With an automotive world shifting away from gasoline- and diesel-powered internal combustion engines, and toward battery electric or other types of alternative fuels like hydrogen, plus major FIA-sanctioned…
With an automotive world shifting away from gasoline- and diesel-powered internal combustion engines, and toward battery electric or other types of alternative fuels like hydrogen, plus major FIA-sanctioned motorsport series, such as Formula One, its Formula E offshoot, and sports car prototypes competing in the World Endurance Championship, utilizing various degrees of hybrid to full-EV powertrains, it was only a matter of time before Porsche, one of the globe’s leaders in customer racing car production, started looking at electrifying on a smaller scale.
Enter the Mission R Concept, a very real prototype of a possible future customer racing car that just might end up filling the well-worn shoes of Porsche’s 718 Cayman, which, along with the 718 Boxster and venerable 911, have become ideal track cars for “one-make” spec series, such as the Porsche Supercup that supports F1, and a Cayman GT4 Clubsport-spec series that ran ahead of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and British GT series in 2019.
Certainly, something along the lines of the Mission R Concept could support any one of the just-noted motorsport events, especially now that Porsche is rumoured to be interested in powering the next-generation of F1 cars, although it’s more likely the new model would support Formula E, in which the German performance brand currently competes with its TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.
The Mission R Concept casts a similarly sized shadow as the 718 Cayman too, other than being slightly wider and significantly lower than the road-going model. It’s not a mid-engine sports car either, instead incorporating an electric motor at each end to provide equal balance and all-wheel drive. These receive power from a 80.0-kWh battery, the resultant energy combining for a maximum of 429 horsepower at the front axle and 644 at the rear. To save you the trouble of calculating in your head, that’s 1,073 horsepower, albeit this lofty number is only available in Qualifying mode, with Race mode “only” providing 671 horsepower.
According to Porsche, the Mission R Concept can maintain race pace for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on many variables including track battles, while it’ll actually beat one of today’s F1 cars off the line, the svelte newcomer capable of sprinting from standstill to 100 km/h in just 2.5 seconds, compared to 2.6 seconds for the open-wheel racer, not to mention 2.8 seconds for a Formula E car.
It had better be careful not to embarrass the latter open-wheel car on its own turf, either, because the Mission R’s top track speed exceeds a Formula E car’s 280 km/h (174 mph) capability with a terminal velocity of 299 km/h (186 mph)—F1 doesn’t need to worry about being upstaged, however, with the fastest on the grid capable of speeds upwards of 360 km/h (224 mph). Porsche also claims the Mission R Concept can match one of today’s 911 GT3 Cup cars on a road course, so it’s easily up to the job of a customer race car, let alone outperforming any potential competition.
“Porsche is the brand for people who fulfil their dreams,” commented Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, in a press release. “This is also true in motorsports. We experience our innovative strength on the race track, demonstrate courage in pursuing new avenues and delight car owners with sporting performance. In addition to our involvement in the Formula E World Championship, we are now taking the next big step forward in electric mobility. The concept study is our vision of all-electric customer motorsports. The Mission R embodies everything that makes Porsche strong: performance, design and sustainability.”
The Mission R is not only quick around the track, but its 900-volt electrical system and the Porsche Turbo Charging setup makes it lightning quick during charging. A nearly depleted battery only takes 15 minutes to replenish from five to 80 percent, making the Mission R’s storage cell even faster to refill than the 22.5-minute duration required when recharging a Porsche Taycan from five to 80 percent via its 800-volt system.
Introduced earlier this month at the IAA motor show in Munich, the Mission R was purely designed for the track. This is made clearly evident by its exposed carbon-fibre composite exoskeleton, which is completely integrated into the car’s structure in order to improve rigidity. The purposeful appearance is the result of Porsche’s engineering and design teams working together on the project from the start, the lead designer having also worked on the Vision Spyder concept we covered in detail last year.
Speaking of a purposeful appearance, the Mission R’s bevy of cooling ducts aren’t just for show, but instead are vitally important for maintaining a stable battery temperature when the electrical system is being pushed hard. The large frontal grille even features active louvred air intakes that open and close as needed, while the rear wing incorporates a Drag Reduction System (DRS) that can be opened to minimize drag on straights, and then closed to add downforce when corners arrive.
Additionally, the materials used to make the Mission R’s key components have sustainability in mind, with the front lip spoiler, side skirts, and the diffuser made from natural fibre reinforced plastic (NFRP) utilizing farmed flax. NFRP makes up much of the cabin too, while special 3D-printed foam components add another element to the design.
Yet more intelligent tech can be found in the Mission R’s digital primary display that’s incorporated into the steering wheel’s centre hub, while just above and slightly behind is another monitor for the side and central/rear cameras. Even more unexpected are remotely adjustable interior cameras that allow fans to see all the livestreaming action in the cockpit during a race. What’s more, a touch display beside the driver’s seat allows for biometric data information.
While all of this “concept” talk is exciting, news that the Mission R might be more than just a design study will be welcoming news to anyone that’s made it this far into today’s story. In fact, Porsche has been testing a running prototype on the track with hopes of delivering a customer race car by 2025 or 2026. This said, the Mission R has not been cleared for production yet, but the concept definitely lines up with the brand’s future EV strategy, while such a car makes a lot of sense considering Porsche’s customer race cars legacy.
Notably, Porsche’s motorsport division has built and sold more than 4,400 Cup cars over the last three decades, the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland event being the first spec-series when it was launched 31 years ago. Now, a total of 30 one-make Porsche cup series are held globally each year, with the latest 911 GT3 Cup, featuring 992-series 911s, already underway for the 2021 season. If the Mission R Concept comes to reality, we certainly have a lot to look forward to.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
The fabulous 911 GTS is back, and just like in 2019, the last time Porsche offered the performance-first model with the car’s previous seventh-generation 991 body style, it comes in five distinct variations.…
The fabulous 911 GTS is back, and just like in 2019, the last time Porsche offered the performance-first model with the car’s previous seventh-generation 991 body style, it comes in five distinct variations.
The 3.0-litre flat-six engine’s displacement is unchanged as well, as is its twin-turbo forced induction system, but a new sport exhaust, together with reduced interior insulation, provides louder, more exhilarating sounds, while the GTS’ engine output has been pumped up by 23 horsepower to 473, while torque has increased by 15 lb-ft to 420, both thanks to 2.3 psi of additional boost.
The massaged powerplant slices 3/10ths from the old GTS’ launch time when utilizing its eight-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox together with the standard Sport Chrono Package (which includes dynamic engine mounts, launch control, and Sport Plus mode), combining for standstill to 100 km/h sprint time of just 3.4 seconds in base Carrera GTS coupe trim, all before a 1-km/h-faster 311 km/h top track speed.
The AWD-enhanced Carrera 4 GTS is even quicker off the line, launching from zero to 100 km/h a mere 3.3 seconds, but its terminal velocity is a hair slower at 309 km/h. The Carrera GTS Cabriolet can achieve the same top track speed as the Carrera 4 GTS, although at 3.6 seconds to 100 km/h it’s the slowest of the five. This said, the Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet and Targa 4 GTS coupe each shave a 10th from the most affordable GTS convertible, with 0-100 km/h sprints only requiring 3.5 seconds, and their top speeds maxxing out at 307 km/h.
Of note, those wanting a DIY transmission can opt for Porsche’s seven-speed manual, at no difference in price from the PDK. The short-throw shifter is a full 10 mm stubbier than the gear lever in the regular 911, but this isn’t the drivetrain to get if drag racing is your thing, as straight-line acceleration is down some 0.7 to 0.8 seconds (depending on the model) compared to the PDK. Instead, the manual is best for those who enjoy the art of driving.
The best of such moments can often be found when a given road starts to wind, and to that end the new GTS includes a Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system that was pinched from the newest 911 Turbo, while coupe and convertible models now roll on a 10-mm lower sport suspension that to improves aerodynamics and provides enhanced transitional response.
The GTS’ 20-inch front and 21-inch rear Satin Black alloys were pulled from the 911 Turbo S, however, as were their 245/35R20 front and 305/30R21 rear summer performance tires, while the high-performance brakes hiding behind the spokes were initially developed for the regular 911 Turbo. These boast red-painted six- and four-piston aluminum monobloc fixed calipers, with 408- and 380-mm cross-drilled and internally vented rotors front to back.
Additionally, a new Lightweight Design package, that chops up to 25 kilograms from the model’s curb weight, can be had for the first time on a GTS, featuring a set of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) full bucket seats, lightweight side and rear window glass, deleted rear seats, plus more.
As far as aesthetics go, the SportDesign package is standard on all GTS models, so therefore the front fascia, side sills, and rear styling is unique when put side-by-side with other 911 models. Additionally, black is once again the theme from the outside in, most noticeable with the cars’ tail lamps that feature darkened lenses, while the Targa features a darker roll hoop with black lettering on both sides.
Inside, black suede-like Race-Tex microfibre surfaces the steering wheel rim, shift knob, centre seat panels, door handles, armrests, and the centre storage compartment lid/armrest, aiding grip and adding plush style. What’s more, buyers can opt for optional red stitching in key areas, or just keep it black on black.
Being based on the new eighth-gen 911, the new GTS features the upgraded Porsche Communication Management (PCM) 6.0 infotainment system, that features a more user-friendly interface design, faster response to inputs, plus Android Auto smartphone integration (joining Apple CarPlay that was already available).
Porsche improved the PCM’s voice assistant as well, which can now recognize natural speech more easily. All a user needs to do to activate the upgraded system is say, “Hey Porsche,” and then follow the prompts. Another PCM 6.0 bonus is the Porsche Track Precision app that lets track driver’s time laps and much more, plus a tire temperature display is also part of the standard package when choosing a GTS.
It’s been a strong year for Porsche’s new Taycan so far, and the German performance brand isn’t about to let the all-electric model’s momentum ebb anytime soon thanks to new updates for the 2022 version of both its regular four-door coupe body style and the new sport-wagon-like Taycan Cross Turismo.
Number one of the update list is a revision of the sixth-generation Porsche Communications Management (PCM 6.0) infotainment system within the centre stack, which now adds Android Auto to a smartphone integration package that already included Apple CarPlay.
Android Auto permits users of Google Android-based smartphones to completely connect to the centre display for greater ease of use. A 2022 Taycan owner can now simply plug their Android handheld device into the assigned USB-C port and follow the necessary prompts, at which time a modified version of their phone’s features, apps and personal info is displayed within the in-car touchscreen.
Porsche has updated the new PCM 6.0 operating system’s graphic design as well, with five menu options on the left side of the display rather than merely three, while each icon can now be organized separately.
What’s more, the 2022 Taycan’s Voice Pilot auditory assistant is now capable of better understanding instructions in everyday language, plus the PCM 6.0 satellite navigation system is quicker to respond to inputs, and also displays info with more clarity thanks to the just-noted graphics refresh.
Better yet, owners of 2022 Taycans will also be capable parking and retrieving their car remotely via their smartphones, by downloading Remote Park Assist. Remote Park Assist, which can remotely park perpendicularly and parallelly, will automatically detect a given parking space by first measuring it with ultrasonic sensors and cameras, and if ample space is available will park the Taycan by using the Porsche Connect app’s smartphone prompts.
Also important for this higher end premium class, new 2022 Taycan owners can now utilize more personalization options, such as Paint to Sample and Paint to Sample Plus. Along with the 17 standard paint colours already offered, Porsche will provide the choice of 65 Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur colours (so far) when opting for Paint to Sample, the palette including a number of past favourites like Acid Green, Moonlight Blue Metallic, Riviera Blue, Rubystar, and Viola Metallic.
The Paint to Sample Plus option, on the other hand, lets customers provide a unique sample of any colour, after which their Taycan will be doused in a coat of colour-matched paint from the factory.
Although some automotive brands struggled last year for reasons I shouldn’t need to explain, Porsche’s Taycan EV was on a mega roll. In fact, the upstart electric nearly demoted Tesla’s Model S from the top step of the podium, but when the checkered flag finally waved at the end of 2020, the champ was still in the lead with 960 deliveries, although the new contender was uncomfortably close with 824 sales of its own.
This said, six months into 2021 the story completely changed, with Porsche having sold 445 new Taycan models, and Tesla only able to push 300 examples of its Model S out of company store doors over the same two quarters.
To be fair to Tesla, or maybe more accurately to question the company’s priorities, the Model S, at nearly a decade old, is downright antiquated compared to the fresh, new Taycan. Good on them for making the most of a very well executed initial design that’s managed to last the test of time, the flagship model still arguably more attractive than anything else in the California-cum-Texan tech company’s four-model lineup, but even Tesla’s most ardent fans must be hoping for something new in this class.
The Taycan, on the other hand, is that “something new” that EV fans have been waiting for, a two-bodied, four-door coupe and five-door crossover-style sport wagon capable of duking it out with the best electrics in the business, and coming up on top.
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t like the way it looks, while its levels of luxury, refinement, electronics, and features are all as good as it gets, but Porsche might need to return to Germany’s legendarily demanding 20.8-km Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack in order to claim its production car single-lap title back, where the geriatric Model S just laid waste to its EV-powered record.
A stock Taycan Turbo (funny name for an EV, we know) easily smacked down the old 2015 Model S P85’s single-lap record of eight minutes and 50 seconds flat (8:50) in August of 2019, with a superb seven-minute and 42-second lap time of its own (7:42.34, to be exact), but Tesla’s brilliantly named Model S Plaid (you’ve got to love Elon Musk’s hilarious “Spaceballs” reference—as if the 1987 sci-fi comedy’s Ludicrous speed wasn’t fast enough) just managed a new record-setting lap of seven minutes and 35 seconds (7:35.579) on September 9, so Porsche will want to “run the ‘Ring” in its new Taycan Turbo S in order to maintain bragging rights.
Fortunately for Porsche, more buyers are interested in how the Taycan performs on city streets, winding backroads and highways than racetracks, not to mention styling and everything else it does well, evidenced by its recent sales gain. As for its ability to hold onto this top spot, only time will tell, but upcoming Q3 sales results will shed new light on this exciting new rivalry, allowing a better idea of which EV will outshine the other over the entire year.
The just-noted Taycan Turbo S is capable of sprinting from zero to 100km/h in a mere 2.8 seconds, by the way, before attaining a top track speed of 260 km/h, or when driven more conservatively can achieve a total range of 340 km between charges. That model starts at a cool $215,000 (plus freight and fees), while the more accommodating Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo can be had for $218,000.
The most affordable Taycan, at $119,900, is also from the Cross Turismo line, and given the 4 designation for its standard all-wheel drivetrain, while the least expensive regular four-door coupe, dubbed Taycan 4S, will set you back at least $121,700. Additionally, a Cross Turismo in 4S trim can be had for $128,000, while bridging the gap between 4S and Turbo S is the Turbo model that ran the ‘Ring, starting at $175,000 for the four-door coupe and $178,000 for the Cross Turismo.
To find out more about the latest Taycan, check out CarCostCanada’s 2022 Porsche Taycan Canada Prices page, where you’ll be able to learn how to take advantage of factory leasing and financing rates from zero percent, not to mention the ability to obtain valuable dealer invoice pricing information that could save you thousands upon purchase. Likewise, CarCostCanada’s 2021 Tesla Model S Canada Prices page will show you the same zero-percent leasing and financing rate, which you can also access by downloading CarCostCanada’s free app from the Google Play Store or Apple Store.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Call it the seven-year itch, but Porsche is updating its popular Macan compact luxury SUV for 2022. This will be the Macan’s second refresh, the first update affecting 2019 to 2021 models. That version…
Call it the seven-year itch, but Porsche is updating its popular Macan compact luxury SUV for 2022.
This will be the Macan’s second refresh, the first update affecting 2019 to 2021 models. That version received exterior styling modifications, including the current crossover’s three-dimensional tail lamps, plus changes to the cabin, specifically a reworked centre stack that added a bigger 10.9-inch, high-definition touchscreen with a reconfigured infotainment interface up top, a fresh set of quick-access controls just below, and new HVAC vents underneath both.
For 2022, the Macan boasts an even more dramatic exterior redesign, plus an overhaul of the lower centre console, while under the skin it gets powertrain upgrades as well as some suspension tweaks to improve handling.
Some of those behind-the-scenes changes are likely due to the need to incorporate an electric drivetrain in the next couple of years. We reported on this in detail recently, noting the upcoming Macan EV is currently testing in real-world conditions. This will likely be the Macan’s top-of-the-line power unit, in various stages of tune, and might just receive the “Turbo” and “Turbo S” trim designations when available, just like it does with the quickest Taycan EVs. Therefore, it makes sense that Porsche has dropped its Turbo trim line for 2022, now only offering the GTS as its more potent SUV challenger.
Before getting your mittens in a twist, take note that the new Macan GTS receives a 59-horsepower and 22 lb-ft gift for 2022, thanks to Porsche integrating the 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 from last year’s Macan Turbo between the front struts of the lesser trim line, the result being the exact same 434 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque found in 2021’s top-tier Macan. Thus, the Macan GTS can be flung from zero to 100 km/h in an identical 4.3 seconds, when equipped with its Sport Chrono package, while the SUV’s top track speed has also been increased from 270 km/h with last year’s Turbo to 272 km/h for this year’s GTS, possibly due to aerodynamic benefits from the updated styling.
Thanks to the new upgraded 2022 GTS, it only made sense for Porsche to enhance the powerplants downstream too, resulting in the old 2021 GTS’ 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 making the move over to the new 2022 Macan S. This engine continues to make 375 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, which is a 27-horsepower and 31-lb-ft boost over the 100-cc larger V6 used in last year’s S, that 3.0-litre unit now cancelled. All in all, the new Macan S matches the old Macan GTS in a straight line, zipping from standstill to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds with its Sport Chrono package upgrade, while its terminal velocity is now said to be three seconds faster at 259 km/h.
While all this is good news from a value perspective, because Macan buyers will soon be getting a lot more performance for their money, it really only came down to a shuffling of trim name designations, but this isn’t so at the Macan’s point of entry where its turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine gets some significant upgrades that provide another 13 horsepower and 22 lb-ft of torque over its predecessor, for a final tally of 261 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. Therefore, the entry model’s zero to 100 km/h sprint gets shaved by three seconds to just 6.2 when its optional Sport Chrono package is included, all be topping out 3 km/h faster than last year’s turbo-four, at 232 km/h.
Just like before, all 2022 Macans come with the seven-speed Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK), as well as standard Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel-drive, which has proven to be a good combination for quick-shifting yet efficient performance no matter the weather conditions.
As for road-holding, few Macan owners have find much to complain about, the SUV arguably being one of the better handling offerings in the compact luxury SUV segment. Just the same, Porsche chose to make it better by giving it a more direct, sports car-like feel that provides greater feedback from the steering system. To achieve this, the German luxury brand readapted the damper characteristics of its Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) so that it actively and continuously regulates damping forces to each individual wheel. PASM, which comes standard with S and GTS trim lines, is optional with the base model.
Added to this is a standard sport air suspension with the Macan GTS. This setup automatically lowers the body by 10 mm so as to enhance stability at high-speed. The air suspension is 10 percent more rigid at the front axle too, plus 15 percent firmer at the back axle, while an available GTS Sport package increases the wheel and tire package to 21 inches, plus adds Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus), and the Sport Chrono package as standard equipment, making this top-line Macan (so far) even more capable on road and track.
As noted earlier, the new 2022 Macan’s higher terminal speeds are probably due to improved aero, which includes a completely reshaped front fascia that incorporates a much stronger looking grille and corner vent arrangement, the latter being bigger and more upright in layout, similar to those featured on the brand’s legendary 911 sports car. The new Macan now looks wider and more capable, which is a visual follow-up to all the suspension upgrades.
While base and S trims look nearly identical from the front, even including the same LED headlights incorporating the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) as standard, and standard Sport Design exterior mirrors are also included, the GTS receives an even more aggressive grille featuring unique airflow elements that change from body-colour to matte black, while this top-level trim’s sideblades once again display a scripted “GTS” trim designation. This said, that sideblade GTS script is written in body-colour when choosing new optional Python Green paint, while it can also be optionally enhanced with a new 3D structure design, available on the rear diffuser too.
As usual, the Macan visually distinguishes each trim line with special sets of tailpipes, the just-mentioned rear diffuser housing four circular exhaust tips on S and GTS models, or alternatively two rectangular ones for the base model.
Personalization is always a popular option with Porsche buyers, thus your 2022 Macan can be had in 14 unique exterior colours, including new Papaya Metallic and Gentian Blue Metallic, plus of course the aforementioned Python Green that’s only available with the GTS if it’s upgraded with the GTS Sport package. What’s more, Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur provides Individual Colour and Paint-To-Sample options, so there’s really no end to exterior paint choices.
Rounding out the entire package are larger standard alloys and rubber, now measuring 19 inches for the entry-level turbo-four model, 20 inches on the mid-range Macan S, and 21 inches for the top-tier GTS. Seven new wheel designs are now available, once again making customization more convenient than ever.
Inside, the most noticeable changes were once again made in the middle, or more precisely the sloping lower centre that’s now covered in touch-sensitive switchgear, other than the Macan’s two-zone auto climate control system’s temperature selectors that remain knurled in metal. Overall, the look is clean and minimalist, plus the two parallel panels should be easier to literally wipe clean. What’s more, the new console features a shorter gear lever for a sportier feel, while up on top of the dash, all Macans now include a standard analogue clock.
Just in front of the driver, the new 2022 Macan includes the new 911’s multifunction and GT Sport steering wheels, which is a good way to further enhance the SUV’s sports car-like driving experience. One of the buttons on the new wheels’ spokes also activates voice commands to control functions in the previously-noted full-HD 10.9-inch Porsche Communication Management system, making life with the new model easier.
Back to customization, Porsche has no shortage of interior colour options either, such as leather upholstery and contrasting seam packages in Gentian Blue, Papaya or Crayon, while the available GTS Sport package gets some exclusive design details and equipment such as Race-Tex upholstery with extended leather, a Carbon interior package, 18-way sport seats, as well as contrast stitching and GTS lettering in body-colour green when choosing Python Green exterior paint.
What does all this cost? The updated 2022 Macan starts at $58,500 (plus freight and fees), while the new Macan S is available from $70,600, and the Macan GTS from $85,500. Those wanting their GTS with the model’s ultimate GTS Sport Package will need to add $13,470 to their bill, for a total of $98,970 before any other options.
In the end, no matter which 2022 Macan trim line you purchase, it promises to be faster and a bit more advanced than its predecessor, while providing the same kind of luxury, comfortable interior accommodations, and dependable service the Macan has become known for.
Regarding the latter, the Macan earned the highest possible ranking in J.D. Power and Associates 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study’s Compact Premium SUV category, while the same study also placed the Porsche brand in second amongst 16 luxury rivals. Likewise, the Macan achieves similar results when holding its resale value, with the Canadian Black Book Best Retained Value Awards naming it best in its Compact Luxury Crossover-SUV class for both 2019 and 2020.
With a maximum of 631 horsepower, the new Cayenne Turbo GT isn’t the most powerful super-SUV on the planet, but it’s nevertheless quickest off the line and fastest over one lap on the legendary Nürburgring…
With a maximum of 631 horsepower, the new Cayenne Turbo GT isn’t the most powerful super-SUV on the planet, but it’s nevertheless quickest off the line and fastest over one lap on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack.
Porsche has clearly marked its territory. The 20.8-km mountainside racetrack, otherwise known as the “Green Hell,” is one of the most challenging road courses on earth, and Porsche currently owns the top podium for every sector it sells in.
With the introduction of the new Cayenne Turbo GT, available solely in the Cayenne’s Coupe body style, Porsche has once again taken the top spot away from another automaker, this time Alfa Romeo that claimed the position from the last-generation Cayenne Turbo S (958.2) last November, its Stelvio Quadrifoglio managing the feat in just 7:51.7 minutes. The new top-tier Cayenne didn’t just shave a few milliseconds off the tricked out Stelvio’s lap time, however, but in fact chopped a 12.775-second chunk from its pride, with a new SUV lap record of 7:38.925 minutes.
There’s more to making a winner that simply bolting a more powerful 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 onto its mounts in the engine bay, although upgrades to the powerplant certainly helped. Porsche upgraded the crankshaft drive, turbochargers, direct fuel injection system, induction system, and intercooler, plus specifically revised the crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, timing chain drive, and torsional vibration dampers after starting with the regular Cayenne Turbo Coupe’s V8. The net result is 631 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque, for a respective 90 hp and 59 lb-ft gain.
Porsche also added a faster-reacting eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic gearbox, plus a new water-cooled transfer case for its Porsche Traction Management all-wheel drive system, the latter improving the drivetrain’s thermal capacity under heavier loads.
Next is a centrally-mounted sports exhaust system tailpipes, unique to the Cayenne Turbo GT. It’s made from lightweight, heat-resistant titanium, made even lighter by eliminating the centre silencer.
That’s where the Urus is dominant at 305 km/h, just whisking past the Cayenne Turbo GT’s 300-km/h terminal velocity. Audi’s RS Q8 and Maserati’s Levante Trofeo claim faster top speeds too, but not by much, and we’re curious whether they can keep up with the new Cayenne over the quarter mile, where it scores an official 11.6-second run.
Keeping the Cayenne Turbo GT in constant contact with the pavement are Pirelli P Zero Corsa performance tires wrapped around exclusive 22-inch GT Design alloys, these connected to a 15-percent stiffer three-chamber air suspension, which not only receives upgraded performance-oriented control software, but also incorporates a special damper calibration of Porsche’s Active Suspension Management, as well as an improved Power Steering Plus system and a revised rear-axle steering system. Active Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control is also standard, as is a 17-mm reduction in ride height when compared to the Cayenne Turbo Coupe, while Porsche’s Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system provides stronger stopping power with less fade for yet more racetrack capable performance.
As always, aero plays a big part in the Cayenne Turbo GT’s road-holding too. To that end the new model gets a redesigned front apron featuring a more aggressive lip spoiler, plus bigger side cooling air intakes. Following the front fenders rearward, past the standard LED-Matrix headlights, shows muscular black composite wheel arch extensions, while a contoured roof feeds flowing air below a rooftop rear spoiler that pushes it down the rear glass onto a 25-mm larger rear wing, which once again deploys as speed increases, adding up to 40 kilos of extra downforce. Meanwhile, a sizeable rear diffuser directs air traveling below the Cayenne Turbo GT away from its rear end, all combining for one very well-engineered aero package.
That rear diffuser, the larger wing, the end plates of the rooftop spoiler, and the entire roof are made from lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), as are the side mirror housings.
CFRP isn’t the go-to theme inside, however, although illuminated carbon fibre door sill guards, floor mats, and owner’s manual wallet are available. Rather, Porsche applies a matte black finish to key trim areas, while some other unique features include a yellow leather stripe at the 12 o’clock position of the Alcantara-clad steering wheel rim, the latter part of an extended Alcantara package that comes standard. This includes perforated centre panels for the upgraded eight-way powered front sport seats and bucket-styled sport seats in back, while contrasting accents are available in Neodyme or Arctic Grey, and “turbo GT” script is added to the headrests.
Additionally, Cayenne Turbo GT owners will be first to experience Porsche’s updated PCM 6.0 infotainment system, which gets an updated user interface, a faster operating logic system, and full integration of Apple Music and Apple Podcasts via Apple CarPlay. On the other side of the smartphone spectrum, Android Auto is finally part of the package.
Those wanting a new 2022 Cayenne Turbo GT can order now, but you’ll be waiting until early next year for delivery. The price is $200,700 plus freight and fees, making it the most expensive SUV in Porsche’s ever-growing fleet.
Following its bigger RX brother’s lead, the Lexus NX came out of nowhere a half-decade ago to immediately become a frontrunner in the compact luxury SUV class. Currently sitting second in U.S. sales and fourth in Canada, Lexus hopes the new second-generation NX, just introduced last week, will become just as dominant as its mid-size offering, and it really doesn’t have far to go in order to catch up to the segment leaders.
While the RX more than doubles deliveries of its next closest BMW X5 rival in the U.S., and comes close to doing likewise to Mercedes’ GLE here in Canada, the gap between NX and X3 sales in the U.S. was narrower than 4,000 units last year, meaning this redesign could push the Japanese model upward enough to claim most popular status. Here in Canada, another 50 sales in 2020 would’ve ranked it third in its class, leaving it about one thousand units behind the Q5 and slightly more than 2,000 deliveries below the RDX.
Exactly how this redesigned 2022 NX will impact the burgeoning compact luxury SUV market is unknown, but Lexus isn’t leaving anything to chance. First off, recently released photos of the all-new model make it clear the premium brand isn’t deviating far from the original NX formula that’s won it so many fans, with evolutionary new styling that should appeal to current buyers and newcomers alike. Its large spindle grille is as easily defined as ever, despite subtle changes all around including a more three-dimensional effect, while new LED headlights with an optional three-projector upgrade, combine some of the design elements from the previous model’s blockier main LED lamps, and the Nike swoosh-style “L-shaped” driving lights, into one curvaceous cluster.
Likewise, the old NX’ chunkier side panels have been smoothed out for a more refined look that’s still plenty muscular, while the rear design replaces the outgoing SUV’s angled individual LED taillights with a set of more organically shaped L-style lenses connected by a thin horizontal strip that spans the entirety of the liftgate, this design, which pulls cues from new UX and IS rear styling, dubbed a “full-width blade rear lamp” by Lexus. New wheels round out the updated package, the F Sport’s gloss black rims growing to 20 inches, but not before Lexus literally signed off on the design with five elegantly placed block letters designating its brand, the new NX becoming the first model in its lineup to replace its usual “L” centre rear branding with this new written logo.
Inside, a completely reworked dash panel adds a high-definition 7.0-inch multi-information display to the gauge cluster and projects an available 10-inch head-up display onto the windshield ahead of the driver, while the top half of the centre stack can been optionally taken over by a massive landscape-positioned 14.0-inch touchscreen display (that incorporates controls for the automatic climate control system and more) in top-line conventionally-powered and plug-in hybrid trims, meaning that Lexus finally appears to being giving up on controlling its infotainment systems through a lower console-mounted joystick or trackpad Remote Touch Interface.
Another sign of progress is the Lexus Interface multimedia system within that infotainment system, which has been designed specifically for the North American market. Along with the usual infotainment features, the new interface incorporates over the air updates and untethered smart phone connection to a user’s unique profile (that includes a new digital key for opening, starting up and remote parking via smartphone verification that can be shared with up to seven confidants), while a new Virtual Assistant, that incorporates multiple microphones, enhanced noise cancellation capability, plus seat-detection sensors for determining where users are sitting, has been designed to become the primary way users interact with the system. Optional wireless charging will keep devices ready for use, while connectivity via wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto comes standard.
The new NX’ standard touchscreen measures 9.8 inches diagonally, incidentally, which is pretty sizeable all on its own, with the end result of both touchscreen displays being a more familiar tap, swipe and pinch user experience for an easier learning curve when Toyota (or other volume-branded mainstream) buyers test this new Lexus SUV for the first time.
Astute readers will have noticed the words “plug-in hybrid” in the previous paragraph, a move that should have been expected by anyone with knowledge of Toyota’s RAV4 Prime. The RAV4 and NX have always shared platform architectures, with the new 2022 version now riding on the same TNGA-K (GA-K) underpinnings found in today’s RAV (codenamed XA50 for the RAV4 and AZ20 for the new NX), so therefore, incorporating the new RAV4 Prime’s PHEV components into the updated Lexus only made sense.
Lexus’s new plug-in hybrid, dubbed NX 450h, is the first of its type for the luxury brand. Its EV range is claimed to be 58 km, depending on how it’s being driven, exterior conditions, and other factors, while it can achieve much higher speeds in EV mode than any previous Lexus hybrid, the latter of which normally kick into gasoline-assisted hybrid mode below posted city speed limits. The new NX 450h will deliver significantly higher levels of performance than previous hybrids too, or for that matter the upcoming non-plug-in NX 350h hybrid, even going so far as to add more drive bias to the rear wheels than the RAV4 Prime’s more comfort and fuel-efficiency focused setup, in order to improve high-speed handling.
Before delving into the regular NX hybrid, the new NX 450h plug-in puts out a fraction more horsepower than the RAV4 Prime it shares components with, with 305 ponies compared to 302, but the more luxurious NX takes 0.2 seconds longer to arrive at 100 km/h from standstill, its time being 6.2 seconds compared to 6.0 seconds flat for the plug-in RAV4, likely due to the extra weight carried by luxury features and refinement-enhancing sound-deadening materials.
Lexus has achieved shorter charging times by installing a standard high-output, high-efficiency 6.6-kW Expedited Onboard Charger that reduces power loss when converting from AC to DC power, which means the NX 450h can achieve a full charge when hooked up to a 240-volt power source for about two-and a-half hours.
While understandable excitement surrounds this new plug-in hybrid variant, it’s important to point out that a total of four power units will be available from the onset of the new NX launch this fall. The base NX 250 model will receive a new 2.5-litre four-cylinder capable of 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. A new standard eight-speed automatic transmission with start/stop technology will help maximize fuel-efficiency, yet it won’t have any trouble keeping up with traffic either thanks to zero to 100 km/h acceleration of just 8.8 seconds. While hardly neck-snapping, the base NX will be quick enough for most peoples’ wants and needs, while this new model could also allow for a more approachable entry-level price point than the current SUV, being that today’s 2021 NX comes standard with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder making 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.
The second engine in the NX hierarchy, which is expected to be “the volume model in Canada” according to a Lexus press release, will be a 2.5-litre four-cylinder mated to a hybrid drivetrain. The NX 350h will make 239 net horsepower, which is 20 percent more than the outgoing NX 300h hybrid thanks to a pair of high-torque electric drive motor-generators (the second motor is in the rear resulting in eAWD). The combination allows for a 7.4-second sprint from standstill to 100 km/h, which is 1.7 seconds faster than the current hybrid model. Even with this performance upgrade, however, Lexus estimates combined fuel economy of 6.5 L/100km, which is an impressive 1.0 L/100 km improvement over the 2021 model.
Depending on priorities, you can consider the aforementioned NX 450h or the all-new NX 350 top-of-the-line (although pricing may dictate otherwise), the latter model housing a new 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder good for 275 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. This model’s eight-speed automatic is tuned more for performance, the uprated combination resulting in standing-start acceleration times of 7.0 seconds to 100km/h, making it a significant half-second quicker than its turbo-gas-powered predecessor.
Handling should improve further due to a lower centre of gravity and more rigid body construction, Lexus having increased torsional rigidity via laser peening welding and new high rigidity foam, both firsts for the luxury division. Another first for the brand is a twin hood lock that increases front lateral flexural rigidity while also enhancing aerodynamics overall.
What’s more, both turbo and PHEV buyers can upgrade their suspensions with an F Sport Handling package that adds an Active Variable Suspension (AVS) along with front and rear performance dampers, plus the aforementioned 20-inch wheels and all of this trim’s usual styling enhancements from the outside in.
Additionally, a new electronically controlled, full-time all-wheel drive system improves NX 350 control both on and off the road. The driver now has the ability to optimize front and rear torque distribution in order to adjust for weather and road conditions, while a high level of standard electronic safety equipment will further keep things in check.
These come as part of Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, which now features a new Risk Avoidance Emergency Steer Assist function that helps to avoid accidents via automatic braking and steering inputs. Another update includes a Left Turn Oncoming Vehicle Detection/Braking technology that does exactly what its name describes, while a new Oncoming Pedestrian Detection/Braking function will brake automatically when a driver turns left in front of pedestrians and/or cyclists.
Additionally, new standard Dynamic Radar Cruise Control features a “curve management” feature that will maintain the NX’ cruising speed to align with traffic flow while also keeping speeds in check when cornering. Lastly, a Digital Latch system, that features an electronically-actuated release, opens each door smoothly while scanning the periphery around the SUV with a Safe Exit system that’s been designed to prevent passing pedestrian or cyclist accidents.
Extra head and legroom should make ingress and egress easier, not to mention more comfortable when seated front to back, while a new panoramic glass sunroof visually opens up the cabin to an airier experience. That revised interior will be quieter too, not to mention more calming thanks to 14 nature-inspired Thematic Ambient Illumination settings. Lexus has also redesigned the front seat heaters, and once again makes rear outboard seat warmers available, while the cargo area can now stow more gear.
For a final bit of NX news, the redesigned model will now be built in Canada, making the purchase of the new SUV as much of a patriotic move as a smart choice, the latter being a nod to better-than-average dependability and lower depreciation costs. The NX was a runner-up, next to Mercedes’ GLC, in the latest 2020 Canadian Black Book Best Retained Value Awards, the compact luxury SUV winner being Porsche’s Macan. Considering there are 16 competitors vying for top spot, tying for second is a noteworthy feat.
Lexus also took top honours in the most recent 2021 J. D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, and while the NX once again failed to achieve best-in-class due to the mighty Macan, it earned a respectable second.
NX quality may even improve thanks to its new home of production in Cambridge, Ontario, where it will be built alongside the RAV4 and larger RX. The Cambridge facility was the first production plant outside of Japan to build a Lexus model, and has earned many awards since it first did so in 1986. As for the new NX, its operations retooling and training efforts began in 2019, while production will start in the fourth quarter of 2021, with deliveries expected shortly thereafter. Pricing will be available closer to this launch date.
If you want the purist of 911s, look no further than the fabulous GT3 coupe (we covered in detail here). While not as ultimately fast as the previous-generation GT2 RS, that turbocharged super-coupe once…
If you want the purist of 911s, look no further than the fabulous GT3 coupe (we covered in detail here). While not as ultimately fast as the previous-generation GT2 RS, that turbocharged super-coupe once again winning bragging rights at the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife just a week ago, this time chopping a sizeable 4.747 seconds from the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series lap time on its way to claiming fastest production car status, the naturally aspirated GT3 nevertheless churns out 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque from its 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine, and makes beautiful 9,000-rpm music while doing so.
How does the GT3 stack up on the track? Of the top-10 fastest production cars to ever course through the old 20.8-km portion of the Nürburgring track, which incidentally is known affectionately as “The Green Hell” due to its forested, mountainside surroundings, 300 metres of elevation, 73 turns, and legendarily challenging nature (racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart originally coined the phrase), five are Porsches and two are GT3s. Sitting in eighth is the current-generation (992) GT3 RS, with a lap time of just 6:55.34 minutes, while the ninth-placed car is a previous-generation (991.2) GT3 RS.
While the GT3’s track exploits are praiseworthy to say the least, it’s a race-ready supercar that can be easily seen as such by passersby (including the constabulary) while also purposely lacking a few modern-day 911 refinements, with an obvious leaning toward sport, rather than luxury. Porsche hopes its new Touring Package, available at no additional cost to 2022 GT3 buyers, will help those wanting to fly under the radar escape scrutiny, without being forced to give up on owning one of the most sought-after 911 models available.
Visually separating the regular GT3 from the new Touring Package-equipped variant is a switch to the more conventional deployable rear wing used on most other 911 models, which pops up out of rear deck lid when needed and otherwise hides away. This provides a more classic 911 coupe profile that attracts a lot less attention than the super-sized carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) one found on the original, but of course doesn’t deliver the same level of ultimate downforce, therefore reducing high-speed stability through corners. It’s a trade-off that some buyers won’t mind, however, especially when laying eyes on the specially designed rear grille. Additionally, the front fascia on Touring Package cars is body-colour, while high-gloss anodized silver-tone aluminum trim surrounds the side windows and polished metal highlights the tailpipes (Satin Black is an option for both).
The Touring Package doesn’t swap out the regular GT3’s CFRP hood and front spoiler for lesser variants of each, fortunately, and doesn’t mess with anything under that just-noted rear wing either, although a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission can now be had with either GT3 model, and like the Touring Package itself, is a no-cost option.
Silver-painted versions of the same 20-inch front and 21-inch rear forged alloy rims come shod in respective 255/35 and 315/30 ZR performance rubber with the new Touring Package, once again encircling Satin Black centre locking caps with regular Porsche crests rather than “GT3” logos.
If you choose a subtler exterior colour when for your Touring Package-equipped GT3, like Agate Grey Metallic or GT Silver Metallic, rest assured GT3 badging will still be part of the ownership experience. Still, along with the new rear engine grille, Porsche revised its designation to read “GT3 touring”. Of note, this wide-body 911 is still available with every exterior colour and shade offered for the regular GT3, including Chalk and more outlandish hues like Lava Orange, Python Green and Shark Blue.
The Touring Package interior gets upgrades too, including an extended black leather upholstery package that enhances the steering wheel rim, gear lever, centre console lid, door panel armrests, and door grips, while edging the dash and both door uppers with a special embossed surface treatment.
This said, quick glance at the racing-style seats in the Touring Package might make you believe they’re unchanged, but closer inspection shows a unique fabric used for their centre panels, plus embossed Porsche crests in place of the usual GT3 logos on the headrests. Finally, Touring Package door sill guards receive a brushed black aluminum treatment that’s also applied to some dash and centre console components.
It should be noted that GT3 Touring Package buyers can also opt for multiple two-tone cabins that add coloured leather to the interior’s lower half.
Those wanting to upgrade their GT3 Touring Package-equipped car even further will be happy to know that most regular GT3 options can still be had, including all wheel colours, the Porsche Dynamic Light System and Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus, every driver assistance system, Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB), Smart Front Axle Lift, and all the same alternative seats, while an available Bose Surround Sound System is on the menu too, plus, of course, the Sport Chrono package.
Any added weight (which is not accounted for on Porsche’s retail site or in any press releases) hasn’t impeded performance, with both regular GT3 and Touring Package-equipped models sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in only 3.9 seconds when fitted with the six-speed manual GT Sport transmission, or 3.4 seconds with the standard paddle-shift-operated seven-speed PDK transmission. Likewise, terminal track speeds remain identical at a respective 320 km/h (199 mph) and (318 km/h (198 mph), but it’s possible that removing of the larger rear wing could allow Touring Package-equipped cars a slightly higher top speed, possibly even 322 km/h (200 mph).
The two GT3 models incorporate identical suspension setups as well, including Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with ride-height lowering (by approximately 20mm). Therefore, both should provide near identical handling, although once again, elimination of the fixed rear wing will make a difference at high speeds, not to mention when scrubbing off speed via both GT3s’ sizeable 408 mm front and 380 mm rear brakes.
For a bit of history regarding the “Touring Package” name, it first came in use for a version of the 1973 911 Carrera RS, likewise providing a more luxurious trim upgrade for a model that could be seen as the GT3 of its generation. The Touring Package name was also revived for the sixth-gen 991-based GT3 in 2017.
If you’d like to bring your GT3 Touring Package experience into the office or back home, a special Porsche Design chronograph watch can be had as well. It boasts a sophisticated mechanical movement with a flyback second hand function, plus its winding rotor, seen through a caseback window, shares styling cues with the car’s wheel design. The rotor is even available in six different versions to correspond with your car’s personal configuration.
Each dial bezel is finished in Agate Grey Metallic, however, plus all dials receive a matte black surface, but each chronograph hand matches the bright luminous yellow colour of the GT3’s tachometer needle for another nice tie-in to the actual car. Attaching the beautiful watch head to your wrist is a strap made from the same embossed leather as that used in the Touring Package-equipped GT3, along with some black decorative stitching. This new chronograph is made in Porsche Design’s own Swiss watchmaking factory, and is only available to GT3 customers.