Restomod

Singer reimagines Porsche 911s as World Rally Championship-inspired all-terrain vehicle

Singer has reimagined the capabilities of a 1990 Porsche 911, turning it into a rally special.

Photo courtesy of Singer Vehicle Design

A longtime client of automotive design studio Singer commissioned the company to reimagine his air-cooled 911s as World Rally Championship-inspired, all-terrain competition machines. These types of modifications are becoming common. A 1982 911 piloted by American Amy Lerner is currently racing in the Dakar Rally and Cars & Bids recently auctioned off a modified 1984 Porsche 911.

Created in partnership with renowned 911 rally specialist Richard Tuthill, the vehicle design would enable a model to compete in off-road racing thanks to its all-terrain capabilities. Tuthill's Porsches have dominated rallies for decades including four victories in the East African Safari Classic. The Classic is a 5000 kilometer event that crosses Kenya and Tanzania.

1990 Porsche 911 by Singer Vehicle Design in the Studio

Photo courtesy of Singer Vehicle Design

"We at Singer are motorsport nerds in our hearts and demonstrating our understanding of the discipline required our off-road vision to display deeply legitimate competition credentials from the structural engineering, to the bodywork ethos, to the mechanical package," said Rob Dickinson, Founder and Executive Chairman, Singer Group Inc.

"We've taken particular inspiration from the iconic Rothmans-sponsored 911 SC/RSs and 959s that conquered events like the Qatar International Rally and Paris-Dakar in the mid-'80s and, at the request of our client, have reimagined these all-terrain 911's in their honor while utilizing fresh perspectives and state of the art know-how."

Singer started with a 1990 Porsche 911 (964). They company increased its ride height, suspension travel, and overall strength. It now has carbon fiber body panels that allow for easy underbody access. Permanent all-wheel drive has been installed in the originally rear-wheel drive car, along with front, center, and rear limited-slip differentials.

The car rides on forged aluminum 16-inch wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires. Stopping power is provided by four-piston monobloc steel disc brakes. There is a hydraulic handbrake.

1990 Porsche 911 by Singer Vehicle Design in the Wild

Photo courtesy of Singer Vehicle Design

A twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter air-cooled flat-six delivers 450 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. A sequential racing transmission replaces the traditional five-speed manual. Paddle shifting is available.

Rally racing requires repair and replacement supplies at the ready, in addition to traditional rallying equipment. There's a long-range fuel tank, two full-size space race wheels and tires, a full FIA specification roll cage, bespoke competition seats with FIA certification, a rehydration system for the driver and passenger, and a GPS race navigation system.

"Desert racing has got under our skin at Singer," said Mazen Fawaz, CEO, Singer Group Inc.. "I tested and ran a Trophy Truck with Jenson Button's Rocket Motorsport in 2019 and we'll be back in the truck for 3 events in 2021, so I know from personal experience exactly how demanding these events are. It's been great to work with Richard, who has run the Baja 1000 himself, as well as a vast array of other off-road competitions, and apply all that knowledge and experience to this restoration for our client."

The client liked the study so much, they have commissioned to machines, one - in Singer's iconic Parallax White - focused on high-speed desert rallying and a second – in Corsica Red - configured for high-speed, high-grip tarmac events and disciplines.

Additionally, the client has agreed to make the results of the study available to others who wish to equip their 911 with the same sort of capability.

The ACS restoration was undertaken as a collaboration between the two companies. Singer's Design Office in California led a joint engineering team with assembly undertaken in the UK at the Tuthill facility in Oxfordshire. Future cars will all be modified at Tuthill's facilities. Support packages for racing and maintenance will be available.

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Domino's and Nuro announced their partnership in 2019 — and now the robots are hitting the roads.

Photo courtesy of Nuro

After announcing their partnership to work on pizza deliveries via self-driving robots in 2019, Dominos and Nuro have officially rolled out their technology to one part of town.

Beginning this week, if you place a prepaid order from Domino's in Woodland Heights (3209 Houston Ave.), you might have the option to have one of Nuro's R2 robot come to your door. This vehicle is the first do deliver completely autonomously without occupants with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to a news release.

"We're excited to continue innovating the delivery experience for Domino's customers by testing autonomous delivery with Nuro in Houston," says Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief innovation officer, in the release. "There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations."

Orders placed at select dates and times will have the option to be delivered autonomously. Photo courtesy of Nuro

Nuro Domino's delivery vehicle

The Nuro deliveries will be available on select days and times, and users will be able to opt for the autonomous deliveries when they make their prepaid orders online. They will then receive a code via text message to use on the robot to open the hatch to retrieve their order.

"Nuro's mission is to better everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we're launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino's," says Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president, in the release. "We're excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino's customers in Houston. We can't wait to see what they think."

California-based Nuro has launched a few delivery pilots in Houston over the past few years, including the first Nuro pilot program with Kroger in March 2019, grocery delivery from Walmart that was revealed in December 2019, and pharmacy delivery that launched last summer.

From being located in a state open to rolling out new AV regulations to Houston's diversity — both in its inhabitants to its roadways, the Bayou City stood out to Nuro, says Sola Lawal, product operations manager at Nuro.

"As a company, we tried to find a city that would allow us to test a number of different things to figure out what really works and who it works for," Lawal says on an episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "It's hard to find cities that are better than Houston at enabling that level of testing."

You can find out which self-driving vehicles are being tested in your neck of the woods by clicking here.


This article first appeared on AutomotiveMap's sister site InnovationMap.

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The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is on sale now.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG
The all-electric range of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 has been confirmed. The model is the first modern electric Volkswagen to be sold in the U.S. and a model that the German automaker is resting a lot of hopes on for the future of sales in the country.

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro with all-wheel drive will achieve an EPA-estimated 260 miles of all-electric range on a full charge. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition, which have more features and equipment and therefore weigh more, achieve an estimated 250 miles of range.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy for ID.4 Pro RWD is 107 MPGe in the city; 91 MPGe on the highway, and 99 MPGe combined. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition does slightly worse achieving 104 MPGe in the city, 89 MPGe on the highway, and 97 MPGe combined.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4: Exterior The "1st" badging denotes the vehicle as a first edition model. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

These new numbers come as part of a second round of EPA testing. Original testing found that the model did not quite hit its target.

How does that compare to other EVs? The Nissan Leaf Plus offers 226 miles of all-electric power. The Hyundai Kona Electric delivers 258 miles. Volvo's XC40 Recharge has just 208 miles of all-electric range but the Tesla Model Y can go up to 326 miles on one full charge.

First out of the Volkswagen gate will be ID.4 models with an 82-kilowatt-hour battery and rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor. That system delivers 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque.

At a public DC fast-charging station with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes. With purchase, ID.4 owners receive three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC Fast Chargers at no additional cost.

The 2021 ID.4 is on sale now, with pricing for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro starting at $39,995 MSRP, before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The Pro S carries an MSRP of $44,495. The limited-run ID.4 1st Edition, which sold out the day the vehicle was launched, carried an MSRP of $43,995.

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