2013 Year In Review: Top 10 Porsche News Posts of 2013
9 Magazine takes a look back at our 10 biggest news stories from the year
The year 2013 is close to over, and it’s that time of the year to look back at the most interesting and remarkable news stories that were posted to the site this year for Porsche enthusiasts. In all, it was another unbelievable year for Porsche.
2013 started off with a bang since the year marks the 50th Anniversary of the iconic Porsche 911. The 911, designed by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, is deemed one of the most successful sports cars of all time. More than 820,000 of the 911 were built over the last 50 years. It has gained more than 20,000 racing victories. The Porsche engineers from Zuffenhausen and Weissach have reinvented the 911 in each of the now seven generations, demonstrating the innovativeness of the brand again and again. Like no other vehicle, the 911 combines seemingly contradictory traits such as sportiness and everyday utility, tradition and innovation, exclusiveness and social acceptability, design and functionality. To commemorate the anniversary, Porsche has introduced a limited edition 911 Carrera S that includes features that have contributed to the 50-year success story of the 911.
Moving toward their goal set with “Strategy 2018,” Porsche, this year introduced many new models including the remarkable plug-in Panamera S E-Hybrid, the “baby Cayenne” Macan and numerous variants of existing models such as the “Platinum Edition” Cayenne and the 50th Anniversary 911.
Here are the top 10 news items for 2013:
The announcement of the new Macan was the biggest news of the year for the car manufacturer. In November, and after years of speculation and rumors, Porsche officially announced the Macan. Porsche has expanded its model range to include a new class of vehicle. The Macan is the first Porsche model to break into the compact SUV segment and is poised to set new standards in the field of driving dynamics and enjoyment. The Macan combines the typical handling characteristics that Porsche has represented right from the outset: maximum acceleration and braking values, vast engine power, extreme agility and optimum steering precision.
Back in September, the Porsche 918 Spyder conquered the 20.6-kilometre lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than seven minutes. Achieving a time of exactly six minutes and 57 seconds, the super sportscar equipped with a hybrid drive shaved 14 seconds off the previous record.
Paul Walker, star of the ‘Fast & Furious’ movie series, passed away in late November after a crash involving a Porsche Carrera GT that took place in Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles.
At the time of his death, Walker was working on the franchise’s latest movie, “Fast & Furious 7,” which would chronologically fall after the events of “Tokyo Drift.” and was set for release in July 2014, but Walker’s death leaves that film’s future uncertain.
In April, Porsche announced a new generation of Panamera’s including a plug-in Hybrid version. The Panamera S E-Hybrid is a systematically advanced development of the parallel full hybrids with a more powerful electric motor, a higher-performance battery that supplies more energy and the ability to charge it externally from the electrical grid.
The electric drive produces 95 hp (70 kW), which is more than double the power of the previous model’s electric motor at 47 hp (34 kW). It draws its energy from a newly developed lithium-ion battery, which at 9.4 kWh has over five times the 1.7 kWh energy capacity of the previous battery in nickel metal hydride technology. When connected to an industrial outlet, it can be charged within around two and a half hours via the integrated on-board charger and the standard Porsche Universal Charger (AC), and it can be charged in less than four hours when connected to a conventional household electrical outlet.
Back in September of this year, it was announced by Dr. Don Panoz at a press conference in Daytona that for the 2014 season, ALMS and Grand-Am will merger for a combined championship. This announcement changed the face of sports car racing in America.
Later in the year, United Sportscar Racing was unveiled as the new premiere sportscar racing series starting in January of 2014. The new series is a result of the merger of Grand-Am Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron. In addition to announcing the name, the new series unveiled the new website www.unitedsportscar.com
Back in June of 2013, Porsche unveiled the new LMP1 prototype which will compete in the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC) and in the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 2014. Since the decision in mid-2011 to return with the LMP1 racer to top motorsport as a works effort, the Motorsport Centre at Weissach has grown significantly. A workshop and an administration building were built and accommodate around 200 employees who are responsible for the design, assembly and deployment of the LMP1 car.
The new set of rules that apply to the WEC for 2014 are clearly focused on efficiency, and require the use of the latest hybrid drive technology. The aim of the new set of rules for the upcoming season is to significantly reduce fuel consumption in the racing cars taking part. The new Porsche LMP1 therefore needs to boast optimum efficiency while delivering maximum performance. The same applies to the development of Porsche series cars. By following motorsport’s lead, the development of each and every future Porsche vehicle can also benefit from these findings.
Patrick Dempsey and his Dempsey Racing team will continue to live their passion in 2014-15 with Porsche. The U.S. actor and race car driver, who thrills fans all over the world in his role as “McDreamy” in the medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy”, will continue his team’s race program with Porsche during the next two years in an expanded and formalized promotional and brand cooperation relationship.
“We are looking forward to the new season and to many more successful years partnering Porsche,” said Dempsey, who matched his career-best result with a second-place GT Challenge (GTC) class finish with teammates Andy Lally and Joe Foster in Saturday’s Petit Le Mans – the season and series finale of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at the storied Road Atlanta race track. “Every race season brings along a number of interesting challenges. The partnership with Porsche this year was the absolute highlight and the main reason for the success we enjoy.”
In his first season with Porsche, Patrick Dempsey shared the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR at the world-famous Le Mans 24 Hours with Foster and Porsche works driver Patrick Long to yield a strong fourth place in the GTE-Am class. In ALMS GTC in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Dempsey and Lally also earned podium finishes of second at Laguna Seca and third at Circuit of The Americas, in addition to Saturday’s runner-up result at Petit.
Back in October, some interesting rumors surfaced about some upcoming model announcements from Porsche. This resulted from some inside information that was made public ahead of schedule. Nevertheless, one was the addition of a classic open-air style targa to the 991 line-up. A new 991 Targa will feature a “trick” sliding roof panel with a cloth covered rear window and a take on the traditional metal Targa bar that could be priced in the $110-120k range. Sources say the official announcement of the new Targa from Porsche could be as early as January at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show.
Coming not much of a surprise was the announcement of a GT3 RS varient which could make an apperance toward the end of 2014. The new GT3 RS will follow a similar lightweight track-oriented approach as previous RS models and will be offered in very limited quantities.
What was a bit of a surprise was the reveal of two GTS offerings coming to the Boxster/Cayman line-up. The two new variants will include a 15-horsepower increase, some cosmetic additions and could be slotted just above the “S” model. No talk of any Turbo or lightweight version for the line, but it will be interesting to see if an “R” version is added later as before.
2013 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Porsche 911. Introduced in the 1963, the 911 has endured the test of time. To commemorate the 50th Anniversary, Porsche announced a special model based on the 911 Carrera S: like the original 911, the 911 50th Anniversary Edition is a coupé with a flat-six rear engine and rear wheel drive. Its efficient performance, active sport suspension – and special body have current relevancy: the anniversary 911 features the wide body, which is typically reserved for the all-wheel drive Carrera 4 models. This special edition will be limited to 1963 cars, a number that represents the year of the 911 world premiere.
For the US market, the 911 50th Anniversary Edition will be equipped as standard with a Powerkit, which increases engine performance to 430 hp and includes the Sport Chrono Package. The 911 50th Anniversary Edition sprints from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds (3.8 with PDK) and can reach a top speed of 186 mph (185 with PDK). The limited edition models will be available at Porsche dealers this fall and will be priced from $124,100, not including a $950 destination charge.
Back in May of 2013, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche celebrated his 70th Birthday. Wolfgang Porsche was born in Stuttgart on May 10, 1943, the youngest son of Dorothea and Ferry Porsche, the founder of the Porsche sports car brand. His grandfather was the brilliant automotive design engineer who shaped the history of the car history with his Stuttgart automotive design engineering office. Wolfgang Porsche spent the first six and a half years of his life at the so-called “Schüttgut” in Zell am See, Austria, the estate of his grandfather Ferdinand Porsche. The family, and the company, returned to Stuttgart in 1950. Wolfgang obtained his Abitur (higher school-leaving certificate) in 1965. He also passed his journeyman’s examination as a metalworker. Afterwards, Porsche obtained his degree in Business Administration from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. He received his doctorate in International Business in 1973.
At first, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche went into business as an independent entrepreneur: As Managing Director of JAMOTO, he became general importer of Yamaha motorbikes in Austria. He returned to Germany in 1976 and worked at the Daimler-Benz AG in Stuttgart as manager in various areas of domestic and foreign sales. In 1978, he was appointed a member of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG, taking over the position of Chairman in 2007. He was also appointed Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche Automobil Holding SE at its incorporation in June 2007. In addition, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche has been a member of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg, since April 24, 2008.
Upon the death of his father Ferry in 1998, he was selected spokesman by the Porsche family. The father of four lives alternatively in Salzburg and the “Schüttgut” in Zell am See, which he acquired from the family estate. There, in Salzburger Land, he operates an Alpine organic farm with around 200 dairy cows. An ardent hunter, he has always felt close to nature. His enthusiasm for sports cars has been the focus of his life from his very early youth on. Over the course of decades, a private collection of vintage cars has evolved that contains numerous very rare Porsche vehicles, which he drives regularly.