Editor-In-Chief's Note: Porsche is renaming its mid-engine sports cars the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, respectively, when the models are introduced over the course of 2016. The 718 designation is a reference to the famous Porsche racer – a successor to the legendary Porsche 550 Spyder – introduced back in 1957. The 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman will share more similarities than ever before, both visually and technically. And the Roadster will be positioned at a higher price level than the Coupe, as is the case with the 911 models. The 718 model range will be powered by flat four-cylinder turbocharged engines. Now, for the billion-dollar question, as in, why? Or better yet, WTF? Is it going to say 718 Boxster or 718 Cayman on the car? Why not dispense with the names altogether and call them the Porsche 718 Coupe and the Porsche 718 Spyder? It would make more sense, frankly. This smacks of classic German marketing overthink on Porsche's part and I am completely underwhelmed. WTF? indeed. -PMD
The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid LT features an all-new, hybrid powertrain that uses a slightly modified drive unit and electric motors used in the second-generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt to achieve a GM-estimated 48 mpg city, 45 mpg highway and 47 mpg combined, which is unsurpassed in the midsize car segment (official EPA estimates are pending). It will be available this spring with a starting price of $28,645, which includes a $875 destination charge.
(Photo by Joe Imel for Chevrolet)
An Engine Builder performs an SIDI Check on a Corvette LT4 engine in the Performance Build Center on Wednesday, October 22, 2014, at the plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. General Motors announced that it will invest $44 million in the Bowling Green Assembly plant to support increased capacity in its Performance Build Center, adding 36 new jobs. Construction and tool re-arrangement is planned to begin in January 2016. The expansion of the Performance Build Center is fueled by the runaway success of the Corvette Z06, which currently accounts for nearly one third of all Corvettes produced at Bowling Green Assembly. The Performance Build Center also offers the unique, Build Your Own Engine program, which allows customers to assemble the supercharged 650HP LT4 engine for their own ordered cars. The $5,000 option package includes a full day with a Performance Build Center engine assembly technician who instructs and oversees the build, a personalized engine plaque identifying the customer and professional photography.
Editor-In-Chief's Note: As I predicted when it appeared at the Frankfurt International Auto Show in September, Porsche will build a production version of the four-seat Mission E concept. It will be the first all-electric Porsche. "We are making a clear statement about the future of the brand," Chairman Wolfgang Porsche said in the statement. "Even in a greatly changing motoring world, Porsche will maintain its front-row position with this fascinating sports car." I also said that because of the the VW Group's disastrous diesel emissions scandal, that all of the German auto manufacturers have been embarrassed and that they would double-down on advanced technology to reestablish their reputation as the creators of most of the finest cars in the world. And it now looks like Porsche will take the lead in doing this. The Mission E's stats are indeed impressive: With two electric motors mounted at the front and rear of the car and its lithium-ion batteries integrated in the vehicle floor, it develops 600HP and will go more than 500km (310 miles) before needing a recharge, according to Porsche. The Mission E recharging is accomplished by an 800-volt charger that can renew 80 percent of the battery's capacity in about 15 minutes, which is a dramatic advance over existing systems. The Mission E will also be able to be charged wirelessly as an option. Porsche will spend 1 billion-euro ($1.09 billion) to produce the Mission E, which will be manufactured near the company's headquarters in Stuttgart, creating 1,000 jobs. The Mission E (or whatever they'll call it) will arrive in showrooms for the 2020 model year. -PMD
Bugatti and the motor yacht builder Palmer Johnson are teaming up to build real expensive and exclusive boats. Under license granted by Bugatti, Palmer Johnson has designed a new series of open carbon-fiber sport yachts, featuring distinctive Bugatti design elements and advanced materials. The series bears the Niniette name and is available in three models from 42ft to 88ft. Prices for the smallest model start at €2 million.
Company founder Ettore Bugatti also developed racing boats and yachts in the 1930s. Niniette was the pet name of his daughter Lidia. Now, more than 80 years later, this tradition has been revived and the brand motto of “Art, Forme, Technique“ is once again being applied to a boat.
The PJ63 Niniette has a length of 63 feet and a beam of 20.3ft. On request, Bugatti can tailor the interior to meet customers’ individual requirements.
Check out the latest episode of The High-Octane Truth on AutoextremistTV below. -WG