Monthly Archives: September 2015

This Month: The World’s Largest Porsche Event

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Described as the “world’s largest gathering of Porsche race cars,” the iconic German sports car manufacturer celebrates its racing legacy at the legendary Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey September 25-27.

Hosted by Porsche Cars North America, Rennsport Reunion V brings together an extraordinary gathering of significant Porsche vintage and current race cars, as well as the motorsports figures who have designed, engineered, and driven them to victory.

The race cars at speed will be complemented by a full European-style Porsche Concours d’Elegance event, open to invited race participants, as well as special activities celebrating each of the six decades of Porsche race cars. Hundreds of Porsche owners will also display their own significant Porsche vehicles, drawn from all eras of Porsche production.

New VW supervisory board chairman

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Chief financial officer Hans Dieter Pötsch is set to replace Ferdinand Piech as Volkwagen’s supervisory chief. The Austrian manager is meant to end a months-long power struggle that has shaken the German carmaker.

Ferdinand Piech, a scion of the Porsche family and former CEO of Volkswagen (VW) is to be replaced by financial executive Hans Dieter Pötsch (pictured above), the organizations announced at their headquarters in Stuttgart and Wolfsburg on Thursday.
“The executive and the nomination committees of Volkswagen AG’s supervisory council support the suggestion to vote Hans Dieter Pötsch into the supervisory council of Volkswagen AG and as its new chief,” VW said in a statement.
Pötsch will be voted into the supervisory board in a special meeting of shareholders in November and immediately elected its chairman in November, the two companies said.
Power struggle comes to an end
The decision ended a long-drawn battle that broke out earlier this year between Ferdinand Piech, whose Porsche SE owns the majority of shares in VW, and Martin Winterkorn, who Piech attempted to dislodge as the CEO.
The Porsche patriarch was however unable to get support from his own family members, who backed Winterkorn instead. Porsche SE is a family holding company and is different from the VW subsidiary Porsche, which makes cars.
Meanwhile, Winterkorn’s contract as the firm’s CEO had been extended until 2018, but it was still unclear whether he would vie for the supervisory head’s position after Piech left.
VW’s Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Pötsch is described as a calm, controlled and reserved person. The VW supervisory body’s deputy head Berthold Huber said Pötsch’s specialty was his strategic vision, his extensive knowledge of the automobile industry and expertise in financial markets.
The 64-year-old is considered one of the architects of VW’s takeover of Porsche in August 2012. Aside of his professional experience, Pötsch would also help bringing the management and the supervisory board together, Stefan Weil, chief minister of Lower Saxony, which owns one-fifth of Volkswagen AG, told journalists.
However, skeptics argue that the financial chief may not be the best choice for the company’s supervisory board. “We value Mr. Pötsch as the finance head, but we are against a direct change into the supervisory council,” Ingo Speich of Union Investment said. The head of a supervisory council needed to have a critical objectivity to scrutinize things that were going on within the company, Speich argued.

Video: The All-New Audi A4

The all-new Audi A4 is one of the most important cars debuting at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show and Audi has released a new video to make sure we don’t forget that.

It may not look like an all-new model because of Audi designers’ overly conservative approach, but the car is completely new under the skin. The latest Audi A4 is up to 120 kg (264.6 lbs) lighter than its predecessor, despite having a bigger footprint: it is 4.73 meters (15.5 ft) long and has a wheelbase of 2.82 meters (9.3 ft).

Audi says the A4 Avant has the biggest boot volume in its class at 1,510 liters (53.3 cu-ft) with the rear seats folded down and loaded to the roof (505 liters or 17.8 cu-ft with all five seats in use). The all-new A4 is also said to boast the best-in-class drag coefficient of just 0.23 (0.26 for the Avant).

The 2016 Audi A4 gets the second-generation modular infotainment platform, which in combination with the MMI Navigation Plus gives customers the Audi connect hardware module, which connects to the Internet via the high-speed LTE network.

Other new technologies making their first appearance in the Audi A4 include the Matrix LED headlights, adaptive cruise control Stop&Go including traffic jam assist, Audi virtual cockpit and 3D Sound System from Bang & Olufsen.

At launch, engine options in Germany will include four- and six-cylinder diesel and petrol units with outputs ranging from 150PS to 272PS – but that’s before S and RS models are taken into account. There are four TDI diesels and three TFSI gas engines mated to six-speed manual, seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch or eight-speed automatic transmissions.

The most efficient A4 is the 150PS TDI Ultra sedan, which emits just of 95 g/CO2 per kilometer. An important addition to the range is the new 2.0 TFSI unit rated at 190PS which averages 4.8 l/100km (49.0 mpg US) and emits 109g/km of CO2.

When it arrives in the US, the all-new Audi A4 will offer a diesel for the first time in this market: a 2.0-liter TDI unit rated at 190hp and 295lb-ft (400Nm) of torque.

Four Porsche GT models on track at Porsche Leipzig

Videos that provide detailed technical info and give point-by-point commentary on driving dynamics are always great resource. This latest video from Porsche isn’t one of those. This one is about sights, sound and speed.

Treat yourself to a minute and a half of Stuttgart’s GT lineup on the track in Leipzig, and for Porsche fans, it’s more than worth a watch. The Martini livery on the 911 GT3 Cup car is especially track-worthy.

Facelifted 2016 Porsche 911 revealed by strong winds

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Strong winds in Stuttgart, Germany, have literally taken the wraps off of the facelifted 2016 Porsche 911 about a month ahead of its scheduled debut.

Porsche asked a British company to build a 65-foot tall sculpture in front of its museum in Zuffenhausen, Germany, to showcase the 2016 911, a 1981 model and a relatively early model built in 1970. Unfortunately for Porsche, but lucky for 911 fans, they forgot to check the weather. High winds blew the covers off of the 2016 model, giving us an early look at it.

Visually, the most striking update for 2016 is the addition of a new deck lid with vertical slats. Other exterior changes are discreet at best and largely limited to new LED daytime running lights, new-look tail lamps, redesigned door handles and model-specific bumpers on both ends.

Inside, select 2016 911 models are expected to gain the 918 Spyder’s three-spoke multi-function steering wheel and a bigger, more user-friendly touch screen on the center console. The screen will come standard, but the 918-sourced wheel will likely be available either as a standalone option or as part of the optional Sport Chrono package.

Although full technical details are not available yet, Porsche has previously confirmed that nearly every naturally-aspirated 911 will be fitted with a turbocharged engine, a move that will considerably lower the Stuttgart-based automaker’s fleet-wide CO2 emissions. The downsized turbocharged engines will be more powerful than the outgoing naturally-aspirated units.

More images of the 2016 Porsche 911 will come straight from the show floor in Frankfurt starting on September 15th.