3D printing is nothing new in the auto industry, but customizing form-fitted sport seats for customer racers is an innovative way to test out a potential new personalization product. Then again, Porsche…
3D printing is nothing new in the auto industry, but customizing form-fitted sport seats for customer racers is an innovative way to test out a potential new personalization product.
Then again, Porsche has long used motorsport to hone its road cars, so the act of creating 40 prototypes of its “3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat” for some European-based 911 and 718 client racers isn’t too much of a stretch.
Porsche Tequipment will start producing the new six-point safety belt-equipped “bodyform” driver’s seat prototypes in May 2020, and after it receives enough feedback from those customers, which will be incorporated into the seat’s development, it will start making them available to road car customers in soft, medium and hard firmness levels and various colours though its Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur division from mid-2021.
Just to be clear, custom-fitted driver’s seats have been part of the motorsports world for almost as long as car racing has existed, but 3D-printing technology will allow the same level of personalization in Porsche’s road cars, as long as enough owners expressed an interest.
Together with a driver’s seat specifically designed around an individual customer’s body contour, the new 3D-produced seats would allow for “an extended range of colours” so that owners could match their cars’ interiors to Porsche’s available “Special” colour palette, and their “Custom Colour” requests.
Along with the ergonomic fit for enhanced comfort and control, the new 3D-printed bodyform driver’s seat will allow for a totally unique interior design, plus lowered weight, and even “passive climate control” says Porsche, the latter due to the seat’s sandwich construction.
The base support, which is produced from expanded polypropylene (EPP), gets bonded to a “breathable comfort layer consisting of a mixture of polyurethane-based materials.” The external skin, made out of “Racetex,” features a perforation pattern that allows for climate control, while “window panels” expose the coloured components in the 3D-printed “lattice structure” and therefore give the seat a completely original look.
“The seat is the interface between the human and the vehicle, and is thus important for precise, sporty handling. That’s why personalized seat shells customized for the driver have been standard in race cars for a long time now,” commented Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche. “With the ‘3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat’, we’re once again giving series-production customers the opportunity to experience technology carried over from motor sports.”
Due to all automakers’ capabilities in product development and production, many have been called into action to help stop the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus from spreading farther, and now Porsche is considering…
Due to all automakers’ capabilities in product development and production, many have been called into action to help stop the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus from spreading farther, and now Porsche is considering the employment of its 3D printers to produce critical medical products.
Before this it donated five million euros to “people in need as a result of the virus” and also spent 200,000 euros on food donations to charitable organizations.
“Porsche already supports a large number of charitable initiatives and we are significantly extending this commitment during the coronavirus crisis,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board. “There are people who urgently need help and we are concentrating on providing humanitarian aid. We can overcome the pandemic only if we work together and show solidarity.”
Additionally, Porsche is deploying its specialist staff, such as its medically experienced personnel and IT experts, to fight against COVID-19, plus the German luxury brand is supporting its Porsche employees to carry out voluntary work.
What’s more, the premium automaker is assisting with technical materials and supplies, like procuring personal protective equipment (PPE), plus it’s deploying its vehicles and providing logistics operations in the event of specific supply bottlenecks and transport requirements, while using its media presence to assist in the communication of appeals and important messaging as well, and finally Porsche is making donations and grants to various organizations in need of support due to COVID-19.
“We are supporting the food banks at our locations this year with 200,000 euros,” continued Blume. “In addition, we have made an offer to certain charitable organizations to provide vehicles with drivers, perhaps where there is a bottleneck in the transport of relief supplies or people. We have also increased donations from Porsche AG by five million euros. This amount will be used to support local organizations and people who are in need as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Our employees also help personally and voluntarily with the charitable organizations at our locations.”
As noted earlier, Porsche is considering the production of medical products too, which could be produced by the brand’s many 3D printers.
“We are currently clarifying with the state government which components are required,” added Blume. “They range from protective goggles to respiratory masks. For highly specialized medical products, you have to comply with the legal requirements and certifications. Here, the lead must lie with the medical technology specialists, who could then delegate orders to the automotive industry. Our 3D printers are available in any case. As a first step, we have already forwarded protective clothing from our stocks to the state government. And together with our parent company, Volkswagen, we are participating in the procurement of further equipment on a large scale, especially from China. We must also ensure that we look beyond the medical sector and recognize where our help is needed.”
All of these efforts have been put forward despite Porsche halting production on March 21st for an initial period of two weeks.
“We are assessing the situation as it presents itself,” Blume said. “The most important thing for us is that the supply chains can be rebuilt as soon as possible. We are less dependent on China than we are on our European neighbours. In this respect, I hope that we as a society will manage to contain the coronavirus and that we will then receive a signal at European level as to when we can all restart production.”
Like most automotive brands, Porsche Canada has also started to experience a dramatic downturn in sales, with its March 2020 deliveries reduced by 42 percent compared to the same month last year. It’s quite possible April will be worse, so kudos to Porsche for giving back in this time of need.
The Geneva Motor Show may have been cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus originating from Wuhan, China), but that hasn’t stopped automakers from making their big reveals…
The Geneva Motor Show may have been cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus originating from Wuhan, China), but that hasn’t stopped automakers from making their big reveals online, and therefore Porsche has pulled out all the stops with the most exciting version of its all-new 992 yet.
The 2021 911 Turbo S just hit the web with a 61-horsepower bump over its much-revered 580-hp predecessor, which means it now makes a staggering 641-horsepower from an identically sized 3.8-litre six boosted by two VTG (variable turbine geometry) turbochargers. What’s more, the horizontally opposed engine also puts out an additional 37 lb-ft of torque for a total of 590, so be glad it comes standard with Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive that can transfer up to 369 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels when required.
The 3.8-litre turbo-six, which is based on the latest 911 Carrera engine generation, has been completely redesigned. It gets a new charge air-cooling system and new, larger VTG turbochargers in a symmetrical layout that feature electrically adjustable waste-gate flaps, while piezo injectors are said to significantly improve “responsiveness, power, torque, emissions, and revving ability.”
The standard gearbox is an upgraded Turbo-specific eight-speed dual-clutch PDK automated design, which allows for a shockingly quick sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in just 2.7 seconds, an improvement of 0.2 seconds over its predecessor, while zero to 200 km/h arrives in a scant 8.9 seconds, this being a full second faster than the outgoing Turbo S.
To put the new 911 Turbo S into perspective, it’s a tenth of a second quicker from zero to 100 km/h than the current GT2 RS (soon to be replaced by one based on the new 992), a 700-horsepower monster. Those choosing the new 911 Turbo S Cabriolet will lose a tenth of a second in the other direction, but that makes the drop-top as quick as a GT2 RS, so it certainly hasn’t lost face in this regard. No doubt the convertible would be best for hearing the new sports exhaust system, which features adjustable flaps that promise the kind of distinctive sound only a Porsche flat-six can deliver.
An American performance spec worth noting is 10.5 seconds over the quarter mile on the drag strip, which is no small feat, while those lucky enough to test one out on the Autobahn will potentially be able to achieve a maximum speed of 330 km/h (205 mph) in either coupe or convertible model.
Hauling the Turbo S back down to reality are standard carbon-ceramic brakes with 10-piston front calipers, while control is further enhanced via a larger rear wing that, together with the pneumatically extendable front spoiler, delivers 15 percent more downforce than the outgoing model.
The new car is also wider than the outgoing 911 Turbo S by 45 mm (1.8 inches) above the front axle, measuring 1,840 mm (72.4 in) across, and 20 mm (0.7 inches) over the rear axle, spanning 1,900 mm (74.8 in), which should improve stability, while Porsche has tweaked its active suspension management system’s (PASM) software and hardware, lowering it by 10 mm (0.4 in) and providing “faster and more precisely controlled dampers,” stated Porsche in a press release, to enhance “roll stability, road holding, steering behaviour and cornering speeds.”
The numerous functional vents added to the Turbo S’ front fascia and rear fenders are more about engine and brake cooling, however, not to mention design aggression, with those added to the rear valance especially eye-catching. Additionally, special rectangular exhaust tips protrude from the outer edges of the black centre diffuser, while the entire Turbo S design gets rounded out by a set of staggered 20-inch front and 21-inch rear lightweight alloys wrapped in respective 255/35 and 315/30 Pirelli performance tires.
Inside, the new Turbo S is as livable as any other 911 and even more upscale thanks to a full leather interior with carbon trim and Light Silver accents, plus a GT sports steering wheel, a large 10.9-inch infotainment touchscreen at dash central, a newly integrated Porsche Track Precision app within that centre display that comes as part of the Sport Chrono package, a Bose surround-sound audio system, and leather-upholstered 18-way power-adjustable sport seats.
The new 911 Turbo S will be available to order in April of 2020, with deliveries expected later this year. Pricing for the 911 Turbo S coupe starts at $231,700 plus freight and fees, while the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet starts at $246,300. To order yours, contact your local Porsche retailer.
Until it arrives, enjoy the few videos Porsche supplied.
The new Porsche 911 Turbo S: The peak of driving emotion (2:28):
The all new Porsche 911 Turbo S. Relentless. (1:02):
Livestream: new Porsche 911 Turbo S Premiere (14:56):
Interestingly, as cars become little more than rolling computers with seats they’re actually becoming less complex, at least from a driving application and design perspective. The new autonomously driven…
Interestingly, as cars become little more than rolling computers with seats they’re actually becoming less complex, at least from a driving application and design perspective.
The new autonomously driven Prophecy Concept EV from Hyundai is about as minimalist as four-wheeled conveyances come, that is until inspecting the details. The brand’s upcoming Optimistic Futurism design language has been designed to connect people more fully with their cars, or so said the head of Hyundai’s global design centre SangYup Lee in the vehicle’s press release.
“We have brought to life yet another icon that establishes a new standard for the EV segment as well as pushing Hyundai’s design vision to even broader horizons,” said Lee. “A part of that expansion is what we call Optimistic Futurism, a design concept embodied by ‘Prophecy’. With Optimistic Futurism, our aim is to forge an emotional connection between humans and automobiles.”
Of course, creating emotional ties between consumers and their products should be a key priority of all brands, and to that end Hyundai has a pretty good chance of doing so with the Prophecy. The South Korean company, which sometimes seems to be playing a game of design tug of war between the overly conservative and overtly dramatic, the various generations of its Sonata mid-size sedan making this abundantly clear (seen at CarCostCanada in its stunning new 2020 design, somewhat less emotive 2019 version, even more sedate 2015 variant, and swoopy 2014 design), has pulled off a design with the Prophecy that’s at once minimalist in its retrospective shape and simultaneously a wonder of unique intricacies.
Its curvaceous styling could’ve easily been conjured up by Porsche for its next-generation Panamera or the new Taycan, not that it looks like either, but few brands dare attempt to shape a car with as many rounded edges, let alone a grille-less front end, not dissimilar to Tesla’s Model 3. Then again its seemingly vented rear quarters, which pull eyeballs away from the otherwise large transparent acrylic whale tail-like rear wing, appear to pay homage to Preston Tucker’s ultra-aerodynamic (for its era) post-war 48, although protruding from this otherwise pixelated 3D panel are LEDs for the taillights. Hyundai has done something similar up front, but as part of a more traditional set of headlamp clusters that utilize the same transparent acrylic as the rear spoiler and in the camera monitoring system.
Of course, all of the above aid aerodynamics, which is why others have chosen variations on the Prophecy’s theme, Hyundai even going so far to create propeller-inspired wheels that direct air down each body side.
No exterior or interior dimensions have been released, but it appears to sit in the mid-size sweet spot, while technical specifications aren’t available either, but of course with “EV” in the name it’s obviously 100-percent electric. Hyundai has told us the Prophecy’s battery is located below the passenger compartment, so expect it to ride on a completely new “skateboard” architecture that would allow for multiple body styles to reside on top.
The Prophecy’s cabin is easy to see through its four clamshell doors, its four seating positions separated into deeply sculpted buckets providing what appears to be just enough legroom in back. A unique tartan upholstery design is another nod to Porsche’s 911, 924 and 928 models from 1975 through 1980, blue-green a popular colour combo in the day, but nothing the German performance brand ever did back then achieved the built-in wow factor that Hyundai’s new creation does, and not just because the Koreans use the Scottish pattern for the bolsters as well as the centre inserts.
Even the Prophecy’s massive wraparound digital display that frames the windshield’s base isn’t all that radical these days, although the pop-up driver’s instruments are pretty slick, but even still these can’t steal the thunder from the car’s driving controls. You may have noticed its lack of steering wheel, this seemingly irreplaceable tool having been swapped out for a pair of pivoting joysticks. Why not, especially in a car that’s designed to be capable of full self-driving.
Will we ever see a Prophecy on the road? Unless it’s this single example being transported to the next auto show, when that ever happens (the Geneva auto show it would’ve been unveiled at cancelled due to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19), this new concept exists to show prospective Hyundai buyers its future styling direction, and to that end it looks like the brand’s design department has things well in hand.
Hyundai | “Prophecy” Concept EV Unveiling (16:04):
Personal customization is hardly a new service at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen headquarters. In fact, the revered performance brand has provided bespoke upgrade services since a client commissioned a fur…
Personal customization is hardly a new service at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen headquarters. In fact, the revered performance brand has provided bespoke upgrade services since a client commissioned a fur covered 356 in the 1950s, the company’s “Personalisation Programme” that followed eventually being renamed Porsche Exclusive in 1986. Just the same, nothing the automaker has done in the past could be deemed quite as personal as its most recent offering.
Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, now a special division under the German brand’s umbrella, now has the ability to paint your fingerprint on the hood of any 911 for just €7,500 ($11,100 CAD). The process doesn’t exactly utilize paint, but instead makes use of a new direct printing method developed by Porsche. Once your fingerprint is scanned, it gets transformed into a digital graphic before being printed onto a 911’s hood.
Porsche claims it will be able to print your fingerprint on other panels in the future, plus it will be able to print other customer-specified designs too, although for now this exclusive service is limited to the 911’s hood due to the relative ease of unbolting the hood from its hinges and the necessity to have the body panel removed. After removal, the biometric print gets applied by a robot with a clear coat added overtop for protection, after which the entire hood is polished to a high-gloss finish. Once done, Porsche claims its direct printing process will result in a finish that’s in fact superior to its already high-quality 911 paint finishes in terms of look and feel.
“The operating principle is similar to that of an inkjet printer: using a print head, the paint is applied to three-dimensional components automatically and without overspray. ‘The ability to control the nozzles individually permits targeted application of every paint droplet,’ stated Christian Will, Vice President Production Development at Porsche AG. ‘The complexity is due to the necessity of harmonizing three technologies: robot technology (control, sensors, programming), application technology (print head, graphic handling) and paint technology (application process, paint).’”
Requests for this new fingerprint service are beginning this month in the German market, and while it’s not directly available in Canada, there’s always a way to get things done if you’re willing to pay the necessary price.
Thirty-seven years ago a skunkworks division at Porsche transformed a 409-horsepower Type 935 race car into a handcrafted, slant-nose, big-winged, one-off road-going supercar filled with cream coloured…
Thirty-seven years ago a skunkworks division at Porsche transformed a 409-horsepower Type 935 race car into a handcrafted, slant-nose, big-winged, one-off road-going supercar filled with cream coloured leather and rich hardwood inlays. It was exclusively made-to-order for Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG) owner Mansour Ojjeh, a company now best known for its popular TAG Heuer luxury wristwatch brand.
This innovative team became known as Porsche’s “Personalisation Programme” as it continued building unique versions of its iconic 911 sports car for individual clients, one of which was a wealthy sheikh that ordered six identical custom 959 super cars, plus this division also created low run special editions before being renamed Porsche Exclusive in 1986. They developed a special Panamera Exclusive series soon after, plus a modified Macan, a special version the new Cayenne Coupe and more, while in 2017 they took on the name of the Zuffenhausen-based special projects team’s headquarters, Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur.
Now, at the beginning of Porsche’s era of electrification, it makes perfect sense to provide Exclusive Manufaktur upgrades to its upcoming Taycan electric four-door sports car, with this first foray resulting in in 90 customization options including three different Sport Design packages.
These packages “differ with respect to the inlays in the lower front apron, in the sill panels and in the side fins of the diffuser,” said Porsche in a press release. A bigger aero piece than previously shown was added under the headlights, while each Exclusive Manufaktur model also showed a more sculpted front fascia. The side fins can be painted body-colour too, or, depending on the package chosen, left as woven carbon fibre.
Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur will also provide Taycan owners with LED matrix headlights featuring “a three-dimensional circuit board graphic in the headlight housing as well as daytime running light elements in Glacier Ice Blue or other colours,” continued Porsche, while the headlamps will also include Porsche’s Dynamic Light System Plus. Enhancing the exterior design further, gorgeous 21-inch Exclusive Design wheels boast aeroblades formed from forged and milled carbon, these chopping 3.2 kg (6.6 lbs) from each standard alloy wheel’s weight.
Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur offers modifications to the Taycan‘s interior too, one of which is a Carbon Interior Package featuring a variety of contrasting colour motifs, seatbelts available in eight different colours including Blackberry, Bordeaux Red, Crayon, Graphite Blue, Lime Beige, Meranti Brown, Slate Grey, and Truffle Brown, and matte carbon fibre trim on the front and rear doors plus the centre console.
Additionally, Porsche announced an expansion of its Exclusive Manufaktur factory so as to manage expected growth. The once 2,000 square-metre (21,528 sq-ft) facility has increased in size by a third, with the updated floor plan now including four new lifting platform workstations, increased storage space, and a direct line to the finished-vehicle loading platform.
So if you’d like to have your new Taycan, or any other Porsche model “painstakingly hand-finished with high-quality components and special equipment packages for the exterior and interior to achieve an even higher degree of personalization,” make sure you talk to your local Porsche retailer about the Exclusive Manufaktur program.
Pricing and features information for the new 2020 Taycan can be seen at CarCostCanada, where you can also learn how to save on available manufacturer rebates, in-house financing/leasing options, and access otherwise difficult to find dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands on a new vehicle. Check out CarCostCanada for all the details.
Only a couple of weeks after Porsche announced Canadian pricing, features and specifications for their new lightweight 718 Cayman T and 718 Boxster T performance trims, plus all the details for the two…
Only a couple of weeks after Porsche announced Canadian pricing, features and specifications for their new lightweight 718 Cayman T and 718 Boxster T performance trims, plus all the details for the two 718 models’ new 2020 base, S, GT4 and Spyder variants, news of a fresh new take on the 718 GTS is upon us.
Up until the current 2020 model year, fourth-generation Cayman and Boxster models were only available with turbocharged four-cylinder powerplants, but thanks to the new GT4 and Spyder a formidable 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine was added to the mix. Now, hot on the heels of those two top-tier 718 models, Porsche is announcing the refreshed 2021 718 Cayman GTS and 718 Boxster GTS with horizontally opposed six-cylinder power as well.
Previous 718 GTS models, available from the 2018 model year up until the end of 2019, already made a generous 365 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, but power came from a 2.5-litre turbocharged H-4. While impressive in its own right, thanks to 500 cubic centimetres of extra displacement, plus 65 more horsepower and 37 additional lb-ft of torque than the 718’s base, S and T trims’ 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the outgoing 2.5 is nowhere near as formidable as the new GTS trim’s naturally aspirated 4.0-litre six.
Those familiar with the just-noted GT4 and Spyder will already be well versed in Porsche’s new H-6, which sports 414 horsepower in these two top-tier models, and while shy some 20 horsepower in the new GTS, the revised 394 horsepower H-6 nevertheless makes an identical 309 pound-feet of torque.
That’s superb performance from a trim line soon to be positioned between the two $74,400 718 Cayman T and $76,800 718 Boxster T models, and the $110,500 718 Spyder and $113,800 GT4. The new engine, which revs up to 7,800 rpm, produces Porsche’s much-loved six-cylinder growl and therefore will appeal to Porschephiles across the board, while its mechanical delights are improved upon further by a standard dual-tailpipe sports exhaust system.
Also notable, Porsche makes the engine more efficient via an adaptive cylinder control (cylinder deactivation) system that alternately switches off one of its two cylinder banks under low loads, plus its direct-injection system incorporates piezo injectors and a variable intake system to further reduce fuel consumption while enhancing performance.
Just like the sport-tuned 718 T models that arrived earlier this month, new 718 GTS trim adds a mechanical limited-slip rear differential, Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV), and the brand’s much-lauded Sport Chrono Package featuring an upgraded Porsche Track Precision App with an integrated lap timer to its standard equipment list.
The Sport Chrono Package incorporates a “push-to-pass” style Sport Response button in the centre of the steering wheel-mounted driving mode switch, plus Launch Control with the optional seven-speed dual-clutch automated PDK transmission.
The new 2021 718 GTS models launch from standstill to 100 km/h in a mere 4.5 seconds when utilizing their base six-speed manual transmission, slicing 0.1 seconds off of the old 718 GTS’ sprint time, while they’re only 0.1 seconds slower to 100 km/h than the ultra-hot 718 GT4 and Spyder.
Additionally, both 718 GTS models improve their top track speeds by 3 km/h (1.8 mph) to 293 km/h (182 mph)—the GT4 and Spyder achieve 304 and 301 km/h (189 and 187 mph) respectively. Porsche has yet to announce performance figures for the new 718 GTS models with their optional PDK transmission, but it shaves 0.2 seconds off the GT4 and Spyder’s zero to 100km/h time, so we can likely expect a similar result for the GTS.
Along with the new 718 GTS models’ improvement in straight-line acceleration, a host of standard features also make for better handling, such as Porsche Active Drivetrain Mounts (PADM) that integrate dynamic hard and soft transmission mounts to reduce vibration and improve performance, while unique Satin-Gloss Black-painted 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in staggered-width 235/35 front and 265/35 rear performance rubber keep the two new cars locked to the pavement below.
The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) electronic damping system is standard too, and instantly adjusts for road surface conditions and driving style changes, depending on the Normal, Sport, Sport Plus or Individual driving mode chosen.
What’s more, both 718 GTS models ride 20 millimetres lower than regular Cayman and Boxster models, reducing their centres of gravity and therefore improving control. Bigger cast-iron brakes, measuring 350 mm (13.8 inches) up front and 33 mm (13.0 in) in back make for shorter stopping distances too, while composite ceramic brakes are once again available.
So that everyone can differentiate the new models from their lesser siblings, dark grey “GTS 4.0” script can be found on each outer door skin, while just like with other GTS models, more gloss- and matte-black trim bits get added to the exterior, these including the front lip spoiler, the lower front fascia’s all-black Sport Design air intake, darker front fog lights, darkened tail lamps, and a unique lower rear bumper cap, not to mention the aforementioned sports exhaust system’s twin tailpipes finished in black chrome, and those inky black wheels noted earlier as well.
A GT sport steering wheel gets added to the new 718 GTS models’ interior, as does a scripted “GTS” logo to the classic three-dial primary gauge cluster’s centre-mounted tachometer, while carbon-fibre trim embellishes the instrument panel and centre console, and dark Alcantara covers the steering wheel rim, centre console, gear shift knob and skirt, the door inserts and armrests, plus the centre sections of the standard sport seats, while the A pillars and roof liner also receive this rich suede-like surface treatment in the 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 hardtop model.
Optional, a GTS interior package provides either contrasting Carmine Red or Crayon chalk grey/beige for the tachometer face, seatbelts, floor mat borders, and decorative seams throughout the cabin, including the embroidered “GTS” emblems on the headrests.
As usual, the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system comes standard, set within a 7.0-inch high-resolution touchscreen display featuring the comprehensive list of infotainment functions found in lesser trims, plus connectivity to the aforementioned Track Precision App. This motorsport-originated application is downloadable to your iPhone or Android device, and shows performance-related data on the car’s centre display for use on the racetrack, while simultaneously recording that data to your smartphone for post-race analysis.
Other PCM features include a navigation system with real-time traffic info, plus available voice control as well as Porsche Connect. What’s more, audiophiles will be glad to hear that an optional Bose surround sound audio system can be upgraded further to an even higher end Burmester surround sound system.
The new 2021 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 and 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 will be available to order from your local Porsche retailer this summer, with deliveries arriving later in the year.
So while you’re waiting, make sure to check out our complete photo gallery above, plus the two available videos below:
The all new 718 GTS 4.0. More of what you love. (1:52):
Porsche GTS. More of what you love. (1:30):
Can you just imagine future Subaru Outback ads? Subaru versus the mountain goat, only once the all-electric Outback is up on top of the mountain it will need to plug into a diesel generator in order to…
Can you just imagine future Subaru Outback ads? Subaru versus the mountain goat, only once the all-electric Outback is up on top of the mountain it will need to plug into a diesel generator in order to get back down. Advantage goat.
The oft-heard term, “Get woke, go broke” comes to mind when a niche automaker like Subaru announces plans to toss away its most notable brand identity trait, the horizontally opposed “boxer” engine, in order to appease the green crowd and align with some global governments’ impending regulations to eventually ban internal combustion engines.
At a time when the current U.S. administration is loosening new vehicle emissions restrictions, the European Union, China and other markets are tightening them, on vehicles at least (Europe will soon be celebrating new fossil fuel pipelines from Russia and China is seemingly building coal-fired power plants—to fuel said electric cars—faster than anyone can count).
It makes sense that Subaru would want to continue being able to sell into these markets after internal combustion engines are banned, and therefore is planning to electrify its lineup. The process will begin with the introduction of a hybrid-electric drivetrain powering key models, its source for hybrid technology coming from Toyota, which owns 16.5-percent of Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), Subaru’s parent company. The short-lived 2014-2016 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid was this union’s first project, but it didn’t find enough marketplace interest to remain viable.
Currently important to those in charge of Subaru is the retention of its distinctive brand character traits, which have long included the aforementioned horizontally opposed engine configuration, as well as standard all-wheel drive for most of its models (the Toyota co-developed BRZ sports car only comes with rear-wheel drive). The previous Crosstrek Hybrid, for instance, used Toyota’s hybrid technologies together with Subaru’s 2.0-litre boxer engine, thus making it perform and sound just like other models wearing the idiosyncratic alternative brand’s six-starred blue-oval badge. What Subaru doesn’t want is simple badge engineering, like Toyota has done many times (including the Subaru-powered albeit co-developed Scion FR-S/Toyota 86, the Mazda2-based Yaris Sedan, etcetera), as the niche automaker would run the risk of diluting its very unique brand image.
“Although we’re using Toyota technology, we want to make hybrids that are distinctly Subaru,” said the brand’s chief technology officer, Tetsuo Onuki, to Reuters news agency. “It’s not only about reducing CO2 emissions. We need to further improve vehicle safety and the performance of our all-wheel drive.”
While Onuki made a point of mentioning that all-wheel drive will continue to be an important differentiator with future Subaru models, the inclusion of AWD is becoming more commonplace amongst its competitors. Both Nissan and Mazda recently introduced redesigned passenger cars with optional AWD (Nissan’s Altima makes AWD standard in Canada), and while Subaru’s trademarked “Symmetrical AWD” is considered by many to provide better traction than most rival AWD systems, whether or not its even delivery of power can be achieved as effectively when hooked up to a solely electric power unit will remain to be seen. As it is, plenty of electric vehicles now offer AWD, so Subaru’s current traction advantage may not be as novel in 15 years time, making it just another brand when its current crop of boxer engines are no longer available.
EVs in mind, Subaru and Toyota are currently co-developing an electric powertrain, which will result in at least one electric vehicle apiece at some undefined point this decade, with additional models expected. Subaru claims that hybrid- and pure electric-powered models will represent at least 40 percent of its annual global production by 2030, with all hybrids discontinued within another half decade or so.
Ten years is a long time in the automotive sector, let alone any consumer vertical, and much can happen in battery technology development, the introduction and/or development of alternative fuels, car/ride sharing development, etcetera, not to mention geopolitical developments (not all of which may be positive) that could easily force changes to Subaru’s plans.
The win-win for Subaru is garnering green accolades now without much action initially being taken, making its owners feel as if their brand of choice is righteously marching toward utopia within a decade and a half, but the reality is an ultimate target that’s so far off into the future that it represents little if no real commitment, other than the likelihood of a new hybrid model or two within the next couple of years, plus at least one EV.
Notably, Subaru isn’t alone in making such all-electric future plans, with General Motors (in 2018) having pitched a U.S. national environmental program designed to motivate all automakers to transform at least 25 percent of their lineups to zero-emissions vehicles; Ford stepping up with an $11.5-billion spending program to result in more than a dozen new hybrids and EVs by 2022; Toyota (as part of its Environmental Challenge 2050 program) vowing to reduce vehicle life-cycle emissions by 25 percent or more by 2030, while targeting 2050 for the elimination of all carbon emissions; Mercedes-Benz claiming that half of its non-commercial passenger car lineup will be electric by 2030, plus full carbon neutrality will arrive within the next two decades.
Volvo might be the world’s most progressive automaker thanks to its promise to make half of its passenger cars wholly electric by 2025, that each cars’ life-cycle carbon footprint will be reduced by 40 percent by the same year, that the carbon output of its entire global operations (including suppliers) will be reduced by 25 percent by 2025 as well, and lastly with a plan to use a minimum of 25-percent recycled materials in its vehicle production when that same year arrives.
While some may chalk up the majority of these plans as politically correct grandstanding, we all can feel confident that Subaru is currently selling the Greatest Outback Of All Time (G.O.O.A.T.), with the term “all time” likely including its Outback EV of the future.
Incidentally, the Outback mid-size crossover is Subaru Canada’s third most popular model with 10,972 unit sales during calendar year 2019, behind the brand’s best-selling Crosstrek subcompact crossover SUV that found 15,184 new buyers, and Forester compact SUV with 13,059 new sales last year. Additional Subaru models include the Impreza compact sedan and hatchback with 9,065 deliveries in 2019, the Ascent mid-size three-row crossover SUV with 4,139 new buyers, the rally-inspired WRX/STI sport sedan with 2,707 new sales, the Legacy mid-size sedan with 1,752 customers last year, and the previously-noted BRZ compact sports coupe with 647 buyers during the same 12 months. Check out full pricing, including trims, packages and individual options at CarCostCanada, plus learn about available rebate info, special financing/lease rates and dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands.
Also, make sure to check our photo gallery above for Subaru Canada’s current 2020 lineup of new models, as well as the videos below showing its humourous the new G.O.A.T. (#GOOAT) TV ad, as well as a slightly longer behind the scenes “meet the goat” backgrounder.