Porsche builds its 718 Cayman on the same Zuffenhausen assembly line as its legendary 911, and uses many of the iconic rear-engine sports car’s components. The smaller two-seat coupe is a mid-engine…

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Road Test

718? Well that's different. Or at least it will be to all but ardent Porschephiles. If it were any other luxury brand I might be grimacing right now. After all, normally when a premium brand changes its model-naming scheme from creatively written monikers to alphanumeric drivel (like Mazda, Acura, Cadillac, and Lincoln did years ago-the latter brand just starting to embrace its past again with the Continental) I'm not in favour, but Porsche received a smiling thumbs up from yours truly when introducing 718 as the new model prefix for the 2017 Boxster and Cayman.

You see, Porsche has long used a mix of integers, letters and words in its naming process, sometimes only referring to numbers like the original 356, the 901 that followed, the 911, 912, 914, 924, 928, 944, 959, 968, and so forth. These three-digit number sets were actually internal codes, with those noted being the most common way for we the people to refer to each model as well. Others, like the Boxster (codes 986, 987 Read Full Story
No sports car brand is more respected than Porsche, and no model in the entire industry more revered than the mighty 911. It’s been in constant production for more than 50 years, having celebrated quinquagenarian…

Porsche celebrates one-millionth 911 milestone

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S
Dr. Wolfgang Porsche poses with the one-millionth 911, a special Carrera S that will soon begin a world tour. (Photo: Porsche)
No sports car brand is more respected than Porsche, and no model in the entire industry more revered than the mighty 911. It’s been in constant production for more than 50 years, having celebrated quinquagenarian status in 2013. Now just four years later it has achieved yet another milestone, the production of its one-millionth car. On May 11, 2017, Porsche rolled a special Irish Green coloured 911 Carrera S Coupe off of its Zuffenhausen plant assembly line as part of its million-unit celebration, the car featuring exclusive details in homage of the 1963 original. While no longer the bestselling vehicle in the German brand’s lineup, the 911 remains its most popular car as well as its most important model due to its heritage and performance credentials. The 911 is “key in helping Porsche maintain its position as one of the most prestigious car manufacturers in the world,” said Porsche in an associated press release.
2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S
This unique 911 Carrera S Coupe boasts Irish Green paint, gold emblems and 20-inch alloys. (Photo: Porsche)
Unlike the 911’s competitors, many of which have come and gone since 1963, the 911 is a car that can be driven comfortably and reliably each and every day, no matter the weather conditions, quality of road surface, traffic congestion, or any other external circumstance, yet despite its daily ease of use it can be taken to the track on the weekend and put through its paces without any modification. In fact, more 911s have won races than any other roadworthy sports car, by professionals and amateurs alike. What’s more, Porsche credits the 911 with more than half of its own race wins, which says a lot when considering the many formidable models the brand has contested over the past five and a half decades, many of which were designed purely for motorsport.
2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S
Porsche should consider offering a “Classic” model like VW does with its Beetle, as the gold emblems are beautiful. (Photo: Porsche)
Performance in mind, Porsche has never deviated from the original 911 concept, although according to Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, “…. we have continued to enhance the technology of the 911, refining and perfecting the sports car. That’s why it remains a state-of-the-art and technically innovative vehicle. We have also been able to expand the model line very successfully through derivatives.” Today, Canadian sports car enthusiasts can purchase a 911 in three separate body styles and no less than 22 unique variants, the former including the Coupe, Cabriolet and Targa, while the latter is replete with names like Carrera, Carrera 4, S, GTS, Turbo, Turbo S, Exclusive Series, GT3, GT2 RS, and various permutations of each.
2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S
Only one Porsche will ever wear this “911 Nr. 1000000” plaque. (Photo: Porsche)
One of the reasons Porsche is able to build so many different 911s is its advanced production facility in Zuffenhausen, which has been the home of 911 assembly since day one. Now the storied factory incorporates all two-door Porsche models, including the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster, which are all built on the same line “thanks to a sophisticated production approach” that includes workers who “are experts in up to 200 different tasks,” says Porsche. “I cannot imagine the success story of the 911 without our unique Porsche employees,” said Uwe Hück, Chair of the Group Works Council of Porsche. “Today, we have the one-millionth 911. The good thing about it is that our colleagues still make them with the same devotion as the first car. The construction of the Mission E at the Zuffenhausen site is ringing in a new era at Porsche. And it is clear that if we are to make it a success, we will need our highly qualified and motivated employees. They will make sure that the Mission E is an emotional experience just like our 911 has always been – and always will be.”
2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S
Porsche’s Zuffenhausen plant has been home to the 911 since day one. (Photo: Porsche)
On hand for the one-millionth line-off celebration was Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG, who has been a part of the development of the 911 since job one (or rather job 901). “54 years ago, I was able to take my first trips over the Grossglockner High Alpine Road with my father,” said Dr. Porsche. “The feeling of being in a 911 is just as enjoyable now as it was then. That’s because the 911 has ensured that the core values of our brand are as visionary today as they were in the first Porsche 356/1 from 1948.” To call Porsche’s 911 a success would be an understatement of major proportion, and the car’s popularity is hardly slowing down. Last year Porsche delivered 32,365 911s worldwide, which resulted in the model’s best annual sales tally ever. Still, while it enjoys strong sales for a premium sports car, the 911 remains relatively exclusive and therefore holds its value very well. In fact, many 911 models have become coveted collector’s cars, with values that have escalated far higher than their original list prices.
1964 Porsche 911
The original 911 is a sought after collectible worth many times more now than it was 54 years ago. (Photo: Porsche)
Also impressive, over 70 percent of all Porsche cars ever produced are still on the road. One of the key reasons for their longevity is dependable operation, Porsche consistently found on top of third-party quality rankings, including J.D. Power’s Initial Quality and Vehicle Dependability studies. If you were thinking of purchasing the one-millionth 911, consider one-million-and-one as this milestone car won’t be up for sale. You may be able to see it in person, however, as Porsche will soon be sending it on a world tour of road trips to include the Scottish Highlands, Germany’s famed Nürburgring, the U.S., China, and beyond. Alternatively you can visit your local Porsche retailer and order a 2017 911 Carrera S in custom Irish Green with gold painted “PORSCHE” and “911” emblems, satin-silver mirror caps, 20-inch Carrera Sport alloy wheels, circular tailpipes, a leather interior with Sport-Tex seat centres in black and dark silver, a special plaque with your car’s build number, etcetera. No matter how you decide to have it built, a car collection is not complete without a Porsche 911.
Normally when a premium brand changes its model-naming scheme from creatively written monikers to alphanumeric drivel (like Mazda, Acura, Cadillac, and Lincoln did years ago—the latter brand just starting…

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman
This is a difficult car to slip quietly past radar, but it certainly looks hot! (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Normally when a premium brand changes its model-naming scheme from creatively written monikers to alphanumeric drivel (like Mazda, Acura, Cadillac, and Lincoln did years ago—the latter brand just starting to embrace its past again with the Continental) I’m not in favour, but Porsche got a smiling thumbs up from yours truly when introducing 718 as the new model prefix for the 2017 Boxster and Cayman. You see, Porsche has long used a mix of numbers, letters and words in its naming process, sometimes only referring to numbers like the original 356, the 901 that followed, the 911, 912, 914, 924, 928, 944, 959, 968, and so forth. These three-digit number sets were actually internal codes, with those noted being the most common way for the masses to refer to each model as well. Others, like the Boxster (codes 986, 987 and 981) and Cayman (codes 987 and 981) siblings, plus the Carrera GT (code 980), are better known by their given names, whereas the Macan, Cayenne, and Panamera don’t have internal Porsche codes at all, because they’re based on shared VW/Audi platform architectures.
2017 Porsche 718 Cayman
The Cayman has long had beautiful lines, this new 718 arguably the prettiest yet. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
This makes Stuttgart’s decision to infuse some good old Porsche naming DNA into the Boxster and Cayman smart, as it ties these important entry-level sports cars more closely to the 911 Carrera they share some componentry with. See how I did that? I snuck the name “Carrera” into that last comment, another name synonymous with the beloved 911 (and aforementioned supercar). Now the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman have a similar look and sound as 911 Carrera (or at least that’s the concept), while the number chosen is an attempt to show familial ties to the fabulous mid-engine 550 Spyder and its 718 RSK successor that took motorsport by storm from 1953 through 1956 and 1957 through 1962 respectively.
2017 Porsche 718 Cayman
A number of changes mark the 2017 718 as unique compared to its predecessor. I’ll go over all in an upcoming review. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to buy in to the marketing spin. After all, the original 718s were lightweight two-seat mid-engine roadsters (with a few coupes thrown in for good measure, and for higher track speed) powered by horizontally opposed four-cylinder engines, which pretty well sums up today’s 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman. Those spiritual predecessors were often dubbed “giant slayers” because the tiny, featherweight imps would often out-manoeuvre their larger, more powerful opponents: ditto Boxster and Cayman. In addition, the many Boxster and Cayman models that have been stripped of their innards and stuffed full of roll cages, racing seats, fire extinguishers and the like, and then regularly contested in serious motorsport events gives them credence as true descendants of a much revered 718 progenitor.
2017 Porsche 718 Cayman
The 718 is the most refined Cayman yet. Stay tuned for details. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Of course, simply take one for a spin around the block and you’ll immediately know for yourself. We’re doing just that with a bright “Racing Yellow” 718 Cayman this week (and went one step better on the road and track with a 718 Boxster S last fall), and frankly we’re having too much fun to sit here and tell you much about it. But, of course, Porsche wouldn’t be too pleased if we kept all the good stuff to ourselves. In short, this non-“S” variant gets a less potent yet still brilliantly fun 300 horsepower 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder boxer with 280 lb-ft of torque (which is an increase of 25 horsepower and 66 lb-ft of torque over last year’s 2.7-litre flat-six), while the S puts 350 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque down to the rear wheels.
2017 Porsche 718 Cayman
Yippee! A six-speed manual! (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Porsche even supplied our loaner with a six-speed manual… Yippee-ki-yay! Don’t get us wrong. We love the paddle-actuated seven-speed automated dual-clutch PDK too. It can hit 100 km/h in a mere 4.7 seconds with the Sport Chrono package added, while this manual is claimed to achieve the feat in 5.1 seconds, while getting an estimated 9.4 L/100km when driven more calmly and using standard auto start/stop, compared to 9.8. But we’re saluting the glory days of the mighty mouse 718 RSK right now, so it’s only fitting to have a DIY gearbox along for the journey. In reality, other than the aforementioned key points our luxury-lined 718 Cayman tester has little in common with the purposefully hollowed-out shell of a sports car that stole through the circuitous tree-lined Nürburgring Nordschleife in its heyday, but that’s just fine with me. While the thought of doing likewise on the legendary Eifel Mountains track (or any old racecourse for that matter) sends tingles up the spine, for everyday use and RSK would be ridiculously impractical and likely quite uncomfortable.
2017 Porsche 718 Cayman
These upgraded seats are 14-way power-adjustable with memory, and heated. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Purposefully designed for middle-aged derrieres like mine, Porsche smartly added plenty of pampering upgrades to a base 718 Cayman already replete with ample creature comforts, its end mission more likely focused on spirited trips to the office and memorable weekend getaways for two than any competitive track time (makeshift Sunday afternoon autocross courses aside), despite still being one of the best all-round sports coupes available today. Even the $61,500 base model gets an impressive list of standard features adorning the revised sheetmetal and reworked interior, the list including gorgeous new 10-spoke 18-inch alloys, a new three-spoke leather-wrapped multifunction sport steering wheel (inspired by the 918 Spyder supercar no less), a 4.6-inch colour high-resolution TFT multi-info display, a new state-of-the-art infotainment touchscreen and interface with stylish new graphics, all the latest tech such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a backup camera with active guidelines, Bluetooth phone connectivity with streaming audio, eight-speaker 150-watt audio, sport seats with partial leather upholstery, an electromechanical parking brake, hill start assist, front and rear parking sensors, a HomeLink garage door opener, and more.
2017 Porsche 718 Cayman
Three’s a crowd… there’s nothing in back but a gorgeous metal strut tower brace and a small trunk. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Above and beyond this, my tester added a $1,980 navigation module to the aforementioned infotainment system, $2,650 14-way powered sport seats with memory, and a $1,570 Premium package with rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, heatable seats, and dual-zone auto climate control. The wheels were upgraded to a set of $1,810 Cayman S rims as well, while Porsche added $1,510 torque vectoring (PTV) and $2,050 Active Suspension Management (PASM) to improve handling, as well as HID headlights with dynamic cornering capability (which are a prerequisite to the previously noted Premium package) for better night time visibility, the finally tally adding up to $74,320 before (always reasonable) freight and dealer fees. Of course, the sky’s the limit when it comes to extras with this near-exotic brand, so go build one on Porsche Canada’s comprehensive online configurator and enjoy. I’ll be back soon to relate my in-car experience in an upcoming review, including the car’s ergonomics and comfort, build quality, electronics systems usability, overall practicality, and of course its drivability, plus we’ll include a massive photo album prepared just for your viewing pleasure. Stay tuned because you won’t want to miss this one…
A Porsche for $54k? No wonder the German performance brand’s sales are soaring. New for 2017, the Macan compact SUV starts life with an economical 4-cylinder turbo engine that’s still quick enough…

2017 Porsche Macan Road Test

It's too early to tell exactly why Porsche has improved Macan sales so dramatically since its first full year of availability in 2015 when it sold 2,121 units, to the close of 2016 when its final tally was an impressive 2,800, but its recent ability to target an entirely new audience of entry-level luxury buyers probably had something to do with it.

Enter the all-new 2017 Porsche Macan. No, I'm not talking about the fabulous Macan S and its 340 horsepower 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 that's been available since the sporty utility debuted as a 2015 model. That trim continues forward into 2017 as one of the compact luxury SUV segment's quickest and most agile vehicles, but its $61,400 price point, while reasonable for what you get, puts it out of reach of many would-be buyers. Porsche has addressed this issue with a new base four-cylinder Macan that starts at just $54,100, hence the stronger sales numbers.

Yes, it seems hard to believe but you can potentially purchase Read Full Story
It’s too early to tell exactly why Porsche’s Macan has improved its sales so dramatically from its first full calendar year of 2015 when it sold 2,121 units to the close of 2016 when its final tally…

2017 Porsche Macan

2017 Porsche Macan
Even the near base Macan looks great, seen here with upgraded alloys and that’s about it. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
It’s too early to tell exactly why Porsche’s Macan has improved its sales so dramatically from its first full calendar year of 2015 when it sold 2,121 units to the close of 2016 when its final tally was an impressive 2,800, but the model’s ability to target an entirely new audience of entry-level luxury buyers as the 2017 model year began last fall likely had something to do with it.
2017 Porsche Macan
Dark colours seem to work best with the Macan, or at least that’s our opinion. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Enter the all-new 2017 Porsche Macan. No, I’m talking about the 2016 Macan S, which drove all four wheels through a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 with 340 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque, conjoined to a seven-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox. That reasonably priced $59,200 model continues forward into 2017 as one the compact luxury SUV segment’s fastest vehicles. Rather, the model that likely boosted sales at the close of last year is the new base four-cylinder Macan that starts at just $52,700.
2017 Porsche Macan
The Macan feels more like you’re riding in a sports car than an SUV, although its taller ride height is much better for visibility. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Yes, it’s for real. A Porsche you can potentially purchase for less than $50k if you negotiate a discount, and while powered by a seemingly mainstream VW-sourced 252-horsepower 2.0-litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder with 273 lb-ft of torque it still pulls off a relatively quick 6.7-second sprint to 100km/h (or 6.5 with the as-tested Sport Chrono Package) before attaining a top track speed of 229 km/h. The new engine is actually based on Audi’s latest 2017 A4 2.0 TFSI powerplant, but anyone denying Volkswagen roots is either ill informed or more likely working from a Porsche-financed marketing/PR department.
2017 Porsche Macan
A new PCM infotainment system is better in every way, thanks to navigation that actually works. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
I’m going to quote fuel economy numbers of 11.6 L/100km city and 9.3 highway only because they matter to Porsche, as I can’t see many Porsche buyers caring all that much about saving money at the pump, or at least that’s not likely the reason they sprang for the base Macan. This is a dollars and cents option (or what I like to call a dollars and “sense” option), a way for someone considering an Audi Q5, or a similarly powered compact luxury SUV, to spring for a Porsche.
2017 Porsche Macan
Yes, you’re looking at suede-like Alcantara and leather upholstered sport seats. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Speaking of competitors (and now we can truly name these brands as Porsche rivals), the Macan managed to pass right on by Lincoln’s more affordably priced MKC and Infiniti’s (granted long-in-tooth) QX50 on the sales chart last year, the latter likely to claw its way back after its long awaited replacement debuts this coming fall. Still, the achievement is significant for an SUV that costs considerably more.
2017 Porsche Macan
Rear seat roominess is excellent and comfort supreme. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
You get a lot for the extra coin, mind you, starting with one of the best balanced chassis in the compact SUV sector, no matter the trim level chosen, as well as arguably attractive Porsche styling (I think the Macan is Porsche’s most alluring SUV and one of the more attractive in its segment), and an extremely well made interior filled with soft-touch surfaces, high quality trims, and state-of-the-art digital interfaces.
2017 Porsche Macan
A roomy cargo compartment makes the Macan one of the most liveable Porsches available. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
The primary gauge cluster remains a mostly analog affair, which is probably a good thing for Porsche purists (they pout a lot when Porsche messes with things like… anything), but the PCM infotainment touchscreen is larger at seven inches and includes features like proximity sensing (digital buttons pop up when your fingers get near), tablet style multi-touch gestures, and Apple CarPlay (sorry Android users, Porsche doesn’t believe you’re interested in its vehicles despite the fact you dominate pricey smartphone sales).
2017 Porsche Macan
Is that an inline four in there? You got it. 2017 is Porsche’s year of the “four”, thanks to four-cylinder power in its 718 Boxster and Cayman as well as the new 911. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Personally, I think Porsche will rethink this choice by next year, especially if it wants to make more headway in emerging markets like China that are leading global smartphone purchasing (Huawei, Oppo, and BBK are some of the fastest growing brands). According to American IT research and advisory firm Gartner.com, as of the fourth quarter of 2016 99.6 percent of all smartphone sales were Android and iPhone, but of the 432 million smartphones sold in the last quarter, 352 million ran Android (81.7 percent) and 77 million ran iOS (17.9 percent).
2017 Porsche Macan
Thanks to this new four-cylinder entry model and the new GTS that arrived earlier, expect sales of the Macan to continue in an upward trajectory. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
On the positive the new PCM infotainment system is a marked improvement over the outgoing system that was riddled with problems, especially its navigation system that was downright comical, while Porsche also provides new placement for its powered USB port so its easier to plug in your smartphone (even if you’re still using a Windows phone or Blackberry), while Wi-Fi can now be had via on-board internet. Lastly, the new system allows for remote mobile device-to-vehicle connectivity via a downloadable app. Another 2017 bonus is completely revised rear-seat entertainment including a set of monitors attached to the backside of the front headrests, multiple HDMI and USB ports, and an SD card reader, while music and video can be streamed into the system via Wi-Fi. Our 2017 Macan tester included the Sport Chrono Package and a set of larger rims, but little else, which is a good thing as it lets us tell you all about a mostly base model. Make sure you come back to read all about it and peruse through our massive photo gallery…