Why Porsche ruled the world in 2013
And will prove a tough nut to crack in 2014, and beyond…
Posted: 29 Jan 2014
And while we're still reeling from the McLaren P1's other-worldly pace and EVness, remember that Porsche arrived at the Frankfurt show in September touting a film of the 918 Spyder lapping the Nordschleife in a barely believable 6min 57secs. According to R&D board member Wolfgang Hatz, factory test driver and racer Marc Lieb simply turned up with a modest support crew, stuck on some new rubber - road tyres, not super slicks - then obliterated the track record for a production car. Whatever your view on the value of the 'Ring as a barometer of a car's overall ability, that'll have had the boffins in Woking and Maranello scratching their heads.
In 2013, Porsche made good on the Cayman's promise, for several reasons. Firstly, 2006's original always felt too much like a Boxster derivative, rather than the small, mid-engined Porsche we craved. The new one achieves self-determination, with a distinct character. Secondly, the latest 991 version of the 911 has moved the range's centre of gravity north, both in terms of price and personality. It has electric steering and a longer wheelbase, so it feels more rational and less unpredictable.