Tag Archives: Porsche

Luxury car auctions: Classic car collectors favour modern day editions from Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin

The collectible classic car industry has long been one that gets your heart pumping. With the prospect of collecting an item so elusive you’re one of the few ‘lucky ones’ to obtain, classic car connoisseurs are known for their deep passion in the industry. Despite talk of bubbles, and of Ferrari fatigue, the classic car market is in extremely good health as 2016 becomes 2017. Yet, we ask ourselves what makes a car collectible? The very definition of what makes a car collectable or desirable is changing faster than a classic Ferrari’s 0-100km/h time.

On the whole the market has remained very strong,” begins RM Sotheby’s Peter Haynes. “Probably the thing that came out of 2016 most clearly is a shift towards what the industry is calling the modern classic.” By modern, Haynes says that interest in automotive exotica from the late 80s and 90s is now huge. “It’s really hard to account for this change unless what we’re seeing is the beginning of a sustained shift in the market — the passing of one generation and a new generation of buyers coming in,” he says.

As a rule, collectors that buy with their heart rather than as an alternative to a hedge fund, will be drawn to those cars that have a personal, emotional significance.

“People are buying the cars they want to buy,” explains Robert Johnson, director of Classic and Sports Finance, a company that helps collectors track down and pay for exotic cars, whether at auction or through dealers. “It’s a case of what do I really want? What do I aspire to and what was on my bedroom wall as a kid?”

And in the 80s and 90s, bedroom walls were covered in pictures of the Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari Testarossa, Porsche 959 and the Porsche 911 Turbo. Over the past 12 months, prices for all of these models, and their successors have started climbing. At the RM Sotheby’s Paris sale on February 7, a 1988 Porsche 959 Sport went for a world record €1.96 million, but a 1995 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet attracted a winning bid of €1.34 million.

And the auction houses are now changing the mix of lots on offer to cater for this changing taste. “A few years ago, it was very rare to find an auction house selling a new car,” points out Haynes.

Yet at this year’s Paris sale, some of the biggest lots were also the newest. A 2014 Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series went for €470,000, a 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO for €450,000, a 2012 Aston Martin V12 Zagato fetched €750,400 and a 2016 Porsche 911R went for €515,200. These prices point to a second growing trend in the collector car space. The investors that would normally be buying up mid-1960s Ferraris are now looking to rare modern cars instead.

“A lot of people are now sniffing these cars out rather than going to classic car auctions,” points out Haynes. And at the moment there is no shortage of choice. McLaren, Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini have all unveiled extremely rare, extremely expensive models over the past 12 months, from the Ferrari J50, to the aforementioned Porsche 911 R and the Lamborghini Centenario.

But in each case, the entire run has sold out before the first example has been built. “People are going to start clambering over each other to buy them,” says Haynes, who believes the cars will be stored for resale and never driven.

However, it could also be good news for everyone else. Some of the most desirable traditional classics, could soon be within more collectors’ reach. A 1973 Alfa Romeo Montreal sold for just €78,400 at the Paris sale, a Maserati Bora for just €179,200 and a 1970 Ferrari Dino 246 GT L Series for €448,000 — that’s less than a 2016 Porsche or a 2012 Aston Martin.

Collectible car auction: Porsche reved up their engine at Place Vauban in Paris, France

The finesse of German engineering has created Porsches that are phenomenal fun to drive. However, they have never performed phenomenally well at auctions. Although the technology helps them get around a track quickly, it also ensures that they do not disintegrate into rust. As a result, 86% of all 911s ever built are still on the road. Porsches simply aren’t as elusive as their counterparts, and that’s why the marque has yet to reach the same classic car heights as Ferrari or Aston Martin.

However, all of that is changing. Of the 76 automotive lots included in last week’s sale at Place Vauban in Paris‘s well-heeled seventh arrondissement, 26 were Porsches — the oldest a 1955 356 Pre-A 1600 Speedster and the newest, a 2016 911R with just delivery mileage on the clock. But regardless of age, all of the Porsches up for auction generated huge bidding battles and set records in the process.

An ultra-rare 1988 Porsche 959 Sport went under the hammer for a world record figure of €1,960,000. A prototype convertible 901 from 1964 (the year before Peugeot forced Porsche to rename the car the 911 because of potential copyright infringement) secured a winning bid of €649,600. And the aforementioned speedster also achieved a €369,600 sale price.

However, the big surprises came when essentially modern cars form Stuttgart were offered. A 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo S 3.6 fetched €901,600; a 2010 911 GT3 RSR went for €470.400 (two times its estimate); and a 1995 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet for a phenomenal €1,344,000.

Even a 2016 911R — which six months ago was bought from Porsche for €150,000 — sold for €515,200. “Clearly, Porsche is still the star marque in the ascendance,” said Peter Wallman, Managing Director, RM Sotheby’s Europe, referencing the company’s recent London sale last September where a collection of perfectly preserved Porsche 911s went for huge sums.

“That sale was a game changer for Porsche,” explains RM Sotheby’s spokesperson Peter Hynes “Those cars went for what can only be described as ‘crazy money,’ the likes of which the market had never seen before.”

Wednesday’s results suggest that the London sale was no flash in the pan and that demand for Porsche is about to hit a peak. And we won’t have to wait long to see if this trend is set to continue. At Amelia Island, on March 10-11 there will be a further 22 Porsches going up for auction.

Porsche 718 Boxster S: Driving Dream

The Porsche 718 Boxster is no longer the entry level sports car at Porsche, that title now goes to the new 718 Cayman. Since its launch in the late ‘90s, the car has grown tremendously. It is wider, longer and lower than its predecessors. In fact, the only part of the car that remained similar in size is the engine. In keeping with Porsche’s current trend of downsizing engines and turbo-charging, the new 718 comes in a 2.0 L (300 hp) and 2.5 L (350 hp) turbo-charged guise. This is the first time in many decades that Porsche has featured a 4-cylinder engine in one of their cars.

So what is it like? Well I picked up a Porsche 718 Boxster S from Porsche Singapore and I can attest that aesthetically, it is one of the prettiest roadsters on sale today. Over the few days that I had the car, I had a number of people approach me with praises of the car’s good looks, especially with the top down. I wasn’t surprised — it has got that old-school, wide, mid-engine charm that gets you excited and makes you want to drive it constantly.

I remember the Boxster commercial I saw when the car originally came out; it really stuck with me, considering I was only about 14-years-old then. A guy awakes from a coma after several decades, goes out to the garage and hops into his classic 550 Spyder. As he’s driving along, a Boxster overtakes him and both drivers are completely amazed at what they’ve seen. If the commercial was released today with the new car and the 550 owner driving the original Boxster, the reaction would still be the same.Porsche GT Silver 718 Boxster S

Inside, it is typical Porsche, with a similar set-up to the new 991, minus a few switches and instrument gauges. The quality is as good as ever and the car is packed with tech, including the new Apple Play functionality. The cabin is spacious and one of the best features about the 718 Boxster’s layout is its front and rear boots. This makes the car extremely practical for a two-seater and great for road trips.

My car was fitted with the latest PDK dual clutch transmission and the Sports Chrono Package. Saying that shifts are quick would be an understatement by any measurement. Setting up launch control is a breeze as well if you want to get the ultimate acceleration. Change a few traction and shift settings, plant your foot, the car holds revs briefly and then launches you forward at speeds you never thought possible in a 4-cylinder vehicle. The claimed 4.2 seconds to 100 km/h is easily believable. I wouldn’t be surprised if it went quicker.

However, to get the most out of the vehicle in normal driving situations, you really need to have it in the right gear; I did notice more turbo lag than in the 991 and although not terrible by any means – the engine crackles and pops on downshifts, forcing me to keep speeding up and slowing down to the “delight” of my passenger and the car in front – the note isn’t as aural as the previous Boxster.Porsche GT Silver 718 Boxster S

As with previous Boxsters though, the handling is spot on. There is not another car on the market in this category that handles corners with the same finesse as this one does. The chassis and aero set-up are perfect whether you’re on a back road in Singapore or at a race track in Germany. There’s a hell lot of grip and the steering is very communicative so you can feel what the car is going to do next.

So here is the big question, would I buy one? The SGD316,588 starting price is a lot to ask for a four-cylinder engine. However, this is Singapore and that is a great price for a car that really beats all its nearest competitors in the 300k range. The 718 Boxster S is a great looking and performing car, along with the pedigree of one of the sports car greats. The original Boxster really turned things around for Porsche and made them the brand they are today. The new 718 clearly re-emphasizes the importance this car plays in the line-up and builds on the qualities of the original.

Porsche Panamera Turbo Sneak Preview

The car that once set the benchmark for all four-door sports sedans is back. On November 2 the Panamera Turbo made its debut in Singapore to exciting fanfare. As part of its launch, the car was first shown to the media in a secret high security vault. A very exciting way to kick off showcasing the vehicle! It then went on to tour the city for four days, from November 3 to 6. Starting at the famous Fullerton Hotel, the car travelled to Dempsey Hill, Suntec City, ION Orchard and completed its tour at the W Hotel.

The all-new Panamera was towed by a Cayenne SUV with an entourage from Porsche Club Singapore. Tim Oh from Class 95 and Mike Kasem and Vernetta Lopez from Gold 90.5 were also in attendance at Suntec City and Porsche had their own complimentary ice cream for everyone that came to check out the sedan.porsche-panamera-turbo

So how is the new car? Having sat in it at a special press preview, the quality is vastly improved over an already well-built product. The interior features more tech, more style and more space. Basically everything in the new car is digital with LCD screens consuming most of the front cabin, save for the rev counter, which sticks with the traditional center analogue gauge. The driving position has not been compromised either. You sit low, but with lots of visibility. The rear is a much more inviting place to be in than before and features more space while still giving the feeling of being in a coupe.

A lot of traditional sports car manufacturers that go on to make sedans end up compromising on interior quality, but the Panamera feels like Porsche has been doing this for decades. The exterior styling sticks with Porsche’s philosophy of evolution over revolution. You can still easily recognise it as a Panamera, however it is a prettier car than the previous model and I believe it will appeal to more people. The new active aero spoiler is an extremely cool piece of kit as well and is probably my favourite feature on the car. The way it deploys looks like something out of Transformers.

Up front you’ll find a new 550 hp 4.0 L twin-turbo V8 in this “Turbo” model. However, like most Porsches now, expect a large portion of the range to be turbocharged. You can also expect a blisteringly quick 0 – 62 mph time of 3.8 seconds with the Sports Chrono Package installed. Emissions and fuel consumption have also been improved and the PDK transmission has been updated for faster shift times and improved performance depending on your style of driving.porsche-panamera-turbo-3

There will be three cars initially released in Singapore, the Panamera 4S, 4S Diesel and Turbo. I never thought I’d say this, but personally, I’m most excited about the new 8-cylinder 4S Diesel. The horsepower and torque figures Porsche are extracting from the engine are out of this world. There’s 422 hp and 850 Nm of torque on tap, producing a 0 – 62 mph time of 4.3 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package and a top speed of 177 mph. That makes the Panamera 4S Diesel, the fastest production diesel in the world! It will have some immense pulling power, along with a really good range on a full tank.

Stay tuned for a full review…

Porsche Panamera Executive Model LA Motor Show Debut

Set to be badged the ‘Executive’ model, the longer Porsche Panamera offers occupants 150mm more cabin space and a host of extra luxury toys. For example a panoramic roof is standard, as is adjustable air suspension for a silky ride and multi-way reclining seats for all passengers front and rear. After all, Porsche has designed the model for clients who employ a chauffeur.

In terms of options, owners will be able to specify the new car with an entertainment console that sits between the rear seats and offers 10.1-inch tablets and foldaway work tables.

Alongside the larger Panamera, Porsche will also introduce a new entry-level model with a new 330hp V6 turbocharged engine which is more powerful and yet more efficient than the V6 that called the shots in the first-generation Panamera.

When the new models debut in LA, they will bring the second-generation Panamera range up to 10 different cars based on wheelbase, engine and performance. What’s more, there’s still a possibility that the LA Auto Show will be the venue where Porsche takes it to 11 and unveils the shooting brake version of the Panamera, too.

Look Out for These: Paris Motor Show Highlights

Look Out for These: Paris Motor Show Highlights

We say these are highlights to look out for at the 2016 Paris Motor Show but they are more like a road map, with projected milestones. Although there is obviously going to be an amplified buzz about electric propulsion (no bookmaker would take bets against at this point), expect battery-powered cars to be present for the most part in purely conceptual form at this year’s show. This leaves plenty of opportunity for crossovers, coupés and convertibles to generate a current of excitement. Having said that, technological advances in the auto industry are hardly limited to batteries and one particular idea, about the user experience, will be making an appearance at the Paris Motor Show.

A UX Concept

As cars move from being a simple form of personal transportation to potentially being the digital hub of the connected consumer and his or her equally connected home, so too does the definition of its user experience. Its systems have to be as fun and immersive to use as the driving experience is keen.

Therefore the Lexus UX Concept is an aggressively styled crossover on the outside – one that takes the company’s current design language and projects it into the next decade – and a simple-to-use supercomputer on the inside.

Look Out for These: Paris Motor Show Highlights

Interior of the Lexus UX Concept

The crossover is also the starting point for Mercedes’ show car, an electrified SUV that will be able to compete with the recently launched Model X in terms of luxury, technology and range.

Crossovers for All

As exciting as these models promise to be, it will be conventionally powered, real-world production vehicles that will hog the limelight at this year’s show. And, as the SUV continues on its journey to becoming the car of choice for all motorists, no matter what their transport needs, it should come as little surprise that most of the new cars on show at this year’s event will be of the high-sided variety.

Audi will be showing off the new Q5, BMW will be unveiling the conceptual outline of the X2, a coupé version of its entry-level X1 SUV and Mercedes will be displaying the GLC Coupé AMG 43 4Matic.

There will be more mass-market crossovers on show too, including the Skoda Kodiaq, a long-wheelbase version of the VW Tiguan and the Toyota C-HR.

But the biggest off road-inspired new vehicle will be the Land Rover Discovery. It promises class leading connected technology and benchmark setting all-terrain performance. After all Land Rover is the world’s only mainstream carmaker that deals exclusively in SUV models and it is therefore under the most pressure to raise the bar.

Supercar Debuts

Meanwhile, Mercedes will be showing off the AMG GT Roadster, the convertible take on its current flagship sportscar. Taking things up a gear further will be the world debut of the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso T, a V8, turbocharged version of its four-seat shooting brake. There’s also a possibility that Ferrari will use this year’s show to debut the Apperta, an open top version of its Ferrari LaFerrari hybrid hypercar.

Not to be outdone, Porsche will be showcasing the Panamera, its own family sportscar in petrol and hybrid forms and potentially in shooting brake specification too.

The 2016 Paris Motor Show opens its doors to the press September 28 and 29, and the public from October 1.

Look Out for These: Paris Motor Show Highlights

Will the new 2017 Porsche Panamera be joined by a shooting break version at this year’s event?

delta_private_jets-porsche

Porsche Adds Panache to Delta Private Jet Service

Not much can top the experience of traveling by private jet, but Delta has figured out how to make your journey even sweeter. All you have to do is fly via one of the American firm’s private jets within the U.S. and you will be transported to the main terminal or connecting flight in a Porsche Cayenne or Panamara.

“Imagine traveling from Louisville to New York via private jet to connect with a commercial flight to Munich, Germany on Delta Air Lines,” said David Sneed, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Delta Private Jets “You will be picked up in a Porsche from the fixed-base operator and transported to the main airport where you will be escorted and expedited through security by Delta agents to your connecting flight, while your luggage is taken care of for you.”

While this service is already available to Delta’s SkyMiles Diamond Medallion customers, it will soon be complimentary for Delta Private Jets Card members as well. Passengers can expect the privilege to launch in these cities: Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, J.F.K. and LaGuardia in New York, Seattle and Kentucky.

And while Porsches are undeniably cool, you might think that a Bentley or Mercedes might seem more fitting for Delta’s target audience of jet-setting elites. However, Porsche maintains that the partnership is symbolic of the harmony between the brands. “That same alignment of superior performance and daily, like-minded application, with the customer at the center,” said Andre Oosthuizen, Vice President of Marketing at Porsche Cars North America.

These connecting flight trips have also been proven to be great marketing opportunities for participating car brands. Actor Kiefer Sutherland – star of “24” – revealed on Top Gear that his decision for purchasing a Porsche Panamera was simply because he was smitten by its charm during a drive to his connecting flight with Lufthansa.

Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid: Ethical Luxury

The new Panamera 4 E-Hybrid makes its global debut at the upcoming Paris motor show and takes aim at a brand new target for the executive sports sedan.

As we all know, the standard Panamera is billed as an executive car without compromise – i.e., it is as comfortable and spacious as it is fast. With the new Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid added to the family, the model has become as sustainable as it is swift. Given the behaviour of automakers in making such claims though, skepticism is perhaps warranted. However, Porsche has already gotten independent verification of some of its claims.

In fact, based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) for measuring fuel efficiency, the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid can manage 2.5l/100km. And, it can also cover 50km on zero-emission battery power alone.

However, as well as taking admirably restrained sips of fuel, it also offers keen driving fun. It has four-wheel drive for keeping the back end in check at higher speeds and in the bends, and it needs it. The two motors working together offer 462hp, funnelled to the wheels via an eight-speed paddle-shift gearbox and serves up a 0-100km/h time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 278km/h.

This performance is thanks to the Porsche 918 Spyder. The company’s hybrid hypercar was essentially a rolling R&D facility and everything that made the 918 phenomenal is now trickling down to other Porsches in the family. Just hit the Spot Plus button for ultimate thrills and spills.

And for those putting responsibility ahead of everything else there is a new ultimate efficiency mode – Hybrid Auto – that ensures the car is using as little power as possible at any moment.

The Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid will cost from €107,553 (roughly $121,180). The Paris motor show opens its doors to the press on September 28 and to the public on October 1.

Bill Gates classic cars Porsche 959

How Bill Gates Made Classic Car Ownership Easier

Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates may be best known for creating the Windows operating system, his billions of dollars in the bank and his philanthropic work, but his love of fast cars, and in particular the Porsche 959, led to a legal change that has made it much easier for Americans to own an exotic modern European or Japanese classic.

‘Show or Display’ is an amendment to US federal government vehicle standards that permits an individual to import a rare or exotic car that isn’t sold in the US into the country for private use even if it doesn’t comply with United States Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). And this exemption exists thanks to Bill Gates’ lobbying the government for much of the early 1990s so that he could get his Porsche 959 back.

When Porsche took the wraps off the 959 in 1985, it redefined the concept of a supercar. It had an intelligent four-wheel-drive system, a 2.85-liter six-cylinder engine with two turbos attached to it, 450hp on tap and a 314km/h top speed. It was the world’s fastest production car and nothing could come close to it.

So, it’s little wonder Gates bought one. However there was a catch. Porsche only made 329 examples and wasn’t prepared to sacrifice any of them – after all each was worth $300,000. The US government demanded four examples for crash-testing; Porsche said “no” (understandable seeing as it would have been the same as setting fire to $1.2 million) and the car was banned from import into the country. Gates’ car was impounded by US customs and held for 13 years.

However, today the Porsche 959 is legally permitted to take to the road in the US. At this year’s Gooding & Co Pebble Beach auction, a 1988 Komfort edition went under the hammer for $1.3 million. And if the lucky owner is based in the US, he or she will be able to thank Bill Gates that they’re allowed to drive it.

Gates’ lobbying led to the ‘Show or Display’ amendment. It enables the import of rare cars – usually vehicles that had a production run of fewer than 500 examples – if the car in question “Is of such historical or technological significance that it is in the public interest to show or display it in the United States even though it would be difficult or impossible to bring the vehicle into compliance with the federal motor vehicle safety standards.”

Porsche Welcomes Macan Compact SUV Range

The Porsche Macan Turbo with Performance package — to give it its full title — takes the existing Macan Turbo as its starting point but then dials up the power and the performance several notches.

The 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 nestling under its compact hood now outputs 440hp; that’s a 40hp increase, and 600Nm of torque (a 50Nm improvement) in order to get the SUV off the line and on to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds, then on to a 272km/h top speed if the owner is lucky enough to be driving on the Autobahn where speed limits don’t apply.Porsche-macan-suv-interior

However, where restrictions are in place, that extra torque means that there’s still fun to be had. For instance, it can now accelerate from 80km/h to 100km/h (highway overtaking speeds) in just 2.9 seconds. That’s seriously impressive for what is a high-sided vehicle (1.62 meters tall) that weighs 2000kg.

To handle the extra performance, Porsche has upgraded the brakes and chassis and lowered the ride height. It’s also thrown in the Sport Chrono Package that will be familiar to 911 drivers. So there’s a stopwatch for timing laps and an extra driving mode — Sport Plus — that opens the exhaust, opens the taps on the engine and tightens up the dampers, suspension and paddle-shifted gear changes so that the driver can access everything the car has to give.

It’s impossible to exaggerate how important the Macan has become for Porsche’s bottom line since its launch in 2014. It’s well on its way to 1 million sales, and demand for the compact, premium sports SUV is such that owners are finding they can sell theirs on at a premium above the asking price as those that want one aren’t prepared to wait for Porsche to build one.Porsche-macan-suv-back

However, Porsche is not the only German car company that knows about how to make a mud plugger both premium and powerful and so to stop customers decamping to a BMW, Audi or Mercedes showroom, Porsche has added this new model to the lineup, before its competitors have a chance to catch up.

The Macan Turbo Performance Package will cost from €91,000 in Europe when it goes on sale following its official debut at the Paris motorshow, which opens to the public on October 1.

classic cars as daily drivers

Can Classic Cars Be Daily Drivers?

Whether it’s something as formidable as a 1960s Ferrari or something as fun as an original Fiat 500, jumping behind the wheel of a classic car can turn any journey into a special event, even the daily commute. But should you give in to temptation and be the owner of the coolest daily drive on the road, or should you leave it in storage for anything other than special occasions?

For James Cottingham, acquisitions director for Ferrari specialists DK Engineering, the answer is simple, resist the temptation at all costs.

“If money were no object and you really had no care in the world, there wouldn’t be anything stopping you from using a classic Ferrari as a daily driver,” he says.

And his response isn’t simply born out of the fact that his company maintains and stores some of the most valuable 1950s and 1960s cars ever made.

“There are certain Ferraris that are more suited than others to regular use but classic cars are meant to be enjoyable,” he explains “And if you were to use one every day you would soon lose the enjoyment.”

classic cars as daily drivers

There may be plenty of E-Types on the market but that’s because owners haven’t driven them on a daily basis

The overwhelming majority of cars, not just those from Maranello, built between 1950 and 1980 were built in a period where reliability was a dream, not a reality and where construction techniques meant that vehicles were prone to rust and rot.

“All of the cavities and exposed metal under older cars is what killed them” says Jaguar’s Tony O’Keeffe. “They allowed salt from the road and water to get inside and stay inside, meaning that they corrode from the inside out.”

Even those owners knowing that they might have a future classic on their hands too often made the mistake of taking a car out, getting it wet then parking it up and leaving it for weeks before taking it out again, but in the process allowing rust to start forming.

classic cars as daily driver

Any Porsche from the mid-80s onwards can be driven as an everyday car

California or bust?

This corrosion issue is why California has become one of the world’s most popular hunting grounds for European classic cars of the 50s, 60s and 70s. That regular sun might bleach paint but it also ensures that even classic English sportscars and Lancias remain rust-free.

But for those that still like the idea of having something a little bit different and a little bit fun as their runaround, you can go German. Over 70% of all cars ever built by Porsche are still on the road and often in daily use.

Or for those with a smaller budget, O’Keeffe suggests looking to the late 80s and 90s. For instance the first Jaguar XJ sedans (the X300 series), built under Ford’s watchful eye from 1994-97, are reliable, comfortable, have great leather and walnut trim and can cope with inclement conditions and they won’t break the bank with good examples costing as little as $1,000.

But as for undertaking the daily commute in a Ferrari 250GT California Spider or a Series I E-Type Jaguar? “If there’s salt on the road, would you really take out your classic car? I’d say that with their hand on their heart, most classic owners would say “no” because they want to keep them for as long as possible,” answers O’Keeffe.

classic cars as daily drivers

The Jaguar XJ Sedan X300 series from 1994–97 could be a great classic commuter compromise

4 Exotic Cars at Daytona: Charity Drive

Ever wanted to race around a world famous track, have an evening with Hollywood celebs and A-listers, and do a car show all for children’s charity? I had the privilege to attend such an event. Celebration Exotic Car Festival in Florida, gives individuals with exotic cars the opportunity to spend two days on Daytona International Speedway driving the infamous 24-hour circuit. Afterwards we headed to an amazing 5-star wine and dinner cooked by Wolfgang Puck himself.

Of course, to close the fun few days, there was a car show that Make a Wish Foundation had some Wish Kids attend. I’m sure you are all want to know more about the details of the cars well, we had cars such as Pagani Huayra, Bugatti, McLaren P1, Vipers, Ferraris of your calling, along with some race cars.

Porsche GT4

Porsche GT4

During the event I had the chance to drive the new McLaren 570s which I won’t go into much as I did a story on the McLaren P1 last month but what a fast, fun, and light little car. I also had the opportunity to drive the brand new Viper ACR Xtreme. This car is pretty much a race car that is street legal. It can produce roughly 800kg of downforce and 650bhp. This thing is quick!

All American muscle with a lot of downforce, the car is a blast and brings me back to what it’s like to be in a real GT race car. The car has set production car track records everywhere it goes. The interior is full of carbon fiber and alcantara and has a great short shift manual 6 speed transmission. I also had the opportunity to take out one of the latest cars out there, the Porsche GT4. This was a fun and tactile machine.

Definitely a great car for the track, but in my opinion, a little underpowered. I think this is probably because of its bigger brother that always has the stage – the Porsche GT3 RS. Give this car 100 more bhp and I think you would have one of the fastest cars on the track. The feedback from the steering was amazing and the balance was on point.

Dodge Viper ACR Xtreme

Dodge Viper ACR Xtreme

I didn’t get the chance to drive the Pagani Huayra, but that car is a work of art as you can see from the photos. I wouldn’t consider it a track car, but more an investment and a beautiful piece of art. Everything about it was beautiful and over the top.

Each year the event has grown tremendously and helped raised over $1 million for children’s charities. Stars from Orange County Choppers, Happy Days, Star Wars cast members have attended, with next year’s special guest to include Mr. Jay Leno. If you ever are in the Central Florida area in early April, be sure to make this an event you attend, as it’s not only for an amazing cause, but also one you will never forget.

McLaren 570S

McLaren 570S

 

This article was first published in Palace magazine.

Review: Porsche 911 Carrera S

Since Porsche created the 911 more than 50 years ago, it’s been an evolutionary process, more than a revolution. The model generally changes shape minimally and the way it generates its power comes from a flat 6, horizontally opposed, hung out over the rear axle. A layout that shouldn’t work, but does. In the standard Carrera model, you could maybe name a handful of major changes to the car since its creation. Most notably being the switch from air cooled to water cooled in the late 1990’s when the 993 gave way to the 996. The change caused stir with 911 purists, however the result was one of the most popular 911 models of all time and a far more efficient power delivery system. Having owned a 996, I can honestly say the car was bullet proof.

As the 996 gave way to the 997 and then on to the 991 v1, few changes were made with the engine, until now. For the 2017 991, Porsche has launched all Carrera models with a turbo charged engine. A company first. Typically, only models with the designated turbo badge in the 911 range have a turbo engine. However, in a move which we are seeing across the industry, manufacturers are downsizing and adding turbos to make their cars more energy efficient, while at the same time generating more horsepower and torque. Have turbos killed the legend?MIAMI_BLUE_CARRERA_S_036

I had the opportunity to try out the new model. A rear wheel drive Carrera S model with a downsized 3.0 litre engine displacing 420 HP, 500 Nm of torque and equipped with a revised 7 speed PDK gearbox. From the outside there’s relatively few changes from the previous 991 and the new 991. Like most Carrera facelifts, unless you really know what to look for, they can be difficult to see. To name a few, if the sports exhaust is fitted, it now features two mid mounted pipes, somewhat similar to the GT3.

Also, to get air to those twin turbos, the air flows through vents above the engine and small vents that can be found near the splitters at the back of the rear wheels. On the inside, a steering wheel similar to a 918 and a revised multimedia interface with Apple Play is now available.MIAMI_BLUE_CARRERA_S_027

From the moment you climb into the sumptuous cockpit, you instantly begin to recognize why this is such a useable sports car. It’s comfortable, has all the latest gadgets, yet remains so very driver focused. Even with the improved interior quality over the years, you always know you’re in a 911. It feels so familiar every time. Those 5 dials with the large rpm gauge centrally mounted, calling at you that this car means business.

In historical Le Mans starting fashion, the ignition is still on the opposite side of the steering wheel to the gear lever. As I insert the car-shaped key and turn, the familiar flat six sound burbles to life. Instantly my heart starts to race. We pull away, I start to flip through the driver settings on the steering wheel, until I reach sport and then sport +. Suddenly the exhaust gets louder, the suspension sharper, the gearshifts quicker. Yes, I think that’ll do.

There’s a gap in the traffic, I blip down a couple gears, the exhaust crackling and popping with each downshift. It’s time to go. Whoosh! I’m instantly pushed back in my seat. First gear, second gear, each change coming with racing like millisecond precision. The engine revving to just over 7k and the rear mounted spoiler rising just before I hit third gear. Turbo lag is non-existent and the response is effortless. 0 – 100 km/h on this Carrera S model is clocked at 3.9 seconds by Porsche, however they tend to state slower times then what the car can actually do. I wouldn’t be surprised if this model can hit 100 km/h in 3.6 or 3.7 seconds. It definitely felt like it.

I reach a long sweeping bend. The electronic steering which was so heavily criticized in the 991 v1, now has so much feel that I really couldn’t tell that it wasn’t hydraulic. Within a matter of seconds, we are back in traffic and I get the opportunity to try out the huge rotors equipped to the 305 rear and 245 front Pirellis. The stopping power is immense. No matter how much larger the 911 gets, it’s still feels light and on its toes when you need it to be, while being extremely planted at speed.MIAMI_BLUE_CARRERA_S_007

I have few complaints about this car, I do miss the higher revving naturally aspirated engine. The sports exhaust does help and the new car is definitely faster and more efficient, but it may have lost a little bit of its soul. I’m sure as we get more used to it, the turbos won’t come into question anymore, a bit like how hydraulic steering no longer seems an issue. Also, the rear seats, while still useable, haven’t really changed much since the first time I went in a 911, which was an early 1980’s 911 SC. Other than that, this car will be hard to beat by any of its nearest competitors. It deserves 5 stars. Porsche has managed to retain most of the 911’s core personality traits, while keeping in line with the government imposed industry trend. It will be interesting to see how the new V8 R8 by Audi and Aston Martin’s next generation Vantage stand up to the German benchmark.

Specifications:

Engine 3.0 liter twin-turbo horizontally opposed six
Horse Power 420 @ 6,500rpm
Torque 500 Nm @ 1,700rpm
0-100 km/h 3.9 (official)
Top Speed 307 km/h

This article was first published in Palace.

Paul Newman Porsche at Pebble Beach Auction

A 1979 Porsche 935 racing car driven by movie icon and race team owner Paul Newman at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is going under the hammer on August 20.

The car, which Newman raced for the Dick Barbour team, is one of the best race cars that Porsche has ever created, regardless of the movie-star connection.

The 935, which is being auctioned by Gooding & Company as part of its Pebble Beach sale (one of the highlights of Monterey Motoring week), also won the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona and the 1983 12 Hours of Sebring, though without Newman behind the wheel.

Restored to concourse condition in 2006 by Porsche specialist Paul Wilson, this 935 won best in class at the 2007 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance; what’s more it has a further claim to fame. In 1980 the car was sponsored by Apple for the making it the first, and to this day, only racecar the company has ever sponsored.

Icon Reinvented: Porsche 718 Boxster

The Porsche Boxster has long been the quintessential roadster with its soft top, two-seater interior and six-cylinder engine that powers its rear-wheel drive. So just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Porsche has gone ahead and done just that with the Boxster 718.

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The most notable improvement comes from within; its euphonic six-cylinder engine has been replaced by a newly-developed turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that supplies a good 296 bhp to the normal 718 Boxster, compared with its predecessor’s 261bhp. The 718 Boxster S – a sportier iteration – receives a 2.5-liter vomeengine that powers a heftier 345bhp to the car, a remarkable improvement to the previous 311 bhp. The result is two Boxsters that are now faster than ever before. The entry-level 718 sprints zero to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds, shaving off 0.8 seconds off the older model.

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The S variation will do the same in 4.2 seconds with a 0.6 second improvement, thanks in part to the PDK gearbox and Sport Chrono pack. And if you’re wondering how it’d fare on a drag strip, the 718 has a top speed of 170mph, while the S version, 177mph. The optional Sport Chrono Package now comes with three settings: Normal, Sport and Sport Plus. Cars with the PDK will also have a Sport Response Button that enables a boost in responsiveness for a period of time.

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Appearance-wise, the new 718 Boxster sees a broader masculine front and a more dynamic side profile, thanks to its larger wheel arches and contoured doors that direct headwind into air intakes for more efficient power generation. Other upgrades include a reconfigured power steering that is now 10 percent more direct (read: more agile, easier to steer) and the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) that gives a ten millimetre lower ride height.

Prices of the new 718 Boxster start from S$258,788, while the 718 Boxster S will set you back by at least S$316,588.

Sports Sedan Reborn: New Porsche Panamera

Having contributed to record sales for the German automaker since 2009, it was only high time the trusty Porsche Panamera got the facelift it deserved. This year, the liftback-style sedan replaces the previous model with a sportier façade and amped-up specs.

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While maintaining the Panamera’s recognizable silhouette – long bonnet, distinct shoulder line and large alloy wheels – the new iteration is also now 35mm longer, 5mm wider, 5mm taller, and with a lower, more curved roofline, creating a flyline that harks back to the iconic 911. Its wider wheelbase, now 30mm longer, also serves to accentuate the car’s sporty disposition.

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The new Porsche Panamera will launch with three engine options; the most powerful 4.0-liter V8 Turbo’s 550 hp will power the car to 60mph in 3.8 seconds, or 3.6 seconds with the optional Sports Chrono pack. Porsche’s brand new 2.9-liter twin turbo V6 in the 4S model will get you 434hp (20hp more than before) of driving pleasure, and is capable of hitting 60mph from rest in 4.2 seconds with the Sport Chrono pack, and the Panamera 4S Diesel’s V8 (fastest diesel car in the world, Porsche claims) will equip your ride with 416hp and hit a top speed of 177mph, going from nought to 60 in 4.3 seconds.

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Otherwise, the four-wheel drive model is also equipped with Porsche’s eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission shift gearbox, automatic rear wing and next-generation air suspension for an even smoother ride. But what is a fantastic ride without all the nifty gadgets we’ve come to expect from the luxury-grade vehicles of today. Drivers of the new Panamera will work with the new Porsche Advanced Cockpit, equipped with thermal imaging cameras and InnoDrive, an adaptive cruise control. The improved UX features two new 7-inch displays in place of dials, with a 12-inch touchscreen that has all the works – online sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and an updated voice control system.

“Its strengths have been reinforced, its weaknesses eradicated and above all its character preserved,” said Michael Mauer, Head of Style Porsche AG. If you’re still not convinced, Porsche has created a video that will surely seal the deal:

 

Porsche, Chopard Honor Le Mans With Limited Editions

The Le Mans 24-hour race is possibly the ultimate on-track test for drivers out there – forcing them to undergo intense non-stop racing in order to challenge the endurance of both man and machine. Speaking on non-stop, Porsche has been enjoying a non-stop winning spree here for a long time already, enjoying a record-breaking 18th victory at this year’s race. Coupled with that win, though, Porsche and their official timing partner Chopard are announcing limited editions inspired by endurance racing. One of this is the limited edition called the Porsche 911 Endurance Racing Edition, and the other is the Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition.

The Porsche 911 Endurance Racing Edition

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Since 1964, the Porsche 911 has always kept its basic outline and engine position, proving that it maintained an enduring appeal and stature from the very start. Even then, the special exclusive arm of Porsche aimed to create a model that can enjoy the best possible track performance on the road. In other words, the goal was always to create a race car that was also road-legal. A sneak peek was offered at Le Mans but it will be properly showcased at next weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Taking the Carrera S as a starting point for further modification, it keeps the stock 3-liter flat-six twin turbo powerplant. This gives it 420hp as well as a 191mph top speed; power and the acceleration are improved via a revised chassis.

The model rides 20mm lower than standard, and comes with the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control and Active Suspension Management systems. With this, power is always going to the wheel with the most traction, and wheels can be pushed up or down to either ensure contact with the road, or cancel out excessive force. It also introduces rear-wheel steering as standard. This provides quite a bit of flexibility in the various scenarios encountered on the road.

There’s also the Sports Chrono package, allowing the owner to time laps, perform racing starts, and even have a ‘boost function’ at their command. This function is entitled the “Sports Response” and will push out everything the engine’s got in one 20-second blast upon activation.

The interior will be fitted with black leather and subtle red accents, as well as carbon fiber. For the sake of the driver, there are quite a few comforts such as a sliding sunroof and parking sensors. Even more of a joy for serious drivers though, is the inclusion of seven-speed manual transmission as standard.

The Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition

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As the official timing partner for Porsche, Chopard aims to celebrate their legacy of speed with their own Superfast watch collection. The Black Edition is a 100-piece limited series exclusively available at their boutiques. It combines the aesthetic codes of the new Porsche prototype with the special precision for which the watch company is well known.

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A sleek 45mm diameter case made of titanium houses the Chopard Calibre 03.05M. This mechanism was desgined like an authentic engine and features a self-winding chronograph movement delivering a substantial 60-hour power reserve. It also features a flyback function. To further improve on its endurance, the case has also been bead-blasted and blackened by a DLC (diamond-like carbon) treatment – ensuring scratch-resistance. It is water resistant to 100 meters so you can go swimming with it quite safely.

This standout chronograph is designed mainly for the passionate racer in mind, even coming with a black rubber strap inspired by slick competition racing tires. No doubt Chopard Co-President Karl-Frederich Scheufele’s own love of racing played a part in the development of the Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition.

Here’s a video that describes the relationship.

Singer Reimagines Porsche 911 at Goodwood

Improving upon a classic such as the Porsche 911 is a tough proposition but that is exactly what Singer Vehicle Design claims to have pulled off. Singer Vehicle Design has given the first details about its latest reimagined Porsche 911, which will be making its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The car is called ‘Newcastle’ as that’s where its owner lives, and is based on a 1990 Porsche 911 coupé. Ok so we can’t really call a 1990 model of any kind a “classic car” but you can’t argue that it isn’t a “classic.” For those who are unfamiliar, Singer is a relatively new firm, founded in 2009, that specializes in restoring and modifying the 964 version of the Porsche 911. Founder Rob Dickinson might be familiar to some readers as a rock star formerly of Catherine Wheel and cousin of Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson. Dickinson channeled his passion for the 911 model – and the air-cooled era – into the Singer Vehicle Design company.

Just like each of the company’s meticulously redeveloped cars, the attention to detail is phenomenal — for instance, the carbon fiber bumperets have been nickel plated, and the quality of the interior, which includes folding rear seats for extra space, could give Rolls-Royce a run for its money.

Singer Porsche 911 Newcastle engine

However, it’s the engine that sets this car apart, even from other Singers. It is the most powerful naturally aspirated engine the company has ever developed for one of its cars. Built in partnership with Ed Pink Racing Engines, it has a 4-liter capacity, outputs 390hp and that power runs to the back wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.

“Receiving a nod from [Goodwood Festival of Speed founder] Lord March, for not one – but two years in a row – provides some sense of arrival within one of the most valued communities of the motorsports world,” said Dickinson. “To partake in such a highly visible and globally recognized event is indeed an honor, and we are proud to be here and share the vision of our client’s desires, as well as our very own personalized approach to creating a true celebration of the Porsche 911.”

The car will be racing in the Hill climb event and will be driven by Chris Harris, motoring journalist, Porsche fan and BBC Top Gear co-host.

The 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed runs June 23-26.

This story was written in-house, based on an AFP report and an official press release

Porsche Teases New Panamera

For hardcore Porsche purists, there are a number of faults to levy at the existing Porsche Panamera, despite the overwhelming success of the model  – the main gripe being the optics. Even CEO Matthias Mueller admitted to that back in 2014, in an interview with Motoring. With this peek at the new-generation luxury sports GT, though, those worries seem to have been put to rest. It is both a car that’s great on paper and one that keeps its crisp personality on the exterior.

Beyond just a cleaner form overall, with sharper lines, the Porsche Panamera also has much more entertaining V8 and V6 powertrains. Judging from the sketches, the wheelbase is also bigger, leaving more cabin space for front and rear passengers. Though, being only a sneak peek, there are still many more questions to be answered before we know whether it is a definitive model to get your hands on.

At the very least, Porsche has also confirmed that the performance will definitely upgraded, when compared with its predecessor because of the lighter and stronger materials used. There is also the five years of engineering innovations that the brand has made, since the first Panamera went into production. It is also worth remembering that a four-door sedan Porsche has come a long way from its days as a concept in the 1980s. While there are no details yet on this upgrade, we think it is safe to say that the luxury trappings of the Panamera are here to stay, as is the engine position (although that one is a lot less certain).

Beyond the sketches, you can also look at the video below that Porsche released, teasing the new model. (Spoilers: unfortunately, the car isn’t revealed)

Art of Living by Aston Martin

A reflection of Aston Martin’s dedication to exclusivity and craftsmanship, Art of Living by Aston Martin is a curated series of experiences, objects and events that the company hopes will integrate into its clients’ lifestyle.

While luxury goods such as silk scarves, luxury watches and Marma London eyewear are part of the deal, the company’s clients will now also enjoy an exclusive Le Mans experience. This includes being flown to and from the event via the convenience of a helicopter ride, getting direct access to Aston Martin’s race team and retiring to a private chateau at the end of it all. To sweeten the deal, the British luxury car manufacturer also has exclusive visits to the Goodwood Revival – a gastronomic tour of California’s best vineyards and behind-the-scenes tours of Paris fashion houses – in the works.

Aston Martin isn’t the first in providing alternative services and goods besides its cars. Land Rover has previously ventured into bespoke holiday tours with Abercrombie & Kent while Porsche’s design studio, Porsche Design, has been offering clients products such as redesigned BlackBerry handsets bookshelves made of sportscar spoilers. Porsche has even launched an exclusive collection of clothes endorsed by current Manchester United manager José Mourinho.

Managing Director of Aston Martin Brands Katia Bassi said: “The Art of Living portfolio of products will be delivered with the same care and quality that would be expected of a bespoke Aston Martin sports car. This programme provides us with the opportunity to engage with our customers on a new level. We want them to share in the Aston Martin lifestyle.”