Glimpse 2023 Colorado ZR2, Cadillac’s Mad Men-worthy interior, Warhol’s Mercedes muse restored
Chevrolet’s next-gen Colorado ZR2 to challenge Ranger Raptor come July
Intake: Chevrolet just released a teaser for the next generation Colorado ZR2 and, despite not having all the details, we already have reason to get hype. This is the first look at a ZR2 model that has shed the heavy camouflage in which it was spotted over six months ago. This off-road variant is based on yet-to-be-fully-released 2023 Colorado, as evidenced by the front styling changes—squintier headlights, a squared-off grille, and new vents in the front cheeks. The teaser video lacks much info beyond the July 28 date, when full details will be released, but that’s won’t stop us from being at least a little excited.
Exhaust: Having driven the last generation ZR2, the 2022 model, we love the idea that Chevrolet is taking the challenge of building this truck into a solid competitor for the 2022 Ranger Raptor, which (for the first time) is joining the new Nissan Frontier and the Colorado in the North American market. Chevrolet’s already proven it can build a proper midsize off-road trucklet, but brand loyalty runs deep in this segment. Will the ’23 Colorado ZR2 hold its head high alongside Ford’s Raptorized Ranger? We’ll need one heck of an off-road bash to discover the top dog.
Bentley Speed Six to be continued
Intake: Following the sell-out success of its Blower Continuation, Bentley’s coachbuilding division is to remake its legendary, Le Mans–winning Speed Six. As it did with the Blower, Mulliner will create 12 cars to the exact specification of the Speed Six that took victory at La Sarthe in 1929 and 1930 with Woolf Barnato, Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin, and Glen Kidston sharing driving duties. Under that glorious, louvered hood sits a 6.5-liter straight-six engine with more than 200 hp, propelling the car to a potential 125 mph. Like the Blowers, the dozen Speed Sixes won’t be road legal, so if they see any action at all it will be on track only. Bentley says that a “dedication to complete and total authenticity is integral to the success of such a complex project,” so although a full 3-D CAD model was created from scans and blueprints of the original, the car is still built using techniques that date back almost a century. Priced at around $1.8 million, all 12 cars have already been sold.
Exhaust: Whether or not you approve of brands raiding their archives and, subsequently, the bank accounts of wealthy customers, the fact that these continuation cars are keeping heritage skills alive must surely be applauded.
Cadillac gives peek inside its mostest EV
Intake: Just as before, Cadillac is again dumping teaser photos and word-salad buffets to describe the wonderment that is its forward-looking concept EV, the Celestiq. All “teasing” aside, what we see here is truly impressive, on par with mid-century Fleetwood sedans or the Mad Men era of interior design, complete with red leather seats with decadent cloth fabric inserts. Or as Tristan Murphy, Cadillac interior design manager, says, “We’ve created an even higher level of craft, allowing us to add that beautiful sense of movement through the cabin.”
Exhaust: Remember that even when we see the Celestiq in the flesh, it may not look quite as wonderful as these teaser photos suggest. The upcoming Celestiq is a concept car (i.e. not for sale) and things like the blank insert atop the speaker grille suggests Cadillac has yet to decide on an audio vendor for their suitably upscale electric vehicle. So only time will tell!
Dodge to reveal some electric muscle during first-ever Speed Week in Detroit
Intake: Dodge is turning up the horsepower on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue by launching an eight-day event that culminates with the Woodward Dream Cruise on August 20. Dodge Speed Week will be held August 12–20, starting with Roadkill Nights at M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, followed by product reveals August 15–17. “There’s no better place to unveil a new performance direction for the Dodge brand than right on Woodward Avenue in metro Detroit …” says Tim Kuniskis, CEO of Stellantis’ Dodge. “The future of our brand will be on display during Dodge Speed Week, and we’re throwing open our garage doors so our fans can get a peek for themselves.”
Exhaust: Dodge is making some noise as it returns the Woodward Dream Cruise for the first time since 2019, and it’s also following through on its earlier promise to roll out some electric muscle with its highly anticipated “future reveal” on August 17. It seems that whether the vehicles are gasoline-powered or electric, OEMs just can’t resist strutting their stuff on Woodward.
Andy Warhol’s Mercedes muse is back on the road thanks to Brabus
Intake: A 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL that was the inspiration for Andy Warhol’s Cars series has been completely restored by Brabus Classic in Germany. In 1986 Warhol was tasked by art dealer Hans Meyer to paint the SL in celebration of the centenary of the motor car, and when Mercedes-Benz bosses saw the piece they commissioned the pop artist to produce a series of works featuring the 1885 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the 1886 Daimler Motor Carriage, 1901’s Mercedes 35 hp, the 1937 W125 Grand Prix racer, and the experimental C111 of 1970. Now the SL has undergone a body-off “Six Star” restoration by Brabus, taking more than 4500 hours. “Every single bolt and every component of the 300 SL’s engine configuration and powertrain has been restored in accordance with all original specifications and with unmatched precision,” says Brabus.
Exhaust: Immortalized by Warhol, EI – DR 1 is a priceless piece of automotive art. Warhol’s original acrylic painting lives in Mercedes’ own art collection and will never be sold, and the limited number of officially approved prints fetch thousands of dollars.