I own a Porsche Boxster and I’m a huge fan of all things Porsche (well, except for their outrageous pricing schemes). I’m not sure that I’m going to buy a Cayman. After all, it’s the only coupe that costs more than its convertible counterpart; it is identical to the Boxster convertible version. On the other hand, the Cayman is one of the most beautiful cars I’ve seen and it delivers more power than any Boxster that Porsche has ever sold. The Cayman, like most Porsches, causes a visceral reaction, which leads to loyal owners returning the dealership despite irrationally high pricing. The only thing I don’t like about the Cayman is the name. Caiman is a crocodile; Cayman is an island. The name was meant to sound like Cayenne and Carrera and I don’t think a crocodile was the primary inspiration. I say call a spade a spade and the Cayman should be the Boxster Coupe.
My favorite car of all time is the Porsche Carrera GT. I stood and stared at it forever at the 2004 Detroit Auto Show. How can you not respect this car? After all, the Porsche Carrera GT did set a new Nürburgring record. I was hoping and dreaming that the US market would be flooded with the model and that the price of used Carrera GTs would eventually drop to within my means several years from now. Alas, Carrera GT Production has been cut back due to low demand and safety regulations, confirming that future price drops due to market glut are even less likely to happen.
My wife hasn’t stopped talking about the Lexus 400h. There is no doubt that she wants it to be her next vehicle. The true incremental price of the hybrid version is more than the $3000 to $4000 Lexus initially quoted. How about an entry-level version where the options are actually options and not $6000 standard features? Even with the Lexus RX 400h qualifying for a $2,000 tax deduction, it is still overpriced. A Porsche Cayenne Hybrid would be an interesting alternative, but I’m sure it would be even more overpriced.
I enjoyed a recent story about diesels and hybrids duking it out in a cross-country drive, which shows that diesels can be more fuel-efficient that gas-electric hybrids. Too bad more cars in the US are not available with diesels; maybe the 2007 low-sulfur diesel fuel regulations will convince more European manufacturers to bring over their diesels. Some experts suggest that manufacturers should be investing in both hybrid and diesel technologies. My ideal commuting vehicle would be a crossover vehicle similar to the upcoming Audi Q5 with a diesel or diesel-electric hybrid powertrain.
Since I work for Cummins Incorporated, the original diesel engine company in US, I’m interested in all things diesel. I worked in the Cummins aftermarket engineering group and loved a recent story on “Hot Rod Pick-up”, especially the quote”the B-series Cummins makes the most power due to its strength, with the GM Duramax and Ford Powerstroke forced to run a bit less boost.” There is no doubt that Cummins B-series in an amazing engine. On a different note, I recently read a blog comment that suggested that Ford owns Cummins. Not that rumor again! It’s so common that there is even a FAQ somewhere on the Cummins home page that states this is not the case.
I attended the F1 USGP in Indianapolis this year. I went through stages of being disappointed by the race, being angry at Michelin, being relieved and forgiving after the rebate announcement, and finally being elated about the return to Indianapolis in 2006. I received my refund check yesterday and I’ll be attending the race next year; I’ve already purchased tickets.