Drive Type: Manual
Model: Beetle - Classic
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Clarklake, Michigan, United States
Back in 2008, Porsche got the bright idea that it could take over Volkswagen in the midst of the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. Ignoring that this was a catastrophic move for the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer that that eventually resulted in it nearly going bankrupt and eventually being taken over by the same company it sought to control, the aftermath has left Porsche Chairman Wolfgang Porsche and board member Ferdinand Piëch in the crosshairs of seven hedge funds that lost out during the takeover and are now seeking €1.8 billion - $2.43 billion US - in damages from the two execs, according to the BBC.
See, investors bet on Volkswagen's share price going down, partially because Porsche said it wasn't going to attempt a takeover. But Porsche was attempting to take over VW, having bought up nearly 75-percent of VW's publicly traded shares. When word broke that Porsche owned nearly three-quarters of VW (which indicated an imminent takeover attempt), rather than go down like the hedge funds bet it would, VW's share price skyrocketed to over 1,000 euros per share, according to Reuters.
Naturally, when you bet that a company's share price is going to drop and it in turn (temporarily) becomes the world's most valuable company, you lose a lot of money, unless you're able to buy up shares before prices jump too much. This led to a squeeze on the stock, which the hedge funds accuse Porsche and Piëch (who are both members of the Porsche family and supervisory board) of organizing.
How does Audi plan to reach two million units in annual sales and pay for the 11 new models it's adding to its lineup - an expansion that may include models named SQ2, Q9 and F-Tron? By increasing its investment to 22 billion euros ($30.3 billion US) between now and 2018. That figure represents an increase of about 500 million euros over the previously planned outlay, according to a report by Automotive News, and that could be due to Audi wishing to goad the momentum that pushed it to 1.5 million annual sales two years ahead of schedule.
It's also about staving off the challenges from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Now that BMW has been able to turn some of its attention away from its "i" series of Megacity cars, it will reportedly spend more than planned in 2014 as it continues the rollout of ten all-new vehicles and 15 new-generation vehicles through the end of next year. Mercedes, having been dropped to third in the sales race, is preparing to add 13 new cars over the next six years.
Audi's money is going into technology, into product like the next-generation TT and the Q1 and production expansions and upgrades all over the world. The expenditure represents just under a fourth of Volkswagen's 84.2 billion-euro ($115.7 US) outlay devoted to taking the number-one global automaker title away from General Motors and Toyota by 2018.
There are plenty of things to love about the Mk1 Volkswgen Golf. The machine's horsepower isn't one of them. From the factory, the little hatch cranked a breathy 112 horsepower from the most robust form of its 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. Boba motoring, however, has taken that figure and multiplied it by a factor of nearly 10. If 1,000 horsepower sounds terrifying in a machine with a wheelbase of just 94.5 inches, it should. A massive Garrett GTX4202R turbo force-feeds the little mill through a tweaked 16-valve KR head. The crew calls the beast the 16Vampir, and we think that's fitting.
Of course, we'd wager you quit reading right about the time you set your eyes on that headline. Those of you who've stuck around this long can point yourselves below to see the maniacal creation in action. You won't be disappointed.