Cheap Truck Challenge! – Roadkill Episode 3

On this episode of Roadkill, HOT ROD’s David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan join Fred Williams and Rick Péwé of Peterson’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine to compete in the infamous Cheap Truck Challenge. Riding into battle with a modded 1979 Bronco, they face-off against a rock-ready 1980 Toyota Pickup and a beastly 1987 Chevy Suburban in a cash-strapped quest for ultimate off-road glory.

Roadkill appears on the Motor Trend channel.

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Meet the 2020 BMW Alpina B3, a 456-HP M3 Alternative You Can’t Have

Meet the 2020 BMW Alpina B3, a 456-HP M3 Alternative You Can’t Have

In celebration of 40 years in Japan, Alpina has pulled the wraps off its 3 Series AWD model, which will be available here in sedan and Touring wagon forms. Pricing will start at the equivalent of $113,000-$119,350 for the sedan and wagon including local taxes (for reference, an M340i xDrive wagon starts at $92,473 in Japan).

As usual, the wizards of Buchloe, Bavaria serve as a performance foil to the mothership’s M division, offering up grander touring in comfort with an emphasis on effortless low-end torque over hair-on-fire horsepower. Alpina fits its own twin turbochargers to BMW‘s iconic 3.0-liter straight six, along with custom intake and exhaust plumbing, engine control software, cooling upgrades, and more. The result is 456 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That’s up from 382 hp/369 lb-ft in the base M340i and 444 hp/406 lb-ft on the M3 Competition. Power is routed to all four wheels through a traditional eight-speed automatic and an electronically controlled helical-type limited-slip rear differential. Alpina pegs 0-62-mph acceleration in 3.8 seconds en route to a top speed of 188 mph.

Chassis modifications include unique Alpina Variable Damper Control and variable sport steering assist, plus Pirelli P Zero tires on a choice of 18- or 20-inch lightweight forged Alpina turbine-style wheels (sadly these do not include a hollow spoke leading to a concealed valve stem under the center cap as many Alpina wheels in the past have).

Other exterior aero and styling enhancements on the new Alpina B3 include a front splitter, rear diffuser, stainless exhaust tips, and optional side stripes. Inside there’s buttery-soft Alpina-logo-embroidered leather upholstery and a fully digital instrument cluster with custom Alpina graphics. Production is scheduled to begin in spring 2020 with customer deliveries following in the autumn. Japan gets a wider range of Alpina cars, including the XD3 and XD4 diesel SUVs, diesel D3 and D4 sedan and coupe, D5 diesel and B5 S gasoline sedans as well as the B7 (the only Alpina offered in the U.S., for now). Sadly the B3 models are not expected to be offered in North America. Alpina’s global production is forecast at just 1,600 cars for the year, ensuring exclusivity.

EV Revolution Part 9: Elon’s Bold Promises And Tesla’s Future

Musk makes bold promises, but can Tesla deliver?

Elon Musk is unlike any leader we’ve ever seen. For most people, building PayPal would have been an incredible achievement. Not Musk; he built Tesla, a vertically integrated car company and the first new U.S. car company to survive this long since 1930. But Tesla is not just a car company that is on its way to producing a few hundred thousand electric cars a year. It is a company building a charging network that covers not just the U.S. but Western Europe and parts of Asia. It’s a company that designed a self-driving processor for its own cars. I can keep going, and I will. Elon also built SpaceX, a company that is able to send rockets into space at a 10x lower cost than NASA – and land the rockets back on a barge parked in the middle of the ocean.

He is working on a company, Neuralink, that wires your brain to a computer. OK, I’ll stop. I’d argue that even if Tesla goes bankrupt tomorrow, Elon has succeeded – he has accelerated human progress decades into the future.

Elon Musk (along with Tesla stock) is polarizing in the investing community. He sets impossible goals and achieves half of them several years late. The other half he either will not achieve or just hasn’t achieved yet – we don’t know. There appear to be two motivations behind his seemingly unrealistic goals. On one side, just like Steve Jobs, he has created a reality distortion field and convinced people with his charisma and confidence that they can achieve seemingly unachievable dreams.

But there is another side to Musk

Tesla has lost money every year of its existence. There is nothing wrong with this, considering that Musk has created a vertically integrated company in an industry that did not exist 10 years ago. The problem is that these losses have to be financed, and they can be financed by either debt or equity. A company that is losing money has a limited capacity to borrow because it has a limited ability to even pay interest on that debt. Therefore, it has to finance its losses by issuing equity.

Tesla is not trading on a multiple of today’s or even tomorrow’s earnings; it is trading on a multiple of Elon Musk’s dreams. At times, Tesla, which manufactured 245,000 cars in 2018, has had a greater market cap than General Motors, which

produces almost 10 million cars a year. The bigger the dreams, the larger the company’s market cap and the easier it is for Tesla to finance its losses … and to achieve Elon Musk’s dreams. But distinguishing which dreams will turn into realities is incredibly difficult, not just because of the physical attainability of those dreams but because to achieve them Tesla will need more capital.

So, to project whether Tesla will achieve Musk’s big dreams, you need to have an opinion not just on their attainability but on the question of whether others will have faith in Tesla and Musk long enough to allow the company to issue cheap equity to finance those dreams. Every so often, to keep the dream valuation going, Musk makes an announcement that seems to defy what we believe is possible today.

In May 2019, Musk announced that he was expecting a network of Tesla robo-taxis to be operating by 2020. Even if Musk is wrong by two years and this ambitious dream comes true in 2022, it will transform the auto industry and turn Tesla into a cash cow (while also putting Uber and Lyft out of business, unless they come up with their own robo-taxis by then). Or does the robo-taxi belong to a category of sci-fi dream that may or may not be feasible even by 2030?

Tesla Solar Roof Easiliy Handles House And Two EVs - User Example

Before you answer this question, let me give you two more examples.

In July 2017, Musk announced that Tesla was ready to take orders for solar roofs, implying that the technology was ready for prime time. Two years on, after consumers have put down deposits, little more has been heard about solar roofs. Maybe we should have taken Musk literally, not figuratively – Tesla was ready to take orders (but the roof was not ready).

Another example. In his 2016 shareholder letter, Musk wrote that he expected Model 3 production in the fourth quarter to hit 5,000 cars a week (260,000 cars a year). Now imagine you are in the fourth quarter of 2017 and Tesla is producing 186 cars a week (about 9,700 a year). Did Musk lie to you, or did he just dream big but fall short of that dream (so far)? Well, would you believe Musk’s next promise, to produce 500,000 Model 3s in 2018 – a 50x increase?

Let’s skip 2018 and fast-forward to 2019, where in the second quarter we find Tesla producing at an annualized pace of 288,000 cars and on its way to reach the 500,000 annual production run rate by late 2019 or so.

Given these facts, when Musk makes a forecast, what is plausible and what is exaggeration? How do we know?

These examples illustrate a few points:

1) Some of Musk’s promises cross into the unpalatable territory of exaggeration. (Are they really lies if they happen five or 10 years late?)

2) Even promises that Musk will deliver on will come a year or three late.

3) Looking at the past few quarters brings little value when analyzing Tesla. (We have a hard time processing 50x increases in production, even if they come a year later than promised.) Just remind yourself that this is the same person who was able to accomplish things that NASA could not.

To make things more complicated, there are external factors like interest rates, the economy, and trade wars, any of which could cripple Tesla’s valuation, thus making the company’s financing a lot more expensive or completely undoable. In other words, Tesla is a path-dependent company: Its success will depend in part on factors that are completely outside of its control.

This is just one out of 11 parts of my analysis of Tesla, Elon Musk, and the EV revolution.  You can get it as an email series, PDFEPUB or Kindle ebook here or email at

Vitaliy Katsenelson, CFA is CEO at IMA.    Vitaliy has written two books on investing, which were published by John Wiley & Sons.  He is working on a third – you can read a chapter from it, titled “The 6 Commandments of Value Investing” here).  You can read Vitaliy’s articles on  You can find audio versions of his articles at

Pelosi: House close to approving trade deal with Mexico, Canada

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives is making progress every day toward approving the trade agreement President Donald Trump worked out with Canada and Mexico, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday.

The House is on a “path to yes,” Pelosi said about ratifying the agreement, which was signed nearly a year ago, adding that her chamber’s inquiry into whether Trump should be impeached has “nothing to do” with its work on the agreement.

“We are moving with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, making progress every day,” Pelosi said. “I’m optimistic that we are still on a path to yes, and that … we will come to conclusion soon on that.”

The Trump administration has been negotiating with House Democrats to address their concerns over the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which would replace the $1 trillion North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico has already ratified the trade pact, while Canada has not. It was negotiated last year after Trump, a Republican, said the existing NAFTA deal was unfavorable to U.S. workers and businesses.

In the United States, the trade deal must win approval in a divided Congress where Republicans control the Senate and Democrats the House. Republicans worry the deal could get bogged down in the 2020 U.S. presidential election race if U.S. lawmakers do not ratify it soon.

Democrats say they are working closely with the U.S. Trade Representative’s office to get their concerns addressed. They have pressed for measures to ensure good enforcement of labor and climate provisions of the deal, as well as changes in provisions dealing with pharmaceuticals.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal told reporters on Wednesday he was upbeat about progress in the negotiations after a meeting of a House Democratic working group with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

He said he plans to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Canada next week, following a meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador earlier this month.

Rep. Kevin Brady, ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, told reporters on Thursday that “an awful lot of progress” had been made on the Democrats’ four key areas of concern.

“I think they’re getting close, on this, and I’m just pleased with the progress that’s being made,” Brady said. “I’m convinced we can get this done and to the president’s desk this year.”

Pelosi gave no details on what changes Democrats had secured, but said the trade agreement could eventually be a model for future trade deals.

“If we can come to terms, that I think we are close to doing, this will be a template for future trade agreements,” she said. “We have an opportunity to do it right.”

The BAC Mono Is a Crazy $250,000 Street-Legal Race Car



The BAC Mono is an insane $250,000 street-legal race car. Today I’m reviewing the BAC Mono to show you around this crazy race car for the road, and I’m going to show you all the quirks and features of the BAC Mono.


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