These are the most important stories from the last 24 hours of automotive news.
Good morning, welcome to the weekend, and thanks for tuning in to Cold Start, your daily roundup of the most important news stories from the day before. It's been an interesting 24 hours in the world of automotive news, with plenty of noteworthy developments.
We start with an exciting rumor concerning the last of the electrification-free Dodge Challengers before taking a close look at the thinnest wristwatch ever made. Then, we take a look at a Volkswagen truck that could be a great alternative to the Ford Ranger. Then we give controversial 'visionary' Kanye West the thing he craves most in the world: attention. Finally, we close with SEMA's focus for the 2022 show.
There has been a lot of talk concerning the future of Dodge's muscle cars. The high-horsepower brand is on the verge of revealing its plans for an electrified future, but for those who hate hybridization and EVs on principle, there may be one last opportunity to experience pure combustion. According to the rumor mill, Dodge could say goodbye to the electrification-free Challenger with a run-out special running on ethanol. Not pure ethanol, but E85. That should allow the car to outperform the Demon with ease, and a headline figure of beyond 850 horsepower is not inconceivable. We'll learn more very soon, so stay tuned.
Luxury automakers are not content to simply make money from cars. Many of them now offer special merchandise, and one of the kings of this sort of self-marketing is Ferrari. But we have to tip our hats to its new collaboration with watchmaker Richard Mille. Called the UP-01, this new Ferrari-branded watch is the world's thinnest at just 1.75 millimeters thick and arrives with a price tag of $1,888,000. Thanks to titanium construction, it should be relatively durable, but with no battery and an almost illegible face, this isn't the sort of thing that adds convenience to your life. That said, the bragging rights are surely worth the asking price.
We're patiently awaiting the launch of the US-spec Ford Ranger, but in the meantime, Volkswagen has revealed its new Amarok, a truck that shares much of its makeup with the Blue Oval's midsize pickup. Offered with loads of tech and a range of engines that offers as much as 298 hp, this is the sort of pickup that we think could do very well on domestic shores. Towing capacity is as high as 7,716 pounds too, so it'd be competitive with what the US market currently offers. What's more, the unique styling, availability of Harman Kardon audio, and ergonomic interior design could attract diehard fans of American trucks.
Kanye West has found much success in fashion and music, but he has also had a number of failures to his name over the years. That has not lessened his ambition, however, and the controversial public figure is now turning his attention to the automotive sphere with a concept car to be made under the banner of his company, Donda. Unsurprisingly, this new venture will be unconventional. For a start, the person appointed to head up this project has made a name for himself in fashion rather than cars. For another, West wants to create this car using foam. Good luck with that.
Times are changing, and we must change with them. That is true for all of us, including those in charge of auto shows, and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show is well aware of this fact. While the show has typically been able to attract numerous automakers each year with ease, many big brands are moving towards EVs, which could be why so many of them pulled out of this year's SEMA extravaganza. Whatever the reason, organizers have now announced that the show will have an expanded SEMA Electrified section in a bid to encourage EV modification and a greater understanding of future opportunities in the niche.