No. 919
October 18, 2017

About The Autoextremist@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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On The Table


OCTOBER 18, 2017

VW/Deutsch L.A.
To promote its new six-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, VW has introduced a new TV spot called Rain. Created by Deutsch L.A., the spot harkens back to VW's quintessential role in America's counter cultural heyday, featuring the classic VW microbus and Beetle, lots of hippies, and a whimsical recreation of a 1960s music festival, all set to Joe Cocker's classic rendition of "With a Little Help from My Friends." Missing from the spot? Any mention of VW's current model lineup. We applaud VW for this. All too often, automotive clients  yeah, that means damn-near every one of you so-called auto marketing executives working today  lose sight of the concept of branding, getting bogged down instead in product features and details, when in fact there are times when not showing a vehicle can be extremely powerful. (But then again, shoving 50 lbs. of information into a 10-lb. spot is a particular specialty of automotive marketing hacks everywhere; it's like a gift, in fact.) At the end of this spot, a voiceover plugs the new VW warranty, saying, "VW drivers have always put others first, now we are returning the favor." Although not admitting it, VW is clearly trying to get consumers to move beyond its diesel scandal and focus on the VW brand – and its unique heritage – that so many people had such fondness for before things got decidedly ugly. But then again, things were looking up for VW even before this spot. Sales are up for the first nine months of 2017, and the power of the VW brand seems to be impervious to any residual bad juju accrued during the scandal. In September, VW extended the new warranty to its entire 2018 lineup, except for the battery electric e-Golf. Kudos to those involved in this memorable spot.
(Porsche images)
Porsche is adding GTS models to its mid-engine 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman model lineup. A newly developed intake plenum and an optimized turbocharger increase the output of the 2.5 liter flat-four cylinder engine to 365HP, 15HP over the 718 S models and up to 35HP more compared to the previous generation of naturally aspirated Boxster and Cayman GTS variants. The new 718 GTS derivatives come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, or the optional seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch transmission. A number of performance-enhancing options such as Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) including a mechanical rear-differential lock, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), which reduces the ride height by 0.39 inches (10 millimeters) and the Sport Chrono Package are standard on the GTS models. When equipped with the optional PDK transmission both 718 GTS models are capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. The top track speed is 180 mph. The GTS models also include a standard Sport Design front fascia; tinted front indicator lights and taillights; model designations in black; a black lower rear fascia; and black tips on the centrally mounted standard Sport Exhaust System. Black GTS designations on the doors and matte black 20-inch wheels plus a lot of other stuff complete the GTS package. The 2018 718 GTS models are expected to arrive at U.S. dealers next March. How much? The base MSRP — excluding the $1,050 delivery, processing, and handling fee — for the 718 Cayman GTS is $79,800. The 718 Boxster GTS starts at $81,900.

(Aston Martin images)
This is the new Aston Martin DB11 Volante. Joining the DB11 Coupe, the new DB11 Volante "sets new standards of performance, innovation, engineering and style to create the definitive open-top Sports GT," according to Aston Martin PR minions. Lighter and stiffer with an all-new bonded aluminium structure shared with the DB11 Coupe, the DB11 Volante is powered by a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo 510PS V8 engine. The Volante features 3-stage powertrain and chassis modes that works with the 8-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, electric power steering and limited-slip differential with dynamic torque vectoring which allows the driver to configure the car’s responses in a way that best suits the road, weather conditions or mood. How much? $216,495, with first deliveries in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2018.


Editor-in-Chief's Note: Check out this drone video of the Atlanterhavsvegen - Atlantic Road - in Norway, dubbed "the world's most beautiful road." Worth it. -PMD

Editor's Note: Check out The Autoextremist on the latest episode of Autoline This Week, which focuses on one of Peter's ongoing concerns as we confront our automotive future - "Is America In Danger of Losing Its Wanderlust?" -WG