Auto Industry News: Tesla and Porsche Electric Options, Drop-Top Crossovers, and More

In this week’s auto industry news, Tesla continues to burn more than rubber with its all-electric semi. Speaking of electric, the Porsche 911 currently is the center of controversy surrounding an electric option, while a Norwegian twin-turbo build makes a strong case for old-fashioned power.

Tesla Semi Laying Rubber

There’s been a lot of talk about Tesla’s venture into the shipping world. Since the SEMI was announced several months ago, it’s become a polarizing figure in both the electric and big rig realms. Questions about its performance have come into play after some staggering specs and expectations. And there have been competitors taking early swings, trying to get their cut of the burgeoning market. But new footage of the SEMI showing off the 0-60 goods will raise some eyebrows (5 seconds) and perhaps but some doubt to rest. Now, though that is not the ideal use of its 500-mile charge, it’s nice to see the 4 Model 3 electric motors put to work.

Porsche 911 Going Electric?

Porsche recently released an image of the new 992 generation 911 in heavy camo tape, and it looks as pretty as ever. But with the release came some interesting quotes, hinting at what direction the model might go in the near future. “Just to preclude any misunderstandings: the Porsche 911, Type 992 is not an electric sports car,” 911 model line director, August Achleitner said, “But it could be an option somewhere down the line.” Okay, so the fuel-injected 911 is not going anywhere. Nor should it. But we’ve seen Porsche dip their toes in the EV water before. And if anyone can make the switch look good and perform, it’s them.

Plus, they aren’t the only ones looking ahead, either.

VW T-Roc Convertible Incoming

The convertible crossover has been all but inevitable, as crossover sales have risen across the board rather steadily. And now it looks like VW is here to push the movement over the edge. The T-Roc cabrio will be one of the 20 crossovers Volkswagen plans to deploy to meet that growing demand. And while the T-Roc hasn’t seen the US market yet, we will absolutely see our fair share of drop top crossovers. Because by 2020, VW predicts crossovers will account for 40% of company sales. And rumor has it that an Audi hardtop convertible crossover is in the works (swoon).

A Wild Ford Granada Build

While we’re talking European market cars, look at the bold innovation on this Norwegian enthusiast’s build. This has always been a passion project where budget was clearly not a factor. Initially it featured a 600 horsepower Cosworth motor, but its owner wanted more. So he switched to a twin turbocharged version of the Ford V8 taken from a Koenigsegg CCX. And with that, it needed to be rebuilt from the ground up. The rear suspension has been completely redone, with the factory setup from a 2004 Mustang Cobra used as a base. There is also a massive intercooler setup to account for the engine, and Porsche breaks. It is said that with its current turbo setup, 1,700 horsepower might be possible!

Around the Circuit

In NASCAR, while many drivers had yet to recover from their Daytona hangovers, Kevin Harvick swooped in and snagged his first victory of the season at Atlanta. The race started three hours later than scheduled after a rain delay, piling more on to the condition of the already controversial track. Brad Keselowski finished second, and Clint Bowyer took third, meaning Ford swept the top three. Check out the highlights below!

After a nasty-looking explosion and collision with Jonnie Lindberg, NHRA Funny Car racer John Force was taken to a nearby hospital and has reportedly escaped serious injury. After watching the footage, it is hard to believe it wasn’t worse, but luckily the chutes and hoods did what they were supposed to do.

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