Unlike most people on Jalopnik, I like a good automaker special edition. The Frankfurt Motor Show was full of them from the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Squadra Corse to the Maserati Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition to the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse Jean Bugatti Legend Edition, demonstrating that European automakers will lengthen the name of their cars with any chance they get, mainly so owners can say they're better than anyone with a "normal" Veyron or an "ordinary" Quattroporte.
Now you may say, "The Squadra Corse Edition is exactly the same as a Blancpain Edition!" and "What's so great about Ermenegildo Zegna when Perry Ellis is just as good?"
Meanwhile, I'm just thinking "What special-editions would I want to buy?" because that's what I do. So I decided to come up with a list for that. I think of silly product ideas so the product planners at major car companies don't have to. You're welcome.
Author's Note: Special thanks to Matt Hardigree for having the Jalopnik Film Festival after Fashion Week. Otherwise Anna Wintour would have eaten me alive for that Perry Ellis comment.
Lotus Evora Richard Mille
Watchmakers and automaker partnerships resulting in branded cars are common. Witness the Lamborghini Gallardo Blancpain Edition and Mercedes-Benz IWC editions. But Richard Mille and Lotus would take the cake, because of their many similarities. They both sponsor the Lotus F1 Team. They make products that are very light and very expensive. And they aren't immune from providing endless special-editions of their products.
For instance, Lotus so far has offered an Evora GTE, GP Edition, Freddie Mercury Edition, and the current Evora "Sports Racer." Despite that, it gets more ridiculous with Richard Mille. On their website, there are special-edition watches honoring Jean Todt, Rafael Nadal, Yohan Blake, Jackie Chan, the Americas, and Spain. This is when you know you're trying too hard.
It also provides the perfect gambit for Lotus and Richard Mille to sell (read: get rid of) more Evoras and watches. The deal would be, "Buy a $300,000 Richard Mille special-edition watch, get a complimentary Lotus Evora!" Or "Order a $150,000 Lotus Evora, get a free Richard Mille watch with purchase!"
McLaren MP4-12C Hugo Boss Edition
I'll admit it, Fashion Week has gotten to me more this week than the Frankfurt Auto Show did. That and my compelling need for Anna Wintour to like my fashion sense. In a world where a Veyron Fbg Par Hermès and a Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna exist, McLaren would be served well by having Hugo Boss, an F1 sponsor of theirs, make a mark on the MP4-12C. A Hugo Boss interior would look very much the business, like its suits, while the outside would be a special shade of black and/or grey. And also, standard Hugo Boss special luggage, because if the Lexus Coach editions have taught me anything, that needs to be on every designer car.
In a perfect world, they might even make some cosmetic changes for the Hugo Boss edition to make the MP4-12C more stylish, mainly to overcome the fact it's named after an inkjet printer. That and it'll steal sales from all the special-edition Gallardos. Especially the people considering Gallardos named only for their color scheme, like the Bicolore, Nera, and Noctis.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon Apple Edition
Steve Jobs was always a Mercedes man. So he would bless a Mercedes E-Class wagon bundled with a bunch of Apple products with standard special-edition iPads, iPods, iPhones, and MacBooks that connect with the outside world right up until you crack the screen or need that software update. I can even see some Tesla Model S sales lost. Most importantly, station wagons would be cool again and show automakers what they're missing by not offering wagons in America.
The best part would be, much like Apple products, we would have people camping outside the Mercedes dealership to be the first to buy an E-Class wagon. All so they can get some special-edition Apple products. After that, all Jalops can then pick up some nice used E-Class wagons after a three-year lease. Because after all, the people who bought these would get rid of them once they're perceived as obsolete. I call dibs on the E63 AMG S-Model wagons.
Toyota Corolla Nike Edition
Toyota's Corolla is one of the best-selling cars in the world. And Nike is about to become a blue-chip stock. And for a true Nike edition, Toyota could get the tune the engine, steering, suspension, and gearboxes more in line of that of a front-drive fun sedan, like a Jetta GLI. Unfortunately, people across the world will care more about the Nike bits that come with the car rather than the engineering changes. Why? Because Air Jordans.
The best part is, people will also wait in lines, but on a much-larger scale, to buy a Nike-edition Corolla, because special-edition Nike sneakers and clothing will come with the car. And we all know how crazy people get for some limited-edition Air Force Ones. It would be the only time crowds were literally banging at the doors to buy a Corolla. At least before the insane dealer markup.
Infiniti Q50 Red Bull Racing Edition
I want this to happen. Mainly so I can ensure Infiniti's Director of Performance is doing his job. You know, instead of seeing off poor Mark Webber. And also so Infiniti can get Direct Adaptive Steering right. This is because having driven the Q50 3.7S (admittedly one without Direct Adaptive Steering), the car has so much potential, but it needs the perfect suspension and steering weighting. And who better to provide that than a three-time world champion?
Imagine, the entire world would be able to drive a road car sorted out like how a three-time world champion would want it set up. In fact, the Hybrid version could be set up to work like KERS on an F1 car. Additionally, Adrian Newey could put some aero bits on it to handle even better. The possibilities with this tie-up are endless. Maybe even better than any BMW M3 produced. And the Q50 would sell well and make the Infiniti brand popular around the world.
What branded special-editions of current cars do you think should exist?
Satish Kondapavulur runs Clunkerture, named because "Clunker.com" was $82 at auction and would've taken 30% out of the balance of his Eagle Vision for LeMons fund. In between contemplating cross-country runs, he spends much of his time attempting to convince others that his MkV Jetta 2.0T Wolfsburg is indeed a sports sedan.
All photos courtesy respective manufacturers.