In this week’s auto industry news, we cover the strange and sad. Did you know there’s a Tesla Model S limo, or that a 1967 Beetle and 1950 Ford pickup make a pretty sweet hot rod? The Audi R8 is rumored to be no longer, a self-driving Bolt EV had it’s first pedestrian collision, and Hamilton makes headlines for…
Tesla Model S Limo on eBAY
For some of you, the Christmas cards have rolled in and Aunt Lisa hooked you up. So much so, that there’s only one thing to do: troll through EBAY in search of that perfect something. Like, we don’t know, let’s say a Tesla Model S limousine. Yes, that was a real thing, but no, the listing is no longer live. The S limo, initially used for advertisement purposes only had 150 miles on it. And the bids were somehow lower than the price of a regular old Model S. It was fun while it lasted, we guess.
R8 Too Late
So long and farewell to you, our friend. Well, maybe. Rumor has it that Audi will be discontinuing the R8 before 2020. These reports come from Georg Kacher of Automobile magazine (without any citations), and so far, it has been enough to make fans of the supercar begin the mourning process. Because for a naturally-aspirated machine, it has been sort of a cult following. The R8 was never really able to match its British competitors like the McLaren 570S, but its performance is worthy. According to Kacher’s report “there will be no replacement for the slow-selling R8, which will be phased out in 2020 when the new Lamborghini Huracán arrives.” Again, these are rumors for the time being, but we’d hate for Audi faithful to invest in false hope.
’67 Beetle/1950 Ford Pickup Build
But we’re not nailing all coffins shut. Christmas, the season of perpetual hope, has provided us the gift of new life with this 67 Beetle build. Although it would be fair to also call it a Ford 1950 pickup build, being that Mark H. of the “Volksrods” forum combined the best aspects of these two. The result? A sweet, low-riding truck. With some slick welding of the iconic old school F-150 bed and monk patience, he brought the world something unique and easy on the eyes. He installed 2.5″ dropped spindles and lowered the rear one inside spline, bringing the rear end down another inch and a half . The wheel package is a 15X4 and 17X7 Torq Thrust IIs to, as Mark puts it, “give it a little hotrod flavor.” Mission accomplished, we’d say. What a beauty.
Self-Driving Bolt EV “Crash”
We shift from Blast from the Past to Back to the Future. Chevy was testing its autonomous embodiment of the Bolt EV when a motorcycle collided with it in San Francisco. According to the report filed by Cruise, it was operating in autonomous mode in heavy traffic at the time of the incident. Police determined the motorcyclist was at fault “for attempting to overtake and pass another vehicle on the right under conditions that did not permit that movement in safety.” However, some outlets have (misleadingly) reported the incident as a shortcoming of the self-driving technology. The Bolt is an electric stud with massive battery range in its standard issue, and it will likely advance into autonomy if false reports of software failure don’t keep it down.
Around the Circuit
Could it be that Mercedes is ready to crash and burn in the world of Formula One? Lewis Hamilton has made headlines after stating his 2017 Mercedes was one of the “toughest” to drive of his grand prix career. The champion driver said he often felt he had to “overdrive” it to “get [its] extra potential.” Or are these words perhaps just sour grapes from a driver who crashed out of qualifying in Brazil last month?