Sunday, March 3, 2013

Autocar Online - News

Autocar Online - News

50 years of Porsche 911 — 50 picture special

Posted: 03 Mar 2013 01:00 AM PST

As the 911 reaches its 50th birthday, Autocar takes a look at some of the sports car's highlights

The Porsche 911 story actually started with the 901 in 1963. It was penned by Ferdinand 'Butzi' Porsche, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, who was famed for designing the Volkswagen Beetle. 

Porsche's replacement for the 356 was originally set to be sold as the 901, its internal design number. But Peugeot claimed the rights to three-digit car names with zero in the middle, so Porsche changed the name and the 911 moniker was born. 

The 911 originally had a 2.0-litre air-cooled flat six engine, mounted, of course, in the rear of the car. Butzi's 901 design, in essence, lasted until 1993. 

Over the years Porsche carried out myriad styling tweaks and changes, as well as numerous engine capacity upgrades, ultimately expanding to 3.2 litres in the 1983 Carrera 3.2 and again to 3.6 litres in the 964. 

The Targa was introduced in 1967, through Porsche's misinformation that convertibles were to be made illegal in the US. The name was chosen after Porsche's multiple triumphs in the Targa Florio race. It wasn't until the 1983 model that a fully fledged convertible was available, after being revealed as a concept in 1981. 

In 1988 the 911 Classic was finally replaced by the 964, the most radically altered 911 since its introduction. With a more modern design, the 964 followed the same 911 recipe until its replacement in 1993 by the 993. 

Due to it being the last air-cooled incarnation, 993 is hailed by hardcore Porsche purists as "the last true 911". Nonetheless, the 996 replaced it in 1998, again with the boast of being the most thoroughly overhauled 911 model since 911s began. It also went on to become the best-selling 911; over 170,000 were sold. 

The 911 then went back to its trademark 'bug-eye' headlights when the 'teardrop' headlighted 996 was replaced in 2004 by the 997. It had remarkable longevity, lasting over eight years albeit slightly broken up by a 2009 facelift. The 997 also spawned the special edition Sport Classic, celebrating Porsche's long heritage and featuring a 'duck-tail' spoiler and Fuchs alloys. 

Porsche's 991 generation, unveiled in 2011, was one of the most extensive redevelopments in the 911's history. It is built on a new platform, only the third in the 911's 50-year life

The first 911 Turbo was released in 1975, with a comparatively large 3.0-litre engine, 'whale tail' spoiler and trademark wide bodywork. In 1993 the 993-generation 911 Turbo was given another turbocharger and four-wheel drive.

Porsche's next 911 Turbo will sport three turbochargers when it is introduced later in 2013.

Since its debut at the 1963 Frankfurt motor show, more then 820,000 911s have been built. The firm has treated the race track as a lab test; two-thirds of Porsche's 30,000 race wins were in a 911.

Its popularity isn't hard to explain, but it was Ferdinand Porsche who best described its qualities: "The 911 is the only car you could drive on an African safari or at Le Mans, to the theatre or through New York city traffic."

Want to find out more about the history of Porsche, and the cars it has produced, over the past 50 years? Pick up the 27 February issue of Autocar and watch our video here.

Jimi Beckwith

Geneva motor show: Spyker B6 Venator to rival Porsche 911

Posted: 02 Mar 2013 01:43 PM PST

Spyker boss Victor Muller reveals it will cost from around £100,000

The first details of the Spyker B6 Venator have been revealed.

The 375bhp V6-powered sports car will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show and is being touted as a Porsche 911 rival.

The car was revealed as part of an interview with Spyker's CEO Victor Muller in the Wall Street Journal. He indicated the car sits on an aluminium chassis, has a carbonfibre body and will weigh 1397kg. Venator means hunter in Latin.

He said it would cost between £105,000 and £130,000.

Follow the link to read more coverage of the Geneva motor show.

Geneva motor show: VW Golf estate revealed

Posted: 02 Mar 2013 08:22 AM PST

Leaked photos from a Russian website appear to show VW Golf estate

These are reported to be the first pictures of the new VW Golf estate.

The VW Golf estate is expected to be revealed at next week's Geneva motor show, and the pictures appeared today on a Russian website.

No details of the car were revealed, but its styling and engine line up is expected to closely follow that of the on-sale hatchback version of the VW Golf.

The new VW Golf GTI, VW Golf GTD, electric VW e-Golf are all expected to be shown in Geneva.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Geneva motor show: Kia Provo hints at Mini and Citroen DS3 rival

Posted: 02 Mar 2013 07:17 AM PST

First images of Kia Provo concept leak out, suggesting the Korean manufacturer will reveal a Mini and Citroen DS3 rival at Tuesday's Geneva motor show

Unofficial reports suggest this is the Kia Provo concept, a Mini and Citroen DS3 rival that will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show.

The pictures were leaked on the internet by a Russian website.

The two-door coupe has a sporty look, enhanced by oversized wheels that are typical of flamboyant motor show concepts. This look is reinforced by the muted grey body colour of the vehicle, which is set against bright orange highlights on the front spoiler, brake calipers and wheel caps.

The Kia Provo also features a dual exhaust arrangement, large wheel arches and a rear diffuser, suggesting Kia is likely to make bold performance claims for the car, which is pictured on a race track.

The interior also hints that Kia has Mini in its sights, as it delivers a stripped down look but with luxury finishes and modern touches, such as the digital dash. 

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible - official pictures

Posted: 01 Mar 2013 06:50 AM PST

C7 convertible uses identical 6.2-litre V8 with negligible weight gain over the hard-top

Chevrolet will launch a convertible variant of its new Corvette Stingray at the Geneva motor show.

As yet, Chevrolet has released no further details on the seventh-generation Corvette convertible other than these two official images. The convertible will follow its Corvette C6 predecessor in having a fabric roof rather than a folding metal one.

The Corvette was designed as an open car from the outset, so should require little modification to create a convertible. With the roof not integral to the Corvette's structure, there should be little dynamic sacrifice as a result of losing it.

Expect an identical mechanical specification to the coupé. This means it will be powered by a 6.2-litre V8 with 450bhp and 450lb ft, mated to either a seven-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

Following its debut at Geneva on 5 March, the Corvette Stingray convertible should go on sale next year. As there will be no official UK imports of the coupé, it is unlikely the convertible will be sold over here, either.

 Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

New Ferrari Enzo - third teaser photo

Posted: 28 Feb 2013 06:55 AM PST

Italian manufacturer confirms it will unveil new Enzo at Geneva motor show 2013

Ferrari has confirmed that its new Ferrari Enzo will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show.

In total, three teaser photos of the car have now been released.

The new flagship hypercar, which will rival the McLaren P1, will have more than 800bhp and weigh as little as 1100kg according to unconfirmed reports.

Codenamed F150, the Enzo makes sophisticated use of carbonfibre in its construction.

With roots in the 2005 Enzo-based FXX track car, the new Enzo will use a development of the F12's 6.3-litre V12.

This will output 750bhp, with an additional 100bhp and 200lb ft expected to come from an electric motor.

Ferrari has not indicated a price for the new Enzo yet, but it's likely to be around £1,000,000.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

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