Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S 2015

So who wouldn’t want an SUV that does 0-60 in less than 4 seconds? And luckily has the brakes to match the push. That’s the acceleration figures quoted for Porsche’s new Cayenne Turbo S model announced this week at the Detroit Auto Show.

Its re-engineered 4.8-liter V8 twin-turbo engine now develops 570 hp and 590 ft.-lb. of torque. A chassis that is tuned for maximum driving dynamics and packs a wide range of control systems also makes the Cayenne Turbo S a genuine top athlete. It can complete a lap of the North Loop of the Nürburgring in 7:59.74 minutes.

The more spontaneous response of the twin-turbo engine is primarily a benefit of the integral turbochargers, which are now housed directly in the exhaust manifolds. This new approach also improves combustion. The high-performance engine offers 20 more horsepower and 37 ft. lb. more torque than the previous engine. The Cayenne Turbo S accelerates from zero to 60mph in 3.8 seconds – which is 0.4 seconds faster than the previous model. Its top track speed is now 176 mph.

The Cayenne Turbo S also underlines its position as a top performer in its chassis systems. Its standard Porsche Composite Ceramic Brakes (PCCB) include 16.5 inch front brake discs and, for the first time, ten-piston calipers. The rear brakes have 14.6 inch discs and four-piston calipers. The active roll stabilization system, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), actively reduces body roll when driving through curves. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) increases dynamic handling and stability by making specific brake interventions at the right or left rear wheel – this noticeably improves steering into curves and steering precision. The active all-wheel drive system Porsche Traction Management (PTM) permanently drives the rear wheels while offering highly variable power distribution to the front wheels. Some advantages of the interplay between all systems: excellent driving dynamics and traction as well as a high level of agility on any road.

The Porsche Cayenne Turbo S will be launched in the United States in late-April 2015with an MSRP of $157,300. Those soccer moms and dads better get saving the pennies. I think I’ll wait a year or 8 until they hit the second hand market.

Mercedes GLE Coupe

Mercedes GLE CoupeIt appears someone at Mercedes decided that despite the X6 being a bit weird and not much use, it deserved a competitor, and low and behold, the GLE Coupe appears. SUV Coupe’s (or whatever they’re called) hurt my soul – I still haven’t worked out why the X6 exists or why people buy them, but there must be some out there if Mercedes feels the need to match their German counterparts.

Mercedes GLE Coupe - RedThere is even an AMG designated model, and claims that “the GLE Coupe feels like a true sports car”.  There’s plenty of power to go along with the increased heft – a 3.0 liter V6 bi-turbo engine pushing out 362 bhp and 384 lb-ft of torque, and a 9-speed automatic gearbox mated to the 4-matic drivetrain.

Mercedes GLE Coupe interior

Porsche Macan Details Release

Porsche Macan SIt’s been a while coming, but comprehensive details for the new Porsche Macan have been offiicially released to the public today to coincide with the opening of the LA Auto Show. Two models grace the range – the Macan S and Macan Turbo (although both are using turbo engines, so Porsche taking a few more liberties than usual with the name games for this model).

Porsche Macan InteriorThe Macan S is powered by a 3.0 liter V6 twin turbo engine that delivers 340 hp and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds (5.0 seconds with the Sport Chrono package). The 3.6 liter V6 twin turbo engine in the Macan Turbo produces 400 hp and accelerates the vehicle to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds (4.4 seconds with Sport Chrono package).

187184_Macan_7Judging by the number of times Porsche mention DNA and heritage in their press release, they’re keen to emphasize that this is going to be a proper drivers car, this is born out with some of the optional equipment available, such as the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus similar to that available on the Cayman S, but specifically tuned for the Macan. It’s also taken some design hints from the new 918 such as the steering wheel and lights.

Lots more details in the tech specs and full press release below if you’re interested.

Porsche LA Auto Press Release

Tech-Specs-2015-Porsche-Macan-Models

Fiat 500L

Fiat 500 L

This post was almost titled “What happens when you make really cute really ugly” but I backed off. This is arriving on this side of the Atlanta in June apparently, and AutoBlog has a first drive review here if you’re interested. I think I’ll pass on this one….

Range Rover Sport Official Release

107934_LR_Range_Rover_Sport_Dynamic_25_lead_imageAfter the early release courtesy of the (now world famous) window tinter, the official launch happened last night with lots of juicy details, plenty of pics and a live drive by James Bond (maybe the Aston’s just aren’t cutting it for him now).

108135_LR_Range_Rover_Sport_Studio_04

So, what do we now know? As predicted, a whole bunch of weight has been shaved off (over 4oo kg which I think is a tonne in real money), which in turn should improve the handling and fuel efficiency of the car (we get about 15 mpg or so from our current model – it’s not what I’d consider frugal). It’s actually now based on the bigger Range Rover, rather than the previous version which was technically built on top of the underpinnings of the LR3.

108274_LR_Range_Rover_Sport_Interior_04

Big on the parent front is the (optional) extra couple of seats in the back – mainly for the kids from the looks of it, but can make the difference between having the grandparents with you, or leaving them on the side of the road 😉

108126_LR_Range_Rover_Sport_Studio_02

The base 5.0 liter V8 engine has gone, replaced by the (very highly praised in other cars) 3.0 Supercharged V6, but the supercharged V8 remains, still pushing out 510 bhp. Stop/start tech is now included, as is the 8-speed automatic from it’s big brother.

108282_LR_Range_Rover_Sport_Interior_06

So, improved significantly in a number of important ways (or should that be weighs), pretty much the same price as before (think there is planned a $1,000 or so increase) and it’s available towards the end of the year. Tempting, very very tempting….

Audi SQ5 – Coming to America

AudiSQ5

If you’re one of those peeps that like their fastness a little on the large side (or just have kids and boat load of crap to carry around with you everywhere), Audi is trying to help with the release of the SQ5 (and try saying that after 4 pints of Strongbow). Using the engine that seems to be in every sporty vehicle Audi launch these days, the V6 3 liter with supercharger, and pushing out 354 bhp in this trim, it’ll propel you away from the traffic lights to 60 mph in just 5.3 secs. Release is going to be sometime this year, and the price hasn’t been released yet, but you get what you pay for these days (which for Audi means included for free is the gorgeous interior). Full press release is available from Audi here if you want more details.

audi sq5 interior

Lamborghini SUV – it’s almost called Uranus

I have mixed feelings about this. It doesn’t look too bad, and it might even be ok to drive, but it’s a Lamborghini. It’s kinda like Aston Martin making a super-mini… oh,, wait,,,what!?

Lamborghini Urus SUV storms out early.

New Honda CR-V out in the wild

It appears that one of the Honda designers was the only fan of the Pontiac Aztek from the look of this thing. Check out the photos here

(I thought about putting the picture up on the blog directly, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. That and the 300 copyright signs all over them)

Maserati SUV

Those were words I never thought I’d type together – Maserati, SUV. But here it is – as manufacturers attempt to make money in these difficult times, even the Italian sport car manufacturers are having to branch out into unfamiliar territory. And given the success of Porsche with their Cayenne I guess it’s hard to argue.

The company is quick to point out that despite the Kubang being based off the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, all the important bits (including the engine designed by Maserati and built by Ferrari) will be made especially for this model.