Porsche Canada is slashing Canadian prices again, the third time in the past three years - this time by an average of $5,200, the company announced this week.
Some of its top sports cars, including the 911 Turbo S that impressed so many while taking the AJAC Best New Prestige Car crown over the Audi R8 Cabriolet and Mercedes-Benz SLS, have MSRPs reduced by more than $16,000.
Porsche says that the lower manufacturer suggested retail prices are more transparent than the "currency credits" incentive program it was using to try to smooth over the wide gap between Canadian and U.S. Porsche prices. The currency credits program therefore goes away with these new lower list prices, though of course, dealers are always free to set their own prices.
The ultra-exotic, 620-hp 911 GT2 RS comes in with the highest total dollar reduction of $17,500, although the rear-wheel-drive super coupe is still by far its priciest model at $279,000. That's a mind-numbing $95,600 premium over the $183,400 911 Turbo S, now $16,600 lower.
The largest percentage cut from 2010 pricing is with the Panamera S sedan, which is reduced by 10.34 per cent, to $103,000. Porsche's more "mainstream" products like the mid-engine Boxster sports car and Cayenne V6 now start at $54,900 and $55,300, respectively.
Porsche is also cutting the price of its options by 16 per cent, as well as adding rear side airbags and garage door opener to the Cayenne, after adding in basic standard equipment such as floor mats and hands-free Bluetooth technology to its vehicles last spring. Taking the MSRP and option price cuts together, Porsche says the average equipped vehicle will cost about $7,700 less.
After cutting MSRPs in the fall of 2008 when the Canadian dollar rose above par with the U.S. greenback, Porsche instituted the more temporary "currency credits" last April in response to the steadily creeping-up dollar. This was on top of previously announced price cuts on its sports cars, which had long drawn the ire of enthusiasts for being so much higher in Canada than in the U.S. These currency credits and price chops led to record sales for Porsche in 2010, the firm said this week.
"With this latest move, the relationship between Canadian and U.S. prices has improved by an average of 8 per cent across the lineup," said Porsche Canada president Joe Lawrence in the statement announcing the changes. "No competitive brand has Canadian prices so closely aligned, across the board, to U.S. prices."
This "alignment" of prices with those in the U.S. is still far from equalization, as a quick scan of Porsche's U.S. website will attest. There, the Boxster starts at $48,100 (U.S.) compared with $54,900 in Canada, while the Cayenne starts at $47,700, compared with $55,300 in Canada. Higher-end 911 sports car and Panamera sedan MSRPs are between 15 and 30 large higher than their American counterparts.
Correction: In the paragraph above, Canadian prices were incorrectly listed as lower than U.S. prices, and the U.S. prices were inaccurate. The story has been corrected.
Cadillac SRX kills turbo six
After only one year on the market, the turbocharged 2.8-litre V-6 engine upgrade in the Cadillac SRX crossover has reportedly been axed. This throws into question plans for the engine to be made available in the all-new 2011 Saab 9-4X that will come out of the same Mexican plant; Saab said as recently as November that it would be the top engine in the 300-hp 9-4X Aero model.
A Cadillac spokesperson reportedly confirmed to gminsidenews.com that the torque-y V-6 has been discontinued due to its slow take-up rate, saying that more than 90 per cent of (presumably American) buyers opted for the base 265-hp V-6. While largely praised for its power, the turbocharged V6 has been criticized widely for its low fuel economy numbers, rated here at 13.6 litres/100 in the city and 9.1 on the highway in 2010 in the top (all-wheel -rive) SRX.
Saab has long been known for its turbocharged powerplants, and the 2.8T provided Cadillac's SRX with noticeably more oomph than the somewhat-relaxed 3.0-litre V-6 that comes standard in both of these five-seat utility vehicles. Saab North America didn't respond to a request for comment earlier this week, but Saab executives have said previously that the 9-4X is basically a GM program that it took over as is, which suggests that even if the 2.8-litre engine does make it to some top 9-4X Saab models in 2011, it will likely not last more than a year in it either.
Next Mercedes ML coming
The high-performance Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG SUV ceased production at the end of 2010, but both the blazing speed AMG model and the BlueTec diesels will continue on in next-generation models, Mercedes-Benz Canada confirmed this week.
The 2011 AMG models will come from what's already in the pipeline, while an all-new ML is expected to be introduced later this calendar year. Mercedes-Benz cancelled the AMG version of its R-Class three-row crossover soon after it and the ML 63 went on sale in 2006.
Federal aid for hybrid BRP three-wheeler
The Canadian federal government will invest $6.2-million to help Quebec manufacturer BRP research and develop a hybrid version of its three-wheel Can-Am Spyder Roadster, which has been described as a road-going version of the firm's popular snowmobiles.
But there is still no indication that the government is looking to add any significant electric vehicle rebate, as offered in the U.S. and most Western European countries.
The Université de Sherbrooke will receive $11.3-million in total funding for the research project, the balance coming from BRP in a four-year research project aimed at cleaning up the emissions of the three-wheeled motorcycle (two in front, one out back), which is powered by a 1.0-litre Rotax four-cylinder engine. The school's goal is to cut emissions and fuel consumption of this engine by 50 per cent, while maintaining its performance characteristics.
The hybrid Spyder, which won't be available to the public for at least five years, is planned to have a range of 600 kilometres, about 32 of which is planned to be available on electricity alone.