Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Porsche shows off Cayman GT4 RS as it laps the ‘Ring, GMC adds new flavors of Sierra Denali, Ford Maverick gets official EPA ratings, the new Range Rover leaks, plus your news for the week.
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS hits the ‘Ring
The ultimate Porsche 718 Cayman is due to be revealed next month, but they’re already talking Nürburgring lap times. Legendary brand ambassador and development driver Jörg Bergmeister has lapped the 12.94-mile Nordschleife with a lightly disguised production 718 Cayman GT4 RS in 7:09.300 (or 7:04.511 on the slightly shorter 12.8-mile lap which was previously used for the benchmarks). That shorter lap time is a 23.6-second improvement over the “base” 718 Cayman GT4.
Not much is known about the 718 Cayman GT4 RS just yet, but we can certainly get an idea of what it’s all about just by looking at it. Just as the 911 GT3 RS is a much more aggressive and track-focused weapon, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS is as sharp as the Cayman may ever get. Porsche confirms it has everything that characterizes a genuine RS: lightweight construction, more downforce, more power, and greater driver engagement. Bergmeister spoke highly of it as well, calling it “an uncompromising driving machine… the GT4 RS is one of the sharpest cars Porsche has ever developed”.
And because they’re not Tesla, Porsche actually dropped the onboard video proof along with their time. We can learn a bit more about the car through that as well. It sounds like a proper RS with a redline around 9,000 RPM. The only engine Porsche currently produces with a sound like that and a 9,000 RPM redline is the 4.0-liter NA flat-six from the 911 GT3. Knowing Porsche’s track history with the “Cayman Complex” (where a Cayman can never be as fast as a 911), this engine will almost certainly be detuned from the full 502 horsepower. But even a small drop in power would still mean more power than the Cayman has ever gotten and by a big margin. Throw in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires (which will be a factory option) plus all the chassis and aero upgrades befitting of an RS car, and this is sure to be an instant fan favorite.
[Source: Porsche, YouTube]
GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate and AT4X
Perhaps more than anyone else, GMC is really cashing in on the “I want the nicest truck on the block” trend that American buyers can’t get enough of. Their Denali grade has always been one of the more sought after pickups, but two new trim levels will aim to draw in even more buyers willing to throw money at things. The Denali Ultimate and Denali AT4X trims will offer two unique flavors to the lineup starting in Q1 2022.
Starting with the Denali AT4X, this new trim combines the best of the existing Denali and AT4 trims for a luxury-focused pickup with good off-road capability that doesn’t compromise its on-road manners or refinement. The truck comes standard with a 6.2-liter V8 and ten-speed automatic transmission, Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers with unique tuning, unique springs which increase front and rear suspension travel, two-speed transfer case, various terrain modes with support for one-pedal rock crawling, class-exclusive front and rear e-locking differentials, and Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Mud-Terrain tires. Short of a Raptor, ZR2, or a TRX, this is about as good as a pickup can get off road. And its interior will be be nicer than any of those. It features loads of premium leather, dark Vanta ash wood trim, 16-way power-adjustable and massaging front seats, premium microsuede headliner, 15″ head-up display, power sunroof, 12-speaker Bose Premium Series audio, and a bunch more. The off-road improvements negatively impact towing and payload slightly, with its towing rated at 8,900 pounds and payload at 1,420 pounds.
Meanwhile, the Denali Ultimate is exactly as it sounds – the most luxurious and most advanced pickup in company history. It has the same powertrain as the AT4X as standard but with more normal road-going suspension. Visually it stands apart with an exclusive Vader chrome grille, unique 22″ wheels in low gloss black with machined accents, and its Alpine Umber interior with open-pore Paldao wood trim. It has many of the same tech and luxury features as the Denali AT4X, but with even more leather on various surfaces and even more tech.
You get GMC’s latest Rear Camera Mirror5 (that cool digital rearview mirror) and standard Super Cruise with a three-year subscription, but with a bonus. The Denali Ultimate is the first to debut with Trailer-Capable Super Cruise, which they don’t go into much detail but I assume that means it supports hands-free trailering along with a host of other trailer-assist tech. “Most luxurious” and “most advanced” are terms thrown around pretty loosely in this industry, but this is one of those trucks where that title is earned.
Pricing has not been announced yet.
Ford Maverick gets official EPA ratings
Now for something completely different. Ford’s highly anticipated Maverick has gotten its official EPA ratings for fuel economy, and it’s pretty mind-blowing for any pickup. The Maverick is the first pickup in America to come as a hybrid as standard and the benefits are undeniable.
The FWD-only, 2.5-liter hybrid powertrain in the base Maverick earned an EPA-estimated 37 mpg combined, 33 mpg highway, and 42 mpg city. That’s about in line with what Ford projected at the truck’s launch. With a 13.8-gallon tank, 500 miles of fill up should be easily attainable. If you opt for the more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder instead of the hybrid, those numbers drop quickly. The FWD EcoBoost Maverick is rated at 26 mpg combined, 30 mpg highway, 23 mpg city. AWD lowers each of those figures by 1.
Are those numbers enough to entice you? The first customer-ordered Mavericks are scheduled to ship in December. As with the Bronco launch which has been going so well, those with a reservation will theoretically maybe get their orders first. Reservations for the 2022 model year are expected to fill up next month, after which the order books will reopen for 2023 next summer.
“New” Range Rover leaks
Images of the next Range Rover have been leaked all over the internet this week and from multiple sources. The luxury off-roader was expected next week, but someone broke an embargo and caused a chain reaction. The image above was posted to the Worldscoop forum which was taken from a soon-to-be released edition of 4×4 Magazine. From what we can tell so far, this next-generation SUV is another evolution rather than a complete redesign.
Jalopnik has the full rundown on all the leaks which show basically the entire car inside and out, and some of the shots were taken in person. The largest visual update seems to be in the rear with a fairly complex (for an SUV) diffuser/bumper section and narrower, taller taillights. The way it’s all sculpted back there makes it look like it’s doing a McLaren Longtail impersonation. Take a peak at all the leaks and see for yourself. We’ll follow up when the full thing debuts next week.
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.