Bangle’s Back: The Redspace REDS Is a Cyberpunk People Pod

Redspace REDS

It’s a spot of madness, this machine, as if Frank Rinderknecht had engineered a hookup between a phone booth and a golf cart at a ’90s rave somewhere on the outskirts of propriety. It makes a bit of sense, then, that former BMW design chief Chris Bangle is involved. The vehicle is called the REDS, a backronym coined by Bangle and defined by Redspace CEO Wang Jinan as standing for Revolutionary Electric Dream Space. Let 100 electric daisies bloom, dudes.

Redspace REDS

Redspace itself is a part of the Wang-helmed China Hi-Tech Group Corporation, one of the many concerns diving into the Middle Kingdom’s electrified future, but the company’s take on what a small-footprint electric-drive vehicle could be is rather more radical than simply adding a battery pack to a sedan or a hatch and calling it good. Redspace has yet to provide performance figures for the ungainly bot box, but specs seem to be beside the point, anyway. The REDS is all about what goes on when the car is stopped.

Redspace REDS

The steering wheel flips up beyond vertical, getting it out of the way of the occupants. The front seats swivel to face the rear passengers, turning the diminutive auto into a cozy conference center. Those same seats also fold up into footstools. A 17-inch screen, which largely retracts into the dash while on the go—it sticks up just enough to house the offset gauges—pops up to allow the viewing of films, or, we presume, psychedelic displays to enhance whatever you might be consuming while plopped down on what Bangle refers to as the car’s rear “love seat.”

At a mere 117 inches in overall length, the REDS is nearly three feet shorter than a Mini Cooper Hardtop. Put another way, its wheelbase is said to be 19.7 inches shorter than that of a Fiat 500. It is said to be made of aluminum, and it features a weird abstract map on the ceiling. What’s on display at the Los Angeles auto show is very clearly a prototype, its odd gaps lending it more of a movie-prop feel than the vibe of an actual car. Oh, and that half-conical, forward-canted windshield? Aside from making room for the forward-tipped steering wheel, it’s said to reduce the interior greenhouse effect. It’s hard to look at the REDS and see anything but a human-swallowing pill meant to brighten up some strange and claustrophobic dystopia. Which, given the day and age, might just be what some of us need.

Redspace REDS
2017 L.A. Auto Show Full Coverage

Star Wars-Inspired Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker Assaults L.A. Show

Nissan hitched its wagon to Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise last year for the Rogue One episode based on the obvious tie-in with the Rogue. It continues for this year’s impending Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi installment. The tenuous link the company is making now is the fact that the movie involves choosing between the light and dark sides of The Force. Nissan is using that reference from the movie and showing the choice automakers have between making virtuous technologies such as electrification and autonomy available for the many (light side) or the wealthy few (dark side). Spoiler alert: Nissan is opting for the former. At this year’s show, Nissan brought six new Last Jedi-themed cars and trucks and the Rogue One Rogue.

The cars have all been built by Vehicle Effects of Sun Valley, California, the company responsible for the vehicles in the Fast and Furious franchise, the most recent Batmobiles, and the Marvel franchise vehicles, among others. Of the Nissan Star Wars franchise vehicles the company has made, the largest and most elaborate is this Nissan Titan, which is inspired by the giant AT-M6 Walker bots the First Order uses to terrorize General Leia Organa’s Resistance.

We spoke with Eric Shimp of Vehicle Effects who explained that most of what we see on the Titan AT-M6 is aluminum, with some of the repeating shapes (such as the battery boxes in back) having been popped out of a mold for consistency. The intricate circuit panels on the sides are 3-D-printed parts, and the entire thing is then painted. There is no wrap on any of the main Star Wars cars (there were two wrapped vehicles in the Convention Center entry atrium).

Lucasfilm sent Vehicle Effects gigantic computer files with vastly too much surface information to incorporate on a pickup-sized Walker, but rest assured that those items that were scalable to this vehicle are incredibly accurate. The big challenge with this vehicle was to prevent the added gear from looking like a camper insert. We think they succeeded on that front.

The finished vehicle reportedly weighs about 6,500 pounds. It is powered by the stock gas V-8, and the interior remains stock, except the back seat area is filled with sound equipment to generate the booming effects of a stomping AT-M6 Walker. Vehicle Effects isn’t saying how much it cost to build but admits this one has the most labor hours in it—though the X-wing fighter Rogue involved considerable machining.

Nissan’s Star Wars fleet will be making the rounds of smaller auto shows through the first quarter of 2018, by which time the movie will probably have run its course in even the second-run theaters.

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GMC Launches 2018 Yukon Denali Ultimate Black Edition

If you’re in the market for a large, luxurious SUV, you can do a lot worse than the GMC Yukon Denali. It’s big, comfortable, powerful, and remarkably agile. The question is, though, what do you buy if you like the Yukon Denali but wish it stood out a little more? At the Los Angeles Auto Show this year, GMC revealed the answer: the Yukon Denali Ultimate Black Edition.

In case you were wondering, the Ultimate Black Edition is definitely black. Onyx Black is the only color GMC offers with this package. Beyond that, you get 22-inch black wheels with chrome accents, polished exhaust tips, chrome side-view mirrors, and fancy new floor mats. You also get GMC’s Open Road package, which includes a sunroof, back-seat entertainment system, retractable side steps, the Enhanced Security Package, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.

“The Yukon Denali has always made a bold and powerful statement, and the Ultimate Black Edition takes that expression to a new level,” said Stu Pierce, one of GMC’s marketing directors. “The Ultimate Black Edition provides our customers seeking the ultimate in performance and refinement with an opportunity to express themselves with a new and unique style.”

Considering that it’s essentially new wheels, a few chrome bits, and a set of floormats, that’s a bit of a stretch. But we have to admit the Yukon Denali Ultimate Black Edition looks pretty cool. Unfortunately, GMC hasn’t revealed pricing yet, but based on what’s included and the price of a regular Yukon Denali, expect the rear-wheel-drive version to cost a little more than $70,000.

Source: GMC

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2019 Aston Martin Vantage Prototype Ride: Sliding near the Arctic Circle


Near the Arctic Circle, Sweden — A snarl rips in the distance; it’s morning and the sound must mean the engineers have arrived. Pulling back the hotel room’s blackout curtain—a necessity for summer months here when the sun, like a toddler, protests ever going to bed—reveals a soft Arctic light washing over desolate stretches of frozen earth and deep forest. But there’s no sign of the car we’re here to meet, the long-awaited next generation of Aston Martin’s best-selling sports car, the 2019 Vantage. We’ve been promised a ride after breakfast and a technical briefing. READ MORE ››

2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack in Depth: Part Wagon, Part SUV


Just when you thought station wagons had all but disappeared, they have found a way to stay relevant: by mimicking crossovers. The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is Volkswagen’s response to the Subaru Outback. Although late to the quasi-SUV party, it has brought the right ingredients: raised ground clearance, standard all-wheel drive, and black-plastic cladding around the wheel openings and on the lower body for a more rugged, off-roady image. In this case, the protégé is more accomplished than the master; the Alltrack is more pleasant to drive than the Subaru Outback, largely on the merits of the strong foundation it shares with the entire 10Best Cars–winning Golf family. READ MORE ››

Discovering The Allure Of Stance At Lowfest

‘Form versus function’ has to be one of the most hotly debated, controversial, and friend-ending topics in car culture today. In this battle, there are very few that straddle the line between form and function; most side with one or the other. This being Speedhunters, we naturally lean towards functionality, but all aspects of car culture are important to us. […]

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