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01 December 2008

2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR

Ford Shelby GT500KR "King of the Road" Returns in 2008

Celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the original Shelby Cobra GT500KR, Ford and Shelby collaborate on a new 'King of the Road' Mustang with the 2008 Shelby GT500KR. Ford Shelby GT500KR features an estimated 540-hp 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 with a Ford Racing Power Upgrade Pack, 3.73:1 rear axle ratio, short-throw shifter, and unique suspension tuning. Exterior design draws inspiration from the classic Shelby KR Mustangs and features unique carbon composite hood, wheels, and special 40th Anniversary badging and unique striping.

Crowning the New "King of the Road"

Gary Davis, vice president of production and product development for Shelby Automobiles, played a key role in defining the look of the custom designed carbon composite hood for the GT500KR. His knowledge of the original GT500KR helped sculpt a modern interpretation of the original's bulging hood scoop, a visual indication of the extra horsepower packed beneath it. The hood is secured by a pair of stainless steel, twist-down hood pins. The composite front valance houses a pair of chrome-trimmed, functional brake ducts to cool the large 14-inch, vented Brembo front brakes.

Side stripes are true to the original KR right down to the font used for the 'GT500KR' lettering, while the classic LeMans-style striping that races down the center of the car has been deleted between the leading forward edge of the hood scoops and the front of the hood, accenting the scoops and giving the KR its distinctive face. "That was Shelby's idea," said Gaffka. "It's a special touch that adds some down-the-road differentiation. There will be no doubt that it's a 'King of the Road' Mustang that's filling up your rearview mirrors."

The show car wears exclusive, Shelby-designed 20-inch, forged, polished aluminum wheels with special custom center caps, mounted on Pirelli rubber. Production models will arrive with an 18-inch version of the design.

Each KR model is identified by special 40th Anniversary KR badges on the fenders and grille, distinctive body colored mirror caps and Shelby lettering stretching across the front of the hood and along the rear portion of the deck lid. A special Shelby VIN tag is affixed to each vehicle, mounted in the engine compartment.

The all-leather interior features Carroll Shelby signature embroidered headrests and an official Shelby CSM 40th Anniversary GT500KR dash plate mounted at the top of the center stack.

The KR's 5.4-liter V-8 Gets the Royal Treatment

Just like its namesake, the 2008 'King of the Road' packs a walloping dose of Ford performance power under its massive composite hood scoops. The Ford SVT-engineered 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 is treated to a Ford Racing Power Upgrade Pack that boosts horsepower to an estimated 540 and torque to 510 lb-ft, thanks to revised ignition and throttle calibration and a cold air intake system that replaces the stock unit.

Calibration modifications include advancing the ignition timing as well as re-mapping of the electronic throttle settings to provide quicker throttle response for better off-line and mid-range acceleration. Increased throttle response will be met with a sharper roar from the Ford Racing-inspired exhaust system.

Power is delivered to the rear wheels through a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission and 3.73:1 rear axle ratio, upgraded from the standard GT500's 3.31:1. Gear selection is courtesy of an all-new Ford Racing short-throw shifter making its debut on the KR. Topped with a white ball, the new shifter is 25 percent shorter than the unit on the GT500 providing for crisper, sharper shifts.

Ford SVT, Ford Racing and Team Shelby worked together to develop the KR's suspension tuning. Based on initial work by Ford Racing and the team at Shelby, often at Shelby's own facility on the grounds of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Ford SVT chassis engineers will apply fine tuning techniques to prepare it for the streets.

The Shelby GT500KR will be produced in an exclusive run of 1000 units and will begin arriving in Ford dealers in the spring of 2008.

2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR SpecificationsChassis

Brakes F/R: ABS, vented disc/vented disc
Tires F-R: R20
Driveline: Rear Wheel Drive


Type: Supercharged V8
Displacement cu in (cc): 330 (5409)
Power bhp (kW) at RPM: 540(403) / n.a. (est.)
Torque lb-ft (Nm) at RPM: 510(692) / n.a. (est.)
Redline at RPM: n.a.


Length × Width × Height in: n.a.
Weight lb (kg): n.a.


Acceleration 0-60 mph s: n.a.
Top Speed mph (km/h): n.a.
Fuel Economy EPA city/highway mpg (l/100 km): n.a.

Base Price: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR - n.a. (last update: 5/8/2007)

2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Chevrolet Enters the World of Supercars with Corvette ZR1

Chevrolet officially announced the 2009 Corvette ZR1 - an American supercar that brings the technology and engineering refinement of carbon-fiber, ceramics and electronics together in a distinctive design.

"Chevrolet's goal with the new ZR1 is to show what an American supercar can deliver, at a price that trumps exotics that cost two, three or four times as much - and does so with exceptional driveability," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager.

"Preliminary testing shows the ZR1 builds on the highly respected Corvette Z06 in every performance category, from acceleration and braking, to cornering grip and top speed," said Peper. "It all boils down to the power-to-weight ratio and the ZR1's is exceptional - better than the Porsche 911 GT2, the Ferrari 599 and even the Lamborghini LP640. In fact, the ZR1 is expected to be the first production Corvette to achieve a top speed of at least 200 mph."

Supercharged LS9 Engine

The new LS9 6.2L small-block engine is the power plant the supports the ZR1's performance capability. The enabler of the LS9's performance and refinement is a large, positive-displacement Roots-type supercharger with a new, four-lobe rotor design. It is augmented with an integrated charge cooling system that reduces inlet air temperature for maximum performance.

A sixth-generation supercharger developed by Eaton helps the LS9 make big power and torque at lower rpm and carries it in a wide arc to 6,600 rpm, as it pushes enough air to help the engine maintain power through the upper levels of the rpm band - the area where supercharged performance tends to diminish. Heavy-duty and lightweight reciprocating components enable the engine's confident high-rpm performance.

The LS9 engine is backed by a new, stronger six-speed manual transmission and a twin-disc clutch that provide exceptional clamping power, while maintaining an easy clutch effort. ZR1-specific gearing in the transmission provides a steep first-gear ratio that helps launch the car, and top speed is achieved in sixth gear - a change from the fifth-gear top-speed run-outs in the manual-transmission Corvette and Corvette Z06.

Ride and Handling

The ZR1 is built on the same aluminum-intensive chassis as the Corvette Z06 and features similar independent SLA front and rear suspensions, with aluminum upper and lower control arms. Where the ZR1 differs is the suspension tuning, which was optimized for the car's steamroller-wide front and rear tires.

Magnetic Selective Ride Control is standard and tuned specifically for the ZR1. The system's ability to deliver a compliant ride with nearly instantaneous damping adjustments enabled engineers to develop a surprisingly supple ride quality in a supercar that still delivers cornering grip of more than 1g.

Exclusive Exterior

The ZR1 is instantly recognizable, with perhaps the most identifiable feature a raised, all-carbon-fiber hood that incorporates a clear, polycarbonate window. The window provides a view of the top of the engine's intercooler, with the legend "LS9 SUPERCHARGED" embossed on the left and right sides, and an engine cover with the Corvette crossed flags logo debossed at the front.

The underside of the hood has an exposed carbon-fiber-weave. Exposed carbon-fiber is used on the roof, roof bow, rocker molding and front splitter. These exterior components are protected by a specially developed glossy, UV-resistant clear coat that resists yellowing and wear.

Widened, carbon-fiber front fenders with specific, dual lower vents, and a full-width, body-color rear spoiler incorporating the center high-mounted stop lamp, are also unique to the ZR1. All of the exterior features of the car were developed to enhance high-speed stability and driver control.

Interior Details

The ZR1's interior builds on the brand's dual-cockpit heritage, with high-quality materials, craftsmanship and functionality that support the premium-quality experience promised by the car's performance. The "base" ZR1 (RPO 1LZ) comes with accoutrements based on the Z06, including lightweight seats and lightweight content. The uplevel interior package includes unique, power-adjustable and leather-trimmed sport seats (embroidered with the ZR1 logo); custom, leather-wrapped interior available in four colors; navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity and more.

2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Specifications
Brakes F/R: ABS, vented disc/vented disc
Tires F-R: 285/30 ZR19 - 335/25 ZR20
Driveline: Rear Wheel Drive


Type: Supercharged V8
Displacement cu in (cc): 376 (6162)
Power bhp (kW) at RPM: 620(462) / n.a.
Torque lb-ft (Nm) at RPM: 595(823) / n.a.
Redline at RPM: n.a.


Length × Width × Height in: 176.2 × 75.9 × 49
Weight lb (kg): 3350 (1519)


Acceleration 0-60 mph s: n.a.
Top Speed mph (km/h): n.a.
Fuel Economy EPA city/highway mpg (l/100 km): n.a.

008 Ferrari FXX Evolution

008 Ferrari FXX Evolution Specifications Chassis

Brakes F/R: ABS, vented disc/vented disc
Tires F-R: R19
Driveline: Rear Wheel Drive


Type: V12
Displacement cu in (cc): 382 (6262)
Power bhp (kW) at RPM: 860(642) / 9500 Torque lb-ft (Nm) at RPM: n.a.
Redline at RPM: n.a.


Length × Width × Height in: n.a.
Weight lb (kg): n.a.


Acceleration 0-60 mph s: n.a.
Top Speed mph (km/h): n.a.

Fuel Economy EPA city/highway mpg (l/100 km): n.a.

Base Price: 2008 Ferrari FXX Evolution - Contact Manufacturer

A New Evolution Kit for Ferrari FXX

Courtesy of FerrariThe innovative FXX program, based on the eponymous prototype car and launched by Ferrari in June 2005, is being extended to 2008/2009. The FXX, which is the most advanced GT ever created at Maranello, has been updated with an evolution package aimed at further improving its handling and performance. The package was developed as a result of Ferrari's collaboration with its Client Test Drivers and with the invaluable support of Michael Schumacher. The FXXs equipped with this package will also sport a new livery in addition to new rear wing profiles.

The FXX is not homologated for road use and there are no plans to compete with it either. In fact, the FXX prototype is designed exclusively for track driving as part of a specific R&D program agreed with a selected group of just over 20 clients involving 14 group test sessions and 14 private ones in the last two years. Thanks to readings taken over the 10,200 miles of tests carried out in 2006 and the 11,500 miles covered in 2007, the modifications made to the car have focused on honing its aerodynamics, running gear and electronics. Seven-times Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher also joined the ranks of the client test drivers and gave the program the benefit of his vast experience on several occasions.

Maranello's engineers studied the wealth of information gained to develop a kit which will cut the FXX's Fiorano lap time to under 1'16'' (previously it was 1'18''). The FXX's 6262 cc V12 engine can now punch out a massive 860 bhp at 9500 rpm. Gearshifting takes just 60 ms, a drop of 20 ms on the previous time, and the gear ratios have been adapted to make use of the extra 1000 rpm now delivered by the engine.

The car's new traction control system, developed in close collaboration with the GES Racing Division engineers, gives the driver a choice of no less than nine different settings (plus the off position) which are selected using a switch on the central tunnel. This means that the driver really can modify the car's behavior on the track from corner to corner, just as the Formula 1 drivers do to maximize performance and reduce tire wear. The FXX's traction control is also now less invasive and more flexible, adapting more efficiently to the individual driving style of each driver - a requirement pinpointed when this very extreme car was being driven on the track by non-professional drivers.

The FXX's special 19" Bridgestone tires now last longer too thanks to a new car setup and new front suspension geometry, while the Brembo brakes, which boast large Composite Ceramic Material (CCM) discs, are more efficient with the result that the brake pads last twice as long. Thanks to the drivers' feedback the Ferrari engineers have also developed new aerodynamic solutions aimed at increasing downforce over the rear axle. The FXX now sports a new rear diffuser, nolder and rear flaps which have combined to increase aerodynamic efficiency by 25% overall. The active front spoiler control system settings have been adjusted to take these modifications into account too. New telemetry monitoring of the steering angle and brake pump pressure will further boost the interaction between Client test drivers and the company's engineers also. From next year onwards, it will be possible for drivers to have two extra video cameras mounted on their car in addition the existing rear-facing one. This will, of course, give the drivers excellent rear visibility without having to impinge in any way on the car's aerodynamics.

The FXX evolution package includes participation in a series of track events that Ferrari is organizing at international circuits for 2008/2009. Six events are planned for each year (two in North America, two in Europe and two in Asia). In addition to these, the FXXs will also be participating, as per tradition, in the prestigious end-of-season Ferrari World Finals.

As happened in 2006/2007, the cars will be backed up at each event by a 15-member official team made up of engineers, electronics experts and mechanics capable of providing complete assistance to clients. Needless to say, the latter will still be able to organize their own private individual track sessions in their car as well.

09 Porsche Cayman S Sport

2009 Porsche Cayman S Sport:
Porsche Gives the Cayman S Superstar Treatment

Though the Porsche Cayman S finds its self dead in the center of Porsche's lineup as far as price point, the Porsche Cayman S is number one on the Porsche list for many auto enthusiasts, due to its mid-engine layout allowing for a more neutral driving experience. While perhaps not as capable as 911 models in the hands of the best driver, for the rest of us the Cayman S feels more balanced and less like it could lose its tail off the edge of a canyon at any second.

With the limited edition 2009 Porsche Cayman S Sport, Porsche wants to go after the die-hard motorist who might pass right over the Cayman. The Porsche Cayman S Sport is available in the searing Orange and Green hues from the Porche 911 GT3 RS, as well as several other colors.

Both the interior and exterior have subtle "Sport" touches to distinguish the Cayman S Sport from other Porsche Cayman models. Striking black multi-spoke alloy wheels and unique side mirrors and inlets distinguish the 2009 Porsche Cayman S Sport, as if the body-color-on-black side graphic didn't send the message.

The subtle but meaningful enhancements to the 2009 Porsche Cayman S Sport are not simply skin deep, though. The sweet flat-6 3.4 liter Boxer engine gets a modest bump to 303 horsepower with revised engine tuning, and the car has been lowered slightly. All the performance options that can be purchased with the Cayman S come standard on the limited edition Porsche Cayman S Sport, not limited to the inclusion of Porsche's new Active Suspension Management program, which should provide this mid-engined driver's dream with even greater cornering abilities.

Overall the 2009 Porsche Cayman S Sport looks to be a successful edition that should appeal to Porsche's more hardcore set. "911 territory" be damned, we would like to see the Cayman get the power the composed chassis deserves, but if even the 2009 Cayman S Sport is not enough for you, there are many quality aftermarket Cayman tuners who will gladly take your wallets so that your mid-engined Porsche dream car will go faster than you will ever need it to.

More Power for Exclusive Porsche Cayman S Sport

Official Porsche News Release

Porsche is introducing a new model in the Cayman range. The new arrival, the Cayman S Sport, develops over 300 bhp from its tuned 3.4-litre flat-six engine and goes on sale this autumn.

Originally launched in November 2005, the Porsche Cayman S quickly became the benchmark sports car in the coupe segment, a position it has held ever since.

The latest Sport version combines the mid-engined dynamics of the Cayman S with the visual impact of the iconic 911 GT3 RS. In addition to a more powerful engine, the Cayman S Sport offers a high level of sports driving features and a bespoke range of colour combinations.

The appearance of the Cayman S Sport is striking, coming as standard in the 911 GT3 RS colours of Orange or Green and proudly bearing its model designation along its sides in black graphics. Further colours available on this special model are Black, Guards Red, Speed Yellow and Carrara White, as well as Arctic Silver Metallic available at extra cost.

With its black-painted alloy wheels, exterior mirrors and air intake grilles, the Cayman S Sport proudly displays its sporting credentials, which are underlined by the black interior design package and a unique, circular instrument display without the usual binnacle above. The alcantara finish on the gear shift, the handbrake lever, and the rim of the steering wheel also creates a purposeful ambience.

Over and above the 303 bhp (223 kW) power unit, the sporting character of the Cayman S is further emphasised by offering Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as standard, which lowers the car by ten millimetres. Five millimetre spacers push outwards the 19-inch SportDesign wheels in the wheel arches, providing further visual appeal and boosting cornering performance.

Bi-Xenon headlights, the Sports Chrono Package and sports seats in leather as standard enhance the appeal of the car, and a sports exhaust system combined with twin tailpipes completes the picture.

These versions of the Cayman S are limited to an exclusive series, each one proudly bearing their edition number on a plaque on the glove box.

The Cayman S Sport goes on sale in the UK and Ireland on September 13. Production of the Cayman S Sport will be limited to 700 units worldwide, and is priced from £49,890. Customers will also be able to explore the potential of their new car on a Porsche Driving Experience course.

2009 Porsche Cayman S Sport SpecificationsDrivetrain

Layout Mid-Engine, RWD
Transmission 6 Speed Manual

Engine Type Sport-Tuned Flat-6 "Boxer" Engine
Displacement 3.4 Liters
Horsepower 303 hp
Wheels 19 in. Painted "Sport" Alloy
Length 172.1 in.
Width 70.9 in.
Height 51.4 in.
Body Type 2 Seat, Fixed Roof Coupe

0-60 mph <> 170 mph
Base Price: 2009 Porsche Cayman S Sport - £49,890 (U.K. Release First)

2009 Porsche Panamera

Porsche Will Build Fourth Model Line: Porsche Panamera

The Supervisory Board and the Board of Management of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, gave their approval today for the development and production of another Porsche model line. To be called Panamera, the new car will be a premium-class sports coupe with four seats, four doors, and a choice of front-mounted engines driving the rear wheels.

Scheduled to enter the market in 2009, the Panamera will be the fourth model line from the Stuttgart carmaker following the 911, the Boxster and the Cayenne. The new car's name is derived from the legendary Carrera Panamericana long-distance race.

Production of the Panamera is to be in Leipzig, where Porsche already builds the Cayenne SUV and the Carrera GT supercar. The final decision will require further detailed talks between the Board of Management of Porsche AG and the Management of Porsche Leipzig GmbH with representatives of the employees. Porsche's total investment in the new model line, including development, will be more than 1 billion euros (approx. $1,200,000) and will come entirely from the company's own funds. Expected sales are at least 20,000 units a year.

"The Panamera is a perfect fit for Porsche," said Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, the President and CEO of Porsche AG. "It has all the typical DNA characteristic of a genuine sports car. In terms of performance, design, and driving dynamics, it meets Porsche's high standards in every respect. Through this sports coupe we are making our customers a highly attractive offer in the top performance segment."

Porsche will develop and build the Panamera using the company's own resources. "We will be developing a separate platform for our fourth model line at our Weissach R&D center," said Wiedeking. "There are no plans for a joint venture with another car maker, but to ensure the profitability of this new model line we will cooperate more closely than so far with selected system suppliers."

Production of the Panamera in Leipzig would potentially create some 600 new jobs there. In the course of the project, approximately 400 more new jobs will be created at Porsche's original plant in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, where the engines for the fourth model line will be built, and at the Weissach Development Center.

Like the 911, the Boxster and the Cayenne, the Panamera will bear the "Made in Germany" stamp of quality. Domestic share of the Panamera's overall assembled value will be approximately 70 percent.

2009 Porsche Panamera SpecificationsChassis

Brakes F/R: ABS, vented disc/vented disc
Tires F-R: n.a.
Driveline: Rear Wheel Drive


Type: n.a.
Displacement cu in (cc): n.a.
Power bhp (kW) at RPM: n.a.
Torque lb-ft (Nm) at RPM: n.a.
Redline at RPM: n.a.


Length × Width × Height in: n.a.
Weight lb (kg): n.a.


Acceleration 0-62 mph s: n.a.
Top Speed mph (km/h): n.a.
Fuel Economy EPA city/highway mpg (l/100 km): n.a.

2009 Porshe 911 Carrera S Coupé

New Porsche 911 with Direct Fuel Injection
and Double-Clutch Gearbox
Press Release Stuttgart.

Starting on 5 July, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is introducing the next generation of the 911 model series. The four new models - two Coupés and two Cabriolets - with classic rear-wheel drive offer an even higher standard of dynamic performance thanks to their all-new flat-six power units displacing 3.6 and, re-spectively, 3.8 litres. And the introduction for the first time of direct fuel injection on a Porsche sports car, together with the optional double-clutch gearbox Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK), makes the new 911 even more sporting and dynamic.

At the same time these new technologies enhance the already outstanding efficiency of the 911 to an even higher level than before: Featuring PDK, the Carrera Coupé offers outstanding fuel economy of 9.8 litres/100 kilometres, equal to 28.8 mpg imp. And with all new Carreras remaining significantly below the fuel consumption benchmark of 11 litres/100 kilometres, equal to 25.7 mpg imp, CO2 emissions are down by up to 15 per cent.

Maximum output of the 911 Carrera with its 3.6-litre power unit is up by 20 bhp to 345 bhp (254 kW). Output on the 911 Carrera S with its 3.8-litre power unit is equally impressive, up by 30 bhp to 385 bhp (283 kW). With this extra power, the Carrera S Coupé now offers a top speed of slightly over 300 km/h or 186 mph.

The new generation of the 911 is available for the first time with the new Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK), Porsche's double-clutch gearbox. Offering no less than seven forward gears, the new gearbox combines the driving comfort of a converter automatic transmission with the dynamic gearshift of a sequential racing gearbox. And since PDK also boasts an automatic gearshift function, it replaces the former Porsche Tiptronic S automatic transmission on both the Carrera and Carrera S. Through its optimised and adaptive gearshift programs, PDK improves the car's acceleration and reduces fuel consumption to a level even lower than before.

Porsche developed this gearshift principle featuring two clutches to shift gears without the slightest interruption of traction and pulling power and without even the slightest break in between gears no less than 25 years ago for motorsport. Porsche works drivers benefiting from this technology were able to accelerate faster than their competitors and keep both hands on the steering wheel while shifting gears, thus avoiding even the slightest distraction while shifting. The pioneering achievement from back then now gives the new 911 Carrera even better performance: Equipped with seven-speed PDK, the Carrera S Coupé accelerates in 4.5 seconds from 0-100 km/h, another 0.2 seconds faster than with a manual six-speed gearbox. And the customer in search of optimum driving dynamics even has the option to combine PDK with Porsche's optional Sport Chrono Plus including Launch Control. The result is high-speed acceleration free of slip from a standstill and a racing gearshift, with the car accelerating to 100 km/h in a truly outstanding 4.3 seconds.

The new generation of the 911 stands out clearly at first sight through innovations in design both front and rear as well as new lights with LED technology. LED daytime driving lights and bi-xenon headlights now standard on all new models in the Carrera range give the silhouette of the 911 even more distinctive style and a truly unique look, interacting with new LED rear lights to ensure an unmistakable and striking appearance also at the rear. And as a further safety option, Porsche now also offers Dynamic Bending Lights on all models.

Prices start at Euro 69,600.- for the Carrera (Euro base price). The Carrera Cabriolet and Carrera S both retail at Euro 78,000.- (Euro base price), and the Carrera S Cabriolet is entering the market at Euro 88,000.- (Euro base price).

2009 Porshe 911 Carrera S Coupé Specifications Chassis

Brakes F/R: ABS, vented disc/vented disc Drivetrain
Transmission 6 Speed Manual
Transmission Available 7-Speed Sequential Dual-clutch Manual with Launch Control
Layout Rear Engine, RWD


Horsepower @ RPM 385


Fuel Economy est. 20 mpg
Top Speed 186
0-60 mph 4.1 seconds

Base Price: $123,103

Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 Race Car

Porsche RS Spyder Continues to Rack Up Le Mans Series Wins

The Porsche RS Spyder was designed and built specifically to compete in the the 24 Hours of Le Mans, American Le Mans and Le Mans racing series, where it falls under the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class. Sponsored teams include the Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder, and the Porsche race car continues to notch up wins, both class wins and overall wins, in endurance racing series around the world. As per LMP2 regulations, the Porsche RS Spyder has an engine displacement of just under 3.4 Liters, and runs on 10 percent bioethanol fuel.

The German-sourced race car has had great success in the American Le Mans racing series, taking home more wins in the LMP2 class in recent years than any other competitor. According to official American Le Mans racing series documentation, Porsche is the only manufacturer with an entry in the series which can claim that their Porsche RS Spyder Le Mans cars are built on the same assembly line as the Porsche German sports cars offered to the buying public.

Far from being just about bragging rights and drumming up interest, the Le Mans endurance racing series the Porsche RS Spyder competes in are about testing new technologies which hope to trickle down into Porsche, and other competitors' parent companies, consumer model lines.

Because the LMP2 Porsche Spyder competes in the prototype class, rather than the GT classes, Porsche is not required to produce RS Spyder-spec cars for road use, as is the case with BMW's M3 GT2 endurance racing cars or Porsche's own 911 GT3 Cup Car, for example. Still, prototype endurance racing is an exciting sport, which gives automakers a chance to try out their newest technologies on the world stage.

RS Spyder 2008 [Courtesy Porsche Press Release]

In order to exploit the scope provided by the LMP2 regulations (Le Mans Prototype 2) to the full, Porsche has completely revamped the RS Spyder. The new design ensures that engine, transmission, chassis, suspension and aerodynamics combine to produce a harmonious overall package. In the interests of optimum driving dynamics, the vehicle concept focuses on the lowest possible centre of gravity, high agility and good traction.

The RS Spyder was the dominant vehicle in the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS), demonstrating outstanding stability and notching up 11 wins in the 12 races, including 8 overall wins.

The RS Spyder has undergone a detailed revamp for the 2008 season. The main focus was on fine-tuning the aerodynamics and the engine. The V8 racing engine developed for long-distance use continues to generate 478 hp with the prescribed air-flow limiter on the basis of a displacement of 3.4 litres. The fuel consumption has been further optimised and the engine has been adapted even more effectively to the E10 fuel containing 10% bioethanol which is required in the ALMS.

The regulations also necessitated additional modifications. As a result of these measures, the LMP2 minimum weight has been increased by 25 kg (ALMS) and 50 kg (LMS and Le Mans) and the tank capacity has been reduced by 10 l for LMS and Le Mans, though not for ALMS. The direct shift gearboxes used in modern Porsche sports cars were first tried out on the German sports car manufacturer's LMP2 Porsche RS Spyder. Endurance racing is a curious beast, requiring cars, drivers and pit teams to focus on durability and fuel economy as much as performance, as each necessary stop in the pit means time off the road

Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 Race Car Specifications

Wheels Single-piece light-alloy wheels with central bolts
Front Tires 12.5 x 18 on 29/65 18 Michelin slicks
Rear Tires 13 x 18 on 31/71 18 Michelin slicks
Transmission Manual sequential six-speed dog-shift gearbox
Transmission Manual sequential six-speed dog-shift gearbox


Displacement 3,397 cc
Engine Type 32 Valve Eight-cylinder 90º V-engine
Horsepower 476 hp @ 9,800 rpm
Torque 273 lb-ft. @ 7,500 rpm
Required Fuel Premium plus (motorsport specification) / E10 racing fuel (ALMS)
ECU Bosch MS 4.2 electronic engine management

Height 42.0 in.
Length 183.1 in.
Width 78.7 in.
Weight 1,709 lb. to A.C.O. regulations
Weight 1,657 lb. to IMSA regulations


2007 wins 11 class wins, 8 overall wins

Base Price: Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 Race Car: N/A