2016 has been an incredible year for Porsche. Sales are up, the model range has had some of its most radical changes since the launch of the Cayenne more than a decade ago, and the World Endurance Championship proved to be full of surprises. These are our top 15 moments for Porsche over the last 12 months:
1. Jerry Seinfeld auctions off 16 Porsches
Jerry Seinfeld parted with more Porsches this year than many of us will ever own. The cars he parted with read like a who's-who of classic Porsches. A 718 RSK, 962c, and a 993 3.8 Cup RSR were just the tip of the iceberg. The sale represented one of the most exciting collections of classic Porsches in many years, and brought a very strong result at auction.
2. Record sales year, from Quarter 1 on
This year started strong for Porsche sales, and the momentum never seemed to relent. Our most recent numbers are for November, when Porsche saw a stunning 23.9% increase in sales over November of last year.
3. 911R wins EVO Performance Car of the Year, and the Cayman GT4 Never Fails to Impress.
EVO brackets each year with Track Car of the Year (TCotY) and Performance Car of the Year (PCotY). Two comparisons that have very different focuses. Track Car of the Year takes the most hardcore track cars, many of which are not road legal, and pits them against one another on a race track. PCotY is focused on great road cars. The 911R claimed the Performance Car of the Year award, beating out the Audi R8, Lamborghini Huracan, Aston Martin Vantage GT8 and many more. Though the Cayman did not win TCotY, its performance was extremely impressive for a car that could be used every single day.
4. Porsche wins 24 hours of Le Mans (and sets the good sportsmanship bar to new heights).
As Norbert Singer said "everything we do, it is all about Le Mans." This year Porsche claimed its 18th victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This year had the most intense competition since the introduction of hybrid racecars, and ended with one of the most surprising finishes in Le Mans' history. Toyota's surprising mechanical failure at the very end of the race gave Porsche their victory, though Porsche paid tribute to their surprisingly fast competitors with a standing ovation and a video.
5. LEGO and Porsche Take Partnership to Next Level
Over the last few years LEGO has been making more and more detailed cars, and this year they took that level of detail to the next level with their Technic line. The big story was the GT3, pictured above, but the partnership has gone further than that. LEGO and Porsche have challenged builders to create their own Porsches, and make their own Porsche inspired films. Builders have re-purposed other LEGO kits to make even more Porsches, and Porsche themselves has used LEGO for promotional materials.
6. Adam Carolla rounds out his Porsche collection with Paul Newman's 935.
Adam Carolla is not traditionally a Porsche guy. Adam has owned numerous Lamborghinis, but this year his love of all things Paul Newman caused him to enter the Porsche world in a big way. We were excited when Gooding & Co. announced that this car was coming to auction, but seeing it go to an avid racer like Adam was the icing on the cake. Adam has since discussed returning the car to the track on his Podcast, which would be incredibly exciting.
7. Mark Webber ends his racing career with Porsche.
Mark Webber has been racing since he was 15 years old. 25 years later Webber is leaving top level motorsports after three wonderful seasons with Porsche. Though the Formula 1 World Championship proved elusive (though the charismatic Australian was always a fan favorite), his seasons with Porsche brought him a WEC title and a 2nd place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Webber's career with Porsche will continue, though as a brand ambassador rather than a driver.
8. Rod Emory resurrects Porsche's first Le Mans winner.
Porsche's Le Mans legacy has a very humble start. In 1951 Porsche claimed their first class victory with an aluminum-bodied 356 displacing just 1086cc. Though Jaguar won the 1951 event overall, Porsche's class victory would prove to be the start of an even longer-lived relationship with the event. 356-icon Rod Emory restored the Le Mans winner after finding it sans-roof living in Southern California.
9. Motorsport Victories and Other Awards.
- 18th 24h of Le Mans Victory
- 2016 WEC LMP1 Manufacturers' Championship
- 2016 WEC LMP1 Driver's Championship (Dumas, Lieb, Jani)
- 911 GT3 R Claims a Podium at its last Works-backed race
- 911RSR still winning races in its final season
- 911, Boxster and Macan have the most satisfied customers according to JD Power
- 911 Claims JD Power's Initial Quality Award for the fifth year in a row.
- Carrera S a MT Best Driver's Car Contender
- 911 R Wins Evo Performance Car of the Year, Porsche's 11th PCotY since 1998.