1st Gear: Porsche AG may develop a supercar positioned higher than the 911 GT2 RS to broaden its line-up and sustain growth as orders cool from record deliveries last year. The car could be combined with additional variants of the Cayman and Boxster as well as extended-wheelbase and convertible versions of the Panamera four-door coupe, Bernhard Maier, Porsche's sales chief, said in an interview. It would aim to fill the gap between the 237,600-euro ($338,500) GT2 RS, the top end of the 911 line, and the 768,000-euro 918 Spyder hybrid. "We're currently examining what options can be derived from this" hole in the product range, Maier said at the manufacturer's headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. "There already are initial ideas that look very promising on paper."
2nd Gear: The leading makers of big pickups have finally agreed to a standard test to determine their towing capacity. By the end of the 2013 model year, most truck buyers should know — for the first time — how their vehicle performs versus the competition. Thank god. Modern tow ratings are a farce. Trucks seem to magically increase their tow ratings every year despite no discernible engineering changes.
3rd Gear: Edmunds Inside Line's reporting on the rumor that Hyundai is working on a V8-powered supercar that would cost between $80,000 and $100,000 and take on the Nissan GT-R and Porsche 911. It would be a coupe, according to the rumblings, and its owners would get the same perks as buyers of the Equus sedan, including an iPad owners manual and pick-up and delivery service when the car needs servicing. But Hyundai CEO John Krafcik says there is no supercar in the works. "No, no," was his response when Edmunds asked him about the rumor, which he called "scurrilous nonsense."
4th Gear: Volkswagen AG's Audi unit plans to build another assembly plant in North America, a company spokesman said, confirming a report by Automotive News Europe. "The plan is as good as certain," Audi spokesman Juergen de Graeve said in an interview today. Audi's supervisory and management board still need to approve the project and that decision will come "considerably before 2015," de Graeve said. He declined to provide further details. In addition, the carmaker may build an engine and transmission plant which could be shared with the VW brand, Automotive News reported, citing an unidentified person at Audi.
5th Gear: And speaking of both Volkswagen und Audi, let's go back to Porsche-uh for a moment. Bloomberg is reporting Porsche AG will boost production of the Cayenne sport-utility vehicle next year after surging deliveries of the sports-car maker's best-selling model spurred a 37% sales gain in the first half. Cayenne output will increase by 10% to 20% starting in 2012, Bernhard Maier, Porsche's sales chief, said in an interview. Demand for the vehicle, which starts at $48,200, caused delivery times to peak to as high as 12 months in markets such as China. Porsche wants waiting time to be no longer than six months.
6th Gear: Subaru, which sold a record 263,820 vehicles in the United States last year, aims to boost North American sales nearly one-quarter to 380,000 units in the next five years. But how does Subaru plan on increasing the number of lesbians in the Northeast, rally drivers who aren't paid by Ford and kids who like blue cars with big wings and hood scoops?
⏎ In New York City tomorrow night and you want to see me in Chris Paine's documentary, "Revenge of the Electric Car"? There's a free showing in Central Park. Come on out! [Sustainable Cities Institute]
⏎ Michigan man once again accused of having sex with a horse. This is precisely why we prefer cars. [Detroit Free Press]
⏎ India June Car Sales Grow At Slowest Pace In More Than Two Years. [Wall Street Journal]
⏎ Young drivers learn stick shift in classic cars in Dearborn, MI. This is why we love Hagerty Insurance. [Detroit News]
⏎ Remembrances of Empty Subways of Weekends Past. [New York Times]
⏎ Saab shifts focus to grass-roots campaign. Know what might work better? Building cars to sell. [Automotive News]
⏎ Top five most-American cars. [Detroit News]
⏎ Kenyan New-Car Sales Climb 12.7% in June. [Bloomberg]
⏎ Car show features classic autos that have been preserved, not restored. [Detroit News]
⏎ Yes, that's Fernando Alonso in a Fiat 500 up top. Want to know why? Beware, there be spoilers via this link. [Facebook]
Today in Automotive History:
On this day in 1916, in a ceremony at the White House, President Woodrow Wilson signs the Federal Aid Road Act. The law established a national policy of federal aid for highways. [History]
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