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/
Brand outranks other luxury manufacturers for second year in a row
Atlanta, Georgia. The Porsche brand has ranked highest among all nameplates, according to the latest J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study released November 11, 2016. The brand also placed higher than all other luxury manufacturers for the second consecutive year. Porsche improved upon its 2015 standing by 72 points to capture the overall ranking for the second time in the 30-year history of the SSI Study.
The SSI Study measures satisfaction with the sales experience among new-vehicle buyers and rejecters - those who shop a dealership and purchase elsewhere. Buyer satisfaction is based on four measures: working out the deal (25%); salesperson (19%); delivery process (16%); and facility (15%). Porsche ranked highest among all automotive brands across all four categories. Rejecter satisfaction is based on five measures: salesperson (10%); fairness of price (4%); experience negotiating (4%); facility (3%); and variety of inventory (3%). Porsche improved this year in the areas of price, facility and inventory.
"Customer satisfaction is our highest priority in our endeavor to deliver a unique and rewarding Porsche experience," said Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. "We pride ourselves on building exciting and innovative sports cars, but our success is ultimately measured by the approval and appreciation of our customers. I would particularly like to thank our dealer partners who have made it their mission to provide a benchmark experience for their clients who are purchasing a Porsche."
The 2016 SSI Study is based on responses from 28,979 buyers who purchased or leased their new vehicle in April or May 2016. The study is a comprehensive analysis of the new-vehicle shopping and purchasing experience and measures customer satisfaction at U.S. dealerships.
Visionary? You can look at it like that.
The roads of this world lure us with countless curves and corners. At night in particular, it is vital to achieve optimum illumination of the roads. As a result, at the point where human visual acuity reaches its limits, Porsche is extending the field of vision thanks to intelligent technology. This means you reach your destination faster, or simply allows you to enjoy the driving experience.
The Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) and the Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus (PDLS Plus) convert the main headlights of your Porsche into active assistants which do everything to ensure a relaxing and comfortable drive. After all, when it comes to controlling a vehicle, a visionary approach is sometimes characterised by the ability to see objects those decisive few tenths of a second earlier.
Dynamic cornering light
The dynamic cornering light swivels the main headlights into the bend, depending on the steering angle and vehicle speed. In Panamera and Cayenne models, the static cornering light additionally activates auxiliary headlights to illuminate tight corners or when turning.
Dynamic high beam
The dynamic high beam detects the lights of traffic traveling in front and of oncoming traffic. The intensity and range of the light beam are thus adapted to the relevant situation. This allows you to detect the course of the road, pedestrians or any dangers at an early stage without dazzling other road users.
The intersection light function detects intersections and junctions using the navigation data of the Porsche Communication Management (PCM). The system then switches on the left and right cornering lights simultaneously for optimized illumination at intersections. If there is one road joining the one you are driving on, only the static cornering light on the side facing the road mouth is activated.
Porsche Car Connect is an app for your smartphone which offers a host of useful options for you and your Porsche.
Porsche Car Connect includes Remote Services, Vehicle Tracking Services, and E-Performance Services. The Remote Services allow you to access vehicle information and control selected functions remotely. The Vehicle Tracking Services help you to protect your Porsche against theft and find it if the worst happens.
Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG can look back on an extremely successful fiscal year in 2015. With 225,121 vehicles delivered to customers worldwide, the company achieved a new record in 2015, exceeding the previous record of 189,849 cars in 2014 by 19 percent.
"The figures reflect the pulling power of our brand as well as the appeal of our products which we have launched on the market in the past few years," says Dr. Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. "Focusing completely on the development, production, and sales of highly emotional sports cars is paying off." However, sales are only a secondary yardstick for success for Porsche. "What is much more important for us are customer enthusiasm, return on sales, and secure jobs," says Blume.
The 911 legend continues unabated. The sports car icon recorded an increase over the previous year of four percent with just under 32,000 units delivered. "This growth, even in a year in which the model was changed, shows the immensity of fascination for the 911 on the markets," said Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG. The new 911 series will be available in the United States in March of 2016 with the flagship 911 Turbo models available in April.
Clearly, the growth drivers are the SUV models and the best-seller is the latest addition to the family. With more than 80,000 cars delivered globally, the Macan became the most coveted Porsche already in its first year of full availability. It is closely followed by the Cayenne (73,119 units). Compared with the previous year, the Macan and the Cayenne achieved two-digit growth figures.
Cayman sales rose slightly by one percent. The Panamera and Boxster models lagged behind the previous year levels. The reason for this is the upcoming model change from which Porsche is expecting renewed growth in 2016. In the future, the Boxster and Cayman models will be branded as the 718 model series and will continue to advance both technically and optically.
For the first time, the strongest single market in 2015 was China where Porsche delivered 58,009 vehicles. Compared with 2014, this was an increase of 24 percent. In the United States 51,756 vehicles were delivered, a growth of 10 percent. The European market grew by 24 percent to 75,354 units where Germany was the strongest single market with a total of 28,953 vehicles delivered (up 21 percent).
Exclusive edition of 2016 Porsche Cayman in classic color combination
Atlanta, Georgia. Porsche is expanding the Black Edition line-up to include a new special edition of the Cayman. A strong complement inside the special edition series, which also includes the Boxster and the 911 Carrera, the Cayman Black Edition is distinguished with a timeless Black on Black design and an extensive level of standard equipment. Improvements to standard equipment include enhanced headlights, wheels, and sound system. Additional standard content includes the Sport Design steering wheel, door sill guards with Black Edition logo, auto-dimming rear view mirrors, and headrests embossed with the Porsche crest. Black paint is standard, while Jet Black Metallic is available as an option.
The Cayman Black Edition is powered by a 2.7 liter flat-six engine with 275 hp. 20-inch Carrera Classic wheels and Bi-Xenon headlights with PDLS (Porsche Dynamic Light System) set distinctive highlights, while two-zone climate control and heated seats provide a higher level of comfort for both driver and passenger. The Porsche Communication Management system with navigation, the upgraded Sound Package Plus and Park Assist for front and rear are also included as standard features on the Cayman Black Edition.
The Cayman Black Edition will reach showrooms in January, 2016. MSRP is $59,200, not including a $995 destination charge.
Atlanta. Inspired by the heritage of the Porsche 911, British artist Gerry Judah has created a sculpture which is now located on the Porscheplatz in Zuffenhausen, Germany, where the first 911 rolled off the assembly line in 1963. The sculpture consists of three pillars measuring up to 78 feet in height, each crowned with a Porsche 911 mounted at the top. The vehicles hail from different 911 generations paying tribute to the icon's vast history.
The event held on the evening of August 31, 2015 marked the official presentation of the sculpture entitled "Inspiration 911". The Porscheplatz was cast in a combination of lights, film, and vehicle choreography. Using the glass facade of the Porsche Museum as a screen, film clips were projected to create a visual display area measuring more than 2,100 square feet. A moving progression included vehicles that are also components of the art piece: an F-model from 1970, a G-model from 1981, as well as the latest generation 911. Light effects utilizing the architecture of the museum fascinated spectators. For the finale, the current model range of Porsche vehicles was showcased to guests in the grandstands.
Matthias Mueller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, said during his address at the event, "The sculpture that we present today is more than a work of art. It is also a symbol for our company's close ties with Stuttgart." In recent years, Porsche has invested around one billion Euros in facilities in the greater Stuttgart area.
Not sure whether you should order the Sport Exhaust option for your next Porsche? Check out this video to help make up your mind. A Sport Exhaust system is music to the ears for many of us.
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Images and photos copyright Porsche Cars North America, Inc., or Porsche Roslyn
Images and photos copyright Porsche Cars North America, Inc., or Porsche Roslyn