25 Sep

The Porsche Cayenne GTS: Sportiness in an SUV

Porsche Cayenne GTS Ugo Colombo The Collection

Source: DurhamRegion.com

Porsche has earned its reputation in the automotive world by building high-performance, high-end sports cars, yet interestingly, its bestseller is the Cayenne, a sport utility vehicle.  Porsche obviously understood the market and the Cayenne has proven to be a huge success. In 2014, the Cayenne accounted for about one-third of all Porsche sales worldwide with deliveries of 65,941 units.

Porsche builds sportiness into its SUVs. The manufacturer has also continued to expand the SUV portfolio over the years with new models that appeal to a different buyer.  In fact, Porsche offers seven models in the Cayenne lineup, including the high-performance GTS.   The GTS is not the most powerful Cayenne in the stable, but it perhaps offers the best combination of performance, athleticism and panache with its 440 hp, high-performance chassis and melodic engine sound.

Porsche likes to brag that every Porsche is a sports car and this is quite evident in the Cayenne GTS that has turned an 8:13 minute lap time at the famed Nurburgring circuit in Germany.

The interesting thing here is that the powerplant in the GTS has been downsized for 2016 with a 3.6-litre V6 twin-turbo replacing the previous V8. However, the result is an increase in power with 20 extra hp and 63 lb/ft of added torque. Fuel economy has also been improved with the new engine.

Porsche quotes a 0-100 time of 5.1 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono Package, which our tester had, and 5.2 seconds without. This makes it about a half second faster than the previous model.  In the Cayenne lineup, the GTS sits between the Cayenne S and the Cayenne Turbo.  Not only is the GTS quick, it has the sound to go with it thanks to a sport exhaust system and sound symposer that creates what Porsche refers to as a “passionate engine sound.”

The GTS differs from other Cayenne models in ride height. It has been lowered 20 mm and comes standard with air suspension and the braking system from the Cayenne Turbo, featuring 390 mm front discs and 358 mm rear discs, both highlighted by red brake calipers.

All models come with an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. In this system, power is transferred to the rear wheels and then routed to the front wheels as needed.

The GTS has many of the Cayenne Turbo design cues including the front end with large air intakes. There is a GTS logo on the lower section of the front doors. The SportDesign Package is standard equipment and it includes more powerfully contoured side skirts, and wheel arch extensions as well as the Turbo front end. Wheels are 20-inchers with a black satin finish.

Inside, the cabin is beautifully finished, particularly with our optional GTS package in Carmine Red.

Read more about the Cayenne GTS on DurhamRegion.com



17 Sep

Meet the Maserati Ghibli S Q4

maserati fhibli s q4 ugo colombo the collection

Source: Sport360.com

The name, Maserati conjures up expectations of Italian passion, a racing heritage, performance, and iconic style. The modern Maserati now has a strong foothold in the luxury market after an impressive comeback.

Maserati’s Ghibli is a fabulous mid-size luxury four-door sedan which made an instant impact when the modern incarnation of a Maserati first seen in 1967 was introduced to the world in 2013.

Ghibli is everything a prestigious executive sedan should be. It looks great, has an aggressive attitude, makes all the right noises, offers high-end luxury inside, is compact and when needed can go like the wind it is named after.

It’s as good as most of its German rivals in an extremely competitive market and now it is even better as it comes equipped with all-wheel-drive in the form of the Ghibli S Q4.

To look at this Ghibli is not different from its stablemates. It has powerful aesthetics, the signature Maserati concave front grille sporting the Trident logo, sleek side appearance and classy rear with twin exhausts, all adding up to a very sophisticated aura.

The interior is what you would expect from Maserati, with lashings of posh leather, polished metals, and carbon fiber trim. The instrument cluster is simply but classic and there is a very good infotainment system with 7-inch TFT screen.

The real genius of this Ghibli is the Q4 system itself which has been designed to maximize traction when road conditions get a little hazardous. In normal driving conditions the system puts all the power down via the rear wheels, thus retaining the traditional Maserati transmission.  In just 150 milliseconds the Q4 system is capable of altering the torque split from 100 per cent rear wheels to 50-50 between front and back wheels and will retain AWD while conditions require maximum grip, only returning to RWD when things are back to regular.

All this, of course, is linked to the rather impressive 3-litre twin-turbo V6 engine built by Ferrari which powers this machine through an equally good eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox. This new-generation engine is a real beauty with 410bhp and huge portions of torque at 550nm.

Learn more about the Maserati Ghibli S Q4 on Sport360.com

08 Sep

Introducing the Jaguar XF 2.0

2015 Jaguar XF 2.0D Ugo Colombo The Collection

Source: Auto Week (photo by Jaguar)

The second-generation XF goes on sale this autumn, launching with rear- and all-wheel drive. The same platform sits beneath the upcoming F-Pace SUV and features double-wishbone front suspension, an Integral Link multi-link rear and a 75/25 percent split of aluminum/steel.

At launch, you’ll choose from the F-Type’s 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with 335 or 375 hp. Less familiar are the new-generation 2.0-liter four-cylinder Ingenium engines, both gas and diesel.

At first glance, you’d guess the XF was longer than its all-steel predecessor.  At 195 inches, it’s actually 3/4 of an inch shorter, the roofline 1/10 of a millimeter lower. If you’ve ever sat in the back of the first XF some say it’s short on head and legroom compared with rivals.  Jaguar claims class-leading legroom, there’s plenty of headroom and the entire rear-seat experience is airier, less claustrophobic. That’s partly down to the six-light glasshouse, but it’s also the packaging opportunities afforded by a 2-inch-longer wheelbase compared with the old model. The only thing that doesn’t grow is the trunk; it still holds the same 19 cubic feet.

Read more about the Jaguar XF 2.0 on Auto Week

01 Sep

Casa Ferrari Carmel at the Monterey Car Week


Source: Cavallino.com

Ferrari debuted “Casa Ferrari Carmel” during California’s Monterey Car Week and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last month. Injecting Maranello flavor and history to Monterey Car Week, Casa Ferrari Carmel marked the epicenter of the Prancing Horse for the long weekend.

Serving as home base for everything Ferrari related, Casa Ferrari Carmel was modeled after Enzo Ferrari’s house at the marque’s Fiorano Circuit racetrack in Maranello, Italy.  Attendance was free and open to the general public. Vintage favorites, such as a 250 Monza and the 250 LM, were on display alongside all of Ferrari’s current models, including the FF and the new Ferrari 488 GTB.  Visitors were able to buy select merchandise and enjoy treats like Grom gelato and Italian espresso.

Learn more about the Monterey Car Week