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Auto blogWed, 15 Jan 2014 09:30:00 EST
What we have here is the work of Dubai tuner Royal Customs that is controversial even beyond its styling. The Middle East aftermarket house says it spent fourteen months developing a bodykit for the Porsche Cayman, and the results seem to be aimed at those who wish their coupe were a 918 Spyder - the nose, strake-filled and widened rear fender, carbon fiber wing and massive diffuser all cribbing some from Stuttgart's new hybrid supercar.
Even without a buyer, the Alpha One Concept is already controversial. When WorldCarFans posted on the Royal Customs car recently, German tuner Alpha-N Performance wrote in alleging that the Dubai package copies their design from two years ago, which was also called the Alpha One, a design with which it's clear the Dubai Alpha One shares numerous cues. We asked Royal Customs about its relationship to the Alpha One car, we were told, "Yes, there is a lot we can say about the remarkable similarities all of which will be explained by our press release by Mr. Emil from Autogespot. Please wait for the official release and you will have the full exciting story. It's an 'actual success story' and not a 'replication' story."
The response is referring to an "extensive report" on the car coming out of Autogespot. Royal Customs doesn't have the Alpha One Concept on its site yet, so we're still missing quite a few details on it, such as whether the Porsche engine has been given a similarly 918-ish workover. We do know that the company says each car takes 30 days to build and it will only build three of them, which is a number that should satisfy any haters and, even more so, its buyers. You can decide which side of the fence you're on by having a close look at it in the gallery above.
LeMons racing is a wonderful example that setting limits can actually breed creativity. The series mandates that all entries must cost $500, not counting safety equipment, and that cap forces teams to be ingenious in how they build a racecar. Take for example this diesel-powered Porsche 911, which its creators have dubbed Ferkel the Nein-11, that will be racing in the Sears Pointless race this weekend in Sonoma, California.
This Frankenstein combines a 911 chassis that was originally bought just for its European powertrain and a Volkswagen TDI diesel engine mounted in the rear. After deciding the shell could still be of some use, the team decided to go racing. "We began brainstorming what replacement drivetrain to use for maximum offense and there was really only one answer: a diesel," said Philipp von Weitershausen, one of the team captains, to Jalopnik. They bought a 1998 Jetta TDI on the cheap and started figuring out a way to hack the engine into the bay. To pay respect to the donor, the VW's trunk was highly modified (and drilled) and grafted onto the back of Ferkel.
This team isn't a newcomer to LeMons. Its last car was a classic VW Beetle with a Subaru engine and dual controls, named Ferdinand the Bug, which could be driven from the left or right side. It's quite a sight.
J.D. Power and Associates has released its annual Initial Quality Study, and this year, Porsche and General Motors took the spotlight. The study, which asks new car owners to report problems experienced during the first 90 days of ownership, found that overall, the industry averages 113 problems per 100 vehicles.
Porsche managed a score of just 80 problems per 100 vehicles, while GMC took the second spot on the podium with 90. Lexus filled out the top three with 94 problems per 100 vehicles, followed by Infiniti at 95 and Chevrolet at 97. The study also looks at specific models, and found the Lexus LS to enjoy the best initial quality at 59 problems per 100 vehicles.
Interestingly enough, the report found that around two-thirds of most owner problems experienced in the first 90 days are attributable to vehicle design instead of mechanical failure. Specifically - echoing a refrain we've been hearing for the last few years - owners are having a hard time figuring out how to use the technology present in their new vehicles. Head over to the J.D. Power site for more information, or scroll down below for the company's related press release.