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Maxlider Brothers ready to build your dream Bronco 6×6

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2021 Ford Bronco 6x6 conversion - Photo credit: Innov8 Design Lab/Maxlider Brothers Customs

It was only a matter of time.

Vehicle customizer Maxlider Brothers Customs has announced plans to build a 6×6 version of the modern Ford Bronco due to start deliveries this summer.

Ever since Mercedes-Benz AMG launched the G63 6×6 back in 2013, multiple tuning firms have attempted to mimic the success (and notoriety) of that vehicle by offering 6×6 conversions of other rugged SUVs and pickup trucks. The list includes the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150 Raptor, Jeep Gladiator/Wrangler, Land Rover Defender, Ram 1500 TRX, and more.

2021 Ford Bronco 6×6 conversion – Photo credit: Innov8 Design Lab/Maxlider Brothers Customs

Now we can add the Bronco. First spotted by Motor1, Maxlider over the weekend posted to its Facebook page computer-generated renderings of its planned Bronco 6×6. Together with the renderings, the company said it is now accepting orders with a view to delivering the first vehicles in 2022. The price tag? An insane $399,000.

Maxlider offers a full range of upgrades for the Bronco, though the Bloomington, Illinois-based company hasn’t mentioned what exactly it plans to include on its Bronco 6×6. The obvious upgrades include the BFGoodrich all-terrain tires (including a full-size spare), raised suspension, fender flares, brush guard, and roof rack with off-road lights. Naturally, there’s also an extended frame supporting the additional axle and differential.

Considering the next Ford Ranger will share the same updated T6 body-on-frame platform found in the Bronco, there’s a good chance Maxlider will be able to handle a 6×6 conversion of the new pickup truck. The new Ranger is due for a reveal later this year as a 2022 model.

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Autos

Harley-Davidson to make LiveWire a standalone brand

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Harley-Davidson LiveWire charging at Electrify America charging station

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle will spawn a standalone all-electric brand, the company announced Monday in a press release. The first LiveWire-branded motorcycle will be unveiled July 8, ahead of the International Motorcycle Show, the company said.

That marks a departure from the initial Harley-Davidson LiveWire, which was launched in 2019 as a single model within the Harley brand. It’s similar to the progression of Hyundai’s Genesis and Ioniq nameplates, which started out as individual models within the Hyundai brand, before expanding to standalone brands.

LiveWire will be “headquartered virtually,” with staff located in Silicon Valley and Milwaukee, according to Harley. The new brand will get its own engineering team dedicated to electric powertrains, but will also lean on Harley’s existing resources for engineering and manufacturing (the current Harley-Davidson LiveWire is built at the same York, Pennsylvania, factory as other bikes).

Harley-Davidson LiveWire charging at Electrify America charging station

Harley is also planning dedicated LiveWire showrooms, starting in California. However, the company also said LiveWire “will work with participating dealers from the Harley-Davidson network as an independent brand” and will “blend digital and physical retail formats,” indicating online sales may be a possibility.

Unveiled at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, the initial Harley-Davidson LiveWire sports a 110-mile range and 0-60 mph acceleration of 3.5 seconds. It hit the market in late 2019 with a $29,799 base price (before destination), which typically buys a higher-tier gasoline bike.

Several dedicated companies have launched electric motorcycles, but Harley is the only legacy manufacturer to wade in so far in the U.S. Polaris bought electric-motorcycle firm Brammo in 2015, and has a partnership with Zero Motorcycles, but so far it’s only discussed electric ATVs. Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha are working to develop a standardized swappable battery system for the Japanese market.

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Porsche Sonderwunsch program to rival Ferrari Special Projects

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Porsche Sonderwunsch program

Ferrari for years has been offering its most loyal—and deep pocketed—customers the opportunity to dream up their ultimate car and have it built on the chassis of a contemporary model.

It’s a program called Ferrari Special Projects, and over the years it’s resulted in some real stunners, as well as some real head scratchers.

Porsche had a similar program back in the 1970s called Sonderwunsch, German for “special request,” though it was much more exclusive than Ferrari Special Projects. One of the cars developed via the original program is the 993-generation 911 speedster, of which just two were built. One of those was built for Jerry Seinfeld.

Now Porsche wants to invite more customers to its Sonderwunsch program. Like Ferrari’s program, Sonderwunsch will enable a customer to work closely with Porsche’s designers to dream up a car that can be built as a true one-off or as a limited series.

Porsche Sonderwunsch program

For the less brave, Sonderwunsch will also enable a customer to customize colors and materials—on both existing cars as well as new cars yet to be built. This will be particularly useful for owners of classic Porsches that may want to update some elements to modern standards.

Examples of some of the options that will be available include custom wraps, custom paint finishes, racing numbers, prints on the floor mats, puddle lamps, accessories, and even performance parts.

Porsche said some of the options available will start showing up on its online configurator.

“It is our goal to provide customers around the globe with even more accurately tailored and demand-based products within the context of classic, existing and new cars,” Alexander Fabig, head of the individualization and classic departments at Porsche. “Starting with new possibilities for individualization and personalization of individual components, through the additional range of performance parts, up to the realization of uniquely individualized sports cars, we have the right option for every customer.”

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Stellantis pledges 10-year investment for each of its brands

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Carlos Tavares

With the merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and France’s PSA Group to form Stellantis completed in January, everyone remains eager to see what CEO Carlos Tavares has planned for the new automaker’s 13 brands.

Fortunately Tavares isn’t interested in retiring any of the brands just yet, including the likes of Alfa Romeo, Chrysler and Lancia which each have lineups consisting of three models or less.

Autocar reported on Wednesday that Tavares said Stellantis is committed to a 10-year investment for each of its brands during a speech he made at this week’s Future of the Car Summit hosted by the Financial Times.

“My clear management stance is that we give a chance to each of our brands, under the leadership of a strong CEO, to define their vision, build a roadmap and make sure they use the valuable assets of Stellantis to make their business case fly,” he said. “We’re giving each a chance, giving each a time window of 10 years and giving funding for 10 years to do a core model strategy.”

Carlos Tavares

In addition to the three brands mentioned above, Stellantis also controls Citroen, Dodge, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati, Opel/Vauxhall, Peugeot and Ram.

It doesn’t mean there won’t be any major cuts. For instance, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato in April said Alfa Romeo’s still-new Giorgio rear-wheel-drive platform will be phased out in favor of group-wide modular platforms. This will be key as Stellantis makes moves to electrify all of its brands.

We could also see some brands changed, such as Chrysler which might be transformed into a mobility company. Tavares has previously described Chrysler as having the tradition of being the expression of “automotive American technology,” and has said there may be an opportunity to connect Chrysler with new areas such as “autonomous vehicles, zero-emission vehicles, highly connected vehicles.” This ties in with comments made in 2018 by former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne that Chrysler could become the “mobility solution” in the U.S.

Stay tuned.

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