Australian demand for Porsche cars remains strong despite a worsening economic condition and more interest rate rises on the horizon, the company says.
Furthermore, while the iconic German sportscar maker is still facing supply issues, it’s starting to see early signs of improvement, which should reduce extended wait times.
Speaking to CarExpert at the launch of the new 911 and Taycan GTS this week, Porsche Australia’s head of public affairs, Chris Jordan, confirmed the brand’s ongoing strong position in market.
“We still see strong demand,” Jordan said in regard to the economic challenges.
“I think one factor that we are always looking at is perhaps not with the economy, but how long people are willing to wait, and while the entire market is supply-constrained and there are waits across the board, then I think a lot of people are prepared to wait a long time…
“But in terms of demand and people coming in, we still see every week that new orders are coming in and demand is strong, but it’s a case of how long people are willing to wait.”
As for the ongoing challenges of supply and demand, Porsche Australia is seeing small signs of improvement as Germany is able to better overcome the specific part shortfalls caused by both the semiconductor issue and the war in Eastern Europe.
“As it has been for a while, demand is really strong and supply is a picture that changes every week, that’s why it’s quite hard to give people a definitive wait time and picture, because what’s the correct answer this week can change the next,” Mr Jordan said.
“The reason its changing a lot is not just the dynamics of the world at the moment but also the counter measures that Germany is putting in place with production.
“f you think about procurement, if there is one item that they are short on, a few weeks later they might have a countermeasure that comes in and they are able to get it again so the supply improves, that’s why instead of publishing a wait time for every model, we encourage people to talk to their Porsche centre.”
The other reason supplies of Porsche vehicles is improving is the Volkswagen Group’s insistence on supplying parts to higher-margin cars from its top-tier brands which include Lamborghini, Bentley and Porsche.
From January to end of May 2022, Porsche Australia sold 2533 cars, up from 2277 in the same period in 2021 – an 11.2 per cent improvement.
In that same timeframe, Volkswagen has gone down 38 per cent, Audi 36.7 per cent, BMW 13.3 per cent, and Mercedes-Benz 17.8 per cent.
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The final piece of the current Porsche 911 range will fall into place soon.
The 911 GT3 RS will be unveiled in the coming months, but it’s been spied undisguised in the lead-up at the Nurburgring. It’s predictably wild.
As we’ve previously seen, the RS will feature a towering rear wing that goes further than the unit fitted to even the GT3. Low-flying aircraft beware…
The bonnet is more aggressively vented than that of the GT3, and the front bumper features more aero-improving cuts and slashes on it.
Like its predecessor, the RS features louvres on the front wheel arches to lessen pressure at high speed. The rear bumper is slashed more aggressively than that of the GT3, with vertical cutouts similar to those of its predecessor.
Real nerds will notice the RS pictured here is the only 991.1-generation 911 to feature door handles that don’t electrically pop out. Whether that will make it to production isn’t clear.
Power is expected to come from a more powerful version of the 911 GT3’s engine.
The GT3 uses a 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six engine with 375kW of power and a 9000rpm redline, good for a 3.4-second sprint to 100km/h with the seven-speed PDK transmission fitted.
The engine is derived from the unit in the 911 R endurance racer, and is actually used in the 911 Cup car with minimal changes.
Given the last GT3 RS was available only with a seven-speed PDK, we expect the new car to follow suit even though a six-speed manual is available in the GT3.
Unfortunately, it’s already sold out for Australia.
An earlier version of this story claimed the 911 GT3 RS will be revealed at Goodwood. It’s since been updated.
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Do you feel the need, the need for Speed (in a Bentley Continental GT Mulliner W12)? Well, now there’s a coupe for you.
Equipped with the Speed’s 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12, the revised Continental GT Mulliner now has 485kW and 900Nm to its name. That’s an 18kW increase over the previous Mulliner W12 variant, although torque remains the same.
All of this funnelled to all four wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The revised Mulliner coupe can now complete the 0-100km/h dash in 3.6 seconds — an improvement of 0.1s — and hit a top speed of 335km/h.
The car rides on 22-inch wheels with self-levelling centre caps that ensure the flying B logo is upright at all times, as well as an active air suspension setup with active dampers.
There’s also a 48V active roll control system to keep the car as flat as possible, rear-wheel steering to make the large coupe feel more nimble, and an electronic limited-slip differential that allows for torque vectoring across the rear axle.
Stopping ability can be improved if you’re willing to stump up for the optional carbon ceramic brakes.
The cabin features diamond in diamond quilting on the seats, doors and rear quarter panels with both contrast and accent stitching. All up the automaker claims there are 400,000 stitches throughout the interior.
There are also Mulliner logos on the seats, black walnut veneer across the dashboard with a silhouette of the car etched on the passenger’s side, and a unique Breitling-branded clock in the centre of the dash.
Bentley says it has taken care to craft new graphics for the digital instrumentation display so the dials “look like real metal”.
As a Mulliner model, buyers of this range-topping coupe can customise their vehicle from a wide selection of paint, leather, wood, metal, and stitching combinations.
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The Porsche Macan is everywhere.
Not only was it the best-selling Porsche in Australia during 2021, it was the brand’s best-seller worldwide ahead of the bigger Cayenne and Taycan.
Porsche knows it’s onto a good thing. After launching the car in 2014, the brand gave it a mid-life update in 2019, before another styling and equipment refresh in 2021 to keep things fresh in the face of strong competition.
What’s new? Along with the styling, which has been massaged to bring it into line with the latest Porsche range, the car has a range of more powerful engines, more modern cabin technology, and a longer list of standard equipment.
Although it’s technically an updated version, the Macan GTS on test here is a long way removed from the first Macan GTS introduced in 2016. It’s down 100cc, but up 49kW and 50Nm. It competes with a stronger than ever pool of rivals.
Has Porsche evolved its smallest SUV fast enough to keep up with the crowd?
How much does the Porsche Macan GTS cost?
Pricing for the Macan range kicks of at $90,100 after a recent price hike. The GTS on test here was hit with an $8300 increase, taking its list price to $138,100 before on-roads.
That’s $24,900 more than the Macan S, and $8000 more than the rival Mercedes-AMG GLC43. It’s also more than you’ll pay for a BMW X3 M40i ($118,900) or Audi SQ5 TDI ($110,400).
Being a Porsche, there’s also options to consider. Our tester was fitted with $23,380 worth of options, for an as-tested price of $161,480 before on-road costs.
What is the Porsche Macan GTS like on the inside?
The Macan was given an interior refresh with its most recent update. Although the architecture of the cabin is largely the same, the dizzying array of black buttons lining the transmission tunnel has been replaced with a version of the glossy flight deck from the 911, Panamera, and Cayenne.
Gone is the old automatic shifter (which was prone to clunking from Park to Reverse), and in its place is a new unit that’s smoother to use but feels a bit plasticky in your hand.
The fundamentals in the Macan are excellent. The driving position is spot on, the wheel is the perfect size and shape, and the seats themselves offer a perfect blend of bolstering and support. The cold metal gearshift paddles and click-clack Drive Mode dial on the wheel are pure class.
With a simple, three-dial instrument binnacle (lifted from the 718 Cayman) instead of the dual-screen cluster from the 911, Cayenne, and Taycan, the Macan has a bit of an old-fashioned feel that will be immediately identifiable to Porsche fans from way back.
What it lacks in customisability, it makes up for in clarity. Although you can do more with the dials from the 911, the simple digital speedo and colour trip computer screen on the right-hand side are easy to read on the fly, and can still be set up to show you a map or all the car’s vital signs.
The central infotainment screen has been lifted straight from the latest Porsche models. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the tiles on the home screen, and laying out everything you want isn’t the work of a moment, but with time comes familiarity.
It’s easy to jump around the system using the touch-based shortcuts at the base of the dashboard, too. Speaking of which, the sheer number of buttons on the gloss black transmission tunnel is eye-opening at first, and the amount of fingerprints they attract will drive clean freaks mad.
Like the infotainment system, it takes time to learn where everything is… but once again with time, it’s easy to find what you need with minimal eyes-off-road time. The fingerprints on our tester were strongest on the exhaust button, which tells you all you need to know about what we were pressing.
There’s plenty of storage up front, from the dual cupholders and decent underarm storage bin to the bottle-friendly door pockets. The little slot behind the e-parking brake is perfect for garage keys and coins, provided you’re happy to have them on show.
Rear seat space has always been a weak point in the Macan relative to its mid-sized SUV rivals, and that remains the case in 2022. Legroom is tight behind taller drivers, and headroom is poor relative to what’s on offer in smaller options like the related Audi Q5, let alone the class-leading BMW X3.
With air vents, a fold-down central armrest, and decent-sized windows it’s fine back there for children or small adults, but ultimately this is a mid-sized crossover aimed at people for whom practicality is less of a concern.
The claimed 453 litres of boot space in the GTS will give you space for a golf bag or a week’s shopping, but the sloping tailgate and higher floor mean this is less capable of hauling bikes or furniture than some of its rivals. With the rear seats folded you still get an impressive 1468L, however.
What’s under the bonnet?
Power in the Porsche Macan GTS comes from the a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 with 324kW and 550Nm, sent to all four wheels through a seven-speed PDK transmission.
Claimed fuel economy is 10.3 litres per 100km, and the 75L fuel tank needs to be filled with 98 RON premium unleaded petrol.
The 100km/h sprint flies by in a claimed 4.3 seconds.
How does the Porsche Macan GTS drive?
The Macan fires with a flourish and settles into a hard-edged Porsche idle. It feels special from the second you turn it on, but doesn’t feel contrived.
With bags of torque and a version of Porsche’s exceptional PDK dual-clutch transmission shuffling thorough the ratios, the Macan is effortless to pilot around town.
The steering on the 2022 model is lighter than I remember of the original at low speeds, making it simple to thread through tight carparks, and the widescreen surround-view cameras mean there’s no excuses for scraped bumpers or wheels. Although its compact dimensions hurt rear-seat and boot space, the Macan is a great size for the city.
On air suspension, the ride is very city-friendly. It has a long-travel feeling over speed bumps, and expansion joints float beneath the 21-inch alloy wheels without ruining the serenity.
As for when you’re not commuting? The Macan GTS feels like a really polished, really expensive hot hatch.
There are three suspension modes to flick through, the exhaust can be cranked up to deliver more noise, and the PDK can set up to hold gears right to the redline, transforming the car’s character. You can pick-and-mix using the buttons on the transmission tunnel, or flick through the drive modes using the dial on the wheel.
If that’s too complex, pressing the Sport Response button in the middle of the dial turns the car into its angriest mode for 20 seconds.
In its sportiest setup, the Macan is an angry little bastard of a thing. The engine rips through the mid-range with a hard-edged bark, and will run right to the redline before the PDK grabs another gear, the exhaust lets out a vicious crack, and the cycle repeats.
The transmission is lightning quick in Sport or Sport Plus, snapping through upshifts in an eye-blink and confidently downshifting when you lean hard on the silicon carbide brakes.
Not only are they designed to provide more stopping power than conventional steel units, they produce less brake dust to keep your matte black wheels looking fresher for longer. They pull up the near two-tonne Macan without a hitch, even when you’re hustling hard.
The steering is nicely weighted in Sport Mode, and the front end bites better than it has any real right to in a high-riding SUV. With the air suspension stiffened up body roll is kept neatly in check, and when you’re on the power it feels beautifully balanced.
This isn’t a 911, but the control weights and responses all have a distinctly Porsche-y feel about them. It’s clearly a part of the same family tree, although its priorities are slightly different.
What do you get?
10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system Apple CarPlay Satellite navigation Eight-speaker sound system with amplifier DAB+ digital radio 2 x USB-C in front centre console 2 x USB-A charging ports in rear centre console 14-way power Comfort front seats with memory Privacy glass Keyless entry and start Automatic LED headlights 19-inch alloy wheels
Macan T adds:
15mm lower suspension Electronic adaptive dampers Agate Grey Metallic exterior design elements Quad exhaust outlets 20-inch alloy wheels Auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors Exclusive upholstery with black leather, embossed Porsche crests on headrest Heated, eight-way power adjustable front sport seats Memory for driver’s seat Heated sports steering wheel Black aluminium door sills with Macan T logo
Macan S adds:
14-speaker Bose sound system Three-zone climate control Body-coloured front apron SportDesign side skirts, side blades, rear bumper
Macan GTS adds:
Sport Chrono package Air suspension including 10mm lower ride 21-inch wheels with colour Porsche crest Black exterior trim highlights Sports exhaust (four outlets, black) Tinted LED tail lights Front seat heating
The following options were fitted to our tester:
GTS Interior Package in Carmine Red: $7220 Carmine Red exterior paint: $4480 GTS exterior side blades: $2230 Tinted LED headlights: $860 Panoramic sunroof: $3110 Carbon interior package: $1600 Adaptive cruise control: $1620 Self-steering park assist: $650 18-way adaptive sports seats: $580 Porsche LED puddle lights: $540 Power steering plus: $490
Is the Porsche Macan GTS safe?
The Porsche Macan doesn’t have a rating from ANCAP, though it has an older, five-star rating from Euro NCAP based on testing conducted in 2014. This took place before ANCAP harmonised its ratings with Euro NCAP.
Standard safety equipment includes:
Lane-change assist Reversing camera Front and rear parking sensors Surround-view cameras Front, front-side and curtain airbags
How much does the Porsche Macan GTS cost to run?
The Porsche Macan is backed by a three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
Maintenance is required every 12 months or 15,000km, and Porsche doesn’t offer capped-price servicing like some of its rivals.
CarExpert’s Take on the Porsche Macan GTS
The Porsche Macan isn’t the newest mid-sized SUV out there, but it’s still the best for anyone who enjoys driving.
From the moment you sit behind its perfectly-proportioned steering wheel, and the V6 engine fires with a hard-edged bark, it feels special. None of its more mainstream competitors can match its impressive ride and handling balance on air suspension.
It’s not perfect, though. Criticising Porsche for options prices is futile at this point, but it’s also a bit mad you need to pay more than $10,000 to make your GTS look like, you know, a GTS with a full interior package and red paint. It’s also disappointing you need to option adaptive cruise control on a $150,000 luxury SUV in 2022.
The success of the Macan would suggest buyers don’t really care, though. I don’t think I would either.
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The updated Porsche 911 looks set to drop its analogue rev counter.
The 992.2-generation 911 has been snapped testing multiple times in recent months, wearing modified front and rear bumpers on the outside.
Recent images of the cabin reveal the 911 looks set to gain the fully-digital dials from the Taycan electric car.
The current model features a prominent rev counter in front of the driver, flanked by two screens which can be customised individually.
New model Current (GT3 pictured)
As for the rest of the changes? The rumour mill is swirling regarding the 911’s engine, with some reports claiming it could gain the 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated flat six from the Cayman GTS and GT4 with its mid-life update.
But asked if the 4.0 from the 718 GTS range will end up in the 911, Frank-Steffen Walliser, board member responsible for the 911 and 718, simply told us “no”.
The engine in question shares its displacement with the engine in the 911 GT3 and Cayman GT4 RS, but is actually a unique unit developed specifically for the 718 GTS and GT4.
Given the cost of developing and homologating an engine, it’s rare for brands to create a bespoke unit for a single, relatively low-volume model range.
Although Mr Walliser didn’t give too much away, he suggested the engine was meant to be used more broadly when development started in 2014, before rapidly-changing emissions regulations forced Porsche to change its plans.
“Knowing everything I know today, maybe we would have done something different,” Mr Walliser said.
“It was not a wrong decision, you can’t go back. The engine is a marvel, the 4.0-litre in the GTS. Customer response was over-the-moon, it really gave a second life to Boxster and Cayman,” he said.
“Things have changed, other plans have changed,” Mr Walliser said. “It will stay the single engine, the single car – a very collectible car.”
Although one of the cars pictured here features a different exhaust arrangement to the current model, suggesting it could have a different engine, the digital dash shows a turbo boost gauge.
Although naturally-aspirated power isn’t on the menu, we know hybrid power is coming to the 911.
It’s unlikely to feature PHEV power, and is instead likely to take inspiration from the powertrain in the 919 endurance racer, using electric power to assist rather than over-shadow the petrol engine.
Packaging a PHEV drivetrain in the 911 is more difficult than in the larger Panamera and Cayenne, given it’s still a relatively compact car and is still overtly focused on driver engagement.
Mr Walliser has previously told CarExpert the move to hybrid power “could come step-by-step” as Porsche works to meet the next batch of European emissions rules expected to hit in 2026.
That suggests the first move could be to a 48V mild-hybrid system, which allows the engine to switch off at low speeds and provides a power boost when you get a move on.
Mr Walliser says the first challenge is working out how much of a boost any hybrid system would provide to the petrol engine in a 911.
“The question is: With the hybridisation, what is the right level? How much power do you put in?,” Mr Walliser asked.
“This is also not solved. In the automotive industry we see different solutions, and we will see what our solution will be. Hybridisation in general is something we are considering,” he said.
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