Buick Rebrands as an All Electric Brand, Hopes to Modernize its Old Image

For decades now, Buick has been associated with grey haired retirees, at least here in North America. Not exactly the most exciting demographic. In China, the brand is perceived differently, with a number of sleek models that don’t arrive in places like the US.

Now, Buick is hoping to shake off that stodgy, older image with a rebrand that positions the company as an all-electric brand, at least starting in 2030. Their Wildcat Concept is a sleek take on an old moniker, a swept-back car with an aggressive stance, sculptural seats, and future-forward interior.

The company’s old logo has also been fully redesigned, marking a departure from the old mark that has connotations that the brand wants to put in the rearview mirror.

Look for their first EV to arrive in 2024.

The Delorean is Reborn as an All Electric Sports Car

The memorable, iconic, and weird DMC DeLorean of the 1980s is reborn after 40 years, this time as an all-electric coupe. Still sporting the trademark gull-wing doors, the car is now noticeably sleeker and modernized, with a 300-mile electric range, and a 0-60 time of 3.4 seconds. This Delorean is named the Alpha 5.

Made famous from the Back to the Future films, the car still lacks the Flux Capacitor and time traveling goodies of the movie version. But it looks like a sleek and stylish EV that is sure to get some attention when it goes on sale in 2024.

See more on Delorean’s website.

Lincoln’s New Star Concept Ushers in the Brand’s Electric Vision

Lincoln is one of the oldest car companies in the world, having sold cars for over 104 years. But all that age hasn’t necessarily resulted in success, with dwindling sales and limited offerings.

The company is hoping to change that with their new EV strategy, which aims to introduce 3 new electric vehicles by 2025, and have 50% of their sales be ell-electric by 2026.

The new Star concept is the introduction of that vision, a vehicle they hope shows the future of the brand, and pushes the innovation for EVs in general.

A sleek and swept back crossover form, the Star features a number of dramatic details, from rear-hinged doors to a drawer-like frunk and hood that reveals ample storage.

The car’s interior is as future-forward as you’d expect from a concept car, with a full dashboard-width display screen, and front seats that swivel backward, creating a lounge-like experience when the car is in autonomous mode.

In addition, Lincoln hopes to pamper drivers with “experience modes” that go employ design, light, displays, scents and sounds to create an immersive experience for occupants.

As more and more cars go electric, and vehicle design evolves, we’re struck by how “futuristic” is losing its meaning, and we’re pretty much living in that futuristic state now.

Via The Verge

“As Lincoln enters the next chapter in our transition to a zero-emissions future, the Lincoln Star Concept will lead the way for our portfolio of fully electric vehicles,” Lincoln President Joy Falotico said in a release. “It is an excellent example of how we are redefining luxury for the next generation as we work to transform the vehicle into a third space — a true place of sanctuary — for our clients.”

As more and more cars go electric, and vehicle design evolves, we’re struck by how “futuristic” is losing its meaning, and we’re pretty much living in that futuristic state now.

All Electric Vintage Style Mustang by Charge

We’re at an interesting milestone, where electrification of cars is starting to pick up pace, yet the love of all things vintage remains.

There have been a number of companies that are trying to straddle that line, creating one-off versions of classic cars with electric drivetrains.

This all-electric vintage Mustang is the latest, created by a company called Charge.

Based on the 1967 Mustang body style, this iconic shape and presence is met by all the modern amenities and technology that you’d expect in 2022.

Indeed, the classic shape has been entirely reimagined to be sleek, luxurious and clean, while also retaining that much-loved silhouette made famous by movies like Bullitt with Steve McQueen.

Limited to 499 cars, the ultra-exclusive electric Mustang by Charge will also be ultra-expensive.  Based in London, the company is reserving orders now, from £350,000, or $460,000. Via Uncrate:

From Charge:

“The luxury bespoke interiors, rich in ambience and detail, provide a modern high-end driving experience for connoisseurs of speed and technology. Equipped with state-of-the-art components and a personalised digital interface, these classic vehicles are back to cutting edge once again.

The price for this model starts at £350,000 and varies upon options and accessories included.”

People Are Already Virtually Customizing VW’s Electric Van

It was just officially announced this week, but that hasn’t stopped van lovers from already coming up with customization ideas for the new VW ID. Buzz electric van.

Motor Trend has a collection of customized versions, from chop-top truck to full-on hippie peace microbus, to our favorite, the classic camper!

Take a look below.

2024 Volkswagen ID Buzz 21-Window Bus
“One of the most valuable and sought-after versions of the original T1 van, the 21-window bus was relatively rare and came festooned with nearly as much glass as tin-can-thin bodywork. Today, these wonderful classic 21-window vans (yep, they have that many windows!) regularly trade hands for six-figure sums.
Will Volkswagen bring the idea back for an ID Buzz with maximum airiness and outward visibility, perhaps as a range-topping luxury model?  Imagine Jeep’s Grand Wagoneer treatment or Mercedes-Maybach’s whole deal—maximal versions of regular Wagoneer and S-Class models, for example—but in an electric van. More windows, more luxury!”

 

2024 Volkswagen ID Buzz Car Transporter
“Here’s another Porsche-VW racing connection fantasy that we’re purely throwing out there for fun. After all, just as a modern racing team couldn’t dream of stuff all its gear into an ID Buzz—let alone several ID Buzz vans—there are likely few cars that would fit on the back of one converted to a car transporter.
Even as we’ve imagined an ID Buzz transporter here, with a wheelbase stretch that stretches the bounds of what’s possible, we figure a new-age car carrier based on the electric van would only be capable of lugging around, say, an original Porsche 550 Spyder. Given that that car is virtually the same size as a modern golf cart, you can probably push the hope from your mind that next year’s Porsche 911 GT3 racers will be gliding around paddocks on the backs of ID Buzzes. Still, the electric van’s flat floor and low-mounted drive motors would make for a compelling base for a hauler…”

 

2024 Volkswagen ID Buzz Doka Pickup
“Starting way back in its Type 1 generation, the VW microbus was available in oddball pickup-truck variations, including a two-door regular cab that was essentially a cargo van with no bodywork behind the front seats. The more 2020s-appropriate configuration would be, of course, the four-door crew-cab Doka style.
Most pickups these days, you see, are sold in crew-cab form. Volkswagen could revive the Doka treatment for the ID Buzz to deliver a right-size EV pickup to appeal to a different kind of lifestyle crowd. Yes, VW also could cross-pollinate the Doka and Syncro (as it has before) to deliver an electric, off-road-focused ID Buzz pickup, and we encourage it to do so. In any event, the Doka actually seems likely to reappear in VW’s portfolio, if only because the flexibility of the ID Buzz’s MEB electric platform allows for relatively cheap-to-engineer variations, and the automaker has been rumored to be considering a pickup for the U.S. market for years. Last we heard, it felt delivering such a vehicle to the truck-lovin’ U.S. would be most easily accomplished via an EV, rather than converting its global Amarok midsize truck for Americans’ tastes, but who knows?”

 

2024 Volkswagen ID Buzz Hippy Van
“Baby boomers, pay attention—just as you decorated all your VW New Beetles with flower power stickers and actual flowers in that model’s built-in dashboard flower vase way back in 1999, get ready to snap up ID Buzz vans and deck them out like it’s 1969 again. Peace, love, save the whales! War is bad! Indiscriminate use of any and every color available to create happy-go-lucky murals atop the factory-applied paint!
Hey, with rampant inequality, foreign wars to protest, an entrenched leadership class to provoke in the name of change, and the pandemic-driven obsession with #vanlife, the hippy van might be on the cusp of another moment—at least to the younger generations hoping to shape the world in their image. And this one’s electric!”

 

2024 Volkswagen ID Buzz Syncro
“The pandemic thrust camper vans and travel trailers to the vanguard of automotive culture, what with everyone mostly stuck inside for an extended period, eager to just get away from it all—and other people at the same time. Skip crowded planes, drive right on by those hotels with diseased common areas, and forget the rental-car counter—why not grab a common van, gut the interior, and make it into a mobile getaway? Bonus points if you nab an off-road-ready van with a lifted suspension, sweet all-terrain tires, and four-wheel drive.
Curious where this idea originated? Look back at the VW Vanagon Syncro, the four-wheel-drive T3 van introduced in the 1980s, decades ahead of its time. Some original Syncros were converted to campers, even. They were equipped with 4WD courtesy of Steyr-Daimler-Puch Works in Graz, Austria, though a modern ID Buzz would simply utilize its MEB electric car platform’s available dual-motor AWD system (one motor driving the front axle, another driving the rear). We’ve imagined the ID Buzz Syncro here in a cool olive khaki color, with a raised suspension, roof ladder, and brush guards. Add a roof tent, and this is an EV bugout vehicle we’d drool over.”

 

2024 Volkswagen ID Buzz Westfalia Pop-Up Camper Van
“The ID Buzz variations we’ve presented here so far are all, in some way or another, wishful thinking. They might not get built, and likely won’t be. This ID Buzz Westfalia camper, on the other hand? Among our speculative ID Buzzes, it’s the one VW needs to build.
We’ve waxed on about van life and America’s obsession with campers, so Volkswagen would be nuts not to bring back the original camper van, the Westfalia. This lineage traces back through the Eurovan, Vanagon, T2, and T1 transporter families to 1951 and is typified by a pop-up roof, either with an elevated sleeping bed inside it or simply air space to allow occupants to stand inside the van. The Westfalia name is iconic in this space, and buyers pay premiums for “Westy” versions of old VW vans. This ID Buzz variant is tee’d up like a whiffle ball, VW, and we’re handing you the bat.”

VW’s Retro Futuristic Van Finally Arrives

Though it’s been rumored and shown in concept form for several years now, the long-mentioned successor to VW’s famed Bus van is finally ready for production.  Called the ID. Buzz, the van is all-electric, and is the spiritual follow-up to the much loved bus of the 60s and 70s.

As you can see below, the new version isn’t a perfect facsimile of the original, but it takes a number of design cues, from the two-tone appearance to the squared-off sides, to the oversize VW badge.

The ID. Buzz will come in a number of variations, from this normal wheelbase version, to a longer wheelbase version (destined for the US), and a cargo version. We hope that VW will offer a camper version in the future, which could feature some of the delightfully packaged camping benefits, like a stove, sink, or even an elevated sleeping area.

Inside, the van features a colorful, open interior, with the same digital displays as used on VW’s recent EV offerings.  There are some clever interior items, like a removable center console, and a number of hidden ‘Easter eggs’ throughout the van.

Range hasn’t been discussed, but we imagine it will be in the 250-300 range, depending on configuration.

The two-tone color scheme continues on the inside, giving the ID. Buzz a splash of color and fun.

The ID. Buzz seems like a great spiritual successor to the original Bus/Vanagon, and we hope the emissions-free version is as popular as the originals were.

Buyers in Europe will be first to get the Buzz, with sales starting in the fall. The US sales come later, arriving in 2024.

Learn more on VW’s website.

Polestar’s O2 Convertible Concept is Sleek and Stunning

Polestar is the new, all-electric sub brand under Volvo, creating sleek, Scandinavian takes on EVs. They’ve so far released just two vehicles, and both are intriguing, without necessarily being beautiful.

Their latest O2 concept, however?  Gorgeous. The sleek, slung-back design takes the best cues from Nissan’s heralded Z, while creating a profile and stance that feels new and alive, ready to tear up the road, in quiet, all-electric propulsion, that is. Polestar wants to introduce a sense of joy and delight to the electric sports car world.

We’re in love with the sharp profile, the trademark LED lights, and the exciting style that Polestar is bringing to the table.

In addition to sleek, silent speed, the Polestar O2 has another trick up its sleeve:

“Integrated into the rear deck is what Polestar calls an “autonomous cinematic drone” that was developed with Aerofugia-owned brand Hoco Flow. This drone can be deployed at speeds up to 56 mph thanks to an automatic aerofoil that raises up to prevent wind buffeting, and it will autonomously follow the car and film it. Drivers can choose between two different modes, one for beauty shots and one for action shots, and the video clips can be edited and shared using the infotainment screen.”
– Via Roadshow

 

Check out the video of the drone below for more detail.

Finally a Light at the End of the Tunnel for Faraday?

Originally unveiled over five years ago, the Faraday Future concept car was an exciting vision for what electric cars could be. Then reality and unsteady finances followed, and the company went through various stages of bankruptcy and new ownership.

The company refused to die, however, and it’s back with a factory, new leadership, and a production-spec version of its product, the Faraday Future FF91. The sleek and futuristic design showcases a number of innovations, yet they seem less advanced than they did five years ago.

Since then, a number of new EVs have entered the market, like Lucid, Rivian, and others, raising the bar for what an electric car can and should be.

Regardless, the FF91 offers sleek design, a stretched wheelbase, and a plethora of high-tech features that promise an effortless and enjoyable commute.

With a range of over 350 miles, and 1,050 horsepower, the FF91 will be fast, long-range, and sought after when it goes on sale in late 2022.

BMW’s New Color Changing iX Electric

With people wanting to customize their cars in all manner of ways, what’s better than a car that can change color on a whim? That’s the type of customization available on the BMW iX Flow, which features industry-first e-ink.

Though mostly a proof-of-concept at this point, it’s clear that e-ink has the potential to change the way we view things like car exteriors.  Limited to black and white hues, the electric iX Flow has the ability to change pattern and color blocking.

 

“Digital experiences won’t just be limited to displays in the future. There will be more and more melding of the real and virtual. With the BMW iX Flow, we are bringing the car body to life.”

– Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG

In addition to being able to change color, the car’s e-ink can actively move and shift, creating an animated effect, which will certainly make your BMW stand out in a parking lot.

Released as a concept at CES, no word on production, but we imagine this type of technology will make its way into consumer cars in the near future.

Continue reading “BMW’s New Color Changing iX Electric”

Mercedes Unveils the EQXX, an Ultra-long Range, Luxury EV Concept

As EVs become more mainstream, their range will need to grow to accommodate all types of trips and distances. The highest current range goes to the Lucid Air, which can reach over 500 miles on a single charge.

Mercedes one ups that with their brand new Vision EQXX concept, unveiled virtually this week at CES.

The slippery, solar-equipped concept can go an impressive 1,000 km, or 648 miles on a single charge. The concept does this using a number of clever engineering tricks, and an exterior that has an ultra low drag coefficient.

 

Mercedes is “pull[ing] out all the stops in drivetrain efficiency, energy density, aerodynamics, and lightweight design… The result is an efficiency masterpiece.”

Step inside, and it has all of the hallmarks of a futuristic EV from Mercedes:

The interior of the Vision EQXX features a massive 47.5-inch screen that stretches the full width of the vehicle, a nod to the company’s new Hyperscreen infotainment display. But unlike the Hyperscreen, which is an amalgam of three separate screens set inside one solid, 56-inch piece of glass, the Vision EQXX’s screen is a one-piece display that will also feature 8K resolution and cutting edge graphics.

In addition to luxurious, high-tech features, Mercedes went to significant lengths developing and harnessing natural materials for the interior.

“Mercedes-Benz has forged new paths when developing the interior. The VISION EQXX features a surprising mix of sustainable materials in its interior: from mushrooms to bamboo, cactus and vegan silk. These show that it is still possible to achieve the utmost in automotive luxury without using animal products, whilst creating an inimitable feeling of premium comfort. This fascinating journey has halved the carbon footprint of the leather alone.”

Overall, it’s a very impressive effort from Mercedes, who have made big leaps toward electrifying their entire lineup, and plan to stop producing internal combustion engines entirely.   We can imagine the technologies and learnings from the Vision EQXX concept will be put into place in their vehicles in the near future. Via The Verge:

Continue reading “Mercedes Unveils the EQXX, an Ultra-long Range, Luxury EV Concept”