2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder first drive12/08/2015
What is it?
There are at least a couple of ways to dissect the 2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder. Depending on your point of view, it’s either a ludicrously high-dollar take on Porsche’s entry-level roadster or the latest shot at a hot rod by way of Zuffenhausen -- the purest, most analog embodiment of what we might call the Porsche spirit offered new on the market today.
Thing is, you’re not wrong either way you slice it. The newest Boxster Spyder is both expensive enough to give you pause and so good that you probably won’t care. It’s the sort of car that hits all the right notes with the purists and seems destined to mine new brand fanatics on its way up the scale. But before you accuse us of gushing, take a look at the specs; they never tell the whole story, but in this case, they say a lot.
For one, you’re shoving what may be one of the 911’s last naturally aspirated gasps -- the 3.8-liter flat-six yanked from the first-gen 991 Carrera S and also found in the Cayman GT4 -- into the lightest platform in its stable, and pairing it exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. Here, it’s good for 375 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque and a stated 0-60 mph of 4.3 seconds. Would a PDK be quicker around a certain German racetrack? Almost certainly, but that’s totally not the point of this car.
2017 Porsche 911 Carrera first drive11/16/2015
WHAT IS IT?
This is Type 991, Gen 2: the latest iteration of a car that made Porsche’s name part of the mainstream vernacular. The biggest news is its engine.
The 2017 911 Carrera starts on the 991 platform, introduced as the 2012 911, replacing the 997. Just the third all-new foundation in the 911’s 51 years, the 991 was lengthened and re-proportioned to increase interior space and move more mass forward of its rear wheels. It continues into generation two with the ’17 Carreras --updated with standard adaptive suspension, optional rear steer, a revised PDK transmission and turbocharged engines across the line, starting with the ’17 Carreras and moving forward through the dozen or so variants Porsche fashions from 991.2.
Porsche has some experience with turbos, yes. The 911 Turbo was the first series-built sports car with pressure-regulated turbocharging, and it’s evolved into the ultimate 911 and a brand unto itself. Four decades later, there are cars with turbocharged engines, and there is the Turbo.
Watch Chris Harris review the Porsche Cayman GT403/11/2015
Chris Harris got his shot at the new Porsche Cayman GT4 in his latest "Chris Harris on Cars" video. We saw the full reveal of the new track toy at the Geneva auto show, and here we see it shaken down at the 18-turn, 2.9-mile Algarve International Circuit in Portimao, Portugal. After a handful of drifty laps, Harris gets the car up on a lift and talks suspension with Porsche Motorsport boss Andreas Preuninger. The verdict? Do what ever you can to drive one.
Keep an eye out: We'll have our review of the Porsche Cayman GT4 in an upcoming issue of Autoweek magazine.
2014 Porsche 911 Targa 4S review notes02/16/2015
SENIOR MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: Walk around Porsche’s 911 Targa 4S, soak in its lines, its presence. If you fall within the appropriate age range, you feel nostalgia’s twinge in your heart and stomach.
You don’t need to be a card-carrying Porsche Club of
2014 Porsche Cayman S review notes10/21/2014
EDITOR WES RAYNAL: Nice car, this 2014 Porsche Cayman S is, but pity the price. The list of cars I’d spend $100K on before this one is too long to get into here; suffice to say I don’t think there’s any semblance of value here.
Not much wrong with the car other than the sticker, though -- no question it’s a delightful driver.
To me it starts with the glorious flat six: The seemingly perfect amount of power, instant throttle response, and cool sounds. Yes, I’d go with ZF’s dual-clutch gearbox.
Toss the car around? Amen to that. The Cayman S will take what you can dish out and then some -- it’s easy to push hard and confidence-inspiring, thanks to the ultra communicative chassis and instant-response steering. And if you just want to poke around town, the car is up for that too, with a better-than-decent ride over potholes and busted pavement.
I like the interior -- build quality looks great and the seats are terrific. I contort myself getting in and out, but it’s not the car’s fault I could stand to lose a few.
2014 Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo S review notes10/01/2014
ROAD TEST EDITOR JONATHAN WONG: When driven on the street, you wouldn’t think that the 2014 Porsche Carrera 911 Turbo S is the performance animal that it is. Nope, it’s a comfortable and low key feeling experience from behind the wheel when rolling around with the adaptive suspension softened and the dual-clutch sequential manual transmission slotted in full automatic mode. The 20-inch low-profile Pirelli P Zero tires make little to no noise over bumps doesn’t mean harsh jolts filtering into the cabin just as I’ve learned in previous drives of the 991 generation of the Carrera. When you do squeeze the gas pedal a little harder you take off from a dead stop in a more rapid manner than a Carrera S, but it doesn’t feel like it’s going to be that much quicker. Then again, I didn’t dare mash the throttle too hard on the street because a 911 Turbo S with a racing yellow paint job doesn’t exactly blend in with the crowd around these parts.