By on March 27, 2020

Mini says it will ship its Sidewalk Edition convertible to the United States next month. Apparently, no one told BMW Group that the country is currently navigating a situation that might not encourage the sale of open-air automobiles. Still, it’s an interesting little car that holds some measure of appeal to those seeking the laid-back California lifestyle — and are willing to spend $38,400 (plus $850 for destination) to embrace it.

The cabriolet is essentially a Cooper S, packing the same 189-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo that model uses to scramble to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. Yet it costs the same as the performance-focused John Cooper Works with a collapsible roof. For the Sidewalk Edition, that money has been reallocated from the powertrain in order to gussy up the car with some funky new duds.  (Read More…)

By on March 23, 2020

Rare Rides previously featured the weather-inspired SVT Lightning, an effort that saw Ford add a healthy dose of power and sporty handling to its full-size pickup.

Today we’ll have a look at Lightning’s smaller sibling, which is named after the same weather event: the Ranger Thunderbolt, from 2002.

(Read More…)

By on March 17, 2020

While Toyota and Subaru are officially developing a new generation of the 86/BRZ, neither model from the current generation looks long for this world. The Toyobaru twins’ placement as an affordable sports car meant volumes were never going to be stellar but the last few years have been particularly unkind. Inside the United States (the duo’s strongest market), the Toyota half of the pair hasn’t managed to break 10,000 deliveries since 2016 — something the BRZ has never achieved. Last year, Toyota’s coupe was sitting at just 3,398 units while the Subaru only sold 2,334.

But the final nail in their coffin could be the new special edition that’s coming out of Europe. Subaru is introducing the conclusive-sounding “Final Edition” of the BRZ for Germany.  (Read More…)

By on March 9, 2020

2005 Suzuki Reno in California junkyard, RH front view - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsWould you consider a special-edition version of the Daewoo Nubira’s successor to be worthy of inclusion in this series, even as I walk by 99 out of 100 junked BMW E30s? Hey, if I’m willing to photograph every Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally and Geo Storm GSi that I find in the junkyard, then of course a genuine, numbers-matching Suzuki Reno SWT makes the cut! (Read More…)

By on February 20, 2020

honda

With the refresh bestowed upon the wild Honda Civic Type R for 2020 comes a unique variant few Americans will get their hands on. However, unlike European buyers, those 600 lucky customers will at least get a radio and air conditioning.

The Type R Limited Edition takes what’s already a potent, attention-grabbing machine and dials up the track-readiness — but not the power. (Read More…)

By on February 3, 2020

acura

Depending on your interests, “PMC” might denote a brand of ammunition. For others, it’s the nerve center of Acura performance, residing in Marysville, Ohio.

For 2020, Acura, eager to draw eyes to one of its two crossovers, has slapped the abbreviation of its Performance Manufacturing Center on the MDX, then limited availability to make those drivers feel special. Will they feel special, though? (Read More…)

By on January 20, 2020

Nothing lasts forever. Not even, apparently, the Morgan Plus 4 — a low-slung, quintessentially British roadster that started production in 1950 and still looks looks like it comes from a land of postwar rationing. Beneath the 2020 Plus 4 lies the same ladder frame that underpinned the first Plus 4, which arrived on the scene when Betty White was just 29.

You won’t find many 2020 Plus 4 models. Just 20 commemorative examples are planned as Morgan gears up to enter the modern age. (Read More…)

By on December 17, 2019

Not long ago, Rare Rides presented Buick’s very special celebration of the company’s 75th anniversary via the 1978 Buick Riviera. Today we’ll fast forward five years and have a look at another anniversary Riviera.

It’s the Riviera “XX,” from 1983.

(Read More…)

By on November 20, 2019

When Dodge first built a Challenger, back in 1959, it was actually a Coronet. A decade later, the car returned as the spiritual foundation of the coupe we know today. Presumably, the name is intended to represent Chrysler rising to meet the Challenges laid by rival manufacturers already building American muscle. But we can nitpick here endlessly, going back to the 1950s and giving the pentastar brand plenty of credit for going bananas on horsepower.

It would actually take decades for us to realize the Challenger’s true purpose — serving as a canvas for a hilarious number of special edition vehicles. Thankfully, they usually turn out to be fairly enjoyable and totally on brand, leaving us with little to complain about.

For the Challenger’s 50th anniversary, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to offer limited production Dodges in new colors with commemorative bling. It’s basically the same recipe Ford used for the 50th Anniversary Mustang but with some additional brashness from Dodge. However, while those Fords only came in Wimbledon White and Kona Blue, the Challenger comes in every high-impact paint color FCA has at its disposal — including Gold Rush.  (Read More…)

By on October 16, 2019

Ford badge emblem logo

Ford has filed a trademark application to register “Black Diamond” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. General Motors previously manufactured models using the name to denote limited edition models, such as the CTS-V Black Diamond Edition, which incorporated an especially sparkly paint color.

While the same could be true for Ford, there’s another possibility. The term is frequently used to denote a particularly rough patch of mountain trail or extreme ski run. The Blue Oval could adapt it for use on specialty off-road vehicles.  (Read More…)

By on September 27, 2019

As this week marks the kickoff of the State Fair of Texas, we’ve had plenty of special edition trucks to cover. Texans buy pickups in quantities other portions of the country could only dream of, so manufacturers typically have something set aside to debut at the festival. We’ve already seen Nissan’s revised Titan, Ford’s new Super Duty, and a couple of blacked-out pickups from Ram.

Chevrolet brought a pair of Silverados this year, focusing similarly on black accenting with its Midnight and Rally Editions. While derivative, we can’t really accuse Fiat Chrysler of aping General Motors or vice versa. The blacked-out trend is everywhere, and pretty much everyone has been taking whacks at it for years.  (Read More…)

By on September 26, 2019

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has a history of releasing special edition vehicles, with Black Edition and Night Edition trims being among the most recent inclusions. Despite having unique names, there isn’t much difference between the two. Both attempt to replace as much of an automobile’s exterior features with dark plastic as possible, with one taking things a step further than the other.

While wholly unnecessary, considering all of the above can be accomplished through aftermarket purchases, FCA has done well by offering various special edition vehicles with unique, factory sanctioned customization. In addition to being an easy way to get customers to spend a bit more on a new vehicle, it also helps keep old models fresh and in the media — encouraging posts like this one. (Read More…)

By on September 10, 2019

Rare Rides previously featured two vehicles that resulted from racing legend Carroll Shelby’s association with Chrysler in the Eighties. The first was a rakish and special Charger GLHS liftback, followed a few months later by the Shelby Dakota. Both of those examples wore their Dodge badges proudly, front and center amongst the additional Shelby tinsel. But the 1987 CSX took a more independent approach to branding.

(Read More…)

By on September 3, 2019

Superfans of BMW’s M subsidiary — or, more accurately, its cars — are in for some good news. The German automaker announced an extra special heritage edition of the M4 on Tuesday. Called the BMW M4 Edition ///M Heritage, and limited exclusively to the F82 coupe, the model is supposed to commemorate everything the M Division stands for.

While that absolutely includes making BMW money, the automaker has yet to provide the model with an MSRP. That said, its special nature will undoubtedly push it beyond the model’s $70,000 base price. It’s also limited to just 750 examples worldwide, which ought to tack on a premium of its own.  (Read More…)

By on August 14, 2019

Image: fca

Dodge’s Charger and Challenger are rolling anachronisms we’ll miss after they’re gone. For now, the two full-size rear-drivers soldier on into the future atop their ancient underpinnings, with Fiat Chrysler bestowing an ever-growing list of variants upon still-interested buyers.

The latest corrects what some Mopar fans may have viewed as an oversight. Last year, following the release of the long-teased Challenger SRT Demon, Dodge pushed the Challenger SRT Hellcat’s supercharged 6.2-liter up to 717 horses, giving would-be buyers 10 more reasons to desire the model. A Redeye version delivered 797 hp, a downgrade (if it can really be called that) from the limited-edition Demon’s 840 hp.

Meanwhile, the Charger was left to “suffer” with only 707 hp. Not anymore. (Read More…)

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