Archive for Porsche

VW looks like winnng over Porsche

Posted in Transport with tags , , , on July 23, 2009 by Apollo

The story of VW and Porsche buying one another looks as if it is finally going to come to a conclusion – with VW taking over Porsche.

This has been rumbling on and off for some time, but it was all too complicated and political to try and write about. There were tales of a fued between the families behind the two companies, and there was the political side of things, with the presence of laws regarding ownership. While I might have been interested, digging into that sort of stuff and getting it right it too much like work, and not fun. Better to leave it to the journalists and professional writers who have access to better sources of info than the likes of me – and have to get it right, or be fired.

The most interesting aspect seems to have been the effect of the recession on the Porsche campaign to take over VW, and it seems to have rendered moot the legal aspect of ownership which may have influenced, or even negated Porsche’s efforts. Even though Porsche built up a 51% holding in the company, it’s efforts to build that up to a 75% stake were trashed by the financial crisis and the slump in the global automotive sector, which eventually gave the the sports car maker huge debts instead of a large stake in VW

The aim now seems to be to end the deal with VW owning Porsche, but leaving the company with its independence, a process which will achieved in gradual steps, and see completion before the fourth quarter of 2011. This would see Porsche effectively becoming the 10th brand under the VW umbrella. Porsche said it would increase its capital by at least 5 billion euros (£4.3 billion; $7.10 billion).

While this might have been a reason for dismay a few years ago, it’s probably not the tale of woe that purists might have (and maybe still will) portray it as. VW has marques such as Bugati, Lamborghini, and Audi (which it has done wonderful things with eg R8 and R10, and the recent TTRS). Those three marques have survived, and have models that are head and shoulders above their predecessors. Again, some purists just carp about the use of the odd switch from the parts bin, but in the real world, using those parts probably saved the cars concerned, and avoided some delay while a bespoke part was designed and tooled for.

Provided they do as per their publicity, and Porsche is allowed to retain its independence, but is able to draw on VW’s resources, things should be better in the future, and we get Porsche’s that are not only good at being road and track cars, but see the motoring journalists’ jibes regarding trim and suchlike come to a silent end.

Fingers crossed.

Fire the chauffeur

Posted in Adverts, Noteworthy, Transport, TV with tags , on February 15, 2008 by Apollo

The punchline from one of the ads shown below for the 928 says it all…

Interesting to note (in my opinion) that Porsche’s American adverts are currently long and imaginative productions, but as inspiring as Death Warmed Up, amounting to some 3 minutes of aspiration, and no inspiration.

They don’t even bother with adverts on UK TV now. A waste of time in a country where the motorist is demonised as the Spawn of Satan, and has no money left after the Government has slapped them down with punitive fuel and vehicle taxation, and taken every opportunity to issue fines with automated camera systems.

Who really wants to drive on Britain’s roads nowadays? Especially after a certain Chief Police Officer recently let the cat out of the bag and quashed the lie that speed cameras are used as deterrents, and not revenue raisers, after calling for the installation of hidden cameras. What a plonker, out to undo the work of those that have promoted the worthy safety camera campaigns. He’s the sort of idiot that should be forced to resign for making thoughtless and stupid comments in public.

Far safer just to fire up the online video, and wallow in the past.

Engineering Excellence

Posted in Transport with tags , , , , , on October 20, 2007 by Apollo

Now that we seem to have a satisfactory theme established, it may be possible to get on with business, and upset some mindless, green, global warming worshipping, tree-hugging, environmental, CO2 alarmist, brainwashed, fuel-tax-loving, car-hating tosspots. My apologies to anyone in the same sort of groups that I may have omitted, consider yourself included if you think you should be.

While some may point to a terminal speed of 171 mph for the Porsche 928 S4 as not being particularly quick in in a world where 250 mph is possible in a production car, it’s also worth bearing in mind that this speed was achieved in a production road car in 1986.

It’s even more worth bearing in mind that at the time, the car could be bought for around £30,000. Although it may have crept up to £80,000 in its later, faster, and more powerful GTS variant, this is still nowhere near the figure of anything up to £500,000 to achieve that extra speed, and not even comparable to the £800,000 upward for a Bugatti Veyron, or any of the recent 1,001 BHP+ and 250 mph+ cars that have appeared. None of these cars will ever be built in numbers that approach the curtailed 928 production run (just under 60,000), will never be seen in the hands of anyone that has anything approaching an average wage, and will probably never even be seen on the road in most cases. Unless changed at some time, the Veyron’s run is set at 300 over five years, although the schedule has been sped up since that was announced.

You also have to question either the truth of the story, or the sense of the management at Volkswagen Group (where the senior management must have cast-iron contracts), as the £1 million price tag is said to result in a £4 million loss for the company on each sale, especially in light of the American-built SSC Ultimate Aero TT, a supercar built by Shelby Super Cars. It’s cheaper, faster, and couldn’t have cost as much to develop or produce as the Bugatti. Price is around $700,000 (that’s dollars, not pounds) (less on eBay) for that variant, with production only projected at around 40 cars. Standard Aeros may only be around $250,000. Small change for anyone in that sort of market.

Having said that, I suspect the Bugatti would last longer at speed than its successors, so there are differences.