Drive Wire: April 13, 2016
Audi's get longer, a convertible speed record, a spied Porsche, an electric bike, and skateboarding paradise.
Hey guys, it’s Christina Thompson and this is Drive Wire for Wednesday, April 13.
One-off news from Audi – the company has done something rather crazy by German automaker standards and built a six-passenger, six-door version of their A8L sedan. Audi’s calling the singular model the A8L Extended, and it’s a beast – almost 21 feet long, with more than three and a half feet added to the wheelbase by totally redesigning the body from the A-pillars back. The first two rows have conventional electrically adjusted seats, with the two rearmost seats getting the extended center console with the coolbox and the entertainment system. We’re guessing the European customer who ordered this high-dollar monster travels with either bodyguards or an extensive staff. And travels fast – the A8L extended gets to 60 in a shade over 7 seconds. If you’re in the market for extra-long Audis, you’re in luck - Audi says it already has orders for more of these.
Custom performance tuner Hennessey has set the world speed record for convertibles with the Venom GT Spyder. Hennessey’s suped up Venom Spyder hit 265.6 miles per hour on the three-mile runway of California’s Naval Air Station LeMoore. This beats the previous speed record, set by the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, by over 12 miles per hour – and Hennessey says the twin-turbo, 1,451 horsepower Venom Spyder was still pulling at the end of the run. In fact, the Spyder was only a tenth of a mile-per-hour behind the hardtop Venom’s speed recorded in 2013. Congrats to Hennessey, and some aero advice – you may have gone even faster without that American flag sticking up there.
New spy shots show what appears to be a Porsche Panamera shooting brake. Well, not really – Porsche is crafting an extended rear end for the Panamera, as seen on their 2012 Sport Turismo Concept. Despite appearances, it’s safe to assume Porsche won’t be calling this a wagon. So Shooting Brake it is for now, although that’s properly a two-door wagon type thing – but enough nitpicking! Expect to see this model as early as October’s Paris Auto Show, when all redesigned Panamera models will take their bows.
Turning to gear, we have a bike that will help you turn those gears. The Van Moof Electrified S is the latest and slickest entry in the electric bike world, and it looks like a good balance of feature-richness and simplicity. The bike sports built-in Bluetooth security, gear presets for automatic transmission-style convenience, and a battery that runs for 30 to 75 miles on a single six-hour charge. Get your preorder in now at vanmoof.com.
In today’s ridiculous video, a trio of daredevils turn an empty theme park into a skateboarder’s paradise. Alex Sorgente, Milton Martinez and Jan Hoffman shred the water slides of aAquaventure Water Park in Dubai. Holy crap this is awesome but maybe don’t get too much air guys!