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Auto blogTue, 20 Nov 2012 17:44:00 EST
Popular Science has named the winners in its Best of What's New awards, the victors coming in the categories of aerospace, automotive, engineering, entertainment, gadgets, green, hardware, health, home, recreation, security and software. The automotive category did not go wanting for lauded advancements:
Tesla Model S: the Grand Award winner for being "the standard by which all future electric vehicles will be measured."
BMW 328i: it's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gets called out for being more powerful and frugal than the six-cylinder it replaces.
Few things get us as cranked up as a Porsche 911. Generation after generation, this rear-engined oddity has exhilarated our senses, and the new 991 is the most capable iteration yet. Even so, there's a lot to be said for the older models, from their lighter weights and more modest dimensions to their air-cooled thrums.
That elemental vintage Porsche appeal hasn't been lost on Los Angeles-based Singer Vehicle Design, which has endeavored to take the best bits from every generation of 911 and combine them into one impossibly sexy rear-engined machine. Based on a 964 donor car, we knew that a lot of work would need to go into everything from the structure to the bodywork to realize the Singer's cohesive aesthetic and dynamic vision, but we didn't know just how much until we watched this Drive video featuring Chris Harris. The auto journo gets time with the 350-horsepower, Cosworth-motivated coupe on both mountain passes and at the track, but what could be the most interesting thing about the 27-minute-long video is his in-depth plant tour.
Check it out by scrolling below, but not before paging through our new Singer 911 gallery.
Seeing pictures of Italian supercars burst into flames by the side of the road, as our compatriots at Axis of Oversteer point out, has become something of a usual sight. But a Porsche? Surely those meticulous German engineers have got that taken care of, right?
Not necessarily. Reports coming in from Europe indicate that no fewer than five 911 GT3 coupes have "spontaneously combusted" in the past few weeks, prompting Porsche to launch an investigation. In the meantime, they've reportedly ceased deliveries of the new GT3 while they try to determine what the problem is and work to rectify it.
We wouldn't be surprised to see a recall issued once the problem is resolved, but for now, we'd encourage existing owners to be extra vigilant behind the wheel - or better yet, leave their cars in the garage for the time being. You wouldn't want to drive a 475-horsepower rear-drive sports car through a Polar Vortex, anyway, right?