2008 LA Auto Show - World Debut of New, More Powerful 2009 Porsche Boxster and Cayman Models - COMPLETE VIDEO
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For the first time at a U.S. auto show, Porsche brings its original, 60-year- old sports car, Porsche No. 1, and 550 Spyder
LOS ANGELES - November 19, 2008: Marking a worldwide premiere, Porsche today pulled the wraps off its new-generation 2009 Boxster and Cayman models at a press conference at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show. Reminding everyone of the long historical roots of these modern cars, the German sports car maker also displayed the first car to don the Porsche name, affectionately known as Porsche No. 1, as well as the company's first-ever race car, the 550 Spyder, which is on loan from the collection of Jerry Seinfeld. Both are among the most historically significant sports cars of their eras and represent Porsche's first mid-engine designs -- the same engine configurations now thoroughly refined in both the new Boxster and Cayman.
The new Boxster -- the famous two-seat roadster first launched by Porsche in 1997 -- and its mid-engine coupe sibling, the Cayman -- which debuted in 2006 -- offer more powerful flat-six boxer engines, which are even more fuel efficient than the powerplants they replace. On the outside, the Boxster and Cayman also receive subtle, yet very distinct, refinements that update the classic sports car design of both automobiles individually. Both add new standard and optional features for the 2009 model year.
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The new 2009 Boxster and Cayman models go on sale in the U.S. in March of next year. 2009 Boxster pricing in the U.S. starts at $45,800 for the base version, $55,700 for the Boxster S, $49,400 for the base Cayman and $59,100 for the Cayman S.
"Today is our first presentation of the new 2009 mid-engine sports cars, and here is the right place," said Detlev von Platen, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America. "We wanted to celebrate their worldwide premiere here in Los Angeles since it is, by far, the city with the highest population of Boxsters and Caymans anywhere."
For the first time, the Boxster S and the Cayman S use Porsche's new direct fuel injection (DFI) and all versions of these models can be ordered with the company's innovative 7-speed double-clutch gearbox PorscheDoppelkupplung (PDK). PDK is a race-inspired technology that is essentially two transmissions in one: it combines the driving convenience of an automatic with the sporty and fuel efficient operation of manual gearshifts by employing two fully automated parallel clutches. It can be driven as a full automatic or it can be shifted manually via paddles on the steering wheel or through the shift knob. The result is more power with improved fuel efficiency, a development that helps Porsche meet today's demands for reducing environmental impact, yet maintain the brand's performance persona.
"Our mantra at the research and development is that every new model has to outperform its predecessor and does so by offering significant fuel savings," said Wolfgang Durheimer, Board Member in Charge of Research and Development, Porsche AG. "Both Boxster and Cayman pass this test with flying colors: not only are they noticeably quicker and more responsive, they are at the same time even more frugal than the cars they replace."
The new base engine in these models is a 2.9 liter flat six cylinder that develops 255 hp in the Boxster and 265 hp in the Cayman, representing an increase in power of 10 hp and 20 hp, respectively, over the preceding models. The 3.4 liter power unit in the S versions, which benefits from Porsche's Direct Fuel Injection (DFI), now delivers 310 hp in the Boxster S and 320 hp in the Cayman S.
The universally hailed mid-engine concept used in the new Boxster and Cayman models has a long history at Porsche; this heritage is on display in L.A. with the first Porsche from 1948, a one-of-a-kind, mid-engine two-seat sports car lovingly called Porsche No. 1, as well as a historic, mid-engine Porsche 550 Spyder, the first Porsche car specifically designed for racing. Company founder Dr. Ferdinand 'Ferry' Porsche developed and built the Porsche No. 1, or as it is officially known, the Type 356-001, in Gmund, Austria, after he searched and was unable to find the car of his dreams 60 years ago.
"Look at his (Ferry Porsche's) first Porsche of 1948 and his quest for the pure sports car," said Klaus Berning, Board Member in charge of Sales and Marketing, Porsche AG. "It is a simple, yet rather sophisticated design, and it is a blueprint for an idea that would decades later become the highly successful Boxster: its revolutionary mid-engine concept together with a functional, aerodynamic roadster design, lightweight and a small, highly efficient engine resulted in a sports car that was nimble, responsive and quick, and it rewarded its inventor with sheer driving pleasure -- a rare quality in those days."
Another extraordinary car on display is the Porsche 550 Spyder -- a car that was introduced in 1953 at the Paris Motor Show and later became the mid- engine inspiration for the modern Boxster. The car began in 1951 as a small Porsche 356 Spyder that was created and raced by Walter Glockler; several years later, the factory decided to build such a car, making it the first Porsche designed specifically for use in auto racing.
The 550 became known as Spyder or RS, and was the first of Porsche's formidable mid-engine race cars, giving Porsche its first overall win in a major sports car racing event, the 1956 Targa Florio. Several class wins at Le Mans 24-hour event, and wins throughout Europe helped the 550 become a legend in the motorsports world. With over 70 examples produced, the 550 RS Spyder marked the beginning of Porsche's customer race car program that has grown to become a worldwide success.
This 1955 550 RS Spyder is on loan from the special collection of Jerry Seinfeld.