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. Porsche Cars North America has launched its New Vehicle Delivery program at the Porsche Experience Center (PEC) in Atlanta. The program enables customers to place a factory order for a new vehicle through any authorized Porsche dealer in the U.S. and take delivery directly from the experiential destination, located at One Porsche Drive in Atlanta.
California forensic accountant and attorney Tracy Blumenthal was the first official customer to participate in the program today when she picked up her new Cayenne S E-Hybrid sport utility vehicle.
"We are thrilled to launch the New Vehicle Delivery program as another premium offering at our Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta," said Andre Oosthuizen, Vice President, Marketing, for Porsche Cars North America. "We welcome further customers to follow the lead of Tracy Blumenthal and enjoy this exclusive opportunity to truly experience the Porsche brand."
New Vehicle Delivery customers receive a total VIP experience, comprised of a tour of the PEC, an in-depth vehicle orientation with a delivery specialist, a 90-minute experience in a Porsche on the driver development track, and lunch at Restaurant 356, Porsche’s fine-dining destination.
Because Blumenthal is the first customer taking part in the New Vehicle Delivery program, she also enjoyed a special demonstration lap in an 887-horsepower 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid supercar with former Porsche race car driver and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner David Donohue.
"Porsche is a remarkable brand that I have repurchased multiple times, consecutively," Blumenthal expressed. "You truly can't understand the genius of these cars unless you have in fact had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of one."
In addition to Blumenthal’s new Cayenne S E-Hybrid and the 918 Spyder, also on display for the launch were the two other Porsche hybrid vehicles – the Panamera S E-Hybrid and 919 Hybrid race car.
The New Vehicle Delivery program marks the latest in a unique set of offerings at the Experience Center designed to immerse customers in the complete Porsche experience. Other PEC features include a 1.6-mile driver development track, conference and meeting facilities, a Classic Workshop for maintenance and repair of customer vehicles, the Porsche Heritage Gallery and the fine-dining Restaurant 356. Approximately 17,500 guests visited the PEC between June and December 2015.
The New Vehicle Delivery program is available at no additional cost to all Porsche customers who place a factory order for a new Porsche vehicle. To register, customers coordinate with their local dealer and cover necessary travel arrangements. Reservations are limited and scheduled by appointment. Further information is available at any authorized U.S. Porsche dealer or online at www.porsche.com/usa.
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).
World premiere in Los Angeles
Stuttgart . Porsche has added a new sports car for recreational and club racing to its fleet: The Cayman GT4 Clubsport celebrated its world premiere today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The 283 kW (385 hp) mid-engine racer for motorsport newcomers, which is not road homologated, is based on the successful street-legal Cayman GT4 sports car. Sales of the racing car start with the unveiling at the trade show.
Just like its exceptionally race-worthy production sibling, the Cayman GT4 Clubsport is powered by a 3.8-litre flat-six engine, positioned directly behind the driver’s seat. The racing version exclusively features a modified six-speed Porsche double clutch transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel and a mechanical rear-axle locking differential specifically for racing. The lightweight strut front axle is taken from its big 911 GT3 Cup brother, which is campaigned in Porsche’s 20 one-make championships around the world. Working at the rear is an enhanced lightweight strut suspension with transverse arms adopted from the 911 GT3 Cup. The impressively dimensioned racing brake system features 380-millimetre steel brake discs all round. Fitted at the front are one-piece, six-piston aluminium fixed callipers, with a four-piston equivalent at the rear. The anti-lock brake system can be adjusted in twelve stages. The Electronic Stability Programme has been expanded for slicks. The power steering is operated electro-mechanically.
Tipping the scales at just 1,300 kilograms, the Cayman GT4 Clubsport, delivered ex-works with a welded-in safety cage, a racing bucket seat as well as a six-point har-ness, is truly lightweight. The basic version is equipped with a 90-litre standard tank, with an optional 70-litre or 100-litre FT3 safety tank available. Mounted at the front axle are 18-inch five-bolt forged rims with Michelin tyres (25/64-18), with 18-inch five-bolt forged rims at the rear with 27/68-18 tyre dimensions.
The new Cayman GT4 Clubsport, which is available from 111,000 euro plus coun-try-specific VAT, can be ordered immediately from Porsche Motorsport in Weissach. For 2016, homologation is planned for race series such as the VLN Long Distance Championship Nürburgring, the SRO GT4 series, the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA, the Ultra 94 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and for club races run by the Porsche Club of America, as well as for other club-level meetings around the world.
Atlanta. Porsche’s GT family is proud to announce the addition of an exciting new member: the Cayman GT4. This is the first Porsche GT sports car based on the Cayman and features components of the 911 GT3. Clocking a lap time of 7 minutes and 40 seconds on the North Loop of the Nürburgring, the Cayman GT4 earns the same lap time as the 2011 911 GT3 and positions itself as the new benchmark atop its market segment. The Cayman GT4 clearly demonstrates Porsche’s dedication and passion to continue to promote truly industry-leading two-door sports cars in the future – sports cars that are developed at the Motorsport department in Weissach.
The engine, chassis, brakes, and aerodynamic design of the Cayman GT4 are configured for maximum driving dynamics while retaining the versatility and everyday utility that are typical of the two-seater Porsche coupe. Powered by a 385 hp 3.8-liter flat-six engine derived from the 911 Carrera S engine, the Cayman GT4 transmits its power solely through a six-speed manual transmission with dynamic gearbox mounts. Zero to 60 mph is accomplished in 4.2 seconds; its top track speed is 183 mph. The chassis – which features a 30 mm lower ride height and a generously sized brake system – consists almost entirely of components from the 911 GT3.
Ready for the race track: The first Porsche Cayman with added downforce at both axles
The exterior of the Cayman GT4 highlights it as a member of the Porsche GT family and provides a clear distinction to related mid-engine coupes. Three pronounced inlet openings at the front and a large fixed rear wing are part of an aerodynamic package which is systematically designed for downforce. Upon request, the performance capabilities of Cayman GT4 can be taken even further. Available options include the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system, full bucket seats made of carbon fiber composite, and a custom Sport Chrono Package featuring a Track Precision app.
The interior of the Cayman GT4 focuses on maximizing the experience of unfiltered driving enjoyment for both driver and passenger. Standard sport seats, which are upholstered in a combination of leather and Alcantara®, offer excellent lateral support. The new Cayman GT4 sport steering wheel guarantees ideal control and direct steering feedback due to its compact dimensions.
Technical aspects of this new GT sports car are based on the 911 GT3. As a mid-engine sports car and a prime example of driving dynamics in its class, it follows the conceptual tradition of such cars as the 904 GTS, 911 GT1, Carrera GT and 918 Spyder.
GT sports cars engineered by Porsche embody the most passionate connection possible between everyday driving and Porsche’s competition heritage and highlight the sporty core of the brand: Intelligent Performance.
The Porsche Cayman GT4 celebrates its world premiere in early March at the Geneva International Motor Show. This vehicle will arrive at U.S. dealers in July 2015. The starting MSRP for the Cayman GT4 is $84,600. MSRP does not include a destination charge of $995.
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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