After years of slow progress will we finally see anything new from Bollinger, or should we say anything at all in terms of a production-ready 4×4 model?
At this year’s CES in Las Vegas, and in conjunction with Mullen, there were two Bollinger models on display.
Many are aware of the Bollinger B1 electric SUV, a rugged, utilitarian off-roader that looks somewhat like the love child of a Humvee and the old Land Rover Defender, but also on display was the new, and exciting, Bollinger B2 Electric Pick Up, a dual-cab ute version of the B1.
Bollinger Motors was founded in 2014, but it wasn’t until September 2017 that things really kicked off with the release of the B1 prototype, a concept that took the form of a three-door wagon-type 4×4 with an agricultural look that included a matte finish.
Two years later, the current form of the B1 was realised with changes to the lights, radiator grille and a shift to a five-door body with an additional second row of seats.
In 2022, Bollinger became a majority owned company under Mullen with a ‘take over’ price of just under US$150 million.
Originally based in New York, Bollinger now operates out of Detroit and while it initially aimed to have stock ready for sale in the later part of 2022, a number of setbacks and challenges have meant that it’s now 2024 and they don’t have the B1 quite ready. But if it’s any consolation, they do at least have a prototype of the B2.
Both the B1 and B2 are comparatively bland in appearance and technologically behind other modern electric vehicles (EVs) when it comes to the features they possess, but nevertheless they are armed with various features that see them gaining quite a following.
Both models feature level 1, 2 and 3 charging capabilities and the equivalent of an AWD transmission system.
In regards to off-roading they also feature a Hi/Lo 4WD gearbox, front and rear locking differentials, portal gear hubs, inboard anti-lock regenerative disc brakes (11.75 inches with four piston calipers) and an innovative 10-20 inch adjustable ground clearance system.
Both boast a unique and patented full vehicle length cargo pass through that allow them to carry vehicle length poles, posts, beams and pipes within the cabin space plus a lockable under-bonnet storage area.
While Land Rover has taken the Defender in a different direction, Bollinger, much like Ineos, is sticking with the simple rugged look and serious off-road potential. The difference is that Bollinger is looking at far more off-road performance and doing it with dedicated dual electric motors.
The B1 and B2 front and rear mounted synchronised motors generate 268kW and 640Nm of torque. There’s a choice of 60kWh or 100kWh lithium batteries, with ranges of 193km and 322km, respectively.
The vehicles can do the 0-60mph (0-96km/h) sprint in just 4.5 seconds with a quoted top speed of 204km/h.
The lightweight aluminium body sits on an aluminium chassis and 285/70R17 mud terrain tyres on aluminium rims provide the traction. The chassis by itself weighs just 134kg and utilises four-wheel independent hydropneumatic suspension with quick disconnect sway bars to achieve 254mm of wheel travel.
Total kerb weight is 1769kg, with a load capacity of 2767kg.
“It’s always been the plan to have both the B1 and B2 start off our line-up. Now that we have so much incredible data from testing our B1 prototype, we can put all of that engineering knowledge into our final four-door B1 and B2 vehicles,” said company founder Robert Bollinger.
“It’s the Pickup I always wanted and something crazy-better than what’s available on the market today.”
While there are thousands of pre-orders for the B1, we are sure the B2 will be just as popular, even though they are at the pricey end of your wallet, coming in on the high side of US$125k (A$190,551) each.
With that said, and while that sort of coin could get you into some very nicely engineered automobiles, the boxy Bollinger is focussed on true off-road performance and is certainly kitted out on paper with all of the right gear.
I will say though, that as a 4WD enthusiast, I would much rather be taking one of these ‘plain jane’ boxy-looking 4x4s off road than trying to go anywhere in a Cybertruck.
Let us know what you think in the comments below!