Pod Rods: electric supercars and microcars; a street-legal garden shed; and flying up a cliff

It’s the Labor Day weekend, so let’s check out some rides that might take a lot of labor to secure.

There’s a new Bentley, and some electrics fast and small. We’ve got some concepts, and we fly high.

Plus, some car events are coming, so we check out our weekend car calendar further down:

— There’s a new electric supercar coming, and it has been announced by the folks who built the Ariel Atom. That wild open-frame two-seater with the Acura engine is back. Called the HIPERCAR for now, the 1,180-horsepower electric car will do a claimed 160 mph and hit 60 mph in 2.4 seconds, with 100 mph in less than 4, Ariel said. The name stands for High Performance Carbon Reduction, destined for release in 2019 and production in 2020 alongside the company’s Atom, Nomad and Ace. It will be available in two- and four-wheel-drive versions, and built in Somerset, England, by Ariel. Prototypes will be shown at the Low Carbon Vehicle Show Sept. 6 and 7 at England’s Millbrook testing facility. The car will come with a lithium-ion cooled and heated battery pack charged, when required, by a micro-turbine range extender, so it doesn’t need to be plugged in. No price yet.

— Kia Motors will unveil a new concept car at the 2017 Frankfurt International Motor Show Sept. 12, but we hear this beauty won’t come stateside. Designed at Kia’s European design center in Frankfurt, the concept car hints at what the next-generation cee’d, a model only available overseas, could look like. It sure looks cool, with an extended hot hatch style that could make station wagons cool again.

— Something else is coming at Frankfurt – the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE’s world premiere. The two-seater supersports showcar uses “the very latest and efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology” for the road, Mercedes-AMG said. This high-performance hybrid has an output of over 1,000 hp and a top speed exceeding 217 mph. That is all.

— Two more previews in Germany:

Porsche unveiled its new third-generation Cayenne Tuesday in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, the latest version of its most successful model, with more than 760,000 sold since 2002. Porsche says the Cayenne is lighter, available with two turbocharged six-cylinder gas engines with 340 horsepower, or 440 hp in the Cayenne S. The new SUV is based heavily on the 911 sports car, with mixed tires and rear-axle steering for the first time, plus active all-wheel drive as standard and a new eight-speed Tiptronic S gearbox. The exterior is made entirely of aluminum, as is the floorpan assembly.

Then BMW unveiled its sixth-generation M5 sedan, calling it “the quickest, most technologically advanced M-vehicle to date” and capable of 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 189 mph with optional M Driver’s Package. The M5 has a TwinPower Turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine with 600 horsepower and peak torque of 553 pound-feet, putting power down via an M xDrive system with two-wheel-drive capability. M compound brakes are fitted as standard, while optional M carbon ceramic brakes provide a 50-pound unsprung weight reduction. The sedan has a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic roof. The M5 will be available next spring, the price to be announced closer to that date.

— Bentley has revealed its sleekest super-luxury coupe, and the third-generation Continental GT is definitively a Grand Tourer. It gets a new version of Bentley’s 6-liter, twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine, mated for the first time to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission. It has an adaptive chassis using a 48-volt Dynamic Ride System that controls ride comfort and lateral roll, cushioning passengers from excessive movement as well as making the car feel effortlessly precise. The muscular exterior design usesa lightweight, yet stiff, body. The new Continental GT makes its global debut at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show Sept. 12 to 24.

— Ken Block’s stunt videos of him ‘hooning’ around warehouses, people in Segways and the edge of riverfronts have always been exciting. And his Top Gear tour through London was pretty radical. Now his new “Terrakhana” video has the rally and stunt driver hooning his Ford Fiesta RX43 rally car at Swing Arm City, an off-road park in Utah. And this time, he’s seen flying up and down some of its gorgeous formations, as well as flying over massive jumps. Check out the new video at youtube.com/watch?v=33A0zZ5qb1Y.

Speaking of flying high, it’s the 1-year anniversary of Bryce Menzies flying his off-road truck 379.4 feet over a New Mexico ghost town, thereby setting an official truck jump distance record of 379 feet. So here’s the historic jump in a 360-degree virtual reality and 4k video, with multiple angles of the modified 900-horsepower Pro2 truck. Have fun watching it.

— So, you may have heard Tesla might show off an all-electric semi-truck next month. But the folks at Cummins, who make a lot of truck diesel engines, beat Tesla to the punch this week. It showed of a pretty slick-looking electric truck. The “Class 7 Urban Hauler Tractor” is an 18,000-pound truck was built by Roush and designed to do local deliveries, according to the Indianapolis Star. Cummins says it will have a claimed range of 100 miles and would take an hour to charge, officially introduced in 2020.

— OK, that’s a big electric vehicle. How about some new, tiny ones?

The MINI Electric Concept is set for unveiling in Frankfurt soon, previewing an all-electric series-production model set for 2019. It has been almost 10 years since MINI released its MINI E, the first all-electric car from the BMW Group to be driven by private users in everyday traffic conditions. More thahn 600 entered service worldwide for the purpose of the field studies. Now comes a concept with hexagonal radiator grille and circular all-LED headlight assemblies. The 19-inch wheels’ aerodynamic inlays are made using a 3D printing process.

Then there’s the new tiny autonomous car from smart, also set for the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany. Called the Vision EQ Fortwo concept, a fully autonomous vehicle also has an electric drive system, and would be part of Benz’s Car2go car sharing service. The autonomous technology will use swarm logic to determine when and where a car is likely to be needed before it’s requested. That means shorter wait time after calling a ride using a mobile device. The large panel in the vehicle’s front fascia displays a number of things, including whether the car is on its way to pick up a passenger or if there’s an empty seat available. It will use two lithium-ion battery packs with a total capacity of 30 kWh. The car can charge either with a plug or with inductive charging.

— Finally, let’s get silly as we head to England, where almost anything with headlights and a horn can get a license plate. That’s resulted in some amazing sports cars from folks like Radical, Ariel and a nifty two-seater race car-like morsel called The Rocket. But now another Brit has created — not joking here — the world’s fastest shed. As in, garden shed. A lad named Kevin Nicks took a Volkswagen Passat with its 200-horsepower V-6 and built a true wooden garden shed atop its superstructure. It has a steel frame, meaning it’s no lightweight. So this 2-ton shed does get a boost from a classic hot-rodder’s friend, namely nitrous oxide. The result: 96.831 mph in a speed test. Check out the video at youtube.com/watch?v=yAgdOa0D3Z8.

Numerous automotive events are scheduled this weekend and soon. Here’s our up-to-date calendar:


• Sgt. Jason Dahlke Memorial Ride: Starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, in the Riverplace Shopping Center, 11111 San Jose Blvd. Local classic car and hot rod owners will cruise in procession to Lannie Road Baptist Church, 5998 Lannie Road, then join Tessa Dahlke as she walks the last 2.5 miles of a series of annual 1,000-mile walks she has done to honor her son, Army Ranger Jason Dahlke. Her walk ends at his Jacksonville National Cemetery gravesite, where he was laid to rest after he was killed in 2009 while on duty in Afghanistan. The car procession joins the Patriot Guard Riders, American Legion Riders and Rolling Thunder Riders to continue to Jacksonville’s military cemetery for a ceremony honoring Sgt. Dahlke.


• A new fourth-Friday night cruise-in is set for 5-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, at Hemming Park in downtown Jacksonville. Friends of Hemming Park and Sunshine State Chevelles present the cruise, with classic cars and hot rods able to park in the park. Dagwood’s Food Truck, Mother Truckin’ Pizza and Guanabana Ice Pops will be on hand, with Chevelles Club president Chris Conover as DJ. The cruise is open to all kinds of vehicles. The event is free. Visitors can use on-street parking, free after 6 p.m. For information, contact Conover at sunshinestatechevelles@netzero.com.


• Teamsters Local 512 Labor Day Celebration: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at 1210 Lane Ave. N. No registration fee, and open to cars from 1972 or earlier. There’s a live band and children’s activities.

• One week until the Ponte Vedra Auto Show: The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce will host the 15th annual Ponte Vedra Auto Show presented by Fields Auto Group on Sunday, Sept. 10, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Nocatee Town Center. The show, which is open and free to spectators, will feature up to 175 classic and new collectors’ cars all vying for the show’s 30-plus trophies. For information and to preregister ($ 35 per vehicle), visit pvautoshow.com.

• Skyfall — Luxury on a Mission: 7 p.m. to midnight Friday, Nov. 7, at Malone Air Charter, 855-21 St. Johns Bluff Road N. at Craig Municipal Airport. This 300-person black tie event benefits Dreams Come True and Jacksonville’s Police Athletic League of Jacksonville, with catering by Capital Grille, complimentary refreshments from Bacardi, casino tables, a live band and displays from Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, McLaren and Gulfstream. Tickets starts at $ 2,500 for admission for four, on up to $ 25,000 for a Casino Royale Partner sponsorship. Information and tickets: sissinesskyfall.com. ^


• Informal cruise-in: 7-9 a.m. every Saturday in Mandarin near Panera Bread in the Riverplace Shopping Center, 11111 San Jose Blvd.

• First Coast Car Council: 5-8 p.m. Saturday at the At Home home decor store, 1919 Wells Road in Orange Park.

• Clay County Cruzers: 3-6 p.m. Saturday at Big Dawgs Family Sports Restaurant, 1330 Blanding Blvd. in Orange Park.

• Callahan Cruisers: 4:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday at Crooked Rooster Brewery, 1478 S. 6th St. in Macclenny. The group is also hosting the “Save the Change Sophie’s Callahan Cruise” next Saturday, Sept. 9, at Dick’s Wings, 450077 Florida 200 in Callahan, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

• Jax Beaches Cars and Coffee: Classic Car Cruise 5-8 p.m. every third Tuesday at the Sea Walk Pavilion and Latham Plaza between 1st and 2nd Street. Information: betterjaxbeach.com.^

Send information on automotive and motorcycle events to dan.scanlan@jacksonville.com or Dan Scanlan, Florida Times-Union, 1 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville FL 32202.

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