What’s Hot And What’s Not in the 2019 Porsche Lineup
What to Buy and What to Stay Away From When it Comes to Porsche in 2019
Porsche is, without any doubt, one of the most unique major automakers in the world. Their combination of luxury and performance is unparalleled in the automotive industry, and beyond that, most of their models are now utilitarian as well. As utilitarian as rather pricey high-performance vehicles can really be, that is. This focus on utility has been beneficial to the Germans over the last decade or so, for their global sales saw an increase in every single year since the economic recession of 2009. During 2017, the Germans managed to market as much as 246,375 vehicles, which is quite the turnaround compared to their fewer than 100,000 units in 2010. The U.S. market is showcasing the very same trend, as Porsche managed to push 55,420 vehicles here during 2017. What’s more, this sales surge is expected to carry over well into 2018 and 2019 with the expansion of the 2018 and 2019 Porsche lineups.
The driving force behind Porsche’s success is undoubtedly their crossover siblings Cayenne and Macan. Together, they amount to 34,632 total U.S. sales in 2017, which is just north of 60 percent of Porsche’s total U.S. sales. All other Porsche models exhibit a four-digit sales figure which also speaks volumes about the crossover segment’s importance for the luxury German brand. MY 2019 is bringing a much-expected update to the beloved Porsche 911 whose sales might surpass 10,000 total after the makeover. Moreover, the Germans are knee-deep in the electrification of their lineup, and the upcoming Mission E all-electric sports car lineup is sure to garner some well-deserved interest. The question is, will it arrive in time for MY 2019, or will it be offered as part of the MY 2020 lineup? Regardless of whether the Mission E EV makes it or not, here’s what to expect from the 2019 Porsche models.
What’s Hot In the New 2019 Porsche Lineup
2019 Porsche Cayenne
After their mid-size luxury crossover’s sales started declining during 2017, the Germans quickly came out with a makeover plan. For comparison, Porsche marketed around 18,500 Cayennes in the U.S. during 2013, and only 13,203 units in 2017. The next-gen 2019 Porsche Cayenne went on sale during 2018 alongside outgoing second-generation units, with prices around $5,000 higher than those of their outdated siblings. As it’s usually the case with the German automaker’s design division, they yet again failed to deliver a ground-breaking design, hence the old and new Cayenne look a lot alike. When it comes to Porsche, however, that’s a good thing. In order to justify the not so insignificant price hike though, they had to implement a lot of new technology. The platform is all-new, which renders the new model slightly lighter. Then there’s the new infotainment system and staggered-size wheels and tires for the very first time. Finally, the Germans have also updated the powertrain department.
Speaking of which, the 2019 Porsche Cayenne offers a trio of powerful engines. The base engine is a turbocharged 3.0L V6 with 340 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque, which is an upgrade of 40 ponies over the outgoing model. The next step on the ladder is a twin-turbocharged 2.9L V6 that’s making 440 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque in the Cayenne S. Finally, the top-of-the-line Cayenne Turbo sports a twin-turbo 4.0L V8 that generates up to 550 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque. All three are tied to a ZF 8-speed auto that’s bolted directly to the engine, and from now-on, incorporates the front differential. That’s not all though, as the hybrid Cayenne lineup arrives at a later date as well. Hybrid models will be based upon the stronger two engines and should develop as much as 460 hp and 680 hp. As before, the new Cayenne is supposed to be one of the most important Porsche vehicles, and judging by its superlative specs, it most likely won’t disappoint.
2019 Porsche Macan
Alongside the new Cayenne, Porsche is also updating its younger sibling. Unlike the full makeover, as was the case with Cayenne (as full as a makeover gets at Porsche), the 2019 Macan will be only slightly revised. A mid-cycle refresh should make sure that the Macan’s healthy sales surge remains on course. The Germans have managed to sell 21,429 Macans in the U.S. during 2017 which, as mentioned before, makes the compact luxury crossover their best-selling vehicle. The mentioned revisions include a slightly revised front bumper, new headlights and tail-lights, a revised rear diffuser, and barely noticeable changes to the interior. Judging by the state of spied Macan test mules, that’ll pretty much be it.
Powertrain changes are where the picture gets blurry. Diesel and hybrid options shouldn’t be excluded but they look highly unlikely at this point – especially the former. On the other hand, the 2019 Porsche Macan will likely continue with its established selection of three different powertrain units. Base models get a 252-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged inline-four engine. Order the Macan S, and you’ll get a stronger 340-horsepower 3.0L twin-turbo V6 mill. Finally, the most powerful Macan Turbo reaps the benefits provided by a 3.6L twin-turbo V6 which produces exactly 400 ponies. There’s also one in-betweener which squeezes an additional 20 ponies from the mid-level 3.0L V6 mill. It’s the Porsche Macan GTS which was the last to join the family in 2016. Until another new model makes its debut. The way things stand right now, that probably won’t happen in time for MY 2019.
2019 Porsche 911 (992)
The timeless classic known as the Porsche 911 is nearing the end of its 991 Series generation after six years in production. Code-named 992, the next-generation Porsche 911 is dubbed as the best 911 ever. At least according to Porsche. Although we’ve heard similar over-the-top announcements countless times before, this one probably shouldn’t be disregarded. The new 911 will be built upon a revised MMB platform with a wider track than that of the outgoing model. This, in turn, should help provide more space for the rear passengers and more importantly, improved stability at high speeds. The Germans are still stingy on other details, but a restyled interior with more advanced safety and convenience gear is a must for a car of the 911’s stature. The exterior, as always, will remain largely intact from an overall design standpoint. It would seem that the Germans are incorporating the Cayenne’s rear LED strip of lights in the new 911, and that’s officially the most imposing visual change on the iconic sports car.
Although an all-electric Porsche 911 has long been discarded as a possibility, a plug-in hybrid model is looking more and more like a possibility. Especially considering Porsche’s future strategy that heavily relies on electricity as a fuel source. However, a hybrid version of the next-gen Porsche 911 will hardly make it prior to the early 2020s. Until then, the eighth-gen 911 will rely on a good old-fashioned lineup of powerful internal combustion engines. The biggest change in this department is the fact that Porsche is abandoning naturally aspirated engines in favor of turbocharged flat-sixes. The initial entry-level Carrera and Carrera S units should draw power from a twin-turbo 3.0L flat-six with at least around 370 hp and 420 hp respectively. Later on, the Germans will also unleash their top dogs, the 911 Turbo and Turbo S, which will apparently deliver 592 hp and 630 hp respectively. These versions will use a modern 3.8L twin-turbo flat-six mill that currently resides within the high-performance GT2 RS . More info will be available closer to the end of the year.
2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991)
Meanwhile, the Germans are sending off the still-current 991 generation of the Porsche 911 with a bang. Enter the 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS – the ultimate driver’s choice when it comes to this iconic nameplate. The last of the seventh-generation Porsche 911 track-focused pavement eaters can be looked upon as a poor man’s GT2 RS since it starts from “only” $187,500. Laugh all you want, but the aforementioned GT2 RS costs a whopping $293,200. Both sport wide-body kits and huge manually adjustable carbon-fiber wing spoilers at the rear. The GT3 RS also benefits from a rear underbody diffuser which, together with the Porsche-emblazoned spoiler, creates enough downforce to allow the sports car to max out at 193 mph. On the other hand, it only needs 3 seconds flat in order to hit 60 mph from a standstill. The rest of the setup consists of Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires, magnesium, carbon fiber and aluminum body panels, and carbon-ceramic brake rotors, for instance. Note that some of these come at additional cost.
The 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS employs a naturally aspirated 4.0L flat-six as its engine of choice. The engine makes 520 horsepower thanks to a titanium exhaust system and new intake, while all of the 346 lb-ft of torque is routed to the rear via a 7-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission. This is another category in which the GT3 RS falls short compared to the beastly GT2 RS since the latter develops as much as 700 ponies and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.7 seconds. Still, most track enthusiasts will find the GT3 RS’s specs more than satisfying considering they’re in the supercar range. Moreover, optional expensive magnesium and carbon fiber kits can probably shave a few tenths of a second off the already respectable acceleration times.
2019 Porsche Boxster Spyder (718)
The 718 generation Porsche Boxsters are now in their more mature years that mandate some over-the-top improvements if the sales are to remain satisfactory. And with 2,287 units sold, 2017 was the worst year for the fourth-generation Boxster thus far. Needless to say, the Germans have already prepared the answer: it’s the 2019 Porsche Boxster Spyder, which aims to take a seat at the top of the lineup straight from the get-go. Although the overall design remains unchanged (since the 718s underwent a mid-cycle refresh in 2017), there are still a few details that’ll differentiate the Spyder from the rest of the lineup, and I’m not talking about the soft top. As the performance model of the lineup, the Boxster Spyder will sport a unique rear diffuser, more aggressive air inlets, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber, among other things.
Most importantly, the 2019 Porsche Boxster Spyder is all set and ready to unholster the big guns; all 500 of them. That’s actually the amount of horsepower the engine it’ll share with the aforementioned Porsche 911 GT3 RS has. Knowing how Porsche intentionally chokes its 718 Boxsters and Caymans in favor of the 911, a somewhat watered-down output is a highly likely possibility. In other words, don’t be surprised if a highly advanced 4.0L naturally aspirated flat-six mill ends up developing almost 100 ponies fewer in the Boxster than it does in the 911. Regardless, the 2019 Boxster Spyder will still be the most powerful of all 718s, and its price tag is likely to reflect that.
2019 Porsche Mission E
The upcoming Porsche Mission E will be looking to revolutionize the German automaker’s lineup in an even more radical way than the Cayenne did some 15 years ago. Every carmaker worth its salt is knee-deep in electric vehicle development these days, and Porsche is no exception. Despite being in development for some time now, the Mission E’s appearance in 2019 is still uncertain. However, since the Germans have already started taking deposits for it, the future of all-electric performance shouldn’t be that far away. Moreover, since they still haven’t disclosed the Mission E’s full pricing, deposits in question are actually refundable if a buyer doesn’t agree with the final price. It’s expected that Porsche will offer three different sets of Mission E tunes starting from around $75,000 prior to incentives, which would put them right in the Tesla Model S range – a smart move if they plan to be truly competitive.
Speaking of performance, the 2019 Porsche Mission E will be available with either 402 hp, 536 hp, or 670 hp. It should also offer between 200 and 300 miles of range depending on how heavy the driver’s foot is. The biggest advantage of – soon to be – the most advanced Porsche to date, is its express charging time. The Germans are already implementing superchargers of their own which will use no fewer than 800 volts. This, in turn, should reduce charging time to around 20 minutes or so. Take that Tesla! The question is, how much time will Porsche need to build this infrastructure? Probably years, but at least things are heading in the right direction.
2019 Porsche Boxter/Cayman (718)
While the Porsche Boxter Spyder is here to rejuvenate the 718 lineup, remaining models are now beginning to show their age. Considering how the previous generation (981) lasted only four years, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the 718 follows in its predecessor’s footsteps. In that regard, the 2019 or 2020 Porsche Boxters and Caymans might be the last of their kind. Even if that doesn’t happen, the changes are still imminent. At this point, though, the exact changes are still unknown. The only thing that’s certain is that the next-gen Boxter/Cayman won’t differ from the current unit’s design.
Another thing that’s mostly certain is the engine lineup. The 2019 Porsche Boxters and Caymans – remaining visually unchanged – should also keep their turbocharged flat-fours in check. That’s aside from the above mentioned upcoming Boxter Spyder, which sports a naturally aspirated 4.0L flat-six powerplant. The current 2.0L mill develops as much as 300 horsepower in base Cayman and Boxter models, whereas a 2.5L unit comes in two different tunes. It makes 350 horsepower in Boxter S and Cayman S models, and 365 ponies in corresponding GTS high-performance models. Regardless of the Porsche 718 of choice, a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission are available across the range. The latter even comes with an optional Sport Chrono package which sheds 0.2 seconds off every model’s 0 to 60 time.
2019 Porsche Panamera
The second-generation Porsche Panamera might have come out for MY 2017, but believe it or not, that makes it one of the German automaker’s older models. With no mid-cycle makeover in sight, the 2019 Porsche Panamera is probably a high-end luxury car you’d likely want to skip on. Especially considering its successor will most likely bring the necessary changes. As it’s usually the case with Porsche, however, visual changes should be kept to a minimum. In other words, facelifted Panamera should barely differ from the MY 2019 units.
The 2019 Porsche Panamera should carry over with its rich and potent lineup of engines. Base models make do with a 3.0L turbocharged V6 making 330 horsepower, while Panamera S models benefit from a 2.9L twin-turbo V6 which churns out 440 ponies. At the top of the conventional lineup’s pantheon, you’ll find the Panamera Turbo, whose 4.0L twin-turbo V8 generates 550 horsepower. That’s not all, however, since the Panamera also offers a couple of E-Hybrid models. The base version couples the stronger of the two V6 engines with an electric motor for a combined output of 462 horsepower, while the S E-Hybrid pairs the same electric unit with the mentioned V8 mill for a net rating of as much as 680 horsepower.
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