Considering SPEED's Bob Varsha was on hand to emcee the event, the Porsche presentation was a slight letdown. Surrounded by two Porsche racers fresh from the Rolex 24 at Daytona, center stage was reserved for a car that's already known to ALMS followers. Bob Carlson, Porsche's Manager of Automotive & Motorsport Press, along with Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport, unveiled the freshened 2007 RS Spyder in Chicago today.
After a successful 2006 debut season in LMP2, the new version of the sports endurance racer promises to build on that success with refined bodywork that should even more expertly handle airflow. Kristen added that the car is basically the same in all the areas you can't see, and completely new in what you CAN see. When asked about plans to move up to LMP1, Kristen mentioned that the whole idea behind Porsche's success in racing is that the cars are accessible to customers. In some cases the race versions are even built alongside the street cars. And with that in mind, P1 would be too much of a jump for most customers so Porsche will hold off for the foreseeable future. Talking to Bob Carlson after the presentation, he said no new models are about to be announced anytime soon, but said that the new Panamera is expected to account for as much as 40% of overall sales. He also mentioned that the 911 reclaimed Porsche's sales crown last year after being bumped by the Cayenne the year before. Full release about the new RS, and the Targa and updated Cayenne we've already seen, after the jump.
PORSCHE® GOES TO EXTREMES FOR CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
RS Spyder racer, new 2008 Cayenne sport utility highlight McCormick Place display
CHICAGO – Porsche Cars North America is getting really racy for the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, where
the automaker's stand in McCormick Place will feature an all-out racecar as well as the second
generation Porsche Cayenne sport utility vehicle, which for the 2008 model year will be available with as
much as 500 horsepower and with new dynamic technologies that allow the vehicle that put the "sport"
into sport utility to perform like a nimble sports sedan while being fully capable of carrying five people,
towing a trailer and blazing over unpaved terrain and through inclement weather.
The Porsche display also will feature the full lineup of 2007 Porsche models, including the Boxster,
Cayman, and 911, and featuring the new 911 Targa 4, Targa 4S and 911 GT3.
RS Spyder wins American Le Mans Series championships
The Porsche RS Spyder is a purpose-built racecar, an LMP2 prototype, that made its full-season debut in
2006 by winning three American Le Mans Series championships. The car won the constructor's
championship as well as the driver's title for Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr (Porsche drivers who tied
for the championship) and also team honors for Penske Motorsports.
With a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR taking honors in the GT2 category, it marked the first time in ALMS history
that one manufacturer won constructor and driving titles in two classes in the same season.
Competing in the LMP2 competition marked Porsche's return to factory prototype racing for the first
time since the 1998 season. The RS Spyder took class honors in seven of 10 races, but posted a
remarkable 1-2 overall finish at Mid-Ohio, the only time that LMP2 cars have achieved such an
accomplishment in the history of the series.
Porsche now has claimed nine manufacturers titles and eight drivers' championships in the eight years of
ALMS racing. Porsche racers also have won 71 class victories, far outdistancing all other manufacturers.
Updated RS Spyder makes debut at Chicago
Penske Motorsports returns to the ALMS to defend its titles in 2007 with an updated Porsche RS Spyder
that makes its debut on the Porsche stand in Chicago.
Commissioned by Porsche Cars North America, Inc. and Porsche Motorsport North America for racing
customers who compete in the LMP2 class of the ALMS, the Porsche RS Spyder features a completely
new Porsche engine, transmission and chassis, all incorporating the latest in Porsche automotive
technology and created to conform to rules and regulations of the Automobil Club de l'Quest, organizer
of the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
Penske Motorsports Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Penske Racing, Inc., will field a pair of new
Porsche prototypes in a season that opens March 17 with the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring. Dyson
Motorsports, another racing team with a long and proud prototype racing history, also will field a pair of
RS Spyders in the ALMS in 2007.
The heart of the car is a newly designed 3.4-liter V8 engine that is restricted to 480 horsepower by ACO
rules. The engine is mated to a Porsche-engineered sequential six-speed constant mesh transmission
operated by a paddle shift system that is attached to the steering wheel.
The RS Spyder chassis is light but strong, comprised of carbon fiber reinforced by Kevlar composites.
2008 Cayenne looks – and is – more powerful
With a striking new face that features a dramatic new headlight design and with a wide and muscular
body accented by broad wheel arches, the 2008 Porsche Cayenne's newly sculpted shape provides vivid
visual testimony to the vehicle's enhanced technical features. Indeed, all three 2008 Porsche Cayenne
models feature larger and more powerful engines, engines that for the first time boast direct fuel
injection, a technology that enhances fuel efficiency as well as power output.
For the 2008 Porsche Cayenne with its $43,400 base price ($58,900 Canadian), that engine is a 3.6-
liter V6 that pumps out 290 horsepower and 283 lb-feet of torque. For the 2008 Porsche Cayenne S with
its $57,900 base price ($78,500 Canadian), the engine is 4.8-liter V8 that generates 385 horsepower
and 369 lb-feet of torque. For the 2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo with its $93,700 base price ($124,300
Canadian), the engine is a twin-turbocharged version of the 4.8-liter V8 that produces 500 horsepower
and 516 lb-feet of torque, propelling the five-passenger SUV from a standing start to 60 mph (96 km/h)
in a mere 4.9 seconds on its way to a top speed on the test track of 171 mph (275 km/h).
Despite such performance, the enhanced engine injection technology and improved vehicle aerodynamics
produce significant fuel economy improvements.
But direct fuel injection is only one of the new technologies featured on the 2008 Porsche Cayenne.
The second generation SUV can be equipped with optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control with active
anti-roll bars that almost completely offset body roll in turns, improving handling, comfort and active
safety on-road while providing enhanced off-pavement traction.
Also new are Dynamic Curve Lights (standard on the Cayenne Turbo and optional on the other models)
that improve the driver's view while driving on winding roads at night. Standard equipment on the 2008
Cayenne includes Porsche Stability Management (PSM®), now with such new functions as pre-loading of
the braking system when needed, new Trailer Stability Control, and off-road anti-lock breaking system
For the first time, the Cayennes come with a rollover sensor able to trigger both the belt latch tensioners
and curtain airbags in an emergency, thus helping to reduce the risk of injury for all occupants in a
rollover. In conjunction with the Cayenne's six standard airbags, this system gives Porsche's SUV a
benchmark occupant safety and protection system.
Other new features include a standard and push-button Sports mode for all Cayenne engines, a standard
power rear lift gate, optional of 21-inch wheels, a rail-mounted cargo management system, and XM
2007 Porsche 911 Targa and 911 GT3 also featured
Also on the Porsche stand in McCormick Place are the new 2007 Porsche 911 Targa and 911 GT3.
The Targa features a unique roof system that provides a panoramic view whether the glass roof is open
or closed. The Targa also is the only 911 with a separately opening, hatchback-style access to the rear
cargo storage area.
The 2007 model year marks the first time that the Targa has been available on Porsche's wide-body and
all-wheel drive platform and has come with a choice of engines. The 2007 Porsche 911 Targa 4 draws
from a 325-horsepower, 3.6-liiter horizontally opposed six-cylinder "boxer" engine while the Targa 4S is
propelled by a 355-horsepower, 3.8-liter engine.
The 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 is a very special vehicle created for the driving enthusiast who craves track
days and demands such a capable car on weekdays as well. Among the GT3's many unique attributes
are the most powerful non-turbocharged engine ever offered in a Porsche 911 in the North American
market and an adjustable suspension system that can be fine-tuned to specific motorsports venues.
The GT3's 3.6-liter engine pumps out 415 horsepower, rocketing the car from a standing start to 60
mph in just 4.1 seconds. The car is capable of reaching 193 mph (310 km/h) on the racetrack.
Information on all current Porsche models can be found at www.press.porsche.com in the 2007 Model Year
Press Kit section.
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga., and its subsidiary, Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd.,
are the exclusive importers of Porsche sports cars and Cayenne sport utility vehicles for the United States and
Canada. A wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, PCNA employs approximately 250
people who provide Porsche vehicles, parts, service, marketing and training for its 214 U.S. and Canadian
dealers. They, in turn, provide Porsche owners with best-in-class service.