Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week’s gossip from across the automotive industry
This week’s gossip from the automotive industry has news of Mercedes‘s plan for the Smart model line-up, Porsche‘s former technical boss’ thoughts on the 911 GT2 RS, Seat‘s name for its upcoming seven-seat SUV and Peugeot‘s order books are growing thanks to the 3008.
Mercedes-Benz wants to expand its Smart model line-up, according to sales and marketing boss Britta Seeger. Rumours abound that its next model will be an SUV, but Seeger said only that she is “keen to grow the product” and future models were “under investigation”.
Former Porsche technical boss and Volkswagen Group engine chief Wolfgang Hatz, who left at the height of the Dieselgate scandal, was a guest at the launch of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS at Goodwood recently. “I’m here to see my baby. I was enjoying working on it before I left,” he said, smiling. Hatz now works for a technical investment fund in San Francisco, is a parttime lecturer at Stanford University and is involved in projects with motorsport’s governing body, the FIA.
Seat has had more than 130,000 suggestions for a name for its upcoming seven-seat SUV in 2018. It has invited entries online to name the car and, so far, 10,103 unique suggestions have been made by people in 106 countries. Seat, which sells cars in 80 countries, will announce the name in October after a public vote from a shortlist that will be confirmed in September.
Peugeot’s order bank is at a three-year high, buoyed by sales of the new 3008. “The figures are at their highest level since January 2014,” said boss Jean-Philippe Imparato. “Thirty-eight per cent of those orders are 3008, but the rest is spread across the range. If you get the product right and focus on quality, then the rest will follow.”