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Auto blogSat, 19 Oct 2013 15:01:00 EST
In a dramatic change of careers, a fiberglass Muffler Man statue on the side of a busy Los Angeles freeway, formerly known as "Golf Guy," traded in his clubs for a Porsche driver's suit a couple days ago. It's no coincidence, as he's standing on land that the German automaker bought from the Dominguez Hills Golf Course a couple years ago to build its west coast Porsche Experience Center - which will be complete with a test track, restoration and maintenance facilities, a cafe and restaurant, a home for Porsche Motorsports North America and more, when it's finished in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The Porsche Muffler Man will serve as the gatekeeper to the 53-acre center and overlook the test track on the side of the 405 freeway. We can't think of a better job for a fiberglass giant that used to watch golf all day than to watch Porsche road cars and racecars getting wrung out on a test track in the middle of LA. Since Muffler Men are quite adaptable, we're sure this one will fit into his new role in no time - just as easily as he can double as Paul Bunyan.
Check out the press release below for more information on the Muffler Man and the experience center, which could be the ultimate adult playground when it's finished.
Sun, 23 Mar 2014 19:31:00 EST
Each year, J.D. Power and Associates surveys original owners of three-year-old vehicles to find out what kinds of problems they have had experienced over the last 12 months, and then it uses this data to create its annual Vehicle Dependability Study. This means that the models in the 2013 study are 2010 model year vehicles, and J.D. Power rates each make as well as the top individual models based on how many problems were experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100).
Debunking the idea that carryover models are more dependable than new or updated models, the 2013 study found that the average carryover model experienced 133 PP100, while all-new or redesigned vehicles for the 2010 model year had 116 PP100; vehicles that received minor changes fared the best with just 111 PP100. The overall average for all makes was 126 PP100, which is the lowest figure since the findings were first issued in 1989.
When Porsche released the first Boxster in 1996 and the first Cayman in 2005, the idea was to create an entry-level model for the German automaker's sports car range. The latest iterations of both closely related models, however, have begun to encroach dangerously on the 911's territory, particularly in their newest GTS specifications. That could be about to change, however, with the introduction of a four-cylinder engine for the compact mid-engined coupe and roadster.
According to Automotive News, Porsche is finally preparing to launch a new boxer four engine in the Boxster and Cayman, following years of speculation. The engine would be based on the same architecture as the company's famous flat six, but with two fewer cylinders to cut weight. Don't expect it to cut much in the way of performance, however: Porsche chief Matthias Muller indicates that the new engine could produce as much as 395 horsepower - significantly more than even the 340hp flat six in the Cayman GTS, suggesting that the engine could even find its way into the 911 as well.
It's no more clear which markets would get the four-cylinder engine, either. But wherever it is offered and in whichever form, it wouldn't be the first time we'd see a Porsche with a four-pot engine. Not by a long shot. Both the classic 912 and 356 were powered by boxer fours, as was the 914 - not to mention the 718 pictured above and the iconic 550 Spyder. The front-engined 924, 944 and 968 packed inline-four engines, but the last of those were discontinued in the 1990s. The prospect of a four-cylinder Boxster/Cayman has been rumored for many years now, most recently joined by the possibility of a four-pot Macan as well.