Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week, Alpine shows off a winterized version of the A110, Bentley goes ice racing with a specially-prepped Continental GT, Lincoln confirms Rivian partnership for first EV, and your automotive news for the week.
Alpine A110 SportsX
Every now and then, Alpine likes to remind us Americans of what we’re missing with some news around the lovely A110. This week they didn’t just rub salt in the wound, they took the biggest Himalayan salt rock they could find and threw it at our face. That’s how I would describe the Alpine A110 SportsX that was just revealed at Festival Automobile in France. It’s a design study that shows the car’s versatility and its ability to have a good time on any surface, including snow and ice.
Alpine has a rich history in rallying and took inspiration from the winning A110 from the 1973 Monte Carlo Rally for this design study. It has an extra 2.4 inches of ground clearance over the standard car and is also 3.1 inches wider. It wears black accents all around, has a nice two-tone paint scheme, and has a more aggressive front bumper. It also looks to have some kind of skid plate on its chin, which would be useful for icy climates. It also carries two sets of skis, just in case.
Now obviously, it being a design study means this isn’t a production-intent car (as far as we know). But the changes they’ve made over the standard car all look fairly simple to recreate in the aftermarket. To our European brethren… you know what needs to be done. And send us one while you’re at it.
Bentley Ice Race Continental GT
In a similar but much less subtle fashion, Bentley is also getting ready for the ice with a specially-prepped Continental GT. This one though is actually going racing at the 2020 GP Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria this weekend. Catie Munnings, FIA European Championship Ladies Trophy winner and Junior World Rally Championship driver, will do the honors.
The Bentley she’ll be competing with was kept as close to stock as possible but still has some mandatory modifications. The obligatory roll cage, on-board fire suppression system, racing seats, and harnesses were added because race car. The suspension is the same three-chamber air springs from the standard car but raised to allow for more ground clearance. It also has a slightly wider track width and studded Pirelli Scorpion Ice Zero2 tires, along with body arch extensions to help them fit. A brace of Lazer high performance lights is tucked neatly behind the grille as well. The rest of the car, including its 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 and iron brakes, is all stock.
Bentley is using this two day event in unpredictable weather to test their car in extreme conditions. “First run in 1937 and revived last year, the event features an array of historic and modern race and rally cars. The weekend sees drivers compete in various vehicle categories over a 600m/1,968ft frozen racetrack carved from the snow”.
Like the first story, this doesn’t indicate any particular plans for a production Bentley in the future, but it does look cool.
Lincoln collaborating with Rivian for first EV
In more sensible, less fun news, Lincoln has confirmed that their first all-electric vehicle will be made with help from Rivian. Just months ago, Ford announced a sizable investment in the only truly promising electric vehicle startup in the US to the tune of $500 million. This week’s announcement seems to indicate that they’re ready to enjoy the fruits of that investment.
Rivian will provide their flexible skateboard platform (the same one their concept trucks have been built on) for an unnamed Lincoln battery-electric vehicle, most likely an SUV. No other details on the planned EV have been revealed, though Lincoln did confirm production of the MKZ sedan will end this year to make room for other planned vehicles on the production lines. Whatever Lincoln has planned will fit in nicely with the not-a-Mustang Mach-E and the planned EV F-150, which will likely feature Rivian tech too.
This is good news for Ford who can save time and money on development costs and even better news for Rivian as they quickly become one of the most relevant EV manufacturers around.
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.