Porsche gave its Macan compact luxury utility such an extensive update last year that most in the industry consider it a completely new generation. The Stuttgart brand even went so far as to rejig its…
Porsche gave its Macan compact luxury utility such an extensive update last year that most in the industry consider it a completely new generation. The Stuttgart brand even went so far as to rejig its suspension, along with doing the normal upgrades like refreshing its front and rear clips with new styling, including standard LED headlights and tail lamps, those in back circling all the way around the SUV’s rear quarters, not unlike other vehicles in the lineup such as the 718 Cayman and Boxster, Panamera, Cayenne, 911, and all-new Taycan. Its cabin has also been improved significantly, with a new high-definition 10.9-inch Porsche Communication Management (PCM) centre touchscreen display as standard equipment.
This revised Macan Turbo follows the new base 2020 Macan and upgraded Macan S that showed up earlier this year, with a price of $94,200, compared to $56,100 for the entry-level Macan and $63,600 for the Macan S.
The former features a 2.0-litre turbo-four good for 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, which hightails it from standstill to 100km/h in just 6.7 seconds, or 6.5 seconds with its available Sport Chrono Package, while its terminal velocity is much more than any Canadian road allows at 227 km/h.
All Macan trims come with an advanced seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automated transmission featuring paddle shifters on the steering wheel, plus standard Porsche Traction Management (PTM) active all-wheel drive that includes an electronically- and map-controlled multi-plate clutch, as well as an automatic brake differential (ABD) and anti-slip regulation (ASR).
The mid-range Macan S gets a major bump in engine output thanks to a completely different mill under the hood, its 3.0-litre V6 turbo capable of 348 horsepower and 352 lb-ft of torque, resulting in a zero to 100km/h time of only 5.3 seconds, or 5.1 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package, plus a new top speed of 254 km/h.
The just-noted Macan S performance figures are improved for 2020, so it made sense for Porsche to upgrade its newest Turbo trim too, but adding a whopping 34 horsepower was probably unexpected by those outside of Porsche’s inner circle. The modified 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 now puts out a highly potent 434 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, which lops 0.3 seconds off of its acceleration time, resulting in 4.5 seconds from zero to 100km/h, or 4.3 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package, while its top speed gains 5 km/h at 270 km/h.
Some standard Macan Turbo performance items include a one-inch larger set of 20-inch Macan Turbo alloy wheels, Porsche Surface Coated Brakes (PSCB) that stop quicker than the model’s outgoing standard brakes, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) dampers, a sport exhaust, plus more, while some available performance options include a height-adjustable air suspension with rolling pistons and new shock absorber hydraulics, Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV +), and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB).
As with last year’s Macan Turbo, the new 2020 version also adds to its standard equipment list inside, with luxurious suede-like Alcantara roof pillars and headliner, 18-way Adaptive Sport Seats with memory, 665 watts of Bose Surround Sound audio featuring 14 speakers, and more.
Convenience and luxury options are numerous, and include a multifunction GT Sport steering wheel, a wireless charging pad that comes together with a Smartphone Compartment, semi-autonomous parking and traffic assistance systems, etcetera.
The 2020 Macan Turbo can now be ordered through your local Porsche retailer, and will arrive in Canada toward the end of 2019. As for the new 2020 Macan and Macan S, they’re already available for test drives.
“Winter temperatures, precipitation, and snowfall will be above normal,” says The Old Farmer’s Almanac in this year’s Annual Weather Summary for Southern Ontario, while those in Southern BC can…
“Winter temperatures, precipitation, and snowfall will be above normal,” says The Old Farmer’s Almanac in this year’s Annual Weather Summary for Southern Ontario, while those in Southern BC can expect the next six months to be “colder than normal.”
Are you ready for another bone-chilling winter? Yes, Jack Frost has been a bit naughtier than usual over the past couple of years, and this stormy trend probably won’t end soon, but don’t worry because Porsche has your back.
As any sports car fan knows, the quintessential German performance brand has been rolling out its all-new 2020 911 Carrera in stages throughout this year, and the latest edition is ideally timed to fight off the white fluffy stuff (or more often than not, brown mucky stuff) that makes our roads slippery and challenging to navigate unless you’ve got the right equipment. The gear in question is Porsche’s new 911 Carrera 4 Coupé or 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet, with the number “4” designating all-wheel drive in Porsche-speak.
The new Carrera 4 uses the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat six as found in the Carrera 2, capable of 370 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. The Carrera 4 Coupe can launch from zero to 100 km/h, which at only 4.5 seconds is a hair (0.1 seconds) faster than the two-wheel drive version when set up with its base seven-speed manual gearbox; or 4.3 seconds with its paddle-shifter enhanced dual-clutch eight-speed PDK, or 4.1 seconds when the latter automated transmission is combined with the model’s Sport Chrono Package.
Additionally, standstill to 160 km/h takes a mere 9.7 seconds with the manual and 9.3 seconds for the PDK, while the two cars top out at 292 and 290 km/h respectively. Alternatively, the Carrera 4 Cabriolet takes an additional 0.2 seconds to complete all sprint times, and achieves a terminal velocity of 289 km/h.
Just like the 2020 Carrera 4S introduced earlier this year, the new Carrera 4 uses an innovative water-cooled front differential, which incorporates reinforced clutches that increase load capacities and overall durability. When combined with Porsche Traction Management (PTM), the updated front axle drive system improves the Carrera 4’s traction in slippery conditions, while also enhancing performance in the dry.
What’s more, all 2020 911 Carrera owners will get a new standard Wet mode added to the revised steering wheel-mounted drive mode selector, the unique technology automatically maintaining better control over watery or snowy road surfaces when engaged. Each new 911 also receives standard autonomous emergency braking with moving object detection to improve safety further, while a high-definition backup camera and rear parking sensors are also standard equipment.
Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) comes standard too, including electronically variable dampers with both Normal and Sport settings, while Porsche Torque Vectoring, standard on S and 4S models, is now optional with the Carrera 4 Coupe and Carrera 4 Cabriolet.
Yet more available options include the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system, as well as staggered front to rear 20- and 21-inch alloy wheels, while staggered 19- and 20-inch alloys are standard equipment.
The italicized “4” on the rear deck lid aside, the only way to differentiate the two Carrera 4 models from the two Carrera 2 trims is a twin set of rectangular tailpipes in place of the base model’s dual oval exhaust tips; Carrera 2S and 4S trims featuring four rounded chrome pipes. This said, you can upgrade both Carrera 4 models with a pair of big oval exhaust ports, at which point you’d probably be best to rely on the written designation for classification purposes.
There are no obvious 911 C2 and C4 differences inside, mind you, with both trims coming standard with Porsche’s mostly digital primary gauge package, the traditional analogue tachometer remaining at centre, plus the same 10.9-inch Porsche Communication Management (PCM) touchscreen infotainment system featuring enhanced connectivity, as well as identically redesigned seats.
The entirely new 2020 Porsche Carrera 4 Coupé starts at $111,900, while the Carrera 4 Cabriolet is available from $126,000. Both can now be ordered at your local Porsche retailer.
Few cars have been anticipated as enthusiastically as the all-electric Porsche Taycan, and now the 2020 production model has finally been revealed at the 2019 International Motor Show Germany, a.k.a.…
Few cars have been anticipated as enthusiastically as the all-electric Porsche Taycan, and now the 2020 production model has finally been revealed at the 2019 International Motor Show Germany, a.k.a. Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung.
To call it powerful would be as ridiculously understated as claiming it quick. Consider for a moment the most potent version makes a staggering 750 horsepower and even more mind-numbing 774 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to catapult from standstill to 100 km/h in a scant 2.8 seconds.
Of course, such performance is nothing new to Tesla fans, its Model S P100D capable of shooting from zero to 100 km/h in just 2.6 seconds, although how it does so with just 613 horsepower and 686 lb-ft of torque under hood is anyone’s guess (then again, its heaviest curb weight of 2,250 kilos/4,960 lbs is quite a bit lower than the Taycan’s 2,295-kg/5,059-lb unladen weight, so that might have something to do with it). Considering Porsche’s tendency to understate performance specs, this is an upcoming showdown of epic proportions (stay tuned to every credible cable and YouTube car show for their own version).
This is a Porsche we’re talking about, however, so straight-line performance is only part of the equation. In fact, we’re ready to bet the new Taycan will be able to out-manoeuvre the Model S any day of the week. That Porsche has already partially proven its handling prowess probably gives us an unfair advantage going up to the betting window, thanks to a pre-series example’s EV-record-setting 7:42-minute lap of the famed Nürburgring-Nordschleife, which beat the last Tesla Model S P85D’s time of 8:50 by more than a minute. And yes, a minute on a racetrack is an eternity, so we’ll put another wager on Tesla showing up at the “Green Hell” track with its latest P100D, a full crew and a very well proven pilot (and definitely not Auto Pilot).
In all fairness to the California company, the new Taycan is much pricier than even a fully equipped Model S P100D. The “entry-level” (for now) 2020 Taycan Turbo, with its 671 maximum horsepower, 627 lb-ft of torque, and 3.2-second sprint to 100 km/h, goes on sale this fall for $173,900 plus destination, whereas the new top-line Taycan Turbo S can be had for $213,900. These two trims aren’t loaded up 100-percent either. In fact, Porsche’s plentiful and pricey options list can drive the top model’s delivery window sticker above $250k, which is territory more commonly occupied by the Aston Martin Rapides, Bentley Flying Spurs and Rolls-Royce Ghosts of the ultra-luxury world.
This said, none of the above super sedans are capable of doing the 100-metre dash as fast or scale a mountain pass as adeptly as the Taycan, plus none will do so without gulping down tankers full of premium unleaded. The Tesla Model S is available from a comparatively modest $108,990, while its Performance trim is still rather paltry at $134,990, although it manages to creep up to $155k with all available options added on.
Before anyone starts concerning themselves that Porsche has totally forgotten the average Joe or Jane, take some comfort in knowing that these ultra-quick Turbo models (in name only, by the way) are being introduced first for their wow factor, while slightly slower trims will arrive later this year, and the crossover coupe-styled Cross Turismo will go up against the Jaguar I-Pace sometime toward the end of 2020.
Like with performance, there’s more separating these two supercharged heroes than merely going fast with zero local emissions. Obviously styling is a key differentiator, with the Taycan’s perfectly fresh, near spaceship-like lines and brilliantly penned details making the still attractive yet rather stale Model S seem geriatric side-by-side. Fit, finish and refinement isn’t a Model S strength, but we can expect industry-best within this Porsche, while the German automaker’s on-board electronics are now some of the best in the industry.
The Taycan features a completely digital pod-like primary gauge cluster that seems to float behind the steering wheel. It comes filled with a colourful array of high-resolution graphics in a classic Porsche curved oval shape, while its dash-wide set of dual touchscreens, the second one just ahead of the front passenger, and third being a capacitive display on the centre console, provide a feast for the eyes as well as an unprecedented level of hand gesture control.
Without doubt one of those screens includes animated power-flow graphics showing a permanent-magnet synchronous motor at each axle combining for the aforementioned output figures depending on trim, incidentally putting out 616 horsepower no matter the model when not in launch mode.
When switched back to that overboost setting, the slower of the two Taycan trims can shoot from standstill to 200 km/h in just 10.6 seconds, while its standing quarter mile takes a mere 11.1 seconds. Do likewise in the more potent car and the 200-km/h mark takes only 9.8 seconds to pass, while the quarter mile arrives in 10.8. Both models’ terminal velocity is 280 km/h (161 mph), which is obviously electronically limited.
The Taycan uses a single-speed front transmission and a larger two-speed rear gearbox to push power down to all four wheels, the latter unit housing one gear for acceleration and a second taller gear for higher speed cruising. The Taycan chooses its rear gear automatically by monitoring driving style, plus it can partially be done manually via one of five driving modes. Range mode is all about efficiency and therefore uses the taller second gear as much as possible while temporarily turning off the front motor, whereas Normal mode prioritizes the second gear yet utilizes the first gear more. On the other hand, or foot, Sport mode prioritizes first gear up to about 90 to 100 km/h, but the transmission shifts to second whenever the driver eases off the throttle, and then back to first again when required. The Taycan also features Sport Plus and Individual drive modes.
Where Tesla’s are notorious for overheating, Porsche is promising cooler running by incorporating a special hairpin winding technique to the stators’ copper solenoid coils. This provides a copper fill factor of 70 percent compared to 45 percent when wound the traditional way, and results in increased performance while keeping things cooler than they’d otherwise be.
To test the Taycan’s endurance in extremely hot climates (of 42°C with a track temperature of almost 54°C), Porsche ran a pre-production model around Italy’s high-banked Nardò Ring oval racetrack (it’s actually more of a circle) at speeds ranging between 195 and 215 km/h for 24 hours straight, a marathon sprint that included six test drivers covering 3,425 kilometres (2,128 miles). Following up this grueling test program, Porsche also punished its Taycan by undergoing 26 back-to-back sprints from zero to 200 km/h in less than 10 seconds apiece, with a 0.8-second difference between fastest and slowest acceleration times (Tesla owners should be impressed by this). Then there’s the aforementioned Nürburgring stint, which completely sets the Taycan apart from mere stoplight dragsters.
Embedded within the floor of Taycan Turbo is an LG-produced 93.4-kilowatt-hour high-voltage lithium-ion battery with enough stored energy for 381 to 450 km (237 to 280 miles) of range on the Europeans’ WLTP rating system. The more sport-oriented Turbo S gets an uprated version of the same battery that’s capable of a 388 to 412 km (241 to 256 mile) range.
An industry-first 800-volt electrical architecture makes recharging easier and quicker. In fact, the Taycan can charge at a maximum rate of 270 kilowatts, which makes it possible to refill from five to 80 percent in only 22.5 minutes. The Tesla (and other electric vehicles) use 400-volt architectures, and therefore need more time to top up the tank, so to speak.
Maximizing ease of charging is the Taycan’s Charging Planner, which has the ability to plot a given course by factoring in the best places to recharge along the way. For instance, it can choose a faster 270-kW charge station that can save you time over a regular 50-kW DC charger, even if the quicker charger requires driving a bit off course. Additionally, the Charging Planner preconditions the battery to 20°C, optimal for quicker charging. It does much more, but we’ll leave the rest for you to discover.
The 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S are now available to build and order from Porsche Canada’s retail website or through your local dealer, so make sure to act quickly if you want to be first on your block to own the most intriguing electric car to ever be sold through a regular dealer network. The Taycan certainly appears like it will give Tesla’s fastest Model S a run for its money, especially considering Porsche’s claimed performance numbers are almost always more conservative than what private testers experience.
And while you’re waiting for your Taycan to arrive, or merely wishing for your lottery ticket numbers to sync up with the next set to be announced, enjoy the full album of gallery photos above and bevy of Porsche-supplied videos below:
World Premiere Porsche Taycan (40:33):
The new Porsche Taycan – Designed to enliven (1:28):
The fully electric Porsche Taycan accelerates 0-90-0 mph on the USS Hornet (0:59):
Onboard Lap – Porsche Taycan Sets a Record at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (8:09):
New Porsche Taycan sets a record at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (0:58):
Taycan Prototype Convinces at Endurance Run in Nardò (0:57):
The new electric Porsche Taycan proves its repeatability of power before upcoming World Premiere (1:05):
A thank you to electricity: The Porsche Taycan (0:45):
Porsche’s entirely redesigned third-generation Cayenne only just arrived on the scene as a 2018 model, but as is always the case with the iconic German sports car and sporty SUV brand, new trim levels…
Porsche’s entirely redesigned third-generation Cayenne only just arrived on the scene as a 2018 model, but as is always the case with the iconic German sports car and sporty SUV brand, new trim levels have been expanding the line since then.
From a modest 335 horsepower base V6-powered model up to a stimulating 541 horsepower Turbo version, with a 434 horsepower Cayenne S and a 455 net-horsepower Cayenne E-Hybrid filling the void, Porsche’s Cayenne arsenal seems all-encompassing, although as we’ve just found out it will soon take a marked turn upward in performance and price.
Taking a cue from the 2018 Panamera line, Porsche will be adding a great deal more performance through its plug-in E-Hybrid powertrain, with the all-new Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid pushing out a stunning 670 net horsepower, 541 of which comes from the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), and 134 of which is derived from the electric motor.
The luxury marque’s sport-tuned eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission comes as standard kit, as does Porsche Traction Management (PTM), its active all-wheel drive system. It transmits twist through an electronically variable, map-controlled multi-plate clutch, while an automatic brake differential (ABD) and anti-slip regulation (ASR) are also on the standard equipment list.
Along with all the electrified and twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 horsepower, the new Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid produces a shocking 663 lb-ft of combined torque, including 567 lb-ft from the ICE and 295 lb-ft from the electric motor, allowing it to catapult from standstill to 100 km/h in a supercar-like 3.8 seconds with its standard Sport Chrono Package, or an even more amazing 3.6 seconds with its available Lightweight Sport Package, all before achieving a 295-km/h (183.3-mph) claimed top track speed.
Being that the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is a plug-in electric vehicle, or PHEV, it can fully rely on motive power from its 14.1-kWh battery over short distances of approximately 40 kilometres. This means owners can achieve zero local emissions quick commutes to and from work, or for running errands near home.
The Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid’s lithium-ion battery, which is stowed under the cargo floor, takes just 6 hours to completely recharge when connected to a 230-volt Level 2 household-type charger, but Porsche promises a mere 2.4 hours from a 400-volt supercharger.
Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid owners can also download a smartphone app capable of remotely monitoring the charging process. Additionally, this app can prepare the SUV’s automatic climate control system to chosen settings, similarly to how a remote start system can do likewise, but this Cayenne PHEV application only employs the battery for such purposes, rather than the ICE.
The new 2020 Cayenne Coupe, a more sporting version of the regular Cayenne, will also receive a top-tier Turbo S E-Hybrid trim line. For those not familiar with Porsche’s sleek new addition to the Cayenne lineup, it features a 20-millimetre lower roofline along with a new front windshield that comes framed within shallower A pillars, as well as much more radically tapered rear side windows, totally reshaped rear doors, remoulded rear quarter panels, and a completely new back bumper featuring an integrated license plate holder. These changes result in a minor 19-mm (0.7-inch) increase to the sportier SUV’s width, which when combined with the aforementioned lower height allows for a more aggressive stance than the traditional Cayenne.
A few additional Cayenne Coupe upgrades include a standard adaptive rear spoiler, individual second-row bucket-style sport seats separated by an open centre console bin, plus a standard 2.16-cubic-metre fixed glass panoramic sunroof with an integrated roller sunshade, or an optional lightweight carbon-fibre panel.
The Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, which is now available to order with expected deliveries in early 2020, can be purchased for a lofty $182,200 plus freight and fees, which is $40,400 more than the current 2019 Cayenne Turbo, and more than double the price of the base Cayenne that can be had for just $76,700. The new even sportier looking Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe, which is said to perform identically to the conventional upright version, is available from $187,100, making it $39,100 pricier than the Cayenne Turbo Coupe, and once again more than twice the price of the $86,400 base Cayenne Coupe.
By the way, you can see all 2020 Porsche Cayenne pricing at CarCostCanada, including trims, packages and individual options, plus you can also learn about money-saving rebates as well as dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands.
As usual we’ve added all the available Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid and Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe photos to our gallery above (including some cool pictographs), and provided the only video Porsche has produced for the new models below. Enjoy!
The new Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupé: A master of balance (1:00):
If you don’t know about the all-new eighth-generation 2020 Porsche 911 yet, where have you been hiding? It was introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show back in November of 2018, while the Cabriolet arrived…
If you don’t know about the all-new eighth-generation 2020 Porsche 911 yet, where have you been hiding? It was introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show back in November of 2018, while the Cabriolet arrived at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in January. Those two cars we first saw seven and nine months ago, however, were mid-range Carrera S models, so it was high time Porsche released images and info about its base Carrera Coupe and Cabriolet.
The formidable S will soon arrive with 443 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, resulting in 3.7 seconds from zero to 100km/h for the C2S and 3.6 seconds for the C4S, or 3.5 and 3.4 seconds respectively when the Sport Chrono Package is added, but take note that while the new base Carrera isn’t as intensely capable off the line it’s still a force to be reckoned with.
The new 911 Carrera Coupe and Cabriolet share the same basic 3.0-litre horizontally opposed twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine, but it features a different set of turbochargers for a more conservative yet still considerable 379 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. Take note these new numbers add 9 horsepower over the outgoing 2019 model, resulting in standstill to 100km/h in just 4.2 seconds or 4.0 with its Sport Chrono Package, which is a big step up from the outgoing base Carrera that could only manage 4.6 or 4.2 seconds respectively.
In an unusual move, at least for Porsche, the new 911 Carrera will initially only be available with the brand’s new eight-speed dual-clutch PDK gearbox, which is up one gear from the outgoing automatic. This upgraded transmission was originally announced with the Carrera S that also won’t see its seven-speed manual arrive until later in the model year.
The new 2020 Carrera Coupe maxes out at 293 km/h (182 mph), which is identical to the outgoing 2019 model and slightly below the new 2020 Carrera S Coupe that tops out at 306 and 308 km/h (190 and 191 mph) with and without the Chrono Sport Package respectively. The Cabriolet, on the other hand, will be capable of a 291-km/h (181-mph) top speed, its ability to nearly keep up with the hardtop version due to magnesium surface elements dubbed “bows” integrated within the redesigned fabric roof’s structure that prevent “ballooning” at high speeds.
Incidentally, that soft top, which is now larger in order to snuggly fit over a more accommodating cabin, can open and close while driving at speeds of up to 50 km/h (30 mph), and takes just 12 seconds to fully perform this function due to revised hydraulics, a process that also powers an electrically extendable wind deflector to keep gusts of air from discomforting the driver and front passenger.
Below that well insulated top, the new 911 Carreras get a totally updated interior with a big 10.9-inch high-definition centre touchscreen, while new driving tech includes Porsche’s exclusive Wet Mode that allows for more control during inclement weather to improve safety.
While all features just noted are standard with the Carrera S, the new base model will receive a smaller set of uniquely designed 19-inch alloy wheels on 235/40 ZR performance tires in front as well as a larger set of 20-inch alloy rims wearing 295/35 ZR rubber at the back. What’s more, the regular Carrera’s 330-millimetre brake discs are also smaller than the Carrera S rotors, these pressed down on via black-painted four-piston monobloc fixed calipers, whereas the base model’s exhaust system features special individual tailpipe covers.
So far Transport Canada hasn’t provided fuel economy figures for the upcoming 2020 911 models, but Porsche is claiming that its new base Coupe and Cabriolet will be good for 9.0 and 9.2 L/100km city/highway combined respectively on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
Fortunately Porsche has announced Canadian prices, with a significant increase over the outgoing model’s $104,000 base price to $111,000, while the Cabriolet’s entry price has increased from $118,100 to $125,600. Porsche is no doubt banking on the two new models’ many improvements justifying those $7,000 and $7,500 price increases, one of which is the standard PDK automatic (prices may be reduced when a manual arrives), but it will be interesting to see how more value-driven competitors, such as the new 526-horsepower mid-engine C8 Corvette, which will start here in Canada at just $69,998, will eat into 911 sales.
Nevertheless, the 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe and Cabriolet can be ordered now and will be delivered early next year, while all-wheel drive versions will be available soon. While you’re waiting to get yours, make sure to enjoy the complete photo gallery above and the lone video below:
The new 911 Carrera Coupé and 911 Carrera Cabriolet. (1:00):
Bentley only just launched its third-generation Continental GT, and now they’ve got us thinking about what might be coming down the pike in a decade and a half. The Bentley EXP 100 GT “reimagines…
Bentley only just launched its third-generation Continental GT, and now they’ve got us thinking about what might be coming down the pike in a decade and a half.
The Bentley EXP 100 GT “reimagines the Grand Tourer for the world of 2035,” says the ultra-luxury brand’s press release, with a new take on the Continental GT’s elegant long-hooded, sweptback, two-door profile, complete with a massive backlit grille, dazzling circular headlamps, and ornately detailed eye-like OLED taillights, its plentiful body panels featuring special Compass “exterior paint made from recycled rice husks,” says Bentley.
Where the front end could only be a modern-day Bentley, the car’s rear design is longer and more pointed than anything we’ve seen from the brand since its ‘50s era R-Type Continental, extending this avant-garde carbon-fibre and aluminum-clad prototype to a lengthy 5.8 metres (19.0 feet) for what should be superb legroom front to rear, while occupants of this 2.4-metre (7.9-foot) wide mega-coupe certainly won’t be rubbing shoulders either.
The “100” in the EXP 100 GT’s name, incidentally, pays direct reference to Bentley’s 100th anniversary, W. O. Bentley’s namesake firm having started business in 1919 at Cricklewood, North London, while the Volkswagen-owned brand is now located some 267 km (166 miles) northwest in Crewe, Cheshire, England.
“Today, on our Centenary, we demonstrate our vision of the future of our Marque, with the Bentley EXP 100 GT – a modern and definitive Grand Tourer designed to demonstrate that the future of luxury mobility is as inspirational and aspirational as the last 100 years,” said Adrian Hallmark, Bentley Chairman and CEO. “Bentley has, and will continue to enhance and enrich every single journey and the lives of every single person who travels in, or has the honour to be a part of creating our extraordinary products.”
As pretty as the EXP 100 GT is, it’s much more than merely a design exercise, but rather a cornucopia of advanced future-think hardware and software. It’s 100-percent electric, a given with far-off concepts these days, but then again its four-motor wheel-integrated “Next Generation Traction Drive” powertrain includes torque vectoring and makes an incredible 1,100 pound-feet of torque (1,500 Nm), resulting in a zero to 100km/h sprint time of “less than 2.5 seconds” claims Bentley, much thanks to its aforementioned lightweight materials that help keep its weight down to just 1,900 kilograms (4,189 lbs) (considerably less than the current base Continental GT’s 2,244-kg/4,947-lb curb weight), while its maximum range should top 700 kilometres (435 miles), as long as cruising speeds are kept far lower than its terminal velocity of 300 km/h (186 mph).
The EXP 100 GT will include “future battery technology” with “intelligent power and charge management” that will allow “five times the conventional energy density,” says Bentley, while recharging the battery from near empty to 80 percent of capacity will only take 15 minutes. Of note, charging is automatically taken care of via the advanced artificial intelligence (AI) infused Bentley Personal Assistant, a do-all system designed to make the most of every journey.
“The Bentley EXP 100 GT represents the kind of cars we want to make in the future,” said Stefan Sielaff, Director of Design. “Like those iconic Bentleys of the past, this car connects with its passengers’ emotions and helps them experience and safeguard the memories of the really extraordinary journeys they take.”
“Whether driving or being driven autonomously” (Bentley promising its car of the future will be capable of both), the EXP 100 GT’s interior is every bit as sumptuously attired as Crewe’s current creations and those from its storied past. With seating for two or four, the big coupe gets all the leather, fabrics, glass, wood and metal anyone familiar with Bentley expects, except that the Bridge of Weir alternative-material hides are actually made from 100-percent bio-based winemaking byproducts, thus saving a handful of Herefords from the slaughterhouse, while its embroidered door panels are made by London-based Hand and Lock using “traditional techniques that date back to 1767 and are used on Royal and Military Dress uniforms,” its electronic interfaces covered with Cumbrian crystal, its sustainable peat bog-, lake- and river-sourced Copper Infused Riverwood harking back half a myriaannum (5,000 years), and its metal being genuine aluminum and copper, the combination apparently paying tribute to an alloy created by the aforementioned founder for his BR1 Aero engine piston, which played a significant role in securing the air theatre during World War 1.
Bentley sheds both harvested natural light and synthesized light on the EXP 100 GT’s interior via “an innovative glass roof embedded with prisms that collect light and transfer it into the cabin using fibre optics,” while all occupants’ feet will rest upon British Farmed Wool carpets, and embroidered cotton interior surfaces also help to create a more sustainable atmosphere.
The seats use intelligent, adaptable biometrics configured in three different ways, their positions dependent on whether you’re driving or being driven. Biometric sensors monitor the automatic climate control system too, plus the passenger position, and exterior environmental conditions in order to provide ultimate comfort, while biometric sensors embedded throughout the interior track eye and head movements, blood pressure, plus more in order to deliver a level of in-car comfort that far exceeds anything currently available. The cabin can even be automatically aerated with a refreshing sandalwood and moss fragrance.
Whether or not we’ll see this particular Bentley coupe by 2035 is anyone’s guess, although it should be noted that carmakers need to plan their models far into the future in order to arrive when needed, so something similar may actually be in process. We certainly wouldn’t complain if Bentley offered us a production EXP 100 GT like this to test in 15 or so years, with or without all of this concept’s innovatively sustainable features.
The EXP 100 GT is a vision of dramatic beauty that would be welcomed to car enthusiasts in any era, and possibly more true to its brand heritage than the all-electric, fully autonomous two-box SUV/MPV they’ll likely show up with by that time.
Until we truly find out what’s in the AI-dealt carbon-fibre cards, check out our complete gallery above as well as the four videos Bentley supplied below.
An off-road Lexus? To some this might sound like an oxymoron, but in reality two of Lexus’ priciest luxury SUVs started life as ultra-capable go-anywhere Toyota Land Cruisers.
The Land Cruiser name is legendary, and in many markets considered a premium sub-brand of the world’s second-largest automaker. While most Canadians conjuring mental images of iconic Land Cruisers will look back to the now classic 1960–1984 FJ40 series, the larger and longer 1967–1980 FJ55 followed by the much more popular 1980–1989 BJ60, or the most recent 2008–present J200 that does double-duty as the Lexus LX 570, the model shown here is based on the 2009–present J150, or Land Cruiser Prado.
Known North American luxury consumers as the Lexus GX 460, this somewhat long-in-tooth albeit still very capable mid-size three-row 4×4 also shared underpinnings with the current Toyota 4Runner and FJ Cruiser (the latter no longer available in North America) in its previous third-generation J120 design (2002–2009), which should help anyone familiar with those no-holds-barred SUVs believe in this Lexus’ off-road prowess.
It’s no wonder, therefore, that 4×4 enthusiasts looking to add luxury to their off-road lifestyle have opted for the GX 460, so now Lexus is paying homage to these faithful fans with this special creation, and even giving them partial credit for bringing the new GXOR Concept to life.
“Concept vehicles are typically created to generate excitement for the enthusiasts, but sometimes, it’s the enthusiasts and their vehicles that give life to the concept,” stated Lexus. “The Lexus GXOR Concept (GX Off-Road) is fueled by the passionate Lexus GX owners that have discovered and embraced the SUV’s perfect combination of ultimate luxury and unrivaled off-road capability.”
No wonder the Japanese luxury brand chose to launch the new GXOR Concept at the annual FJ Summit in Ouray, Colorado, the 12th of such events having taken place from July 17–21 this year. Similar in concept to a Jeep Jamboree, the FJ Summit provides an opportunity for Toyota 4×4 owners to test their personal driving skills as well as their Toyota/Lexus 4×4’s prowess on challenging trails, gives classes taught by experienced off-road instructors in order to hone those driving skills, and much more.
Despite the GX 460’s impressive capability off-road, and its passionate group of diehard followers, its popularity with the general SUV-buying public has faded in recent months and years, with Q2 2019 sales down 25.41 percent compared to the same six months last year, resulting in only 138 buyers for last place in the mid-size luxury SUV segment (other than the now discontinued Lincoln MKT), while all 12 months of 2018 only found 376 customers after a high of 662 units in 2015.
To be fair, plenty of competitors have been losing ground this year, with Q2 2019 Tesla Model X sales off by 30.00 percent for 840 units, Audi Q7 deliveries down 36.13 percent to 1,674 units (possibly due to the new Q8’s arrival), the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class dropping 36.66 percent to 762 units, and the same German luxury brand’s GLE-Class plummeting by 42.00 percent to 2,413 units. Even the mighty Lexus RX (and new long-wheelbase RX L) saw a sales drop of 8.50 percent through Q1 and Q2, but its 3,982 deliveries kept it well in front of the entire mid-size luxury SUV pack.
To put the GX’ 2018 calendar year sales of 376 units and 2015 high of 662 units into perspective, Lexus sold 9,329 RX crossovers last year, which was its second-best result after a high of 9,402 units in 2017. The RX also outsold Lexus’ next-most-popular NX compact luxury crossover, which had its best sales of 7,859 units last year. Hence, anything that could potentially spur on GX sales would be helpful.
Enter the GXOR, which while only a concept makes the luxury model’s 4×4 credentials clear to those who might not be in the know, while its ardent fans could potentially build something similar from all of this prototype’s available aftermarket components.
On that note, the GXOR’s plentiful upgrades include a custom CBI Stealth front bumper with an integrated Warn 9.5 XPS winch, a Safari snorkel for feeding air to the engine while wading through deep water, Lexus F Sport 18-inch alloys wrapped in General Tire Grabber X3 275/70 all-terrain rubber, a raised Icon 2.5 CDC suspension with remote reservoirs plus billet control arms with delta joints, full underbody armour skid plate protection, CBI frame sliders, a Redarc Tow-Pro brake controller, and lastly an EEZI-AWN K9 roof rack that comes complete with a Rigid 50 LED front light bar, a 160-watt Overland solar panel power supply, Alu-Box storage cases, and Maxtrax recovery boards.
Inside, the GXOR Concept keeps the GX 460’s already luxurious finishings while adding an Icom 5100A ham radio up front for remote communication, whereas the cargo area is partially filled with a Goose Gear custom drawer system featuring storage compartments and a slide-out National Luna refrigerator.
Finally, the GXOR Concept is shown towing a Patriot Campers X1H trailer featuring a power-operated pop-up tent, a hot water system, and more, while its electrical components are powered via the just-noted solar panel.
On that note, Lexus doesn’t say whether or not the GXOR Concept’s 4.6-litre V8 keeps the production model’s 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque or receives some performance upgrades, but it certainly should be strong enough to haul the hefty looking trailer either way.
“To all of the GX enthusiasts that use their rigs to escape on epic adventures, and proudly share the #GXOR, this concept build is for you,” added Lexus to its GX 460’s fan base. “Thank you for inspiring us to Experience Amazing.”
As with all concepts and prototypes, the question of potential GXOR production needs to be addressed. Considering how successful Mercedes-Benz has been with its rugged G-Class, and similarly how Land Rover Defender enthusiasts have been getting excited about that model’s upcoming arrival, something like this GXOR Concept could find reasonable sales traction if offered in production trim, or at least as a dealer-installed kit. The latter would allow retailers to modify unsold GX 460s, which might bring some much-needed attention to the model.
Until this happens (or doesn’t), enjoy our complete gallery of GXOR Concept photos above, plus a video that Lexus provided below. Also, to find out how affordable the 2019 Lexus GX 460 is, check out CarCostCanada where you can see complete pricing of trims, packages and individual options, plus learn about available rebates and dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands.
Lexus GXOR | GX Off-road Concept Build (2:45):
Two cars in one, or at least that’s the arrangement you’ll need to accept if you want to get your hands on a new 2020 Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato, shown here in its best renderings yet. You’ll…
Two cars in one, or at least that’s the arrangement you’ll need to accept if you want to get your hands on a new 2020 Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato, shown here in its best renderings yet.
You’ll also need to shell out $9.8 million CAD (£6 million GBP), which is a bargain when factoring in that a classic 1962 DB4/GT Zagato sold for a cool $15.4 million CAD (£9.45 million) a few years ago.
Of course, rare classics with racing pedigree are almost always worth more than a new car, even one as hard to come by, as visually stunning, and as brilliantly fast as the new DBS GT Zagato. Still, there’s another reason I referenced a classic Aston Martin Zagato.
All 19 2020 DBS GT Zagato customers (the same number of original 1960-1963 DB4 GT Zagatos built) will also be taking home a continuation DB4 GT Zagato, which is a true classic ‘60s era Aston, albeit produced new from old chassis number allocations.
The two cars make up Aston’s “DBZ Centenary Collection”, the more modern of the pair based on Aston Martin’s already fabulous DBS Superleggera, which stuffs a big twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12 behind its gaping maw of a front grille, capable of churning out a formidable 715 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The powers that be at the company’s Gaydon, UK headquarters haven’t made mention about any straight-line performance increase in the upcoming DBS GT Zagato, despite the original ‘60s car making significantly more than a conventional DB4, but it has other attributes that nevertheless make it very special.
Any similarities to the now three-year old Vanquish Zagato were intentional, with Aston even painting the launch model shown here in what appears to be a near identical deep Volcano Red metallic (or something close) with rich gold trim highlights (the DB4 Zagato in behind wears a more fitting Rosso Maja red), the glittering secondary Au hue even embellishing the twinned five-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels.
Other design details pulled forward from the Vanquish Zagato include its gigantic front grille, double-bubble floating black roof panel, pronounced rear fenders, and rocket booster taillights, but that’s not to say this new Zagato-badged Aston is merely a redo of a past model. Of course, the DBS Superleggera under the skin influences its design much more than any previous model could, its longer, lower and leaner body featuring more creases and sharp-angled folds than the earlier Aston, which was decidedly more rounded and curvaceous.
Ultra distinctive is a gold-coloured active grille insert that’s actually comprised of 108 individual segments of carbon fibre. When the new DBS GT Zagato is not in use, these tiny pieces come together to form what appears to be a solid, flush panel, although when the ignition is turned on these little pieces reposition in order to allow front ventilation, a process that makes the grille “flutter”, says Aston.
Other unique details include extremely long and deeply sculpted side vents, these also adorned in gold, while the side sills don’t feature this supercar segment’s usual carbon fibre extensions, but rather tuck rounded rocker panels under the body as in days of yore. Of course the headlights are much more in line with modern Aston Martin design than anything from the Vanquish’ era, while those intricately detailed aforementioned taillights get fitted neatly within a sizeable horizontal black panel that hovers above an even larger wing-like rear diffuser.
Everything black is open-weave carbon fibre, of course, even the roof that’s actually a single piece stretching from the windshield’s edge to the base of the rear deck lid, with its noted twin-hump design followed by a complete lack of rear visibility. This car was made for Franco “What’s-a behind me is not important” Bertollini (Raúl Juliá – The Gumball Rally, 1976), although while there’s no rear window, nor even louvres to see out the back, Aston did include a rearview camera for backing up, mounted in a centre mirror-style monitor similar to General Motor’s Rear Camera Mirror.
As for the beautiful DB4 GT Zagato, which made its debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last month (we’ve expanded on this story’s gallery with 20 detailed solo photos of this breathtaking classic in its most modern production trim), it’s the latest in Aston Martin’s line of continuation cars, which began with 25 DB4 GT Continuation models that sold for $2.4 million CAD (£1.5 million) each in 2017, and (it doesn’t get much better than this) 25 recreations of the classic movie car from the 1964 James Bond (Sean Connery) film Goldfinger, complete with all the cool offensive weaponry and defensive armour that made the eccentric Q (Desmond Llewelyn) a hero to gadget freaks everywhere. The Goldfinger DB5 Continuation will arrive in 2020, just like the two new Zagato models featured here, but for only $4.5 million CAD (£2.75 million) each.
If you’re still scratching your head about the stratospheric price of the two combined Zagato models featured in this story, consider for a moment the original 1962 DB4/GT Zagato’s price noted earlier wasn’t even the most expensive DB4 GT Zagato to be auctioned off. After the original 19 examples were created from 1960 to 1963, Aston Martin built four more on unused chassis allocation numbers in 1988, all of which were dubbed “Sanction II” models, while in 2000 the automaker created another two cars to “Sanction II” specification (which meant they received a larger 352-horsepower 4.2-litre engine), albeit renamed them “Sanction III”, these latter examples fetching $18.6 million CAD ($14,300,000 USD) in 2015 and $16.5 million CAD (£10,081,500) in 2018, making them some of the most valuable cars ever sold.
Of course, it would be unwise to invest as if these 19 new DB4 GT Zagatos will grow in value like their earlier siblings, but then again if past success is any reflection on future prospects, the lucky new owners should be sitting rather pretty in a few years, if not immediately after taking delivery, while they might even end up receiving their all-new 2020 DBS GT Zagatos for free.