It’s official, a new Guinness World Record for fastest slalom time has been set by 16-year old Chloe Chambers who managed to slice through 50 evenly placed cones in just 47.45 seconds.
Chambers, with five years of kart racing under her belt, joined up with Porsche to achieve the feat, and did so at the wheel of a 2020 Porsche 718 Spyder, smashing the previous record of 48.11 seconds set in 2018 by Jia Qiang, who was driving a Chevrolet Camaro.
“It looks easy, but it’s really not – to weave between 50 cones as fast as possible, trying to beat a record time and knowing I couldn’t touch a single one for the run to count – I definitely felt the pressure,” said Chambers. “Everything came together on my final run; the car worked beautifully and I found the grip I needed. Thank you to my family and to Porsche for supporting and believing in me.”
The 718 Spyder is powered by a special naturally-aspirated 414 horsepower 4.0-litre “boxer” six-cylinder engine that comes complete with a lofty 8,000-rpm capability (and 7,600-rpm redline), while it’s exclusively mated up to a six-speed manual transmission. Like the 718 Boxster roadster and 718 Cayman coupe, the 718 Spyder mounts its motor just ahead of the rear wheels for an optimal mid-engine layout, making it particularly adept at high-speed handling.
The 718 Spyder, which shares mechanicals with the 718 Cayman GT4, also incorporates a “track-bred” Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system including adaptive dampers, helper springs at the rear axle, plus a 30-mm (1.18-inch) ride height reduction when compared to the standard 718 Boxster or 718 Cayman.
“We couldn’t be more proud that Chloe set the record,” said Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America. “From the whole Porsche family, we send our heartfelt congratulations – we’re pleased to have been able to support Chloe with her ambitious record attempt and share her relief that it was successful.”
What’s the world’s best sport-luxury sedan? Many would point to Porsche’s Panamera on performance alone, despite not technically being a sedan due to its practical rear hatch and sloping rear deck lid to match. There’s even a more useful wagon-like Sport Turismo version that’s responsible for many of the Panamera’s sales since being introduced for the 2018 model year, so therefore the car more appropriately fits within the alternative four-door coupe category. Still, no matter how you look at it, the Panamera is one impressive sport-luxury offering.
As it is, the Panamera will cruise into 2021 with some modest styling updates and yet bolder drivetrain enhancements, particularly at the top of the range where the new Panamera Turbo S replaces the Turbo, with power moving up from 550 horsepower to 620, a 70-horsepower bump in just one, single refresh. This results in a sprint from standstill to 100 km/h of just 3.1 seconds when Sport Plus mode is selected, all before attaining a top track speed of 315 km/h.
Of note, last year’s most potent Panamera was the electrified Turbo S E-Hybrid, good for 677 net horsepower, albeit a zero to 100km/h run of “just” 3.4 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the outgoing Panamera Turbo, but 0.3 seconds off the new Turbo S. That hyper-quick hybrid is at least temporarily gone for 2021, but don’t fear hybrid fans as it’ll be back soon with even more power.
According to plenty of interweb reports, Thomas Friemuth, who heads the Panamera line at Porsche, has confirmed the electric portion of the car’s drive system will produce some 134 horsepower, which means the new Turbo S E-Hybrid, when mated to the new 620-horsepower twin-turbo V8, should put out somewhere in the neighbourhood of 750 horsepower. If you think this lofty number sounds insane, consider for a moment that a key Panamera rival, Mercedes-AMG’s fabulous GT 4-Door Coupe, is expected to hit the tarmac soon with more than 800 horsepower.
Those satisfied with mere blistering pace rather than ultimate scorching speed, yet still wanting hybrid economy, can opt for the all-new 4S E-Hybrid that comes fitted with 552 net horsepower that propels the big luxury car from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds ahead of topping out at 298 km/h. The entry-level 4 E-Hybrid, which only made 462 net horsepower and needed 4.6 seconds to arrive at the 100 km/h mark, is no longer available for 2021.
Benefiting both new 4S E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid trims is 30-percent more EV range than their predecessors, all thanks to an upgraded 17.9 kWh battery, an improvement of 3.8 kWh. The hybrid models’ control systems and chassis components have been modified too, with next-generation steering control as well as new tires, enhancing comfort and performance.
This said, the hybrid isn’t the only 2021 Panamera to receive steering and suspension improvements. In fact, the new Turbo S gets a custom tuned three-chamber air suspension, while the top-tier model’s Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system and roll stabilization system, the latter called Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport), have also been modified to perform at more extreme levels. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) was updated to improve at-the-limit handling as well, all resulting in the best performing Panamera yet, and one of the best performing passenger cars available period.
Proving that point, the automaker took its new Panamera Turbo S to the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife race course in Germany on July 24, 2020, resulting in Porsche works driver Lars Kern setting a new “executive cars” class record of 7:29.81 minutes over the 20.832-kilometre track. We can hardly wait to see how the new Turbo S E-Hybrid will fare.
Those wanting most of the Panamera Turbo S’ performance for a more approachable price point can opt for the Panamera GTS, which continues into 2021 with the same 473 horsepower 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and identical zero to 100 km/h rating of 3.9 seconds. This engine added 20 horsepower over its predecessor when introduced, helped along by a special standard sports exhaust that utilizes asymmetrically positioned rear silencers for an especially exhilarating exhaust note.
Lastly, or more accurately, the first rung on this model’s hierarchal ladder is the most basic Panamera, which is the only trim offering rear-wheel drive, all others incorporating Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive as standard. Both the base Panamera and the Panamera 4 include a 325-horsepower twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 capable of very a spirited 5.6-second zero to 100 km/h sprint with RWD, and an even better 5.3-second run off the line with all-wheel drive.
That base Panamera starts at just $99,300 plus freight and fees for 2021, which is unchanged despite its improvements, while a Panamera 4 can be had for $104,600. The rear-wheel drive Panamera only comes with the regular wheelbase and coupe-like liftback, but the base powertrain will all-wheel drive can be had in three body styles, starting with the regular wheelbase liftback before moving up to the longer wheelbase $112,200 Executive and finally the more wagon-like $111,700 Sport Turismo.
The 4S E-Hybrid is next on the financial pecking order at $128,500, or $141,400 for the Executive version and $133,100 for the Sport Turismo, while the 2021 GTS remains priced at $147,400 for 2021, and increases to $154,400 when its cargo compartment is expanded to Sport Turismo dimensions.
Finally, the Turbo S starts at $202,400 for the regular wheelbase model, $214,300 for the Executive, and $207,000 for the Sport Turismo.
Of course, there’s more to any Panamera than mere performance, which means it was important for Porsche to keep the car looking fresh and up-to-date. Therefore, all 2021 Panameras will now come standard with the previously optional SportDesign front fascia design, which includes the brand’s new single-bar front lighting module, augmented air intakes, and bigger, more assertively styled corner vents.
The new Turbo S gets some exclusive frontal styling with even larger lower fascia corner vents that adds to its aggressiveness, while some unique exterior paint options help to set this model apart.
Three new 20- and 21-inch alloy wheel sets can personalize any Panamera model further, while the new car’s long, body-wide horizontal taillight gets new contours for 2021, while the lenses have been darkened on the GTS model.
The Panamera’s interior remains mostly the same entering 2021, which is no bad thing. Just the same, improvements include new functions and services for the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system, such as enhanced Voice Pilot online voice control, Risk Radar for real-time road sign and hazard info, wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, and more.
Also enhanced, the 2021 Panamera can be had with Lane Keeping Assist featuring road sign recognition, as well as with the Porsche InnoDrive suite of advanced safety and convenience systems, which includes Lane Change Assist, LED matrix headlights including PDLS Plus, Night Vision Assist, Park Assist with Surround View, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display unit that projects key info on the windshield ahead of the driver.
The 2021 Panamera is ready to order from your local Porsche retailer now, with deliveries starting in Q1 of 2021. After you make that call, make sure to check out our complete photo gallery above, and then be sure to enjoy the three videos below (which include the new 2021 Panamera Turbo S on the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track), plus remember to go to CarCostCanada’s 2020 Porsche Panamera Canada Prices page where you can learn more about the automaker’s zero-percent financing offer on all 2020 models, plus access info about manufacturer rebates when offered, and always available dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands. Find out how the CarCostCanada system can save you money, and remember to download the free CarCostCanada app from the Apple Store or Google PlayStore so you can have access to all this important info whenever you need it.
New Panamera achieves lap record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife (3:09):
The new Panamera – digital world premiere (11:33):
The new Panamera: Highlights (2:13):
Story credit: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Sports cars are unreliable, right? Not so, if it’s a Porsche. The German brand has ranked highly in independent dependability studies for years, once again placing near the top amongst premium brands…
Sports cars are unreliable, right? Not so, if it’s a Porsche. The German brand has ranked highly in independent dependability studies for years, once again placing near the top amongst premium brands in the most recent 2020 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, so it only makes sense that the brand does well in customer satisfaction studies too.
For its second consecutive year, Porsche has achieved the top spot in J.D. Power and Associate’s 2020 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which surveys customers on their ownership experience, including how their vehicles drive.
“I am gratified at how excited our customers are with their new dream cars,” stated Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, Inc. “Porsche believes in continuous improvement and winning the top spot again just encourages us to find new ways to delight our drivers.”
The 2020 APEAL Study judges the “emotional attachment and level of excitement” with U.S. owners that purchased a new car, truck or SUV at least 90 days before. Covering 37 attributes, the study questions owners about the “sense of comfort and luxury” when stepping inside, the “power they feel when they step on the gas,” and more, states a Porsche North America press release.
The APEAL index score is measured on a 1,000-point scale, and Porsche earned 881 points for this year’s highest average of all brands. By comparison, most premium brands averaged 861 points, and it wasn’t as if J.D. Power’s participant sampling was low, thanks to more than 87,000 purchasers and lessees of 2020 model-year vehicles taking part. The study, now in its 25th year, queried respondents from February through May of 2020.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Porsche wowed performance car fans with its shockingly quick 2021 911 Turbo S back in April, and we made a point of covering every one of its 640 horsepower. Now it’s time for the slightly less outrageous…
Porsche wowed performance car fans with its shockingly quick 2021 911 Turbo S back in April, and we made a point of covering every one of its 640 horsepower. Now it’s time for the slightly less outrageous 911 Turbo to share the limelight, and we think that its 572 horsepower 3.8-litre flat-six will be enough to create a buzz of its own.
After all, the regular Turbo provides 32 additional horsepower over the previous 2019 911 Turbo, which is enough to shoot it from zero to 100km/h in a mere 2.8 seconds when upgraded with the Sport Chrono Package and mounted to the 911’s lighter Coupe body style. Then again, you can go al fresco and still manage 2.9 seconds from standstill to 100km/h, both times 0.2 seconds less than each models’ predecessor.
The 911’s acclaimed “boxer” engine makes a robust 553 lb-ft of torque in its newest generation, which is 30 lb-ft more than previously. That makes it more potent than the previous 911 Turbo S, upping torque, horsepower and acceleration times, due in part to new symmetrical variable turbine geometry (VTG) turbochargers that feature electrically controlled bypass valves, a redesigned charge air cooling system, and piezo fuel injectors. This results in faster throttle response, freer revving, better torque delivery, and sportier overall performance.
The new 911 Turbo incorporates the same standard eight-speed dual-clutch PDK automated gearbox as the 911 Turbo S, while both cars also feature Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive as standard equipment too. It’s all about high-speed stability, necessary with a top track speed of 320 km/h (198 mph).
Additionally, the new 911 Turbo gets similarly muscular sheet metal as the Turbo S, its width greater than the regular Carrera by 46 mm (1.8 in) up front and 20 mm (0.8 in) between its rear fenders. This allows for wider, grippier performance tires that measure 10 mm (0.4 in) more at each end. The front brake rotors are 28 mm (1.1 in) wider than those on the previous 911 Turbo too, while the same 10-piston caliper-enhanced ceramic brakes offered with the Turbo S can also be had with the less potent 911 Turbo. Yet more options include the previously noted Sport Chrono Package, as well as a Sport suspension, Porsche Active Suspension Management, and rear-wheel steering.
Porsche has upgraded the 911 Turbo’s cabin over the Carrera with some performance goodies too, including standard 14-way powered Sport seats and standard Bose audio, while a Lightweight package removes the rear jump seats and swaps out the standard front Sport seats for a unique set of lightweight buckets, while also taking out some sound deadening material for a total weight-savings diet of 30 kilos (66 lbs).
Also available, the 911 Turbo Sport package includes a number of SportDesign enhancements such as black and carbon-fibre exterior trim as well as clear taillights, while a Sport exhaust system can also be had. The options menu continues with Lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, night vision assist, a 360-degree surround parking camera, Burmester audio, and more.
The 2021 Turbo Coupe and 2021 Turbo Cabriolet will arrive at Canadian Porsche dealers later this year for $194,400 and $209,000 respectively, but take note you can order from your local Porsche retailer now.
Before you make that call, however, check out the 2021 Porsche 911 Canada Prices page at CarCostCanada, because you’ll learn how to access factory leasing and financing rates from zero percent. You can also find out about possible rebates and dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands. See how it works now, and remember to download the free CarCostCanada app from the Apple Store or Google Android Store, so you can access all the most important car shopping information from the convenience of your phone when at the dealership or anywhere else.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Looking at today’s Porsche 911 makes it hard to believe its predecessors once used no-draft windows to ventilate, but such was the case right up until the water-cooled 996 arrived in 1998. Now, however,…
Looking at today’s Porsche 911 makes it hard to believe its predecessors once used no-draft windows to ventilate, but such was the case right up until the water-cooled 996 arrived in 1998. Now, however, Porsche has become a leader in climate control.
Multi-zone automatic climate control systems only exist because all us feel temperatures differently. Porsche has long offered such individualized HVAC systems in its sports car and SUV lineup, but they’ve taken the concept to new levels when it comes to the new 911 Cabriolet, by developing a cabin temperature sensor capable of detecting when the fabric top is being opened and then immediately making necessary adjustments to maintain chosen temperatures.
The sophisticated system uses 20 external and 20 internal interfaces that continuously process about 350 signals in half-second intervals, including outlet, exterior, and coolant temperatures, as well as engine speed, insolation, and vehicle speeds. Now, after factoring in retractable roof, door and seating information, it has the ability to slowly suppress one of these sensors when the convertible top is opened. The result is optimal air temperature, air ventilation volume and air distribution to each occupant for ideal temperature comfort.
“Even in the searing summer heat of the city, 911 Cabriolet drivers are surrounded by a pleasant freshness,” claims Porsche in a press release.
The German brand points out that its intelligent climate control system is particularly effective at low speeds and in cooler weather that normally results in warm feet and a cool head while driving with the top down. The system is now able to distribute more warm air to the driver and front passenger through the centre vents, which provides “a cozy veil of heat without having the unpleasant sensation of air being blown in their faces,” adds Porsche. The 911 Cabriolet’s driver will also benefit from “blissfully warm hands on the steering wheel,” making the need for warm gloves and winter jackets unnecessary.