680 horsepower and enthusiasm about an upcoming EV makes perfect sense. 

The hybrid in question is the plug-in Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid that puts 680 net horsepower and 626 combined lb-ft of torque through four wheels via an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox on its way from standstill to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds before a terminal velocity of 310 km/h (192.6 mph). It’s the most powerful production Panamera ever made, and is only 20 horsepower shy of the most formidable Porsche ever, the 911 GT2 RS. And you thought the 608-horsepower 918 Spyder was Porsche’s most potent hybrid? 

2015 Porsche Mission E Concept
We can only hope the 600-plus horsepower production Taycan will be as attractive as the Mission E Concept. (Photo: Porsche)

With such an electrified legacy to call upon, thoughts of an all-new fully electric Porsche sports car should cause Elon Musk and his leagues of Tesla faithful to quiver in fear, but first they’ll need to learn how to pronounce the new production model’s name: Taycan. 

In a recent release, Porsche clarifies that its “Mission E” concept study isn’t as much a car as it is a name designed to describe the brand’s complete electric offering. This was previously inferred in March of this year when Porsche introduced its Mission E Cross Concept, a crossover-style version of the original 2015 Mission E with a Panamera Sport Turismo style body that Porsche promises to bring to market as well. While we have yet to learn the name of this futuristic electrified SUV, the first of the real-world Mission E offerings will be the Taycan four-door coupe, with series production starting next year. 

2018 Porsche Mission E Cross Concept
The 2018 Mission E Cross Concept electric crossover SUV helps us to understand that “Mission E” refers to a family of EVs. (Photo: Porsche)

The rough translation of Taycan is “lively young horse” says Porsche, a theme chosen from the Porsche crest that has featured the image of a leaping horse since 1952. 

“Our new electric sports car is strong and dependable; it’s a vehicle that can consistently cover long distances and that epitomizes freedom”, explains Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. 

In sync with the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, Porsche promises the Taycan will be capable of zero to 100km/h in less than 3.5 seconds, with 200 km/h arriving in less than twelve seconds. 

Such performance will be possible due to a pair of synchronous motors developing more than 600 combined horsepower, while its maximum range will be greater than 500 km in accordance with the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). 

2015 Porsche Mission E Concept
Taycan means “lively young horse” says Porsche, a theme chosen from the Porsche crest. (Photo: Porsche)

Reports are pegging the strongest Taycan closer to Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid’s net horsepower, while two additional power outputs will also be available starting at just over 400 horsepower and another in the mid-500 horsepower range. 

What’s more, the new Taycan will be built off of a unique EV platform architecture dubbed J1, with its lithium-ion battery built right into the floor. 

Additionally, a Mission E photo showing the charge port reveals an 800-volt capability, which if hooked up to corresponding supercharger would mean that 400 km (250 miles) of electricity could be pumped into the Taycan’s battery pack in a mere 15 minutes. 

Now we’ll just have to wait and see how closely the upcoming Taycan resembles the Mission E prototype. We certainly hope Porsche manages to keep true to the concept car’s design roots.

Hybrids are boring. Such has been the steady mantra from performance enthusiasts since Honda and Toyota started pairing gasoline engines with electric motors back at the turn of the century.  Plenty…

Updated Porsche Cayenne now gets plug-in hybrid drivetrain

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
Visually, the new E-Hybrid doesn’t differ much from the updated base Cayenne’s styling cues. (Photo: Porsche)

Hybrids are boring. Such has been the steady mantra from performance enthusiasts since Honda and Toyota started pairing gasoline engines with electric motors back at the turn of the century. 

Plenty of automakers have joined the fray over the past two decades including Porsche, which introduced its first modern-day hybrid in the 2011 Cayenne, and after that in the 2012 Panamera (auto history buffs would point to the 1899 Lohner-Porsche as the first hybrid ever). 

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
The Cayenne E-Hybrid really shows off its full-width LED taillights against white paint. (Photo: Porsche)

With these two models, and subsequent E-Hybrid replacements, Porsche helped to eradicate the “hybrids are boring” claim, and then totally crushed such rhetoric with the German luxury brand’s first plug-in hybrid, the mighty 918 Spyder that sprints from zero to 100km/h in just 2.5 seconds, can reach a top speed of more than 340 km/h (211 mph), and currently holds the fastest Nürburgring Nordschleife time for a hybrid, not to mention the fourth quickest lap overall. Boring? Hardly. 

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
A change in paint colour plus a few extra options really make the difference when it comes to pulling eyeballs. (Photo: Porsche)

Last year Porsche adapted the 918 Spyder’s plug-in hybrid technology to a model that more of us could enjoy, the redesigned Panamera E-Hybrid, and now it’s done so to the most popular model in its lineup: Meet the new 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid. 

The new model will replace the current Cayenne S E-Hybrid, but don’t let the missing “S” fool you into thinking it’s a less potent derivative, as the new luxury ute boasts higher outputs, quicker acceleration, a faster top speed, and more EV range than the outgoing SUV. 

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
The new Cayenne E-Hybrid uses its electrical power for performance as well as efficiency. (Photo: Porsche)

The 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid gets a single twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-litre direct-injection V6 making 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, which when combined with the electric motor’s 134-horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque results in 455 net horsepower and 516 net pound-feet of torque (don’t try to add them up because net hybrid output isn’t so cut and dry). That’s a sizeable 39 horsepower increase over the outgoing model that uses a less powerful supercharged V6/electric motor combo, plus 81 additional lb-ft of torque. 

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
Once again Porsche has turned to Acid Green trim to differentiate the Cayenne E-Hybrid from conventionally powered models. (Photo: Porsche)

The most noticeable difference is straight-line acceleration, which sees the new Cayenne E-Hybrid hit 100km/h from standstill in just 5.0 seconds, carving 0.9 seconds out of its predecessor’s sprint time, while the 2019 model’s 253 km/h top speed is 10 km/h faster than the outgoing SUV. This means it’s the quickest Cayenne not wearing the “Turbo” badge off the line, beating the Cayenne GTS to 100km/h by 0.2 seconds. 

Standard Porsche Traction Management active all-wheel drive makes sure each wheel optimally grips pavement at takeoff, while a quick-shifting paddle-actuated eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic gearbox gives the Cayenne E-Hybrid the type of immediate sporting response and hands-on feel expected of a top-tier performance utility. 

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
The new plug-in SUV gets a special Acid Green background behind its scripted “e-hybrid” badges. (Photo: Porsche)

As important in this luxury class is smooth, linear power delivery, which has been achieved by sandwiching the electric motor between the internal combustion engine (ICE) and transmission, just like Porsche did with the much-lauded Panamera E-Hybrid. 

A state-of-the-art liquid-cooled 14.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, stored below the cargo floor in back, powers the electric motor. Despite being identically sized to the outgoing battery, the new pack provides approximately 30-percent more energy for up to 44 km of pure electric propulsion on a single charge, or so claims the NEDC European test cycle. Being that Natural Resources Canada’s rating system is less optimistic we can expect an estimated range closer to 35 km. Either way, the new model shows significant improvement in EV capability, being that the outgoing Cayenne S E-Hybrid’s 10.1-kWh battery only gave it 23 km of EV range. 

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
Porsche even doused the engine plaque in the vivid yellow/green colour. (Photo: Porsche)

Also notable, the new Cayenne E-Hybrid can reach speeds of 135 km/h solely under EV power, so therefore “zero” emissions driving for short durations won’t be a problem. 

According to Porsche, a fully drained battery will only need 2.3 hours with a 230-volt, 32 amp connection and optional 7.2 kW onboard charger, although the standard 3.6 kW charger will require 7.8 hours to fill from empty when plugged into a 230-volt/10-amp connection. 

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
The updated interior is sporty, luxurious and ultra-high-tech. (Photo: Porsche)

And what about fuel economy? Plug-in hybrids are notoriously difficult to quantify by the usual methods due to their ability to be driven without the need of gasoline at all, but nevertheless Porsche is touting an average of about 3.5 L/100km in combined city/highway driving. 

Design differences between the E-Hybrid and other Cayenne trims are minor, with the new PHEV featuring the same Acid Green badge outlines and brake calipers as the current model, while those bright green accents can be found under the hood surrounding the metal plaque atop the engine cover, and also continue inside the SUV, particularly on the E-Hybrid’s tachometer needles and Sport Chrono dial. On the topic of instrumentation, unique battery pack charging and rate of depletion info can be found on the Cayenne E-Hybrid’s gauge cluster and centre infotainment display. 

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
The Cayenne E-Hybrid gets Acid Green detailing within the primary gauge cluster. (Photo: Porsche)

This brings up standard equipment, with the just-noted Sport Chrono package part of the base Cayenne E-Hybrid feature set that also includes six adjustable driving modes for maximizing efficiency, performance, comfort or moods in between. 

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
The new Cayenne has been updated with Porsche’s latest infotainment touchscreen, this E-Hybrid further enhanced with specific PHEV info. (Photo: Porsche)

Other standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, white or black exterior paint, Keyless Drive wireless ignition, leather upholstery, heatable eight-way power-adjustable front seats, power-folding heatable side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, a heatable leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with paddle shifters, dual colour multi-information displays within the instrument cluster, dual-zone automatic climate control, front and rear parking sensors, a backup camera, Porsche Communication Management (PCM), Connect Plus with online navigation, Apple CarPlay, wireless internet access and more, while the standard list continues with a 10-speaker 150-watt audio system, satellite and HD radio, four USB charging ports, a powered liftgate, ultra-convenient 40/20/40-split rear seatbacks, and much more. 

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
Porsche offers plenty of Cayenne E-Hybrid interior colour, materials and trim combinations. (Photo: Porsche)

Porsche also includes standard Active Suspension Management (with an option for a three-chamber air suspension upgrade), Integrated Porsche 4D-Chassis Control (introduced on the new Panamera) that centrally networks all the suspension sensors after millisecond longitudinal, lateral and vertical acceleration analysis, regenerative braking, and Auxiliary Cabin Conditioning to help heat or cool the interior while recharging. 

Options include a multitude of 20-, 21- and 22-inch alloy wheels, PDLS “bending” headlights, more advanced LED Matrix headlamps with PDLS+, proximity-sensing keyless access, ambient lighting, 14- or 18-way powered front seats with memory and massage, ventilated front seats, heatable rear seats, auto-dimming mirrors, four-zone climate control, Bose surround sound audio, a panoramic sunroof, myriad interior material, colour and trim combinations, plenty of driver-assist technologies such as auto-dimming headlamps, dynamic cruise control, forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, lane change alert and assist, etcetera. 

2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
The standard 8-way powered seats can be upgraded to 14- or 18-way adjustment with memory, massage and ventilation. (Photo: Porsche)

The Cayenne E-Hybrid also has the option of the first head-up display system incorporated into a Porsche, which projects full-colour readouts of the SUV’s speed, engine revs and navigation information on the windshield ahead of the driver. 

Porsche InnoDrive is new as well, the available feature taking adaptive cruise control to the next level by combining real-time traffic info up to 2.9 km ahead and navigation map data, such as speed limits, to preselect gearing and optimize engine/motor power delivery. 

Cayenne E-Hybrid pricing will start at $91,700 before freight and fees, while initial deliveries are scheduled for spring of 2019.

The Canadian Black Book (CBB) gave two of Porsche’s models top ratings in their respective categories for retained value, helping to the German marque earn best overall luxury brand honours in the…

Porsche once again proven best luxury brand for retained value

2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E Hybrid2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E Hybrid
Porsche is once again top of the luxury heap for retained value, with the Panamera four-door coupe noted for winning its category. (Photo: Porsche)

The Canadian Black Book (CBB) gave two of Porsche’s models top ratings in their respective categories for retained value, helping to the German marque earn best overall luxury brand honours in the third-party rating firm’s 2018 Best Retained Value Awards. 

CBB once again awarded the Panamera four-door coupe with its most coveted prize in the “Premium Luxury Car” category, resulting in its fifth consecutive title, and did likewise for the Cayenne sport utility in the “Midsize Luxury SUV”, which has won the award three years in a row. 

2018 Porsche Cayenne GTS
The Cayenne mid-size SUV also won its segment, helping to push the entire Porsche brand to 66-percent retained value after four years of ownership. (Photo: Porsche)

“We are delighted to accept the Overall Brand – Luxury and the two model awards from Canadian Black Book,” said Marc Ouayoun, President and CEO, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. “These acknowledgments by the leading authority reinforce the value retention of our product line which ultimately benefit our customers.” 

Possibly more important than singling out specific models, the overall brand award is recognition for best average retained value throughout Porsche’s entire lineup, with Porsche entire product portfolio retaining 66 percent of its value over four years. 

2018 Porsche 718 Boxster S
The 718 Boxster S won its category last year, but fell one place short for 2018. (Photo: Porsche)

This means if you purchase a Porsche 718 Cayman, 718 Boxster, one of the many 911 models, or a Macan SUV, plus of course the Panamera and Cayenne that won their categories, you’ll have a better chance of holding onto more of its value over four years than a given competitor, unless that challenger won its segment in this year’s Best Retained Value Awards. 

To clarify, the 718 Boxster two-seat convertible took home CBB’s “Premium Sports Car” category last year, but this year the honours went to the Chevrolet Corvette, with the Boxster coming in second and the Porsche Cayman rounding out the top three spots, an impressive showing for Porsche just the same. 

2018 Porsche Cayman S
The 718 Cayman took home third-place in its segment. (Photo: Porsche)

On that note, other premium nameplate winners included the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class for best “Entry Luxury Car” (a category Porsche doesn’t compete in), the Lexus GS Series for best “Luxury Car” (ditto), the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class (now replaced by the GLC-Class) for best “Compact Luxury Crossover/SUV”, with the Macan not even showing up in the top-three that’s otherwise filled out by the new Audi Q5 in second and Range Rover Evoque in third, and finally the Mercedes-Benz G-Class for CBB’s “Full-size Luxury Crossover/SUV” category (that also has no Porsche competitor). 

2018 Porsche Macan GTS
The Macan is well liked by owners and the media, but it nevertheless didn’t receive a top-three rating with CBB. (Photo: Porsche)

Of note, the Panamera had to overcome strong challengers in order to win the “Premium Luxury Car” category, including the second-place Mercedes-Benz S-Class and third-place Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, while the Cayenne muscled out the Lexus GX 460 and Lexus RX 350 to take home this year’s title. 

“If you are the owner of one of these award winners and hold a loan or in some cases even a lease for the vehicle, you could be in a better position when it comes time to get into a new vehicle,” says Brian Murphy, VP Research and Editorial, at Canadian Black Book. “High depreciation, the single most expensive cost of owning a vehicle, can be a back breaker, especially if you are in a long-term loan, holding many consumers in negative equity where their vehicle is worth less than the outstanding amount due on the loan for almost the entire term of the loan” 

2018 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet GTS
The 911 has always held its value well, but it doesn’t rate as highly as Porsche’s two 718 models. (Photo: Porsche)

All said the future might not be as positive for retained values overall as the last four years were, whether discussing Porsche or its competitors. 

“What a great year for retained values,” commented Brad Rome, President, Canadian Black Book. “That said, the feeling is that we are getting close to the turning point where values are going to begin to retreat.  Market conditions, most notably the increase in supply in the U.S. and Canada is expected to put downward pressure on prices moving forward.”

For many automotive enthusiasts a lap around the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack is a top-10 bucket list item, but for Porsche works race driver Kévin Estre it was just another day at the office. …

Porsche 911 GT3 RS breaks 7 minutes on Nürburgring Nordschleife

2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
The new 520-hp Porsche 911 GT3 RS just knocked 24 seconds off its predecessor’s Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time for an amazing 6:56.40 officially timed lap. (Photo: Porsche)

For many automotive enthusiasts a lap around the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack is a top-10 bucket list item, but for Porsche works race driver Kévin Estre it was just another day at the office. 

No doubt an intense day, or at least an intense six minutes, fifty-six and four one-hundredth seconds, or rather 6:56.40. 

That number means the new 2019 911 GT3 RS joins an elite group of production cars capable of lapping the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than seven minutes, while at least as importantly to Porsche and its legions of dedicated Porschephiles, this achievement signifies an impressive 24-second improvement over the previous 911 GT3 RS. 

2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Porsche works driver Kévin Estre (right) achieved the record time, resulting from two personal attempts and two by Lars Kern, who holds the overall lap record. (Photo: Porsche)

Porsche also holds title to the current lap record, its 911 GT2 RS managing the 20.6-km (12.8-mi) racecourse in just 6:47.25 with Lars Kern at the wheel, while earlier in the same month of September 2017, Marc Lieb pushed the mid-engine plug-in hybrid 918 Spyder to a 6:57.00 result, making it the fastest hybrid-electric vehicle to ever navigate the circuit. 

That’s three Porsches in the top six, an amazing accomplishment that’s even more shocking when factoring in two of the others aren’t even production cars (both produced by British racing car constructor Radical). When measured against production cars alone, Porsche occupies three of the top four spots with Lamborghini holding the other position, its second-place Huracán LP 640-4 Performante having managed a 6:52.01 lap time in 2016. 

2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
The Nürburgring Nordschleife is a treacherous racetrack, but the 911’s compliant suspension and overall performance has always suited it well. (Photo: Porsche)

And how does the much-vaunted Nissan GT-R rate? A Nismo-trimmed version put up a respectable time of 7:08.68 back in 2013, but the model hasn’t been officially timed since then. Still, this makes it seventh fastest amongst production cars and 11th overall, although according to numerous reports quoting Nissan employees that took part in the event, the GT-R Nismo being used was specially tuned just for the Nürburgring Nordschleife track, featuring larger spoilers for more downforce, softer dampers to deal with the rough road surfaces, upgraded brake pads, non-stock bucket seats that decreased its weight by 50 kilos (110 lbs), and a revised ECU map. In other words, it wasn’t stock. 

2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
The Nürburgring Nordschleife spans 20.6-km, making it one of the longest racetracks currently in existence, and its pavement surface is far from smooth. (Photo: Porsche)

In case you were wondering, amongst true production cars a Dodge Viper ACR holds sixth place with a time of 7:01.30, while rounding out the top-10 is a Mercedes-AMG GT R in eighth with a 7:10.92 lap time, a Gumpert Apollo Sport in ninth at 7:11.57, and another Dodge Viper ACR in 10th at 7:12.13. Interestingly, the current 11th and 12th place positions are held by two Porsches, including a 911 GT3 at 7:12.70, and a 918 Spyder with a lap time of 7:13.00. 

The list continues with a who’s who list of sports car and supercar nameplates, from the Chevrolet Corvette C7 Z06 to the Lexus LFA (with its Nürburgring Package), Donkervoort D8 RS, Ferrari 488 GTB, Maserati MC12, Pagani Zonda F Clubsport, and plenty of additional Porsches. To even get on this list is a job well done, but to defeat them all with multiple models is sensational. 

2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
The 911 GT3 RS’ 4.0L flat-six makes 520-hp and 346 lb-ft of torque and drives the rear wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission. (Photo: Porsche)

Available from $213,400, the 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS receives a naturally aspirated 4.0-litre horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine behind its rear wheels, producing 520 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque, which comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automated PDK transmission driving the rear wheels. Capable of a top track speed of 312 km/h (193 mph) and a standing start to 100km/h time of just 3.2 seconds, the big boxer engine will spin right up to 9,000 rpm. 

“No other Porsche model gets as close to racing as the new GT3 RS,” said Frank Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars. “Many innovative ideas from top-level motorsport were transferred; for example, from the 911 GT3 R. This is what our philosophy for GT models is about: Highest technology must be fascinating but tangible. In this regard there is no harder test for our ideas than the Nordschleife.” 

2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
The GT3 RS is capable of a top track speed of 312 km/h and 0-100km/h time of only 3.2 seconds, while the big boxer can rev right up to 9,000 rpm. (Photo: Porsche)

Estre, who also competed for Porsche in the FIA World Endurance Championship, was joined by Porsche development driver Kern, with both drivers completing two laps for a total of four. 

“All four lap times of both drivers were below seven minutes and only tenths of a second apart,” added Andreas Preuninger, Porsche Director GT Model Line. “This proves not only the outstanding power of the GT3 RS, but also its extraordinary drivability at the limit. A perfectly composed overall system allows for highly dynamic performance even with a relatively modest engine power. For a driver, each of the car’s thousands of parts have to feel like one – that’s an unbeatable strength of the GT3 RS. And what especially delights me is how much fun Lars and Kévin had when driving that car.” 

Estre, a 29-year old who hails from France, started his record lap at 11:40 am in what Porsche says were ideal conditions of 14 degrees Celsius ambient and 18 degrees Celsius track temperature. 

2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Even though the 911 GT3 RS is one of the fastest cars in the world, it’s also an easy and enjoyable car to drive daily. (Photo: Porsche)

“This lap was a sensational experience for me,” said Estre. “Through the fast corners and on the brakes in particular, the GT3 RS is unbelievably close to our racing car GT3 R. This is also thanks to the new generation of tires for road going sports cars. I like the engine of the GT3 RS a lot. Up to 9,000 revs per minute from a six-cylinder engine just feels fantastic. The sound is a dream and the torque is massive.” 

The tires Estre speaks of are Michelin Pilot Sports measuring 265/35ZR20 in front and 325/30ZR21 at the rear, and are available at every Porsche Centre, as is the new 911 GT3 RS and the Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record-holding GT2 RS. 

For a closer take on all the action, check out this in-car video of the 911 GT3 RS achieving its amazing 6:56.40 lap time:

Additionally, here’s another video showing some of 911 GT3 RS’ features: