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  1. I admit I’m kind of a sucker when it comes to Porsche Design gadgets (I once bought a Porsche Design lighter for well over $100 for no real good reason) because even though devices like the Porsche Design Book One, multiple Huawei phones, and others are typically wildly expensive, there’s something about their ultra-sleek styling that I kind of like. And now, in a somewhat surprising move, Porsche Design has teamed up with Acer to create a minimalist laptop that’s actually kind of reasonably priced. Image: Acer Featuring an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU and an optional Nvidia MX350 GPU crammed inside a metal and carbon fiber body, the Porsche Design Acer Book RS combines a simple MacBook-style body with harder edges and some touches from the auto world, and I think it looks damn good. On the computing side, the Porsche Design Acer Book RS has been Intel Evo certified to support things like instant wakes time, a bright display, and support for both Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6. You even get a full-size HDMI port, which is something you rarely get on 14-inch ultraportables. Here’s the full Travelpack including the Porsche Design Acer Book RS, leather carrying case, and custom Porsche Design wireless mouse. Image: Acer The rest of the Porsche Design Acer Book RS’ specs look solid too, including standard Intel Iris XE graphics, 16GB of RAM, a 1920 x 1080 IPS display with a 90% screen-to-body ratio, and a claimed 17 hours of battery life. Elsewhere, diamond-cut CNC sides and a nifty hinge that elevates the laptop slightly when open for better airflow help marry form and function. And weighing in at 2.76 pounds and measuring 0.63-inches thick, the Porsche Design Acer Book isn’t that much bigger or heavier than a typical 14-inch notebook. Meanwhile, in addition to its carbon fiber lid, the Porsche Design Acer Travelpack adds some extra flair to the kit thanks to a water-repellent carrying case made from Ecco Palermo leather and a wireless Bluetooth mouse that has carbon fiber panels on the left-mouse button and the bottom of the mouse (because of course they did). Image: Acer But the most impressive thing for people familiar with the price of most Porsche Design electronics is that with a starting price at $1,400 (or $2,000 if you opt for the full travel pack), the Porsche Design Acer Book RS won’t totally break the bank. Sure, it’s a bit higher than you might normally expect for the specs, but it’s not completely outlandish. So even though I’ve largely learned to appreciate Porsche Design electronics from afar, it’s still nice seeing Acer and Porsche design team up to create another slick and minimalist laptop. The Porsche Design Acer Book RS is expected to go on sale sometime later this year. Image Gallery at the source. Source
  2. Everything you wanted to know about Porsche’s new electric car The teasing is over; now we can tell you about the new electric Porsche. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. Porsche provided two nights in a hotel and air travel from Atlanta to Washington DC for this story. In 2015, Porsche stole the Frankfurt Motor Show with the Mission E concept car. It was the first serious response to Tesla's Model S sedan from a major automaker, and few automakers are more serious than Porsche. On Wednesday, almost exactly four years to the day, it finally revealed the production version of that concept. It's called the Taycan, and it'll be built at the company's home in Zuffenhausen, Germany, with deliveries starting before the end of the year. It's fair to say that the Taycan is one of the most hotly anticipated cars of the year, although Porsche's lengthy campaign of teasing out tiny nuggets of info here and there has surely been grating for some. But the embargo is over now, and we can share all we know about this impressive new battery-electric vehicle. And "impressive" is the right word—the car is capable of withstanding 26 2.6-second 0-60mph launches in short succession, and it can lap the Nürburgring in 7 minutes and 42 seconds without overtaxing its lithium-ion battery pack. An 800V electrical architecture You could be forgiven for thinking that the Taycan is basically an Audi e-tron under the skin. Audi and Porsche share a corporate parent, and both BEVs were greenlit around the same time in the wake of dieselgate. However, the two vehicles' powertrains share no parts, despite superficially similar specs. Porsche opted for an 800V high voltage architecture; until now almost every other BEV from Audi to Tesla and all stops in between have used 400V. Among the benefits of this higher voltage are faster charging—currently at up to 270kW, although Porsche thinks 400-500kW should be possible in time—as well as reduced weight and better packaging thanks to much thinner wires (because more volts mean fewer amps). The Taycan's battery pack is where you expect to find it, between the front and rear axles of the car. The 93.4kWh pack contains 396 64.6Ah lithium-ion pouch cells with a nominal voltage of 723V and a maximum power output of 620kW. (The pack is a parallel arrangement of two sets of 198 cells, so the overall current is 130A.) The 1,367lb (620kg) battery pack is bolted into the monocoque chassis as an integral component, which Porsche says makes for easier assembly and also allows for servicing. It designed the battery's structural frame to dissipate loads around and between the cells in the event of a head-on, rear, or side impact collision, and the pack contributes to the body's overall stiffness, which Porsche says is the highest of any of its production cars. The battery has its own low-temperature liquid cooling circuit that also cools the car's DC-DC converter and the high voltage booster. (A separate mid-temperature cooling circuit cools the rear axle module, and a heating circuit is there for the high voltage heater and also the HVAC system.) Taycan Turbo or Taycan Turbo S? Porsche is launching the Taycan in two specs: the Taycan Turbo and the Taycan Turbo S. (Yes, I know there's nothing to turbocharge—it's a triumph of marketing over logic that we're all going to have to deal with.) The all-wheel drive powertrains are almost identical in both, and in normal driving both versions even output the same 460kW (616hp) from two permanent magnet synchronous motor-generator units, located fore and aft of the battery pack. Porsche says it chose this design over induction or permanent magnet asynchronous MGUs because they're compact and offer high-power density but also offer good thermal behavior—which means consistent performance, even though the cost is higher. The coils in the MGU are of a hairpin winding design, rather than the more common pull-in winding technique. Porsche said that these hairpins—rectangular copper bars bent into a U shape—allow more copper fill inside the motor (70% versus 40% for pull-in winding), and more copper means more power and torque. (Porsche also claims that the hairpin design is easier to insulate and cool.) The rear MGU, which weighs 375lbs (170kg), provides 335kW (449hp) and 550Nm (406lb-ft) at a maximum motor speed of 16,000rpm in normal use. It's packaged parallel to the axle, which it drives through a two-speed gearbox. Although EVs with more than one gear ratio in their transmissions are uncommon outside of the Formula E paddock (Tesla's Model S uses a single reduction gear), Porsche chose to fit one to the Taycan so that it could maximize acceleration from low speed without eating into cruise speed efficiency. The decision also yields a top speed of 161mph (260km/h)—important for a vehicle sold in the German market, where it might occasionally find itself on unlimited-speed roads. The short planetary first gear is engaged via a dog clutch and is used up to speeds of about 65mph (105km/h). When it's time for second gear the dog clutch opens (which disengages the planetary gears) and a multiplate clutch closes with no torque loss when shifting. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. It all comes down to launch control The primary difference between Turbo and Turbo S is at the front axle, where a second MGU drives the wheels via a single-speed planetary gearbox that's rated at +450Nm (332lb-ft) for traction torque and -300Nm (221lb-ft) for regeneration. Specifically, they differ in terms of the pulse-controlled inverter that converts DC to three-phase AC for the front MGU. In the Taycan Turbo this normally provides a continuous 190A, which gives the motor 175kW (235hp) and 300Nm (221lb-ft). But when you activate launch control, the inverter can overboost the motor to 300A. Do that and the Taycan Turbo suddenly packs a hefty 500kW (670hp) and 850Nm (630lb-ft), albeit for just 2.5 seconds at a time. That makes even the Taycan Turbo faster than a McLaren F1 off the line; 0-60mph takes 3 seconds, then it's 3.2 seconds to 62mph (100km/h), 6.9 seconds to 100mph (160km/h), 10.6 seconds to 124mph (200km/h), with the standing quarter-mile (400m) dispatched in 11.1 seconds. The Turbo S makes do with a doubly powerful front inverter. Normally it works at 380A, and the 168lb (76kg) MGU provides 190kW (256hp) and 400Nm (295lb-ft). But engage launch control in this one and that shoots up to a peak of 600A, which adds an extra 40Nm (30lb-ft) to the front wheels. The Turbo S rear MGU also ups its torque game to 610Nm (449lb-ft) in overboost and launch control, for a combined 560kW (750hp) and 1,050Nm (774lb-ft). This helps the Turbo S from a standstill to 60mph in a face-melting 2.6 seconds, then to the metric 100km/h in 2.8 seconds, 100mph in 6.3 seconds, 124mph in 9.8 seconds, and the standing quarter in 10.8 seconds. I'm pretty sure this still gives Tesla's P100D bragging rights at the drag strip, although you have to be prepared for downtime between runs as the battery prepares itself or recovers; as we saw last month, the Taycan needs no such time outs. It's pretty darn fast around a corner, too It'll be another few weeks before I get some alone-time behind the wheel of a Taycan, but I did get some passenger-seat time in a pre-production Turbo S while in Atlanta for the tech briefing. The company's American HQ is also home to a Porsche Experience Center, which includes a small test track, and it was here that a Porsche engineer drove me around for a few minutes. The violence of a standing start was remarkable, even to someone familiar with that kind of acceleration; I'll chalk it up to a very firm headrest and the fact that as a passenger it took me a little by surprise. But it's no surprise that EVs can accelerate quickly; what made my ride in the Taycan more remarkable was the way it coped in the corners, particularly for a large and relatively heavy car. A Taycan Turbo S will weigh around 5,121lbs (2,323kg) because the glass roof is a standard feature here, and the car is about as long (195.4 inches/4,963mm) and as wide (77.4 inches/1.966mm) as a Tesla Model S—although it's a couple of inches shorter (54.3 inches/1,378mm). The rear multilink suspension is one of the few places you'll find commonality with the Panamera—specifically the rear control arms, although the rear subframe is unique to the Taycan and includes a structure that should prevent any suspension components from meeting the battery during a rear impact. The double wishbone suspension at the front is entirely new—thanks to the tight packaging at the front, nothing off the shelf would have fit. Three-chamber air suspension and Porsche Active Suspension Management software is standard, which will change the ride height depending upon which drive mode you're in. Also standard is rear-wheel steering, which turns against the direction of the front wheels at low speed to decrease the car's turning circle, or with the front wheels at speed to increase stability. Finally, active roll bars—known as Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control—can be an optional extra that minimizes body roll and helps keep handling neutral. Part of the way the Taycan drives is down to the suspension—that, and the car's wide track and low center of gravity thanks to the battery compartment. But the powertrain plays a part as well: the front and rear MGUs both have 2ms response times, which Porsche says is five times faster than its internal combustion engines. (It also says the traction control system is 10x faster than in conventionally powered Porsches.) There is fully variable torque distribution between front and rear axles (although limited obviously by the total output of each motor), and the system is capable of a 1,500Nm (1,106lb-ft) torque split across an axle. It's a very low-drag design Visually, Porsche has managed to bring the look of the Mission E concept into production. Like the powertrain, the body was a clean-sheet design, featuring a mix of steel and aluminum in the monocoque chassis. The styling almost looks as if the body panels have been shrink-wrapped over the components, which in effect they have been in the name of aerodynamic efficiency. The payoff is an excellent drag coefficient—0.22 for the Turbo and 0.25 for the Turbo S. (For once we can also report the CdA, or frontal area drag: it's 6.27 square feet/0.583m2 for the Turbo S and 5.52 square feet/0.513m2 for the Turbo.) It took some work to get the numbers that low, including fully flat underbody panels (which even cover both axles) as well as active cooling air flaps, active brake cooling, an active rear spoiler, and an air curtain at the front. Despite the tight aerodynamic packaging and the need to fit the battery pack within the car, it's not a tight squeeze for the occupants of a Taycan. Up front, the driver and passenger have a very 911-like seating position, although the hip-point is slightly higher than in the iconic coupe. We already took a look at the interior a couple of weeks ago, but I'll reiterate that it's a design that manages to be quintessentially Porsche while also feeling extremely futuristic, thanks to touches like the cowlless main instrument panel in front of the driver and an attractive new cockpit UI. The rear seats are almost as pleasant a place to sit, with voids designed into the battery pack to provide room for the rear footwells (Porsche calls these spaces "foot garages," but there's no reason the rest of us should.) First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. Range and regeneration When the Mission E concept was unveiled, one of the headline figures was a range of 310 miles (500km). In practice, the Taycan won't go quite that far on a single charge. The EPA has yet to rate the vehicle, but under the WLTP test used in Europe (which we find overestimates real-world range) the lower drag Turbo came in at 236-280 miles (381-450km), with the Turbo S at 241-256 miles (388-412km). Consequently, if range is the sole criteria by which you choose a luxury EV sedan and you need to cover at least 300 miles between stops, you'll want to stick with the Model S—even though it's getting visibly older by the day. Porsche says it has gone for a different strategy to most other BEV makers when it comes to the Taycan's regenerative braking (or just "regen"), which can decelerate the car at up to 0.398G before the friction brakes take over. It wanted to make sure that there was always consistent brake behavior regardless of battery temperature or state of charge, and the company believes that it's easier to control the braking point and deceleration rate with the brake pedal rather than lifting off the accelerator. (The Taycan can regen when you lift the accelerator pedal if you like; you toggle this behavior with a dedicated button on the steering wheel or via the car's settings menu.) Under braking the Taycan can regenerate up to 265kW, which is much higher than any other production BEV. 350kW DC fast charging As mentioned earlier, it can charge at high power—270kW to be precise. As EV owners will already know, how quickly a car recharges is affected by various factors including ambient temperature, battery temperature, and battery state of charge. Under ideal circumstances, if you plug the Taycan into an 800V charger at 5% state of charge, it should start sucking in juice at 250-260kW, increasing to a peak of 270kW as the voltage increases. From 50% SoC the current is then steadily reduced to maintain battery life, down to around 100kW. Under optimum conditions—in this case a battery temperature of 30˚C (86˚F) will take 22.5 minutes to go from 5% to 80% SoC. To make the most of the Taycan's fast charging ability, the car's in-built navigation system has a charging planner function, which will thermally precondition the battery so that it's at its sweet spot when you stop and plug in, meaning you should always be able to go from 5% to 80% SoC in 22.5 minutes. On the other hand, it can take as long as 40-45 min if you don't precondition the battery and the ambient temperature is at freezing or below. However, all of this requires that you have an 800V DC fast charger to plug into. That is getting easier to do: by the time the first Taycans arrive in the US later this year, Electrify America's first wave of 484 fast charging sites should be operational—and each of the 189 Porsche dealerships in the country will also have 800V fast chargers, meaning a cross-country Taycan trip should be relatively painless. If you can't find an 800V charger, you can plug in to a 400V DC fast charger to top up. However, the Taycan will only draw 50kW from a 400V DC fast charger unless it's optioned with the more powerful 150kW 400V DC onboard charger (a $460 add-on); at 50kW it takes 93 min to go from 5 to 80% SoC, or 36 minutes at 150kW. Porsche told me that the Taycan will support the new ISO15118 plug-and-charge protocol, although it thinks it might be another year before the standard starts being implemented in DC fast chargers. All new Taycans will come with three years of free charging for the first 30 minutes at a 350kW Electrify America charger—Porsche thinks you should have sufficient range after half an hour at this level of charge to move on and let someone else plug in. For home charging, US-spec Taycans will have a 9.6kW onboard AC charger, which takes about 11 hours to go from 0 to 100% SoC. In our market, the AC type 1 connector is located on the driver's side just behind the front wheel, with a CCS type 1 AC/DC port on the passenger side. Enlarge Porsche Come back later this month to see how it drives As the preceding 2,600-ish words should have demonstrated, the design and engineering that has gone into the Taycan has resulted in a seriously impressive BEV. Audi might have beaten it to the market by a year with the e-tron, but that SUV is really more of a stop-gap solution using VW Group's MLB Evo architecture; the extra year of gestation for the Taycan allowed Porsche the time for a clean-sheet approach that will also underpin future Audi e-tron performance models. But Porsche wants us to know that the Taycan is a real Porsche, too—hence its decision to build an entirely new body shop, paint shop, and assembly line alongside its existing facilities in Zuffenhausen (where the 911 is built). The Porsche name and Porsche-appropriate performance comes at a price, though. For the Taycan Turbo here in the US, that price is $150,900 before taking into account the $7,500 IRS tax credit or any local incentives, and that's also before you start faffing about with Porsche's notoriously expensive options list. For the range-topping Taycan Turbo S, you'll need to cough up $185,000 before incentives. That's certainly a lot of money by anyone's standards, but when you factor in that it gets you a car with considerably better performance than the $191,700 Panamera Turbo S hybrid, it starts to look like a bit more of a bargain, relatively speaking, at least. The final piece of the puzzle is whether the Taycan drives like a real Porsche—a question we should have an answer for in a little over two weeks. Source: Everything you wanted to know about Porsche’s new electric car (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image galleries, please visit the above link)
  3. Elon Musk throws down with Porsche, sends a Model S to the Nürburgring Can the "Raven" Model S beat a Taycan Turbo S at the Green Hell? Enlarge elyob @ Flickr As part of Porsche's build-up to Wednesday's launch of the Taycan electric car, it took a track-prepped prototype to Germany's famous Nürburgring Nordschleife. This 12.9-mile (20.8km) track, built in the 1920s as a depression-era public works project, is widely considered to be one of (if not the) most challenging race tracks in the world. It's narrow, extremely bumpy, very fast in places, and rises and falls a total of 900 feet (300m) throughout the lap. Opinions remain divided about how relevant a Nordschleife lap time is to your average Jane or Joe driving their daily commute, but the fact remains that a 'Ring lap time is useful ammo for marketing and bench racing. Which is why Elon Musk took to Twitter last night to let the world know that he's sending a Model S around the track they call "the Green Hell" next week in an effort to beat the Taycan's 7 minute 42 second run. To which I say: Bravo! I've been dying to see Tesla engage with motorsport for at least five years now, and this is as close as the company—which builds ludicrously quick cars, lest we forget—has gotten. But it's going to be a tough challenge for the car. In 2014, Jalopnik's Rob Holland tried taking a Model S around the track, only for the battery to derate about three minutes in. And in 2016, Blake Fuller took a prepped Model S P90D to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb; although Fuller set a record for a production road car up that mountain, like Holland, he also ran into battery-cooling issues that slowed the car. (Not that the problem is specific to Tesla—even Volkswagen's purpose-built ID R race car was down on power because of too-high battery temperatures for the final 1.3-mile (2.1km) main straight in its record-setting run earlier this year. I'll admit, I was a little skeptical when I saw Musk's tweet last night—blame "funding secured" and all that. But a racing friend reached out this morning to tell me that a Model S was track-prepped in California and arrived on the ground in Germany on Monday. Presumably that car is one of the new, upgraded "Raven" Model Ses, which feature some newer tech from the Model 3 as well as a new adaptive suspension. I've reached out to Tesla to see if we can get some more info about who will be behind the wheel for the attempt, as well as any pertinent modifications to the car, and will report back with any findings. Here's hoping the weather and traffic both cooperate because this is exactly the kind of healthy competition I want to see more of in the high-end EV arena. Game on. Source: Elon Musk throws down with Porsche, sends a Model S to the Nürburgring (Ars Technica)
  4. Porsche will begin selling its vehicles online in the U.S. for the first time, the company announced on Monday. To begin with, the company is proceeding with a pilot program that will be offered with 25 of its U.S.-based dealer partners, but the automaker says it could expand to cover the U.S. market more broadly across a larger group of the 191 independent Porsche dealers that currently operate in the U.S. The pilot project will let Porsche buyers pick out and submit an order for both new and used in-stock vehicles, but the process isn’t entirely online — buyers will still have to show up at a dealership to sign the final paperwork and to take delivery of their new car. All the heavy lifting is handled online, however, including things like financing and payment calculators, as well as credit approvals and any insurance options that a buyer chooses to append to their purchase. U.S. online shoppers will be able to do all of this through new sections integrated into the websites of the dealers participating into the program. Meanwhile, at the same time in Germany, Porsche is introducing online vehicle sales centralized through their own “www.porsche.de” website, which itself is a pilot designed to test the waters for a broader European roll-out. Online auto sales are not new, but they still aren’t really a widespread thing in most markets, especially in the U.S., where the existing independent dealership system persists. Tesla leaned heavily into online vehicle sales, however, due in part to its unwillingness to work with independent dealer partners, and to the inflexibility of state laws that protect that system. The automaker’s investment in automotive e-commerce has clearly inspired others to follow suit, however, and I don’t expect Porsche will be the last to dip its toes in these waters. Source
  5. Bill Gates bought a Porsche, and then Elon Musk talked trash about him Apparently, the Porsche Taycan prompted Musk’s ire Photo by Ryan Manning / The Verge Bill Gates bought an electric car. But while he’s given Tesla credit for pushing other carmakers to go electric, it does seem notable that he didn’t buy from the company that pushed the innovation. He bought a Porsche Taycan. Someone alerted Elon Musk to this development, of course. And that got us a bitchy tweet from Musk: “My conversations with Gates have been underwhelming tbh.” It’s true that Musk likes beef; after all, he’s made cracks about Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. (Actually, it seems like Musk and Bezos have a lively rivalry going.) But the Gates fight strikes me as different — precisely because Musk’s dismissal of him is so broad. Both Musk and Gates are admirers of Nick Bostrom, the Swedish philosopher who has warned in his 2014 book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies that machine intelligence could surpass human intelligence. Both men have appeared on The Big Bang Theory. Perhaps significantly, though, Musk is frequently compared not to Gates, but to Apple’s late CEO, Steve Jobs. The Taycan is also something of a sore spot for Musk, even though it has a smaller range than Tesla’s comparable vehicles. But the Taycan Turbo set the “four door electric sports car” lap record at Germany’s Nürburgring. (Though Musk has suggested on Twitter that the use of “Turbo” by Porsche is a misnomer.) And, apparently in response, Musk announced Tesla would run a Model S around the track. In November, Musk also picked a fight with Top Gear, a TV show that depicted a Taycan beating a Model S in a race. Source: Bill Gates bought a Porsche, and then Elon Musk talked trash about him (The Verge)
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