UK sales of Porsche vehicles increase to 8,260 compared with 7,998 in 2012
• Rounds up an exceptional 2013 for the German sports car manufacturer, with record global sales of over 162,000 units
• Automotive icon the 911 celebrated its 50th Anniversary through numerous events, including headline sponsorship of Goodwood Festival of Speed
• Numerous awards given to Porsche products, including EVO and BBC Top Gear magazine’s Richard Hammond both giving 911 GT3 the accolade of ‘Car of the Year’
• Last year saw launch of 911 Carrera 4, Cayman, 911 Turbo and Turbo S, 911 GT3, new Panamera including S E-Hybrid, Cayenne S Diesel, Cayenne Turbo S and revolutionary 918 Spyder
• Return to Le Mans with 911 factory team, and announcement of full team and new car for LMP1 class in 2014
• Public debut of Macan at Los Angeles Auto Show in November ahead of UK launch this Spring
As the new year gets under way, Porsche Cars Great Britain can look back on an exceptional 2013. Sales of Porsche vehicles in the United Kingdom increased over an already strong 2012 result, from 7,998 to 8,260 (source: SMMT). This strong performance was supported by all models in the range, with particular interest in the new Cayman, new derivatives of the 911 and the expanded Cayenne range.
The UK sales result forms part of a record year for Porsche globally, with the overall result of 162,145 units an increase of 15% compared with the previous record during 2012.
Emphasising that the classic sports car is very much at the heart of the Porsche brand, combined sales of the 911, Boxster and Cayman accounted for 55% of UK registrations in 2013, with the remainder accounted for by the Gran Turismo Panamera and the sporting all-wheel drive Cayenne.
911 at 50
The undoubted star of 2013 for Porsche was the 911. The world’s most successful sports car celebrated its 50th Anniversary in style, with numerous global events and activities held across the year. In the UK, a record-breaking assembly of 1,208 examples (smashing the original target of 911) assembled at Silverstone in an impressive display organised by Porsche Club Great Britain.
Towering at over 35 metres with three examples of the 911 sitting majestically at the top, visitors to last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed were left in no doubt as to what car was the headline sponsor of the world-famous event. The remarkable sculpture was the crowning glory to a Festival that celebrated the 50th birthday of the most iconic Porsche model in fitting style.
Impressive array of awards
Last year was also notable for the number of prestigious awards handed to Porsche in the UK. These included Best Car Brand for the second consecutive year from Which?, while the Boxster was awarded ‘Best Roadster’ from Auto Express and Best Sports Car from What Car? (the latter being repeated this week at the 2014 awards).
The new 911 GT3 attracted an impressive number of trophies all of its own, including ‘Best Sports Car’ from CAR magazine, ‘Britain’s Best Driver’s Car’ from Autocar, Richard Hammond’s ‘Car of the Year’ in the BBC Top Gear Awards and EVO magazine’s overall ‘Car of the Year’.
Crowning off an exceptional 12 months was BBC Top Gear presenting Porsche with its ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ trophy.
A plethora of new products
It was an especially busy year for Porsche when it came to new model launches, kicking off with the UK debut of the 911 Carrera 4 and 4S models. Four-wheel drive models are an integral part of the 911 line-up, and the latest generation variants are easily spotted on the road from their wider stance and full width illuminated red strip between the tail lights, when compared with the rear-wheel drive Carrera and Carrera S.
A real star of the year was the Cayman, which arrived in UK showrooms during the Spring. The definitive mid-engined sports car in its class, the latest Cayman has won universal praise for its class-leading driving dynamics and confident appearance. Marry this to typically charismatic Porsche flat-six engines, and it is small wonder this newcomer has been in such demand in the UK during 2013.
Further exciting variants of the latest 911 arrived during the second half of the year: the GT3 and Turbo models. The GT3 has wowed the UK’s motoring media with its breathtaking ability and driver appeal – quite simply, it is the closest thing to driving a GT3 Cup race car on the road.
The Turbo and Turbo S are the most powerful, capable and efficient forced-induction 911 models to date, and are a fitting tribute to the legendary 911 Turbo as it celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
The significantly revised Panamera was unveiled during the summer, sporting refreshed styling – especially around the rear aspect – and new engines. These included a 3.0-litre twin-turbo unit, which replaced the V8, and the remarkable plug-in hybrid powertrain of the Panamera S E-Hybrid. The latter is so efficient, it is the first Porsche, and the first car in its segment, to slip below the 75g/km CO2 emissions threshold, which means that it qualifies for numerous fiscal benefits including the Government’s OLEV Grant and exemption from the London Congestion Charge.
The Cayenne range was also bolstered by two new engines during 2013, comprising the V8 S Diesel with an eye-catching 850 Nm of torque, and the Turbo S – the most powerful Cayenne to date with 550 hp at its disposal.
Since the 1960s, Porsche has each decade built a sports car of such exceptional ability and technological prowess, it goes on to influence many other models in the range for years afterwards. Examples include the ‘930’ 911 Turbo, the 959, the GT1 and the Carrera GT.
At the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show in September, Porsche showed the world the final production version of the 918 Spyder, a super sports car that will define cars of its type in future. Using plug-in hybrid technology, this landmark car produces 887 hp from a combination of a race-derived V8 petrol engine and two powerful electric motors. The result is astonishing performance, a new production lap record of the world-famous Nordschleife circuit of 6 minutes and 57 seconds, and yet CO2 emissions as low as 71 g/km.
Mission 2014: Our Return
Last year also saw the return of a fully-fledged Porsche factory team to Le Mans after a 14-year absence, with the 911 RSR. In addition, more information on the exciting 919 hybrid LMP1 car and its team of top-drawer drivers – including ex-F1 star Mark Webber – were revealed.
As the reigning record holder at the Le Mans 24hr race, with 16 wins to its name, Porsche is looking for a competitive return in 2014.
At the tail-end of a very busy and exciting year, Porsche unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show a model competing in a new market segment for the brand: the Macan. This compact SUV is a true Porsche through and through, and is set to redefine driving dynamics in its segment when it arrives in UK showrooms during Spring.