Domino’s buys a bunch of Bolts, go faster in a Mercedes with a subscription, Leno’s latest on YouTube
Domino’s acquiring 855 Bolts for pizza delivery
Intake: In the 1980s, Domino’s had a fleet of Chevrolet Chevette delivery vehicles, which may be why your pizza was cold. Now, they are busy staffing up some of their 20,000 stores with electric Chevrolet Bolts. Why? “The Chevy Bolt EV has zero tailpipe emissions, a 259-mile battery range, advanced safety features and lower average maintenance costs than nonelectric vehicles – all without the financial impact of high gas prices,” the company says. You can gauge the chances of your Domino’s getting a Bolt with an interactive map of how many Bolts are in use today (112) and how many will be in place by the end of 2023 (855) and in what states. Washington state will get zero Bolts, while Indiana gets 93. The Bolt starts, by the way, at $25,600, and will apparently be acquired on a lease-to-own basis. It replaces the 100 or so Chevy Spark-based DLPs.
Exhaust: Presumably the participating stores will have ample chargers on site. No one wants to hear, “We’ll get there as soon as the car charges,” or see Domino’s Bolts nesting at your local commercial charger when you need some kilowatts. –Steven Cole Smith
Subscription ekes more performance from Benz EVs
Intake: Mercedes just said the S-word. A subscription offering increased performance in its two electric sedans, at a rate of $1200 per year, has cropped up on the automaker’s US website. It’s immediately unclear whether the upgrade is available for the recently announced EQS SUV: A table lists the improved output and acceleration specs for three models—the EQE and the EQS sedans plus the EQS SUV—but a dropdown field under “Technical requirements” excludes the SUV. We’ve dropped Mercedes a note, and will update as we can. Mercedes clearly left room in the EQE and EQS hierarchies for such an upgrade. The subscription gives the EQE 350 4Matic 61 more horsepower, for a total of 349—well below the next trim, the 402-hp EQE 500—and drops its 0-to-60 time by 0.9 seconds, to 5.1. Add the subscription to the biggest electric jellybean, and you’ll get 443 hp and a 4.5-second 0-to-60 sprint, figures which split the difference between the all-wheel-drive 450 4Matic you started with (355 hp, 5.3 seconds) and the 580 4Matic (516 hp, sub four-seconds) you could have bought. The latter costs eighteen thousand dollars more … at $1200 a month, you do the math. How long do you plan to EQ?
Exhaust: It could be worse. Note that, of the two models listed—the EQE and its bigger brother, the EQS sedan—only the mid-range, all-wheel-drive variants (350 4MATIC and 450 4MATIC, respectively) are eligible for the Increase. Buyers of such models have already forgone the performance of one higher model plus its AMG-fettled version, suggesting that this subscription hinges on buyer’s remorse rather than on leveraging buyer ignorance. The subscription is unlikely to spread upward in either model family, where it would upset the performance hierarchy. –Grace Houghton
Move over Maté, Pininfarina beats Rimac on acceleration
Intake: The Pininfarina Battista is now officially the world’s fastest-accelerating electric car, having hit 60 mph from rest in 1.79 seconds at the Dubai Autodrome. The metric benchmark of 100 km/h (62 mph) came up seven-hundredths of a second later, with 120 mph arriving 4.49 seconds from the off. What’s more, the Battista proved that it stops just as hard as it goes by dropping from 62 mph to a standstill in only 101.71 feet for another record. That’s what happens when you mate ceramic discs with powerful regenerative braking. “Our new electric hyper GT delivers on the promises we made when we set out our development plan. In Battista, we have achieved performance beyond our original, extreme targets,” said a smug Paolo Dellacha, Automobili Pininfarina’s Chief Product and Engineering Officer.
Exhaust: The $2 million, 1900-hp hypercar has a claimed top speed of 217.5 mph which is still some way off the incredible 258 mph achieved by Maté Rimac’s Nevera, but in a sprint between stoplights it looks like the Battista might have the edge. Wonder if we’ll ever get to see the pair square off? –Nik Berg
Dirty Daytona goes on display at Ferrari Museum
Intake: While every other car on show at the Museo Ferrari in Modena is polished and pampered this 1969 365 GTB/4 Daytona is exhibited covered in decades of dust. Discovered in Japan in 2017 it had been stored for almost 40 years and, despite being covered in layers upon layer of filth, sold for more than $1.86 million at RM Sotheby’s. Believed to be the only Scaglietti aluminum-bodied Daytona ever made it’s a unique specification with lightweight plexiglass headlights but the relative luxury of electric windows. Originally built for Luciano Conti who was a close friend of Enzo Ferrari, the dirty Daytona was sold to a buyer in Japan in 1971, then exchanged hands three times before Makoto Takai decided to lock it away. The current owner has, so far at least, elected to keep the car in its grimy glory and has loaned the car to Ferrari for all to enjoy.
Exhaust: This is the antithesis of a concours car and its owner is to be applauded for going against the grain by keeping it in barn find condition and kudos to Ferrari for putting it on display. Would you like to see the car restored or should it stay in its state of perfect patina? –NB
Cheapest new car: The Nissan Versa
The 2023 Nissan Versa S — the entry-level, manual-transmission model — is now the cheapest car on the market at $15,730, plus $1095 delivery, “There are just three subcompact sedans left on the market for 2023. Chevrolet canceled its little Spark, which was the cheapest new car for sale in America in 2022. Hyundai canceled its subcompact Accent for 2023 as well. The least-expensive Mirage starts at $16,245, while Kia Rio pricing kicks off at $16,550. Bargain shoppers should note, however, that the Rio has the longest warranty of the bunch,” says Kelley Blue Book.
Exhaust: You could do worse. A 122-horsepower four-cylinder engine, 30 mpg overall for the manual, and a four-speaker stereo — sounds like a pretty good pizza delivery vehicle to us. –SCS
Jay Leno’s 1920 ReVere-Duesenberg tells tales of American greats
Intake: Jay Leno’s collection holds a dizzying number of amazing cars, each with an interesting story. The 1920 ReVere-Duesenberg Four Passenger featured on a recent episode of Jay Leno’s Garage is the latest star to see the light. The ReVere employs a 5.5-liter Rochester-Duesenberg “Walking Beam” engine that was good for 100-something horsepower at a time when a Model T made just 20. Before the Duesenberg brothers rolled out the world-beating Model J in the late 1920s, they were simply engine manufacturers looking to go racing by selling their powertrains to ready-made car companies. The ReVere’s beating heart was known as a “walking beam” engine because of the unconventional valvetrain that was mounted sideways in the engine and actuated by a cam situated way down in the block. There wasn’t a cylinder head, which meant no head gaskets to blow. The engine was very reliable—according to Leno, of the 100 races that the Duesenberg brothers entered with the engine, their cars finished lower than fourth place just two times! Jay found this ReVere in Oregon in 2005, and the car was in a much worse state than it currently looks. Rust, dents, and general weather from sitting for what Jay reckons was maybe 50 years or so meant that this restoration project would be no small undertaking. What’s more, there are only about 5 of these cars left in existence, so parts are scarce. Today, it’s back on the road thanks to the hard work of Jay and his team.
Exhaust: Hundreds of carmakers came and went over the course of the teens and ’20s, and most are long forgotten. This car might have been, too, but the key word in “ReVere-Duesenberg” is the whole “Duesenberg” part, as Duesenberg engines were highly prized on both road and track in the 1920s, and the company went on to build some of the best cars in the world in the ’30s. –Nathan Petroelje