Customers score sales experience with Porsche higher than any other brand
Atlanta, Georgia. New car customers rated Porsche as the top brand in J.D. Power’s annual Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study released today.
Porsche improved its overall ranking by three spots in 2018 compared to last year’s SSI Study. With an increase of 10 points to a total of 828, Porsche ranked higher than any other brand.
“This achievement is the result of a customer-focused strategy that has been superbly executed by our 190 U.S. dealer partners,” said Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of Atlanta-based Porsche Cars North America, Inc. “First and foremost, this award is for our dedicated dealers, who have invested significant time in training for their employees and committed $500 million to improving facilities in just the last five years.”
The SSI Study provides an analysis of the purchase experience from a customer perspective. It is based on responses from 25,748 people who purchased or leased new vehicles this year.
Particular high points for customers who bought or leased a Porsche between April and May 2018 included the delivery process, dealership facilities, and working out the details of the transaction. Porsche shoppers also expressed satisfaction with salespeople and inventory.
Zellmer noted that in the first 10 months of this year, Porsche sales in the U.S. were up 3.2 percent compared to the same period in 2017. “We are glad to see growth going hand-in-hand with continually improving the customer experience,” he said.
When people think of Porsche, the first thing that comes to mind is often the silhouette of the 911 – and the flat engine. These engines are very close to every Porsche devotee’s heart. But what is so special about this particular design principle for an internal combustion engine?
The air-cooled flat engine has a special place in the hearts of its fans. But emotions only tell half the story. As well as revving its way into the affections of many, the flat engine has many interesting features that give it the edge from a design point of view. Its history dates back 122 years to 1896, when Carl Benz invented the flat engine. He called it the contra engine because its two cylinders worked in opposition to one another. This first boxer engine was intended to have a displacement of over 1.7 litres and deliver 5 hp. Its underlying design principle – both then and now – is that the cylinders should lie flat and slightly offset to each other, on opposite sides of the crankshaft.
The Porsche family tree of flat engines can be traced back to the VW Beetle. Its 1.1-litre, four-cylinder engine delivering 26 kW (35 hp) was installed by Ferry Porsche in his 356-001. Further engines followed, all of which were air-cooled until the 911 Type 993. In the top-of-the-range 911 Carrera RS, the 3.8-litre air-cooled flat engine achieved 221 kW (300 hp) without turbocharging. Two turbochargers boosted performance to 331 kW (450 hp).
The ideal choice for sports cars
The air-cooled flat engine is lightweight and flat, making it the ideal choice for sports cars, and particularly low designs are possible as the cylinders are lying flat. This lowers the centre of gravity, allowing for a sportier and more dynamic style of driving – and not just when cornering. If the flat engine is installed at the rear as in Porsche vehicles, traction is improved because the weight of the engine rests on the drive axle. Until all-wheel drive vehicles conquered the roads, Beetle and Porsche drivers agreed that a car with a rear-mounted engine was by far the best choice for winter conditions. The opposite is also true: When braking, the weight of a rear-mounted engine allows more braking force to be transferred to the rear wheels.
The flat engine – and especially its six-cylinder variant – is particularly smooth-running, with no free moments or free forces. The crank mechanism is ideally balanced, allowing short-stroke sports engines to cruise along at high speeds without excessive strain.
The 3.8-litre six-cylinder twin-turbo boxer engine of the 911 GT2 RS
One of the most characteristic features of the Porsche six-cylinder flat engines is the drop in fuel consumption as engine power increases. The concept underlying the flat engine involves a consistent lightweight construction, a low centre of gravity, outstanding revving ability and a high specific output thanks to advantageous charge cycles. All 911 engines need to be sporty as well as suitable for everyday use.
As a basic rule, it takes more effort to manufacture a flat engine than an in-line engine because a greater number of parts are needed. The flat engine needs two banks of cylinders with a valve train, plus cooling or injection. The flat engine is a particularly good candidate for air cooling because the individual cylinders are located far apart from each other and can therefore benefit from a direct flow of cooling air. The fact that the 911 flat engines have been water-cooled since the 996 model series is primarily a result of the four-valve technology. Four valves are a prerequisite for cutting fuel consumption and exhaust emissions while also boosting performance.
But this is only a point of interest for fans of water-cooled flat engines. No club with this name exists yet, but it surely will one day, when these engines stop being the latest technology and become part of history.
Real-time remote assistance improves efficiency and can reduce service resolution time by up to 40 percent. Use of augmented reality in technical services for an even better service quality and customer experience
Atlanta, Georgia. Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) today announced the introduction of "Tech Live Look," an Augmented Reality (AR) technology designed to improve technical services at Porsche dealerships in the United States.
"Tech Live Look" uses the AiR Enterprise™ software platform from Atheer, Inc., a leading provider of AR solutions, in conjunction with lightweight smart glasses. These high-tech spectacles feature the latest in projection technology and come equipped with a high-resolution, auto focus camera that shows even fine details such as threading on screws. The glasses include a powerful LED to illuminate dark spaces in the engine compartment or under the car.
How does this technology work? When a service technician at a dealership in Los Angeles dons this specialized eyewear and connects through the software with the Atlanta-based Porsche technical support team 2,200 miles away, it allows the support team to see exactly what he is seeing, in real time. This "see what I see" video-conferencing capability with instant access to remote experts allows both parties to quickly identify and resolve technical issues. It can also help decrease service resolution time by up to 40 percent, based on the findings of a pilot program undertaken in July 2017 at eight Porsche dealerships in California, Florida, Indiana, New Jersey, and Washington, along with one in Canada.
"Tech Live Look" can do much more than just provide real-time video capability. It allows the technical support team to take screen shots or send technical bulletins and instructions onto the projection surface of the glasses while the service technician is working on the vehicle. This type of information exchange is far more efficient than sending emails and photos or explaining complex technical issues over the phone.
"Our main goal is to provide a better overall experience for our customers. Tech Live Look allows us to be more efficient and helps get vehicles back in the hands of our customers faster, all while still delivering exceptional service quality" explained Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of PCNA.
"Tech Live Look" will officially launch in dealerships in North America in 2018.
Enjoy a close-up experience of the history of Porsche at the Porsche Museum! Encounter legendary racing and sports cars, fascinating production models as well as unusual prototypes. More than 80 vehicles will take you from the early years all the way to the present days of Porsche’s history. Learn more: https://www.porsche.com/museum/en/
Porsche sets a new world record on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife
Atlanta, Georgia. Porsche set a new lap record for street legal sports cars on the 12.8 mile (20.6 kilometer) Nürburgring-Nordschleife with the 2018 911 GT2 RS. Recorded and officially timed on September 20th, the best lap time of 6:47.3 minutes even surpassed internal expectations. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Motorsport and GT Cars for Porsche AG, said "At the start of the development process, we set ourselves a lap time target for the GT2 RS of less than 7 minutes and 5 seconds. The credit for beating this target by 17.7 seconds goes to our development engineers, mechanics and drivers, who demonstrated an exceptionally strong team performance. This result makes it official: The GT2 RS is not only the most powerful, but also the fastest 911 model ever built."
The record lap was not just a single occurrence: Lars Kern of Germany and Nick Tandy from Great Britain broke the previous record for street legal sports cars (6:52.01 minutes) immediately and proceeded to lap the track in under 6:50 minutes on five separate laps. Andreas Preuninger, Director of the GT model line, stated, "It's not just the record time achieved by the GT2 RS that demonstrates the vehicle's caliber, but also the consistency of performance in every lap. We're particularly proud of the fact that this was achieved with two different vehicles and two different drivers, as it underscores the ability of the GT2 RS to reproduce the record over and over again."
Porsche factory driver Nick Tandy traveled directly from the six hour race in Austin, Texas to the Ring and adapted from driving the Le Mans prototype Porsche 919 Hybrid to the 700 hp 911 GT2 RS fitted with standard N-spec Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires in impressive fashion. Lars Kern, Porsche test driver by trade and a passionate race car driver in his own right, was the one to set the fastest final time. In addition to the Carrera Cup Australia, Kern regularly competes in the German VLN endurance racing championship on the Nürburgring and knows the Nordschleife like the back of his hand. The ultimate record lap began under ideal track conditions at 7:11 p.m. local time and ended 6:47.3 minutes later. The average speed on the 12.8 mile (20.6 kilometer) lap was 114.4 miles per hour.
The fastest and most powerful road-going 911 celebrated its world premiere at the Festival of Speed in Goodwood, Great Britain. The heart of the high-performance sports car is a twin turbo flat-six engine producing 700 horsepower. This enables the two-seater weighing 3,241 pounds to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.7 seconds. The top track speed of the rear-wheel drive Coupé is 211 miles per hour. Thanks to the race-bred powertrain, the new 911 GT2 RS surpasses its predecessor, which was equipped with a 3.6 liter engine, by 80 horsepower and delivers up to 553 lb.-ft. of torque.
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Images and photos copyright Porsche Cars North America, Inc., or Porsche Gold Coast
Images and photos copyright Porsche Cars North America, Inc., or Porsche Gold Coast