Archives for October 2013

A Stretch (limo?) Porsche – meet the new Panamera Turbo S Executive

178407_311013por-aWith a power output of 570 hp and a top track speed of 192 mph, and with a wheelbase that has been extended by 5.9 inches, the Panamera Turbo S Executive is designed for who I’m not really sure (the driver who sometimes get driven maybe?). It does offer significantly more space and even more comfort, particularly at the rear. Thermal and noise-insulated windows, which include privacy glazing, an interior lighting package designed especially for the rear, and a large rear center console mean this has a little extra focus for the executive in the back.

178404_311013por-cA 50-hp increase in power compared to the Panamera Turbo engine has been achieved through specific revisions to a number of components. Porsche is now using two new turbochargers with larger compressors in the Panamera Turbo S model. The new compressors increase the air flow, and the chargers push more oxygen into the combustion chambers at high loads and speeds. In addition, the injection pressure has been increased by 20 bar to 140 bar. Together, both of these measures also enable higher component loads, which are absorbed by pistons made from a new aluminium alloy and specially coated piston rings. By preparing the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chambers more effectively, the torque also increases to 553 lb.-ft. at between 2,250 and 5,000 rpm, with overboost increasing torque momentarily to 590 lb.-ft. And a 0-60 time of 3.6 seconds isn’t bad I guess, but the $200k they’re asking for is a little too expensive for my tastes.

Audi RS7

2014-Audi-RS7-beauty-exterior-04I’ve always thought the Audi A7 was one of the prettiest cars in the new larger coupe/sedan mix segment (sure there’s some fancy name for these cars that isn’t “hatchback” so people in the US will still look at and possibly but them). And now the RS7 is released, it adds an extra bit of drama to the visuals that makes this thing stunning. So stunning in fact that I just spent about 20 minutes messing around with the configurator, trying to work out if I preferred the dark grey metallic or the white more (both obviously with the 20 21 inch optional wheels).

2014-Audi-RS7-beauty-interior-02It’s an Audi, so by default the interior is going to be among the best, but there’s something about those seats, even without taking into account they’re AC’d and will massage away your troubles on the commute home. I was all set to search the back of the couch for any spare pennies to get my deposit down when I saw the price – “starting at $105,400”. I’m sure it’s worth it, especially given it’ll do the 0-60 in 3.7 seconds, and has 560 bhp to play with, but then you also realize they’ve released the A7 Turbo Diesel with a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds and 428 lb-ft of torques that gets 38 mpg on the highway! And starting at $66,900, it could be the best option.

2014-Audi-RS7-beauty-exterior-16

BMW 2 Series (and the M235i is coming to the US!)

176770_P90137590The old 1 series BMW over here is getting upgraded in both name and substance, arriving in the Spring of 2014 as the 2 Series (the US never got the old hatchback version available in Europe, so the 1 series I’m guessing is no more in the US). As is the norm these days, the size of the “smallest” of the BMW fleet is now less small – length increased by 2.8 inches, width by 1.3 inches, wheelbase by 1.3 inches, front track width by 1.6 inches and rear track width by 1.7 inches.

176799_P90133919The best bit about this release is the inclusion of the M235i, the first M Performance Automobile offered in the US, which includes an impressive list of performance enhancing features. Although the M135i was available back in Europe (and got some of the best reviews of a car in recent times from most of the places I trust), it never made it over here, and with the 1M in very short supply, the basic 135i, although fast, was just never quite sporty enough to be considered. That could all change now.

176769_P90137592The M235i has a unique M Performance 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder with TwinPower technology delivering 322 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. It features M-specific chassis tuning which, for the US will include standard M Adaptive suspension, M Sport Braking system, variable sport steering and Michelin Pilot Super Sports tires. Even the exhaust has been specifically tuned. And to address the big (or only) criticism of  the previous generation, there’s an M Performance mechanical limited slip differential available from launch through the Original BMW Accessories range. That’s an option I’d be ticking first.

176797_P90133894And it comes in both 8-speed automatic and 6-speed manual. Pricing is $33,025 for the 228i and $44,025 for the M235i.

McLaren P1 Delivery has started

McLaren P1 YellowAnd with that comes some official (and very eye watering) performance figures

  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in just 2.8 seconds
  • Braking from 100 km/h to zero takes just 30.2 metres – less than a third of the recognised stopping distance
  • The McLaren P1™ reaches 300 km/h (186 mph) in 16.5 seconds – a full 5.5 seconds quicker than the iconic McLaren F1

McLaren Factory Production Line