Official: Porsche Panamera gets new diesel in time for Frankfurt

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Sedan, Europe, Porsche, Diesel

Porsche Panamera Diesel

Diesel may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Porsche, but in the European market – that vital one which Porsche calls home – diesels are indispensable. Particularly when you’re trying to extend beyond niche sports cars and into the mainstream luxury sedan market as Zuffenhausen has with the Panamera. In fact, diesels account for 15 percent of Panamera sales worldwide (even though they’re not offered Stateside), so to keep oil-burning customers happy, Porsche has announced a series of upgrades.

Set to be unveiled in the flesh at the fast-approaching Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Panamera Diesel packs 300 horsepower. That’s 50 hp (or 20 percent) more than the model it replaces, significantly dropping the 0-62 sprint from 6.8 seconds to 6 flat, and raising top speed from 152 miles per Autobahn-crunching hour to 161. While they were at it, Porsche’s engineers also fitted the rear differential with torque vectoring (previously reserved for gasoline-burning models) and retuned the transmission and suspension.

You can delve into the press release below for all the details – including the new model’s improved towing capacity! – but the reality, for better or worse, is that the Panamera Diesel isn’t offered here. So if you’ve been celebrating Labor Day (or even Labour Day, for our friends to the north) like we have, don’t go looking for it at your local dealer, who will have only a Cayenne Diesel to show you instead.

Continue reading Porsche Panamera gets new diesel in time for Frankfurt

Porsche Panamera gets new diesel in time for Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Porsche Panamera gets new diesel in time for Frankfurt”

Official: Porsche Panamera gets new diesel in time for Frankfurt

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Sedan, Europe, Porsche, Diesel

Porsche Panamera Diesel

Diesel may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Porsche, but in the European market – that vital one which Porsche calls home – diesels are indispensable. Particularly when you’re trying to extend beyond niche sports cars and into the mainstream luxury sedan market as Zuffenhausen has with the Panamera. In fact, diesels account for 15 percent of Panamera sales worldwide (even though they’re not offered Stateside), so to keep oil-burning customers happy, Porsche has announced a series of upgrades.

Set to be unveiled in the flesh at the fast-approaching Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Panamera Diesel packs 300 horsepower. That’s 50 hp (or 20 percent) more than the model it replaces, significantly dropping the 0-62 sprint from 6.8 seconds to 6 flat, and raising top speed from 152 miles per Autobahn-crunching hour to 161. While they were at it, Porsche’s engineers also fitted the rear differential with torque vectoring (previously reserved for gasoline-burning models) and retuned the transmission and suspension.

You can delve into the press release below for all the details – including the new model’s improved towing capacity! – but the reality, for better or worse, is that the Panamera Diesel isn’t offered here. So if you’ve been celebrating Labor Day (or even Labour Day, for our friends to the north) like we have, don’t go looking for it at your local dealer, who will have only a Cayenne Diesel to show you instead.

Continue reading Porsche Panamera gets new diesel in time for Frankfurt

Porsche Panamera gets new diesel in time for Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Porsche Panamera gets new diesel in time for Frankfurt”

Video: Viper beat again, this time by less powerful Corvette Stingray

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Videos, Chevrolet, SRT

Edmunds compares the Viper and the Corvette Stingray and finds that the Corvette beats the Viper in the majority of tests.

Alright, there’s no way the 455-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette Stingray beat the 640-hp SRT Viper, you say. Well, you’re partially right. Edmunds ran them down a quarter-mile drag strip and the Viper did it in 11.72 seconds at 124.09 miles per hour to the Stingray’s 12.39 seconds at 113.73 mph. The Viper did 0-60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds compared to the the Corvette’s 4.1-second run. But the Chevrolet definitely pulled above its weight, and we see once again that horsepower doesn’t mean everything after it beats the Viper in the other three tests.

The Corvette and Viper have long been arch nemeses, and SRT head Ralph Gilles had the Viper TA built after the Corvette ZR1 handily beat it by two seconds at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this year.

But no matter the test, if it isn’t in a straight line, Edmunds shows that the new base Corvette can outdo the Viper with much less horsepower. On the skidpad with narrower tires, the Stingray pulled 1.05 g compared to the Viper’s 1.01 g. The Viper’s horsepower advantage couldn’t overcome the Corvette’s predictable handling in the slalom test, where the V10-powered SRT maxed out at 72 mph to the Corvette’s 73.5 mph. Edmunds‘ Chris Walton describes the Corvette’s brakes as out of this world, able to stop it from 60 mph in 99 feet. The Viper does that in 110 ft.

The never-ending Viper vs. Corvette showdown continues, and it seems Chevy’s newest sports car has the fundamentals down pat – just add power. Edmunds didn’t pick an overall winner – we think a track test will solve that. But the video we included below is an early glimpse into the new Corvette’s performance potential, and so far we like the look of it.

Continue reading Viper beat again, this time by less powerful Corvette Stingray

Viper beat again, this time by less powerful Corvette Stingray originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Viper beat again, this time by less powerful Corvette Stingray”

Study: Car customer satisfaction down for first time in two years

Filed under: Etc.

ACSI study finds that car customer satisfaction fell slightly from last year.

Car customer satisfaction fell for the first time in two years, according to the 2013 American Customer Satisfaction Index automobiles and light vehicles report. Over the course of 4,078 random phone and e-mail interviews between April 6 and May 22, the index, based on a scale of 0 to 100, revealed that customer satisfaction with automobiles fell from 84 in 2012 to 83. Domestic autos bring up the rear.

Domestic vehicles, which received an average score of 82, also lost traction in perceived quality, with European automakers ranking 84.7 and Asian brands close behind at 84.1. This is reflected in the scores of the 20 individual automakers counted in the study.

Mercedes-Benz is at the top of the index with a score of 88, up four percent from last year. Lexus relinquished its lead with a score of 87, down two percent from 2012. Third place is a three way tie between Subaru, Toyota and Honda, which all scored 86. Here are the rest of the scores in order: GMC (85), Cadillac (85), Volkswagen (84), Acura (83), Ford (83), Nissan (83), Chrysler (83), Buick (82), BMW (82), Hyundai (82), Kia (82), Mazda (82), All Others (81), Jeep (80), Dodge (79) and Chevrolet (79). It’s worth noting that both GMC and Chrysler gained five points from last year.

While it’s not a good sign that customer satisfaction went down, the authors of the report explained that it could be due to “greater customer expectations that the automakers are then challenged to meet.” But the ACSI says automakers should take the erosion in customer satisfaction as a warning signal: once pent-up demand has subsided, successful brands will keep the customers they have and poach new ones from elsewhere, and customer satisfaction plays a direct role in this relationship.

Car customer satisfaction down for first time in two years originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Study: Car customer satisfaction down for first time in two years”

Video: Motor Trend holds World’s Greatest Drag Race for the third time

Filed under: Videos, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ford, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Racing, SRT

World's Greatest Drag Race video

As part of Motor Trend‘s Best Driver’s Car competition, the buff book has held its third iteration of the World’s Greatest Drag Race. With an airfield and a dozen of the world’s finest performance cars at its disposal (oh, and a helicopter), the MT team did what any good group of enthusiasts would do, and tried to figure what car could cover a quarter mile the quickest. World’s greatest drag race, indeed.

The contestants, as MT points out, cover a huge variety of engine types, drivelines, aspiration types and body styles, making for a genuinely varied and interesting field of competitors. Here’s the full list of cars taking part.

Aston Martin Vanquish
Audi R8 V10 Plus
Bentley Continental GT Speed
BMW M6 Coupe
Ford Focus ST
Jaguar F-Type V8 S
Mercedes-Benz E63S AMG Wagon
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series
Nissan GT-R Track
Porsche 911 Carrera 4S
Porsche Cayman S
SRT Viper

Quite a lineup. The group includes one previous winner, the Nissan GT-R, which took the original World’s Greatest Drag Race, before being unseated by the Lamborghini Aventador last year. Let us know who your pick is to win in Comments, and then scroll down to watch the full video from Motor Trend.

Continue reading Motor Trend holds World’s Greatest Drag Race for the third time

Motor Trend holds World’s Greatest Drag Race for the third time originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Motor Trend holds World’s Greatest Drag Race for the third time”

Read This: Is it time for American carmakers to give up on dual-clutch transmissions? [w/poll]

Filed under: Etc., Technology, Chrysler, Ford, Read This

Dual-clutch transmissions in plant

Last week, in the midst of Detroit’s first days seeking relief in Chapter 9 of the bankruptcy code, Automotive News contributor Larry P. Vellequette penned an editorial suggesting that American car companies raise the white flag on dual clutch transmissions and give up on trying to persuade Americans to buy cars fitted with them. Why? Because, Vellequette says, like CVT transmissions, they “just don’t sound right or feel right to American drivers.” (Note: In the article, it’s not clear if Vellequette is arguing against wet-clutch and dry-clutch DCTs or just dry-clutch DCTs, which is what Ford and Chrysler use.) The article goes on to state that Ford and Chrysler have experimented with DCTs and that both consumers and the automotive press haven’t exactly given them glowing reviews, despite their quicker shifts and increased fuel efficiency potential compared to torque-converter automatic transmissions.

Autoblog staffers who weighed in on the relevance of DCTs in American cars generally disagreed with the blanket nature of Vellequette’s statement that they don’t sound or feel right, but admit that their lack of refinement compared to traditional automatics can be an issue for consumers. That’s particularly true in workaday cars like the Ford Focus and Dodge Dart, both of which have come in for criticism in reviews and owner surveys. From where we sit, the higher-performance orientation of such transmissions doesn’t always meld as well with the marching orders of everyday commuters (particularly if drivers haven’t been educated as to the transmission’s benefits and tradeoffs), and in models not fitted with paddle shifters, it’s particularly hard for drivers to use a DCT to its best advantage.

Finally, we also note that DCT tuning is very much an evolving science. For instance, Autoblog editors who objected to dual-clutch tuning in the Dart have more recently found the technology agreeable in the Fiat 500L. Practice makes perfect – or at least more acceptable.

What do you think? Vote in our poll below, then have your say in Comments.

View Poll

Is it time for American carmakers to give up on dual-clutch transmissions? [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Read This: Is it time for American carmakers to give up on dual-clutch transmissions? [w/poll]”

Video: Hear the 2015 Mustang GT V8 roar for the first time

Filed under: Spy Photos, Coupe, Performance, Videos, Ford

Our combined knowledge of the 2015 Ford Mustang continues to deepen, as spy shooters have begun to compile video and audio of the upcoming sixth-generation car.

Case in point is this latest series of video clips, which not only gives us a great vantage point of the Mustang in motion, but also allows us to hear the Ford V8 engine and exhaust. After perusing the aural delights of this short video, which, admittedly, doesn’t catch the Mustang GT at full song, we can at least say that the throaty exhaust isn’t disappointing.

Chances are good that the 2015 Mustang GT will debut with some version of the current (and excellent) Coyote 5.0-liter V8 engine, though we’re unclear as to whether or not the motor has been massaged for its next-gen debut, or what may have been done to exhaust plumbing. At this point, we’re just happy to hear the pony run. Scroll below to hear for yourself.

Continue reading Hear the 2015 Mustang GT V8 roar for the first time

Hear the 2015 Mustang GT V8 roar for the first time originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 11:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Hear the 2015 Mustang GT V8 roar for the first time”

Nissan Leaf battery replacement will cost $100/month, offers new pack at any time

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Nissan

2013 nissan leaf

Perhaps this is where some of that excess battery manufacturing capacity in Smyrna, TN will be used. Nissan announced a new battery replacement program for the all-electric Leaf today at a cost of “approximately $100 per month.” The offer is in addition to the standard Leaf battery warranty that already covers the battery for against defects for eight years or 100,000 miles (and was upgraded late last year to cover capacity loss for five years or 60,000 miles).

Even after the warranty ends, a Nissan Leaf owner can sign up for the battery replacement program.

Here’s how it works. At any time, like when the warranty is about to end – so, at 4 years, 11 months or 59,999 miles – or even after the warranty ends, a Nissan Leaf owner can sign up for the battery replacement program. At that point, you start paying $100 a month (or whatever the final cost will be) and immediately get a new battery pack that has a full 12 bars of capacity.

Nissan’s senior manager of corporate communications, Brian Brockman, told AutoblogGreen that “Owners can opt in at any time. When they opt into the program, they will receive a new battery pack with the latest available technology that is compatible with their vehicle. Then, Nissan provides assurance that the replacement pack will maintain 9 bars or more capacity for the time that they own their car and make monthly payments. If their battery drops below 9 bars, we will repair or replace the battery pack.”

So, basically, the new program provides a reasonably priced piece of mind to Leaf owners. On top of that, anyone with an older Leaf who wants to take advantage of newer technology (as long as it’s compatible) can get a newer pack using this program. So, if you buy a used 2012 Leaf today but want a 2015 battery pack in a few years (should it fit in the car) you can get one for $100 a month. This cost is transferable to the new owner if you later sell the car.

Which brings up the questions about what happens If you stop paying after, say, six months. Brockman said the situation would be similar to what happens to anyone who stops paying their car loan and Nissan is currently trying to determine “if there is an end point” to the payments. We’ll know even more when Nissan releases more information “later this year,” including how the program will work outside the US, and there are also more details below.

Continue reading Nissan Leaf battery replacement will cost $100/month, offers new pack at any time

Nissan Leaf battery replacement will cost $100/month, offers new pack at any time originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Nissan Leaf battery replacement will cost $100/month, offers new pack at any time”

Video: 2015 Ford Mustang spied on video for the first time

Filed under: Spy Photos, Coupe, Performance, Videos, Ford

2015 Ford Mustang prototype caught testing while disguised - video screencap

Not many cars will continue to hold our rapt attention quite like the upcoming redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang, codenamed S550 internally. Earlier this month, we brought you the first spy photos of a next-gen Mustang prototype out testing, and even though expertly placed cladding concealed the pony car’s new shape, we could tell that underneath was hiding an altogether new form inspired by the Evos Concept from 2011.

Today we give you some video of what looks to be the same Mustang prototype, which you can watch below, and while the budding director behind the camera wasn’t able to capture much in the way of the engine’s audio signature, we can see the car in motion for the first time and compare its relative size and shape to the S197 Mustang GT that’s on its tail.

Continue reading 2015 Ford Mustang spied on video for the first time

2015 Ford Mustang spied on video for the first time originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 16:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: 2015 Ford Mustang spied on video for the first time”

Aston Martin V12 Zagato hits the racetrack for the first time

Filed under: Concept Cars, Motorsports, Coupe, Europe, Aston Martin, Racing

Aston Martin V12 Zagato

It’s the oldest journalism adage in the book. Dog bites man, not news. Man bites dog, now that’s news. So what does this have to do with cars? We’ll tell you.

Whereas most sports racers are converted for the purpose from existing, commercially available road cars, once in a while we see a car going the opposite way. Take the Lexus LFA, for example, which was first unveiled in concept form, then went racing at the Nürburgring, and only afterwards hit the market.

Now Aston Martin is following the same path with the V12 Zagato. The show car was first unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, and was fielded in the VLN race at the ‘Ring this weekend – while the Indy 500 and Monaco Grand Prix were under way elsewhere – before the final street version is released.

How the V12 Zagato actually performed hardly matters, as this initial outing was strictly for developmental purposes. But we’ll tell you anyway. It finished just five laps before it kicked the bucket. But that’s alright, because other works entries from Gaydon fared better (including a second-in-class finish for one of the factory’s V8 Vantages), and the Zagato racer will be back next month, in tandem, for a full-on assault. We’ll be watching.

Unfortunately Aston Martin has yet to release any high-res photos of the Zagato doing its thing, but we’ll keep an eye out and update you if and when it does. In the meantime you can follow the jump for the official factory release and check out the existing images in the gallery below.

Continue reading Aston Martin V12 Zagato hits the racetrack for the first time

Aston Martin V12 Zagato hits the racetrack for the first time originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 30 May 2011 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Aston Martin V12 Zagato hits the racetrack for the first time”