Back to the Future DeLorean in court, welcome back Bertone, so long Stinger
Happy holidays, readers. To allow our staffers to spend time with their families (and project cars and cats and dogs), The Manifold will be on hiatus, beginning tomorrow, through the end of the month. See you in 2023!
Back to the Future DeLorean lands in court
Intake: We’ve told you about the controversy over the DeLorean name, important since there are two separate companies seeking to build the next DeLorean sports car. But now comes word that the DeLorean used in the Back to the Future movies has landed in court. “In a federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles this week, the DeLorean Motor Company said it acquired intellectual property and trademarks for the DeLorean in 1997, and that NBCUniversal is in breach of its contract,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The Texas-based owners of DeLorean Motor Company claim they are entitled to five percent of the revenue generated by the car, “from merchandising and commercial tie-ups connected to the films.” NBCUniversal has denied the claims.
Exhaust: A mechanic who specialized in DeLoreans evidently acquired the name decades ago, when it had essentially no value. It transferred to the DeLorean Motor Company, headed by current CEO Joost de Vries, and chief marketing officer Troy Beetz, both of whom came from the EV company Karma. Apparently they are the ones going after the five percent of merchandising and commercial income that NBCUniversal has earned, presumably from Back to the Future (1985), Back to the Future Part 2 (1989), Back to the Future Part 3 (1990), the Universal Back to the Future ride, and a ton of additional stuff. We’ll be watching this one. — Steven Cole Smith
Kia Stinger Tribute Edition will be sport sedan’s swan song
Intake: Kia will build just 1000 examples of the Stinger Tribute Edition as production of the RWD/AWD sedan comes to an end. Buyers will have the option of Moonscape matte gray, shown here, or Ascot Green, both of which will be contrasted with black Brembo brake calipers, black 19-inch wheels, and black exterior mirrors. Inside, Terracotta brown leather upholstery wraps the seats, steering wheel, door side trim, and door handles, while “carbon-effect finish” is used on the console and door panels. “The Stinger Tribute Edition denotes an important chapter in the story of Kia’s high-performance ethos. Featuring an exclusive color and interior trim never before seen on the sedan, it also serves as a fitting celebration of the Stinger’s contribution to the Kia brand,” said Chang Sung Ryu, Senior Vice President and Head of Purchase CX Design Sub-division. It will have the 3.3 twin-turbo V-6, with 368 horsepower. No word on price, but the 2023 GT2 model starts at $53,990, plus $1145 destination.
Exhaust: We’ve appreciated the niche that Kia has carved out with the Stinger in between sports sedan and luxury cruiser, not to mention its pleasing, athletic looks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there’s an immediate successor in the works, at least not a second-generation Stinger. We hope that Kia continues to take risks by building vehicles that are clearly aimed at enthusiasts, and perhaps a future product can once again bring a Genesis platform to a more affordable, sporty market. — Brandan Gillogly
Ferris wheels: Bueller’s fake Ferrari sells for $337,500
Intake: “The 1961 Ferrari 250GT California. Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love, it is his passion,” says the highly strung Cameron Frye in the 1986 cult movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Except, as we all know the car featured isn’t actually a Ferrari at all. That didn’t stop a buyer shelling out $337,500 at Heritage Auctions to buy one of three replicas built by Modena Design and Research for the film. While two were assembled using Ford Mustang running gear this one was the famous crash car, launched through the plate glass of Cam’s dad’s garage, so it has never had a drivetrain. It was repaired and used to promote the movie, and will now be the centerpiece of one Bueller fan’s collection.
Exhaust: Despite being a non-runner the car fetched almost as much as one of the Matthew Broderick-driven hero cars which sold for $396,000 at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction in 2020. A genuine 250 GT California went for $18.5 million in 2015, so it’s a good thing director John Hughes didn’t use a real one. — Nik Berg
Bertone bounces back with hypercar for 110th anniversary
Intake: Italian automotive atelier Bertone is back in business. Having gone bankrupt in 2014, Bertone was rescued in 2016 by Mauro and Jean-Franck Ricci’s Akka technology consultancy, but all we’ve seen since has been the bizarre Smart Bertone, which added a Formula 1-style KERS system and an extra 200 hp to the electric runabout. Now the styling house has revealed an all-new hypercar called the GB110 to celebrate 110 years of the brand. There are hints of past Bertone success stories in the design, such as the Stratos Zero style side vents, and it looks like Bertone’s aerodynamicists have been studying the latest work of Lotus as well, with some clever tricks to manage airflow. The all-wheel drive hypercar has a seven-speed transmission and double wishbone suspension with adjustable dampers. The GB110 is said to have over 1100 hp so that it can reach 62 mph in 2.79 seconds and 124 mph in 6.79 seconds. Top speed is a claimed 236 mph and all this performance comes from a sustainable fuel made from recycled plastic.
Exhaust: This is the Bertone that we all imagine, designing dream machines to follow on from such legends as the Alfa Romeo B.A.T. cars and the Lamborghini Miura and Countach. Owners Akka have the know-how to build it, but no timeline or price tag has been offered yet. Billionaires looking for a Bugatti alternative will just have to wait. — NB
Auto execs less bullish about EV adoption by 2030
Intake: According to the annual survey of global automotive executives by KPMG, the international consulting company, the execs are less confident about a prompt adoption of electric vehicles than they were one year ago. “KPMG reports automotive executives are less bullish about the prevalence of all-electric vehicles in the U.S. and globally by 2030,” says CNBC. According to the survey: “In just one year, the outlook has changed appreciably. The survey in 2021 showed that auto executives were very optimistic about the prospects for global EV sales. They estimated that EVs could capture as much as 70 percent of the market share by 2030. Since then, the top estimates have fallen to around 40 percent, which still indicates confidence,” but certainly less confidence. Note that this is an international survey, not just of U.S. executives. Thirty-seven percent of U.S. responders though, in both 2021 and 2022, answered the year 2030 to the following question: “When do you believe battery electric vehicles will reach cost/affordability parity with ICE without any subsidies?”
Exhaust: It’s an interesting, wide-ranging study. You can read it here. — SCS
Chevy Bolt recalled over seat belt pretensioners
Intake: Chevrolet has recalled the Bolt electric car again, this time for the possibility of gases emitted when the front seat belt pretensioners fire as the result of an accident. The escaping gases could potentially ignite the carpeting. The recall is for 140,000 Bolt EVs in North America.
Exhaust: There are some important recalls for the Bolt, but this one seems pretty incidental. Still, a recall is a recall, so Bolt owners, get it taken care of. — SCS
Ferris – shows that idots will buy anything with daddys money.