Good Oil: Porsche Panamera coupe and cabrio announced
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
The Porsche Panamera remains an acquired taste, albeit one that has found plenty of fans on a global — and even local — scale. The idea of a four-door 911 (or thereabouts) seemed like a mad suggestion when it was first unveiled several years ago, but the GT-style fastback has proven a consistent seller for the German performance brand.
Now Porsche is looking to switch things up again. Or, is it looking to revert to type?
Autocar UK reports that the manufacturer has announced it will build a coupe and cabrio version of the stretchy Panamera, both of which should be on sale before the end of next year.
Both cars will offer snug rear benches (or “2+2 accommodation” as polite society would have it), meaning that while the underpinnings will remain the same, the body work will probably hover more closely to the proportions of a conventional 911.
And, yes, a coupe-style Panamera? Anyone with a love of Porsche’s front-engined 928, built between 1977 and 1995, should take note. A two-door coupe version of the Panamera has been the stuff of fevered car fan digital renders since about nine minutes after the big GT was first announced. Now, it looks like Porsche might finally be about to acquiesce.
What is less likely, is the rumoured cabrio version of the Panamera. It doesn’t seem like anyone would be clamouring for such a niche model, yet clearly Porsche has looked over the fence to fellow Stuttgart-based carmaker, Mercedes-Benz, and noted how well its S-Class Cabrio has done with the one percenters.
There is, of course, already a big, convertible GT in the wider Volkswagen Group family; the recently released Bentley Continental GT Convertible. The arrival of a soft-top luxo-barge with a Porsche badge might make for a slightly awkward family Christmas get-together come the end of 2020.
Musk: Tesla truck will be better than Porsche 911
Is Tesla omni-overlord Elon Musk shooting his mouth off without thinking about what he’s saying?
Hmm, as strange as it sounds, he has been at it again, this time promising supercar performance from the company’s yet-to-surface pick-up truck.
During an episode of the unofficial Tesla podcast series, Ride the Lightning, Musk commented that the forthcoming pick-up will outperform the Ford F-150, but also Porsche’s iconic 911 sportscar.
“It’ll be a better truck than an equivalent F-150 and a better sports car than a standard 911,” Musk said on the podcast.
Big words, but it got even better. He went on to claim that the Tesla truck will start from US$49,000 when it goes on sale (about NZ$75,000), making it a comparative bargain in Tesla terms and when compared with what a decent turbo diesel utility with a few trimmings costs.
The feisty South African is clearly throwing a few more swings than usual at present, given that when it comes to producing a good old-fashioned (albeit high-tech electric) wellside pick-up, his company is a bit behind the eight ball.
Competitor Rivian set out its stall with just such a vehicle at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show (one which garnered plenty of praise following its reveal), while Ford and General Motors plan to reveal their own prototype electric trucks soon.
Musk isn’t used to being a follower, so his dismissal of the F-150 as a dinosaur is predictable fight-versus-flight behaviour. In terms of off-the-line kick, any electric motor-driven vehicle has the potential to outpace a conventional Porsche 911. Comparing the two is an interesting move though. It will be fascinating to see a head-to-head between a load-luggin’ pick-up and the dictionary definition of a sports car.
Jeep concept unofficial and extremely cool
You have to hand it to Jeep. It appears to be a consistent performer in the wider Fiat Chrysler stable, offering up an advanced range of vehicles most of which seem to have their rabid fans in various parts of the globe.
And increasingly, the traditional penchant for more power that lay with some of the Chrysler sub-brands, seems to be bleeding through into Jeep. Exhibit A: the fire-breathing Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
So, what would happen if you created a top-end Jeep SUV that retains mud-plugging mechanicals, but with a body that has more in common with a Lamborghini Urus?
The Ayastigi Trackhawk Coupe concept is what would happen.
This is a rouge design, created by a crayon-wielder by the name of Dejan Hristov. He says the dual colour palette is reminiscent of Cherokee warrior armour (the name Ayastigi means “soldier” in Cherokee, too).
The concept is designed to go anywhere in a straight line, although it is also designed to be as slippery (aerodynamically speaking) as possible. It has tiny cameras instead of rear-view mirrors, aero fins everywhere and the distinct (and worrisome) absence of a rear window; a pop-up cover which helps in providing active downforce is in its place.
The sky’s the limit as far as what might power such a beast, but Jeep’s 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8 would be a rather effective start, says the designer.