No. 911
August 23, 2017

About The Autoextremist@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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AUGUST 2, 2017

Sergio Marchionne. Editor-in-Chief's Note:
That Sergio is doing exactly what I'd thought he'd do when he got his hands on Ferrari is no big surprise. Marchionne plans on adding a four-seat "utility vehicle" so he can pump up the volume - and the profits - for Ferrari, image be damned. Once upon a time Ferrari was the most legendary - and exclusive - sports car maker in the world. But now that Marchionne has got his grubby hands on the prancing horse brand, Ferrari is well on its way to becoming just another car company. It's all about unfettered greed and it's unconscionable. And pathetic. It reminds me of Joe Pesci's superb narration in "Casino" when he famously said, "And then we fucked it all up." Way to go, Sergio, I didn't dub you "the carpetbagging mercenary" for nothin', because that's exactly who you are. -PMD

Editor-in-Chief's Note: More on Tesla. It's interesting, but when Elon Musk had his back up against the wall when developing the Model S, he ended up having to come to Detroit and enlist help from industry veterans in order to get the car finished. That's a little-known and under-publicized fact. Musk also has one of the most talented automotive designers working on his behalf in Franz von Holzhausen, and make no mistake, that has had a large impact on the success of Tesla. Are the cars good? In a perfect world with everything properly working and in order, they can be impressive. But I still consider Tesla largely a vanity project. Why? Musk hasn't made one dollar of profit with Tesla. Not one. And the quality issues with the cars are absolutely unforgivable at the price point. If a Detroit automaker built a car with even one-sixteenth of the problems that Teslas have had, you would never hear the end of it and that automaker would probably be called to testify before Congress. I appreciate vision, I really do. But Elon Musk has gotten away with murder with the Tesla. And he has used the Cult of Elon to mask a multitude of sins that no other car company could have gotten away with. The other problem in all of this is that in the headlong rush to embrace electric cars no one, and I mean no one is talking about where the power is going to come from. There are long-term implications about producing enough electric power to keep a massive fleet of electric cars going, and so far everyone is kind of looking the other way and saying, "we'll figure it out." I'm not so certain about that. Back to the Model 3. As I've said, Musk has demonstrated repeatedly that Tesla is incapable of building quality cars even at the comparatively minuscule volumes he's dealing with. To even suggest that he can crank out 500,000 Model 3s in one year is the height of absurdity, yet everyone hangs on his every word and gives him the benefit of the doubt. Well, I was finished giving him the benefit of the doubt when he brought out the abysmal Model X, which never should have seen the light of day. I think a lot of Model 3 intenders are going to get burned. -PMD

BMW will unveil an all-new BMW Concept vehicle and the BMW Concept 8 Series during Monterey Car Week. The BMW Concept 8 Series serves as a preview of a forthcoming BMW model – the new BMW 8 Series Coupe, slated for launch in 2018. The BMW Concept 8 Series will be shown publicly at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering on Friday, August 18th, and on the Concept Lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, August 20th. The BMW Concept vehicle also previews a new model that will come to market in 2018. The BMW Concept will have its only North American public showing on the Concept Lawn of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

 (Bollinger Motors images)
This is the Bollinger B1, which the company is calling "the world's first fully working prototype of an all-electric sport utility truck." Created from a blank computer screen using a lightweight aluminum architecture, the Bollinger B1 incorporates a rugged, heavy-duty truck design with a classic, 3-box look designed to resonate with contemporary and traditional off-road vehicle enthusiasts. Painted in a special “Gunhouse” Grey, the B1 certainly has "the look" going for it with black accents and a black satin wheel finish to complete the exterior appearance. Other details? An overall length of 150"; a width of 76.5"; a height of 73.5"; a wheelbase of 105 inches; front and rear track of 68"; an approach angle of 56 degrees; a departure angle of 53 degrees and break over angle of 33 degrees. The B1 has an all-aluminum chassis with a high-strength, low-alloy (HSLA) steel rollover structure designed for optimal off road vehicle proportions. The chassis by itself weighs just 295 pounds. The base ride height provides for 15.5" of ground clearance but will be adjustable using a self-leveling, 4-wheel independent, hydro-pneumatic suspension within the 10" of wheel travel. Disconnectable anti-roll bars allow traction enhancing, full suspension articulation during off-road maneuvers. Bollinger claims that the B1 has a perfect 50/50 weight balance front to back and side to side and that the dual-motor powertrain provides full-time all-wheel drive, "with best in class horsepower, torque and ground clearance distinguishing it from every other truck currently on the market." As always, we shall see.
The Gunhouse Grey color and black accents are carried through to the interior with black leather seats. A vehicle designed with the rugged outdoorsman in mind, the Bollinger SUT seats up to four occupants wrapped in a steel passenger safety cage. For ease of cleanup the interior can be fully hosed down as all of the instruments have rubber seals and gaskets and polyurethane-coated floor pans.
The B1 employs a dual-motor powertrain configuration using front- and rear-mounted synchronous electric motors driving all four wheels. The production B1 will offer two lithium ion battery pack options: 60 kWh or 100 kWh, producing either 120 miles or 200 miles in range.
The Bollinger B1 generates 360HP and 472 lb-ft of torque. It will accelerate to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 127 mph, according to the manufacturer. Part of the promised performance is due to the fact that the B1 weighs just 3,900 lbs., giving it a 10.8 power to weight ratio. With a payload capacity of 6,100 lbs, the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) checks in at just over 10,001 lbs.
Bollinger Motors has a design, engineering and development center in Hobart, New York, and the company is in talks with third-party independent vehicle manufacturers in the US who are conducting feasibility studies and financial estimates. Bollinger is also engaged with the state of New York and reviewing options for potential future build facilities. Once manufacturing is finalized, B1 deliveries are targeted to start within 19 months (uh, we view this as being wildly optimistic. If it sees the light of day by 2022, we'll be impressed). Initially a direct-to-consumer sales model will be employed for the B1 and in the future, Bollinger will also look to open company and retail stores in major cities across the US. For now, the B1 will be available through and interested individuals can reserve a spot simply by signing up online with no money down. In early 2018 reservation holders will be able to order their B1 with a $1,000 down payment.