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 spacecraft Doug 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 spacecraft Doug 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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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Mazda has added a turbo back to its options list for Mazda3 for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The 2021 Mazda Mazda3 2.5 Turbo is the powerful engine option many buyers have been seeking. We now know how much power it will deliver and how much it will cost.

Mazda is selling the Mazda3 with the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine in both sedan and hatchback variants. Sedan models will start at $29,900 and hatchback at $30,900. Adding the Premium Plus package to the sedan model bumps up the cost to $32,450 and the same treatment for the hatchback prices it at $33,750.

2021 Mazda Mazda3 2.5 Turbo The Mazda3 Turbo is aesthetically unchanged on the interior from the other top-tier Mazda3 models.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

There is a $945 destination and handling fee for each vehicle ($990 in Alaska).

Both models come with the 250-horsepower engine that delivers 320 pound-feet of torque on premium fuel (227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque on regular fuel). All-wheel drive is standard.

When equipped with the Premium Plus package, the hatchback version of the model gets a front air dam and rear roof spoiler. When adding the available Aero Kit ($1,075), a rear diffuser and side sill extensions is added. Or, a buyer can choose to have the Mazda3 Turbo without the Premium Plus package and just add the Aero Kit as a standalone option for $1,900.

Mazda is making new BBS 18-inch gloss black forged wheels available on all grades of the Mazda3 Turbo for an added $918.95.

Getting a premium paint color on the Mazda3 Turbo will also cost extra. Prices are $395, $495, and $595 for Snowflake White Pearl Mica, Machine Gray Metallic, and Soul Red Crystal, respectively.

Power To The People | 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo | Mazda USA www.youtube.com

There are no further aesthetics changes to the model for the new year.

To coincide with the arrival of the new model, Mazda has launched a fresh ad campaign that showcases a touch of the company's history alongside the beginning of this new, turbocharged chapter. Mazda celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2020.

The 2021 Mazda3 Turbo is expected to arrive at dealerships later this year.

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The Infiniti QX55 is the company’s new crossover.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The Infiniti QX55 was supposed to have already been seen by the public, but COVID-19 derailed the company's plans for a reveal at the New York International Auto Show. Today they're releasing the first official image of the new SUV and confirming that the model will be a 2022 model year vehicle as opposed to its original 2021 date.

AutomotiveMap has already seen the vehicle in full as part of an event last year.

In the image, just the backside of the crossover's body is shown. Even there, design lines inspired by the FX model that has long since been retired by the brand are evident.

2022 Infiniti QX55 Last year, the company teased the QX55 with a rendered image of its profile. Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The model's coupe-like rear stands out as being on trend with designs of modern European SUVs with wing-like taillights reminiscent of the Q60 sports coupe flanking the rear door. Atop the rear windshield is a black design element, possibly showcasing that a two-tone paint scheme will be offered.

The picture also reveals that the model will have a rear windshield wiper, wheels, tires, and cladding (phew).

When AutomotiveMap first saw the model last year, Mike Colleran, then Vice Chairman and Global Division Vice President, Marketing and Sales Operations for Infiniti Motor Company, was quick to point out that the model has FX model bloodlines but isn't a direct FX successor.

Though it's not shown in the new photo, when the full vehicle is revealed, its lineage will be instantly apparent to brand enthusiasts that will see where a bulging hood and sleek lines that make the QX55 look as much like a throwback as it does a fast forward. Its face is commanding, but not as upright as what is seen on Infiniti's larger SUVs, including the 2020 Infiniti QX80 and the redesigned 2021 Infiniti QX60. It has its own unique grille that hasn't been seen on any other Infiniti yet.

Beyond its looks, Infiniti confirms that the QX55 will feature “innovative technologies designed to empower, engage, and connect luxury customers to the road ahead".

The automaker, a luxury arm of Nissan, will reveal the model to the public via social media on November 11 at 5:55 p.m. PST. The crossover will arrive on U.S. shores in the spring of 2021 and then be available in other regions across the globe.

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