Hollywood

Lucasfilm shows off new Porsche-designed starship ahead of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' premiere

Lucasfilm and Porsche are celebrating the premiere of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" with the design of a new starship.

Photo courtesy of Porsche

Sure, they are hard at work already designing the next-generation 911, but Porsche designers took a little time out of their schedule to work on a different type of passion project, a Star Wars starship.

Design studies in Weissach and San Francisco worked together to create initial ideas and drafts for two months before settling on the creative concept. Its name is Sri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter.

The concept will be presented in its entirety at the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" in Los Angeles on December 16. The model is five feet in length.

Sri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Porsche and Star Wars designers got together to create this unique starship.

"The design of the spaceship is harmoniously integrated into the Star Wars film world while at the same time demonstrating clear analogies with the characteristic Porsche styling and proportions," said Michael Mauer, Vice President Style Porsche, Porsche AG. "The basic shape of the cabin, which tapers towards the rear, and a highly distinctive topography from the cockpit flyline to the turbines establish visual parallels with the iconic design of the 911 and the Taycan. The very compact layout conveys dynamism and agility, lending emphasis to the Porsche design features mentioned."

Though starships are usually only seen on-screen in 2D. However, that design has to give the impression that the vehicle is dynamic while being instantly recognizable. Porsche designed the Sri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter in 3D.

This Starfighter is infused with design DNA that is apparent in modern Porsche models. According to Porsche,

The front is reminiscent of the so-called "air curtains" (air inlets) that go together with the headlights to create a single formal entity in the Taycan. In addition to the four-point daytime running light typical of Porsche, the so-called "blasters" – long gun barrels at the front – are located at the tip. The rear grid with the louvres and integrated third brake light was inspired by the current 911 generation, and the rear section of the starship bears the brand's hallmark light bar. Porsche design criteria have been applied to the interior, too: the instruments in the cockpit are clearly aligned with the driver's axis, while the low seating position is reminiscent of the sporty ergonomics in the Porsche 918 Spyder.

Porsche's first all-electric car, the 2020 Taycan, will appear alongside the spacecraft on the red carpet at the premiere.

A behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the starship is available online at www.thedesigneralliance.com.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The first all-electric Karma Automotive model is set to debut next year.

Photo courtesy of Karma Automotive

Karma Automotive is promising to debut its first all-electric car in 2021. To understand how we got here, it's important to look back a decade.

Fisker Automotive was founded by heralded car designer Henrik Fisker in 2007. For a brief moment in history, it produced the Fisker Karma, one of the world's first production luxury plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The first Karma was delivered in 2011 but by 2014, the company was staring down liquidation.

That year, Fisker Automotive's Karma vehicle design, tooling, and manufacturing facility were purchased by Wanxiang Group, the largest China-based automotive components company by revenue. Henrik Fisker retried the Fisker trademarks and rights to the Fisker brand. He went on to launch Fisker Inc., a separate company that has big plans for all-electric vehicles, in 2016. Wanxiang Group renamed its vehicle company Karma Automotive.

And now here we are.

Karma Automotive has released an image of the GS as a teaser.

Karma Automotive says that the 2021 debut will be the first public step in a full line, which includes electrification options and leans on technological advancements to set itself apart. The GS Series model will be Karma's first-ever battery electric luxury sedan.

The new models will retain much of the same design as the Revero.

"We are pleased to announce that Karma will now offer our first all-electric vehicle next year as part of the GS series," said Dr. Lance Zhou, Karma's CEO. "Cost reductions in the BOM, streamlining our supply chain and standardized production methods also allowed for a new, more attainable pricing structure for the GS lineup allowing for higher market penetration, opening up the market to a larger group of entry level luxury buyers."

Though its looks, range, pricing, and options aren't yet public knowledge, customers can currently reserve their model at http://www.karmaautomotive.com/reserve. All reservations require a fully-refundable $100 deposit.

For years Chinese brands have been looking to break into the U.S. market without much success. Though there are a growing number of Karma dealerships in the U.S., sales of the vehicles are few and far between.

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The Langen Two Stroke will debut at Salon Privé.

Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

Langen Motorcycles, a new British company, is set to launch its first bike, the Two Stroke, at Salon Privé this week. The Two Stroke is a road-legal bike that, according to the company, "will attack your senses through the sound, smell and sheer thrill that only a lightweight, two-stroke can deliver."

Intrigued yet? The new model is powered by a two-stroke 250cc V-twin engine that relies at 14,500 rpm. The heart is produced for Langen by Vins, which is based in Maranello, Italy. It makes 75 brake horsepower and 33 pound-feet of torque. Lagen describes its development: "Born from an 'extra-curricular' passion project from members of the Ferrari research and development department, the CNC-machined engine has been developed over the last five years."

Langen Motorcycles Two Stroke Each Langen Two Stroke is handmade.Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

The motorcycle's chassis is made from large-diameter, laser cut aluminum tubing with bonded and machined connection points and has Ohlins front forks and British K-Tech rear shocks. Hel Performance brakes, Dunlop tires, and a K-tech suspension also take residence on the motorcycle. The Langen Two Stroke weighs just 251 pounds and has a power-to-weight ratio that is better than most supercars.

Each Two Stroke is a handmade, bespoke creation. The bodywork, including the fuel tank is made from hand-laid carbon fiber, as is the gold leaf detailing. Buyers can customize their moto's paint color, chassis finish, suspension type, and wheels. Ergonomics can be customized to the buyer's preference.

The Two Stroke has been designed and engineered in England. Each model will be built in Wigan, Greater Manchester.

Langen Motorcycles Two Stroke The motorcycle's ergonomics can be adjusted to best fit the driver.Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

'The company has been founded with the aim of producing motorcycles with a simplicity and purity of days gone by, like the 'Ton-up boys' and their Caf racers – yet pushing the limits of modern technology," said Chris Ratcliffe, creator of Langen and designer of the Two Stroke. "My dream has always been to create a small piece of British motorcycling history. To be able to launch this special motorcycle under a completely new brand really is a dream come true. The aim is to continue to push boundaries and create more interesting bikes, which we hope will really please people"

Langen Motorcycles Two Stroke The company is new to the retail landscape.Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

The first round of builds will be limited to 100 individually numbered models. Production is targeted to begin in summer 2021.

A further 150 motorcycles will be produced starting 2022, which will be available in homologated form for road use in other countries around the world. The total number of builds will be strictly limited to 250 bikes, each of them built to order.

Langen Motorcycles Two Stroke Each motorcycle's suspension is customizable.Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

The Two Stroke is priced from £28,000 plus VAT where applicable. Pre-orders are now being taken with a £1000 refundable deposit to secure one of the 100 initial bikes.

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