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Thursday, March 31, 2016

The BMW Isetta is Coming Back, But as an EV


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

Teeny tiny cars have largely fallen out of favor with today’s car buyers, replaced with large and small crossover SUVs of all shapes. But a Swiss firm is hoping to bring back one of the world’s most iconic little cars of all time—yes, the BMW Isetta “bubble car.”
That company is Micro Mobility Systems and their BMW Isetta revival is called the Microlino.

While the Microlino is powered by a 15kW electric motor and rides on four wheels, Micro proudly claims “this is not a car!” Instead, it’s described as a “scooter with a roof” and it’s said to comply with Europe’s L7e quadricycle legislation along with the likes of the Renault Twizy, which skirts many of the stringent tests and certifications required of automobiles.

The end result is an urban commuter that can zip up to a top speed of 60 mph, travel 60 to 70 miles on a charge, and shack up in what would normally be inaccessible parking spots. Take a peek at the Microlino in action, below.

According to the firm, the Microlino project kicked off in earnest at the beginning of 2015, as part of a collaboration between Micro Mobility Systems, students at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, and the Designwerk agency. In fact, it all started by converting a BMW Isetta to an electric powertrain. While the company says it still has significant engineering work to finish, it estimates full production will kick off in 2018.

Need one? Sadly, you’ll have to get in line. Following an initial 500 vehicle production run announced at the recent Geneva Motor Show, all Microlinos were said to have been accounted for within 13 days.. Now, interested bubble car drivers will have to sign up on a waiting list for the next available vehicles.

The first of these advanced release cars will arrive at the tail end of 2017, and the company estimates pricing to range between $9,000 and $13,500.


New Bandit Trans Am is an 840HP Homage to Burt Reynolds


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.
Bandit Trans Am

The Pontiac Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit is one of the most recognizable movie cars in history. Today, the Trans Am is a relic of the 70s and Pontiac has ceased to exist, but you can get your hands on this Trans Am SE Bandit Edition for $115,000.

The car has even been endorsed by none other than Burt Reynolds, and bears his signature on the dashboard. It’s the work of Trans Am Depot who modified a Chevrolet Camaro into a tribute car.

 There’s a set of T-tops, a big shaker scoop and that iconic screaming chicken on the hood. All it needs is Burt Reynolds behind the wheel. He does not, however, come with the car.

Bandit Trans Am Interior

There are Bandit decals on the headrests and center console, and the screaming chicken’s wings emblazon the doors. Under the hood is a 7.4-liter LSX V8 and a 2.9-liter supercharger that give the Trans Am Bandit 840 horsepower. That should do for outrunning the local authorities.
They are limiting production to only 77 units at a starting price of $115,000. It might clean out your bank account, but you’ll be the envy of all your Bandit-loving friends with this parked in your driveway.


Tesla Model 3 Hits 60 MPH in Under 4 Seconds, Will Have Impressive Range


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

We’re less than a full day away from the reveal of the all-new Tesla Model 3. With that, more specs and details are starting to leak surrounding Tesla’s “affordable” new EV. The latest comes in the realm of performance—and it sounds extremely promising.
According to Electrek, the Tesla Model 3 will have a 0-60 mph time of just 4 seconds. Though, it’s unclear whether this is straight out of the $35,000 box, or if equipped with optional all-wheel drive, which we know will be significantly more expensive.


Speaking of more expensive; an optional 80 kWh battery pack will give the Model 3 over 300 miles of range. That’s a healthy increase over the 265-mile range on the 85 kWh Model S. No word on how much range the base battery will provide.

Orders for the Model 3 will begin on site at tomorrow’s launch, to which 650 potential customers will be in attendance. We’ll know more about Tesla’s highly-anticipated Model 3 when it makes its world debut in California.

Image Credit: Theophilus Chin


Could This Be the Track-Tuned 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT R?


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

When the all-new 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S made landfall last year, critics were quick to note its major differences to the Mercedes SLS it effectively replaced, namely its blistering performance at a price that’s nearly $100,000 less than the SLS. 

Now however we’re getting a glimpse of a car that could gobble up that price gap extensively, all the while cranking power and on-track performance into the stratosphere. This could be the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT R.

In the short video below, captured by YouTuber cvdzijden, a camouflaged Mercedes-AMG GT prototype is recorded testing on track at Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit.

 Judging by the reworked front fascia, the massive fixed wing on the rear, and what looks like center-exit exhaust, this would appear to be more than your garden variety GT. Take a look.

The camouflaged prototype not only sounds imposing but it rounds these few ribbonlike bends with absolute poise and a tremendous speed, lending credence to its believed “GT R” status. While such a car has yet to be officially revealed, if this is even it, AMG boss Tobias Moers did recently confirm the GT R’s existence to Top Gear.

“The new GT R will set a new benchmark in terms of driving dynamics,” Moers told Top Gear. “It will be faster on a racetrack than even the SLS Black Series.”

Them’s fighting words. He went on to note how “unstressed” the current GT’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine is, which summons 503 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque in “S” configuration. One can expect the aforementioned GT R to add a bit of stress to that block in search of higher power and better track performance.

Best of all, the Mercedes-AMG GT R won’t be the only high powered variant on the way. Moers also hinted to a new Black Series version on the horizon, but admitted it was still “too early to talk about that.”


2016 New York Auto Show: In Detail


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.
2016 Porsche 911R

If you’re a card carrying member of the media, and you also happen to love all things automotive, auto shows are totally overwhelming. There’s lots to see, little time to do it in, and you’re jockeying for position with hordes of folks who do not happen to love all things automotive. Nobody gives less of a damn about stepping in front of your perfectly lined up angle on the new Porsche 911 R, than a grown up with a selfie stick.
So, what’s an enthusiast to do in such a situation? Giving up isn’t an option, you’ve got to make the most of the experience, maybe even enjoy it. You could arrive really early in the morning, get some quiet time with the vehicles before the hungover Suits arrive, but that’d mean dragging your own sleep deprived body out of bed at an ungodly hour. Besides, there’s no guarantee that it’ll even be quiet. After all, The Suits have the annoying talent of being able to appear out of nowhere, even first thing in the morning. A talent no doubt acquired through years of attending corporate training seminars.

2016 Genesis New York Concept

My solution to the problem of foot traffic is to be as patient as possible (a task to be sure), and work around it by trying not to be where everyone else is. If there’s a press conference, I’m as far away from it as possible. Debuts are ‘exciting,’ and all, but honestly, is getting a blurry shot with a GoPro worth elbowing people out of the way? I think not. Besides, photos of the car were probably already leaked online, lets all take a deep breath and ditch the “We have to be first to be relevant!” way of thinking.

2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus

Instead of fighting for the same shots as everyone else, I made an effort to mix things up, and try to capture more subtle details around the show. Whether I succeeded or not is not for me to decide, but I will say that while editing my photos, I found a few that I was moderately pleased with. I cannot say that I had a favorite vehicle at the show, too much comparing of apples and oranges involved in making such a decision. I will say that there were three vehicles that I was particularly taken with , but to name them would be in bad taste, and unfair to all the other impressive hardware on display. Maybe they’re pictured here, maybe they aren’t, we’ll just never know.

Photo Credit: Visual Vocab for BoldRide


You’ll Never Guess Where Someone Found This 1971 Dodge Charger R/T


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.
1971 Dodge Charger Front

Old barns hide all sorts of treasures—signs, gas pumps, safes. But probably the coolest thing you could find in a barn is a car.

This time around it’s a 1971 Dodge Charger R/T, which was hiding out in Finland of all places. How this Dodge ended up in Finland, no one knows, but now this classic in need of restoration is up for auction on eBay.

What you see is what you get, and you can see that this is a huge project for someone with plenty of time and deep pockets.

 The paint needs some work, but the chrome looks to be in remarkably good condition. The original factory stripes and 440 badges are there, too. Unfortunately, there’s a lot that’s missing, including the engine.

1971 Dodge Charger

No engine, no gearbox, and an interior that is pretty trashed might hold you back from making a bid, but if you’ve been looking for a project car that will keep you busy for untold weekends, here you go. The seller doesn’t provide details, but he does have plenty of pictures so you get a true feel for the car’s condition. According to BarnFinds, this is just one of several restoration jobs the seller has up for auction.
There’s plenty of time to place your bid if you think it’s the car for you. It would be great to think someone will buy this and restore it, but there’s just as good a chance no one will take on a project this big and it will continue to rust away in Finland. Let’s hope the former happens.

1971 Dodge Charger Interior

A ‘Never Rented’ Hertz Shelby GT-H Mustang is Up for Sale


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

In 2006, Ford Motor Company revived a legend when it announced the return of the Ford Shelby GT-H Mustang—a “Rent a Racer” pony car that could be checked out at select Hertz locations, and just in time to celebrate the iconic program’s 40th anniversary. 
A total of 500 Shelby GT-H cars were built in honor of the ’66 GT350H, including four that were never rented and featured five-speed manual transmissions (the rest had automatics).

This GT-H isn’t one of those rarified manual cars, however it is claimed to be part of a small 20 car allotment that was never rented and instead purchased by company executives. Further digging might be needed to verify that, though its rather low 7,880 reported miles do make it quite the eye-catcher nonetheless. Like it? The svelte Shelby GT-H is up for sale online.


So what exactly did Hertz renters get from a Shelby GT-H Mustang, circa 2006? For starters, go-fast looks.

The ’06 GT-H came dressed to the nines in the same black-and-gold twin stripe color scheme as its famous predecessor and featured unique body modifications applied at Shelby American’s Las Vegas operations. On went a new Shelby hood, held in place with hood pins, plus an aluminum grille, GT-CS front fascia, and a set of exclusive five-spoke alloy wheels. Each originally started life as a stock Mustang GT coupe.

There was some magic underneath the skin as well. Each Shelby GT-H came equipped with Ford Racing’s FR1 Power Pack and FR3 Handling Pack, which bore the fruits of a cold air intake, X-pipe exhaust, racy dampers, shorter coil springs (1.5-inch drop), thicker sway bars, and a strut tower brace.

 The end result was 4.6-liter V8 with 25 extra horsepower, 10 additional foot-pounds of torque, and the means to apply more of it to the road.


Let’s just say, if you were a mid-2000s business traveler and wanted to make a big impact while on the road, turning up in a Shelby GT-H certainly made the statement.

Regarding this car’s “never rented” status, the owner cites a 2015 Barrett-Jackson article that supports the story that 20 did get scooped up by company higher-ups before reaching the rental fleets. Certainly not a bad perk of the job.

At current, this Shelby GT-H asks $37,500.

Watch the First Trailer for the New ‘Top Gear’


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

No, there’s no Clarkson or Hammond or May present—but you might be surprised at the all-new Top Gear’s first trailer for their upcoming series. With Matt Leblanc, Chris Evans, and Sabine Schmitz driving fast and doing crazy stunts in the trailer, the new crew is already looking like the Top Gear we know and love. Just, you know, different.
Things you’ll notice: Matt Leblanc driving an Ariel Nomad (awesome), Chris Evans thrashing a Dodge Viper ACR (also awesome), and of course, some nonsense in the Reliant Robin, because why not. Very much in that iconic Top Gear style, just without the hosts that we formerly knew and loved.

The cars, the production value, and the jokes are all there, but can the new crew live up to the original? Well, we’ll just have to watch and find out for sure. The new Top Gear will makes its TV debut near the end of spring.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Rare 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Boano is Up for Sale


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

The legacy of the Ferrari marque is riddled with unique anecdotes, highlighting the brand’s larger-than-life presence and prestige. One such story is that of the “Boano”—a special and quite rare coupe, which arrived at a pivotal moment in Ferrari history. 
Just over five dozen or so were built, this being one of them, and the rarified Ferrari is now up for sale at RK Motors in North Carolina, asking a tall $1.99 million for the keys. So what makes these ‘50s Ferraris so special? In part, it’s the grand touring lineage they helped establish—a path that Ferrari hasn’t strayed from since.


In the years following World War II, Enzo Ferrari began to fully realize the value of the grand touring road car, first, as a mechanism to fund his racing endeavors, and second, as a way to grow the Ferrari marque. The Ferrari 166 Inter is widely credited as being the first of Enzo’s GT creations, later followed by the coachbuilt 195 and 212 Inter. But it wouldn’t be until the legendary 250 series that production standardized and output truly hit its stride.
The Pininfarina-crafted Ferrari 250 Europa GT arrived to much fanfare in 1954, however when it came time to increase production, Pininfarina simply didn’t have the capacity to follow suit. Instead, Ferrari and Pininfarina looked to former Ghia designer Mario Boano to handle body production, and his Carrozzeria Boano did just that.

Over the course of two years, 60-plus Ferrari 250 GT “Boano” cars were built before Mario Boano left to for Fiat’s design department in 1967, at which point his son-in-law Ezio Ellena oversaw production, giving his resulting 45 “Ellena” coupes a distinctively higher roofline. Needless to say, the 250 road car series had received a momentous start, and the GT groundwork had been laid.


This particular alloy-bodied car, chassis 0609-GT, is said to have been restored to high standards and presents nicely in a two-tone white-and-red paint scheme, accenting Boano’s wonderfully low-slung roofline. Beneath the car’s long hood lives a triumphant 3.0-liter “Colombo” V12, good for a fizzy 240 horsepower, which is routed to the ground through a four-speed manual.

Surely, just shy of two million dollars is a lot to pay for a car. That said…it is a Ferrari 250.


The Chevrolet SS Might, Possibly, Maybe, Get A Second Generation


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.
2016 Chevrolet SS

If you ask any automotive journalist what the most underrated car sold in the United States is, and their answer is anything other than “Chevrolet SS”, ask to see their G.A.E. (Genuine Automotive Enthusiast) certification, because you might be speaking with a poseur. In all seriousness, there is no vehicle sold on our shores that deserves more recognition and doesn’t get it, than the Holden Commodore-based, LS3 V8 powered, super sleeper sedan that is the Chevy SS.
Despite being everything that American buyers traditionally ask for—stupid fast, comfortable, not outlandishly styled, relatively affordable—the SS has not taken the country by storm.

 Hell, the SS has barely managed a strong breeze, Chevrolet sold just 2,985 of them in 2015, which for most vehicles would mean getting their ticket to car heaven punched. On top of that, Holden is closing up shop in 2017, so the automotive community assumed that would be the final nail in the coffin which has already been sized, and built for the SS.

2016 Chevrolet SS

However, an interesting bit of news came out of a conversation that CarAdvice had with Chevrolet Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenhiemer at The New York Auto Show this past week.

Oppenhiemer was quoted as saying the following, “It sells what it’s supposed to, and we haven’t announced an end date to it, so we’re just…we know that there are some decisions made on the Zeta [platform], that are imminent, and right now we’re just focused on the new ’17 model, which is great. It has the LS3 with the manual and the active exhausts, and it’s a great car.”

When the interviewer posited that a Holden SS based Chevrolet SS would be a good note to go out on, Oppenhiemer was quick to respond, “I didn’t say we were going out. I didn’t say it”.

 When they pressed him further, asking if a V8 powered global sedan was a future possibility, Oppenhiemer continued to play coy, “Maybe, I’m not answering the questions, so I’m not leaving you with any hope”.

2016 Chevrolet SS

I tell you what, that is some darn good situational awareness right there from Oppenhiemer. He said just enough to give us hope that, despite lackluster sales, and the end of production of the car upon which it is based, the Chevrolet SS might live to fight another day.

 Should it get a second generation, whether or not it will still have a hearty 6.2-liter V8 under the hood that cranks out 415 horsepower, and 415 lb-ft of torque remains to be seen. The bean counters at GM might nix the idea all together, and if it is approved for another production run, something tells me the engineers would have a hard time pushing a N/A power plant through given the current trendiness of turbocharging.

That being said, there’s the fact that Dodge currently owns the American market in terms of fun four doors, and there have to be people at Chevrolet who are not ok with that. Perhaps former managing director at Holden, and current president of GM Mark Reuss is one of them, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, everyone should go out and get a 2016 SS, they’re ridiculously fun, and in the scheme of things quite affordable. Besides, with production being so limited, you know it’ll hold its value. Well, it might, maybe, possibly.


Acura NSX Roadster Concept Will Have You Wishing for the Real Thing


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

This rendering of an Acura NSX roadster makes us wish it was the real thing instead of something out of one man’s imagination. The 2017 Acura NSX coupe goes into production next month, and this roadster would look darn fine rolling off the line, too.
It sports a Honda badge in this rendering by Theophiluschin, but its styling is true to the Acura-branded NSX coupe we know here in the U.S. All that’s missing is the roof. Changes include the side scoops and a revised rear due to the power retractable soft top.


If and when it hits production, it will likely have the same 3.5-liter V6 engine and three electric motors found on the coupe. Total output for that setup sits at 573 horsepower and 476 lb-ft of torque. With the top down, that would definitely get the wind blowing through your hair on a sunny day.
The real world coupe version of the NSX will sell for $156,000. There are no confirmed plans for a convertible just yet, but it’s a possibility in the far distant future. It would likely fetch an even higher price. If we’re lucky and they build one, perhaps they’ll use this fantastic rendering as a bit of inspiration.


These are the Real Cars Superheroes Should Drive


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.
Batman BMW M2

You can’t drive the Batmobile all the time, even if you’re Batman. Sometimes you need a regular car, or at least, as regular as it gets for the superhero crowd. Take a look at these real cars given slight upgrades to make them worthy of your favorite superhero.

Let’s go with Batman first, since he has the coolest superhero wheels. Instead of the Batmobile, he could swap for a BMW M2 with a few special enhancements. It’s speedy and agile and the bat-shaped kidney grilles are brilliant. There’s also a side-mounted grappling hook and bat ninja stars in the front bumper.

Spider Man Ferrari 488 Spider

Peter Parker could definitely use a new car, so what could be better for Spider-Man than a Ferrari 488 Spider? It might not be faster than swinging from building to building, but it would still be a heck of a lot of fun. The convertible top means he can zip right out through the roof should the need arise.

Captain America gets a muscled set of American wheels in the Ford Mustang GT350R. What, you thought he’d drive an Audi? Upgrades on this one include doors with the vibranium steel alloy found in his shield so he’s even more indestructible. And, of course, there’s a red, white, and blue paint job.
See more superhero rides over at CarWow.

Captain America Mustang

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

You Can Check Out Batman’s Batcave on Google Street View


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.
Batmobile Batcave

 I think we all know Bruce Wayne is Batman, even though no one is really supposed to know about his secret identity. Bruce being Bruce, he keeps all his superhero gear carefully hidden in his very secret Batcave. But now Google Street View has gone and outed him to the world.
As part of a promotional tie-in with the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, you can now tour the Wayne estate. They were very thorough, so when you take a look around you’ll also find images of the Batcave with the Batmobile in residence when the images were captured.

It starts out innocent enough with views of his living room at his house on the lake. Once you leave the living room, things change. Welcome to the Batcave. Everything you could ever imagine is there, including all his computers and weapons.
Seems like the Dark Knight has experienced a rather serious lapse in security. You can take a tour of the whole thing. See, this is what happens when you get distracted from the mission of catching bad guys and decide to pick a fight with the Man of Steel.


The Maserati Levante: Upholding a Legacy, Making a Bold Statement


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.
Maserati Levante

Any time you hear the word Maserati, it conjures up images of graceful, powerful, luxury machines. It normally doesn’t make you think of a potential family hauler with kids stuffed in the back seat or a kayak strapped to the roof. But the Italian automaker wants to expand your perception of the brand with the introduction of its first SUV, the Levante.
It’s a little hard to get your mind wrapped around the idea. Maseratis are fast, sexy, and not at all utilitarian. The idea of putting the Maserati badge on an SUV is, well, almost weird. Yet, with a changing market, it had to be done. It was the missing piece in the Maserati lineup.

Rather than build some 7-passenger beast, Maserati opted for a smaller and decidedly more elegant SUV. It’s a true Maserati through and through, as we learned firsthand by hanging out with Chief Exterior Designer, Giovanni Ribotta, at this year’s New York Auto Show.

Maserati Levante 3

Focusing on the SUV’s design, Ribotta stressed the importance of making sure the Levante looked like a Maserati. Throughout the process, he and his team sought to “keep the soul of Maserati” both inside and out, in order to stay true to the brand’s heritage.

There are only so many ways to shape an SUV. It can’t be a coupe, but they still aimed for that look and feel as they designed the Levante. It has a sleek exterior that avoids being boxy and bulbous like so many other SUVs. The lines are long and low giving it a sporty presence and creating a very low .31 coefficient of drag. Its looks serve a purpose.

Giovanni said it was important to “add iconic elements” to make the Levante fit with the rest of the Maserati family. It has that bold front grille with the Maserati trident prominently displayed. That trident is found again on the c-pillars as it is on other Maseratis, and the trio of side vents is there, too.

Maserati Levante 2

The interior of the car received the same attention, all with the goal of keeping the Levante true to the Maserati name. The interior and exterior design teams each had their areas of focus but worked together to create a cohesive design that worked for the brand.

The Maserati Levante is a bold move. They needed an SUV in their line-up and they created one that fits the brand, blending classic Maserati design elements into an entirely new vehicle design.
The Maserati Levante is set to go on sale in the US at the end of August with a starting price of $72,000.

Of Course Mercedes-Maybach Will Build a Posh Three-Row SUV


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.


Well, that didn’t take long did it? Mercedes can’t have fat pocketed folks wandering the streets, distraught and confused because they can’t fork over their monies for a super plush, three row SUV with a Maybach badge. No, they cannot have that at all, which is why a Bentley Bentayga class vehicle is in the works over in Stuttgart.
While speaking with Benz CEO Ola Kallenius at the New York Auto Show, CarAdvice learned that Mercedes-Maybach plans to expand their lineup of top tier luxury vehicles to include an SUV. While it is not known what model will serve as the basis for the vehicle, the GLS is the likely candidate given that it is “The S-Class of the SUVs” as Kallenius said.

Given the exceptional comfort, and impressive performance offered by the range topping GLS 63 AMG, we can expect a Maybach SUV to dial both up to 11. Actually, that’s unfair to the folks at AMG, because they’ve already dialed the GLS up to 11.

 A Maybach variant wouldn’t crank up the dial any further, it would add a whole new set of speakers. If you’ve been so lucky as to sit in a boring ‘ol regular S-Class, and then sit in the Mercedes-Maybach S600, you know that the addition of the addition of the Maybach name takes things to another level entirely.
I’m not saying that a Maybach SUV will have a twin turbo V12 like the S-Class version does, but the Bentayga as 12 cylinders and two blowers under the hood, so it’s probably a safe bet that the Benz will match that. Like I said before, Mercedes hates to be outdone.


This Pontiac GTO Looks Like Something Straight Out of ‘Mad Max’


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

“I live, I die. I live again!” Those lines from Mad Max: Fury Road ring true when it comes to this digitally-revived Pontiac GTO. But it’s not your average, run-of-the-mill classic muscle car—this one was imagined for some serious terrain conquering. And conquer it will.
Designed by digital rendering artist Remy Trappier, this visualization of what he calls a “Mad Max style” Pontiac GTO is the perfect collaboration of awe-inspiring insanity and iconic muscle car looks. It’s still most definitely recognizable as a GTO, but, um, with some healthy modifications.


 A lift kit and some off-road tires assure that it won’t be getting caught in any mud pits. A brush guard lined with some serious lighting means that nothing will cross its path, night or day.

 The final touches—mesh where the window used to be, and a new hood with a massive scoop because why not.
It’s a mean machine, through and through. It’s definitely what I’d be rocking in a post-apocalyptic society.