It’s been a busy summer so far with a lot of exciting new cars being unveiled and we’ve missed out on talking about some of the exciting ones on our usual news feed. So, we’ve compiled them all into short summaries below:
The Daddy Of Sports SUVs Is Back!
When Porsche started making sporty SUVs, the sports car icon got all sorts of flak from the petrolhead community. Most of us were blind to the business realities of cars but Porsche couldn’t afford to be. By building SUVs for its clientele, the company ensure profitability which allowed it to keep making its iconic rear-engined sports cars and more. The Cayenne can be called the OG of the Super SUV scene but it has taken a bit of back seat as new names like the Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Bentayga and Aston Martin DBX took centre stage. But Porsche has had enough waiting and has re-entered the spotlight with this: the Cayenne Turbo GT.
It’s only available with the coupe-like roofline and its 4-litre twin-turbo V8 now makes 631hp and 850Nm mated to a faster-shifting 8-speed automatic gearbox. The jump in performance is not just an engine remap as it features upgrades in the areas of the crankshaft, turbocharger, induction system and intercooler. It also has a new titanium centre-exit exhaust that is lighter and noisier than the usual Cayenne Coupe. Other weight-saving attempts include the added carbon fibre aero parts and Alcantara for the Alcantara.
Yes, the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid has more power and so do most of its rivals but engine performance is only part of the story when it comes to Porsches. The Cayenne Turbo GT also gets a sportier chassis setup with stiffer suspension settings, retuned electronic control systems and added aero for improved driving dynamics. The proof of these performance tweaks is in its Nürburgring lap time of 7min38.925s (the full 20.832km lap) to set a new lap record in the SUV category, around 3.5 seconds quicker than the RSQ8. The only changes to the production-spec SUV were the driver’s racing seat and a roll cage for extra protection.
New Nürburgring Record For The GT2 RS (MR)
The 991.2 911 GT2 RS is a beast of a track car that combines 690hp and brilliant aerodynamics to slay lap times. It set a new production-car lap record at the Nürburgring when it was launched in 2017, back when the official measurement was just short of a full lap. Nürburging specialist Manthey Racing developed a performance kit for the GT2 RS, with no changes to the engine output, that allowed their car to set a new lap record for any road car of 6minutes and 44.749 seconds (as per the old timing rules) in 2018. Nearly three years on, Porsche has now developed an official Manthey Racing Performance kit that buyers can spec for their new GT2 RS to reclaim the crown from the AMG GT Black Series which is the current production-car lap record holder. With Green Hell veteran Lars Kern at the wheel once again, the GT2 RS with company-approved-mods completed the whole 20.832km lap in just 6 minutes and 43.300 seconds, nearly five seconds quicker than the AMG. Now imagine what the new-gen GT2 RS could be capable of…
Lap times and records at the Nürburgring have always been contentious but recent changes in testing policies should help to clear things up going forward. Since these lap times help sell cars, manufacturers tend to argue about the classification for their ‘records’. A usual point for debate is the definition of a series production car that would allow a brand to claim its car has the fastest lap time in the same specification as sold to customers. Then there is the fastest time for a road-legal car that may feature some modifications from a specialist brand outside of the carmaker. But what if these external-party modifications were offered by the carmaker directly? Does it count as a production-car lap record? These are the kind of muddy waters one has to tread when it comes to lap times and speed runs.
But even in all the confusion, it is quite clear that the Porsche 911 GT2 RS (991.2) with the Manthey Racing Performance kit is a destroyer of lap times around the Green Hell. The latest version of the MR package includes bespoke chassis, aerodynamic and brake components along with the light magnesium alloy wheels. The visible aero differences are the additional front flaps on the front spoiler that help increase front end downforce by around 80 per cent at 200kph. Meanwhile, the new rear spoiler, aerodiscs on the rear wheels and a modified diffuser more than double the rear-end downforce at 200kph, from 93kg to 200kg. All these tweaks and changes help the GT2 RS carry more speed through corners and brake later which helps shave those seconds off. On this record-setting lap, Kern averaged a speed of 185.87kph with road-legal Michelin Sport Cup 2 R tyres.
The New 911 GT3 Touring Is Here
What’s cooler than a rear-wheel-drive sports car with a naturally-aspirated engine, a manual gearbox, track-spec suspension and a big wing at the back? All of the same but just delete the wing. That’s where the Porsche 911 GT3 Touring became the petrolhead’s favourite daily driver. The Stuttgart team has now revealed the 992-gen iteration of the GT3 Touring and it is just as appealing while also offering more performance.
This time, the GT3 Touring is being offered with the choice of both 6-speed manual and 7-speed PDK gearboxes. It has the same 4.0-litre six-cylinder race-derived engine that churns out a healthy 503hp and revs till 9,000rpm.
It still has a rear spoiler for the necessary downforce but this one sits flush in the body when not needed. A lot of exterior and interior details have are now finished in black or tinted tones to distinguish the Touring even more from its winged avatar. The rest of the cabin looks like the usual GT3 with the Alcantara and leather upholstery, large central display and digital dials in the instrument cluster. There is a GT3 Touring insignia on the engine cover below the rear windscreen.
With the wider body of the 992 911 and the various inlets and vents from the GT3, the Touring truly is drool-worthy with performance to match. If I could afford a new 911, this is the only one I’d consider.
That being said, in the real world where money is a decider even amongst those who can buy a Porsche, another variant of the 992 911 has surfaced — the GTS. It’s the middle child between the regular Carrera and the Turbo variants and it’s available in various formats: Coupe and Cabriolet with both RWD and AWD, and Targa with AWD. Its turbocharged 3.0-litre flat-six makes 473hp and 570Nm with a choice of manual and PDK automatic transmissions. The point of the GTS is to offer a sportier driving experience thanks to a bespoke suspension setup and 25kgs of weight savings.
That’s a wrap for this edition of ‘Stuff We Missed’, this time a Porsche exclusive. If you’d like more such stories in the future, don’t forget to subscribe to The Auto Loons for more cool updates from the car world.