porsche

Porsche Chooses Pirelli P Zero for new 911

PORSCHE CHOOSES PIRELLI P ZERO FOR NEW 911

September 15, 2011, Frankfort (Germany) – Porsche has fitted the latest iteration of its iconic 911 with Pirelli’s P Zero ultra-high-performance (UHP) tire.  Two different compounds of P Zero were specially developed for the new Porsche 911 Carrera that will have its world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week in sizes 245/35ZR20 front and 295/30ZR20 rear).

 

P Zero brings the new Porsche prodigious grip while enhancing the aerodynamic characteristics of the new Stuttgart supercar. With Porsche, Pirelli confirms its premium strategy and position as a leading partner to the world’s most prestigious car manufacturers. The P Zero developed for the Carrera accentuates the car’s characteristics, ensuring comfort, performance and driving enjoyment.

 

The latest tread compounds were specially designed for the new Porsche 911; the rear features Kevlar, a synthetic fiber offering excellent heat resistance and elasticity, whose longitudinal action allows the tire to react to thermal stress. The rear tire gives the Porsche maximum lateral grip, excellent stability even at high speed and greater precision when driving, thus eliminating the risk of oversteer or degradation of the tire itself. The front tire compound contains special nano-composites whose longitudinal and side action provides excellent grip and a marked improvement in cornering and lateral thrust.

 

The P Zero tread was specially developed by Pirelli engineers with side blocks featuring optimized sipe depth, thereby notably reducing noise emissions in compliance with European Union regulations.

 

Porsche has also chosen Pirelli for the 911 Carrera Turbo variant, to be launched over the coming months.  The eagerly-awaited supercar will be fitted with the P Zero 245/35ZR20 on the front and 305/30ZR20 on the rear.

 

The P Zero chosen by the German manufacturer is undergoing continual development as regards both design and the materials utilized. P Zero has enabled Pirelli to consolidate its leadership of the top vehicle ranges, having obtained more than 200 fitment approvals and chosen by leading car manufacturers to aid and enhance the extreme performance of supercars, while offering increasingly higher levels of driving pleasure and safety.

 

Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles in both the original equipment and replacement markets as well as markets and distributes tires for motorcycles and motorsports. Located in Rome, Georgia, Pirelli’s Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) employs state-of-the-art technology to manufacture tires for both export and domestic markets.  For more information please visit www.us.pirelli.com.

The new Porsche 911 Carrera

++ PRESS RELEASE FROM MANUFACTURER ++ World premiere at the 2011 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show

The new Porsche 911 Carrera: Tradition meets modernity

Stuttgart. At 48, the Porsche 911 Carrera is younger than ever: The completely redesigned generation of the sports car icon is stepping into the limelight with its flat, stretched silhouette, exciting contours and precisely designed details, yet from the very first glance it remains unmistakably a 911. True to the 911 tradition, the distinctive Porsche design language with its tendons and muscles exudes power and elegance.

The 100 millimetre (~ 3.9 inches) longer wheelbase and reduced height combined with the up to 20-inch wheels underpin the athletic appearance. At the same time, the typical sports car compact exterior dimensions were retained. Seen from the front, the eye is drawn to the 911’s trademark wide-arched wings. They emphasise the wider front track, so that the new 911 Carrera models sit even more solidly on the road. The remodelled exterior mirrors are accommodated on the upper edge of the door and not as before on the mirror triangle. Not only is this aerodynamically advantageous, it also emphasises the new design line and visual impression of width.

The all-new, lightweight body is an intelligent aluminium-steel construction. It is responsible for a significant proportion of the weight reduction of up to 45 kilograms. Combined with significantly greater rigidity. Aerodynamic optimisation – including a wider, variably extending rear spoiler – enabled the new 911 Carrera’s lift to be reduced yet further while retaining a very good Cd value.

To complement the modern exterior design, the Porsche designers created an interior, the architecture of which takes its cue from the Porsche Carrera GT. The driver is now even more closely integrated with the cockpit thanks to the centre console rising up to the front with the high-mounted shift lever or gear selector located especially close to the steering wheel in typical motorsport fashion. Classic Porsche elements are also to be found inside, as they are on the outside: the instrument cluster with five round instruments – one of them a high resolution multifunction screen, the central rev counter and the ignition lock to the left of the steering wheel.

Setting the standard in its class, as it has for generations, the new 911 Carrera and Carrera S raise the performance and efficiency bar yet another notch. All versions get by with significantly less than ten litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (28 mpg imp.). Fuel consumption and emissions are up to 16 per cent lower compared with its predecessor. Among other things, this is achieved by systems and functions such as auto start/stop, thermal management, electrical system recuperation, the world’s first seven-speed manual transmission and – in conjunction with the Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) – sailing as it is called. The new electro-mechanical power steering offers not only Porsche’s typical precision and feedback but also helps to increase efficiency and reduce fuel-consumption.

For example, the 911 Carrera with the new 350 hp (~ 257 kW) 3.4-litre boxer engine and optional PDK consumes a mere 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres (~ 34 mpg imp.) based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) – 1.6 l/100 km (~ 6 mpg imp.) less than its predecessor. Also, at 194 g/km CO2, it is the first Porsche sports car to make it below the 200 g/km mark. With the 911 Carrera S as well, with its 3.8-litre boxer engine and what is now 400 hp (~ 294 kW), fuel consumption when paired with the optional PDK is reduced by 14 per cent or 1.5 l/100 km (~ 5 mpg imp.) to 8.7 l/100 km (~ 32 mpg imp.) despite 15 hp (~ 11 kW) more power. That equates to CO2 emissions of 205 g/km.

At the same time there are performance improvements in both models. The 911 Carrera S with PDK manages to accelerate from nought to 100 km/h (~ 62 mph) in 4.3 seconds. Pressing the Sport Plus button on the optional Sport Chrono package cuts that to 4.1 seconds. The 911 Carrera with PDK needs only 4.6 seconds (Sport Plus 4.4 seconds) to sprint from a standing start to 100 km/h (~ 62 mph).

The new 911 doesn’t just offer better longitudinal dynamics, however, but top performance at an unprecedented level in terms of transverse dynamics as well. In addition to the longer wheelbase, the greater agility, precision and driving stability are based, among other things, on the wider front track, the new rear axle and new electro-mechanical power steering. Depending on the model, there are other standard or optional active control systems available as well that further enhance the driving dynamics. That is especially true for the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) active roll stabilisation system, available for the first time on the 911 Carrera S. For example, the system reduces lateral inclination when cornering, the tyres always being in the optimal position relative to the road surface and able to transmit higher lateral forces. Maximum cornering speeds are increased; even faster lap times on racing circuits are possible.

It has therefore been possible in the new model to extend yet further the span of apparently contradictory attributes such as performance and efficiency, sportiness and everyday practicality that has always typified the Porsche 911. That makes the 911 Carrera more of a 911 than ever. The new Porsche 911 Carrera celebrates its world premiere at the 2011 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show. The launch of the new 911 models gets under way on 3 December 2011, the new cars can be orderd from September 1st. Prices in Germany are 88,038 euro for the 911 Carrera and 102,436 euro for the 911 Carrera S, including 19 per cent VAT and market-specific equipment.

QUICK FACTS (CANADA):

* Totally redesigned inside and out * Longer wheelbase, reduced height, weight reduction of up to 45 kg * Interior inspired by Carrera GT * Smaller base engine with more power (3.4/350 hp); S engine remains 3.8, gains 15 hp for 400 total; world's first seven-speed manual transmission * Substantially improved performance (C2S 0-100 km/h 4.1 seconds with PDK and sport chrono) with reduced consumption and emissions of up to 16% * Start-stop technology, electromechanical power steering, optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control * $93,700 (Carrera); $110,000 (Carrera S); on sale in Canada February

 

Tested > 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe

2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S

Story & Snaps: Amee Reehal ©

Ironically, the most powerful, most dynamic press car I’ve tested to date, in the 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S, perhaps proved to be one I drove most conservative. Why? When you’re behind the wheel of a coupe that reaches 200km/h in under11 seconds (and100km/h in only 3.3 seconds), a speeding ticket will not only wipe out your HELOC, it will inevitably land you in jail. Or even worse: lead to divorce.

With that said, the Porsche 911 Turbo S is undoubtedly a track car. Freeways and highways reserved for the commoners simply don’t do this coupe justice unless you’re doing at least a buck-fifty and weaving through traffic like pylons, while playground zones, construction zones, and every other speed-prohibiting instrument will just get in the way.

Last year, the week my son was born, I was testing the 2010 911 Turbo, doing diaper runs at lightning speeds. This year, diaper runs were a little quicker; the Turbo S adds 30 extra horses to the Turbo, providing the Turbo S with 530-hp. Even better, despite increased power and performance, the Turbo S, at 11.4-L/100km, won’t consume any more fuel than the Turbo. Plus, options in the Turbo all come standard in the top of the line Turbo S, priced at an even $200,000 MSRP CAD. The only option on my 911 Turbo S was the PDK Gear Selector at $1470.

The 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S, the first Turbo S in five years, is available in either coupe or cabriolet form, both powered by a 6-cylinder boxer engine equipped with a couple turbochargers, making 530-hp and 516lb-ft of torque. Paired with Porsche’s revolutionary seven-speed PDK double-clutch gearbox, along with all-wheel drive and Porsche Traction Management, the 2011 911 Turbo S tops out at 315km/hr (195mph). And stopping power is flawless with the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB)—a $15,000 option in the Turbo; now standard in the Turbo S.

To read my review on the 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo, visit 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo.

For more info on the 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S, visit Porsche Canada.

 

 

Tested > 2011 Porsche Cayenne

2011 Porsche Cayenne V6 Tiptronic

Review & Photos: Amee Reehal ©

Can you believe it’s been more than seven years since the Porsche Cayenne launched in North America? Can you believe, after all these years, the 2011 Porsche Cayenne is only now the 2nd-generation offering? Well, when your SUV is your top-selling product selling over a quarter of a million units worldwide, why meddle with a sure thing? But onwards and upwards, the all-new 2011 Cayenne is lighter, more fuel efficient and spacious, and inevitably, coming from Porsche, a little sportier.

Starting at $58,200 CAD MSRP, this 2011 Porsche Cayenne with the 3.6-litre V6 and Tiptronic is the entry-level model. My version came equipped with some extras, including the Meteor Grey Metallic paint ($1080); 18-inch Cayenne S III wheels ($540); the 8-speed Tiptronic with Auto Start-Stop ($4090); comfort lighting package ($350); power tilt/slide moonroof ($1630); driver memory package ($540); ski bag ($560); PCM with Nav ($4970); front and rear park assist ($1500); Bi-Xenon lights and PDLS ($2540); and a BOSE surround sound system ($2410). Ringing in at a total price (before taxes/fees) of $78,310 CAD.

The philosophy or premise behind Porsche’s development mandate is too increase power on less fuel, create greater efficiencies, and lower CO2 emissions—a principle the company dubs “Porsche Intelligent Performance,” epitomized by the all-new 2011 Cayenne where Porsche managed to increase horsepower to 300-hp while reducing fuel consumption by 20-percent compared to the former model by way of the all-new Tiptronic S eight-speed transmission with the Auto Start-Stop. Innovations contributing to these efficiencies in this new eight-speed transmission include a wide spread of gear ratios, thermal management on the engine and transmission cooling circuit, on-board network recuperation, variable engine cut-off and intelligent lightweight construction.

You’ll notice the reworked exterior styling—a lot sleeker and elegant with longer, flowing lines while retaining a bit of that beefy SUV appeal. Porsche made strong efforts to give the 2011 Cayenne more car-like character, more inline with its other product lines. Many claimed the original Cayenne looked nothing like a Porsche. Personally, I disagreed, but perhaps now we can put that to rest; the all-new sportier 2011 Cayenne certainly makes a statement with styling that is truly Porsche: new headlights; strong rear shoulderlines; rear wings typical of Porsche. The 2011 Cayenne gets a little bigger too with a wheelbase almost 1.6-inch longer, and 1.9-inch longer overall than the outgoing model.

Above all, the cabin in the all-new Cayenne is dramatically different than its predecessor, finding a much needed, newly designed interior that was long overdue. Perhaps the most significant upgrade being the centre console with completely new instrumentation and buttons flanked by a couple grab handles. The entire console now sits nice and high, with a comfy yet aggressive cockpit feel. Majority of the new cockpit carries over from the new Panamera sedan, including the optional Burmester high-end sound system. The extended wheelbase makes way for more rear legroom, while the front seats are upgraded for greater comfort.

A few other new features, all optional on the entry-level Cayenne, include the PDLS Porsche Dynamic Light System: the current xenon light system but now with speed related headlight control with various light modes including bad weather lights. There’s also the option Lane Change Assistant (LCA) monitoring the lanes right and left of vehicle up to 70 metres, including driver’s blind side; and the Auto Cruise Control (ACC), using radar sensors to automatically monitor cruise control speeds by gauging distance to nearby vehicles.

Porsche has taken a proven, winning product and made it dramatically better in the 2011 Porsche Cayenne V6 Tiptronic. From the sportier and more elegant exterior styling to the completely redesigned and roomier cockpit interior, along with the introduction of some new assistance systems thrown into the mix, the Porsche Cayenne is arguably the most dynamic, well-rounded SUV on the market. Hands down.

For more info on the 2011 Porsche Cayenne please visit HERE.

Tested > 2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4

2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4

Review & Photos: Amee Reehal ©

No turbo. No PDK. No paddle shifters nor a plethora of steering wheel controls. Just a 6-speed stick shift, glowering dark rims wrapped in fat-ass tires, a malicious exhaust note paired to an equally menacing near-black vehicle, all with a roof that opens up to the sky. Following a string of Porsche press cars showcasing the company’s latest and greatest offerings (and I’m not complaining), it was refreshing to test a something a little more nostalgic; something a little more familiar and fundamental, particularly in the stick shift. But at nearly $150,000 Cdn MSRP for this particular model, the 2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4 is anything but fundamental. With enough Porsche product options and OEM customization to make a grown man giggle, this 2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4 is built just right—understated and sexy yet overly capable.

While cabriolets may have a bad rep with the purists opting for nothing but a hardtop, the targa certainly closes that gap, providing the best of both worlds (arguably, best of all three). Gone is the cumbersome, removable hardtop targa first introduced in the 1960’s; thirty-years later into the late 1990’s, welcome the first retractable glass roof. Essentially, it’s an over-sized sunroof, and it’s awesome. When fully open, the glass roof panel slides back underneath the rear window. Visibility out the back is severely hindered, but hey, give and take people. A targa-top provides more than enough fresh air and sunshine without compromising any stability issues found in a drop top.

The 2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4 starts at $113,700 Cdn MSRP; this version with all options comes in at $142, 040 before taxes/fees ($149,875 final price excluding GST/HST, if you’re wondering). Powered by a horizontally opposed, 6-cylinder 3.6-litre engine, the 2010 911 Targa 4 makes 345-hp at 6500-rpm and 288 lb-ft of torque. The ‘4’ in the Targa 4 denotes an AWD system, with majority of the power at the rear wheels. The 6-speed manual transmission is standard, as enjoyed in this version, while the PDK is an optional $5560.

Drop a mere $3250 and you’ll find your 911 Targa 4 with a set of multispoke, retro-styled 19” Carrera Sport Wheels, opposed to standard 18-inch alloy wheels with 235/40ZR18 tires front and 295/35ZR18 rears, alongside 13-inch vented rotors. Porsche’s PASM electronic damping control system is an extra $2720, as found here, while the various other stability and safety features such as ABS, PSM, and ASR are standard. The PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) is brilliant, offering a ‘Sport’ button that does more than offer a slick Sport button—press this magic button and stiffen your suspension for harder damping and better, tighter control. And to make things really magical, and immensely giddy, press the Sports Exhaust System button ($3830 upgrade): a curious little control denoted by a little icon of twin tailpipes, producing loud, burly exhaust tones out the exhaust pipes. I still have no idea whether this impacts performance in any way, but it’s totally gnarly and worth the money just to wake up the neighbors (sorry people who live down the street on the corner).

Inside the cabin, the 2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4 is equipped with many valuable standards including a 235-watt, 9-speaker audio system; full climate control with active carbon filter; 3-spoke leather steering wheel; and leather seat surfaces, to name a few. All 911 Carrera and 911 Targa models find a standard PCM 3.0 system (Porsche Communication Management) adding a 6.5-inch touchscreen controlling all audio, navigation, and communications. This 911 Targa 4 saw optional black/sand beige interior ($5570); a gear/handbrake lever with aluminum look ($1470); power comfort seats with driver memory ($2120) along with seat ventilation ($1090); Bluetooth Phone Interface ($950); and nav module for the PCM ($2880). Nearly all Porsche products offer an optional Sport Chrono Package, enhancing and adding various features to the respective model. This 2010 911 Targa 4 finds the Sport Chrono Package Plus ($1310) delivering even sportier tuning of the engine and chassis. This package also adds the digital and analogue timer nestled on the upper dash, the Sport select function, and the performance display and personal memory function with the PCM system.

The Atlas Grey Metallic is a gorgeous exterior paint setting you back at $4280. A variety of other exterior features on this Targa 4 have been colour-matched (including the 19” Carrera wheels), at a premium, but the final result looks stunning, creating this furtive 911 Targa 4 certainly setting it apart. A speed activated rear spoiler is standard while self-dimming mirrors and dynamic cornering lights are optional ($580 and $940, respectively) as in my tester.

Clearly, each Porsche can be customized over and above, and this 2010 911 Targa is no exception. So, when evaluating a Porsche, the personal agenda should definitely be taken into account. While all Porsches are exceptional, they’re not all equal. Nor should they be. With nearly $150,000 to spend, there’s a few ways to do it. But this 2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4 is flawless (okay, maybe add the PCCB brake upgrade, but hey).

For more info on the 2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4, visit HERE

Tested > 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo

2010 Porsche 911 Turbo

Review & Snaps: Amee Reehal ©

Juggling a 500-hp coupe – one of the world’s fastest production cars – the same week as the (unexpectedly early) birth of my first kid, proved to be not so daunting after all. Not that I really expected it to be, frankly, considering there were no car seats involved. Nor am I drawing parallels between the miracle of life and a raging, 2-door diabolical German freak of nature. I’m just saying, becoming a dad and ripping around in a 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo the same week is pretty f**king badass. Buying diapers has never been so fun.

Ah, the 911 Turbo. Where does one even begin with such a timeless, near flawless piece of debauchery? Let's start with performance, where 500-hp and 480 lb-ft of torque will slap you silly via a 3.8-litre twin-supercharged flat-six topping out at 312 kph track speed. The Sport Chrono Package with dynamic engine mount system includes a bundle of goodies like Launch Control, propelling this beast 0-100 km in just 3.4-seconds compared to 3.7-seconds otherwise. A 6-speed manual tranny is standard, but opt for the optional $6200 PDK 7-speed, as in this tester, and you'll experience the smoothest, most effortless, and unobtrusive power flow gear shifts imaginable using either the wheel mounted paddle shifters (extra $670 for the gearshift paddles, as in tester) or PDK Gear Selector (additional $1470 upgrade, also in tester) allowing super-quick, short-throw gear shifts up/down with the gear lever minus a foot clutch pedal.

I think it's important to note that, when combined with the PDK system, the 3-spoke steering wheel comes with gearshift switches standard on all 911 Turbo models. Whereas the gearshift paddles are the option. In the past, I've always opted for the gear selector as nearly all press cars came equipped the these shifter switches I wasn't fond of--basically, buttons nestled within the wheel; press with thumb to shift up, pull with index finger to shift down. Just didn't feel right. Alas, proper motorsport-style paddles on this 911 and life is good.

How does the 911 Turbo handle? Close your eyes and imagine this thing with a $12,050 ceramic composite brake upgrade with 380mm ceramic discs up front and 350mm in rear, and you'll find the answer (then open your eyes and realize I just said "$12,050 brake upgrade" and that this wasn't really make-believe time). Combined with an AWD system with map controlled PTM, rolling on 235/35ZR19 fronts and 305/30ZR19 rears, this 911 doesn't discriminate against the windy twisty roadways. It treats all pavement equally at nearly all speeds, no mater what size or shape. And of course there's a slew of other traction control attributes found inside, including the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM).

The interior of the 911 Turbo encompasses all that is stylish, ergonomic, comfortable, and sporty. Straightforward and sexy, no gimmicks found here. Full leather interior is standard; $590 extra for the Special Leather Cocoa, as seen here. Also standard, power tilt/sliding sunroof; Bi-Xenon headlamps with leveling and cleaning system; Porsche Communication System (PCS) with Navigation and touchscreen (yep, standard); MP3 equipped, CD player with Bose system; Full climate control; amoung others. Options found in this 911's cabin include Adaptive Sport Seats at $1560, providing enhanced support features over the standard Comfort Seats; $950 for Bluetooth phone interface (awesome); $600 for Universal audio interface (expensive, not awesome, should be standard); and colour matched floor mats for $210.

The sort of paradox, and pure brilliance, on the part of Porsche is their ability and desire to produce high-powered super sports cars while striving to improve efficiencies. If churning out 500-hp production cars wasn't enough, these tenacious Germans find ways to do so in the most streamlined, productive ways possible. Brilliant. And frankly, when one is willing to pay a starting price of $165,300 Cdn MSRP for this 2010 911 Turbo, its precisely these efficiencies in engineering one is paying for. Not necessarily the obvious or the tangibles found within the cabin, for instance, but imperceptible stuff like the 911's 500-hp engine made of alloy, reducing weight, thus fuel consumption.

Many stepped inside this 2010 911 Turbo (or any high performance coupe, for that matter) with a final price of $191,400 Cdn with all options before taxes/fees, and hastily asked “how much is this?” followed by “wow, is it worth it?” Absolutely. It’s one of those things; Porsche-loyalists aside, you’ve just got to experience it to really understand the value; to feel the engineering as you push the throttle; when you dive into tight turns at not-so-slow speeds; when you push that magical ‘Sport Plus’ button that actually, honestly does do something. Realizing value need not always equate to cosmetics or the obvious, but to dig deep and recognize that nearly 200K is in fact a reasonable price point for one of the most prolific sports coupes around. Personally, I’d take a 911 Turbo over a flashy Lambo Gallardo anyday.

…on that note, time for another diaper run.

For more info on the 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo, visit HERE.

Tested > 2010 Porsche Panamera S

2010 Porsche Panamera S

story & snaps: Amee Reehal

Perhaps not as prolific as the recently tested, top-of-the-line Panamera Turbo, the 2010 Panamera S is no slouch. With a 4.8-litre V8 producing 400-hp of naturally-aspirated goodness and coming in at nearly 40k less than the Turbo ($155,000CAD Turbo vs $115,100CAD for the S), this Panamera S, one of three V8 versions available, is arguably the way to go. Like most things in life, there are needs and wants…or in the case of the V8 flavoured Porsche Panamera, wants and want-mores.

Porsche’s first 4-door saloon to ever hit the masses, the Panamera is available in three V8 trims, all sharing the same 4.8-litre V8 engine: the Panamera S, the Panamera 4S (AWD version), and the Panamera Turbo (AWD turbo version). But if your wants are a little more modest, Porsche just recently unveiled two new V6 models: the Panamera and the Panamera 4 (AWD). Both with a newly developed 3.6-litre engine putting down 300-hp.

Late July, the 25,000th Panamera rolled off the Leipzig factory:

Oddly enough, I personally had a more difficult time handing over the keys to this S than with the Turbo. Arriving in black-on-black (Espresso Natural leather, to be exact), all stealthed-out, this particular Panamera suited me just fine. And the good people at Porsche Canada (Tony Morris) allowed me to keep the car for a double extra days, and I savored every extra moment—arriving to soccer a little early, hitting the driving range a couple extra times, car pooling to dinner Saturday night, grabbing coffee at the third nearest Starbucks (which isn’t all that far, frankly); you know, just knocking off those errands from that weathered To Do list your wife handed over a year ago (fix toilets – done). Whereas the previously tested Turbo in Yachting Blue Metallic and two-tone cream leather interior seemed to be more on the ‘executive’ side (and there’s nothing wrong with that!), this blacked-out, non-turbo-just-as-awesome version seemed a bit more raw, a little more modest, if you will; encompassing all the fine German engineering you’d expect from Porsche (unreal handling, consistent power, etc) but without some of the frills (i.e. the $3110 Sport Chrono Pkg in the Turbo).

Starting at $115,100CAD, this Panamera S (before taxes/charges) comes in at $137,635CAD with all options, including: the Espresso Leather interior ($7040); heated steering wheel (290); 20-inch RS Spyder Design rims (4250); Alcantara Roofliner (2720); Bluetooth interface (950); BOSE audio system (1970); XM Satellite Radio (1030); upgraded floor mats (210); Walnut interior pkg (1360); and the Universal Audio Interface (600).

For a further read on the new Porsche Panamera, please check out my Panamera Turbo review HERE.

For more info on the Panamera, check out the manufacturer’s website HERE.

Tested > 2010 Porsche Panamera Turbo

2010 Porsche Panamera Turbo -- Exceeding Expectations

Story & Pics: Amee Reehal

Speechless. Absolutely speechless. Porsche, the Stuttgart automaker with a rich history producing the worlds finest performance vehicles spanning sixty-one years, decides 2010 will be the year to unleash their first ever 4-door sports sedan, unveiled at the 2009 Shanghai International Automobile Show. And in true Porsche fashion, as they did with their long overdue foray into the SUV segment with the Cayenne, hit the ground running, producing perhaps the most prolific, unrivaled saloon on the market with their 2010 Panamera Turbo—a front-mounted V8 twin turbo AWD beast with all the luxury, comfort, and cargo you’d expect from a sedan…also with the most refined performance handling you would certainly expect from a $155,000 Porsche, but in way that will certainly exceed all your expectations once you hit the open road.

Why speechless? Attempting to write exactly how exhilarating the Panamera is to drive is as difficult as returning the keys after my week the car. You simply need to drive one to truly understand. And to be honest, when I heard Porsche would be releasing a sedan, I simply anticipated a Porsche with 4-doors—a sleek looking saloon with probably enough power. Man, was I wrong. The Panamera, particularly the Turbo, goes well beyond what I believe most people had in mind for the automakers first ever sedan.

Luxury sports sedans have been around for ages, and perhaps unbeknownst to many, Porsche is no stranger to the segment. Back in 1978, they introduced the 928 (Tom Cruise in Risky Business anyone?). Though not a 4-door, the 928 attempted to offer the luxury, comfort, and performance similar to that of a saloon. Then in 1988, Porsche finally played around with the idea of a proper 4-door with their 989, but never made it to production. Today, the Panamera is the accumulation and ultimate fruition of all those ideas—but this sedan is more for the Executive types (pubescent boys schlepping around in their underwear and Ray-bans need not apply).

The Panamera is available in 3 trims: the Panamera S starting at $115,100 CAD, the Panemera 4S at $120,300, and the Panamera Turbo (as tested) at $155,000. All three share the same 4.8-litre V8 twin-turbo powerplant. Essentially, the Panamera 4S steps it up with AWD, and the Panamera Turbo goes further with increased power, unleashing 500-hp at 6000 rpm and 516 lb-ft of torque at 2250 rpm. Power is truly consistent across the entire rpm range and paired to the flawless 7-speed PDK double-clutch gearbox (the only one in its class), the Panamera accelerates so quickly and smoothly, you’ll be well beyond the speed limit before you know it, all four of you peeling yourselves from your seats. Super-responsive, super-quick, propelling to 100-kph in just 4.2-sec (and 4.0-sec with the Sport Chrono Package).

Sitting low and wide, the Panamera Turbo dives into the corners with ease, and pulls out effortlessly. Again, this rocket thrusts forward with such velocity yet with such ease and comfort, you’ll quickly forget this thing has four doors, negotiating the twisty roads with confidence. And nothing about its fairly large 1970-kg frame feels bulky, moving surprisingly light on its feet, handling brilliantly. Its obvious passenger ride comfort has taken precedence in Porsche’s first ever sedan, implementing a slew of their proven suspension features including Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). Ditch the passengers and opt for either the Sport or Sport Plus modes for a sportier, stiffer ride. The sexy 20-inch RS Spyder Design wheels are an upgrade at $2130, wrapped in 255/40ZR front and 295/35ZR rear rubber. Stopping assembly includes a twin-circuit brake system with front/rear axle split including huge six-piston aluminum monobloc brake calipers measuring 390mm up front.

Love it or hate it, the Panamera’s exterior styling is classic Porsche—elongated headlamp cluster, beefy fenders peering well above the hood, sexy bulbous curvatures. In person, this sedan is larger than you may expect, measuring 4970mm in length and 1931mm wide…sitting even wider than its Cayenne cousin at 1928mm. From the front, the Panamera is pure Porsche, and from a distance can easily be mistaken for another model; the rear end is reminiscent of the old 928 with its long down sweeping rear roofline into the hatch. There is also a hidden rear spoiler built into the rear lid, deploying at 90kph (also a button on console), that looks hot when you whiz by motorists as your spoiler props out at the 90kph marker.

Inside the cabin, the centre console may appear busy. But step into any sedan, luxury or otherwise, and you’ll be greeted with a plethora of dials, knobs, and switches. The real difference, however,  is how everything is laid out; how well the console is organized. Fortunately, the Panamera’s cockpit makes sense and controls are within reach (and with so many features and technology, you’ll need to bust out the manual to get a better grasp on things). Plus, the Panamera steps it up with a refreshed, luxurious console design compared to other Porsches in the lineup, including the top-end Cayenne Turbo S. The beauty with Porsche, they don’t implement a bunch of needless novelty gadgets in their products; they include only the essentials, and they do it right. For instance, the roomy rear cabin finds both heated and cooled ventilation seat controls…no audio controls, no extra switches, just clean and simple (and the pop-out ash trays on either door are pretty slick). The vents located low on the B-pillars look great too. Worth noting, the five-gauge cluster on the dash includes a gauge with menu options that also incorporates the navigation route guidance map, working in sync with the primary system on the centre stack; a convenient little feature that also looks pretty cool.

But wait, there’s cargo too! The front-mount engine (one of 6 ever made by Porsche, by the way) makes way for a large rear space. Upon opening the rear hatch door, you’re greeted by 432-litres of trunk space; drop the rear seats and you’ve got an impressive 1250-litres of capacity. We put this space to good use on a golf trip, folding the larger seat (60/40 split) fitting three golf bags comfortably, and with third passenger equally as comfortable in his bucket seat. Also enough space for our camera gear. Some, however, may expect a little more storage capacity in the cabin of this sedan.

The price as tested for this Panamera Turbo comes in at $172,430 CAD with most of the upgrades found in the cabin, including: two-tone Leather Yachting Blue, $590; Park Assist with camera, $900; heated steering wheel, $290; front/rear seat ventilation, $2130; to name a few. Perhaps the two most significant upgrades are the Burmester high-end sound-system at $5440, providing 1000-watts of uncompromised audio through 16-speakers (yes, 16), and the Sport Chrono Package at $3110, adding a Sport Plus button for a stiffer ride, launch control feature, and a stopwatch situated on the upper-middle dash.

Some feel the Pamamera is a 911 Turbo with 4-doors. Others feel it’s simply an opportunity for the automaker to tap into the lucrative passenger market. Personally, I don’t read into it. The 2010 Panamera Turbo is classic Porsche, the sickest sedan on the market, and I’m loving everything about it (yeah, that includes the styling).

For more info on the 2010 Panamera Turbo, visit HERE.

Below: the key, shaped liked the car.

Tested > 2009 Porsche Boxster

Review: Amee Reehal

2009 Porsche Boxster: Rise up—Powder to the People! Opting for a 2009 Porsche Boxster as the vehicle of choice for a weekend trip to Banff, Alberta, amidst the worst snow storm to hit Calgary in nearly a year, may seem like a really bad idea. Perhaps even outrageous or ridiculous, particularly when your buddies are all sporting SUVs and 4x4s. But for this giddy journalist, it was all smiles.

The fact is Porsche products, including the entry-level’09 Boxster starting at $58,400, are very capable, safe winter machines. They’re engineered to be driven, not sleep in the garage. It’s like placing a gifted child in special ed. class. You just don’t do it, and unfortunately, most Porsche owners do exactly that, depriving their vehicles of its full potential.

Fortunately, Porsche Canada is working hard to encourage owners to leave the insurance running year round, invest in performance winter tires, and take full advantage of their products’ true capabilities, no matter the weather. As Joe Lawrence, President and CEO of Porsche Canada, puts it, “There is no rule against driving a Porsche in the winter! To the contrary, a Porsche performs strongly and safely whatever the season… While visiting Porsche dealers around Canada, I was amazed to hear how many owners put their Porsches away for the winter.”

Granted, the Boxster’s rear-wheel-drive may add skepticism, but when equipped with the right tires, this mid-engine car handles astonishingly well with amazing traction control coupled with the added benefit of the 7-gear PDK transmission’s quick shifts lending more or less torque and control as needed (and for those who are still on the fence, Porsche now offers 13 all-wheel-drive models in the 911, Cayenne, and Panamera ranges). Winter driving is empowering and adds a new level to the Porsche experience, not to mention a few extra months of driving! Check out the Winter Sports microsite at www.porsche.ca.

The 2009 Boxster’s 2.9-litre, 6-cylinder engine produces 255-hp and 214 lb/ft of torque. Paired to a standard 6-speed manual transmission with dual mass flywheel. The new double clutch 7-speed PDK version, as tested, is a $4660 option. Last years Boxster saw a 245-hp engine with a 5-speed standard tranny, so these upgrades are a welcome addition. Again, the mid-engine design equates to a well balance ride (not to mention 2 trunks, including a spacious one in the rear).

Exterior styling is notably different than the previous year (and looks notably sexier and sleeker than the 2008 model), with perhaps the LED front/rear headlamps the most obvious. The front and rear fascias are also redesigned lending a more refined look. The new headlights are available with the optional BiXenon Headlight with Dynamic Corning Package for $2130, as on this tester.

Though the top was never dropped, it was surprisingly unnoticed when cruising at highway speeds en route to Banff—virtuously no noise, no vibrations or impact on handling, or other annoyances that may come with softtop roadsters; feeling more like a hardtop Cayman, for all intents and purposes (and that’s a pretty big deal for those discouraged by a convertible and the impact it may have on drivability).

Standard wheels include 17” alloy wheels with 205/55ZR17 tires up front and 235/50ZR17 in the back. This tested model came with a very worthy $1690 upgraded 18” Cayman II wheel package, wrapped in Michelin Alpine Pilot PA2 winter rubber (priced separately). The interior is comfortable, remarkably spacious, and screams nothing that says ‘entry-level.’ As always, centre console/multimedia is laid out perfectly in a tight, limited area. Some of the buttons have been reworked from last year and for the better.

Overall, the extra 10-hp, standard 6-speed, and updated exterior styling cues are a few things that set the 2009 Boxster apart from the previous year, raising the Boxster’s‘ base model’ stock considerably, and in all the right places. You may not realize this now, but the 2009 Porsche Boxster is a perfect year-round sports car—drop the top in the summer, and shred the roads in the winter. Just winterize it, slap on the right tires and you’re good to go!

The Boxster is available in 3 trims: Boxster, Boxster -S, and now the all-new 2011 Boxster Spyder which recently debuted at the L.A. Auto Show and hitting Canadian dealers in February 2010 for $72,900.

2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder: * Lightest Porsche in the lineup at just 1,275 kg * 10 more horsepower than Boxster S; sportier suspension setup * Manual two-piece top and stripped-out interior with sport bucket seats and fabric door pulls * 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds with PDK and Sport Chrono

Boxster Spyder photos:

Photos: Porsche

Tested > “Spring” – 2009 Porsche CayenneGTS

2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS

Story & Snaps: Amee Reehal

Kicking ass. This is precisely what the Cayenne SUV has been doing since its introduction back in 2002. Despite the naysayers (and there were plenty) who questioned Porsche’s (very late) foray into the SUV segment, the Cayenne has become a flagship vehicle for the Stuttgart automaker. Hey, that’s impressive. Adding depth to their ass-whooping, Porsche introduced a few variations of the best-selling vehicle, including the entry-level Cayenne (and Cayenne Tiptronic), Cayenne-S, CayenneGTS (and GTS Tiptronic), and the unrivaled, otherworldly Cayenne Turbo-S (replacing the CayenneTurbo last year). But for now, we’re only concerned with the slick 2009 Cayenne GTS Tiptronic, and if you’re in the market, perhaps you should be too because pound-for-pound, in terms of pure performance, price-point, and enhanced styling, the GTS is arguably the best Cayenne available…with or without the Nordic Gold (orange) Metallic paint.

Propelling this 5000-lb plus rocket is a 4.8 liter V8, putting down a respectable 405-hp and 369 lb-ft of torque—well ahead of the sub-300-hp entry-level Cayenne, yet worlds apart from the 550-hp Cayenne Turbo-S older sibling. But in terms of refined, naturally-aspirated power, the GTS version is a true showcase of Porsche engineering. Slide into the cabin, turn the ignition, and enjoy the raw growl of the V8. It with certainly set the tone, literally, for the ride ahead. While the majority of GTS’ rolling off the plant floor come with an automatic transmission, a 6-speed manual is now available at no cost. Think about it, a stick shift luxury SUV? That’s pretty damn cool, and rare. Our auto tranny GTS tester came equipped with the 6-speed Tiptronic-S. Paying the premium for the Tiptronic version (opposed to non-Tiptronic automatic) will definitely be a personal choice—some may love it, some may find it more of a novelty. For all the driving enthusiasts, just get the stick shift.

Alright, let’s get the paint colour issue out of the way. Our press CayenneGTS arrived with the $4280 optional Nordic Gold Metallic paint, a.k.a. Orange. Whether cruising down The Red Mile in Calgary, pulling into the grocery store lot, or rolling up to the golf course, this GTS garnered a lot of attention. And the love-hate reaction was almost always the same: ‘love the colour man!’ or ‘are you gay?’ (mind you, the writers dead-on matching golf bag didn’t really help). Fortunately for the haters, others colours are available. Trivial issues aside, the CayenneGTS exterior styling is simply gorgeous. It exudes luxury, sophistication, and an extra dose of sports appeal, including an aerodynamic body kit with a pair of huge dual tailpipes that look as loud as they sound. And that’s a good thing.

Huge 21” light alloy wheels are standard, wrapped in 295/35 rubber. 13.8” vented rotors with 6 piston calipers occupy the front, with 13” vented rotors with 4 piston calipers in the rear. All mated to a permanent all-wheel drive system. The GTS also sees a 3-mode shock system (Comfort, Normal, Sport) adjusting the damper settings for various driving styles, but Sport mode is the only one that matters folks, because it literally drops the ride, tightens the suspension, and opens up the dual-exhaust pipes producing serious noise. Of course, the GTS sees a plethora of other technologies including Porsche Traction Management (PTM) and Porsche Stability Management (PSM), to name a couple.

The cabin is roomy, comfortable, and very black (black leather interior is an extra $4440). Overall, a great balance of sporty styling and luxury. The 12-way power adjustable leather front seats are snug and well-bolstered, while the 3-spoke multifunction leather steering wheel is fairly big yet feels good in the hands. Forking out the extra $2310 for the Bose Surround Sound System and another $4500 for the Porsche Multimedia System with navigation are wise choices. Some may find the centre console clean and uncluttered, while others may feel unimpressed, expecting more gadgets and stuff. But one thing is evident: the touch screen is nestled fairly low in the console (perhaps move the vents and raise the screen higher?).

Despite the dismal economic environment, Porsche is holding it’s own in Canada. Recent figures show an overall dip in Porsche sales this past year. Yet the company’s flagship 911 and Cayenne models continue to do well, carrying most of the weight. In fact, Porsche’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) sales are actually higher, reaching an all-time single month record with 76 CPO vehicles sold in May 2009. The CayenneGTS new sales were down almost half in May 2009 compared to May 2008, but over the year, GTS sales were down by a reasonable 20%. So despite the auto industry’s current state with all the bailout shenanigans, the Porsche Cayenne continues to plow through the shit storm.

Sharp: - the Nordic Gold Metallic paint - Enhanced styling (i.e. quad tailpipes, aerodynamic kit) - Powerful non-turbo V8 - Optional 6-speed manual stick shift

Dull: - the Nordic Gold Metallic paint - Centre console (debatable) - You’ll end up comparing to the Turbo-S, so don’t drive one, seriously

The Verdict: In Canada, the entry-level Porsche Cayenne Tiptronic remains the manufacturer’s top-selling SUV (starting at $60,190), followed by the CayenneS. While the GTS Tiptronic sits third, with a base price of $91,090 CDN, it is perhaps the best of the bunch, in terms of best bang for the buck. It’s priced a good $60k less than the expensive Turbo-S, yet worth every penny more than the step-down V8 powered CayenneS with 20 less horses and no cosmetic enhancements. Kick-ass, differentiated styling and raw power. What else does one need?

Also posted at Sharp Magazine Online

Tested > 2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

The 2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo-S: Not an SUV

Story & Snaps: Amee Reehal

After all these years, I still remember the advertising tagline for the Porsche Cayenne when it was first introduced to North America in 2002: “It’s not an SUV. It’s a Porsche.” Priceless. This more or less sums it up. A) We realize we’re a little late to the segment; we’re not calling it an SUV. B) We’re Porsche. We build the world’s finest cars this side of Stuttgart. We don’t need to explain ourselves. Nor should they. Call it what you wish, sport utility or otherwise, Porsche has arguably created one of the world’s most impressive 4-door performance vehicles (with exception, perhaps, to the 2010 Porsche Panamera!)—marrying classic Porsche styling with craftsmanship, along with such audacious power and performance, the Cayenne Turbo-S’ nearest competitor is still stuck in The ‘90s. When Blazers, Tahoes, Escalades, and the like, had long inundated North American driveways turn of the century, Porsche was evidently M.I.A. Even the Europeans got in on the action with Mercedes-Benz releasing the M-Class in 1998 and BMW with the X5 in 2000. Sure, perhaps they were riding it out, assessing the SUV market before T-boning the competition for leftover sales. Or perhaps Porsche values craftsmanship over market share, going against the grain, building performance vehicles and not necessarily sport utility vehicles consumers seek.

Performance

Propelling this heavy 2360-kg rocket is a 4.8-litre twin turbo V8, producing a whopping 550-hp and 553-lb ft of torque, paired to a 6-speed Tiptronic-S transmission with the Hill Holder function, offering an extra 30-hp from the 2008 Turbo-S, sharing essentially the exact same displacement as the current model, the extra power comes by way of improved airflow via exhaust and intake, along with some engine revamping (and in case you were wondering, a 260-hp bump from the entry-level Cayenne…for an extra $100,000 or so, in case you were wondering this too). Clocking a zero to 60mph in 4.8 seconds with a top speed of nearly 280km/h, the Cayenne Turbo-S is fastest SUV available. Behind the wheel, the engine feels very smooth and clean. The V8 pushes this beast of a vehicle so effortlessly, you wouldn’t know this was an SUV until you got out gawked at it for a few minutes. Virtually, no noise or vibration—just pure Porsche refinement as one would expect.

Exterior Styling

Following the introduction of the first ever 2008 Turbo-S in 2007, the 2009 Turbo-S was introduced last year at the Beijing Auto Show. While both the ’08 and ’09 models are essentially the same, including the same powerplant, the latter does see some revisions with the more notable being extra horses. But hey, a few cosmetic changes second time around wouldn’t hurt, and if your friends can’t tell that you’ve traded up, the 21-inch SportPlus alloy wheels housed in wider fender flares should give it away. Other styling differences over the 2008 Turbo-S include an exclusive grey metallic paint option, body colour matched front intake grills and wheel arches, and Cayenne GTS style sporty aluminum quad tailpipes. If this doesn’t clear it up, it’s time for new friends.

The Cabin

The interior feels sporty with no compromise in luxury. The 12-way power front seats are well bolstered and comfortable. The unique 3-spoke multifunction wheel is wrapped in leather. The updated Porsche Communication Multimedia System Management (PCM) includes an array of things including navigation system and a 14-speaker surround sound Bose system. The touch screen is nestled in the middle of centre console, surrounded by an array of dials and buttons, sitting so low that toggling your view between the road and the screen is like watching a proper tennis match—except that this is both frustrating and dangerous. Perhaps relocate the vents and raise the entire centre console with the screen placed up top.

The Ride

The all-wheel drive is equipped with 38%/62% front/rear torque split, all sitting upon a fully independent air suspension system with PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management). The slick yet useful suspension leveling and ride-height control offers a more fine-tuned drive. Other features include a Low Range gearbox with variable centre drift and the Porsche Stability Management (PSM). And for those who take the Cayenne’s ‘utility’ seriously, the towing capacity is rated at 7715-lb. More power deserves better stopping ability, especially in a vehicle this size. The 2009 Turbo-S comes with optional composite ceramic brakes paired to 14.5” vented rotors with 6-piston calipers up front, and 14.1” vented rotors with 4-piston calipers in the rear. The 21-inch alloy wheels are wrapped in 295/35 performance tires.

Safety

Some of the standard safety features include 2-stage driver and passenger airbags, side airbags integrated in the front seats, curtain airbags from the A to C pillars, 3-point front and rear seatbelts with pre-tensioners, encapsulated in a fully galvanized high strength steal body.

So, what was the holdup Porsche? What took so long getting into the SUV game? Frankly, who cares—today, the Cayenne is Porsche’s best selling product. And after spending one glorious week with the 2009 Cayenne Turbo-S, I can see why. Besides, when you’re behind the wheel of the Turbo-S, the past is quickly forgotten and the future is simply the open road ahead.

For more info on the 2009 Porsche Cayenne lineup visit http://www.porsche.com/canada/models/cayenne/

Tested > 2008 Porsche BoxsterS RS60 Spyder

PORSCHE® LIMITED EDITION BOXSTER™ RS 60 SPYDER

Copy: Porsche; Snaps: Amee Reehal

The latest Porsche Boxster pays tribute to the 1960 12 Hours of Sebring winning Type 718 RS 60 Spyder

Winning against a bigger and more powerful opponent is exactly what drivers Hans Herrmann and Olivier Gendebien did at Sebring in 1960. Their racecar, the mid-engine Porsche Type 718 RS 60 Spyder, propelled them to victory in the 1960 12 Hours of Sebring and helped solidify Porsche’s growing reputation as the “giant killer.” The 2008 Boxster RS 60 Spyder, to be introduced to the public next week at the New York International Auto Show, pays tribute to the legacy of the original RS 60 with style and substance that is worthy of its ancestry.

The 303 horsepower 2008 Boxster RS 60 Spyder bloodlines are reflected in its enhanced exterior and interior design cues. The front end is taken from Porsche’s SportDesign Package and when combined with 19-inch Porsche SportDesign wheels on spacers, helps distinguish the RS 60 from the current Boxster S. When you combine this extra power and aero package with standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and a dual tailpipe sports exhaust system, the reward is confidence-inspiring performance in all conditions.

The exclusive GT silver metallic paintwork is further accentuated by the contrasting colors of the Natural Leather interior in Carrera Red with a matching red convertible top. An alternative of Dark Grey Natural Leather in conjunction with a black roof will also be available.

Interior features and equipment of the new RS 60 Boxster reflect the racing heritage of its ancestor: door entry guards made of stainless steel that show off the model designation, a race-inspired gearshift lever, special surface texture in the center sections of the sports seats and center door linings as well as on the steering wheel rim and handbrake lever.

The instrument cluster also gives the impression of a racecar as the cover has been removed, prominently displaying the GT Silver Metallic instruments which have been set wider apart. Other special features include a black windscreen frame, red taillight lenses, GT Silver Metallic center console, rear sections of the seat backrests and roll bars that blend perfectly with the seat belts finished in silver.

The RS 60 Spyder comes equipped with a VarioCam Plus six-cylinder Boxer engine, which features increased horsepower over the Boxster S. Installed just ahead of the rear drive wheels; stability, agility and control are maximized. These attributes are expected from Porsche and delivered with such efficiency that Boxster models, like all other Porsche sports cars, are certified as low emissions vehicles and not subject to a gas-guzzler penalty.

Designed to be a world-class roadster, the Boxster family can accommodate two people with cargo in a small, agile, open-top, and powerful sports car. A true engineering feat in itself, the Boxsters soft top can be operated at moving speeds of up to 30 mph.

Boxsters are all equipped with three point inertia-reel seat belts as well as six airbags. In addition to two-stage frontal airbags, Boxsters feature the Porsche Side Impact Protection (POSIP) system with torso-protecting thorax side-impact airbags mounted in the outer edges of the seatbacks and special head-protecting side-impact airbags which deploy from the doors’ windowsills.

Reflecting its model designation, the new Boxster RS 60 Spyder is limited to 1,960 units worldwide, each number displayed on a silver-colored placard on the lid of the glove compartment. Less than 800 of the 1,960 units produced will make it to North American showrooms.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

RS60 Spyder as per photos:

Manufacturers Suggested Retail :$81,800.0 (CDN)

GT silver metallic    : N/C Red Top           : N/C Self dim mirrors and rain sensor: $970.00 BI - XENON heaqdlight package : $1530.00 Heated front seats   : $ 680.00 Porsche wind stop (deflector  : $ 525.00 Automatic Climate Control       : $ 770.00 Storage Box on Engine Cover    : N/C Sport Chrone packageW/out PCM  : $ 340.00

ACE tax  :100.00

TOTAL PRICE  : 87,715.00

Tested > 2008 Porsche Cayman

2008 Porsche Cayman: Well-balanced

story & photos: Amee Reehal

From the mid-mounted engine to the healthy mix of performance, utility, and comfort, the 2008 Porsche Cayman is simply a well-balanced piece of machinery. Not quite the 911 yet well beyond it's soft-top Boxter sibling, The Cayman fits nicely in the middle, differentiating itself with killer styling, decent performance, excellent handling, and surprisingly ample cargo space. In other words, if the 911 and Boxter had a child, it would be the Cayman... taking the best genes from both (without the inbred genetic defect stuff, of course).

A horizontally opposed flat-six, 2.7-litre engine produces 245-hp and 201 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with dual flywheel (The Cayman-S adds an extra 50-hp via a 3.4-litre engine paired to a 6-speed tranny). The best part? This coupe is very fuel efficient, getting 10.1L/100km (28mi/gal) in the city, and an impressive 6.8L/100km (42mi/gal) on the highway.

The handling is extraordinary, due primarily to the midengine platform and stiff/hardtop body. The firm suspension and front/rear stabilizer bars, coupled with the PSM (Porsche Stability Management) enhance handling capabilities.

The Cayman rolls on 6.5x17-inch alloys with 205/55ZR17 tires up front, and 8x17-inch alloys wrapped in 235/50ZR17 in the rear. Stopping power comes in the form of 11.7-inch vented rotors with 4-piston calipers up front with 11.8-inch in the back.

With a huge, cooler-sized cavity cargo space in the front and respectable trunk space under the rear hatch (providing total capacity of 14.5 cubic feet), the Porsche Cayman is borderline 'daily driver' material. Seriously. I had the car for two weeks, during my wedding reception mind you, so suffice to say I did a lot of running around and never had any issues (and 'sorry, it's a two-seater' came in handy too). Dropping off decorations at the venue, picking up my suit, buying loads of groceries, even loading my camera gear, I never had a problem (my only beef is the inability to load a golf bag, but that's another story).

In terms of styling, the Cayman is classic Porsche marrying smooth, sexy lines with wide, aggressive styling cues, resembling more the 911 than the Boxter.  And the 'Cayman' badging on the rear hatch adds a sense of intrigue as well whereas most are familiar with the iconic Porsche 911, and by now the entry-level Boxter as well which has been around for a decade, the Cayman, however, is still relatively unknown to most so it adds that extra sense of exclusivity and appeal without divulging it's sub-70K price point.

The interior is remarkably roomy, according to my passenger Jimmy, who is 6-ft 3-inch and 230-lbs. We’ll take his word for it, though he’s right; legroom is good and the arched roof design provides extra head space. HomeLink, cruise control, 3 power sockets, and an AM/FM/CD radio with 4 loudspeakers come standard.

Overall, pound-for-pound, the Cayman is a well-balanced sports coupe, and fuel efficient to boot. Especially at it's $65,500 price-point. Your long, flowing hair will look beautiful cruising in the drop-topped Boxter. But if you've got a bit extra to spend and value performance, handling and exterior styling, the Porsche Cayman is perfect.

For more info visit: http://www.porsche.com/canada/models/cayman/

Review also posted at http://www.pasmag.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=948&Itemid=105

Special Thanks to Tony Morris at Media Car Services

below- my brother rimy from toronto and my cousin jaimee from england were in town...so i put them to good use!

Tested > 2008 Porsche Boxster

2008 Porsche Boxter: Designed to Drive

story & photos: Amee Reehal

With an MRSP of $58,100, the Boxter is Porsche’s entry-level offering. But make no mistake, this 2-door rocket compromises nothing in terms of refinement, performance, and luxury. The 2008 Boxter is pure Porsche at a reasonable price point. So, how does Porsche get away with offering it’s renowned engineering at a sub-60K print point? My rationale is simple: the Boxter is designed purely for driving. This means Porsche has stripped away any and all unnecessary stuff so you can focus on dropping the top, turning the key, turning up the music, hitting the road and simply enjoying the drive—a digital readout speedo, a button-free steering wheel, straightforward centre console, and a naturally aspirated engine, are just a few examples.  And if you’d like all the other luxuries, you can simply add them (or simply move up to the Boxter RS60 if you’re inclined).

The cockpit is snug yet comfortable, as it ought to be. The well-bolstered leather seats, heated seats optional, feel great in the corners; the 3-spoke steering wheel feels safe in the hands, particularly without any buttons to fiddle with; and the instrument panel is simple and easy to view. The speedometer lists speeds in 20 KM increments, but no worries, a digital read out directly below is nice for the analog impaired. Several of my passengers where unimpressed with the centre console. They were expecting something a little ‘fancier’ perhaps. I found it to be perfect: tight and compact with a straightforward layout. Again, the focus is more driving, and less dial turning. In fact, majority of the console functionality is a quick touch or push of a button so you keep your eyes on the road. Toggling between music tracks, for instance, requires a push of the dial, opposed to turning it. Perhaps I’m reading into it a little too much, or perhaps I’m just a lackadaisical and enjoy the simplicities.

Cargo space was surprisingly ample, though admittedly, I was expecting very little. The Boxter is mid-engine equipped, thus, you’ll find cargo space under both the front and rear hatches: a deep, cooler-sized cavity good for a large carry-on bag up front; and a much more shallow space in the rear—a space that leads you to believe a golf bag will fit just fine. When in fact, it will not. This is the one puzzling complaint I had: why doesn’t the Boxter fit my golf bag? Sure, it seems trivial, but I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking this. More importantly, I can only presume many Boxter owners or potential customers/golfers are thinking this as well.

Standard audio is an AM/FM/CD radio with 4 loudspeakers; my tester came with the $2330 Bose High End Sound Package—an appropriate upgrade for those who take their sound seriously, particularly on the highway with the top down. Inside the glove compartment are two CD disc slots for storage. Power is in the form of a horizontally opposed 6-cylinder, 2.7-litre engine. Producing 245-hp and 201-lb ft of torque. Transmission is a 5-speed manual with dual mass flywheel. Out of habit, I found myself constantly reaching for the 6th gear, thought it wasn’t necessary.

Suspension is in the form of a McPherson strut system, along with front & rear stabilizer bars. Standard wheel package for the Boxter include 17” alloy wheels, wrapped in 205/55ZR17 tires up front, and 235/50zR17 in the rear. For a mere $1730 extra, you’ll get the much better 18” Boxter-S wheels—without question, a significant styling and performance impact as this price. Aside from the 18” wheels and Bose system, other upgrades include floor mats in interior colour; auto climate control; Bi-Xenon headlamps; heated seats; and a wind deflector. However, if it’s performance upgrades you’re after, the Boxter-S is the step up, most notably, adding 50 additional horses via a larger displacement at 3.4-litre. Fortunately, or not, there are many ‘step ups’ in the Porsche lineup, with the third and final Boxter installment being the Boxter RS60, before you enter Porsche Cayman realm.

Some key safety features include: POSIP- Porsche Side Impact Protection with front airbags, thorax airbags in seats, and head airbags in doors, providing 6 airbags in total; a body shell hot dip galvanized on both sides with high strength steel & Boron steel safety structures; aluminum luggage lids; a stainless-steel rollover bar; ABS; a stability program, among others.

The 2008 Boxter is pure Porsche, with all the performance, comfort, elegance, and even cargo, at an attainable price point. Above all, it’s fun to drive.

For more info on the 2008 Porsche Boxter, visit http://www.porsche.com/canada/models/boxster/

Review also posted at http://www.pasmag.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=800&Itemid=105