Hollywood

Porsche teams up with Lucasfilm to design a new Star Wars spacecraft

Porsche and Star Wars are teaming up to create a new spacecraf that will make its premiere at the movie's red carpet debut.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Car brand partnerships are nothing new for Luke and Leia. Nissan has been capitalizing on the popularity of the Star Wars franchise to help market their Rogue SUV, next-gen Safety Shield 360 driver assistance and safety technology, and redesigned Altima sedan. Now, Porsche is stepping onto the red carpet, designing a new spacecraft that will be seen in promotional appearances for forthcoming "Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker."

This isn't just another spacecraft. This one is infused with design DNA that is apparent in modern Porsche models.

Porsche Star Wars spacecraftDoug Chiang, Vice President and Executive Creative Director of Lucasfilm, Michael Mauer, Vice President Style Porsche, sketch ideas for the new spacecraft.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

"Developing a spacecraft with clear Porsche design DNA is exiting and challenging," says Michael Mauer, Vice President Style Porsche at Porsche AG. "Even though they do not seem to share many elements at first glance, both worlds have a similar design philosophy. The close collaboration with the Star Wars design team inspires and fascinates us – I'm sure that both sides can draw major benefits from this exchange."

Teams in Stuttgart and San Francisco are working together to design the spacecraft and create the physical model in time to make it red carpet ready for the movie's premiere in December.

Porsche Star Wars spacecraftDoug Chiang, Vice President and Executive Creative Director of Lucasfilm, Michael Mauer, Vice President Style Porsche view sketch proposals for the new venture.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

"The worldwide appeal of the Star Wars and Porsche brands is shaped decisively by their iconic designs," says Doug Chiang, Vice President and Executive Creative Director of Lucasfilm and responsible for overseeing all designs for the Star Wars franchise. "We are bringing together two worlds with this project: the exotic film design of a galaxy far, far away and the precision work that goes into developing emotive Porsche sports cars. This collaboration promises to produce an innovative design that will blend the best of both brands to create an exciting new starship worthy of Porsche and Star Wars."

Porsche's first all-electric car, the 2020 Taycan, will appear alongside the spacecraft on the red carpet at the premiere. Deliveries to U.S. customers will begin around the same time.

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The Sport Classic comes to the U.S. for the first time next year.

Porsche

Porsche's bringing the 911 Sport Classic back to market, and it's headed to the United States for the first time. The car features distinctive styling, a rowdy twin-turbo flat-six engine, and plenty of go-fast gear from the 911 Turbo S upon which it is based. The car is scheduled for limited release late in 2022 as a 2023 model year.

2021 Porsche 911 Sport ClassicThe Sport Classic comes exclusively with a manual transmission and RWD.Porsche

The Sport Classic gets the Turbo S powertrain, which means a 3.7-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six engine producing 543 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. It's paired exclusively with a seven-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. Porsche says the combo makes the car the most powerful 911 with a manual gearbox currently on sale. The Sport Classic also gets a laundry list of parts from the Turbo S, including Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, rear-axle steering, a sport exhaust, and an active sport suspension system.

2021 Porsche 911 Sport ClassicThe car comes with an interior not seen since the Porsche 918 Spyder.Porsche

The car' comes with Sport Grey Metallic paint with grey accent stripes, a carbon fiber reinforced plastic hood, and unique graphics on both sides. It rides on 20-inch wheels up front and 21-inch wheels in back, which are designed as reinterpretations of the old-school Fuchs design. In back, the Sport Classic gets unique bodywork that sets it apart from the 911 Turbo, such as deleted air intakes and a large ducktail spoiler. Inside, the 911 gets open-pore wood trim and semi-aniline leather upholstery in cognac and black. Porsche says the Sport Classic is the first car to get that type of leather since the iconic 918 Spyder.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTSMy SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTSThe pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTSI'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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