Ferrari has admitted to carefully optimizing cars to ensure they perform at their absolute best in media tests. That’s not cheating, they say, just … optimizing. And if one senior development engineer at a rival automaker is right, Ferrari is very good at it. He says the Ferrari 488 GTB his company bought retail to use as a benchmark vehicle feels nowhere near as good in terms of engine performance and chassis composure as the press cars he’s driven. So much so that he’s seriously considering dropping the Ferrari from the competitive set. Worried by declining sales in the segment, Porsche is reportedly considering a bunch of options for the next-gen 718—and none of them include an all-new, all-porsche car powered by a mid-engine internal combustion engine. The most conservative option involves a simple reskin of the existing vehicle; the most radical, using a shortened version of the forthcoming Mission E platform to create an all-electric sports car. In the middle? An all-new sports car that could be shared with Audi to spread development costs and boost sales volume. Whispers around Weissach even include a doomsday scenario: axing the 718 lineup altogether. Meanwhile, across town at Daimler, the decision has already been made: There will be no replacement for the SLK roadster. Original plans called for the next-gen SLK to have been developed in concert with the next-gen SL, both cars sharing an all-new aluminum intensive architecture. But now the next-gen SL will share its underpinnings with the next-gen AMG GT lineup, with all the basic vehicle development for both handled by AMG. The move makes a ton of sense. The required investment in platform attributes and technologies for the two cars is similar, and the GT can generate higher profits for a quicker payback than the cheaper SLK. What’s more, the 911-fighter focus of the GT range means the next-gen SL can be made a little larger to deliver proper 2+2 seating, and it can be given a slightly more relaxed ride and handling balance. Crisis? What crisis? Demand for mega-dollar hypercars shows no sign of slowing. Aston Martin insiders report the company could have sold the 175-car production run of the radical Adrian Newey–designed Valkyrie seven times over despite the $2.7 million price tag.