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
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.
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):
This isn’t the first time a street-legal Porsche broke a lap record on the famed Nürburgring-Norschleife, and we’re pretty sure it won’t be the last either. Back in April of this year we reported…
This isn’t the first time a street-legal Porsche broke a lap record on the famed Nürburgring-Norschleife, and we’re pretty sure it won’t be the last either.
Back in April of this year we reported on the amazing new Porsche 911 GT3 RS breaking the seven-minute mark with a time of 6:56.40, but on Thursday, October 25 it was the even more formidable GT2 RS MR lapping the 20.6-km (12.8-mi) circuit in a mere 6:40.33 minutes, knocking 6.95 seconds off the September 2017 lap time of the non-MR tuned GT2 RS.
Lars Kern, the 31-year-old development engineer and race driver who first piloted the 911 GT2 RS to its now broken record, was once again at the wheel, which makes this most recent result a more accurate representation of the two cars’ performance thanks to taking some driver discrepancy out of the equation.
“The drive was great fun,” said Kern, who is very familiar with the ‘Ring’ due to plenty of test drivers, record runs and VLN races. “The balance of the car is also very good with the new package. I did not have to take any great risks to be fast. But I only had one attempt because it was already getting dark. It worked out first time though.”
Both 911 GT2 RS models produce the same incredible 700 horsepower, making this model the most powerful and fastest production 911 of all time, but the MR was set up by Manthey-Racing specifically for tackling the Nürburgring-Norschleife, and the 160-plus strong motorsports team knows a lot about shaving seconds from the popular German racetrack near the Belgian border.
“We are very proud,” said Manthey-Racing CEO Nicolas Raeder. “It was a great challenge to make the already tremendously fast Porsche 911 GT2 RS even faster.”
Of course, conditions were dry, allowing Kern to make the most of his record lap run. Esso supplied the fuel, while the only major modification made to the car was the addition of a racing-spec driver’s seat that can be ordered from Manthey-Racing if choosing to upgrade to their GT2 RS MR club sport and track day special. According to Porsche the seat was only fitted to alleviate safety concerns, and didn’t subtract any weight from the stock GT2 RS.
“We kept our eye on the weather all day and thought hard about whether such a drive was possible. We would not have taken any risks if it was raining or if the track was slightly damp,” says Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Motorsport and GT Cars.
Of note, the otherwise stock 911 GT2 RS featured Manthey-Racing’s new performance kit that includes minor chassis and aerodynamics modifications. Thanks to being set up specifically for the Nürburgring-Norschleife circuit’s characteristics, this MR-specified model became the fastest road-legal vehicle to ever lap ‘The Green Hell’ track.
“In this test drive, we simply wanted to assess the potential of the vehicle once more,” added Walliser. “The result is quite impressive. It really is a fabulous time. This shows again very clearly the exciting possibilities of this sports car.”
The stock GT2 RS, which debuted in June 2017 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England, uses a twin-turbo 3.8-litre version of Porsche’s legendary horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine to make 700 horsepower at a lofty 7,000 rpm (that’s an astonishing 184.2 horsepower per litre) and 553 lb-ft from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm.
Thanks in part to weighing just 1,470 kilograms (3,241 pounds) the rear-wheel drive GT2 RS is capable of sprinting from standstill to 100km/h in a shocking 2.8 seconds, can achieve in-gear acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h in just 1.5 seconds, and attain a top speed of 340 km/h (211.2 mph). Amazingly, this road-going production GT2 RS is capable of a very reasonable 15.4 L/100km in the city, 11.3 on the highway and 13.5 combined, important for a car that also gets used for endurance racing.
The new Porsche 911 GT2 RS is now available from $334,000 (see all 2018 Porsche 911 pricing including the 911 GT2 RS at CarCostCanada, plus access money saving rebate info and dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands).
Before you go, make sure to check out our photo gallery as well as some incredible video footage of the entire record-setting lap from within the 911 GT2 RS MR cockpit:
New record: 911 GT2 RS MR laps the Nürburgring Norschleife in 6:40.3 minutes. (7:14):
Few who have driven the new Jaguar XE have come away complaining. It’s arguably attractive, mostly well finished inside, filled with an impressive load of features including some nicely kitted out electronic…
Few who have driven the new Jaguar XE have come away complaining. It’s arguably attractive, mostly well finished inside, filled with an impressive load of features including some nicely kitted out electronic interfaces, and plenty roomy, plus its lineup of powertrains, ranging from a 247 horsepower turbo-four to a 380 horsepower supercharged V6, make the most of its lightweight aluminum body shell and agile independent suspension. Just the same, a hyper-powerful SVR variant would be nice.
SVR, which is a sportier marketing variation of the short-form for Special Vehicle Operations (normally called SVO albeit shown on JLR products as an SV with an O wrapped around the outside and an R following), is the Jaguar Land Rover answer for BMW’s M performance sub-brand, Mercedes’ AMG, Audi’s RS, Alfa Romeo’s Quadrifoglio, Volvo’s Polestar, Lexus’ F, Cadillac’s V, and so on.
A number of Jaguar and Land Rover products already boast the three-initial moniker, but the most recent is the Jaguar F-Pace SVR, a vehicle directly related to the XE. Unfortunately, Jaguar’s compact luxury D-segment sport sedan has yet to be given the usual 550- to 575-horsepower supercharged V8 SVR treatment in order to compete with the likes of the M3, C63 AMG, Giulia Quadrifoglio, ATS-V, etcetera, but this is about to change as enthusiasts plugged into the Euro performance car pulse will already know. For those not in the know, meet the new Jaguar XE SV Project 8.
After a reasonably long gestation, which first saw the Warwickshire, England SVO outfit’s skunkworks project semi-debut in camouflage photos in May of last year; then receive an official web intro in June; arrive in the metal at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July (where it won a “Showstopper” award); make its North American debut in August at the Monterey Car Week; record the fastest time ever of 7 minutes and 21.23 seconds on the Nürburgring Nordschleife for a sedan of production-intent specification in November (which bested the aforementioned Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio’s time of 7 minutes 32 seconds, although despite the Alfa being a full production car, Jaguar plans to improve on the pre-production XE SV Project 8’s capability when the final street-ready version arrives), not to mention the fastest lap ever for a Jaguar; and debut near final production refinements in April of this year, which was quickly followed up later in April with some track time by legendary sports car racers Andy Wallace and Davy Jones on the Goodwood Motor Circuit; the finished Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is almost upon us.
“Most road-legal cars on track are a massive disappointment, but Project 8 is really something,” said Andy Wallace. “It’s absolutely staggering how it has been made to feel like a proper racing car. It keeps wanting you to push harder. It’s not bothered by Goodwood’s undulations, it just hunkers down and feels totally at ease, so you’re happy to get on the throttle earlier. It inspires confidence straight away.
The brake pedal feel is fantastic. It is absolutely linear and you can feel what it’s doing. The steering too is brilliant. It feels like a car that’s developed after days and days, and hours and hours, of testing. You don’t just ‘luck’ something as good as this. Anybody can build a fast car. But to build a fast car that feels this good – that’s quite an achievement.”
“I’m used to powerful racing cars,” added Davy Jones. “But this feels really fast. The sheer acceleration didn’t feel all that different from a 700bhp racing prototype – and that really surprised me. It’s certainly Jaguar’s best track car I’ve driven since the sports prototype Jaguars of the 1980s and 1990s.
There is no body roll, loads of grip, the braking is incredible. When you turn into a corner, it points in, when you step on the accelerator it wants to launch out of the corner. It doesn’t do anything to spook you. It’s such an accessible car to drive. The [8-speed automatic] gear shifts are so precise and so quick too.”
It’s fair to expect the ultra-exclusive group of 300 XE SV Project 8 owners should be well pleased with their upcoming purchase, the custom-built hyper-sedan, hand-assembled at the SVO Technical Centre in Warwickshire, costing a cool $188,495 USD, the equivalent of $247,940 CAD at the time of writing.
When it arrives the XE SV Project 8 will have the highest output of any street-legal Jaguar vehicle in the British brand’s long and illustrious history, its 5.0-litre supercharged V8 making a shocking 592 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, while a sport-tuned eight-speed ZF automatic transmission promises the quickest possible shift intervals along with the ability to drop multiple ratios at once via non-sequential downshifts, which will quicken pre-corner setup to enhance circuitous road and track performance.
The eight-speed auto puts power down to all wheels, with a maximum of 30 percent motive power going to the front axle in order to produce rear wheel bias for maximum performance and feel. The all-wheel drive system will be torque vectoring, of course, while the electronic rear differential keeps temperatures low via an exclusive cooler situated within the rear diffuser.
The XE SV Project 8 provides three driving modes, including Normal, Dynamic and Track, Eco not on the menu for obvious reasons, while this is the first time we’ve seen Track mode on an XE. SVO says that the drive modes adjust the throttle, torque vectoring control, dampers, steering, all-wheel drive system, and the stability control, which is about as comprehensive as such systems get.
The regular XE already has an extremely agile, lightweight, aluminum-intensive double wishbone front and integral link rear suspension setup, but the SVO team has modified almost everything anyway. An in-house developed billet suspension knuckle includes ceramic bearings to reduce unsprung weight by 840 grams, while also improving steering response by minimizing friction and increasing rigidity. Speaking of stiffness, Warwickshire has uprated the suspension bushings, with those in the rear upper control arm replaced with ball joints, while both front and rear anti-roll bars have been modified to improve high-speed stability.
The electrically assisted power steering and the continuously variable damper systems in the stock XE are both carried forward into the new Project 8, although they’ve been reprogrammed for quicker, more responsive reaction, while an available Track Pack provides manually adjustable spring platforms that let you lower the ride height by 15 mm to optimize handling.
Nothing resembling the Project 8’s Brembo carbon ceramic discs can be found in any current XE, as the massive 400-mm front rotors are clamped down on with six-piston calipers and the 396 mm discs in back get grip from a large single piston caliper. Brembo claims that its new-tech brakes achieve temperature reductions of 38 to 93 degrees Celsius, which should all but eliminate fade even when on the track, important for a car that weighs in at 1,745 kg.
The larger V8 powertrain is responsible for most of the XE SV Project 8’s 24 kilos of extra weight over the otherwise sportiest supercharged V6-powered XE S (the aforementioned Track Pack reduces weight by 12.2 kg), but the aero bodywork, especially the massive wing on the rear deck lid, has got to account for something. It’s certainly necessary to keep the car planted at its 322-km/h (200-mph) top speed, whereas any weight gain hasn’t hampered its zero to 100km/h sprint time, which is claimed to take just 3.7 seconds (3.3 seconds to 60 mph).
“The SVO design and engineering team’s mission was to create the most track-focused road-legal Jaguar in history – not only the fastest, but also the most agile,” Mark Stanton, SVO Director. “As a result, only the roof and front door skins of the Project 8 body are carried-over unaltered from XE and 75 per cent of its mechanical hardware is new. This astonishing Nürburgring Nordschleife record validates the success of such extensive changes.”
The rear door skins, unmentioned by Stanton, are formed from aluminum and much wider as they flare into the rear fenders, which are bulge outward by 55 mm to accommodate 305-width rear tires. Most of the other modified bodywork and aerodynamic aids are made from lightweight carbon-fibre, and the list of changes is far too long to itemize.
All the modifications result in a major difference to XE SV Project 8 styling, but those owners who still want to use their car as a regular driver will be happy to learn the interior hasn’t deviated much from the already spacious and comfortable stock XE. Rather than a third seat in the rear centre position, the SVO team has followed the usual rule for super sedans by providing two rear bucket-style seats. The previously noted Track Pack, on the other hand, loses its rear seats altogether for a track-ready roll cage.
The “Project 8” embroidered sport seats up front are much more aggressively bolstered than those in the rear of the base car, although they’re still covered in leather with suede-like Alcantara insets. Rich Alcantara wraps the instrument hood, dash top, steering wheel rim and door inserts as well, while bespoke carbon-fibre lower console surfacing surrounds a conventional pistol grip gear lever in place of the regular XE’s rotating dial.
The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is currently in production, and will soon be available to 300 fortunate owners. Whether you’re waiting for yours to arrive or simply want to see one of the most powerful four-door sedans ever made in action, make sure you check out these fabulous Jaguar XE SV Project 8 videos:
Jaguar XE SV Project 8 | World’s Fastest Saloon — the 7min 21.23 second record lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife (7:58):
Jaguar XE SV Project 8 | A Legend in the Making with Le Mans champions Andy Wallace and Davy Jones (2:51):
Porsche is certainly celebrating its 70th year in style. Earlier this month it debuted the wonderful 356 ‘No. 1’ Roadster concept, which combined some of the best new technologies the automaker currently…
Porsche is certainly celebrating its 70th year in style. Earlier this month it debuted the wonderful 356 ‘No. 1’ Roadster concept, which combined some of the best new technologies the automaker currently offers with retrospective design inspiration from the original 356 sports car that put the Stuttgart-based brand on the road, track and map in 1948, but 2018 has also been a year to honour its motorsport success.
After securing its third consecutive World Endurance Championship (WEC) title with its LMP1 class dominating 919 Hybrid in November of last year, Porsche created a special 1,200-horsepower 919 Hybrid Evo Tribute car for showing the world the breathtaking capability of its sports car prototype.
On April 9, Porsche factory driver Neel Jani broke the Spa Francorchamps lap record, which was previously held by four-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton at the wheel of his Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport F1 W08. Despite being up against one of the most decorated racing drivers of all time in one of the most successful F1 cars ever created, Jani and his specially tuned derestricted 919 Evo managed a blistering 1:41.770 minutes around the revered Belgian road course, besting Hamilton’s record by 0.783 seconds.
Most recently Porsche had its sights on Germany’s “Green Hell”, otherwise known as the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, with two-times Le Mans winner and reigning WEC champion Timo Bernhard at the wheel. Their June 29th result was a best-ever track time of 5:19.55 minutes over the 20.8-kilometre-long course, smashing the previous non-production car lap time of 6:11.13 minutes by just over a minute and a half (91.58 seconds). This marks the first time anyone has broken the six-minute barrier, while doing so by such a wide margin would have been unfathomable in decades past.
On that note, the previous record had held for 35 years. It was originally achieved on May 28, 1983 by Stefan Bellof in a Porsche 956 C, which while a legendary sports prototype car in its own right, having led the challenging Circuit de la Sarthe track at Le Mans from start to finish in its first 1982 outing with Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell at the wheel, a race that further saw a trio of factory Porsches finished 1-2-3, it could have never matched the performance of this modern-day 2015, 2016 and 2017 Le Mans 24-hour race winner.
While this is certainly impressive, possibly even more convincing of Porsche’s dominant performance is the strength of its bone stock production cars when they hit the track. In September of last year, Porsche regained the number one position for production cars on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, with Lars Kern pushing its 911 GT2 RS to a best-overall lap time of 6:47.25, while only in April of this year it managed a shocking 6:56.4 in the new naturally aspirated 911 GT3 RS, resulting in a fourth place finish. This pushed the Porsche 918 Spyder into fifth, although its time of 6:57 minutes still maintains its record as the fastest hybrid electric production car to ever circle the ring.
Even though the 919 Hybrid is now retired from World Endurance Championship racing, of the 17 cars entered into this year’s 24 hours of Le Mans GTE Pro category four were Porsche 911 RSR coupes, while six more Porsche 911 RSRs raced in the GTE Am class. Even more impressive, after a punishing 24 hours of grueling competition was completed the first two GTE Pro category podium tiers were occupied by 911 RSR drivers from the Porsche GT team, while Patrick Dempsey’s (yes, Doctor Dreamy from Grey’s Anatomy) Dempsey – Proton Racing #77 911 RSR took the top spot in the GTE Am class.
We’ve included an awesome action-packed video of the Porsche 911 RSR at this year’s Le Mans down below, as well as one showing the incredible 919 Hybrid earning its third consecutive WEC championship in Shanghai, but if you’ve only got time for one make sure to check out the amazing in-car footage of the 919 Hybrid Evo Tribute car achieving its record-setting Nürburgring-Nordschleife lap below, with one of many highlights showing the engine nudging up against its redline down the Döttinger Höhe straight at 368 km/h, or watch a shorter narrated compilation showing drive-by and in-car footage of the same event:
The 919 Tribute Tour: On-board record lap, Nordschleife (5:48):
The 919 Tribute Tour. New king of the ring. (2:10):
Triple – Porsche at the FIA WEC 6h of Shanghai (2:11):
Porsche at Le Mans 2018. (3:16):
For many automotive enthusiasts a lap around the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack is a top-10 bucket list item, but for Porsche works race driver Kévin Estre it was just another day at the office. …
For many automotive enthusiasts a lap around the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack is a top-10 bucket list item, but for Porsche works race driver Kévin Estre it was just another day at the office.
No doubt an intense day, or at least an intense six minutes, fifty-six and four one-hundredth seconds, or rather 6:56.40.
That number means the new 2019 911 GT3 RS joins an elite group of production cars capable of lapping the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than seven minutes, while at least as importantly to Porsche and its legions of dedicated Porschephiles, this achievement signifies an impressive 24-second improvement over the previous 911 GT3 RS.
Porsche also holds title to the current lap record, its 911 GT2 RS managing the 20.6-km (12.8-mi) racecourse in just 6:47.25 with Lars Kern at the wheel, while earlier in the same month of September 2017, Marc Lieb pushed the mid-engine plug-in hybrid 918 Spyder to a 6:57.00 result, making it the fastest hybrid-electric vehicle to ever navigate the circuit.
That’s three Porsches in the top six, an amazing accomplishment that’s even more shocking when factoring in two of the others aren’t even production cars (both produced by British racing car constructor Radical). When measured against production cars alone, Porsche occupies three of the top four spots with Lamborghini holding the other position, its second-place Huracán LP 640-4 Performante having managed a 6:52.01 lap time in 2016.
And how does the much-vaunted Nissan GT-R rate? A Nismo-trimmed version put up a respectable time of 7:08.68 back in 2013, but the model hasn’t been officially timed since then. Still, this makes it seventh fastest amongst production cars and 11th overall, although according to numerous reports quoting Nissan employees that took part in the event, the GT-R Nismo being used was specially tuned just for the Nürburgring Nordschleife track, featuring larger spoilers for more downforce, softer dampers to deal with the rough road surfaces, upgraded brake pads, non-stock bucket seats that decreased its weight by 50 kilos (110 lbs), and a revised ECU map. In other words, it wasn’t stock.
In case you were wondering, amongst true production cars a Dodge Viper ACR holds sixth place with a time of 7:01.30, while rounding out the top-10 is a Mercedes-AMG GT R in eighth with a 7:10.92 lap time, a Gumpert Apollo Sport in ninth at 7:11.57, and another Dodge Viper ACR in 10th at 7:12.13. Interestingly, the current 11th and 12th place positions are held by two Porsches, including a 911 GT3 at 7:12.70, and a 918 Spyder with a lap time of 7:13.00.
The list continues with a who’s who list of sports car and supercar nameplates, from the Chevrolet Corvette C7 Z06 to the Lexus LFA (with its Nürburgring Package), Donkervoort D8 RS, Ferrari 488 GTB, Maserati MC12, Pagani Zonda F Clubsport, and plenty of additional Porsches. To even get on this list is a job well done, but to defeat them all with multiple models is sensational.
Available from $213,400, the 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS receives a naturally aspirated 4.0-litre horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine behind its rear wheels, producing 520 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque, which comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automated PDK transmission driving the rear wheels. Capable of a top track speed of 312 km/h (193 mph) and a standing start to 100km/h time of just 3.2 seconds, the big boxer engine will spin right up to 9,000 rpm.
“No other Porsche model gets as close to racing as the new GT3 RS,” said Frank Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars. “Many innovative ideas from top-level motorsport were transferred; for example, from the 911 GT3 R. This is what our philosophy for GT models is about: Highest technology must be fascinating but tangible. In this regard there is no harder test for our ideas than the Nordschleife.”
Estre, who also competed for Porsche in the FIA World Endurance Championship, was joined by Porsche development driver Kern, with both drivers completing two laps for a total of four.
“All four lap times of both drivers were below seven minutes and only tenths of a second apart,” added Andreas Preuninger, Porsche Director GT Model Line. “This proves not only the outstanding power of the GT3 RS, but also its extraordinary drivability at the limit. A perfectly composed overall system allows for highly dynamic performance even with a relatively modest engine power. For a driver, each of the car’s thousands of parts have to feel like one – that’s an unbeatable strength of the GT3 RS. And what especially delights me is how much fun Lars and Kévin had when driving that car.”
Estre, a 29-year old who hails from France, started his record lap at 11:40 am in what Porsche says were ideal conditions of 14 degrees Celsius ambient and 18 degrees Celsius track temperature.
“This lap was a sensational experience for me,” said Estre. “Through the fast corners and on the brakes in particular, the GT3 RS is unbelievably close to our racing car GT3 R. This is also thanks to the new generation of tires for road going sports cars. I like the engine of the GT3 RS a lot. Up to 9,000 revs per minute from a six-cylinder engine just feels fantastic. The sound is a dream and the torque is massive.”
The tires Estre speaks of are Michelin Pilot Sports measuring 265/35ZR20 in front and 325/30ZR21 at the rear, and are available at every Porsche Centre, as is the new 911 GT3 RS and the Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record-holding GT2 RS.
For a closer take on all the action, check out this in-car video of the 911 GT3 RS achieving its amazing 6:56.40 lap time:
Additionally, here’s another video showing some of 911 GT3 RS’ features: