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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.
It looks like 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 drivers might actually get to drive their cars again soon. Reports of fires affecting the track-ready Germans first began about a month ago. Then, a few days later, the automaker confirmed two of the five alleged blazes and said owners shouldn't drive their cars until further notice. Porsche then went so far as to offer to pick up the GT3s and transport them to the nearest dealer until the problem was identified and a fix was found. Finally, there appears to be a repair.
"We know the reason and the problem-solving measures. We're testing them," said Porsche CEO Matthias Müller to Bloomberg. The technical fix will be released to owners shortly.
The recall affects all 785 GT3s that have been sold so far, but there have been no reported injuries caused by the fires. When it first announced the safety campaign, Porsche said: "Internal studies to determine the cause of the engine damage have not been completed yet."
Purists often criticize Porsche for creating products like the Cayenne, Panamera and recently launched Macan, saying they dilute the true sports car spirit of the brand. It's an argument we've heard before, and one we counter with two points. First: No they don't. And second: These are Porsche's volume superstars, and the money they rake in allows the company to create dozens of versions of its well-liked sports cars. Want proof? Have a look at the gallery above, where you'll see four new versions of the 911, all with GTS badges on their rumps. This means Porsche now offers 19 versions of the 911. Nineteen.
Porsche offered a GTS version of the 911 in its previous generation, and this new one seeks to slot somewhere between the standard car and the hardcore GT3. It's available in coupe and cabriolet forms, with either rear- or all-wheel drive, starting at $114,200, *not including $995 for destination. The GTS Cabriolet comes in at $126,100, while models equipped with AWD will set you back $120,900 or $132,800 for the coupe or convertible, respectively.
All GTS models get the 430-horsepower version of the Carrera S' 3.8-liter flat-six with the Powerkit, which also includes the Sport Chrono package and the sport exhaust. If equipped with the PDK dual-clutch transmission, the 911 GTS will hit 60 miles per hour in just 3.8 seconds (or four seconds flat, if you've got the Cabriolet) - one tenth of a second quicker than the normal Carrera S. The car's top speed varies, depending on trim or transmission, but Porsche says the car will hit anywhere from 187 to 190 mph, flat out.