As the weather turns cold for many of us, let’s bask in the remembrance of the warmer days off-roading. And what better way to do so than with tales from the extreme Gambler 500. Things are heating up with more rumors about the 2020 Ford Bronco. And if that’s not hot enough for you, then meet the Bollinger B2—an electric pickup that’s almost suave enough to make you forget the government wants to pull that EV tax credit. Let’s dive into this week’s Auto Industry News!
Gambler 500 Tennessee
Knoxville recently welcomed its inaugural Gambler 500, and boy did things pop off. You might be familiar with the Gambler name already, as they have several events around the country. And notice I keep saying “event” and not “race” because Gambler isn’t about who goes the fastest, but who can SURVIVE the course.
It’s a crawling, mudslinging, obstacle-filled challenge oozing with Mad Max vibes. Contestants custom-build their beastly beaters to compete in the fun version of the cinematic death race and see what others bring to the table. But there is a major catch: the vehicle chosen can only have a value of $500 or less. So not only is this INSANE rule the concept’s namesake, it also makes for an extremely level playing field. Knock-around trucks and mini-vans with custom battle grilles alike can enter and jump in on the fun. Check out the action!
Ford Bronco May Debut With 7-speed Manual
Rumor has it that the 2020 Ford Bronco will debut with a 7-speed manual transmission. With this set up, the Bronco would join the likes of the Porsche 911 and Chevy Corvette in an elite class of vehicles sold with the 7-speed stock. Ford’s current partnership project with Getrag has produced what is now the blue oval standard in the MT-82 six-speed. However, Ford knows that if the Bronco wants to complete a proper resurrection and actually compete with the Jeep Wrangler, it must raise the bar. Is it as high-stakes as an interstate police chase involving an all-time running back? Not quite, but this will surely elevate the hype.
Bollinger B2 Electric Pickup
After a rather successful go-around with its first form, the electric pickup by Bollinger is back, y’all! Keeping it simple with the name “B2,” the newest version is anything but. The body of the truck is sure to polarize, with an extremely boxy frame and four door setup. But what that frame affords is storage—and lots of it. With the tailgate and front gate down, the truck becomes 233 inches long. And with the electric motor stored below the vehicle, it can haul unusually large and long loads by allowing items to slide in the bed, through the cabin, and out the front.
And speaking of that engine, its electric power is nothing to sleep on either. The Bollinger B2 has a payload of 5,000 pounds and a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds. Bollinger is quietly setting the standard for electric and SUV motors going forward as the two markets congruently explode.
Legislation Introduced to Cut EV Tax Credit
In a government move that was expected, but perhaps not so soon, Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming introduced a bill that could be the official end of the EV tax credit. Earlier this year, we saw propositions for having the credit reduced and subsequent action by EV dealers and manufacturers. Tesla told potential owners to strike while the iron was hot and others followed suit as what seemed to be the last of the credits ran dry. Thanks to this government intervention, the studies projecting 4 million EVs on the road by 2025 may have to readjust their figures (assuming humanity endured until then). Side note: Barrasso has accepted $500,000 from the petroleum industry. And while I like fuel-injected fun as much as the next guy, this move may be prematurely rotten.
Around the Circuit
The NASCAR playoffs are in full swing as the field nears trimming itself down to the Round of 8. Aric Amirola nabbed the win at Talledega over the weekend, ensuring his spot in next week’s competition. Amirola caught a break as teammate Kurt Busch ran out of gas in the final lap, and he was able to take his pass and secure the win. Whatever it takes in the playoffs. As for the standings, Martin Truex Jr is the current bubble boy in eighth place, but it is certainly not a sure thing with one Round of 12 race left. Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, and Kyle Larson are all within 26 points of that spot at the most.
In Motocross, the Monster Energy Cup Qualifiers took place over the weekend and turned some heads with its young talent. Joey Savatgy, in his debut race in the class, took a commanding lead in the 450. However, he forgot to look back for veteran teammate Eli Tomac, who has been blazing the tracks as of late. Tomac blew past everyone, including the rookie Savatgy, Marvin Musquin, Jason Anderson, and Justin Barcia. Savatgy ended up in a respectable fifth place and took sixth in the Moto Two Class. That said, everyone should keep their eye out for the 24-year-old phenom in the winner’s circle for years to come.