Welcome to The Grid, R&T's quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.
Porsche's EV Investment
Porsche is making a big bet on electric cars, with the upcoming Mission E representing the first full-electric car from the German automaker. Now, Porsche plans to double its investment in electric cars .
What will that extra money be used for? First, Porsche will use it to produce the Mission E as well as variants of the model. The money will also be used to hybridize and electrify the lineup, which likely means that there will be a hybrid 911 down the line. There will also be investment in factories, infrastructure, and everyone's favorite word combination, smart mobility.
Bye Grid Girls, Hello Grid Kids
Now that Formula One has decided to stop using grid girls during the 2018 season, a replacement was needed. That replacement?
In what isn't just a great idea but also a stroke of genius, each race will have kids on the grid with the cars, hanging out with their idols and favorite drivers. The kids won't just be random, either, but nominated to participate and also active in motorsports.
New FCA Execs
In case you were wondering, there's been . Reid Bigland relinquishes his role as head of Maserati and Alfa Romeo, handing the reigns to Tim Kuniskis. Bigland remains head of US sales, President and CEO of FCA Canada, and man with the car industry's best name.
Kuniskis will be succeeded as head of FCA's US passenger car brands by Steve Beahm, the head of Maserati North America.
A New Hamilton Contract?
Lewis Hamilton doesn't yet have a new contract with Mercedes after his expires this year. But Toto Wolff, the head of Mercedes-AMG F1, believes that
Valtteri Bottas is also out of contract at the end of 2018, so Mercedes could have a lineup of youngsters if neither one re-signs. That seems unlikely.