Classic German Messerschmitt Microcar Recreated With Modern Power

Classic German Messerschmitt Microcar Recreated With Modern Power

We’ll soon be able to travel again, so in case you’re planning your first excursion, we have a suggestion: Go to Europe and buy a new Messerschmitt Kabinenroller! A German outfit called Messerschmitt-Werke has a new, slightly-modernized version of everyone’s favorite mid-century motorcycle-adjacent deathtrap, now with modern gasoline and electric power.

The new Messerschmitt is available in two versions, both featuring a fiberglass body over a steel-aluminum honeycomb chassis. The KR-202, shown in the photos, gets a 125-cc single-cylinder fuel-injected engine that produces just over 7 hp. With the help of its CVT automatic transmission, the KR-202 will get the two intrepid adults and one child squeezed into its cabin to a top speed of 56 mph. Such performance is a bit off the original KR-200—191cc, 9.9 hp, 67 mph.

Want to go greener? No problem! Messerschmitt-Werke also offers the E-KR5000, a battery powered version with a 6.7-hp electric motor, good for the same 56 mph. Range is about 50 miles on a charge, and you can double that with an optional second battery.

The neu Messerschmitt has all modern conveniences, including hydraulic brakes for all three wheels, adjustable dampers, and lights that meet modern (European) standards. How does it handle? Check out this video of a KR-202 puttering around the track—and don’t miss the bit at 1:03 when the driver lifts the inside wheel…

Ready to buy? Pricing starts at €10,950,00 for the KR-202 and €12,950,00 for the KR E-5000 (around $13,300 and $15,720 respectively) plus options and taxes. You’ll have to go pick it up at the factory, of course; the good news is that they’re being built in Malaga, Spain, and we can think of few lovelier places to try out your new microcar. Driving one of these on American roads would probably be suicidal, but what a way to go!

Former Texas dealership employees face charges over illegal firearms sales

Two men are facing criminal charges over the sale of firearms off a car dealership lot in Hutto, Texas, about 30 miles northeast of Austin.

Craig Tondre, 42, formerly a sales manager at Covert Ford Hutto, part of the Texas-based Covert Auto Group, was arrested in April on suspicion of illegally selling weapons and ammunition. Tondre worked with another dealership employee, 44-year-old Joshua Ellard, to sell them, according to criminal complaints filed April 6 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Ellard was also arrested that month.

Tondre is charged with dealing firearms without a license, while Ellard — who was previously convicted in Florida of second-degree murder — is charged as a felon in possession of a firearm and a machine gun.

Tondre and Ellard were fired “immediately after management was informed of their arrests on allegations of selling illegal firearms,” Covert Auto Group said in a statement last week to KXAN-TV. The group said management and owners didn’t know about any of the alleged activities before the men’s arrests.

On multiple occasions, Ellard sold firearms and ammunition to undercover Austin Police Department officers, according to the complaints.

Two different Austin detectives on separate occasions in February and March bought a silencer, 100 rounds of ammunition and four rifles from Ellard, according to the complaints. Before and during the transactions, Ellard made comments about checking with Tondre, his boss, on what was available to sell, the complaints allege.

Tondre wasn’t physically there for any of the transactions, but officers conducting surveillance saw him moving a rifle from his residence to the dealership, according to the complaints.

Ellard allegedly agreed to a purchase at Tondre’s residence on March 31, and while there, a detective saw a large safe containing about 10 firearms. That transaction is what ultimately confirmed Tondre’s involvement and led to his arrest, according to the complaints.

Tondre and Ellard were released on bond in mid-April.

Lucid Motors Trolls Tesla With Ad Following Elon Musk’s SNL Monologue

Lucid Motors Trolls Tesla With Ad Following Elon Musk’s SNL Monologue

In case you hadn’t heard, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is hosting Saturday Night Live May 8. The billionaire cryptocurrency peddler and electric car boundary pusher has riled up some big reactions online among SNL fans and his own fans alike—so, whatever you think of Musk’s appearance on the weekly live sketch comedy show, we can all appreciate the unexpected adversarial advertising that broke out during the episode. We’re talking, of course, about Lucid Motors‘ sharply timed ad for the upcoming Air luxury EV—the 500-mile sedan it is hoping can take down Tesla’s Model S.

Lucid must have figured viewership for SNL would be high, given all the buzz surrounding the Tesla CEO’s appearance on it. (Aided by Musk himself, who tweeted out this week in the run-up to the show invitations for sketch ideas, as well as other musings about SNL.) So it trained its advertising dollars for its Tesla competitor on one of the first 30-second spots following Musk’s opening monologue introducing the SNL episode.

The ad, titled “Introducing Future,” depicts the new Air sedan and its $69,900 price. It isn’t new—it has existed on Lucid Motors’ YouTube page for four months—but it’ll surely be new to most regular TV viewers. While we’ve yet to evaluate a Lucid Air for ourselves, its stats stack up favorably against the Tesla Model S, from its slippery shape (lower drag) to its more spacious interior to its headline-stealing 500-mile range per charge. Tesla only just reached the 400-mile mark, although its figure is EPA-verified … and a new Model S Plaid model is said to deliver 520 miles of range.

In any event, clearly having Tesla’s figurehead on SNL has placed a giant target on the evening’s advertising slots—in some markets, Volkswagen also ran an ad for the ID.4 EV crossover.

U.S. opens safety probe into 1.1 million Honda Accords

WASHINGTON — The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday it was opening a formal safety probe into more than 1.1 million Honda Accord vehicles over sudden loss of steering control reports.

The agency said the engineering analysis covers 2013 through 2015 models and said “under normal driving conditions, with no warning or input from the driver, the vehicle may veer or jerk out of its intended path of travel.” Honda did not immediately comment. NHTSA said it has 107 complaints and two injury incidents related to the issue.

Confirmed: Porsche Macan Electric SUV Coming in 2023

Confirmed: Porsche Macan Electric SUV Coming in 2023

It’s a similar strategy to what Audi plans to apply to its A6 midsize sedan line, which will offer both ICE- and EV-powered options, each built around completely different platforms. S it’s no surprise that the electric Macan rides on the same Premium Platform Electric (PPE) underpinnings as the electric A6 E-Tron concept car that previews an upcoming production sedan bearing the same name. 

While Porsche’s eager to share details about the development process of the electric Macan, which includes digital testing using computer models to simulate real vehicles and external properties, the brand’s currently keeping the SUV’s performance and powertrain specifics closer to the chest. Nevertheless, Michael Steiner, a member of Porsche’s executive board, told MotorTrend and other media outlets in a roundtable interview that the German brand plans for the electric Macan’s driving range to top the Taycan’s, which currently manages a maximum range of 227 miles per Environmental Protection Agency testing. We wager Porsche will squeeze at least 250 miles of EPA-rated range from the electric Macan.

Whereas the Taycan offers two different battery packs, the Macan EV will likely sell with just one (larger) battery option in North America, said Steiner.  He acknowledged Porsche is prepared to offer the Macan EV with two different battery packs, but noted that North American customers tend to flock toward the larger capacity option, which provides more driving range. 

Regardless of what’s supplying electricity to its drive motor or motors (we presume the SUV will offer single-motor two-wheel drive and two—or more—motor all-wheel-drive options), the electric Macan is due to crib a number of key pieces from its lower-slung Taycan sibling. Notably, the two share an 800-volt electrical architecture and a basic design language, the latter of which peaks through the camouflage of the electric SUVs in the attached images. 

Swollen front fenders with driving and/or headlights that mimic those of the Taycan’s supply the electric Macan with a sporty-looking mug. (Whether the lamps located within the SUV’s lower fascia are there for testing or represent the actual location of the headlights remains a mystery at the moment.) No doubt, the Macan EV looks like it’ll take on the appearance of the conceptual love child of the gas-powered Macan and Taycan that it sort of is. It also seems as though the Macan EV will sport a more sloped roofline than that of the current Macan, thus allowing the electric model to serve as the “coupe” of the Macan range, too.

Whatever its performance details turn out to be, the Macan EV is sure to live up to the sporting heritage of the Porsche name. It’ll also surely wear a Porsche-appropriate price tag. Expect Porsche to reveal more information about the electric Macan, which will likely arrive in the United States as a 2024 model when it launches in 2023.

Ford recalls nearly 617,000 Explorers to inspect, secure roof rail covers

WASHINGTON — Ford Motor Co. is recalling nearly 617,00 Explorers in the United States at the request of regulators because retention pins could loosen and allow roof rail covers to detach from the vehicle.

The recall covers 2016 through 2019 model year vehicles. Dealers will install push-pins and replace any damaged rail clips and roof rail covers, as necessary.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in April had requested Ford conduct a safety recall after first inquiring about the issue in early 2020 following 11 reports of roof rail cover detachment.

Ford in November approved a onetime repair and extended coverage action for 10 years or 150,000 miles to address the issue.