1. Porsche Victorious In 24 Hours Of Le Mans GTE Pro Class
In an arduous, hard fought race Porsche managed to squeak out a 1-2 victory over Aston Martin in the GTE Pro category at Le Mans this year. Being the debut year of the car, nobody was certain how well it would place, and even the most optimistic among the Porsche faithful weren't getting overzealous with their chicken counting. After putting in stellar drive after stellar drive, using lengthy cautions advantageously, and generally hitting their marks and ticking all of the boxes, all of the preparation paid off. Leib, Leitz, and Dumas all managed to make the most of their car, and the Manthey management just seemed to gel well with Porsche's drivers and engineers. With a bit of luck on their side, they managed to stand atop the podium (albeit an in class podium) in a Porsche Werks car at Le Mans for the first time since 1998.
2. Porsche Launches Handfuls Of New Models In 2013
We've seen the new 981 Cayman which absolutely wowed the world, the Macan launched to fanfare and huge sales prospects, the 918 Spyder has been flogged by a few journalists to great acclaim, a newly face-lifted Panamera was launched with more power and new engines, the Cayenne got a new Turbo S iteration, and the 991 chassis has seen new variants sneak out almost daily. It has been a very exciting year for Porsche product launches, and sales should be headed for a boom in 2014 with all of this new sheetmetal on showroom floors. It's a great time to be a Porsche guy or gal.
3. 911 50th Anniversary Celebrations
For 50 years, the 911 has been bringing joy to car enthusiasts all over the world. In honor of their own accomplishments, Porsche has been promoting that 50th anniversary at every corner all year. From displays in Brazil, at Goodwood and Amelia Island through to the "around the world" 67 911S they toted to every event, you could tell that Porsche was really pushing everyone to remember the heritage and history. Heck, we even got in on it with our own pictorial post comparing three generations of Porsches side by side.
4. Porsche's '9R9' LMP1 Project Hits The Track
With a GTE Le Mans victory under their belt, Porsche has also started testing the contender for overall victory in the form of the new LMP1 program, dubbed the '919 Hybrid'. Not only that, but we've got F1 talent stepping behind the wheel next year in the form of Red Bull Racing driver, Mark Webber. Rounding out the team are stalwarts like Marc Lieb, Timo Bernhard, and Romain Dumas, as well as newcomers Brendan Hartley and Neel Jani. Taking the fight directly to the Audi R18 and Toyota TS014 next year, Porsche will have their work cut out for them, but have never shrunk from a challenge in the past. Debuting at Silverstone next spring, keep an eye on the Porsche.
5. Sean Edwards
The highs of winning races are occasionally tempered by the lows of losing teammates. This year, it was young Sean Edwards that lost his life in a coaching accident in Australia. Sean was well on his way to becoming the 2013 Porsche Supercup champion, and this could well have been his break out season, netting him an even better drive next year. Often it isn't what has happened that plagues us, but what could have been. Sean was such an excellent young driver, and an untapped root of pure talent. People like Sean are rare, and things are a little darker trackside without him there.
6. Porsche Breaks Ground On Two New North American Headquarters
On opposite sides of the country, Porsche has started planning for two new compounds to house their North American operations, one in good 'ol Atlanta, GA, and the other in the greater Los Angeles area. The new Atlanta location will be the headquarters of Porsche Cars North America, incorporating the Porsche Finance division that is currently housed in Chicago. The LA side of the operation will house Porsche Motorsport North America, and include a test track and motorsport preparation facility.
7. Winning All Of The Awards
What awards have not been won by a Porsche this year? Motor Trend named the 911 C4S 'Best Driver's Car' not once, but twice. The Boxster and Cayman were named one of Car and Driver's 10Best. The 911 Carrera was a finalist, and the Boxster S won Autoweek's Best of the Best competition. The 911 Carrera S was named Robb Report car of the year. JD Power gave Porsche the number 1 ranking in their APEAL study for the 9th year running. There aren't many awards taken by other manufacturers this year, and next year shows no signs of slowing down.
8. 918 Laps The Nurburgring Nordshleife In 6:57
There really isn't much more that needs to be said when the car puts up record breaking numbers like that. Competition from McLaren and Ferrari have neglected to provide their respective lap times. Watch the video and revel in the effortlessness with which the car and driver achieve their number.
9. Sales Are Through The Roof
Year on year, Porsche has experienced sales growth in every month so far in 2013. Partly this is due to all of those new models launched, and partly due to strong North American and Asian sales. New model growth in China is absolutely astonishing, and with the launch of the Panamera Executive, are likely to continue to be strong. The Macan should carry a hefty number of Porsche sales, as they further diversify their portfolio toward the mainstream consumer. Cayenne sales should remain high, and new iterations of the 911 will also be easy to move off of dealer lots. Rumored new versions of the Boxster and Cayman should also give a boost to already impressive sales numbers. Porsche has also outlined a strategy to expand into 15 new countries in the coming few years, furthering their reach.
10. Brumos Discontinues Racing Program
For longer than most of us can remember (the team officially started in 1971), Brumos has been waving the Porsche flag in North American motorsport. From 911s and 914s through a laundry list of Turbo terrors, the IMSA 962, 964s and 993s, a handful of Daytona Prototypes, and finally the 997 GT3 Grand Am that won the 2011 GT championship, Brumos has raced almost everything Porsche has put on the track. We were sad to see them leave, but know that it won't be long before they come back. For everything they have accomplished, and all that they will accomplish, let's toast to Brumos.
11. Paul Walker And Roger Rodas
Much has been said about the Thanksgiving weekend crash, and car, that took the lives of two enthusiasts. Rather than continue to speculate on causes, we simply want to acknowledge the enthusiasm and giving nature that both Paul and Roger displayed in their everyday lives. We want to show our sympathies to the families and friends who feel loss in the face of these events.
12. Classic Porsche Market Climbing
Over the last five years, I've seen bog standard 914s in driver condition go from $2,000 dollar cars to $15,000 cars, while 914-6s have reached into the $50,000 range and beyond. Long-hood 911s have gone absolutely berzerk this year, with the most desirable 1967 911S models selling for six figures. We've seen broken records with 917 sales, 904 sales, Spyder sales, and even million dollar 356s. Will this market continue on as it has been? Only time will tell. For information on upcoming auctions and results of past auctions, click here!
13. Magnus Walker
2013 has been a banner year for everyone's favorite Urban Outlaw. While 2012 might have been the launch of Magnus Mania, 2013 was the growth year. Magnus has been all around the country, and indeed the world, promoting the Porsche brand, and the Magnus Walker brand concurrently. He has launched new lines of product with more in the pipeline, starred in a number of videos, been on several magazine covers, he has bought and sold a few early 911s, and even sparked a resurgence of love for the early 3.0 liter 930. Everything he touches turns to gold, and his Porsche lifestyle shows no signs of slowing down. More power to you, Magnus. Rock on! To read more about Magnus and his exploits, click here!
2014 will need to be particularly eventful to surpass 2013 but I'm confident Porsche can do it. Happy New Year!