It’s official, a new Guinness World Record for fastest slalom time has been set by 16-year old Chloe Chambers who managed to slice through 50 evenly placed cones in just 47.45 seconds. Chambers, with…

Talented teenager smashes Guinness world slalom record in Porsche 718 Spyder

Chloe Chambers driving Porsche 718 Spyder for Guinness World Record in slalom
Talented 16-year old kart racer Chloe Chambers just set a Guinness World slalom Record while driving a new 2020 Porsche 718 Spyder.

It’s official, a new Guinness World Record for fastest slalom time has been set by 16-year old Chloe Chambers who managed to slice through 50 evenly placed cones in just 47.45 seconds.

Chambers, with five years of kart racing under her belt, joined up with Porsche to achieve the feat, and did so at the wheel of a 2020 Porsche 718 Spyder, smashing the previous record of 48.11 seconds set in 2018 by Jia Qiang, who was driving a Chevrolet Camaro.

“It looks easy, but it’s really not – to weave between 50 cones as fast as possible, trying to beat a record time and knowing I couldn’t touch a single one for the run to count – I definitely felt the pressure,” said Chambers. “Everything came together on my final run; the car worked beautifully and I found the grip I needed. Thank you to my family and to Porsche for supporting and believing in me.”

Chloe Chambers driving Porsche 718 Spyder for Guinness World Record in slalom
Chambers looking confident at the wheel of Porsche’s 414-hp 718 Spyder.

The 718 Spyder is powered by a special naturally-aspirated 414 horsepower 4.0-litre “boxer” six-cylinder engine that comes complete with a lofty 8,000-rpm capability (and 7,600-rpm redline), while it’s exclusively mated up to a six-speed manual transmission. Like the 718 Boxster roadster and 718 Cayman coupe, the 718 Spyder mounts its motor just ahead of the rear wheels for an optimal mid-engine layout, making it particularly adept at high-speed handling.

The 718 Spyder, which shares mechanicals with the 718 Cayman GT4, also incorporates a “track-bred” Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system including adaptive dampers, helper springs at the rear axle, plus a 30-mm (1.18-inch) ride height reduction when compared to the standard 718 Boxster or 718 Cayman.

Chloe Chambers driving Porsche 718 Spyder for Guinness World Record in slalom
Chambers signed this Guinness World Records hat with a record-setting slalom time of 47.45 seconds.

“We couldn’t be more proud that Chloe set the record,” said Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America. “From the whole Porsche family, we send our heartfelt congratulations – we’re pleased to have been able to support Chloe with her ambitious record attempt and share her relief that it was successful.”

Porsche is now offering the 2020 718 Spyder, 2020 718 Boxster and 2020 718 Cayman (including the GT4) with factory leasing and financing rates from zero percent according to CarCostCanada. Make sure to visit CarCostCanada to learn more, and remember that a CarCostCanada membership will also provide any available rebate information, plus dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands on your next purchase. You can now download the free CarCostCanada app from the Apple Store or Google Store, which provides all this critical information exactly when you need it.

 

Story credit: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

What’s the world’s best sport-luxury sedan? Many would point to Porsche’s Panamera on performance alone, despite not technically being a sedan due to its practical rear hatch and sloping rear deck…

Porsche updates 2021 Panamera with greater performance and sportier look

2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo
The new 2021 Panamera Turbo S looks fabulous in its more practical Sport Turismo body style.

What’s the world’s best sport-luxury sedan? Many would point to Porsche’s Panamera on performance alone, despite not technically being a sedan due to its practical rear hatch and sloping rear deck lid to match. There’s even a more useful wagon-like Sport Turismo version that’s responsible for many of the Panamera’s sales since being introduced for the 2018 model year, so therefore the car more appropriately fits within the alternative four-door coupe category. Still, no matter how you look at it, the Panamera is one impressive sport-luxury offering.

As it is, the Panamera will cruise into 2021 with some modest styling updates and yet bolder drivetrain enhancements, particularly at the top of the range where the new Panamera Turbo S replaces the Turbo, with power moving up from 550 horsepower to 620, a 70-horsepower bump in just one, single refresh. This results in a sprint from standstill to 100 km/h of just 3.1 seconds when Sport Plus mode is selected, all before attaining a top track speed of 315 km/h.

2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo
Porsche was smart to offer three body styles for its Panamera, the Sport Turismo really upping the style ante.

Of note, last year’s most potent Panamera was the electrified Turbo S E-Hybrid, good for 677 net horsepower, albeit a zero to 100km/h run of “just” 3.4 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the outgoing Panamera Turbo, but 0.3 seconds off the new Turbo S. That hyper-quick hybrid is at least temporarily gone for 2021, but don’t fear hybrid fans as it’ll be back soon with even more power.

According to plenty of interweb reports, Thomas Friemuth, who heads the Panamera line at Porsche, has confirmed the electric portion of the car’s drive system will produce some 134 horsepower, which means the new Turbo S E-Hybrid, when mated to the new 620-horsepower twin-turbo V8, should put out somewhere in the neighbourhood of 750 horsepower. If you think this lofty number sounds insane, consider for a moment that a key Panamera rival, Mercedes-AMG’s fabulous GT 4-Door Coupe, is expected to hit the tarmac soon with more than 800 horsepower.

2021 Porsche Panamera 4S E-Hybrid
The new Panamera 4S E-Hybrid adds considerable power over the previous 4 E-Hybrid, and is a significant step up over the base Panamera.

Those satisfied with mere blistering pace rather than ultimate scorching speed, yet still wanting hybrid economy, can opt for the all-new 4S E-Hybrid that comes fitted with 552 net horsepower that propels the big luxury car from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds ahead of topping out at 298 km/h. The entry-level 4 E-Hybrid, which only made 462 net horsepower and needed 4.6 seconds to arrive at the 100 km/h mark, is no longer available for 2021.

Benefiting both new 4S E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid trims is 30-percent more EV range than their predecessors, all thanks to an upgraded 17.9 kWh battery, an improvement of 3.8 kWh. The hybrid models’ control systems and chassis components have been modified too, with next-generation steering control as well as new tires, enhancing comfort and performance.

2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo
New frontal design elements beef up the Panamera’s look.

This said, the hybrid isn’t the only 2021 Panamera to receive steering and suspension improvements. In fact, the new Turbo S gets a custom tuned three-chamber air suspension, while the top-tier model’s Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system and roll stabilization system, the latter called Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport), have also been modified to perform at more extreme levels. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) was updated to improve at-the-limit handling as well, all resulting in the best performing Panamera yet, and one of the best performing passenger cars available period.

Proving that point, the automaker took its new Panamera Turbo S to the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife race course in Germany on July 24, 2020, resulting in Porsche works driver Lars Kern setting a new “executive cars” class record of 7:29.81 minutes over the 20.832-kilometre track. We can hardly wait to see how the new Turbo S E-Hybrid will fare.

2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo
The updated horizontal light strip gets new contours around the outer taillights.

Those wanting most of the Panamera Turbo S’ performance for a more approachable price point can opt for the Panamera GTS, which continues into 2021 with the same 473 horsepower 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and identical zero to 100 km/h rating of 3.9 seconds. This engine added 20 horsepower over its predecessor when introduced, helped along by a special standard sports exhaust that utilizes asymmetrically positioned rear silencers for an especially exhilarating exhaust note.

Lastly, or more accurately, the first rung on this model’s hierarchal ladder is the most basic Panamera, which is the only trim offering rear-wheel drive, all others incorporating Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive as standard. Both the base Panamera and the Panamera 4 include a 325-horsepower twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 capable of very a spirited 5.6-second zero to 100 km/h sprint with RWD, and an even better 5.3-second run off the line with all-wheel drive.

2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo
Porsche updated the 2021 Panamera’s infotainment system with new features.

That base Panamera starts at just $99,300 plus freight and fees for 2021, which is unchanged despite its improvements, while a Panamera 4 can be had for $104,600. The rear-wheel drive Panamera only comes with the regular wheelbase and coupe-like liftback, but the base powertrain will all-wheel drive can be had in three body styles, starting with the regular wheelbase liftback before moving up to the longer wheelbase $112,200 Executive and finally the more wagon-like $111,700 Sport Turismo.

The 4S E-Hybrid is next on the financial pecking order at $128,500, or $141,400 for the Executive version and $133,100 for the Sport Turismo, while the 2021 GTS remains priced at $147,400 for 2021, and increases to $154,400 when its cargo compartment is expanded to Sport Turismo dimensions.

Finally, the Turbo S starts at $202,400 for the regular wheelbase model, $214,300 for the Executive, and $207,000 for the Sport Turismo.

2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo
New advanced safety and convenience features help modernize the Panamera driving experience.

Of course, there’s more to any Panamera than mere performance, which means it was important for Porsche to keep the car looking fresh and up-to-date. Therefore, all 2021 Panameras will now come standard with the previously optional SportDesign front fascia design, which includes the brand’s new single-bar front lighting module, augmented air intakes, and bigger, more assertively styled corner vents.

The new Turbo S gets some exclusive frontal styling with even larger lower fascia corner vents that adds to its aggressiveness, while some unique exterior paint options help to set this model apart.

Three new 20- and 21-inch alloy wheel sets can personalize any Panamera model further, while the new car’s long, body-wide horizontal taillight gets new contours for 2021, while the lenses have been darkened on the GTS model.

2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo
We love the updated Porsche Design clock face.

The Panamera’s interior remains mostly the same entering 2021, which is no bad thing. Just the same, improvements include new functions and services for the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system, such as enhanced Voice Pilot online voice control, Risk Radar for real-time road sign and hazard info, wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, and more.

Also enhanced, the 2021 Panamera can be had with Lane Keeping Assist featuring road sign recognition, as well as with the Porsche InnoDrive suite of advanced safety and convenience systems, which includes Lane Change Assist, LED matrix headlights including PDLS Plus, Night Vision Assist, Park Assist with Surround View, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display unit that projects key info on the windshield ahead of the driver.

The 2021 Panamera is ready to order from your local Porsche retailer now, with deliveries starting in Q1 of 2021. After you make that call, make sure to check out our complete photo gallery above, and then be sure to enjoy the three videos below (which include the new 2021 Panamera Turbo S on the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track), plus remember to go to CarCostCanada’s 2020 Porsche Panamera Canada Prices page where you can learn more about the automaker’s zero-percent financing offer on all 2020 models, plus access info about manufacturer rebates when offered, and always available dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands. Find out how the CarCostCanada system can save you money, and remember to download the free CarCostCanada app from the Apple Store or Google PlayStore so you can have access to all this important info whenever you need it.

New Panamera achieves lap record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife (3:09):

The new Panamera – digital world premiere (11:33):

The new Panamera: Highlights (2:13):

Story credit: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

Nissan is giving its best-selling Rogue compact crossover SUV a complete redesign for 2021, and thus far it’s received very favourable reviews. We covered all the key details in an earlier story, but…

Nissan Canada prices new 2021 Rogue from $28,498

2021 Nissan Rogue
The new 2021 Nissan Rogue starts at $28,498.

Nissan is giving its best-selling Rogue compact crossover SUV a complete redesign for 2021, and thus far it’s received very favourable reviews. We covered all the key details in an earlier story, but now Nissan has released pricing, standard features, trim specifics, and options information, so here’s what you need to know in order to compare it to upcoming 2021 versions of the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and other key rivals.

As is often the case with a redesign, many features that were previously optional with the 2020 Rogue are now standard for 2021, such as LED headlights that replace the old halogen lamps, 17-inch alloy wheels instead of identically-sized steel wheels with covers, a new heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel rim joining heatable front seats that were already standard, new standard steering wheel paddle-shifters for the continuously variable transmission (CVT) that’s once again the only transmission on offer, proximity-sensing Intelligent Key access, a six-way adjustable driver’s seat that now gets standard powered lumbar support, and much more for a new base price that’s a reasonable $1,000 higher than the outgoing 2020 model, at $28,498 plus freight and fees.

2021 Nissan Rogue
Bolder styling and many more standard features make the 2021 Rogue a more enticing buy.

A redesigned set of LED taillights continues Nissan’s focus on safety, with some of the advanced driver assistive systems carried forward on all trims including Intelligent Emergency Braking, Intelligent Blind Spot Warning, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, plus a host of new ones that were previously optional as part of the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of technologies, such as Pedestrian Detection being added to the Intelligent Emergency Braking system, Lane Departure Warning included as part of the side alert system, High Beam Assist making nighttime travel easier, and Rear Intelligent Emergency Braking improving safety when backing up.

2021 Nissan Rogue
Top-level Platinum trim promises a much more luxurious compact SUV experience.

The new Rogue also keeps last year’s standard Rear Door Alert system that upon arriving at a destination informs the driver if something or someone was placed in the rear seating area prior to leaving, while a new Intelligent Driver Alertness system also gets added to the base model. Lastly, the new Rogue includes 10 standard airbags.

Once again, tech features like NissanConnect with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard in the 2021 Rogue, as does a backup camera and SiriusXM satellite radio, but the centre touchscreen that all these features get displayed on grows from 7.0 to 8.0 inches diagonally in the base model, with the upgrade adding another inch for a larger, more premium interface. Nissan adds another powered USB port to the standard mix too, the new total being two, while the new base model also gets Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity with streaming audio, a hands-free text messaging assistant, pushbutton ignition, and more.

2021 Nissan Rogue
The new Rogue Platinum gets a fully digital gauge cluster, a head-up display, and a 9.0-inch centre touchscreen.

Along with the aforementioned CVT, the 2021 Rogue pushes forward with the same 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine making an identical 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft or torque, plus if the base model is enhanced with Nissan’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, a $2,300 upgrade to $30,798, it also boasts a drive mode selector with Terrain, Snow, Normal, Eco and Sport modes. With the Eco mode engaged, Nissan is claiming the AWD version will achieve an estimated fuel economy rating of 9.6 L/100km in the city, 7.5 on the highway and 8.7 combined, while the base FWD model is rated at 9.1 L/100km city, 7.1 highway and 8.2 combined.

2021 Nissan Rogue
The new Rogue features both USB-A and USB-C charge points, while a wireless charging pad is optional.

Nissan is once again offering the Rogue in three trim lines, albeit mid-range SV trim can be had with an SV Premium Package. Before delving into options, however, for $31,998 with FWD or $34,298 with AWD, the regular Rogue SV builds on S trim with 18-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured door handles, roof rails, remote engine start, proximity-sensing keyless entry added to the rear doors, UV-reducing solar glass, an Intelligent AroundView Monitor, Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Blind Spot intervention, Intelligent Lane Intervention, ProPilot Assist semi-self-driving technology, an eight-way powered driver seat, two additional stereo speakers for a total of six, a powered panoramic glass sunroof, two rear USB ports, a Wi-Fi Hotspot, and a security system. If you want more you can opt for the just-noted SV Premium Package that, while only available with the AWD model, adds Prima-Tex leatherette-appointed seats, rear door sunshades, heatable rear outboard seats, and a powered rear liftgate.

2021 Nissan Rogue
The mid-range Rogue SV can be upgraded to include side window sunshades.

Most of the above items come standard in the $39,998 Rogue Platinum, except the 18-inch rims are upgraded to 19s, the dual-zone automatic climate control is expanded to a tri-zone system, the powered driver’s seat features memory, the leatherette upholstery has been swapped out for particularly rich looking quilted semi- aniline leather, the powered liftgate now includes motion activation, the centre touchscreen grows to 9.0 inches and includes Nissan’s “Door-to-Door” navigation system, ProPilot Assist includes Navi-link, and the audio system comes from Bose and gains four more speakers for a total of 10.

The Rogue Platinum also includes LED fog lamps, front parking sensors, an auto-dimming centre mirror, tilt-reversing side mirrors, an advanced 12.3-inch “Digital Dashboard” gauge cluster, a 10.8-inch head-up display, Traffic Sign Recognition, a wireless charging pad, a four-way powered passenger seat, a remote folding rear seat, interior ambient lighting, a driver seat-mounted front-centre supplemental airbag, and a redesigned Divide-n-Hide system in the cargo compartment.

2021 Nissan Rogue
The new Rogue Platinum gets an updated Hide-n-Divide cargo system.

For more detail about the 2021 Nissan Rogue, check out our comprehensive “Nissan redesigns its popular Rogue compact SUV for 2021” news story. Alternatively, by going to CarCostCanada’s 2020 Nissan Rogue Canada Prices page you can find out how to receive up to $5,000 in additional incentives on a new 2020 Rogue, which is already $1,000 more affordable than the 2021. Learn how a CarCostCanada membership can save you thousands on your next purchase, and make sure to download the free CarCostCanada mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store, so you can have all the most important car buying information at your fingertips when you need it most.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Nissan

Sports cars are unreliable, right? Not so, if it’s a Porsche. The German brand has ranked highly in independent dependability studies for years, once again placing near the top amongst premium brands…

Porsche number one overall in 2020 J.D. Power APEAL study

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera
The 911 Carrera is amongst the most reliable Porsche’s, and certainly one of the most dependable sports cars available today.

Sports cars are unreliable, right? Not so, if it’s a Porsche. The German brand has ranked highly in independent dependability studies for years, once again placing near the top amongst premium brands in the most recent 2020 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, so it only makes sense that the brand does well in customer satisfaction studies too.

For its second consecutive year, Porsche has achieved the top spot in J.D. Power and Associate’s 2020 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which surveys customers on their ownership experience, including how their vehicles drive.

“I am gratified at how excited our customers are with their new dream cars,” stated Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, Inc. “Porsche believes in continuous improvement and winning the top spot again just encourages us to find new ways to delight our drivers.”

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera
Porsche is the most “APEALing” brand on the market.

The 2020 APEAL Study judges the “emotional attachment and level of excitement” with U.S. owners that purchased a new car, truck or SUV at least 90 days before. Covering 37 attributes, the study questions owners about the “sense of comfort and luxury” when stepping inside, the “power they feel when they step on the gas,” and more, states a Porsche North America press release.

The APEAL index score is measured on a 1,000-point scale, and Porsche earned 881 points for this year’s highest average of all brands. By comparison, most premium brands averaged 861 points, and it wasn’t as if J.D. Power’s participant sampling was low, thanks to more than 87,000 purchasers and lessees of 2020 model-year vehicles taking part. The study, now in its 25th year, queried respondents from February through May of 2020.

 

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

Porsche wowed performance car fans with its shockingly quick 2021 911 Turbo S back in April, and we made a point of covering every one of its 640 horsepower. Now it’s time for the slightly less outrageous…

New 911 Turbo fills gap between Carrera S and Turbo S

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo
The new 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo boasts 572 horsepower!

Porsche wowed performance car fans with its shockingly quick 2021 911 Turbo S back in April, and we made a point of covering every one of its 640 horsepower. Now it’s time for the slightly less outrageous 911 Turbo to share the limelight, and we think that its 572 horsepower 3.8-litre flat-six will be enough to create a buzz of its own.

After all, the regular Turbo provides 32 additional horsepower over the previous 2019 911 Turbo, which is enough to shoot it from zero to 100km/h in a mere 2.8 seconds when upgraded with the Sport Chrono Package and mounted to the 911’s lighter Coupe body style. Then again, you can go al fresco and still manage 2.9 seconds from standstill to 100km/h, both times 0.2 seconds less than each models’ predecessor.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo
Zero to 100km/h takes only 2.8 seconds.

The 911’s acclaimed “boxer” engine makes a robust 553 lb-ft of torque in its newest generation, which is 30 lb-ft more than previously. That makes it more potent than the previous 911 Turbo S, upping torque, horsepower and acceleration times, due in part to new symmetrical variable turbine geometry (VTG) turbochargers that feature electrically controlled bypass valves, a redesigned charge air cooling system, and piezo fuel injectors. This results in faster throttle response, freer revving, better torque delivery, and sportier overall performance.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo
The regular 911 Turbo is just as wide as the even quicker Turbo S.

The new 911 Turbo incorporates the same standard eight-speed dual-clutch PDK automated gearbox as the 911 Turbo S, while both cars also feature Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive as standard equipment too. It’s all about high-speed stability, necessary with a top track speed of 320 km/h (198 mph).

Additionally, the new 911 Turbo gets similarly muscular sheet metal as the Turbo S, its width greater than the regular Carrera by 46 mm (1.8 in) up front and 20 mm (0.8 in) between its rear fenders. This allows for wider, grippier performance tires that measure 10 mm (0.4 in) more at each end. The front brake rotors are 28 mm (1.1 in) wider than those on the previous 911 Turbo too, while the same 10-piston caliper-enhanced ceramic brakes offered with the Turbo S can also be had with the less potent 911 Turbo. Yet more options include the previously noted Sport Chrono Package, as well as a Sport suspension, Porsche Active Suspension Management, and rear-wheel steering.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo
Gorgeous styling comes standard.

Porsche has upgraded the 911 Turbo’s cabin over the Carrera with some performance goodies too, including standard 14-way powered Sport seats and standard Bose audio, while a Lightweight package removes the rear jump seats and swaps out the standard front Sport seats for a unique set of lightweight buckets, while also taking out some sound deadening material for a total weight-savings diet of 30 kilos (66 lbs).

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo
Long, low and lean, the new 911 Turbo cheats the wind better than any predecessor.

Also available, the 911 Turbo Sport package includes a number of SportDesign enhancements such as black and carbon-fibre exterior trim as well as clear taillights, while a Sport exhaust system can also be had. The options menu continues with Lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, night vision assist, a 360-degree surround parking camera, Burmester audio, and more.

The 2021 Turbo Coupe and 2021 Turbo Cabriolet will arrive at Canadian Porsche dealers later this year for $194,400 and $209,000 respectively, but take note you can order from your local Porsche retailer now.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo
The new 911 Turbo gets all the same interior updates as the Carrera.

Before you make that call, however, check out the 2021 Porsche 911 Canada Prices page at CarCostCanada, because you’ll learn how to access factory leasing and financing rates from zero percent. You can also find out about possible rebates and dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands. See how it works now, and remember to download the free CarCostCanada app from the Apple Store or Google Android Store, so you can access all the most important car shopping information from the convenience of your phone when at the dealership or anywhere else.

 

 

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

Looking at today’s Porsche 911 makes it hard to believe its predecessors once used no-draft windows to ventilate, but such was the case right up until the water-cooled 996 arrived in 1998. Now, however,…

Innovative 911 Cabriolet automatic climate control adjusts for open air experience

1964 Porsche 911 Carrera
Early 911s, like this 1964 Carrera, used “no-draft” windows for ventilation.

Looking at today’s Porsche 911 makes it hard to believe its predecessors once used no-draft windows to ventilate, but such was the case right up until the water-cooled 996 arrived in 1998. Now, however, Porsche has become a leader in climate control.

Multi-zone automatic climate control systems only exist because all us feel temperatures differently. Porsche has long offered such individualized HVAC systems in its sports car and SUV lineup, but they’ve taken the concept to new levels when it comes to the new 911 Cabriolet, by developing a cabin temperature sensor capable of detecting when the fabric top is being opened and then immediately making necessary adjustments to maintain chosen temperatures.

2020 Porsche 911 Cabriolet
The new 911 Cabriolet incorporates a smart sensor that helps maintain a constant temperature when the top is opening.

The sophisticated system uses 20 external and 20 internal interfaces that continuously process about 350 signals in half-second intervals, including outlet, exterior, and coolant temperatures, as well as engine speed, insolation, and vehicle speeds. Now, after factoring in retractable roof, door and seating information, it has the ability to slowly suppress one of these sensors when the convertible top is opened. The result is optimal air temperature, air ventilation volume and air distribution to each occupant for ideal temperature comfort.

“Even in the searing summer heat of the city, 911 Cabriolet drivers are surrounded by a pleasant freshness,” claims Porsche in a press release.

2020 Porsche 911 Cabriolet
The latest 911 Cabriolet is Porsche’s most comfortable, and its new climate control system intends to keep it that way all the time.

The German brand points out that its intelligent climate control system is particularly effective at low speeds and in cooler weather that normally results in warm feet and a cool head while driving with the top down. The system is now able to distribute more warm air to the driver and front passenger through the centre vents, which provides “a cozy veil of heat without having the unpleasant sensation of air being blown in their faces,” adds Porsche. The 911 Cabriolet’s driver will also benefit from “blissfully warm hands on the steering wheel,” making the need for warm gloves and winter jackets unnecessary.

Story credit: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

Nissan has taken a cue from Toyota’s best-selling RAV4 by toughening up the look of its Rogue for 2021, and if recent sales trends are indicative of things to come, most would-be buyers should find…

Nissan redesigns its popular Rogue compact SUV for 2021

2021 Nissan Rogue
Nissan has squared off some of the Rogue’s curves for 2021, and by so doing has produced a more assertive looking compact SUV.

Nissan has taken a cue from Toyota’s best-selling RAV4 by toughening up the look of its Rogue for 2021, and if recent sales trends are indicative of things to come, most would-be buyers should find its sharper angles and more rugged appearance appealing.

Like Toyota, Nissan has built decades worth of respect for its 4×4-capable SUVs and pickup trucks, so pulling a number of styling cues from its full-size Armada down to the more affordable, economical and car-like compact class certainly doesn’t hurt the new Rogue’s image.

To a lesser extent Honda did likewise with its CR-V, but other than ATVs and motorcycles the second-most popular compact sport utility’s maker doesn’t have any serious off-road heritage to pull from, giving Nissan and Toyota, not to mention Chevrolet, Dodge/Ram, Ford, GMC, Jeep, Kia and Mitsubishi, which also currently produce or have produced off-road-oriented trucks and SUVs, a unique advantage while the SUV sector continues to take over the entire automotive landscape.

2021 Nissan Rogue
The more rugged looking 2021 Rogue should be appealing to compact SUV buyers.

While the word aggressive is probably not applicable, the new 2021 Rogue looks more assertive than its predecessor. Nissan is quick to point this out in its press release, using words such as “edgy” and “adventurous” to describe the overall “spirit of the vehicle,” and expanding on that theme with phrases like “commanding presence,” “athletic strength,” and “adventure-ready exterior.”

While we all love creative marketing-speak, the expected Nissan design cues are clearly evident, including its new squared off V-motion grille up front and blackened D pillars at back, the latter creating the appearance of a “floating roof,” this now enhanced when choosing new two-tone exterior colour combos that allow for an all-black roof. Rugged looking lower body cladding beefs up appearances further, accentuated via a new “U-shape” bodyside design, while the attractive set of LED taillights don’t depart quite as much from their forebears as the new multi-level LED headlights do up front.

2021 Nissan Rogue
New two-tone colour combos help accentuate the Rogue’s blackened D-pillar design.

In a market that always seems to expand outer dimensions, a compact SUV that shrinks 1.5 inches from nose to tail and shaves 0.2 inches from its height is a welcome addition. While its shortened and lowered stance won’t be felt inside, these slight dimensional changes contribute to the crossover’s blunter more traditional SUV-like appearance without making it look too tall and boxy.

Unlike the RAV4, Nissan has yet to offer the new 2021 Rogue with an off-road trim line, the competitive Toyota having provided a more rugged looking and somewhat more 4×4-capable Trail version since its 2019 redesign, which can be upgraded with an even more empowering TRD Off Road Package for 2020, but that’s not to say the Rogue’s hardy new image is only skin deep.

2021 Nissan Rogue
Nissan seems to have really upped the Rogue’s interior design and materials quality for 2021.

In models equipped with Nissan’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, it starts with a centre console-mounted Drive Mode Selector that incorporates an “Off-road” setting for tackling more treacherous terrain, or at least it can help overcome unruly rocks and other reasonably sized obstacles poking up from the dirt on the way to the summer cottage. A “Snow” mode does likewise for slippery conditions, while the Drive Mode Selector also incorporates Standard, Eco and Sport settings when weather patterns are less extreme, these final three the sole settings available in front-wheel drive trims.

Enhancing traction further, the new Rogue gets an entirely new Vehicle Motion Control System that Chris Reed, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at the Nissan Technical Centre North America, claims to do “what a human can’t.”

2021 Nissan Rogue
An available 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster lends the new Rogue premium appeal.

“The all-new Vehicle Motion Control predicts what the driver is trying to do by monitoring steering, acceleration and braking,” adds Reed. “It can then step in and help to smooth things out.”

Basically, Vehicle Motion Control joins the all-wheel drive system and Drive Mode Selector to provide individual four-wheel control, improving line traceability in order to smooth out corners via the braking system, and even applying an individual brake pad to do so. The system, which features a chassis control module that “monitors and adjusts engine, transmission, Vehicle Dynamic Control, all-wheel drive and steering functions” is especially helpful when “driving on snowy slopes, deep snow, snow flat turning and off-road driving (such as beach or dirt trails),” said Nissan in its press release, although it’s always on and therefore assists in all situations.

2021 Nissan Rogue
The optional 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen is one-inch larger than the already sizeable 8.0-inch base unit.

As for the Rogue’s all-wheel drive system, it now incorporates a new electro-hydraulic controlled clutch that distributes torque quicker and more accurately thanks to an ability to predict front-wheel slippage, thus allowing for better rear torque distribution along with greater traction and responsiveness overall.

Speaking of responsiveness, a new quicker-ratio rack-electric power steering setup should result in more immediate turn-in, while a rigid six-position front suspension mounting and redesigned multi-link rear suspension will no doubt help to flatten out the curves.

This is important, as the new Rogue with be quicker thanks to an updated direct-injection 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that makes 11 more horsepower and 6 additional lb-ft of torque, the new total being a nice even (or odd) 181 units apiece. In order to achieve this gain in performance, Nissan uses its GT-R-proven mirror bore coating technique to reduce friction and therefore enhance efficiency, while also adding a variable displacement oil pump, an integrated exhaust manifold and an e-VTC intake valve along with other improvements.

2021 Nissan Rogue
Wireless charging is available.

Yes, Nissan has been a technology leader as of late, so prepare yourself for some serious digital wizardry along with a bigger safety kit filled with new gear like Intelligent Driver Alertness that monitors steering patterns and if detecting drowsiness warns to take a break with a chime and coffee cup icon, Rear Door Alert that signals if you’ve left something or someone in the back seat when exiting, and Easy Fill Tire Alert that lets you know when a tire needs more air.

The brand’s Safety Shield 360 suite of advanced driver assistive systems is included as standard too, with features like Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and High Beam Assist, while an unusual yet welcome addition is standard Rear Intelligent Emergency Braking, which will automatically stop the Rogue if backing into an obstacle or worse, out into oncoming traffic.

2021 Nissan Rogue
An electronic shifter allows for a taller “floating” centre console with storage space below.

Of note, Traffic Sign Recognition, Blind Spot Intervention and Intelligent Cruise Control with improved stop-and-go are optional, the latter integrated with an even more advanced version of Nissan’s semi-self-driving ProPilot Assist system. Safety improvements continue with 10 standard airbags instead of the six found in the outgoing Rogue, and extended crumple zones in case of impact. Additional options include a new four-door Intelligent Key system that allows the driver and passengers to open all four doors, this part of the Rogue’s new “Family Hub” combination that also includes tri-zone automatic climate control with two independent temperature zones up front and one in the rear.

2021 Nissan Rogue
The Rogue’s NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats are said to provide comfortable support along with standard front heaters.

Even more noticeable, the Rogue’s upper-crust trim gets a fully customizable 12.3-inch “Digital Dashboard” gauge cluster that completely replaces the conventional instruments with a colourful TFT display, although the base model’s regular primary gauge package is still advanced thanks to a 2.0-inch larger 7.0-inch multi-information display at centre, which is also capable of full personalization.

On top of this, literally, a supersized 10.8-inch head-up display unit projects key information onto the windshield where it’s easiest to see, while the standard 8.0-inch centre touchscreen display (already large for the class) gets increased to 9.0 inches for those willing to spend a bit more. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard across the line, with Google Maps and Waze (with voice recognition) integration available.

2021 Nissan Rogue
The new Rogue is hardly short on standard or available features.

It all comes in a cabin that looks wholly improved over its predecessor, with many more soft-touch surfaces plus richer optional Prima-Tex leatherette or quilted semi-aniline leather upholsteries in Graphite, Grey or Tan, as well as nicer wood grains and metallic trims, while Nissan’s NASA-influenced Zero Gravity seats offer comfortable support along with standard front warming. The steering wheel rim is heatable in base trim too, a smart nod of respect to Rogue owners of all means, while rear outboard seat heaters are optional, as is two-way driver’s memory. Other options include a surround parking camera system Nissan calls Intelligent Around View Monitor, this combined with the aforementioned rear driver assistive systems.

A smart electronic shift lever is shorter and positioned closer to the driver, and due to not needing any mechanical hardware underneath, allows for a raised centre console with plenty of what-have-you space on a shelf below.

2021 Nissan Rogue
Cargo space appears generous, while new auto-folding rear seats add convenience.

The Rogue still doesn’t provide a centre pass-through in the second row or better yet, the 40/20/40-split rear seatbacks provided by some competitors, which allow owners to lay longer items like skis down the middle while rear passengers enjoy the more comfortable, optionally heated rear window seats, but Nissan does include a one-touch automated folding mechanism with “an available remote fold feature” for convenience. The Japanese brand’s useful Divide-n-Hide cargo system is once again available too, plus a powered and Motion Activated Liftgate that lets you open the rear hatch by kicking your foot under the back bumper.

Once again available in S, SV and Platinum trim levels, the 2021 Rogue will be available this fall, with pricing expected closer to its launch date. If all this sounds like it’s worth waiting for, stay tuned for more updates, but if you’d rather take advantage of some pretty incredible savings available on the current model, check out CarCostCanada’s 2020 Nissan Rogue Canada Prices page that was showing up to $5,000 in additional incentives at the time of writing. All you’ll need in order to learn about available manufacturer rebates, financing and leasing deals, plus otherwise hard to find dealer invoice pricing is an inexpensive CarCostCanada membership. Find out how it works now and while you’re at it, download the free CarCostCanada mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Nissan

The Cayenne GTS is back, and much has changed since the model was last offered for 2018. First, the Cayenne was totally redesigned the following year in 2019, while in addition to that completely rejuvenated…

Porsche Cayenne GTS gets twin-turbo V8 power for 2021

2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe
The new 2021 Cayenne GTS can be had in the regular body style or as this new Cayenne Coupe.

The Cayenne GTS is back, and much has changed since the model was last offered for 2018.

First, the Cayenne was totally redesigned the following year in 2019, while in addition to that completely rejuvenated third-generation SUV arriving on the scene, the outgoing Cayenne GTS was only offered in one single body style, whereas this new 2021 version can now be purchased in Porsche’s sportier fastback Cayenne GTS Coupe design.

What’s more, the old Cayenne GTS made its power from a twin-turbo 3.6-litre V6 good for 440 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque, but the new version boasts a much more enticing twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 capable of 453 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque.

2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS
The more upright Cayenne GTS still looks very sporty when compared to most premium competitors.

The addition of 13 horsepower and 14 lb-ft of torque, combined with the new Cayenne design, makes for a quicker 4.5-second run from standstill to 100 km/h when the Sport Chrono Package is included, which is a 0.6-second improvement when compared to the outgoing model, while the base Cayenne GTS is good for a 4.8-second sprint from zero to 100 km/h. On top of this, the new Cayenne GTS can achieve a top track speed of 270 km/h, which is an increase of 8 km/h over its predecessor.

The revised direct-injection V8 incorporates a new intelligently designed thermal management system plus adaptive cylinder control to meet its performance requirements, while the Tiptronic S eight-speed automatic transmission is once again employed for shifting gears. Standard Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive is also carried over into the new model.

2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe
The Cayenne GTS Coupe can be had with a special high-frequency sport exhaust upgrade featuring two tailpipes centred in the middle of its more aggressive rear diffuser.

The new Cayenne GTS’ rear bumper features a standard sports exhaust system with two circular tailpipes per side, which Porsche claims to make “a rich, sporty sound with a unique character” in a press release. What’s more, when the Cayenne GTS Coupe is upgraded with the optional Lightweight Sports Package it can also be had with a special high frequency-tuned sports exhaust system. This model is easy to point out thanks to two large oval tailpipes at the centre of its more aggressively shaped rear diffuser.

Together with the new V8 powertrain, the updated Cayenne GTS incorporates some suspension improvements as well, including redesigned Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) dampers that, combined with the standard three-chamber Air Suspension, drop the SUV’s ride height by 30 mm compared to the Cayenne S. Additionally, Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) is included as standard.

2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe
The new GTS gets all of the upgrades seen since the 2019 Cayenne arrived, plus Alcantara and dark aluminum trim.

Both Cayenne GTS models roll on unique black-silk gloss 21-inch RS Spyder Design alloy wheels that encircle grey cast iron 390 by 38 mm front and 358 by 28 mm rear brake discs, clamped down upon via red-painted calipers. The GTS can also be enhanced with the tungsten carbide-coated Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) system, or even better, the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system, while additional upgrades can include rear-axle steering and the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) active roll stabilization system.

The new 2021 Cayenne GTS and Cayenne GTS Coupe would hardly be complete without a host of styling updates from the outside in, of course, so therefore together with the previously noted alloys the SUV’s exterior design features a standard Sport Design package including the usual black accents on the front air intakes, side window surrounds, tailpipes and rear Porsche logos plus model designation. Even the LED headlamps, which include the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS), are tinted in black, as is the new LED taillight bar in back.

2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe
Suede-like Alcantara seat inserts make for a soft, luxurious finish as well as a grippy surface that holds backside in place during hard cornering.

Porsche wraps the interior door and centre console armrests in plush suede-like Alcantara too, as well as the seat centre panels, the roof liner and more, plus dark-brushed aluminum cabin accents add to the SUV’s sporty yet premium ambiance. On this note, the front sport seats get more robust side bolstering and eight-way power as standard features, not to mention “GTS” embroidery on the headrests, while the GTS insignia is also found on the primary instrument cluster’s rev counter dial, the door entry sills, and the front outer door panels. Optionally, a GTS interior package comes with Carmine Red or Chalk colour accents, including decorative stitching.

The all-new 2021 Cayenne GTS and 2021 Cayenne GTS Coupe can now be ordered from your local Porsche retailer before arriving in the fourth quarter of 2020, with pricing starting at $120,400 and $126,500 respectively.

Story credit: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche