2022 Porsche 911 pricing is out, and it gains Android Auto availability

The emblematic Porsche 911 is entering the 2022 model year after learning a few tech tricks from the Taycan. It gains a new infotainment system that’s compatible with Android Auto, and the range now includes the race-bred GT3.

While the German firm is making no major visual or mechanical changes for 2022, all 911 models gain the latest generation of the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system. It’s displayed on a 10.9-inch touchscreen, and it’s related to the software packed into the Taycan, meaning users can customize its layout.

Apple CarPlay compatibility remains available, and Android Auto is offered for the first time in a Porsche. Buyers will also receive three years of free connected services (like Porsche Connect and Navigation Plus) instead of one. Additionally, Carrera, Targa and Turbo models equipped with the dual-clutch automatic transmission can be ordered with Remote ParkAssist, which lets motorists maneuver the car in or out of a parking spot using their smartphone.

On sale now, the 2022 911 Carrera carries a base price of $102,550, including a mandatory $1,360 destination charge. At the other end of the spectrum, the range-topping Turbo S Cabriolet starts at $221,150 including the same destination charge. There are numerous variants in between, like the all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 ($109,850), the Carrera Cabriolet ($115,350), the Targa ($122,650), the new GT3 ($162,450), and the Turbo ($175,650). Porsche noted that the GT3 (detailed in a video embedded below) won’t reach showrooms until the fall of 2021, however.

What’s missing? The enthusiast-friendly GTS, for starters. Nothing is official, but we’d be surprised if it doesn’t return. Spy shots suggest a GT3 RS and a rally-inspired Safari model are both around the corner. It’s too early to tell if the GT2 RS will make a comeback, but Porsche told Autoblog that one version which won’t join the range is an EV.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Genesis X concept is beautiful, and Genesis needs to build it

Genesis has been on a serious roll as of late. Every new production model seems to be more elegant and muscular, whether its one of the brand’s sedans or the new and surprisingly colorful GV70 crossover. But as good as the production models are, the latest Genesis concept, simply called the X, has blown them all away.

The company had almost nothing to say about actual specifications for power, range and more, except that it would be electric, but we don’t especially care, because we’re happy to just stare at it. The coupe has a surprisingly traditional shape with distinct hood, cabin and trunk sections, but they stand out in a world full of fastbacks and crossovers. The proportions are also traditional, but in a timeless manner with a long, low hood and pert tail. Adding athleticism to the shape are the bulging fenders and the corporate grille leaning forward. The split headlights squint and scowl at the people around it, and they dramatically sweep into the front fenders. The taillights do the same, but in reverse, and the tail is comparatively conservative, but fitting with the elegant, classic shape of the X.

The interior is a blend of classic and modern design themes. The cabin is minimalist with all the air vents hidden in the trim. But screens are downplayed here, with all of them placed in a leather-wrapped binnacle that surrounds the driver. The front passengers get beautiful brown leather bucket seats, and the rear bench is covered in a dark green-blue leather.

Genesis made no mention of this car coming to production, which seems to fit with the lack of details on powertrain or anything else mechanical. Certainly styling elements will find their way into future production cars — but we want an actual coupe as close to this as possible. It’s so gorgeous, and it doesn’t even look that fanciful. Certainly it would need a toned-down interior, and you would end up getting big mirrors and more exterior cut lines, but this looks like it could sit on a Genesis lot right now. Coupes may not be selling now, but this could be a great flagship or halo vehicle for the brand. Stick it on the E-GMP platform with the top-rung Kia EV6 GT powertrain. We think that as a high-dollar grand tourer with over 300 miles of range, lightning fast charging and a 0-60 time of under 4 seconds, this could be a reasonable success, and a show of what Genesis is capable of. Do it, Genesis, this deserves to see the light of day.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

GoCycle introduces fourth-generation folding e-bike

It’s been 12 years since Former McLaren designer Richard Thorpe launched the original GoCycle. Now, his company Karbon Kinetics Limited has launched its fourth-generation e-bike, using the latest in materials technology and weight-saving engineering to create what Thorpe calls his “two-wheeled electric dream.”

The biggest change comes in the frame, which now utilizes a carbon fiber skeleton to connect the hydroformed aluminum front frame with the injection moulded magnesium drive section. In race-car parlance, it’s the monocoque chassis.

Clearly that kind of state-of-the-art construction will cost, and the GoCycle does. Prices start at $3,999 and go all the way up to $5,999 which is more than the $3,399 to $4,999 Harley Davidson Serial 1. Still, the Harley isn’t made out of space-age materials; it weighs up to 59 pounds, compared to the GoCycle’s 37 (excluding the kickstand), a 2.2-pound improvement over the previous generation.

Nor does the Harley perform the GoCycle’s other party trick — the ability to fold into a compact package that will stow neatly in a car trunk or reasonably sized cubicle. It takes just 10 seconds to accomplish and can then be either carried in a travel bag (sold separately) or wheeled along like a stroller.

The G4 comes with a new electric motor housed in the single-sided front fork. GoCycle says that it provides more power and torque, although exact figures weren’t given. Base models have a range of up to 40 miles, while higher-spec G4i and G4i+ models can go up to 50. By contrast, top-grade Serial 1 bikes can travel 105 miles. Of course, you can pedal it yourself as well.

A full charge requires 3 to 3.5 hours, depending on the trim. The capacity of the removable lithium-ion battery was not disclosed, but previous-generation GoCycles used two versions of a 13.7 Ah, 22-volt that stores a trim-dependent 300 Wh or 375 Wh.

More racing cues come with the tires, which are said to be inspired by MotoGP motorcycles and infused with silica compound to provide better grip. Increased air volume helps cushion the ride as well. What GoCycle calls the cockpit is said to have been inspired by F1 cars, while predictive gear shifts and DRLs take a page from modern road cars.

Fourth-generation GoCycles also add a USB charging port on the handlebars as well as BLE (low energy Bluetooth) connectivity. The company plans to launch a host of additional accessories as well, including mud guards, lights and pannier rack (although G4s will also be backwards-compatible with existing panniers).

GoCycle will offer a limited launch edition G4i+, which comes in exclusive colors and a lightweight carbon fiber wheel. The company is taking to pre-orders now.

Source: AutoBlog.com

AMG lays out an electrification roadmap with high-performance hybrids at its core

Mercedes-Benz has lifted the sheet off its new modular AMG E Performance hybrid powertrain, giving us our first in-depth look at the electrified system that will power the company’s future high-performance models. Borrowing tech from the AMG Project One and its recent line of mild-hybrid gasoline engines, the new E Performance powertrain represents a significant evolution of the AMG formula. 

This new modular powertrain pairs a rear-mounted electric drive unit to a turbocharged gasoline engine. The electric motor drives the rear axle directly, but power can be sent to the front axle (essentially the same way it is transferred from the gasoline engine to the rear, just in reverse), thanks to AMG’s advanced all-wheel drive system.

In its most basic form, the electric drive unit comprises a 6.1-kWh battery pack and an electric motor producing up to 201 horsepower. Thanks to its holistic electrification strategy, both the company’s platforms and this new powertrain were engineered with plug-in tech in mind, which we expect to see introduced at the higher end of the performance spectrum first, such as in the rumored AMG GT 73e, which is expected to utilize an E Performance variant capable of producing up to 804 horsepower and more than 738 pound-feet of torque. 

While the ICE engine up front is of a fairly conventional design, be it an inline-four or V8, it does incorporate one notable new element: an electric turbocharger. Mercedes has dabbled in electric boosting with its 48-volt mild hybrid powertrains, but this represents a fairly significant evolution of the tech. 

At its core, it’s still an exhaust-powered turbine, but at lower engine speeds and throttle openings, it will be juiced by electricity from the E Performance hybrid’s battery, spooling it instantly and effectively eliminating any potential turbo lag. In this capacity, it eliminates the need for additional (or more complex) turbochargers to smooth out power delivery at different engine speeds. 

Apart from the inclusion of electric power, AMG’s powertrain remains fairly conventional. Power from the engine goes through a nine-speed, multi-clutch automatic gearbox on its way to all four wheels, thanks to a 4Matic all-wheel drive system designed to harness both power sources. Torque can be vectored to all four corners from both the gasoline engine and electric drive unit, meaning even the front wheels can benefit from electric power under the right slip conditions. In typical AMG fashion, the advantages of this tech will be integrated into its cars’ available drive modes.

AMG has not yet confirmed individual power outputs for its new line of E Performance hybrids, but given its habits, we’re skeptical that there will be any regression in the performance of models whose powertrains get the hybrid treatment. This includes the enthusiast-favorite C-Class AMG lineup, which will pair the 2.0-liter engine from the smaller 45-series AMGs with the new electric drive unit, for a total expected output that should easily eclipse the current C63’s 503-horse figure.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Three of Ken Block’s Hoonigan builds are up for sale, including his RS200

Earlier this year, Gymkhana master Ken Block and Ford announced an amicable and uneventful divorce, with Block declaring himself a “free agent.” This quiet split may have slipped past your scopes, but one bit of fallout from the separation is guaranteed to stir up some interest: Ken Block is letting a few of his fast Fords go. 

LBI Limited’s “Ken Block Collection” showcase features two of Block’s rally-prepped Ford Fiesta STs and his Group B Ford Escort RS200. Both of the Fiestas — dubbed GYM3 and RX43 are powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged engines pushing north of 600 horsepower (per the Global RallyCross Supercar Spec, in the RX43’s case) and, thanks to their all-wheel drive and sequential gearboxes, can hit 60 mph in two seconds or less. GYM3 is allegedly capable of 850 horsepower with a different tune, but Block preferred the torque band offered with the less aggressive calibration.  

The RS200 is a different beast entirely. Not only is it a genuine Group B rally car, it’s one of just 24 that were upgraded to EVO spec (more than 500 horsepower from the 2.1-liter version of the Cosworth-tuned 4-cylinder engine), which meant a 0-60 time of 3.0 seconds flat way back in 1986, when such things were virtually unheard of.

Nope, these won’t go cheap, and only the RS200 has a price listed ($550,000 asking, if you’re curious) and we suspect there might be enough interest to push that price higher. If you’re like us and these are well outside of your budget, just remember, you can enjoy them from the comfort of your own home thanks to the countless YouTube videos produced by the Hoonigan team during the Ford era. 

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Source: AutoBlog.com

Vettel struggling to handle F1 pressure – Berger

Vettel made an inauspicious start to life as an Aston Martin driver in Bahrain last weekend, the German classified 15th after being penalised for a late-race collision with Esteban Ocon’s Alpine. That was after he started the race from the back of the field, a Q1 exit compounded by a five-place grid penalty for a yellow flag infringement. The disappointing showing added to ongoing run of poor form for the four-time world champion, who spent the past two seasons in the shadow of teammate Charles Leclerc at Ferrari. According to 10-time grand prix winner Berger the issue for Vettel is pressure, the German at his best when he’s in a clear team leader role and not being pushed by the other side of there garage. “Sebastian is a four-time world champion so he’s one of the outstanding drivers, no question,” Berger told the In the Fast Lane podcast. “But he never reacted well under pressure. Remember when Daniel [Ricciardo] came to Red Bull [he] was very strong and he put pressure on Sebastian. For Sebastian it was difficult to cope with it. In Ferrari it was the same thing. “I just feel when you watch him, you feel he’s not free. He’s not relaxed enough. He’s trying to prove things that, at this moment, aren’t possible because the car isn’t good enough or his own form isn’t good enough. “When you’re in this situation you need to sit down, take a step back and say ‘well, take it easy and the success is going to come again’. “In saying that he’s at the end of his career too. When you’ve done so many races, when you’re already a four-time world champion, then comes a point when maybe you’re not in a situation where you want to take all the risks, where you fight like you would fight before you won any races.   Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images “In some way it just doesn’t work out well for him. He starts to make mistakes and people start to question him. That’s just step-by-step more pressure, and, as I said at the beginning, he doesn’t like pressure.” Vettel is facing a unique teammate dynamic at Aston Martin given Lance Stroll’s father Lawrence Stroll is a part-owner of the team. But Berger doesn’t think that will be an issue for Vettel if he can start out-performing Stroll, the team still likely to focus its attention on the faster driver regardless of family ties. “It depends on his performance,” added Berger. “If you’re slower than your teammate, and your teammate is also the owner of the team, things will maybe turn more there. But is it not everywhere the same? If you’re slower than your teammate, teams will naturally concentrate more on the one that is faster. “At the end of the day it’s more psychological. It’s just an uncomfortable situation when you’re in a team and your teammate is faster. “But that’s something you have to deal with. If you’re a sportsman at this level you have to deal with strong teammates. ‘ “And I have to say Lance isn’t doing a bad job at all. He’s performing. The only thing at the moment, I think he is struggling with the rear end of the car. The car doesn’t look that good. “I think it’s not really a driver issue they have at the moment, the car isn’t performing the way [Aston Martin] were expecting.” shares comments Related video
Source: AutoSport.com

Biden to lay out plans for infrastructure bill Wednesday

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is aiming for summer passage of his sweeping $4 trillion infrastructure plan, and the White House hopes to take a more deliberate and collaborative approach with the contentious Congress than it did on the COVID-19 rescue package, officials said Monday.

The president will announce parts of his “Build Back Better” package Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Sweeping in scope, the ambitious plan aims to make generational investments in infrastructure, revive domestic manufacturing, combat climate change and keep the United States competitive with China, according to the officials. It could include $3 trillion in tax increases.

Though the White House is emphasizing the urgency, it also insists this will not be considered an emergency response like the $1.9 trillion virus relief bill that Biden signed into law over Republican objections earlier this month. The administration wants to see progress on the new legislation by Memorial Day and have it passed over the summer, White House officials said.

“We want to make clear is that the president has a plan to fix our infrastructure and a plan to pay for it,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “But we certainly expect to have the discussion with members of Congress, as we move forward, about areas where they agree, where they disagree, where they would like to see greater emphasis or not.”

The administration is setting the political pace and tone for this next big priority in Biden’s agenda. The COVID-19 bill, though broadly popular with voters of both parties, exposed the president to criticism for going it alone with only Democratic votes. White House officials believe this time there will be far more of an opportunity to win some GOP support and plan significant outreach on Capitol Hill.

As the committees in Congress begin to tackle individual provisions — including those on transportation, China and others — the White House will encourage those efforts. Then it will work through the tax increases separately, according to officials.

Administration officials are sending signals that the White House will listen to suggestions and criticism alike from both parties and that significant changes could occur during the legislative process.

At the same time, congressional leaders are preparing a go-it-alone strategy, much as was done in the virus aid package, in case Congress hits a wall of GOP opposition.

“If they share a goal of building our infrastructure for the future, but don’t like the way he’s going to propose to pay for it, we’re happy to look at their proposals,” Psaki said. “If they don’t want to pay for it, I guess they can propose that, too. Maybe they don’t support infrastructure spending.”

Infrastructure marks the unique opportunity for Biden to succeed on an issue where both his predecessors — Barack Obama and Donald Trump — made big promises that never came to fruition.

The physical infrastructure part of the package is not just about updating roads, bridges, rail, public transit and airports. It also is expected to include broadband, electric vehicle charging stations and investments in clean energy and domestic manufacturing, making it far more expansive than what Republicans usually discuss.

Sometime next month, a second package will be unveiled that focuses on universal pre-K, paid family leave and free community college.

The multitrillion-dollar price tag means that any package will eventually need to be paired with tax hikes, drawing Republican opposition to any infrastructure plans that unwind Trump’s 2017 corporate tax rate cuts. Biden has vowed not to raise taxes on households earning less than $400,000 a year.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday at a stop in his home state of Kentucky that if the Biden administration wants to do an infrastructure bill, “Let’s do an infrastructure bill. Let’s not turn it into a massive effort to raise taxes on businesses and individuals.”

Beyond tax increases, the Biden administration could also attempt to free up cash by changing how Medicare can negotiate the price of pharmaceutical drugs. It could also step up IRS audits of wealthier Americans as a recent study estimated that the richest taxpayers avoid paying $175 billion annually.

Initially, White House officials considered a plan that would lean more on spending, but that approach was abandoned out of fears that it could trigger a spike in interest rates, which itself could send federal debt payments skyrocketing.

The choice to limit the impact on the federal deficit may help the White House counter critics who say that the nation’s spending imbalance is out of control.

But paying for the proposals with new revenues would also set up the administration to have to persuade Congress to pass a package of tax increases on wealthy Americans and companies that combined would represent the largest hike in generations.

Republicans are objecting to the scope of the enormous package and the potential tax increases that would be needed to pay for it. With the Senate evenly split, 50-50, Democrats could very well be once again forced to rely on their own votes for passage

One key Republican, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, last week warned Democrats against a go-it-alone approach as happened on the virus aid plan.

“I’m very disappointed with what I’m reading, because I’m envisioning that the same thing is going to happen,” Capito said.

As part of the group of Republicans who met with Biden only to have th-

Their virus aid proposal rebuffed, Capito is now wary as Democrats pile other domestic priorities onto the infrastructure package.

“I think we need to talk to the American people and say, ‘Is this what you envision with infrastructure? Is this, are these job creators?’” she said.

On Monday, Senate Democrats indicated they were seeking even more opportunities to go it alone, relying on complex budget reconciliation rules to pass the upcoming bills with a simple 51-vote threshold as was done for the COVID-19 rescue package.

Top policy aides to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have made the argument to the Senate parliamentarian that they could use the reconciliation provision a second time this fiscal year, which would be rare. Typically, the process is only used once a fiscal year, or twice in a calendar year.

If approved by the parliamentarian, it would essentially create twice as many opportunities this year, and in subsequent years, for the so-slim majority to approve some legislation. No decisions have been made, according to a Schumer aide granted anonymity to share the private discussions.

The aide said Schumer wants to maximize his options to allow Senate Democrats multiple pathways to advance Biden’s agenda over potential Republican obstruction.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Mini Electric Pacesetter will lead Formula E, hints at future JCW cars

Just a few days ago, Mini teased a wild electric hatchback with pace car-style lights. And just as we expected, it’s the new safety car for Formula E. It’s called the Mini Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW, which is a mighty long name for such a little car. It looks like a blast, and although it’s not exactly a production car or the direct forebear of a car that will be offered, it does hint that there will be high-performance electric Minis.

Don’t just take it from us, take it from the man in charge of Mini, Bernd Körber: “But it does reveal one of the directions we could take with the electrification of the JCW brand. For me, the message is clear: Electrification and John Cooper Works are a good fit.”

Mini made some major modifications to the Pacesetter to get it ready to lead race cars. It weighs 287 pounds less than the Mini Cooper SE that it’s based on, giving it a total weight of 2,712 pounds. Much of that weight loss comes from the gutted interior, which now has a welded-in roll cage, race seats and six-point harnesses. While not particularly related to weight saving, the seats also have a neat 3D-printed material for the cushions that can be made in different colors and densities. The electric motor and battery are unchanged at 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, but the weight loss means that it hits 62 mph in 6.7 seconds, an improvement of 0.6 over the road car.

Handling and braking are upgraded with racing coilovers that have adjustments for compression, rebound, camber and ride height, as well as four-piston brake calipers. Mini John Cooper Works GP forged four-spoke wheels are fitted with 245-mm Michelin Pilot Sport tires. The wider track from the wheels necessitated the unique 3D-printed carbon fiber fender flares. The rear wing, which is similar but not identical to the GP unit, is also made of 3D-printed carbon fiber material. Splitters, side skirts and a large rear diffuser round out the aerodynamic tweaks.

The car will make its racing debut at the Formula E event in Rome on April 10. And we hope we won’t have to wait too long for an electric John Cooper Works model to reach the public.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

Car Gear Deal of the Day | The ‘ThisWorx’ car vacuum on Amazon is a steal at 22% off

If you’re always on the hunt for a deal, bookmark this page. Every week we’ll be bringing you the best automotive gear deals we can find, right here. Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner (22% off) – $34.99

Key features

  • Only 2.4 lbs
  • High-power 106W motor
  • 16 ft power cord that connects to your car’s 12V lighter port

Included extras

  • 3 all-purpose nozzles
  • A carrying bag for easy storage
  • A special filter cleaning brush
  • A spare HEPA filter

Featured five-star review

This thing is awesome! I [own] a 2018 Dodge Durango that sadly does not have leather seats. I [also] own three dogs and it is just a nightmare pulling out my extension cord to vacuum my truck. I can now just plug this little guy into my 12v car outlet and I’m good to go! The power in this vacuum is as good as it’s going to get for a car vacuum, so if you want extreme suction – buy a shop vac. Also, the attachments are fantastic.
P.S. I own 3 dogs – it picks up hair.

Other top-rated options to consider

CHERYLON Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner – $29.99

CHERYLON Portable Car Vacuum w/ stainless steel filter (23% off) – $32.99

VARSK 4-in-1 Car Vacuum Cleaner (14% off) – $49.99 

ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner w/ LED light – $39.97

Source: AutoBlog.com

Volkswagen reportedly adopting ‘Voltswagen’ name scheme for EVs

Earlier today, reports came out from CNBC and USA Today that Volkswagen would be rolling out some new branding under the name Voltswagen. It was all detailed in a leaked press release. Considering our proximity to April Fool’s Day, a day when many automakers publish silly news announcements, we figured that was the case. Well, we’ve received word from a source at the company that indicates VW really is going to start badging its electric cars as Voltswagens, and a number of other outlets have received confirmation from sources inside VW, too.

The Associated Press reports that a formal announcement is coming tomorrow.

According to CNBC, the new brand name will apply mainly to the company’s electric cars, which will feature a badge that says “Voltswagen.” They will also get a variant of the main VW badge with a light blue background, rather than dark blue for the internal-combustion cars. The internal-combustion cars will simply continue to get the VW brand and model name.

“We might be changing out our K for a T, but what we aren’t changing is this brand’s commitment to making best-in-class vehicles for drivers and people everywhere,” VW of America CEO Scott Keogh said in the errant release.

The new name will apparently be applied exclusively in the U.S., where Voltswagen of America will be part of the Volkswagen Group of America, which also includes Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini U.S. sales, and is part of the overall Volkswagen AG headquartered in Germany.

It’s easy to see why a lot of outlets today thought this might be an April Fool’s joke. Sure, it’s a cute pun that might be great for an ad campaign, but it presents a few problems with actual branding. For one thing, VW already had a designation for its electric cars: the “ID” prefix. The company has even been using it for years on its electric concepts back to the ID.Buzz minivan. Now, VW will be doubling down on electric identifiers or, put another way, spending time on two schemes that are essentially redundant.

Only one electric VW is on sale in the U.S. so far, the ID.4, and it’s only the second production VW EV ever offered here. There are more EVs coming, including a remake of the Type 2 bus, but VW is going to be selling Tiguans, Atlases, Taoses, Jettas and GTIs for several years, or more, to come. And then, when VW eventually goes all-electric and the notion isn’t so novel, will the company go back to Volkswagen, instead of Voltswagen?

In this, VW would also be abandoning a nameplate with heritage. Sure, there are some very dark aspects to Volkswagen’s history, but there’s a lot of positive, too, and a lot of people that love Volkswagens, not necessarily Voltswagens. Sounds like we’ll learn more tomorrow.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Source: AutoBlog.com