What would you do? Despite having long since closed off my 2018 model year reviews thanks to most manufacturers’ 2019 models having been available since fall of last year, I was staring at the keys…

2018 Porsche Macan Road Test Review

2018 Porsche Macan
Still a great looking compact luxury SUV, the 2018 Macan remains available brand spanking new from a Porsche dealer near you. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)

What would you do? Despite having long since closed off my 2018 model year reviews thanks to most manufacturers’ 2019 models having been available since fall of last year, I was staring at the keys of a nicely outfitted 2018 Porsche Macan, and it only made sense to drive it. Then again, if I drove it I’d need to review it, and here we are. 

Fortunately for me the refreshed 2019 version is a late arrival, starting to show up at Porsche Canada dealers as I stare at another set of keys while hammering out this last-minute review. It’s also good the Stuttgart-based brand made sure that its retailers were well stocked with 2018 Macans, a fact that still makes this somewhat late arrival of a road test review relevant. I’m ok with that if you are, and besides, it’s not like the 2019 model is a radical departure from this 2018 version anyway. 

2018 Porsche Macan
The biggest styling difference between 2018 and 2019 Macans can be seen from this rear vantage point. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

That said, toward the end of this 2018 Macan review I’ll make sure to point out a few notable changes made to the new 2019, so you can decide what matters most when choosing your new Porsche SUV, because it’s probably safe to say you’ll be able to get a better deal on the outgoing model than the refreshed version, not to mention that it’s even more ok than usual to purchase a one model-year older vehicle when factoring in Porsche’s much better than average resale values. 

2018 Porsche Macan
The base 2018 Macan incorporates Porsche’s four-point LED signature lights and offers full LED headlamps optionally, but those LED headlights come standard with the new 2019. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

First off, both 2018 and 2019 Macans qualify for sportiest compact luxury SUV status, and saying that I’m not forgetting about some pretty impressive iron currently available, or should I say aluminum when referring to some of its challengers, particularly the Jaguar F-Pace and Range Rover Velar (the Macan utilizes an aluminum hood and liftgate, plus elsewhere it uses an assortment of high-strength micro-alloyed steel, multi-phase steel, deep-drawn steel, and boron-alloyed steel). 

2018 Porsche Macan
The 2018 Macan gets a sporty front fascia with powerful fog lamps in standard trim, but take note these details are updated for 2019. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

Yet there’s also the new steel-bodied Alfa Romeo Stelvio (I drove the Ti Sport AWD and it was loads of fun, and on that note the 505-horsepower Quadrifoglio might even impress more than the Macan Turbo, but I’ll reserve judgment until after I’ve spent time behind the wheel), plus the recently renewed Audi SQ5, BMW’s X3 M, and Mercedes-AMG’s dynamic duo, the GLC 43 and 63 S, while I should also give honourable mentions to the new Acura RDX and Infiniti QX50 that do an admirable job of performing off the line and through the curves when sidled up beside the base Macan I’m reviewing here. 

2018 Porsche Macan
These 19-inch Turbo alloys aren’t standard, as the base model gets 18-inch rims and rubber. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

Still, even this entry-level Macan delivers a higher level of performance feel than these very worthy rivals, the sound of rasping exhaust and the quick-shifting response of its seven-speed dual-clutch automated PDK transmission, which comes complete with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, a far cry more engaging than most anything it’s put up against. 

2018 Porsche Macan
Say goodbye to these discrete rear lamps, which make way for a much larger single-unit taillight that spans the 2019 Macan’s entire backside. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

This most basic of Macans receives a direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine endowed with VarioCam technology and kinetic energy recovery that’s capable of 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, the former number about average for the class yet the latter more than most rivals provide. This results in a spirited 6.7-second sprint from standstill to 100km/h, or 6.5 seconds when upgraded with the $1,500 Sport Chrono Package that incorporates a set of Sport and Off-Road buttons within the drive mode selector, plus launch control and a special performance display within the infotainment touchscreen. The Macan’s standard Active all-wheel drive made the most of the road surface below, feeling especially controlled when accelerating around corners. 

2018 Porsche Macan
Our 2018 Macan tester’s interior was impeccably finished in Garnet Red leather. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

My tester wasn’t upgraded with the Sport Chrono Package, however, nor did it have the $1,560 Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system that boasts an electronically variable active damping system with Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus modes, or the even more advanced $3,140 Air Suspension that also includes PASM, or a number of other performance upgrades, but nevertheless it drove brilliantly, with good jump off the line and superb stability when flung through corners, its standard aluminum double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear setup fully living up to the legendary crest on its hood and scripted name on its backside. 

2018 Porsche Macan
We dare you to find any cheap, hard plastic in this well made 2018 Macan interior. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

My test model did include $790 Lane Change Assist, however, one of many advanced driver assistance systems that are less about hands-on performance and point more toward a future of hands-off relaxation, albeit this one merely provides warning if the Macan wanders from a chosen lane, veers off the road, or if a vehicle comes up to its side when a turn signal is engaged. Another $790 buys Lane Keeping Assist, which momentarily takes control at speeds of 65 km/h and higher when such circumstances occur, while my tester also included $1,650 adaptive cruise control, a must for those who travel long distances. 

2018 Porsche Macan
Porsche’s classic three-dial gauge cluster fits a colour multi-info display into its rightmost position. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

Other extras included a $2,230 Garnet Red leather package that also adds $1,960 14-way powered front seats with memory, although it should be noted those upgraded buckets (sans the rosy colour treatment) are included with the $7,250 Premium Package Plus (and can be further upgraded to 18-way Adaptive Sport Seats for just $430) that also adds proximity-sensing access with pushbutton ignition, auto-dimming side mirrors, a panoramic glass sunroof, three-way ventilated front seats, three-way heatable rear outboard seats, terrific sounding Bose surround audio (or you can spend $5,370 more for the same package with the sensational 1,000-watt 16-speaker Burmester surround upgrade), Bi-Xenon headlights with the corner-bending Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) (alternatively you can spend $1,340 more for the same package with full LED headlamps), while some standalone items included $1,890 worth of 19-inch Macan Turbo wheels wrapped in 235/55R19 Pirelli tires, and lastly a set of black roof rails for $440, with all the additions totaling $14,250 for a final price of $68,350, not including one of the least expensive freight charges in the industry at $1,250. 

2018 Porsche Macan
Choosing navigation mode within the multi-info display allows easy-to-follow directions without much need to remove eyes from the road. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

I haven’t even scratched the surface as to all you can get with the Macan if you’d like to load one up, nor for that matter all that comes standard for its base $54,100 entry price, this number making it the most affordable Porsche model in Canada, but suffice to say it’s nicely outfitted with 18-inch alloy rims, fog lights, LED tail lamps with adaptive brake lights, an electromechanical parking brake, one of the nicest heatable leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheels in the industry (I love the thin spokes and superb switchgear), a colour multi-information display that shows a map when set to navigation plus plenty of other functions, rain-sensing wipers, a HomeLink garage door opener, power-adjustable and three-way heated front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control with active carbon and pollen filtration, a 7.2-inch Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment touchscreen featuring standard navigation and a backup camera with active guidelines (the latter even including an overhead graphic of the Macan showing how close you’re getting to objects when parking via standard front and rear parking sensors), HD and satellite radio, and much more. 

2018 Porsche Macan
The base Macan comes with an attractive clock atop the dash, which gets exchanged for a more functional tachometer version when opting for the Sport Chrono Package. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

The standard Macan’s liftgate powers open automatically too, with the spacious cargo area good for 500 litres (17.6 cubic feet) of gear behind its ultimately utile 40/20/40-split rear seatbacks. I love this configuration compared to the more common 60/40 divide, even if the asymmetrical arrangement includes a centre pass-through, because you can load more skis and/or other long cargo down the middle when four are aboard. Porsche also includes a sturdy standard cargo cover to hide valuables, which can be removed when laying the rear seats flat, a process that opens up 1,500 litres (53.0 cubic feet) for serious cargo hauling capability. I know I’m getting all practical while talking about a Porsche, but while it’s true the Macan is amongst the sportiest in its class, at least in its highest trims, it’s also a perfectly useful tool for hauling family and gear. 

2018 Porsche Macan
While the 2019 Macan grows its centre display to 10.9 inches, the outgoing 7.2-inch system is still fully up to task. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

Then again, calling something a tool that’s finished so impeccably inside doesn’t seem right either. The dash top was covered in red contrast-stitched leather, while a high-grade soft-touch composite material surfaces the bottom half of the instrument panel plus everything below the dash including the glove box lid and lower console sides. Likewise, the door panels are a mix of leather and pliable synthetic from top to bottom, while interior accents are mostly detailed out in satin-silver metal. Such hard trim elements aside, you’ll have a hard time finding any insubstantial plastic in this luxury SUV. 

2018 Porsche Macan
The standard reverse camera gets dynamic guidelines and a really helpful graphic that highlights standard front and rear parking sensor info. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

Of course, it’s wonderfully comfortable too. My tester’s 14-way seats provided plenty of power adjustments including four-way lumbar and extendable seat squabs. Porsche offers a lot of steering wheel reach and rake too, allowing me to get completely comfortable with the driver setup, which instilled a sense of controlled confidence even before setting out. 

Likewise rear seating is roomy and accommodating, with the outboard positions both fully supportive to provide the comfort needed on long trips, and carved out nicely for holding backside in place when the driver lets off a little steam. 

2018 Porsche Macan
The lower centre console is a sophisticated bit of button-infused kit, which moves into 2019 unchanged. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

Speaking of going quickly, those wanting more straight-line speed can choose the Macan S that stuffs a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 under its hood good for 340 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque, which results in zero to 100km/h in only 5.4 seconds, or 5.2 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package, plus a new terminal velocity of 254 km/h compared to the base model’s already lofty 229 km/h. Alternatively the Macan GTS adds an extra 20 horsepower and 30 lb-ft of torque for a total of 360 and 369 respectively, plus sprint time of 5.2 seconds to 100km/h, or 5.0 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package, and a higher top speed of 256 km/h. 

2018 Porsche Macan
These upgraded 14-way powered leather seats were wonderfully comfortable. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

The Turbo (Turbo referring to a model name despite all Macan trims using turbocharged engines) is top of the Macan heap thanks to a 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 that makes 400 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, plus standstill to 100km/h achieved in just 4.8 seconds, or 4.6 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package, and an even faster final speed of 266 km/h. If you still crave more, a Performance Edition, which makes the Sport Chrono Package standard, adds 40 horsepower and 36 lb-ft of torque for 440 of the former and 442 lb-ft of the latter, resulting in a 4.4-second sprint to 100km/h. 

2018 Porsche Macan
The panoramic sunroof is a nice option that makes the cabin feel more open and airy. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

It’s likely that fuel economy will matter to those in the more conservative trims, especially now that a new carbon tax is upping pump prices in four Canadian provinces, and others, such as BC, are reeling from an even bigger carbon tax bump, so be satisfied that a fuel-saving and emissions reducing auto start/stop system, with coasting capability, shuts the engine off when it would otherwise be idling, helping the Macan to deliver a claimed rating of 11.6 L/100km in the city, 9.3 on the highway and 10.5 combined. I certainly could live with this, especially considering how sporty it feels when pushed, and how responsive it is even when lightly applying the throttle. 

2018 Porsche Macan
There’s no shortage of passenger space in back, plus it’s finished beautifully and can be upgraded with as-tested heatable outboard seats. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

If you opt for a 2019 Macan fuel economy shouldn’t change noticeably, but take note the base powertrain is down some 4 ponies while the next-in-line Macan S gains 8 horsepower. Neither issue should sway Macan buyers either way, but Porsche promises an improved ride and with better handling, the latter hard to believe considering how deft the current model is, so I’ll reserve judgment until I get behind the wheel. 

2018 Porsche Macan
Despite being one of the sportiest performers in its class, the Macan’s 40/20/40-split rear seatbacks make it ultimately practical. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann)

A greater draw is the new SUV’s styling that’s highlighted by standard LED headlamps on a slightly revised front end design, plus a more dramatic statement made from behind thanks to a single three-dimensional LED taillight that spans the entire width of its backside. I think the 2019 Macan’s biggest draw is inside, thanks to a new standard 10.9-inch high-resolution centre touchscreen, which receives most of the same standard features as with the current version, but gets more up-to-date graphics on a larger display, a quicker operating speed, and Porsche Connect Plus, an app suite filled with functions, like a Wi-Fi hotspot, and services. 

Additionally, the 2019 Macan will offer a driver assist system that, via the adaptive cruise control, provides semi-autonomous driving for acceleration, braking and lane keeping assist at speeds of 60 km/h and below during congested traffic conditions. 

So the choice is yours. Work your best deal on an already discounted 2018 Macan now or choose the updated 2019 version as it starts arriving this month, knowing either option results in a premium crossover SUV that delivers a higher level of style, performance, refinement and luxury than the majority of challengers, while fulfilling all the practical concerns of a life well lived.

The Cayenne has long been respected as one of the sportiest crossover SUVs in the entire automotive industry, both in performance and styling, but that hardly held Porsche back from joining the crossover…

Porsche reveals sporty new 2020 Cayenne Coupe

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
New for 2020, Porsche just revealed the Cayenne Coupe, ready to go up against the BMW X6, Mercedes GLE Coupe, Audi Q8, and even the Lamborghini Urus. (Photo: Porsche)

The Cayenne has long been respected as one of the sportiest crossover SUVs in the entire automotive industry, both in performance and styling, but that hardly held Porsche back from joining the crossover coupe fray, evidenced by the all-new 2020 Cayenne Coupe. 

Prior to the Cayenne’s arrival in 2002, BMW’s X5 firmly held the sportiest SUV mantle, but at least from a design perspective the Bavarian automaker arguably took that title back in 2007 with the introduction of the X6 Sports Activity Coupe, a model that ushered in an entirely new niche market segment. 

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
A more raked back windscreen, 20-mm lower roofline, and more radically sloped C/D pillars and rear glass make for a dramatically different Cayenne. (Photo: Porsche)

The brave albeit short-lived Acura ZDX quickly followed the X6 in 2009, after which came the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe in 2015, the Lamborghini Urus in 2017, and the Audi Q8 last year. 

Being that the latter two, along with Audi’s Q7, Bentley’s Bentayga, and Volkswagen’s own Touareg, share VW group’s MLBevo platform architecture, this Cayenne Coupe’s arrival was only a matter of time. More importantly, it could very well become the most successful of the three VW group luxury crossover coupes, let alone all others in this uniquely positioned slice of the luxury SUV market due to Porsche’s enormous brand power and seemingly forever rising star. 

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
Despite its sleeker shape, Porsche has design the new Cayenne Coupe to accommodate four passengers in comfort, plus all of their cargo. (Photo: Porsche)

“The Coupé includes all the technical highlights of the current Cayenne, but has an even more dynamic design and new technical details that position it as more progressive, athletic, and emotional,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG.

Whether you think of the new Coupe as a sportier Cayenne with less cargo space, or alternatively as a raised Panamera with a more rugged personality and better off-road prowess, the new model also provides Porsche with the opportunity to grow the size of its traditional Cayenne when the next generation arrives, if it so chooses, just like BMW has made its X5 more family friendly over the years, even adding a third row. 

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
The new 2020 Cayenne Coupe makes a distinctive statement on the road. (Photo: Porsche)

“The significantly more steep roof line that falls away to the rear makes the Cayenne Coupé appear even more dynamic, and positions it as the sportiest-looking model in the segment,” added Michael Mauer, Vice President Style Porsche. 

To be clear, everything below the new Coupe’s 20-millimetre lower roofline, which includes a new front windscreen and shallower A pillars, is pretty much 2020 Cayenne, other than its much more tapered rear side windows, reshaped second-row doors, new rear quarter panels, and a revised back bumper, the latter of which now includes an integrated license plate holder. The result is a slight 19-mm (0.7-inch) increase in overall width, which along with the lower ride height adds to its more aggressive stance. 

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
The new Cayenne Coupe uses active aerodynamics to add rear downforce while simultaneously making the SUV slipperier through the air. (Photo: Porsche)

Additional Cayenne Coupe highlights include an adaptive rear deck lid spoiler, individual rear seats split by an open centre console bin, plus two different roof choices that include a standard 2.16-cubic-metre fixed glass panoramic sunroof with an integrated roller blind, or an optional carbon-fibre panel. 

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
A more common rooftop spoiler works in tandem with the adaptive rear deck lid spoiler. (Photo: Photo: Porsche)

Like with the regular Cayenne, the Cayenne Coupe will be first to its market segment with an adaptive rear spoiler, the former SUV using a roof-mounted version for its top-line Turbo model. The active aerodynamic aid comes standard with the new Coupe, extending by 135 mm (5.3 inches) when the SUV hits 90 km/h. In addition, a smaller rooftop spoiler joins the active rear deck lid spoiler to optimize airflow. The system, which is dubbed Porsche Active Aerodynamics (PAA), both increases downforce on the rear axle to improve handling, and improves high-speed aero efficiency for less wind noise and better fuel economy. 

Incidentally, if you want your Cayenne Coupe with a carbon roof you’ll need to opt for one of three lightweight sports packages, which also include various Sport Design features, special 22-inch GT Design wheels, classic hound’s-tooth Pepita checked fabric seat inserts, plus carbon and suede-like Alcantara interior accents. Additionally, the Cayenne Coupe Turbo gets a sport exhaust system. 

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
An optional carbon fibre roof panel comes as part of three available lightweight sports packages. (Photo: Porsche)

That upgraded exhaust manages waste gases for the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine as the regular Cayenne SUV, which is good for 541 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque. With an official zero to 100km/h sprint time of 3.9 seconds the new Cayenne Coupe Turbo’s acceleration will only be bested by the aforementioned 650-horsepower Lamborghini Urus that manages the feat in just 3.6 seconds, leaving the 567-horsepower X6 M and 577-horsepower AMG-Mercedes GLE 63 S Coupe needing 4.2 seconds apiece to achieve the same feat. Of note, the smaller 503-horsepower AMG-Mercedes GLC 63 S Coupe zips from standstill to 100km/h in just 3.8 seconds, while the identically powerful BMW X4 M requires 4.1 seconds to hit the same mark. Incidentally, the Cayenne Coupe Turbo gets a claimed terminal velocity of 286 km/h. 

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
Two powertrain options make for a dual-personality crossover coupe, one with sporty, spirited performance and another that dominates most rivals. (Photo: Porsche)

If you’re wondering where Audi’s new Q8 fits into the realm of slant-back SUVs, with one sole 335 horsepower turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 at its beck and call it’s clearly targeting the entry-level portion of the mid-size luxury sport utility coupe segment, and to that end the new base Cayenne Coupe comes fitted with identical output to the Audi, plus the same as found in the standard Cayenne. 

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
The new Cayenne Coupe’s interior mirror’s the recently redesigned regular Cayenne’s in most respects, especially when it comes to the instrument panel. (Photo: Porsche)

The entry model’s turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 is therefore good for 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, which allows for a 6.0-second run from naught to 100km/h in standard guise, or 5.9 seconds with one of its lightweight sports packages—the Sport Chrono Package comes standard across the entire Cayenne Coupe line. Interestingly, Porsche claims 5.9 seconds to 100km/h for the regular base Cayenne when fitted with its Sport Chrono Package, which actually makes it 0.1 seconds quicker than the new Coupe. Likewise, the base Cayenne has a top speed of 245 km/h, whereas the entry-level Coupe’s terminal velocity is a claimed 243-km/h. Splitting hairs? Of course, but that’s par for the course in this high-priced, high-performance game. 

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
Special 8-way sport seats, with available hounds-tooth cloth centres, are unique to the Cayenne Coupe. (Photo: Porsche)

Additional standard equipment on the new Coupe includes speed-sensitive Power Steering Plus, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), and 20-inch alloy wheels, all costing more with the regular Cayenne. 

Pricing in mind, the 2020 Cayenne Coupe will start at $86,400 plus freight and fees, whereas the Cayenne Coupe Turbo will be available from $148,000. 

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
This large fixed panoramic sunroof comes standard. (Photo: Porsche)

Other notable changes from regular Cayenne to Coupe form include a sportier set of eight-way power-adjustable performance seats with more pronounced side bolsters, while rear passengers will sit 30 mm (1.18 inches) lower to allow for extra headroom. 

As noted earlier, that tapered roofline also negatively impacts the Cayenne Coupe’s cargo capacity, but it’s only off by 145 litres (5.1 cubic feet) compared to the regular Cayenne, the base Coupe good for 625 litres (22.0 cu ft) behind its 40/20/40 split-folding rear seatbacks and the larger model capable of 770 litres (27.2 cu ft). Lowering the second row opens up 1,540 litres (54.4 cu ft) of gear-toting space compared to 1,710 litres (60.4 cu ft) with the regular Cayenne, for a difference of just 170.0 litres (6.0 cu ft), which means the new Coupe is almost as practical as the regular Cayenne. 

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe
The rear cushions are positioned 30 mm lower to increase headroom, while a console bin divides passengers. (Photo: Porsche)

Of note, the Cayenne Turbo Coupe’s cargo capacity drops by 25 litres (0.9 litres) to 600 litres (21.2 cu ft) with the rear seats upright, and by 30 litres (1.0 cu-ft) to 1,510 litres (53.3 cu ft) when folded. Also notable, current Panamera owners tempted by the new Cayenne Coupe will find 125 litres (4.4 cu ft) of additional luggage space when comparing base models, while those with the Panamera Sport Turismo will gain 105 litres (3.7 cu ft) of extra cargo carrying capacity. 

The new 2020 Cayenne Coupe will be arriving in Porsche dealerships later this year, but preordering will make certain you’ll be first in line. 

And while you’re waiting, make sure to check out our comprehensive photo gallery above (we’ve got all the images and pictographs on offer) as well as all of the latest videos below: 

The new Porsche Cayenne Coupe – Design Film (1:33):

 

The new Porsche Cayenne Coupe – First Driving Footage (0:59):

 

The new Porsche Cayenne Coupe – Shaped by Performance (1:44):

 

The new Porsche Cayenne Coupe – Highlight Film (1:55):

 

The new Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe – First Driving Footage (1:00):

Who isn’t excited to see the new 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera on the road, let alone experience one first hand? While the latest sports car of sports cars might look to some like a mild makeover of a classic…

Video: Watch how Porsche Adaptive Aerodynamics enhance 2020 911’s performance

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S
The upcoming 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera includes adaptive aero elements that improve safety and performance. (Photo: Porsche)

Who isn’t excited to see the new 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera on the road, let alone experience one first hand? While the latest sports car of sports cars might look to some like a mild makeover of a classic design, it’s a radical departure to those who live and breathe Porsche. 

Most applaud its fresh new styling, although some have criticized its backside when its attractively tapered deck lid transforms into a rather unorthodox rear wing, but no matter how much you like or dislike the car’s design, the method behind Porsche’s madness is hard to argue against. 

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S
While aesthetically controversial, there’s no questioning the new rear wing’s functionality. (Photo: Porsche)

Less noticeable than the protruding rear wing are a set of active shutters that hide within the front corner grilles, which open above 70 km/h to minimize aerodynamic drag, while at 90 km/h the just noted rear spoiler gets raised into its most fuel efficient Eco position to once again reduce air resistance, although the aero system’s purpose changes from eco stewardship to maximum speed and grip at 170 km/h, when the front shutters open and the rear spoiler moves farther upward into its Performance position. 

What’s more, as part of this Performance position the PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) sport chassis automatically drops down by 10 millimetres in order to improve its aero efficiency further, this sole feature adding four seconds per lap to the 911’s Nürburgring performance. 

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S
When the active shutters are open, frontal air enters the corner intakes before flowing through the radiators and exiting via the wheel cutouts. (Photo: Porsche)

The 911’s adaptive aero also adjusts for new Wet mode, plus the active rear spoiler will literally spring into action when emergency braking is needed by automatically canting farther upward into its “Air Brake” mode, adding downward pressure over the rear wheels for greater braking grip. 

How does it work? Like the previous 911, the new model’s sculpted body panels provide precise paths for oncoming air to flow overtop, underneath and around the entire car so as to minimize drag and maximize downforce, a balancing act that’s always challenging to perfect, but the new 911’s adaptive aerodynamics take it a step further by letting that air vent into the front corner intakes, pass through each radiator, and then flow around the front wheels like an air curtain in order to reduce turbulence. 

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S
In its highest position, the rear spoiler adds enough downward pressure over the rear wheels to assist in braking. (Photo: Porsche

This airflow continues along the 911’s doors before moving up and over the rear fenders into the engine vents mounted below the rear window, which feeds the 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine’s new air-to-air intercoolers, after which it gets directed down and out rear vents at each side of the back bumper. 

For a more visual insight, make sure to watch the video provided by Porsche below, and don’t forget to check out the photo gallery above, where we’ve included some close up shots of the rear wing as well as some illustrations of frontal and rear airflow. 

 

 

The Porsche 911 – Adaptive Aerodynamics (2:56):

A significant coup for last month’s Canadian International Auto Show was the introduction of the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, a car rooted in the legendary brand’s racing heritage. The track-only…

Porsche introduces new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport at Canadian auto show

2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
The new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is lighter, nimbler and faster than the outgoing version. (Photo: Porsche)

A significant coup for last month’s Canadian International Auto Show was the introduction of the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, a car rooted in the legendary brand’s racing heritage. The track-only Cayman, which was revealed in January at the Daytona International Speedway, made its first official motor show appearance at the Toronto event. 

The updated 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is now in its second generation, the first arriving on the motorsport scene in 2016 sans “718” script on the rear deck lid. Unlike the previous version, the new GT4 Clubsport can be had in two forms: first as a “Trackday” car set up for “ambitious amateur racing drivers,” and second as “a ‘Competition’ variant for national and international motor racing,” the latter to notably be used for this year’s GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series. 

2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Styling has changed thanks to the 718 update, but teams and drivers will only care about performance improvements. (Photo: Porsche)

Ahead of pointing out differences, both 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport models receive an updated version of the old 3.8-litre flat-six “boxer” engine, now good for 425 horsepower at 7,800 rpm, a 40-horsepower improvement over the previous 2016 car, while torque is now 4 lb-ft greater, to 313 lb-ft at 6,600 rpm. 

Of note, this is the first six-cylinder 718 Cayman application since the car’s 2017 model year debut, due to the current 982-generation only using a turbocharged four-cylinder in various states of tune, causing some pundits to question whether a road-worthy Cayman with a horizontally opposed six-cylinder positioned just ahead of its rear axle will bolster the 718 Cayman ranks. 

2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
No doubt the race-spec brakes with 380-mm discs and six-piston front, four-piston rear calipers can manage high-speed vertical challenges. (Photo: Porsche)

That new GT4 Clubsport flat-six, which feeds on 98 octane Super Plus unleaded gasoline, packs a 12.5:1 compression ratio, integrated dry sump lubrication, racing-optimized engine and transmission water cooling with thermal management, four-valve technology with adjustable camshaft phasing and VarioCam Plus variable valve timing, a racing-optimized Continental SDI 9 electronic engine management system, plus more. 

Where the previous GT4 Clubsport shifted gears through a short-throw six-speed manual transmission, the new 718 version will solely utilize Porsche’s dual-clutch PDK automated gearbox, albeit with only six forward gears instead of the usual seven. The new model also features a reinforced dual mass flywheel, a racing-optimized electronic control unit, a racing-optimized mechanical rear axle differential lock, plus an internal pressure oil lubrication system boasting active oil cooling. 

2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
The GT4 Clubsport utilizes 911 GT3-inspired aerodynamics to keep its nose and tail glued to the ground. (Photo: Porsche)

Additional modifications over road-going 718 Caymans include implementation of the 911 GT3 Cup car’s lightweight spring-strut front suspension; front and rear height, camber and track adjustable dampers; fixed shock absorbers with the Trackday car, or three-way racing shocks with rebound and two-stage high- and low-speed compression adjustment for the Competition; front and rear forged suspension links with optimized stiffness, double shear mountings, and high-performance spherical bearings; a three-hole design anti-roll bar up front; an adjustable blade-type anti-roll bar in the back; and five-bolt wheel hubs. 

The new rims are single-piece forged light alloy wheels wearing a new “weight-optimized” design, and rolling on 25/64 front and 27/68 rear Michelin transportation rubber, while Michelin also supplies the slick/wet tires that measure 25/64-18 and 27/68-18 front and rear, too. 

718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
You’ll need a trailer to get the GT4 Clubsport to events, as it’s not street-legal. (Photo: Porsche)

What’s more, behind those wheels and tires are racing-spec brakes that feature four multi-piece, ventilated and grooved steel discs measuring 380 millimetres in diameter, plus racing brake pads, aluminum mono-bloc six-piston front and four-piston rear racing calipers with “Anti Knock Back” piston springs, plus a brake booster with the Trackday version or brake balance adjustment via a balance bar system with the Competition model. 

Despite the GT4 Clubsport’s factory-installed (FIA Art. 277 certified) safety cage, plus its 911 GT3-inspired front spoiler and sizeable fixed rear wing, which appear mostly carryover from the previous Clubsport, the race-spec Cayman weighs in at just 1,320 kilos, making it lighter than the outgoing model. 

718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Shown here at its Daytona unveiling on January 3, 2019, the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport presents itself as the ultimate track day beast. (Photo: Juergen Tap, Porsche)

Mass in mind, the GT4 Clubsport’s body structure is comprised of aluminum-steel composite and therefore light in weight; while additional features include a hood and rear deck lid fastened in place via quick-release latches; an (FIA Art. 275a certified) escape hatch in the roof; an FT3 fuel safety cell that measures 80 litres with the Trackday or 115 litres with the Competition model, both featuring an FIA-compliant “Fuel Cut Off” safety valve; pre-installed mounting points for a three-piston air jack system for the Trackday, or a factory-installed three-piston air jack system with the Competition; and FIA-certified towing loops front and rear. 

Also, a motorsport centre console with “enhanced functionality and adapted usability” gets added to the instrument panel, a six-point safety harness is included with its single Recaro race bucket driver’s seat, which also includes two-way fore and aft adjustments as well as an adjustable padding system, and lastly provisions are made for a safety net. 

2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
The new GT4 Clubsport’s door skins and rear wing are made from an organic fibre mix that’s sourced from agricultural by-products. (Photo: Porsche)

While safety is critical, and improving performance paramount for any new racing car, with Porsche having clearly claimed that its new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport improves overall drivability and therefore should provide faster lap times than its predecessor, it’s surprising that Porsche also put time and effort into its environmental initiatives, not normally a key issue in this class of sports car. The end result is a production-first racecar technology that could potentially find more widespread use: natural-fibre composite body parts. 

The 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport’s door skins and rear wing (specifically the wing flap, sideblades, and “swan neck” mounts) are actually formed from an organic fibre mix that’s sourced from agricultural by-products such as hemp or flax fibres. Porsche says the new age components weigh approximately the same as if made from carbon-fibre, while their strength is also similar. 

2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Available with your next 718 Cayman? Only if it’s a GT4 Clubsport. (Photo: Juergen Tap, Porsche)

Specific to each model, the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trackday gets fixed shock absorbers, plus ABS, ESC, and traction control assistance systems for easier control at high speeds, the latter of which can all be deactivated. Improving comfort and safety respectively, the Trackday also includes air-conditioning and a handheld fire extinguisher, while it can be serviced at Porsche Centres throughout Canada. 

You’ll need your own team of mechanics for the Competition model, however, and one of them will need to be well versed in three-stage shock adjustment, while you’ll need to figure out how to adjust the front/rear bias of the brake balance system yourself. Additionally, your pit stop team will be able to change the tires quickly thanks to its aforementioned integrated air jacks, and the larger safety fuel cell will make sure time off the track will be kept to a minimum. 

2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
This is what a motorsport centre console with “enhanced functionality and adapted usability” looks like. (Photo: Juergen Tap, Porsche)

Safety features not yet mentioned include an automated fire extinguishing system, and a quick release race steering wheel pulled from the 911 GT3 R. 

Priced considerably higher than a street legal 718 Cayman, which starts at just $63,700, the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trackday model can be had for $216,500, whereas the same car with the Competition package starts at $242,000. 

Interested parties should contact Porsche Motorsport North America in Carson, California, or alternatively your local Porsche retailer, which no doubt would be happy to put you in touch. 

For those who’d rather watch than take part, or simply don’t have a spare $200k and change available, enjoy the complete photo gallery above and two videos below: 

Perfectly Addicting: The new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport (2:02):

Setting a New Standard with the New Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport (1:23):

Who could have known? Porsche 911 owners drive too fast. Even in the wet. With such knowledge at hand it only made sense for the German luxury brand to protect its most valuable assets, the thousands…

New Porsche 911 Wet mode improves control and safety over standing water

Porsche adds Wet mode to new 911
Porsche has added an exclusive “Wet mode” to its new 2020 911, said to improve control and safety over standing water. (Photo: Porsche)

Who could have known? Porsche 911 owners drive too fast. Even in the wet. With such knowledge at hand it only made sense for the German luxury brand to protect its most valuable assets, the thousands of dedicated customers that loyally come back time and time again to renew their pledge at the 911 altar. 

Along with the introduction of the completely redesigned 2020 911 at the Los Angeles auto show in November of last year, Porsche announced a new Wet Mode designed to assist would-be owners that get over their heads in standing water. 

As it turns out, the deep end that can cause a 911 or most any other sports car shod in ultra-wide 21-inch performance tires to lose grip can be merely a single millimetre (0.04 inches) in depth, and it doesn’t need to be raining either, so don’t think the optical sensors used for your car’s rain-sensing wipers can be reallocated to detect sheets of water covering the road. 

Porsche adds Wet mode to new 911
Wet mode activates special settings for the 911’s PSM and PTM systems, plus deploys the car’s active aero features. (Photo: Porsche)

Porsche’s new Wet Mode can detect standing water, however, via acoustic sensors positioned within the front wheel arches just behind the tires. Rather than see water on the road, Wet Mode sensors listen for water spray, and if decibel levels get too strong the 911’s multi-information display will suggest you turn on Wet mode via a button on the new “button bar” above the centre console, or if equipped with the available Sport Chrono Package, by twisting the steering wheel-mounted “DRIVE MODE” selector. 

Porsche adds Wet mode to new 911
To turn Wet mode on, simple press a button on the centre stack, or when equipped with the Sport Chrono Package, twist the “DRIVE MODE” dial on the steering wheel. (Photo: Porsche)

That would be the rotating dial and “Sport Response” button just below the steering wheel’s right-side spoke, which can also be used to select “Normal”, “Sport”, ‘Sport Plus’ and ‘Individual’ driving modes. For the 2020 911, and without doubt more Porsche models to come, it also includes the new Wet mode, allowing drivers to select a safer setting when traveling over water-soaked pavement that could cause aquaplaning, or hydroplaning. 

“Wet Mode was developed to provide the driver with consistent support in wet conditions,” said August Achleitner, a.k.a. “Mister 911” who headed up development of the new 911 and took part in its launch just before retiring. “It does not restrict the maximum power of the engine or limit the top speed, and should therefore also not be used as insurance for driving too fast in very wet conditions. Instead, it should be seen as an assistance system in the truest sense.” 

Porsche adds Wet mode to new 911
Along with Wet mode, this dial lets you select “Normal”, “Sport”, ‘Sport Plus’ and ‘Individual’ driving modes, plus it includes a performance enhancing “Sport Response” button. (Photo: Porsche)

Achleitner, who’s been with Porsche since 1983, earned his alternate title by being responsible for 911 model series development since 2001, and interestingly Wet mode was actually first developed back in the ‘90s. 

When put into play, Wet mode applies more sensitive preconditioned settings to all of the 911’s driver assistive systems, such as Porsche Stability Management (PSM), Porsche Traction Management (PTM), and the car’s active aerodynamics, before combining their collective capability toward wet weather management. Specifically, the active variable rear spoiler extends to its performance position at just 90 km/h (sooner than in dry conditions), adding downforce to the rear tires, while frontal cooling air flaps open to increase downward pressure over the front wheels. 

Porsche adds Wet mode to new 911
The yellow dot behind the front tire is an acoustic sensor that listens for water spray. (Photo: Porsche)

While the engine doesn’t relinquish any power, Wet mode delivers thrust more evenly in order to minimize engine torque buildup, with the end result being maximum traction at each wheel. What’s more, if piloting an all-wheel drive 4S model, additional torque gets transferred to the front axle for even more balanced distribution. 

Of course, both Sport mode and the PSM Off function can’t be activated in Wet mode, while the new eight-speed PDK transmission’s shift strategy and the electronically controlled rear differential’s locking ratios automatically adapt to a smoother, more linear power delivery too. 

Porsche claims “more confident handling” when using Wet mode in inclement conditions, and also states that Wet mode is ideal for snowy conditions as well. 

Porsche adds Wet mode to new 911
While hooping a new 911 looks like fun, Wet mode is actually designed for maximizing safety and control. (Photo: Porsche)

While driver assistive technology this effective would be welcome in any car, it’s especially important in a sports car as capable as the new 911 that, thanks to 443 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque behind the rear axle, can sprint from standstill to 100km/h in just 3.7 seconds in Carrera S guise, or 3.6 seconds when benefiting from the Carrera 4S model’s all-wheel drivetrain, or 3.5 and 3.4 seconds respectively with the Sport Chrono Package, before attaining top speeds of 308 and 306 km/h (190 and 191 mph) apiece. 

To learn more about the new 2020 911’s Wet mode watch the video below, and also remember to browse through our photo gallery above for some fabulous shots of water spraying behind the new 911 during wet weather testing. 

 

 

Learn how the Porsche Wet Mode works (1:43):