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Legend of the Carrera RS 2.7 lives on

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Porsche 911 Sport Classic

Porsche launched a new 911 Turbo for 2021 based on the latest 992 generation of its sports car icon. The car is wider than ever and boasts a newly developed flat-6 which in Turbo S grade spits out 640 hp. The car is brilliant, whether it’s a docile drive or to the limit at a track.

These latest spy shots and video show what appears to be one of the original prototypes for the 911 Turbo but if you look a little closer you’ll notice that this particular tester differs from earlier ones due to its prominent ducktail spoiler. The spoiler even has its own reflector, which the spoiler on the regular Turbo skips.

The first Porsche to sport the distinctive design was the legendary 1973 Carrera RS 2.7, and we haven’t seen the automaker use it since 2010’s 911 Sport Classic. Thus, Porsche may soon introduce a new generation of the 911 Sport Classic.

There is another potentially possibility. While the last Sport Classic was a limited edition launched toward the end of the 997-generation 911’s life, the development of a ducktail-equipped 911 this early on into the 992’s life makes us wonder if Porsche is planning a new option or perhaps a new model for the latest Turbo family. Perhaps a Turbo RS?

Porsche 911 Sport Classic

Beyond the spoiler, the prototype is pretty much identical to the regular Turbo models. There’s a wider body compared to the body of the Carrera models and new intakes in each of the rear fenders and at either side of the rear fascia. The brake rotors also fill up the center-lock wheels which measure 20 inches up front and 21 at the rear.

Power in the regular Turbo models come from a newly developed 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat-6 mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive system. Peak power in the Turbo is 572 hp, while the Turbo S as mentioned above packs 640 hp.

2022 Porsche 911 Sport Classic spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Porsche 911 Sport Classic spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The 2021 911 Turbo is priced from $172,150, while the Turbo S ups this figure to $204,850. This ducktail-equipped Sport Classic, or whatever it ends up being, will likely be priced even higher.

Look for a debut late this year or early next, meaning we should see it arrive as a 2022 model.

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Autos

Aston Martin to phase out manual transmission by 2022

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Tobias Moers

Aston Martin will no longer offer a manual transmission in any of its cars when the Vantage sports car is given an update in 2022.

CEO Tobias Moers confirmed the plans in an interview last month with Australian media, including Car Advice.

He pointed to low demand and the need to have separate compliance to the automatic cars as the reasons for the manual’s demise.

His predecessor, Andy Palmer, saw the manual as a point of differentiation among the exotic car brands since none of Aston Martin’s rivals still offer one.

Tobias Moers

Palmer as recently as 2019 promised to offer a manual in a mid-engine Vanquish supercar, vowing at the time that Aston Martin would remain the last manufacturer in the world to offer manual performance cars.

In his efforts to return Aston Martin to profitability after a disastrous 2020, a year which saw Aston Martin shed 500 jobs and its share price bottom out 94% lower than its IPO price just two years earlier, Moers has also decided to abandon a new V-6 engine developed under Palmer.

The V-6 was due to make its debut in a new Valhalla hypercar. Instead, Aston Martin will rely on powertrains sourced from Mercedes-Benz AMG, including new plug-in hybrid setups, as well as the company’s own V-12.

Moers has also said that Aston Martin will begin transitioning to electric vehicles mid-decade, and the company plans for half of its cars to be fully electric by 2030 and the rest electrified.

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Harley-Davidson to make LiveWire a standalone brand

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Harley-Davidson LiveWire charging at Electrify America charging station

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle will spawn a standalone all-electric brand, the company announced Monday in a press release. The first LiveWire-branded motorcycle will be unveiled July 8, ahead of the International Motorcycle Show, the company said.

That marks a departure from the initial Harley-Davidson LiveWire, which was launched in 2019 as a single model within the Harley brand. It’s similar to the progression of Hyundai’s Genesis and Ioniq nameplates, which started out as individual models within the Hyundai brand, before expanding to standalone brands.

LiveWire will be “headquartered virtually,” with staff located in Silicon Valley and Milwaukee, according to Harley. The new brand will get its own engineering team dedicated to electric powertrains, but will also lean on Harley’s existing resources for engineering and manufacturing (the current Harley-Davidson LiveWire is built at the same York, Pennsylvania, factory as other bikes).

Harley-Davidson LiveWire charging at Electrify America charging station

Harley is also planning dedicated LiveWire showrooms, starting in California. However, the company also said LiveWire “will work with participating dealers from the Harley-Davidson network as an independent brand” and will “blend digital and physical retail formats,” indicating online sales may be a possibility.

Unveiled at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, the initial Harley-Davidson LiveWire sports a 110-mile range and 0-60 mph acceleration of 3.5 seconds. It hit the market in late 2019 with a $29,799 base price (before destination), which typically buys a higher-tier gasoline bike.

Several dedicated companies have launched electric motorcycles, but Harley is the only legacy manufacturer to wade in so far in the U.S. Polaris bought electric-motorcycle firm Brammo in 2015, and has a partnership with Zero Motorcycles, but so far it’s only discussed electric ATVs. Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha are working to develop a standardized swappable battery system for the Japanese market.

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Porsche Sonderwunsch program to rival Ferrari Special Projects

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Porsche Sonderwunsch program

Ferrari for years has been offering its most loyal—and deep pocketed—customers the opportunity to dream up their ultimate car and have it built on the chassis of a contemporary model.

It’s a program called Ferrari Special Projects, and over the years it’s resulted in some real stunners, as well as some real head scratchers.

Porsche had a similar program back in the 1970s called Sonderwunsch, German for “special request,” though it was much more exclusive than Ferrari Special Projects. One of the cars developed via the original program is the 993-generation 911 speedster, of which just two were built. One of those was built for Jerry Seinfeld.

Now Porsche wants to invite more customers to its Sonderwunsch program. Like Ferrari’s program, Sonderwunsch will enable a customer to work closely with Porsche’s designers to dream up a car that can be built as a true one-off or as a limited series.

Porsche Sonderwunsch program

For the less brave, Sonderwunsch will also enable a customer to customize colors and materials—on both existing cars as well as new cars yet to be built. This will be particularly useful for owners of classic Porsches that may want to update some elements to modern standards.

Examples of some of the options that will be available include custom wraps, custom paint finishes, racing numbers, prints on the floor mats, puddle lamps, accessories, and even performance parts.

Porsche said some of the options available will start showing up on its online configurator.

“It is our goal to provide customers around the globe with even more accurately tailored and demand-based products within the context of classic, existing and new cars,” Alexander Fabig, head of the individualization and classic departments at Porsche. “Starting with new possibilities for individualization and personalization of individual components, through the additional range of performance parts, up to the realization of uniquely individualized sports cars, we have the right option for every customer.”

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