Bad news if you wanted one of Bollinger Motors’ all-electric B1 SUVs or B2 pickups, with word today that the EV startup is shelving its consumer vehicle roadmap. Announced back in 2017, the Bollinger B1 was to be a marriage of classic Land Rover-inspired styling with a modern electric drivetrain, though – it was later revealed – that matrimony wasn’t going to come cheap.
Source: Bollinger Motors
After confirming the production-intent B1 and B2 models, complete with upright styling and intriguing features like a pass-through tunnel that ran the whole length of the EV, Bollinger broke the bad news. Both would start at $125,000, the company said, with a $1,000 refundable reservation to stake a place in line.
Production was said, in 2019, to be beginning in late 2020, and the first deliveries in 2021. That, clearly, failed to pan out. Today, Bollinger confirmed that it will “postpone” consumer truck production and delivery, as it looks instead to a commercial business. Reservation-holders will be refunded.
“We started Bollinger Motors in 2015 with a dream and a desire to make the best trucks possible,” Robert Bollinger, CEO of Bollinger Motors, said in a statement. “We’ve put countless hours of hard work and passion into making something that makes us proud. However, today, we’re postponing the consumer trucks’ development and shifting our focus to commercial trucks and fleets.”
Work on that commercial side of the company was revealed in 2020. First came a Class-3 B2 Chassis Cab, ostensibly the same as the B2 pickup up until the front doors, and then offering a flexible blank slate for fleet-builders to iterate on.
Later in the year, meanwhile, Bollinger demonstrated its vision of the electric van. The DELIVER-E Concept stepped away from the Brutalist styling of the consumer EVs, pairing more streamlined aesthetics with a practical cab and cargo space to win over businesses.
By the start of 2021, it seemed fairly clear that commercial was where Bollinger was making the most moves. Not only did it price up its Class 3 EV cab and platform, it also added rear-wheel drive and dually versions for more flexibility. The consumer models were still in the pipeline, the automaker insisted at the time, but had no further updates on the B1 or B2.
Since the electric SUV and pickup were first announced, of course, we’ve seen some high-profile entrants into the EV segment. Ford’s F1-50 Lightning is expected to begin deliveries this year, priced from around $40k for work truck versions. Several high-end automakers have waded in with the promise of more lavish EV SUVs and pickups, each announcement leaving the specs of the B1 and B2 looking less impressive and their price tags more outlandish.
Success in the commercial space is, of course, far from guaranteed. Even when Bollinger showed off the DELIVER-E Concept, it already faced the reality of upcoming rivals like Ford’s electric Transit. Rivian, too, has a commercial strategy, not to mention a big order from Amazon underway. With the electric vehicle space now firmly in the “put up or shut up” phase, more and more automakers are likely to discover that they’ll need to work hard to keep that early reservation money.
2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series confirmed: What we know of this Super SUV
Cadillac’s most lavish model is about to get a sports upgrade, with the 2023 Escalade V-Series marking the first time the SUV has worn the badge. While already notorious for its scale, luxury cabin, and general excess, the V-Series flavor of Escalade will add performance to that mix.
Full details of the 2023 Escalade V-Series won’t be shared until spring of this year, Cadillac has warned. These newly-released photos, meanwhile, show the pre-production form of the SUV. Still, it gives us plenty to go on, as does the trajectory of the V-Series line in general.
For Cadillac, V-Series is more than just speed
You can’t accuse Cadillac of underplaying just what a V-badged model can do. “With nearly two decades of racing-inspired prowess,” the automaker promises, “the V-Series designation is reserved for vehicles that encompass the peak of Cadillac performance, bold, distinguished design, and innovative technology.”
The route from V-Series’ founding in 2003 to today has seen a few big changes along the way. Initially intended as a way for Cadillac to compete with Mercedes-AMG and BMW’s M division, it debuted with the 2004 Cadillac CTS-V sports sedan. That managed to score a role in the original Matrix movie series, (specifically The Matrix Reloaded, released in 2003), helping secure the green-light for the second-generation V Series in 2009.
Cadillac stuck with a familiar strategy: big, high-horsepower V8 engines, paired with its Magnetic Ride Control system for a sedan that could flick from luxury cruiser to track hero at the push of a button. By the time the ATS-V arrived in 2015, however, the criteria had expanded. Smaller and more affordable than the third-generation CTS-V – which got the Corvette C7’s 6.2-liter LT4 V8 to play with – the ATS-V packed a twin-turbo V6.
Beyond that, Cadillac attempted to replicate what BMW and Mercedes had achieved, expanding “V” as a broader badge to indicate a more sporting – though not necessarily the most sporting – iteration of a regular model. It tried, and abandoned, the V-Sport trim, and has most recently settled on “V” badged models as being entry-level performance options. The CT5-V and CT4-V are the current examples of that.
Meanwhile, a new Blackwing designation flags the most extreme examples of V-Series performance. Initially referring to Cadillac’s new Blackwing engine, but since expanded, the trim has so far appeared on the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing, each produced in limited number.
What we expect from the 2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series
For the 2023 Escalade V-Series, the expectation is an evolution in performance rather than the outright leap that Blackwing badging would indicate. The current Escalade – now in its fifth-generation – already features a V8 engine as standard. That’s 6.2-liters in size and offers 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. A 10-speed automatic is standard.
They’re not small numbers, but then again the Escalade is not a small SUV. One possibility for an upgrade is the V8 from the CT5-V Blackwing, supercharged and with upwards of 600 horsepower on tap. Cadillac would obviously need to upgrade other components such as the brakes to balance that uptick in power, though Magnetic Ride suspension is already available on the SUV in its current form.
To better distinguish the V-Series truck visually, Cadillac has given it a moody makeover. The grille switches to black mesh, and most of the chrome has been deleted in favor of gloss-black trim. The bumpers front and rear, and the side sills, have been tweaked, and of course there are vast blacked-out wheels, too.
For the inside, Cadillac is playing it even more coy. A single image previews the “V” badging on the steering wheel, though we’d expect a fair amount of carbon fiber and Alcantara to feature, based on the other V-Series cars. The Escalade already offers a huge, curved dashboard display and plenty of space across three rows, not to mention a whole host of toys to play with.
As for 2023 Escalade V-Series pricing, there too Cadillac is saving full details. The current model spirals up to over $109k for the standard-length 4WD Sport Platinum trim, and that’s before you head into the options list. A six-figure V-Series is basically guaranteed, then, as Cadillac takes on well-esteemed (and well-equipped) performance SUVs from its German rivals.
Brabus 800 Adventure XLP Superblack is taking it to the extreme
Renowned Mercedes-Benz tuning house Brabus has unleashed its latest creation based on the Mercedes-AMG G63 sport-luxury SUV. It’s the newest variant of the 800 Adventure XLP Superblack, a go-anywhere pickup truck hiding a mighty powerful V8 engine under the hood.
Images: Brabus GmbH
This Airstream eStream concept is an electric camper with an innovative twist
Thor Industries, maker of the Airstream and other popular RVs, recently unveiled the eStream electric camper concept. It’s essentially a hi-tech Airstream travel trailer with some nifty innovations hiding underneath.
Images: Thor Industries
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