Drive Wire: March 4, 2016
Porsche's name games, a Brabus-tuned Mercedes-AMG, Zero Motorcycles goes electric (again), Franken-F100, and the perfect place to rest your head off the grid.
Hey guys, it’s Kristin Condon, and this is Drive Wire for Friday, March 4.
Big news from Porsche: the Boxter and Cayman have been re-named the 718—and with that name change, they also gets new engines. Power for the base 718 will come from a turbocharged two-liter flat-four making 300 hp. The S-badged models will also use an opposed-four layout, but get a displacement bump to 2.5 liters and a variable-geometry turbo to make 350 horsepower. Porsche claims both engines make about 35 horsepower more than the units they’re replacing, and fuel economy jumps by fourteen percent. Porsche also says the base model will get to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and the S model in 4.0 flat. Will the throttle response on the turbo 718 be as crisp as the naturally-aspirated model it replaces? Well, we’ll have to wait until June—and shell out $57,000—to find out.
Brabus has once again teamed up with Mercedes AMG to make the Rocket 900. The Brabus is based on a Mercedes S65 coupe, which already packs a huge V12. Then the manic tuners at Brabus punch it out to make 900 horsepower. That’s 900 from a 6.3-liter twin turbo 12-cylinder. This all goes through a seven-speed automatic transmission redesigned to, you know, not explode from sheer excess. This should comfort you as you recline in the spiffy, redone light brown and magnolia interior. Time to take out that second mortgage.
In alternative transportation news we bring you electric motorcycles from those pioneers at Zero. The DSR is a dual-sport model perfect for commuting, or for trips into the country, with a range of about 150 miles. Unlike the traditional motorcycle there’s no gearing or throttle lag, so all you have to do is twist and go—with the supermoto-style FXS you go like crazy. The FXS weighs under three hundred pounds but packs in 44 electric horses and, better yet, 70 ft-lbs of instant torque. The only downside is that both bikes take about nine hours to recharge.
Turning to gear, we have a place for you to sleep comfortably while remaining ecologically conscious. Built with reclaimed and lightweight materials, Homegrown Trailers makes sustainable campers so you can enjoy the great outdoors without cutting it down. The company also offers an off-grid package, complete with upgraded solar panels and a battery good for days of power. Check out their Indiegogo campaign for discounts on these lovely things.
In today’s ridiculous video, K.C. Mathieu takes his '68 Frankenstein-customized Ford F100 pickup to the store to get his wife some necessary sundries. That’s about the only thing we can relate to. Mathieu shows off his heavily modified pickup by getting sideways and doing as many donuts as possible on his way to and from the unpleasant task. Is this foreshadowing The Drive’s next build? Maybe.