Porsche Unleashes An Assault On Good Taste With The 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet America Edition

Morning Dump Porsche 911 Gts America Edition

Porsche releases an America-themed 911 GTS, Lada sends safety standards back to the ‘90s, Ford issues a strange Mustang recall. All this and more on today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

Porsche Gets Tacky

2022 Azure Blue Porsche 911 Gts America 005 Dsc07119
Photo credit: Porsche

As sort of an homage to the 1953 356 America Roadster and the 1993 964 America Roadster, Porsche has decided to take 115 brand new 911 GTS Cabriolets and push the off the cliff of visual taste. Welcome to the red, white, and blue 2023 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet America edition, quite possibly the tackiest way of celebrating a 70-year lineage.

Let’s start with the paint. Dubbed Azureblue356 (all one word according to Porsche’s press release), Porsche claims that it’s a unique tribute to the 356 America Roadster not shared with any other car. See, the 356 America Roadster was really the precursor to the 356 Speedster, a stripped-out weekend toy that helped cement the early days of Porsche’s legacy. There’s just one problem – I’m not sure if I’m buying the color tribute story. Porsche 356 America Roadsters were also produced in white, and green, and red, and silver, so it really seems like Porsche went with blue on this new special edition 911 so it could plaster on the white and red accents.

[Editor’s Note: I once spun one of these really valuable 356 America Roadsters on a wet track! Luckily, nothing was harmed, save some underpants that had it coming, anyway. – JT]

Take the wheels, for example. White with silver accents and red pinstriping seems quite horrifically tasteless, although these wheels definitely take focus off of the white and red stripes that run down the doors. I’d be lying if I said that things toned down on the inside, with massive amounts of red and white stitching that can be expanded to the seats, steering wheel, and shift knob by way of a $7,500 option package. Shift knob? Oh yes, if there’s one thing this special editions gets right, it’s what’s under the skin. Mandatory manual gearbox, rear-wheel-drive, adaptive dampers, lower springs, 473 horsepower, and a sports exhaust system. Good stuff, but all stuff that’s available on a regular 911 GTS. While the 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet America may have collectible status, I’d truthfully rather have a regular 911 GTS.

[Editor’s Note: It’s not that bad, jeez. – JT]

Lada Strips Out The Granta

Lada Assembly Line
Photo credit: Lada

Russia has been scrambling to get new car production back online. According to Reuters, Russia’s Industry Ministry predicts a slump of car sales in 2022 to 51 percent of normal levels due to sanctions against the state. On June 8, production of the 2022 Lada Granta Classic came online so Russian citizens can get a crack at buying a hastily re-engineered car meant to minimize use of components with non-localized production.

So what sort of components are being tossed by the wayside? Well, some rather important stuff, if I’m being honest. The Granta Classic has no seat belt pretensioners, no anti-lock brakes, no traction control, and no modern emissions equipment. It also only gets one airbag, so think of it as a brand new early-’90s small car without any hope of EPA certification. If this sounds like a little bit of a deathtrap to you, you’re probably right. To satiate buyers put off by the lack of safety equipment, Lada’s piled on the glitz with color-keyed trim, power steering, and power front windows. Wow. Pricing for this rather basic Granta starts at 761,500 rubles, or around $13,200. I don’t know about you, but that seems a touch expensive considering how little car you get for the money.

BMW Hikes M Car Pricing

P90463561 Highres M3 Edition 50 Jahre
Photo credit: BMW

A new model year usually signals price increases of a few hundred dollars across the board to keep up with inflation. However, BMW’s decided that a few hundred more dollars isn’t enough for its high-performance M cars. In a press release issued on Friday, pricing for M cars is set to rise by four figures come the 2023 model year. Let’s break things down.

Starting in July, basic M3 sedans and M4 coupes with the manual gearbox are seeing a price increase of $2,700, while M3 sedan and M4 coupe Competition models throw another grand on top for a price increase of 3,700. The M4 Competition xDrive Cabriolet falls somewhere in the middle with a $3,200 price hike. Moving up to the M5 midsize sedan, it gets a much more substantial price hike of $4,200 come July. Rounding out the car lineup, the M8 coupe and four-door Gran Coupe see price hikes of $4,100, while the M8 cabriolet adds $4,200 to its MSRP. Switching lanes to the SUV side of things, the base prices of the X3 M and X4 M rise by $2,800 in October, the X5 M gets a $2,800 price hike in August, while X6 M pricing rises by $4,100 in August.

If this all seems a bit ridiculous, there’s a good chance that it is. Lower-trim models typically see much more minor price hikes, so it really feels like BMW’s trotting out four-figure price increases on M cars because it can. Honestly, if you’re looking at pulling the trigger on a new M car, it might be best to do so before these new prices take effect.

Ford Recalls The Mustang For Gear Confusion

2019 Ford Mustang GT
Photo credit: Ford

Automatic rev-matching is a nifty convenience feature great for tight first-gear autocross hairpins and loafing about town alike. However, it requires a bit of programming to make right and sometimes programming gets things a bit wrong. Such is the case with 25,032 2019 and 2020 Mustang GTs with the manual gearbox under recall for a powertrain fault.

According to NHTSA recall documents, the gear position sensor may send a bad signal to the powertrain control module, which then may deactivate driver assist features, the backup camera, and/or the reverse lights. Honestly, that seems about janky to me. Thankfully, triggering this issue likely requires some weirdness. Extended periods of reverse driving, certain clutch slip scenarios, and vehicle modifications may play a role in exposing this bug. While the fix is a simple software update, it’s worth noting that Ford reports 102 warranty claims relating to reversing hardware and 92 warranty claims relating to driver assist malfunctions. Owners are expected to be notified of this recall starting Monday, with the software update fix reportedly already available.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. I hope everyone’s having a great Monday and got up to some quality car stuff over the weekend. To mark the start of the work week, let’s play a game. Imagine that you’re a traveling sales representative for some company selling printer ink in 2003. You’ve managed to shift so many toner drums and ink cartridges that you’ve won employee of the year, granting you first pick of a new company car. Your options are as follows: 2003 Dodge Intrepid ES, 2003 Chevrolet Impala LS, 2003 Ford Taurus SE sedan, 2003 Hyundai XG350. Choose wisely.

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36 Responses

  1. I’m not a fan of Asshole Patriotism, where you just have to wave your love of the flag in everyone’s face, while simultaneously disrespecting it by wearing it, pasting it onto eagles and Punisher skulls, and removing it’s colors to make it into a gang symbol for bootlickers.

    But I absolutely love the Porsche in those colors. I’d take one without the “America” decal along the rocker panels, even if I had to pay a little extra to have vinyl (?) stripes custom made. It’s a gorgeous shade of blue, and the accents are bold but plenty restrained enough to be tasteful.

    Also, the Impala is the only good choice in this foursome of meh. They’re all decent appliance-grade transportation, but only one has a engine proven far more solid than the others in it. GM 3800 for the win.

    1. Some of the tourists in my vacation town are driving around with little American flags stuck to the A pillar of their cars. Like a football team flag on game day, but instead it’s nationalism day. This is long after Memorial Day came and went. It’s fucking weird.

  2. It’s a blue Porsche with stripes. Only comes with a manual. I dig it. Moot, because I’ll never afford one anyway, but I dig it.

    2003 company car? Gotta go Impala. In hindsight, it seems to have aged the best of those four, with the Taurus a close second. But I like the Impala’s styling better.

    1. My question is why are we limited to the shit sedan options? Can we not jump for an accord V6 coupe manual or a Camry? Why buy hot garbage when eternal appliances are the same price range?

  3. Gotta go with the Intrepid. A few more ponies, not the worst looking of a mediocre bunch, could be worse.

    Seems odd to lament the Porsche’s details while showing none of them. From the photo presented it looks fine.

  4. I’d probably take the XG350 in that situation. It’s probably the wrong choice, but it would have felt like the most interesting of those cars at the time. The Impala would be a fairly close second, and the Intrepid would be last, far behind the Taurus.

  5. “got up to some quality car stuff over the weekend.”
    I bought a 2002 Chevy Silverado that turned out to have an engine with only 40k miles. It also had another set of tires on rims not listed in the ad. Only things I’ll need to do right away are change the oil and remove the canopy.
    Sometimes you go check out the vehicle that seems alright and it’s trash. But once in a while, you find one much better than expected.

  6. I will have to go with the Impala…not terrible looking, decent engine. Should be a decent place to rack up the miles while purveying my wares. I think the other choices are a bit more hit or miss. Some might be decent for awhile, some might be garbage right off the lot.

  7. This.. kind of reminds me of the dude Im working with who I offered to buy his 1/18 diecast 83 Camaro. Bur problem is, I dont exactly remember how MUCH he originally had it for.

    Well, hes got it for 130 now, it dropped to 100… and I said I was only interested in TRADES (i.e a selection of my diecast 1/18s for his). One thing led to the next.. and I spotted him selling a very similar 911 to the one above ^^^ only it was a GT3 RS.

    In short.. fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.. fool me three times, well… Im gonna HAVE TO BEAT the hell outta you now.

    BTW, thats a beautiful 911 conv just not worth the price they are asking.

  8. -That Porsche’s blue really is great. Tone down the other silliness and it’s a winner

    – Ford’s software weirdness.
    Honestly i’m shocked such stuff doesnt happen all the time. Given how unbelievably bad a lot of computer software is, the car makers are near perfect

  9. At the time, I’d have gone with the Dodge for the extra HP and more color choices as a slight advantage over the Impala having ABS. Not sure why you pulled a 20k Ford into a 24K fight. If you upped the Taurus to an SEL Premium it would still be the cheapest car in the fight and get ABS plus (benefit of hindsight) better longevity than the Dodge. Still should choose the Impala but can’t. My wife would divorce me. She hates those. It’s personal. So either the as spec’d Impala or if I can upgrade to ABS equipped levels with 20 more HP the Taurus.

  10. I wish I could help you cast stones at the Porsche, but it looks no better or worse than any other Porsche. But if they’ve ruined an icon of yours, I get it. I feel the same way about those God-awful screaming chicken decals on Firebird Trans-Ams.
    Of your 2003 choices I go with the Intrepid. I rented one for a 1500 mile trip and loved it. Red with bucket seats. I thought it looked great. When I got home I actually tried to buy one. There was a $500 factory rebate on it and dealer refused to come off a penny more. Back then I thought they were idiots. Today I know they did me a favor.

  11. Funny… my son is driving a corporate beige over beige Taurus right now! And his experience would say that would be my LAST choice (also had too many for rentals at the time also; god it was garbage).

    The Hyundai looked like a early aughts Chinese copy of a Jaguar X type if I remember, so that’s out.

    Then it’s a fight of Intrepid vs Impala. Those praising the 3800 goodness forget that engine was optional – this would have come with the mediocre 3.4. The Intrepid would have been the garbage 2.7 not the high spec 3.5. So, I guess that means Impala wins even though I’m more drawn to the Intrepid (being the son of a Chrysler engineer means they interior at least made sense to me).

  12. Man, absolutely everything on today’s Morning Dump – and everything outside of it – is just so fucking depressing today I really don’t have anything.

    I mean hell, even the flush. I worked on everything but the Hyundai new, and I mean seriously. The worst de-contented cut-cost Intrepid, an Impala with the 3.4 that managed to be built worse than the Century stablemate known for the glovebox literally falling off, the not-quite-a-jellybean absolute base model Taurus with a Vulcan, or a Hyundai known for non-functional airbags and grenading transmissions.

    I’m choosing to go back to bed. Wake me when it’s 2023.

  13. I must be tasteless. I don’t see anything particularly offensive about the Porsche.

    Move the printer salesman’s timeline a few years earlier, and I’d take the Intrepid in a second. The first-generation LH’s were a far better design than the bloated 2nd-gen cars.

  14. Probably have to go with the Hyundai just because it’s a bit different. I remember it being homelier than it is, certainly as compared to the other three. Also, wasn’t this around the start of their big reliability push and 10 year warranty?

    Otherwise I’d probably hold my nose and go with the Taurus. Least ugly of the three (although it’s close). Those are what we had for drivers ed in high school and they dealt with that abuse pretty well.

  15. Hyundai for sure! Just because I haven’t seen one in quite some time. It was kind of handsome IIRC.

    As for the Lada, aside from the missing emissions equipment it sounds like a pretty good deal and you could turn around and sell it used for $16K.

      1. I admit to being biased because I grew up in 90s-00s GM, but I find their interiors intuitive if not thrilling, and I just don’t care for the others as much (to be fair, I’ve never been in an XG350).

        Besides being reliable, the 3800 is also torquey and fuel efficient, so it’s also a pleasant highway companion.

        1. Got it – had a 1st gen Intrepid, and that was also a great highway car. 3800 would’ve undoubtedly been better on gas (and not required midgrade for best performance), but I’m also assuming gas is mostly at your employer’s expense (plus, it’s 2003 and not particularly expensive).

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