AD #2857 – Nikola Finalizing Deal With An OEM; Are U.S. Roads Too Soft?; 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible Review

June 12th, 2020 at 11:56am

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Listen to “AD #2857 – Nikola Finalizing Deal With An OEM; Are U.S. Roads Too Soft?; 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible Review” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 12:16

0:07 Nikola Finalizing Deal w/ OEM for Badger Pickup
1:20 U.S. Sales Forecast Does Not Look Good
2:42 New Bosch Semiconductor Improves Navigation
3:47 Electrify America Subsidizes EV Buses for Shuttle Service
4:49 Porsche Reveals Cayenne GTS & GTS Coupe
6:18 Hans Mezger – Porsche 917 Builder – Dies
6:53 Early GT40 Design Sketches Unearthed
7:47 Are U.S. Roads Too Soft?
8:47 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible Review

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45 Comments to “AD #2857 – Nikola Finalizing Deal With An OEM; Are U.S. Roads Too Soft?; 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible Review”

  1. Buzzerd Says:

    I’m not much of a fan of Lexus’s stying but I really like the 500. Gorgeous to my eyes and the back seat is perfect for the dog.

  2. Lambo2015 Says:

    So are we taking bets on the OEM Nikola ends up with? My guess would be RAM, only because of their lack of product in the EV market. Ford and GM already have trucks in the works.

    Roads being too soft? Still find it hard to believe in a day where we have been to the moon over 50 years ago, sent probes to mars and can build buildings over 1000ft tall. We are unable to build a highway in Michigan that can last more than 5 years.
    When it comes to blacktop I do know that while I drove a truck for a construction company (years ago)we drove across a parking lot of a building that was being torn down. The trucks were under 80k lbs and after about my third trip the parking lot started to flex and wave like I was driving on a mattress. So when they say no thru trucks I can see why. By the end of the day the parking lot was destroyed.

  3. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I’m beginning to treat auto car sale predictions on the order of hurricane predictions. Some take a ‘stab’ at a number, make some reasonable arguments of why what will happen, make corrections after data changes and if totally incorrect, totally fade into the ‘wood-work’ and never mention it again. I think I’ll just wait for the numbers when they come out.

  4. Buzzerd Says:

    I believe in Canada trucks are allowed a higher load limit and I am certainly witness to them rutting the road surface. Mostly at the traffic lights from hard braking I suppose, the rare times they actually stop for the red light.
    I was thinking RAM or Nissan. Dark horse – Honda. With Nissan’s sales headed in one direction they may be the most open to such a deal.

  5. bradley cross Says:

    Having seem some LCs on the road, they are gorgeous for sure.

    EV Trucks must be getting close, sales are going to be fascinating.

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    5 Fascinating? From a view of who comes out on top, or fascinating as in an amazing failure to sell? Wasn’t sure if you were being factious.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d say Volkswagen for the trucks.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just saw a Lexus coupe of some sort, maybe an LC, and it looked really good, especially the fantastic candy red color.

  9. Albemarle Says:

    All roads flex under weight, any weight. They have to move to resist the load, it’s physics. It’s no accident that trains use steel wheels on steel rails. That gives them much lower rolling resistance; low enough to even allow a Ford pickup to pull them.

  10. XA351GT Says:

    2 It’s all about the base. The road beds in the US are too shallow to hold up during the winters. When Germany built the autobahn I was told the base is many feet deep which gives water a path to escape before freezing and heaving the road surfaces. Also once cracks form water penetration into the asphalt and then freezing it what gives us all those lovely potholes to dodge in the spring. The base need to be deeper than the frostlines of the areas where they are built.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5,6 Maybe fascinating, in seeing if anyone will buy them. I know several people with pickups, but I don’t think any of them are waiting in line to buy an electric ones for$80K.

  12. Lambo2015 Says:

    11 Yeah that’s what I was thinking. Just watched yesterdays AAH and Trevor Milton is likeable enough and certainly believes in Nikola. He didn’t really explain the jump from Class 8 to doing a EV pick-up but it sounds like the same reason everyone else has jumped on that bandwagon. Huge margins, building an EV and getting 80K means you compete with the luxury brands or high end truck/SUVs. Doesn’t really answer the question if there is really a market for them.
    Seems like they are under the “field of Dreams” concept.. Build it and they will come.

  13. GM Veteran Says:

    To reduce emissions, maybe encouraging a rapid change from diesel powered trucks to electric and hybrid powered trucks would be more constructive and effective. That’s like opening a window when the baby’s diaper smells instead of changing the diaper.

  14. Drew Says:

    Regarding the LS500, I must be in a minority. I do not find it attractive. One of the key areas of design quality is the beltline to hood line to A-pillar. In the LS500, the designers clearly struggled to get these elements to flow and co-exist.

    With regard to the rear seat, only someone like Forrest Gump’s Lt. Dan will fit. Otherwise, it looks like nice place for a duffle bag or laptop case.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 You mean LC500, not LS?

  16. Drew Says:


  17. Larry D. Says:

    14-15 In the photos, the interior of the LC (and the current LS) do not impress me. Yet Popular Mechanics claimed these are cars that feel four times as expensive, which, at their $100k price, can only mean as good as a Bentley or even an entry level rolls. I believe the PM writers have no clue in hell as far as luxury of interiors goes.

    I liked all the previous LSs fine, except for their awful handling and their zero steering feel.

  18. Larry D. Says:

    The LS had some “sports” editions which the auto mags generally did not take seriously, they said they still were a far way from being even remotely sporty. The previous LS460 had plenty of power from its V8, close to 400 HP, a great interior, plenty of room (unlike the cramped coupe) and you can get them for peanuts today, even tho you can get 7 series and A8s for even less, because of the LS’s perecption of reliability.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The first LS “made” Lexus. It’s unfortunate that they so seriously downgraded it with the current generation. Most people don’t care, though. The Lexus that sells is the Highlander-based RX.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 I know one Lexus LS owner. I think it’s an LS 460 (3rd gen?). He’s an 80-some year old retired restauranteur. He probably doesn’t give a whit about the handling and steering feel. He worked late in life, but lucked out, selling his last restaurant a few years ago, before covid.

  21. Drew Says:

    I liked the prior gen LSs. The most recent prior gen LS had a floor console armrest lid that operated so silky, it was better than $ex.

    The present LS is not impressive in any manner. The instrument panel and door trims better fit the image of a Camry or Avalon. The front fender line belongs on a Nissan Pathfinder. Neither of these impressions are praiseworthy.

    Sorry, but many luxury brands seem to be toning down the luxury in their interiors… harder surfaces, less wood, less chrome or aluminum trim. Jaguar interiors are less…. well, less Jaguar like. Even Audi interiors have become more generic. And the latest Cadillac entries are a step back.

    Thankfully, a few brands have not abandoned luxury… Bentley, Volvo, and Lincoln. Heck, Mazda has some interiors that are more compelling than Lexus, Jaguar, Cadillac, and Audi.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    20 yes, that’s the right demographic. 95 would be even better. The poor Man’s Rolls. Not sure if it can “waft” like the rolls can, and doubt it has sheepskin $1,000 mats.

    Back to the $57k MINI, I remember when Aston bombed some highway robbery special edition of the Toyota IQ (the real short one) with those lamb wool mats, and it went for about $50k, and you got the Aston grille and logo on its face too. No wonder nobody bought.

  23. Larry D. Says:

    $80k would get you a pre-owned RR Phantom EWB from 2003-2012, in immaculate condition,very low miles usually, and it is really an enormous vehicle, far bigger than the LS460, or the entry level RR GHost or Dawn. It would need expensive maintenance, but I doubt it is very unreliable. $-wise it sure is worth it, except most top Rollses are custom made and you may not like some of the color combis and options the way they are. You pay $80 for a car that easily went for $700k new with options, and it usually does not even have 50k relaxed miles on it.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    See a white Avalon of recent vintage at a neighbor near my condo when I walk around the complex. Seems very long, and the styling looks good from all sides, but the car is always parked with its nose flush to the garage door on the driveway, so luckily we don’t have to look at the weird double grille. Have not bothered to look inside.

    generally the cars in my 360 condo complex seem sensible, very few pickups or large SUVs except for a Ford Super Duty Crew Cab which looks huge (esp length wise) but must be almost 20 years old. Many many Priuses, Subarus, and the usual mix of Hondas and TOyota cars and small SUVs.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22. The $57K I mentioned yesterday was for two zero option Minis, not one car. You can get a Mini to over $50K, though, a John Cooper Works version of some models, with options.

    I remember the Aston Martin iQ. I think they called it Signet, or something like that. They should have used a Ford Fiesta. Then, they could have just worked over the interior, and wouldn’t have needed to change the grille, since they already have an Aston Martin front end.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24. The current Avalon is only 4 inches longer than a Camry, 196 vs 192 inches. The Avalon’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer, 113-111. If CR’s charts are right, it looks like the extra length all went into the trunk. The rear leg room is listed as the same for both cars.

  27. BobD Says:

    I agree with the report on asphalt roads getting worse fuel-economy than concrete. This is not new. There have been lots of previous reports with the same conclusion. I have commented on a number of Environmental Impact Statements for highway projects when the project has selected asphalt over concrete. It is amazing how much fuel can be saved and tons of emissions reduced for the life tine of a road. Also a concrete highway will last 30-40 years before major resurfacing, compared to 10-20 years for asphalt, and the former is not that much more expensive. But the short-sided view is to build it as cheap as possible NOW and let someone else worry about the re-building costs in the future.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 Isn’t concrete harder on tires?

  29. Larry D. Says:

    25 Cygnet. (small swan).

    I saw a disabled small car on the side of the road as I was returning from my weekly shopping. I assumed it was some Mitsu or FCA loser, but as I drove closer, it was either a hatch or a small crossover (3 or CX-3), and the MAZDA logo could be clearly seen on its butt. Not too old a model either.

  30. Larry D. Says:

    27 asphalt is a cheaper but terrible choice, not only does it get red-hot in the summer in major urban areas especially, but in the snowbelt it needs CONSTANT repairs, our roads are full of huge and disgusting potholes, MI must have the WORST roads of ALL 50 states, as a colleague of mine remarked, who has lived in most of them.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Most of the roads are asphalt in places I spend the most time, both in Florida and Indiana, no doubt because it’s cheaper. Given the extra maintenance, and the shorter time between need for re-pavement, it might be cheaper overall to use concrete.

    Years ago, some concrete roads had horrible bumps with every expansion joint, but they apparently came up with new techniques to avoid that.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m sure delaying maintenance of roads greatly increases cost, over time. I’ve seen grass and weeds growing out through cracks in asphalt county roads in Indiana. Between the damage from the plants growing through, and then the damage from water running through the cracks in the winter, and then freezing and thawing, probably delaying maintenance one year does five or ten years worth of damage.

  33. ChuckGrenci Says:

    While maybe not a toss-up between asphalt and concrete roads, both do a pretty good job, and both have pros and cons. I found an article which did a pretty good summation of these attributes here:
    But even the reasons listed, some are arbitrary and subject to change and revision.

  34. Doug Says:

    I think the Hyundai group would be good candidates for the Nikola pickup. Southern non-union factory and no presence in large pickups?

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nikola and FCA?

  36. ChuckGrenci Says:

    35, Makes sense as Ford and GM are rumored or have announced that they are working on electric trucks; FCA, woefully behind in cars and trucks, speaking electric. Good find on the article/link.

  37. Larry D. Says:

    33 Even your own link, which I did read, shows that concrete is far superior to asphalt from many points of view. Nothing is perfect, but the two are not even close. You need to go visit a big city in S Europe in the summer and see how asphalt raises the already very high temp by another 10 degrees, making it really hell. Yiou then need to come to MI in the winter (or any other time), admire the pothole-filled asphalt roads, which are fixed every year and then go bad right after, AND pay $2,000 for springs and struts, if you are unwise enough to do it at the dealers. NO CONTEST. Asphalt SUCKS.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There will be even more asphalt roads now, with oil being practically free.

    One advantage of asphalt not mentioned, or maybe I missed it, but an asphalt paved road is ready to drive on a few minutes, or maybe an hour after the paving is completed, while with concrete, you need to wait 3 to 7 days for it to cure. Still, especially for roads that carry heavy trucks, concrete is much better. I like asphalt a lot better for the the county roads in Indiana than the alternative, which would be gravel.

  39. Larry D. Says:

    you are a few weeks behind, oil prices have recovered, and in any case this is only a short term blip, in the future, as I have mentioned many times, as people leave mass transit and do a ton of miles in their cars, ALONE, no shared rides, oil and gas use will SKYROCKET. Especially when the World econ recovers and CHina and all that. And never mind India. Even if India screws up, it will still be plenty of demand for oil. Unless Tesla gets an 80% market share… lol

  40. Larry D. Says:

    Just look at the airlines, their business went down 96%. Now all will travel like I used to, any trip less than 750 miles one way, they will drive. Think of the huge increase in the miles and gallons.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39. Yeah, oil prices have recovered, somewhat, to ~$30-35/bbl. You are probably right about more people doing more trips by car. We can look forward to traffic gridlock like we’ve never seen before.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40. Airline travel sounds a lot more appealing, with the planes only 1/3 full. That can’t last long, though, before either the fares quadruple, or all of the airlines go out of business. I never flew anyway, for trips shorter than about 800-1000 miles one way.

  43. lambo2015 Says:

    It sounds like the difference between Asphalt and Concrete is about equal when it comes to cost. Yea concrete is more up front but you get longer life span and with less maintenance. So if the states were serious about environment and global warming seems concrete is the obvious choice. I mean California proposed a law that would ban the sales of black vehicles and in the proposal they wanted employers over a certain size to be required to offer covered parking. (only in Cali, I know) The thinking was the less energy needed to cool cars from being covered and no black exteriors. I would also think the amount of heat generated by blacktop vs concrete has to be significant. Maybe its not so extreme and one day will be the norm.


    Michigan is all concrete. Concrete everywhere. Nobody likes Michigan roads. Nobody.

    The only thing that will happen with stiffer roads is the weight limits states impose on commercial trucks will increase thereby negating any benefit to the stiffer roads. You’ll get some marginal benefit because there will be more load per truck but not at the level of what this study is projecting.

  45. ClassicBob Says:

    “Nikola says it’s getting very close to announcing that it will do a deal with a car company that is going to build its pickup truck…”

    Hmm,.. My guess is FCA. They already partner with Iveco, Iveco parent CNH Industrial has a significant stake in Nikola, the Agnellis own both Iveco and FCA, could it go any other way?