No. 911
August 23, 2017
 

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

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On The Table


Monday
Jul242017

JULY 26, 2017

arrowdown.gifarrowdown.gifarrowdown.gifFord, GM, Toyota. Editor-In-Chief's Note: After that painful display on Sunday, when the cavernous confines of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway were barely dotted with the intermittent fans - and that's putting it charitably - who managed to wander in off the street to see a NASCAR race that clearly only a handful of people actually cared about (see "The Line" this week -WG), it's obvious that NASCAR's chief enablers - Ford, GM and Toyota - have some 'splainin' to do. As in, why do these manufacturers continue to prop up NASCAR to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year, collectively? What are they getting exactly? Brand recognition? Please. With a declining core audience that can't even be bothered to attend races and with declining television ratings numbers, NASCAR steadfastly refuses to initiate the fundamental changes that it needs in order to survive, let alone thrive. Too many races by at least ten. Too many repeat visits to the same tracks. Too many bad decisions. Too much irrelevant technology. The NASCAR "greatest hits" list of mediocrity is growing by the week. And the participating manufacturers continue to blithely line NASCAR's coffers with little rhyme or reason, and for what? Remind me again? NASCAR claims that its "manufacturers' council" has opened the lines of communication and is making the sport better, with everyone gaining a voice. But it matters little at this juncture because right now NASCAR is caught in an accelerating downward spiral. In fact if it continues at the pace it's going NASCAR will go back to being a regional nostalgia racing series in five years. Or less. The manufacturers could demand changes and force NASCAR's hand, but so far they seem perfectly willing to play the go-along-to-get-along card. And they do so at their peril. Truly pathetic. -PMD

(Getty Images)
The attendance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday was beyond embarrassing for NASCAR, in fact, it was pathetic.

(Rolls-Royce images)
This is the eighth generation of the Rolls-Royce Phantom (the Extended Wheelbase version is shown in Purple). Congratulations to the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars PR Minions for sending the longest press release we've ever received, although we're not going to include any of the details. If you're in the market we're quite certain you'll figure out what you need to know about it, but we've included a few of the pictures.

 

 (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 bollingermotors.com 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.