Porsche’s New Subscription Service is a Car Lover’s Dream Come True
Plus, all of the great models we'd urge you to drive ASAP.
Being a die-hard Porsche fanatic is not without its challenges. That $66,000 Cayman S is one of the best sports car values on the planet. It’s got all the power and performance you can legitimately handle, but still…there’s the unmistakable siren call of the awesome 911 Carrera. Not to mention the times when seating for four is required, and you’d prefer not to roll up to the valet in your wife’s Lexus. In times like this, a Panamera is just the ticket. For those conflicted souls among us, Porsche has just introduced its Passport program, which allows the faithful continual access to a fleet of Germany’s finest rides, on demand, for a monthly subscription.
With alternative schemes to traditional automobile ownership percolating industry-wide, Porsche is the first out with its innovative pilot program, initially available in metro Atlanta and due to roll out nationally depending on response (which will likely be off the charts). The company’s rationale that no single vehicle is perfect for every situation merits consideration. “Drive a Cayenne SUV today and a Cayman sports car tomorrow,” says Porsche. “Simply flip between vehicles via the app as your needs change. Insurance, maintenance, hand-detailing, taxes and unlimited flips are all included.”
The program is simple and breaks down as follows: “Launch” includes on-demand access to eight model variants such as the 718 Boxster and Cayman S, as well as the Macan S and Cayenne, for a monthly fee of $2,000. “Accelerate” steps it up with on-demand access to 22 model variants including the Porsche 911 Carrera S, Panamera 4S sports sedan, the Macan GTS and Cayenne S E-Hybrid SUVs, in addition to the vehicles offered in the “Launch” package, for a monthly fee of $3,000. Request your preferred vehicle, and a concierge promptly delivers it to your home or office, detailed, with a full tank. Maintenance and other menial tasks related to car ownership are now but a speck in your rear-view mirror.
For your convenience, the following models hint at what you could be driving—back to back. And if you like what you see here, don’t miss The 10 Greatest Porches of All Time.
Newly refreshed for 2018 the 718 Boxster models feature a new generation of turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines that deliver 300 horsepower—a 35 hp boost over the previous six-cylinder powerplant. Opt for the S model, bored out to 2.5-liter displacement, and power increases to a stout 350 horses. The Boxter/Cayman duo, already among the best-handling machines anywhere, dial it in even further with a wholly retuned chassis that promises to grip the asphalt like velcro. The latest, greatest Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system seamlessly syncs with real-time traffic info, Google Street View, and Apple Car Play, among other features.
Mechanically identical to the soft-top Boxster for those who prefer hardtop coupé styling and additional rigidity that comes with it. (Note: Though not linked to the Passport program, Porsche has just made a strong case for car ownership with a GTS version of the Boxster/Cayman with higher levels of power, performance, and trim both inside and out. Look for 2018 718 GTS models to arrive at U.S. dealers next March. Priced at $79,800 MSRP for 718 Cayman GTS, and $81,900 for the 718 Boxster GTS.) For more on cool rides, check The Best New Cars to Hit the Road in 2018.
Macan S and Macan GTS
The Macan was introduced at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show as the fifth model range in Porsche’s lineup. Slotting in below the Cayenne, it offers drivers a sportier SUV alternative with its 340 horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine sprinting from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Not fast enough? Order up the GTS to shave four-tenths off that time, while dressed in a more aggressive package, if that’s how you roll.
Now in its 14th year of production, the Cayenne’s segment hegemony shows no signs of abating. Owing much to the Cayenne line, Porsche has topped J.D. Powers’ Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study for the 13th consecutive year. With the Cayenne, the emphasis is on straight-line performance and handling, along with towing prowess that tops out with a 7,700-pound payload. Like all Porsches, the interiors are class-leading driver environments. You’ll look forward to spending time there. In the meantime, have you seen the 10 New Rides That Car Buffs Are Drooling Over?
911 Carrera S
With its purpose and form factor intact, 2018 marks the 911’s 55th year of continuous production. The intervening years have done nothing to diminish its star; this classic sports car is better than ever with exceptional performance, daily driveability, efficiency, and curb-appeal that puts in a league of its own. New twin-turbocharged engines provide the world’s best-selling sports car with a significant boost in power, its high-revving 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six developing 420 horsepower in the 911 Carrera S, climbing all the way up to an astonishing 7,500 rpm. With the standard seven-speed manual transmission or the Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK)—possibly the world’s fastest shifting automatic—naught to 60mph arrives in just 3.7 seconds. Make room for this bad boy in your fleet.
Panamera 4S Sports Sedan
Reskinned for 2018, the Panamera defines a category that seemed lost to history—the true high-performance, grand touring luxury sedan. Visibly lengthened for a wider stance and rakish profile based on an all-new chassis configuration, the latest iteration gets it right with a look that evokes the 911 with a graduate degree. The upgraded interior with the new Advanced Cockpit system features black-panel touch activated switches and a huge 12.3-inch touchscreen display. The 4S designation, introduced for 2017, uses a 2.9-liter twin-turbo 440 horsepower V6 mated to the superb 8-speed PDK driving all four wheels. Buckle up, you’re in for a ride.
Cayenne S E-Hybrid SUV
The base of the E-Hybrid system is an Audi-sourced 333-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, augmented by an electric motor/generator that produces 95 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque. The 10.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, mounted under the cargo floor, gets replenished from an onboard charger using a standard connector. The combined total output is 416 horsepower at 5500 rpm with 435 lb-ft of torque that pounds out zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. It delivers an EPA-rating for gasoline and electricity combined driving of a remarkable 46 MPGe. All the goodness of a Cayenne with an extra measure of efficiency. Now, are you ready to hit the road? Be sure to brush up on the 10 Road Safety Tips Only Smart Drivers Know.