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Do you recall the failed efforts by Porsche to take over Volkswagen? According to a Bloomberg report, former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking (above) and ex-CFO Holger Haerter have finally been charged with market manipulation over the exercising of options as part of the German sportscar manufacturer's ill-fated attempt to take over the much larger VW. That failed bid eventually resulted in the reverse coming true - VW swallowing Porsche.
The charges leveled by Stuttgart prosecutors come after a three-year investigation centered around allegations that Porsche execs made a concerted effort to increase the company's share in VW to 75 percent in preparation for a hostile takeover. Porsche had previously told its investors on at least five occasions that it had no intention to buy VW.
Portions of the investigation have subsided, according to prosecutors, citing an inability to prove certain improprieties with a "necessary degree of certainty." The number of charges is down to 5 from a previous 14 counts regarding "information-based market manipulation."
Believe it or not, between the 918 Spyder, the Cayenne and the Panamera, Porsche offers more plug-in hybrid models than any other brand. Yes, Porsche. But don't expect that trend to continue. At least, not in the immediate future.
According to Top Gear, the E-Hybrid powertrain in the Cayenne and Panamera is too big to fit into the smaller Macan. A future hybrid system could be small enough to fit, but with the current technology still fresh, that'd still be some ways down the twisting road.
It stands to reason, then, that if the system wouldn't fit in the Macan, it wouldn't fit in the Boxster or Cayman, either. But what of the 911? Surely Porsche would like to stick it to BMW and its new i8, and proved it could do a hybrid 911 when it rolled the GT3 R Hybrid (pictured) out onto the race track over four years ago. But Zuffenhausen is reportedly in no rush to put that idea into production - not for the current 911 and not for the next one, either.
While the recent bankruptcy of Bertone shows that it has become very difficult to be a coachbuilder today, it seems there is still a business case in creating unique bodies for premium vehicles. Case in point, Studiotorino a small, Italian coachbuilder that has been creating limited-edition cars since 2005. Its latest creation is the Moncenisio, which debuted as a prototype at the National Automobile Museum of Turin on March 21. It's named after the 1902 Susa-Moncenisio race in Italy, the first automotive hillclimb in the world.
The Moncenisio begins life as Porsche Cayman S, and each car will be built to order with a planned production run of 19 examples. The chassis, mechanicals and engine are all left untouched. The only thing that Studiotorino alters are the body panels and interior appointments. Prices start at at a heady 145,000 euros ($200,420 US), plus the cost of the donor vehicle.
Architect Daniele Gaglione penned the shape of the Moncenisio, taking inspiration from the 1963 Porsche 904. The sports coupes receive carbon fiber pieces that replace the front bumper, side panels and rear bumper. Studiotorino also covers the rear side windows with welded metal panels. The design is still clearly a Cayman, especially from the front, but the extended roof and support pillars create a new look from behind, which features a new exhaust treatment and rear spoiler. The interior receives leather upholstery on the engine compartment cover, the partition between the engine and seats, ceiling and A-pillars. Scroll down to view a walkaround of the Moncenisio and read the full press release about it.