Good Oil: Passport to driving a Porsche
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If you’ve always wanted a Porsche but haven’t been keen to plead with the bank manager in such an outrageous fashion, the Stuttgart-headquartered sports car manufacturer has come up with a novel idea.
Only available to US customers at this stage, Porsche has announced an “on-demand” subscription service called Porsche Passport.
Starting at US$2000 a month, Porsche Passport members gain access to over 20 different Porsches; the more expensive and sporty the Porsche in question, the more the monthly fee is.
Porsche Passport users can drive a Porsche of their choosing, which is even delivered to their door.
There are two membership plans available: Launch, which includes on-demand access to eight model variants such as the Boxster, Cayman and Macan for a monthly fee of US$2000.
The Accelerate membership plan costs US$3000 a month and gives users access to extra goodness such as the 911 Carrera S, Panamera 4S, Macan GTS and Cayenne S E-Hybrid.
Or you can still slum it and opt for a month or so spent with one of the other models open to Launch members.
The trial programme is being run only in one location (Atlanta) at present, but if it is received well — and why wouldn’t it be, we ask? — then it could be rolled out to customers further afield. The membership plans include all taxes, registration and servicing.
How cool is that? A new Porsche on your driveway secured with a one-size-fits-all lease payment and the ability to switch and swap between models, depending on whether you’re doing the daily commute or planning a couple of weeks off road-tripping.
We could see this take on that “car share” movement everyone talks about as being a good move; one aimed at the enthusiast drivers among us anyway.
Good work, Porsche. Now bring it to the Southern Hemisphere, please.
The Magnum-Ferrari link
According to a slightly troubling report in Entertainment Weekly, CBS is considering a Magnum PI reboot.
We have three questions: Why? Will Magnum have a moustache? And will he drive a Ferrari 308?
Much like the dire CHiPs movie from earlier this year, these sort of reboots mess with the childhood memories of a certain vintage of 40-something-year-old.
When the original was so good (well okay, in the case of the CHiPs TV series, so bad it was good), why attempt to stuff the lightning back in the bottle a second time?
Originally broadcast in the 1980s, Magnum PI followed the sleuthing fortunes of Hawaii-headquartered Thomas Magnum, a private eye who also (occasionally) worked as a gardener and “security expert” on a wealthy recluse’s estate.
When not duelling with stuffy property manager, Higgins, Magnum would be solving mysteries that tended to revolve around beautiful women being kidnapped.
Unless it was one of the later episodes of course, where things tended to get mired in flashbacks to his tour of duty in Vietnam and strange dream sequences.
In pursuit of the bad guys, Magnum (played by Tom Selleck) got to tool around tropical Honolulu and its environs in a red Ferrari 308.
He occasionally appeared in a Jeep and an Audi but it was the chase scenes involving the Ferrari that fired the imagination.
So, if a Magnum PI reboot was to get the green light, which Ferrari would the show’s namesake drive?
Or, worse still, with product placement in these types of things so lucrative to mainstream carmakers these days, will we see Magnum skidding to a halt outside a bad guy compound in a Kia Stinger or Chevy-badged Commodore?
No, sorry. It has to be a Ferrari 308 or nothing in our minds.
Steampunk take on Segway
Think of this thing as a steampunk unicycle. We’re not even sure if it exists in the metal — we’re guessing it’s the computer-rendered result of some sort of retro-futurist fever dream — but you’d turn heads riding it to the office of a Wednesday morning.
We believe it’s known as the MonoBike, and it appears to be able to maintain a permanent upright position through some sort of gyroscopic system hidden underneath all that Mad Max-style body armour.
Designers Doug Chiang and Emin Cenker are silent on what would propel such a one-wheeler, although that triple-exhaust set-up suggests something good.
Regardless of whether the design makes it out of the workshop, it’s a steampunk take on a Segway we can get behind.