Porsche Tops Redesigned JD Power 2013 Initial Quality Study

J.D. Power released the result of a new version of its Initial Quality Study last week and the results reveal that Porsche has knocked Lexus off the top spot for 2013, ending the Japanese marque’s two-year reign.

2013-porsche-911-carrera

The annual quality study, now in its 27th year, looks at problems experiences by buyers of new cars during their first 90 days of ownership and uses the average number of problems to rank the brands. Lower scores mean a better result.

The industry average this year was 113 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Porsche ranked highest among brands included in the 2013 study, averaging just 80 PP100. While GMC ranked second with 90 PP100 and Lexus ranked third with 94 PP100.

The 2013 study was redesigned to better measure the quality of new technology that is becoming more common in vehicles–including features like voice-recognition, blind-sport monitoring, lane-departure-warning and self-parking systems. The study found that nearly two-thirds of the problems that owners experience with their new vehicles in the first 90 days are related to design rather than manufacturing. In some cases, components were working as they were designed to, but can still pose an issue for the owners because it is difficult to understand or operate.

Because design problems are not the result of breakdowns or malfunctions, the study found that just 9 percent of the problems are taken to the dealership within the first 90 days of ownership. And if they are brought to the attention of the dealer, the problem is fixed only 13 percent of the time, whereas in the case of an actual defect or malfunction, the problem is resolved 42 percent of the time.

The JD Power Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 83,000 owners and lessees of 2013 model year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The results of the 233-question survey are compiled to produce a score for each vehicle measured as problems per 100 vehicles (PP100).

Check out the complete ranking at autos.jdpower.com.

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Video Highlights of the Technology Behind the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche recently released a video that showcases some of the technical highlights of the new 2014 Porsche 911 GT3. One of the key highlights of the new German supercar that sets it apart from its rivals is its advanced four-wheel steering system, called rear-axle steering, which enables the rear wheels of the new GT3 to actually steer in the opposite direction of the front wheels at low speeds. This feature offers enhanced agility at tight turns. During high speeds, the system steers the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels, thus increasing stability.

porsche-2014-911-GT3

As a result, the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 promises to provide handling characteristics that are completely unique and never seen on any other supercar or sports car available. Powering the 911 GT3 is a new 3.8-liter flat-six direct-injection engine that delivers a total of 475 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Consequently, the car is capable of sprinting from to 62 mph in around 3.3 seconds and a top speed of over 190mph.

Other technology highlights include dynamic engine mounts and the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus system . An added bonus are the awesome driving shots of the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 on the track.

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Road & Track gets behind the wheel of the all-new Porsche 911 GT3

2014, PDK

Road & Track’s Jason Cammisa still seems a little bitter about the fact that the all-new Porsche 911 GT3 won’t be available with a clutch pedal, going so far as to blame the exclusivity of the dual-clutch PDK transmission in the car on enthusiasts like himself.

“There was a time when most enthusiasts seemed to view the dual-clutch automatic as the second coming,” he writes. “On that note, allow us to apologize on behalf of an entire industry. We were wrong.”

Let Jason speak for himself, because all of the facts he spews in his first drive of the new GT3 leave us to believe that Porsche has created a transmission that finally blends the inherent fun of a manual transmission with the insane shifting speed of a dual clutch transmission.

We’re specifically referencing the “clutch dump” function Andreas Preuninger and his team managed to include in the GT3’s transmission software. As Road & Track describes, “pull both paddles in any gear, and the engine will freewheel. Release them, and drive will gently reengage. If you’re in Sport Plus mode, the gearbox will unceremoniously dump the clutch.

And why add such a function? Because Preuninger wanted to make sure he could still do a burnout the next time he found himself next to a Prius at a red light. Clearly Preuninger is our kind of guy.

The GT3 is more than just a transmission, though, and Road & Track writes that the electric steering has been retuned in a manner that increases road feel over the standard 911. Plus the car goes like stink. Road & Track says that the 475-horsepower flat-6 engine “lives to rev” and with an astronomical 9000 rpm redline the GT3’s new 3.8-liter engine “hits its power peak where the old one hit its rev limiter.”

To read the rest of Road & Track’s thoughts on the GT3 go to roadandtrack.com and to learn more about the Porsche 911 come to South Centre Porsche.

Image Credit: Porsche

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Porsche to show new Panamera in Shanghai

Shanghai

Whereas Porsche’s sports cars are blessed with looks that leave the mouths of passersby agape, the Panamera sports sedan is a car with styling that leaves many divided. While nearly everyone agrees that the Panamera is fun to drive, quick and luxurious, the German sedan’s controversial looks place individuals into one of two camps – those who love it and those who hate it.

Fortunately, Porsche has done something about this and turned the Panamera into a car everyone is bound to love. With a mere touchup to the car’s front and rear ends, the German sports sedan now offers the knee-buckling good looks Porsche is notorious for.

Despite the Panamera’s newfound looks for 2014, the real story here is the introduction of the new plug-in Panamera S E-Hybrid, and the extended wheelbase Panamera S and Turbo models.

With the guillotine ready to strike Fisker any day now, Porsche is making its move on the plug-in hybrid luxury sedan market. Armed with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine and a 95 horsepower electric motor, the Panamera S E-Hybrid promises owners with 416 horsepower to play with and an anticipated all-electric range of 20 miles that can be recharged after approximately two and a half hours when connected to a 240V socket.

Proving that being green can be fun, the Panamera S E-Hybrid’s electric motor not only allows drivers to participate in emissions-free driving, it also works as a bona fide performance enhancer. Conceptually similar to the KERS system used in Formula 1 cars, Porsche has armed the Panamera S E-Hybrid with an electric boost function that driver’s can access by tripping a kick-down switch in the throttle pedal.

Long wheelbase, LWB, Shanghai

While the Panamera remains first and foremost a driver’s car, Porsche is making the experience of being a passenger in a Panamera that much more exciting by offering the car with an extended wheelbase. Available exclusively to Panamera S and Panamera Turbo models, the extended wheelbase Panamera adds approximately 150 millimeters to the car’s wheelbase in order to provide more comfortable accommodations to rear seat passengers.

Panamera S buyers will also be excited to learn that the burly 4.8-liter V8 has been dropped in favor of a more fuel-efficient 3.0-liter twin turbo V6 engine that offers 20 more horsepower and 15 extra lb-ft of torque compared to the old V8 engine.

Sporting exterior revisions that transform its looks, the 2014 Panamera continues to exist as the quintessential driver’s sedan. Should you be the type of person more inclined to save the planet or stretch your legs out, Porsche now offers a Panamera for your needs as well. The 2014 Porsche Panamera will be formally unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show in mid-April. To learn more about the Porsche Panamera stop by South Centre Porsche today.

Photo credit: Porsche

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New 911 GT3 ditches clutch pedal for better performance

2014, PDK

As much as it pains us to admit it, the traditional manual transmission is antiquated technology. While no paddle shifter will ever give the gratification of perfectly nailing a 3-4 shift, automakers continue to trot out automated manual transmissions that are capable of making that very same 3-4 shift more quickly and consistently than any human driver can.

With the debut of the all-new 911 GT3, Porsche has placed another nail in the clutch pedal’s coffin by offering the high performance GT3 exclusively with the company’s PDK automated manual transmission.

Producing 475-horsepower, the 911 GT3’s 3.8-liter flat-6 engine is based upon the unit in the 911 Carrera S; however, it only shares a handful of common components. With forged pistons and titanium connecting rods, the GT3’s flat-6 engine shrieks all the way to a 9,000-rpm redline.

With seven gears to play with, Porsche redesigned its PDK transmission for the race-ready GT3. Like automated manual transmissions from performance-minded competitors, drivers of the GT3 can engage neutral by simultaneously grabbing the left and right paddles located behind the steering wheel. Drivers can also use the shift lever to engage gears. Unlike other Porsche models, the company designed the GT3’s PDK shift lever to mimic a Formula 1 car, and requires drivers to push the lever forward for downshifts and pull the lever backwards for upshifts. Whichever way a driver chooses to shift gears in the 911 GT3, he or she will be greeted with shift times of less than 100 milliseconds.

Yet, quick shift times and lots of horsepower are only one part of the 911 GT3’s performance equation. In order to maximize the 911’s performance capabilities, Porsche has added distinct bodywork that helps the GT3 better manage airflow around its body, which has been lowered by 30 millimeters and includes a rear end that measures 43.2 millimeters wider than the standard 911 Carrera’s.

Underneath those widened haunches sits an active rear wheel steering system. Able to vary the angle of the rear wheels by up to 1.5 degrees, the system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the front wheels at speeds below 50 km/h and steers the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels at speeds exceeding 80 km/h. Porsche says the system helps the GT3 “achieve even higher steering precision and improved lateral dynamics,” helping the GT3 perform better both on the road and track.

Capable of reaching 314 km/h and lacking a clutch pedal, the new GT3 is truly a car that you can race on Sunday and comfortably drive to work on Monday. And if a clutch pedal is the only way you’ll be caught in a Porsche, the company still offers the old school manual transmission in its mainstream Boxster, Cayman and 911 models. To learn more about the Porsche 911 GT3 and the rest of the Porsche lineup come by South Centre Porsche today.

Image credit: Porsche

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Porsche offers 918 Spyder owners VIP services

Porsche 918 Martini Spyder

If you’re one of the lucky individuals set to purchase a Porsche 918 Spyder, chances are that you are both financially comfortable and a big fan of the German sports car maker. Betting on this, Porsche will be offering soon-to-be owners of the 918 Spyder admission into the aptly-named 918 Spyder VIP Program.

The program is limited only to owners who purchase and own a 918 Spyder for more than six months. After six months of ownership Porsche will give you three years as a 918 Spyder VIP member. Own your 918 Spyder for more than 36 months and you’ll be a 918 Spyder VIP member for a decade.

Membership is exclusive to the car’s original buyer and gives 918 Syder owners the option to express interest in, and subsequently purchase, future limited-edition Porsche models. Porsche defines these limited-edition models as cars with a U.S. allocation of 500 or fewer.

While membership has its rights, it also has its restrictions and buried in the details members of the 918 Spyder VIP Program will discover that their allotment of limited-edition Porsche models is limited to one per vehicle model line. In essence, this means if Porsche releases five different limited edition 911s over a 918 Spyder owner’s 3-10 year period of 918 Spyder VIP membership, members will only be able to use their priority status on one limited edition 911.

VIP membership perks do extend to Porsche models that aren’t limited edition, as well. On series production cars VIP members will be given priority in purchasing a Porsche vehicle; however, membership status can only be exercised towards one vehicle of each Porsche model line, though unlike ordering a limited-edition Porsche model 918 Spyder VIP members can be eligible for another Porsche of the same model line once the next model year is introduced.

Since the 918 Spyder is merely an object of lust and not feasibility, the caveats of Porsche’s 918 Spyder VIP Program are largely irrelevant to the majority of Porsche fans, but for the select few lucky enough to be the first owner of a 918 Spyder, Porsche is taking strides to make the ownership experience of the hybrid supercar that much more enjoyable.

Image credit: Porsche

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Porsche at the 2013 Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance

For 18 years Amelia Island has been host to one of the world’s most notorious car shows, the Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance. South Centre Porsche was there for this 2013 event that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the legendary 911 sports car. With camera in hand, we took a handful of pictures of some of the great Porsche models that were in attendance to celebrate this milestone event.

911, 906

356, Speedster, 911

911, 2.7 RS

911

911

911, 901

911 Carrera S Convertible

911, 959911, Daytona

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March 12, 2013 · 12:30 pm