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Baby Macan SUV could cause sales bliss for Porsche, fund more exciting sports cars

porsches 2014 plans revealed in leaked presentation slides porsche macan red

The darn thing isn’t even out yet and Porsche’s baby Cayenne, the diminutive Macan SUV, is already poised to be the brand’s best-selling model, Automotive News reports.

Speaking with Tim Urquhart, senior analyst at IHS Automotive, the Macan is slated to begin production in December and roll out to dealerships sometime in 2014.

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The Macan will slot alongside Porsche’s soccer mom sensation, the popular Cayenne SUV. Exact details are scarce but reports suggest in its weakest form the Macan will be powered by turbocharged four-cylinder engine. V6 and diesel options are also said to be in the works, with the latter likely bound for Europe-only.

A definitive list of features has yet to be disclosed, but the Macan is expected to employ torque-sensing and torque-vectoring differentials, a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, as well as a sport-tuned suspension with an optional adjustable ride system similar to the larger Cayenne.

IHS predicts that sales of the brand new model will easily push Porsche over its annual sales target of 200,000, a goal the company hoped to achieve by 2018.

However, with the added sales of the Macan, Porsche’s sales goal could be reached a whopping four years ahead of schedule.

It’s all down to simple math really. IHS predicts Porsche will sell 63,000 Macans in 2014. Last year Porsche sold 143,096 cars. Should sales forecast continue along at the same rate, adding 63,000 Macan sales will easily push Porsche over the 200,000 unit threshold.

But while added sales volume is certainly good news for stockholders and Porsche’s parent company Volkswagen, there is worry that the Macan, which will likely become the automaker’s cheapest model, could harm the brand’s image.

Rumors point to a price below $49,500 when the car launches in Germany, which is lower than the Boxsters. To be fair though, the same concerns were raised about the Boxster when it was introduced back in 1996, and 17 odd years later the brand’s image seems to be doing just fine.

According to Urquhart, the Macan “is set to be a hugely profitable model,” due to its “extensive commonality with the Audi Q5.” That won’t, however, stop Porsche from charging a substantially larger price. By recycling the undercarriage of a vehicle that’s already fully developed, Porsche is due to rake in the profits. 

Exactly how much you ask? Probably to the tune of about 10 to 20 percent, according to Urquhart.

While it might seem overpriced on paper, the introduction of a model even cheaper than the Boxster bodes well for Porsche fans. After all, without the increased sales of “non-traditional” models like Panamera and Cayenne, we may never have had this

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Audi’s 408-horsepower TT Offroad concept is a mean (and green) plug-in sports car
Audi TT Offroad concept

Audi announced a couple of weeks ago that it would bring a TT-based crossover concept to the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, but who knew it would be so … yellow?
If it makes it to production with that vibrant hue, the Audi TT Offroad concept could be the perfect car for people still mourning the loss of the Subaru Baja and its optional bright-yellow paint.
However, the TT Offroad promises to be a bit sportier. As advertised, it's a 2015 TT sports car with four doors, a rear hatch, and more ground clearance. Audi says it represents a possible way to turn the TT into a family of vehicles, as seen with the Toyota Prius and Land Rover Range Rover.
The concept looks about as good as a five-door TT hatchback could, with much of the sports car's sleek lines preserved, particularly in that in-your-face front end. The body cladding looks like it was taken straight off the Audi Allroad wagon.
While any of the 2015 TT's powertrains could fit under the hood, Audi went the extra mile and gave the TT Offroad a plug-in hybrid system.
It consists of: the stock TT's 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine, an electric motor sandwiched between the flywheel and the S tronic six-speed dual-clutch transmission, a second, rear-mounted electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack.
All of that equipment produces a total of 408 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, which should give this little crossover plenty of pep. Audi estimates fuel economy at a stupendous 123.8 mpg, although it's unclear which rating system it used to come up with that number.
Audi is pretty hot for plug-in powertrains right now, but it's unclear whether the TT Offroad will make it to production. If it does, it may wear Q4 badging, making it the sporty alternative to the Q3 and Q5, and putting it in direct competition with the 2015 BMW X4.

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Classic British sports-car marque Jensen Motors is back … sort of
jensen motors revives classic british sports car name 1973 interceptor

Britain has no shortage of iconic car marques. From Aston Martin to Jaguar, and Rolls-Royce to Land Rover, Britannia rules the roads like it once ruled the waves.
Yet one name in the pantheon of great British carmakers often goes unnoticed: Jensen. Its signature product was the Interceptor, an Italian-styled GT with Chrysler V8 power known for being one of the first road cars with four-wheel drive (in FF form), and for having the coolest name ever applied to a fender badge.
Sadly, a combination of poor build equality, a general downturn, and myriad other factors forced Jensen to close its doors in 1976. There have been a few attempts to revive the company, but obviously none has succeeded.
Perhaps that's why the latest incarnation of Jensen is taking things slowly. Jensen Motors Ltd. has styled itself as the heir to the great brand, but for now it plans to focus on the restoration and upgrading of vintage Jensen models.
Based in Oxfordshire, the new company hopes to preserve those original Jensens as examples of Britain's engineering heritage, recalling a time when making things was a larger part of the British economy.
That's admirable. But what about, you know, actually making things?
Jensen Motors doesn't appear to have any plans for a new car, but it did say that it will "produce eight examples of authentic Jensen models" to celebrate the carmaker's 80th anniversary this year.
Those models could be resto-mods based on existing Jensen shells, like the Corvette-powered Interceptor that won over Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear a few seasons back.
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Porsche plans new 911-beating boxer four-cylinder for Cayman and Boxster
cayman boxter get neutered new boxer four engine 2014 001

Alright Porsche purists, whether you like it or not, Porsche is preparing to launch a new four-cylinder Boxer engine in the Boxster and Cayman.
Don’t like the idea? Maybe you should. This is no humdrum four-cylinder. It might actually be a 911 beater.
According to Automotive News, the engine could produce as much as 395 horsepower. No nose-thumbing should be going on here, as that is already more horsepower than the current flat-six-powered Cayman GTS that makes a romping 340 hp.
To reassure you; Boxer-fours are nothing new to Porsche. Flat fours found their way under the hoods of the 356, 912, and 914.
As a matter of fact, the 944 also had a thumping four-cylinder, which was one of the largest displacement four-cylinders ever made at 3.0-liters. 
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Personally, I am looking forward to a lighter, higher-reving, screaming boxer four in the future of amazing German engineering. To  me, it’s a good thing the flat-six is getting chopped.
To the those Porsche purists who say otherwise, just tell them, “Auf Wiedersehen!”

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