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  1. The high-riding, all-terrain 2023 Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato will run on similarly tough Bridgestone tyres equipped with run-flat technology and designed exclusively for the model. Bridgestone has revealed full details on the custom Dueler All-Terrain AT002 tyre specially designed for the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato, a highly anticipated model that is set to begin production next month. The Dueler All-Terrain AT002 tyres will be the world’s first supercar all-terrain tyres that support Run-Flat Technology (RFT), which will allow Sterrato drivers to continue after a puncture for 80km at up to 80km/h with 0-bar pressure. The Bridgestone Dueler All-Terrain AT002 tyre is designed to be fit to carry the all-wheel-drive V10 Sterrato over any terrain, promising on and off-road performance to match the capabilities of the supercar. Bridgestone says that the AT002 tyres will be manufactured with a specialised compound and shoulder designed to provide optimal grip in deep gravel and mud. The Dueler All-Terrain AT002’s tread pattern provides ideal high-speed handling without losing any performance during off-road running. Sterrato owners who want to make the most of their all-terrain vehicle in colder climates will also have the aftersale option of the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 winter tyre for additional traction in snow and low-grip wet conditions. Both tyre options will have wider rear tyres with the AT002 measuring in at 235/40 R19 at the front and 285/40 ZR19 at the rear, while the Blizzak LM005 comes in at 235/40 R19 in the front and 285/40 R19 in the rear, only missing the ZR performance speed rating. “With the Dueler All-Terrain AT002, we’ve created a tyre that is just as capable at high speeds on asphalt as it is when driving off-road, providing high-speed stability and off-road capability, rising to meet a completely different set of challenges on mud, gravel, and demanding terrains,” said Bridgestone EMIA VP of consumer replacement Steven De Bock. The 2023 Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato is limited to 1499 production units and will run on a 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10 engine that produces 449kW of power and 565Nm of torque. It is the final variant in the line of V10 Huracan supercars that started in 2014. Once it goes on sale it will compete against the recently-revealed Porsche 911 Dakar. Lamborghini has claimed the model will do the 0-100km/h sprint in 3.4 seconds, and the 0-200km/h sprint in 9.8 seconds. View the full article
  2. While Porsche isn’t necessarily known for segment-leading infotainment systems, it has recognised that owners of older models may want to keep up with the times. Porsche Classic has released new editions of its Porsche Classic Communication Management (PCCM) and Porsche Classic Communication Management Plus (PCCM Plus) systems for a wider range of vintage and modern models – after a successful 2020 launch prompted further demand. The PCCM infotainment systems will now be available for owners who want 2023-era technology in the sixth-generation 911 997 (2005-2008) and the early 987 Boxster and Cayman (2005-2008), as well as the first-generation Cayenne (2003-2008). The retrofitted devices bring these older models up-to-date with a 7.0-inch touchscreen display (for the wider PCCM Plus) supporting features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, smarter navigation with 2D and 3D maps, and further media playback and bluetooth connectivity. Porsche is taking the restomod revenue, which is normally capitalised on by a third party, into its own hands. It will enable the infotainment upgrade with a seamlessly fitting device which still uses the existing amplifiers, speakers, and antenna. “There is huge demand for contemporary networking of our timeless classics. And soon after the successful launch of the infotainment systems for retrofitting, we received corresponding queries from owners of early 911 generation 997, this is why we’re now significantly extending our range,” said Porsche Classic director Ulrike Lutz. Porsche Classic Communication Management Plus 997, 987, Cayenne E1 Porsche Classic assures that the devices are made to be imperceptible from the components already installed in the car, with the design style and materials matching elements such as the climate control panel. The American and European devices will be equipped with region-specific features such as embedded local radio stations and onboard navigation with Porsche ‘points of interest’. We have reached out to Porsche Classic for clarification on any potential Australia-specific features. The new PCCM Plus will naturally be the most expensive of the two devices, starting at EUR 1520 (A$2383), with extra costs for navigation maps. The devices can be ordered at any Porsche centre from today, and fitting is recommended at an allocated Porsche Centre or Porsche Classic partner. MORE: Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment review View the full article
  3. Lamborghini’s new V12 hybrid flagship has been revealed in a set of sketches ahead of its unveiling in the first quarter of 2023. Sketches filed with the World Intellectual Property Organisation show the highly anticipated Lamborghini Aventador successor. The sketches, originally obtained by Motor1, show an angular mid-engine coupe that shares design cues with its Aventador predecessor. The aggressive, angular front face of the vehicle is reminiscent of the exclusive Lamborghini Sian, with a pair of scalene LED headlights and large cooling ducts at the bottom of the bumper. The side profile features deep air intakes and what are presumably Lamborghini’s trademark scissor doors. The rear of the model continues the angular design motif with prominent hexagonal exhaust outlets and slim Y-shaped lighting strips. The sketches also provide a birdseye view of the mid-mounted V12 engine, a crucial element for a flagship Lamborghini. “It’s important to start a new era with the V12,” said Lamborghini’s regional director of Asia Pacific, Francesco Scardaoni, describing it as “the masterpiece that the company started with in 1963”. The new supercar will differ from the Aventador in featuring a hybrid V12 powertrain. Spy photos taken in November 2022 gave us a glimpse at the interior, including a digital instrument cluster that revealed an 8500rpm redline. The cluster also showed a “Rear aero system fault!” message, suggesting the model will feature at least a pop-up rear spoiler. Outputs for the new powertrain haven’t been revealed, but Lamborghini isn’t likely to move backwards from what’s on offer in the Aventador. Its V12 powertrain makes 574kW and 720Nm in LP780-4 Ultimae guise. With all-wheel drive and an automated manual transmission, the Ultimae can complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 2.8 seconds, hit 200km/h in 8.7 seconds, and max out at 355km/h. Mr Scardaoni previously told CarExpert that “the cost price (of the new model) will be slightly higher than Aventador, but not because of the hybrid but because of the materials, the cost of material, cost of parts.” Lamborghini already has over 3000 orders and an 18-month waiting list for the still unnamed Aventador successor, showing the appetite for ultra-luxury vehicles hasn’t slowed down. When the Aventador launched in 2011, it became the first series production car to feature a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis. Its replacement is also set to bring a list of firsts to market and Lamborghini says it will be best in class, which suggests it should take the fight to Ferrari’s ballistic SF90 V8 hybrid. Lamborghini is coming off a record year with 9233 car sales worldwide in 2022, 10 per cent higher than the previous year. The Italian brand is making a 1.8 billion euro (A$2.8bn) investment into electrification of its range through to 2026 and is set to launch its first electric vehicle by 2028. A plug-in hybrid version of the Urus has been spied testing and it is scheduled to launch in 2024, following the new V12 hybrid supercar. The successor to the current Huracan will also receive a hybrid system when it launches in 2024. View the full article
  4. Lamborghini‘s upcoming Urus plug-in hybrid “super” SUV has been spied once again ahead of its previously confirmed launch in 2024. Once the electrified Urus goes on sale it’ll go head-to-head with vehicles like the BMW XM, and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid. Our spy photographers captured this Urus PHEV prototype with a swirly black-and-white camouflage while parked in a grassy field. It’s parked next to a number of other Volkswagen Group vehicles, as well as what appears to be a Porsche Macan EV prototype. This latest Urus PHEV prototype appears to be very similar in terms of design to a recently-spied example, with the reworked LED headlights and the tweaked grille design. There’s also a covered-up charging flap on the left-hand side rear wheel arch like all previous Urus PHEV prototypes. This Urus PHEV prototype is still covered in an abundance of camouflage, which could point toward Lamborghini hiding some of the changes for now. The interior is all covered up too. It’s expected that future Urus PHEV prototypes will shed the camouflage and give us better look both inside and out. At this stage it’s unclear what will power the Urus PHEV, but it could share its plug-in hybrid powertrain with Porsche. The Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid uses a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 mate with an electric motor and a 17.9kWh lithium-ion battery, with total system outputs of 500kW of power and 900Nm of torque. This is 10kW and 50Nm more than the recently-revealed Urus S which is the “entry-level” version of the updated super SUV range. In addition to the Urus S, Lamborghini has also revealed the meaner-looking Urus Performante. Both models are powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine making 490kW and 850Nm, sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Lamborghini has previously said it’s launching its first hybrid series-production vehicle in 2023, with Lamborghini’s director for the APAC region, Francesco Scardaoni, recently confirming it will be the Aventador successor. This successor to the Aventador has been previously spied and will have a V12 naturally-aspirated engine with a plug-in hybrid system. The Urus PHEV and an electrified Huracan successor will follow in 2024. Lamborghini’s roadmap to electrification will culminate with its first all-electric model, which will arrive “by the second half of the decade”. Mr Scardaoni recently confirmed this electric vehicle (EV) will have a 2+2 seating configuration. Previous rumours have pointed toward it being a grand tourer that will look similar to the Estoque concept from 2008, and the Asterion concept from 2014. Click an image to view the full gallery. MORE: Everything Lamborghini Urus View the full article
  5. The updated Bentley Continental GT coupe and GTC convertible have been spied testing in the snow, ahead of an expected 2024 introduction. The latest series of photos show an apparent – if minor – change in design for the headlights and tail lights, as well as tweaks to the front and rear bumpers. Our spy photographers recently spied a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Continental GT featuring both a fuel filler cap on the right-hand side and a squarer charging flap on the left. Bentley has confirmed its Continental range will feature a PHEV variant. The brand uses different PHEV powertrains in its Flying Spur and Bentayga, and it’s not yet clear which will be used in the Continental – or if it will use a different one entirely. The Continental range is based on the Volkswagen Group MSB platform which also underpins the Bentley Flying Spur and Porsche Panamera. In plug-in hybrid guise, the Flying Spur features a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine alongside an electric motor and a 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery, with total system outputs of 400kW of power and 750Nm of torque. The Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid also features a 2.9-litre V6 with a pair of turbochargers, but a total system output of 340kW. The hotter Turbo S E-Hybrid, in contrast, uses a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8, a 17.9kWh lithium-ion battery, and total system outputs of 514kW and 870Nm. Finally, Bentley’s plug-in hybrid Bentayga uses a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol and a 17.3kWh lithium-ion battery, with total outputs of 330kW and 700Nm. Though unconfirmed, the Continental GT and GTC’s twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 and twin-turbo 6.0-litre W12 may continue, at least until 2026 when the brand says it will then only offer electrified or electric vehicles. The current Continental was first revealed in 2017 and entered production in 2018, making it due for an update. With the launch of a plug-in hybrid version of its coupe and convertible range, Bentley will have electrified variants across all its model lines. Current Continental GT The two-door PHEVs will then be followed by Bentley’s first electric vehicle, set to be revealed in 2025 ahead of a launch in 2026. The company will then exclusively sell EVs from 2030 onwards. Bentley Motors claims to have delivered 15,174 vehicles to customers in 2022 across 65 countries, setting an all-time record for sales which were up four percent year-on-year. With the introduction of PHEV versions of the Bentayga and Flying Spur, Bentley sales jumped 23 percent in the Asia-Pacific region alone. The Bentayga was Bentley’s top-selling model, accounting for 42 percent of total sales. Current Continental GTC MORE: Everything Bentley Continental View the full article
  6. The wider Volkswagen Group delivered 572,100 all-electric vehicles to buyers in 2022, up 26 per cent year-on-year (YoY). Accordingly, the Group’s EV sales accounted for 6.9 per cent of its total, up from a 5.1 per cent share in 2021 and just 2.5 per cent in 2020. In the course of 2022, additional sites in Emden, Hanover and Chattanooga started to produce EVs. However the performance could have been far greater, with VW Group claiming to hold a staggering 310,000 BEV backorders in Western Europe alone, as it navigates crippling supply chain shortages on the back of COVID and Russia’s Ukraine invasion. This situation was reflected in the VW Group’s overall delivery tally from 2022, which ended up 7.0 per cent down YoY to 8.3 million vehicles. “Our brands have shown a decent performance regarding deliveries in a very challenging environment last year,” said Member of the Extended Executive Committee for Sales Hildegard Wortmann. “I am particularly pleased that our electric transformation gained further traction across the brands and that we reached our target share of around 7 to 8 percent for all-electric vehicles despite these headwinds. “The high order bank is a clear proof that customers love our entire strong product portfolio. That gives us confidence for 2023 despite weakening macroeconomics and ongoing supply shortages. The latter are expected to improve step by step in the course of the year.” VW Group says it wants 11 per cent of its sales this year to be EVs, climbing to 20 per cent in 2025 and 50 per cent by 2030. To contextualise VW Group’s almost 600,000 EV deliveries in 2022, Tesla reported calendar-year 2022 deliveries of more than 1.31 million cars, up 40 per cent YoY. EV sales by VW Group brand Volkswagen: 325,100 EVs, up 23.6 per centAudi: 118,200 EVs, up 44.3 per centSkoda: 53,700 EVs, up 9.3 per centPorsche: 34,800 EVs, down 15.7 per centSEAT/Cupra: 31,400 EVs, up 140.8 per centVolkswagen Commercial: 7500 EVs, up 109 per cent EV sales by VW Group model Volkswagen ID.4/ID.5: 193,200Volkswagen ID.3: 76,600Skoda Enyaq iV: 53,700Audi Q4 e-tron: 52,800Audi e-tron: 51,200Volkswagen ID.6: 37,400Porsche Taycan: 34,800Cupra Born: 31,400 EV sales by VW Group region Europe: 352,000 EVs, up 13.4 per centChina: 155,700 EVs, up 68.2 per centUSA: 44,200 EVs, up 18.8 per centRest of World: 20,200 EVs, up 59.2 per cent The Volkswagen Group’s EV sales in Australia were minuscule, comprising the Porsche Taycan (430, different Australian management), Audi e-tron SUV (129) and e-tron GT (13), and the Cupra Born (1, ahead of its early 2023 launch). In late 2023 Volkswagen will finally launch the ID.4 and ID.5 SUVs, shortly before the Skoda Enyaq arrives. From 2024 the company intends to add the ID.3 hatch in mid-life updated form, plus the much in-demand, retro-inspired ID.Buzz people-mover and ID.Cargo work van. Nevertheless, Volkswagen Australia plans for electric vehicles (EVs) to account for more sales than its internal combustion (ICE) range as soon as 2028, according to a recent post on VW Group’s LinkedIn. This quartet will form a crucial part of VW’s plan to dramatically scale up its EV sales, projecting 6500 sales of zero-tailpipe emissions cars in 2024, and a cumulative 150,000 by 2030. “Our ambitions are very clear, we’re not here to dip our toe in the water,” said Volkswagen Passenger Vehicles general manager of marketing and product Ralph Beckmann. As reported last month, Volkswagen globally will introduce 10 new electric vehicles by 2026 and will cease European production of combustion-powered vehicles by 2033. The key issue here will no doubt be supply. Volkswagen Australia has long been outspoken about the need for the federal government to legislate fuel efficiency standards – expected to form the key plank in its national EV plan – to incentivise its German parent company to send plenty of EVs our way. “Our company was to first to warn that this country would become a ‘third world dumping ground’ for obsolete auto technology. This has become a rallying cry,” said then VW Group Australia chief Paul Sansom in August. “A federally mandated emissions target for our industry is non-negotiable if Australia’s supply of electric vehicles is to grow from a trickle to a flow and thereby start to meet ever growing demand,” he added. MORE: Volkswagen Australia aims for EVs to outsell ICE vehicles by 2028 MORE: National EV strategy paper nets more than 500 submissions View the full article
  7. Lamborghini sold a record 9233 cars around the world in 2022, eclipsing its previous record and showing that demand for ultra-luxury products hasn’t waned amid economic uncertainty. The 2022 sales result is about 10 per cent greater than the previous year. Moreover, the brand is about sold out for 2023, with average wait times out to 18 months. Lamborghini is a poster brand not only in enthusiast’s bedrooms, but also the offices of Volkswagen Group accountants, with its margins per car north of $100,000 according to its financial reporting. The Sant’Agata Bolognese-based company’s announcement comes days after the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce – fellow upper-echelon marques – posted new records of their own. Broken up into three macro regions, the company saw growth across the board: up 14 per cent in Asia (2561 cars); 10 per cent in the Americas (3188); and 7 per cent in Europe, Middle East and Africa (3484). The global dealer network increased from 173 to 180, with a presence in 53 countries. The US was top dog overall (2721 sales, up 10 per cent); followed by Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong & Macau (1018, up 9 per cent); Germany (808, up 14 per cent ); UK (650, up 15 per cent); and Japan (546, up 22 per cent). In terms of models, the Urus SUV topped the charts with 5367 sales, ahead of the Huracan (3113, up 20 per cent despite its age), and Aventador (753, now out of production). Automobili Lamborghini chairman and CEO Stephan Winkelmann said the result “shows that our direction is sound and our choices are on the mark”. “ …We have been able to carefully and meticulously manage an extraordinary order intake, pursuing a clear strategy with the primary objective of maintaining controlled growth to protect the exclusivity of our brand. “2023 is going to be a year of challenges and changes that we are ready to confront by always pushing ourselves beyond. We now have the opportunity to focus on our next objectives also thanks to an 18-month waiting list, which enables us to look to the future and the upcoming goals with confidence.” This year will see Lamborghini release its first hybrid car – a new V12-toting Aventador successor – as part of a 1.8 billion euro (A$2.8bn) investment into electrification out to 2026. Set to be unveiled early 2023, the new flagship Lamborghini V12 will use an all-new chassis, V12 engine and a hybrid system that the Italian brand says has been developed entirely in-house. The new model already has over 3000 orders. On a more niche note, production of the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato will start in February 2023 and be limited to just 1499 units. Once it goes on sale it will compete against the recently-revealed Porsche 911 Dakar. Longer-term, Lamborghini’s confirmed Urus plug-in hybrid (PHEV) arrives in 2024 View the full article
  8. Porsche revealed its high-riding all-wheel-drive 911 Dakar in November last year after years of lapping the Nurburgring and intense mixed terrain running to put the model’s off-roading capabilities to the test. Already limited to 2500 units, Porsche is adding to the 911 Dakar’s exclusivity with three wraps inspired by the designs of Porsche’s most famous 1970s rally entrants. The 911 Dakar was initially announced with a Rally Design Package inspired by the winning 1984 car, but the new wraps draw from the 1971, 1974, and 1978 entrants in the East African Safari Rally The Rallye 1971 decal pays tribute to the team of Polish drivers who took modified 911 S models through 5000km of the Kenyan savanna, desert, and highlands, on what is considered one of the most challenging rallies in the world. The modified 1971 911 S was distinguishable by its simple black details on the bonnet, front wings, and doors, which are carried into the modern interpretation. The racing number 19 is added to the side of the model in the new wrap for the most successful 911 in 1971, which finished in 5th place and was driven by Sobiesław Zasada and Marian Bień. The 1974 decal, an ode to Swedish rally champion Björn Waldegård, is characterised by two-tone blue stripes along the shoulder of the car’s white body which were originally to make space for a team sponsor. Only 16 of the 99 cars entered in the 5-day East African Safari Rally made it to the finish line. One of them was a Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS driven by Waldegård and co-driver Hans Thorszelius, who ultimately placed second. The most recognisable decal of the three wraps, the 1978 design, takes the original Martini Racing Team design of wave-shaped stripes of orange and grey and reimagines it in a deep red and ocean blue. Also added to the wrap is the racing number 14 on the doors, which is a nod to South Africans Vic Preston Jr. and John Lyall, who placed second in his 911 SC during the 1978 East African Safari Rally. Porsche 911 Dakar buyers wishing to adorn their unit with one of the three exclusive wraps will have to pay an additional €4165 (AU$6500) for the 1971 and 1974 decals, and an extra €5950 (AU$9300) for the 1978 decal. That is on top of the initial $491,400 for the base 911 Dakar model and additional $54,730 for the Rally Design Package, all before on-road costs. The decal sets can all be ordered via the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, and deliveries of the Porsche 911 Dakar are expected to begin in late 2023 for Australia. MORE: 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar revealed, priced for Australia View the full article
  9. Bentley Motors delivered an all-time record 15,174 vehicles to customers in 2022 across 65 countries – up 4 per cent year-on-year and setting a new high water mark. The result comes a day after fellow German-owned but England-based ultra-luxury marque Rolls-Royce announced its own all-time sales record of 6021 cars. Bentley sales grew by 23 per cent in the Asia Pacific (2031 units), 12 per cent in the UK (1490 sales), 11 per cent in Europe (2809 sales), and 1 per cent in the Americas (its biggest region accounting for 4221 sales). Demand dropped off 9 per cent in the huge Chinese market – as with Rolls-Royce – as ongoing lockdowns and a weakening economy bit. Sales also dipped in Australia, down 7.3 per cent to 203 sales in 2022. Continued demand for SUVs meant the Bentayga remained Bentley’s number one model, selling more in its sixth year of sales than ever before, and accounting for 42 per cent of the total. The Continental GT and GT Convertible accounted for nearly a third of sales, while the Flying Spur four-door grand tourer reached 28 per cent of total sales, thanks in part to the introduction of the new hybrid model. The Crewe-based marque cited increasing demand for its expensive and unique Mulliner personalised models – just like Rolls-Royce which saw record uptake for its bespoke and coachbuilt options. Commenting on the global sales results, chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark said “the business overcame significant headwinds and demonstrated great resilience to deliver the third consecutive record sales year”. “This underlines our brand strength, operational excellence and strong global demand by market and model,” he added. “The reaction to the market introduction of our hybrid models, Flying Spur joining Bentayga last year, demonstrate the path the luxury sector is heading, and we are positioned firmly at the forefront. “These numbers are validation that we not only lead the sector in sales and market share, but also investment in electric technologies and commitment to being net carbon neutral in 2030.” MORE: 2023 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid gains more power View the full article
  10. Overall Track Performance Each evolution of the Porsche 911 keeps pushing the limits of what you think is capable. This time it’s the astounding level of traction they have extracted from a twin-turbo boosted, rear-driven weapon which is so impressive, and it really made me question the need for an all-wheel drive version. The Porsche 911 Carrera GTS has always been regarded as the sweet spot in the range and continues to excel with its balance between everyday drivability and outright entertainment. This was actually a hard day for the 911 GTS, as I was jumping between it and the racier 911 GT3… but it wasn’t a hard day for me… On the same day the Porsche 911 GT3 had jumped straight to the top of the CarExpert leaderboard, which possibly overshadowed the capability of the GTS. With that being said, it was difficult to keep the smile off your face as you squeezed the throttle and it fired off each corner. Yes, it’s not an all-out race model, nor is it intended to be, but it has to be one of the easiest Porsches to drive fast that I have ever been in, and the lap time it achieved and the way in which it did it, was pretty impressive! Engine The power delivery was impressively smooth and linear, delivering exactly what I was asking for with enough on tap to impress most people. 353kW and 570Nm are not crazy numbers these days, but it definitely delivers on every one of those kilowatts and newtonmetres it is quoting. The craziest part for me was how close the 911 GTS and 911 GT3 were in terms of 0-100 km/h time, with basically nothing separating them. The 911 GTS managed a best time of 3.42 seconds, edging the GT3 by 0.02 seconds and both pretty much bang on what Porsche claims they should do. On track it’s hard to get it wrong with such a driveable engine, with everything feeling so seamless and connected. It works from 2000rpm all the way to the 7400rpm limiter, with an overlap of torque and power that would make every engine manufacturer envious. Braking I was really impressed with the braking with the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS, it was super consistent and gave me confidence from the first application. In the 0-100km/h braking test it actually outperformed the 911 GT3, which didn’t like the slower speed stops as much, especially without tyre temperature. Initially it made the braking even easier to judge than with the GT3 and a much more user-friendly package for everyday use. Chassis It was really insane how much traction Porsche has generated from this car and how it has maintained body control without sacrificing traction at the same time – something that is easier said than done. It is by far one of the easiest Porsches to drive at the limit that I have ever driven. Because it was so hard to force the rear to break traction, you would expect it really bite when it did, but that was not the case. I felt so in control when it stepped out and it just slid a little bit, and I could manage the yaw so easily. Transmission and Differentials Gear shifts with the PDK dual-clutch transmission were excellent – super responsive, and the gear ratios were well spaced. The flexibility of the engine will of course help mask any issues here, but we know from Porsche engineering standards that a fair bit of thought has been put into this. The rear differential must be a work of art! It was doing such an impressive job without even being noticed. It’s subtle, smooth and does just what is required. This packaged with the rear suspension and geometry, has made one of the best rear-wheel drive experiences I’ve had. Not once did I feel like there was a need to add a front and centre differential, it felt just right the way it was. Suspension The suspension is surprisingly comfortable and compliant when you hit any bumps or curbs, and I could actually use more of the track with the Porsche 911 GTS compared to the GT3. Impressively it managed to have this compliance without giving up too much body control, and the rear end was especially well supported which meant that you could really lean on it in the fast corners without it falling over and that energy sending you sideways. There was still some suppleness to the front of the car, especially compared to GT3, but they could get away with this because the rear is so connected. When the tyres did get a bit warm, I had a little bit of understeer, but then I could easily induce some oversteer to help rotate the car mid-corner. Steering The steering was great; very precise without being uncomfortably reactive. I could really feel where I was with the tyre and how much I could push it in a way that made me more sensitive to any tyre drop-off. With this level of feedback and control, I could really take the car to the edge of the track with confidence and ease. Wheels and Tyres To hop out of the 911 GT3 with its Michelin Cup 2’s into the 911 GTS with Pirelli P Zero tyres, is quite a big change and not a fair comparison. But the drop-off with the Pirellis on the track was very noticeable and I couldn’t do two quick laps in a row without the pace dropping right off. There was a lot of energy being managed through 305/30 R21 rear tyres and it was just a bit too much for flat out track work. The balance between the front a rear tyres was excellent, with the smaller 245/35 R20 front tyres complementing the necessarily larger rear rubber. Driver Aids (Electronics) I ran the fastest laps with the traction control off and stability control in Sport mode. The only issue I noticed was when the tyres got hotter, it would start to intervene a bit more. The drive mode was Sport Plus, the spoiler was extended, and the suspension was in Sport as well. Cockpit (Ergonomics) The seating position was really good, I could get nice and low and at a good angle. For track work the GTS seats were still very capable, but didn’t have the lateral support of the GT3’s race seats. But, they won out for comfort and adjustability. The steering wheel was likewise excellent, with an Alcantara finish to ensure you had a good grip. Having the drive mode selector on the wheel is great, although once on the track it’s pretty much set and forget. Overall, the dash layout is simple but very effective and I liked the centrally located RPM gauge, but on the track, I would have liked a bigger gear number. Lap Time Absolutely no surprise that the Porsche 911 GTS slots in right near the top of the CarExpert leaderboard and actually becomes the fastest car not on Michelin Cup 2 tyres, with a few cars fitted with said tyres behind it too! One of the easiest, most well balanced and driveable performance cars on the market, its 55.48-second lap sits it just behind the Porsche 911 GT variants, with a much more compromised and user-friendly package. As much as I loved the GT3 on the track, it is so hard to look past the Porsche 911 GTS as one of the best options in the Porsche range. Atko’s 3 As progressive as it is, it can still bite at speedNailing the exit is critical and you need to position this from the mid-cornerIf you’re going to track this car, it deserves a tyre upgrade Click the images for the full gallery MORE: 2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS review MORE: Everything Porsche 911 View the full article
  11. Porsche has officially opened the Chilean production plant for its synthetic eFuel, marking the occasion by filling up a 911. Working in partnership with Highly Innovative Fuels (HIF), in which it bought a 12.5 per cent stake this year, Porsche has been developing a synthetic fuel option for combustion engines in parallel with its rollout of electric vehicles. The Haru Oni pilot plant in Punta Arenas, Chile is powered by wind energy, and will eventually be supported by plants in the US and Australia. The Australian plant will be located south of Burnie, Tasmania and construction is scheduled to begin in 2024, with an aim to produce 100 million litres of eFuel a year starting in mid-2026. Porsche Executive Board members Barbara Frenkel and Michael Steiner In this initial pilot phase at the Chilean plant, Porsche has set an annual production target of 130,000 litres. The first litres were used in a ceremonial fuelling of a Porsche 911 by Porsche Executive Board members Barbara Frenkel and Michael Steiner. Porsche has projected that output will increase to 55 million litres per year by the middle of the decade and around 550 million litres just two years after that. For reference, the Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, says Australia used 15,500 million litres of automotive fuel in 2021. Synthetic fuel production will have to significantly rise before it can become a wide-scale solution, with Porsche saying that the initial units of eFuel will mostly be used for ‘promotional purposes’ until production ramps up. The Porsche eFuel will initially be used in ‘lighthouse projects’ where the brand can showcase the fuel’s performance, such as the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. The south of Chile, where the plant is located, has around 270 windy days a year, making it an ideal location for wind turbines operating at full capacity. The plant is located close to the Strait of Magellan. The fuel can also be transported using existing infrastructure, further mitigating any environmental damage. The production of eFuel is just one aspect of Porsche’s plan to be entirely CO2-neutral by 2030, and the company says it has already invested over $US100 million ($A150 million) into the mission. “The potential of eFuels is huge. There are currently more than 1.3 billion vehicles with combustion engines worldwide. Many of these will be on the roads for decades to come, and eFuels offer the owners of existing cars a nearly carbon-neutral alternative,” said Mr Steiner, member of the executive board for development and research Ms Frenkel, member of the executive board for procurement, said that this eFuel endeavour will work as part of a two-pronged approach to sustainability, in conjunction with the company’s push towards EVs. “Porsche is committed to a double-e path: e-mobility and eFuels as a complementary technology. Using eFuels reduces CO2 emissions,” said Ms Frenkel. “Looking at the entire traffic sector, the industrial production of synthetic fuels should keep being pushed forward worldwide. “With the eFuels pilot plant, Porsche is playing a leading role in this development.” The company says the process of producing eFuels involves capturing CO2 from the atmosphere or from a biogenic source. Green hydrogen is then produced using electrolysis, and this is then combined with the CO2 in a reactor to create the fuel using synthesis. Compared to conventional fossil fuels, which have between 30 and 40 components, synthetic fuels have as few as eight. There are fewer nasties hiding in eFuel, so it’s better for engines and the environment. Porsche says it reduces emissions by around 85 per cent compared to today’s unleaded. Along with sports cars like the 911, where noise and emotion are central to the experience, Porsche says eFuels can be used to help cut carbon in remote areas or less developed markets, where the transition to electric power will be slower compared to the world’s big cities. MORE: Filling it Up: Green eFuels explained View the full article
  12. Recently-appointed Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume is overhauling the upper management of the German automaker with new people put in charge of quality management and design. As part of the boardroom shuffle, Michael Mauer, Porsche’s head of design, will take over the entire automaker’s design department from January 1, 2023, while also keeping his role at the luxury sports car maker. This isn’t the first time Mauer has been in this position, he was the group’s head of design between 2015 and 2020. Mauer replaces Klaus Zyciora who had replaced him in 2020. He has been Porsche’s head of design since 2004, and as such has overseen the development of all of today’s range, including the 718, 911, Macan, Cayenne, and Taycan. Michael Mauer Zyciora has been with Volkswagen since 1989, rising to become the brand’s head of exterior design in 2002, and its overall design chief in 2007. During his time at the firm he oversaw the design of the Golf Mk VI, Mk VII and Mk VIII, as well as all of the ID electric vehicles launched to date. He is leaving the automaker to “to pursue tasks outside the Group”. Today’s other change will see Michael Neumayer become the group’s head of quality management from the beginning of 2023. He will perform this new role in addition to his current one as Audi’s quality chief. Neumayer replaces Frank Welsch who had been the automaker’s head of quality since the beginning of February 2021. Michael Neumayer Today’s appointments are the latest changes in management as the automaker tries to steady itself after diving head first into the EV era. The biggest upheaval came at the beginning of September when Blume was appointed CEO of the Volkswagen Group after his predecessor Herbert Diess agreed to step down three years early. Since then he has reshaped the automaker’s board of management, placing people from the Volkswagen brand in charge of procurement and production, while Audi people are in control of quality and sales, and Porsche folk hold the reins over design and development. In a prepared statement Blume said “managing these key functions via the brands will allow us to intensify our customer focus” on the “excellent quality and iconic design [which] have always been USPs of the Volkswagen Group and its brands”. View the full article
  13. Porsche has been snapped testing the 992.2-generation 911 GT3 in the snow. These camouflaged test mules point to what we can expect from the next 911 GT3, which will likely debut during 2023. Up front, the new GT3 looks very similar to the current car, with a prominent splitter and nostrils in the bonnet. Bigger changes have come down back, however. There are camouflage panels on the outer edges of the rear bumper, which suggests there will be detail changes to the vents behind the rear wheels, while the diffuser features a slightly different design. Porsche is known for its evolutionary design, so don’t expect too many headline changes. It’s not clear if there’s more power to be had from the 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six. Even the more expensive, more track-oriented GT3 RS packs just 11kW more than the regular GT3, which currently makes 375kW of power. Porsche may filter some of the technology from the GT3 RS down to its little brother, such as the adjustable anti-roll bars, although it’s not clear how much the brand wants to keep exclusive to the RS. More broadly, the updated 911 range is expected to feature some form of hybrid power. Although the Cayenne and Panamera are offered with plug-in hybrids, the rear-engined 911 sports car is a bit different. 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 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. 911 hybrid test mule Board member responsible for the 911 and 718 model lines, Frank-Steffen 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. Current GT3Current GTS “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. Expect any hybrid to offer a handy boost to the outputs of the 3.0-litre turbocharged flat six in the 911 Carrera range. Currently the base Carrera makes 283kW and 450Nm, while the GTS makes 353kW and 570Nm. MORE: Everything Porsche 911 View the full article
  14. Porsche’s upcoming electric Macan has been snapped testing at the Nurburgring, offering a first look behind the wheel. The new Macan, which will sit alongside a petrol Macan in the Porsche range, will feature an interior that borrows plenty from the Taycan, 911, and Cayenne mules we’ve spied recently. There’s a simple digital instrument cluster with a design that mimics five analogue dials, and a big touchscreen integrated into the dashboard. There’s also a screen for climate control sitting at the base of the dashboard, although it’s partially obscured by the laptop screens in this particular test mule. Porsche’s typical Sport Chrono clock sits proud of the dashboard. The new Macan is expected to launch early in 2023, on the back of delays caused by issues at the Volkswagen Group’s software-focused Cariad division. It’ll sit alongside the Audi Q6 e-tron in the Group’s range. Porsche has recently lifted the veil on what to expect from its upcoming battery-powered Macan SUV, in a series of briefings given to overseas media. Autocar reports the electric Macan will feature electric all-wheel drive making up to 450kW of power and 1000Nm of torque. Although the motors will be similar to those featured in the Taycan, their magnet arrangement has been reworked for better power density, and new silicon-carbide semiconductors are on hand to reduce incremental power losses. According to Autocar, the PPE platform underpinning the new Macan EV supports rear-wheel drive. At launch however, the Macan EV will be offered only with all-wheel drive powertrains capable of switching off the front motor when coasting to save battery power. Speaking of batteries, Jalopnik reports the car will use a lithium-ion battery pack with around 100kWh of capacity. The biggest pack in the Taycan, which is built on a different platform dubbed J1, is 93.4kWh. Like the Taycan, the Macan Electric will have an 800V architecture that allows for charging at up to 270kW. That’s good for a 25-minute charge from five to 80 per cent. Range hasn’t been confirmed, but Jalopnik quotes a Porsche spokesperson who says it will have “a lot more” than the Taycan and its 500km best. The rear tyres will be wider than the fronts, in a bid to make the Macan the sportiest option in its class. Torque vectoring will feature on the rear axle thanks to a clutch-actuated mechanical differential, while the front axle will feature an open differential to keep wheelspin in check. Rear-wheel steering, two-stage air suspension, and adaptive dampers will all feature as well. The new platform will allow the Macan to feature a ‘frunk’ under the bonnet, too. The PPE platform underpinning the Macan will also feature underneath the electric Audi Q6 e-tron. MORE: Everything Porsche Macan View the full article
  15. Lamborghini has taken the Huracan to new heights as it fully reveals its first “all-terrain” supercar at the 2022 Art Basel fair in Miami, Florida. Dubbed the Huracan Sterrato, this is the final variant in the line of V10 Huracan supercars that started in 2014. Once it goes on sale it will compete against the recently-revealed Porsche 911 Dakar. Production of the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato will start in February 2023 and be limited to just 1499 units. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet. Powering the Huracan Sterrato is a 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10 engine producing 449kW of power and 565Nm of torque. This isn’t the most powerful version of this engine, with the track-oriented Huracan STO and Tecnica producing 21kW more. This is mated to a seven-speed LDF dual-clutch transmission with drive sent through an electronically-controlled all-wheel drive system. There’s also a rear mechanical self-locking differential. The Huracan Sterrato comes with an updated version of the Lamborghini Integrated Vehicle Dynamics (LDVI) system, with specific ‘Strada’ and ‘Sport’ calibrations. There’s also a new ‘Rally’ mode for low-grip conditions. Lamborghini claims the Huracan Sterrato can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 3.4 seconds, and the 0-200km/h sprint in 9.8 seconds. Flat out you’ll be doing 260km/h. Built to offer “optimum performance on unpaved and sandy surfaces”, the Huracan Sterrato has 44mm more ground clearance than the Huracan EVO to “ensure greater suspension travel”. It also has a 30mm wider front track width (1698mm) and a 34mm wider rear track width (1654mm). The Huracan Sterrato comes with 19-inch wheels wrapped in “custom-engineered” Bridgestone Dueler AT002 tyres that measure 235/40 R19 at the front and 285/40 R19 at the rear. These tyres have run-flat technology which in the case of a puncture allows the driver to drive a minimum of 80km at 80km/h with zero air pressure. Providing the stopping power are a set of carbon-ceramic brakes with 380mm discs up front, and 356mm discs at the rear. The Huracan Sterrato can come to a complete stop from 100km/h in 39 metres. The high-riding Huracan has a number of exterior features that are designed to “emphasise its muscularity”. There is aluminium front underbody protection, reinforced sills, wheel arch extensions, rear diffuser, rear bonnet-mounted air intake, roof rails, and LED light bars. On the inside it comes with exclusive Alcantara Verde Sterrato upholstery, and a reworked version of the Human Machine Interface (HMI) with new graphics and new features such as a digital inclinometer with pitch and roll indicator, compass, geographic coordinate locator, and steering angle indicator. The car has Amazon Alexa integration which allows owners to adjust features such as the air-conditioning, lighting, navigation, phone calls, and music with a voice command. It also has a connected telemetry system that can be interacted with using the Lamborghini Unica app. This app also allows for remote speed monitoring, sending of a destination to the navigation system, and drive recorder playback, as examples. The Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato is available in “almost unlimited possibilities” thanks to the carmaker’s Ad Personam program. There are 350 external paint colours to choose from, as well as over 60 colours for the leather and Alcantara interiors. As previously reported, the successor to the Huracan supercar is due in the middle of 2024 with a unique hybrid powertrain and platform. CarExpert believes the new model will still carry a V10, but it will be an all-new Lamborghini-designed powerplant with a hybrid system. The new Huracan will follow the V12 flagship hybrid. This will also be joined with the hybrid Urus SUV before the all-electric 2+2 Lamborghini arrives in 2028. MORE: Everything Lamborghini Huracan View the full article
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