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Auto blogWed, 24 Jul 2013 14:31:00 EST
J.D. Power has just revealed the results of its 2013 APEAL Study, which looks at which brands have the most appealing cars based on sales figures, dealer inventory, brand loyalty, transaction and trade-in prices. The study was revamped for 2013, and places a larger focus on the new tech and infotainment options available to customers. All told, study participants gauged their vehicles on 77 different attributes, delivering a score out of a 1,000 points.
The Volkswagen Group had the greatest success of any corporation, topping the APEAL rankings with the Audi Allroad, Porsche Boxster, Porsche Cayenne, VW GTI and Passat. Chevrolet had the highest number of awards for a single brand, though, with the Avalanche, Sonic and Volt all taking home a prize.
The best brand overall was Porsche, which scored 884 out of a possible 1,000 points. The top Japanese brand was Lexus with a score of 847, while the top American brand was Cadillac, at 841. The best mainstream brand was Ram, which received a very respectable 817. The industry average for this year's study was 795, with 16 brands, all of which were mainstream, falling below the average.
Some automakers make one hardcore version of a sports car and are done with it. Or at least they make one at a time. Think Ferrari 458 Speciale, Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera (or Super Trofeo Stradale or Squadra Corse) or Maserati GranTurismo MC. But not Porsche. It transforms the 911 into the hard-core GT3, the even harder-core GT3 RS, the you've-got-to-be-psychotic GT2 and the do-you-have-a-death-wish GT2 RS. The RS models take things to a further extreme, but what separates GT3 from GT2 models has traditionally been the use of foced induction: GT3s are naturally aspirated, while GT2s go turbo. But that could all be about to change.
According to the rumors making their round of the webosphere, Porsche is considering using a turbocharged engine for the next GT3 RS. The reason is that, as we all know, Porsche has already pushed the 3.8-liter flat-six in the existing GT3 about as far as it can go, and then some. And buyers expect not only a more bare-bones package with the GT3 RS, but also a bit of extra power.
Given that everything seems to be going turbo these days, the move might make some measure of sense, especially if Porsche wants to avoid with the GT3 RS the spontaneous combustion issues it faced with the GT3. But we can't help but wonder why, at that point, it wouldn't just skip the GT3 RS and go straight for the GT2.
The 16th Petit Le Mans Powered By Mazda, in the final year of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, was run on Saturday. Even though many of this year's championships had already been decided, the last ALMS race ever would be a 10-hour, 1,000-mile slog around Road Atlanta to get names in the record books and decide a few series trophies.
Since some of you will only get around to your TIVOs (or Fox Sports coverage) today, you should stop reading now if you don't want to know who did what...