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Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Dumb Decisions Made in Japan

Nothing like a Friday 13th to end your work week, huh? Well, I’m not the superstitious type, but it’s on this day that I found out that Honda isn’t making a baby NSX. And that’s particularly upsetting since the design patent believed to be an upcoming sports car turned out to be just another Vision Gran Turismo thing. Nothing like getting a virtual car for a video game instead of an actual vehicle that could be really cool. Yuck!

In case you’re not familiar with the matter, a design patent that surfaced the web a while back hinted at a new Honda sports car. Its design was based on the bonkers NSX, it had a mid-engined layout, and it was smaller. This also meant it was lighter and more affordable. Like a dream come true, right? Well, it’s not gonna happen. Honda just wanted to make a Vision car for the upcoming Gran Turismo Sport video game. What a sad day…

Continue reading for the full story.

We Want It, Honda Needs It!


2009 Honda S2000 - image 261606
“Come on Honda, we need a new S2000 but with the engine behind the seats”

The NSX is cool and all, but it’s also extremely expensive for the average Joe. And that’s exactly why a baby NSX is a good idea. Let’s say it would be a great competitor for the Porsche Cayman with a price tag between $55,000 to $60,000. Without an electric motor of course. Or at least with the option to get a range-topping hybrid model, but with a gasoline-only base car that delivers around 300 horsepower. And Honda would benefit greatly from such an offering, especially in the U.S.

But no, they’re more interested in having a Vision Gran Turismo car in a stupid video game. Yeah, I know, marketing and stuff, but it’s still an awful idea when you don’t have that many exciting cars on offer. Come on Honda, we need a new S2000 but with the engine behind the seats. Make it happen already!

Lexus Loves to Waste Time


2018 Lexus LC Structural Blue Edition - image 737618
“Why in the hell would you spend 15 years to make a special paint?”

Now listen to this! Lexus just launched a new paint for LC coupe, and it made a big deal about how it spent 15 years to create it. Yup, 15 years. Not weeks or months, 15 freaking years. For paint. That thing that gets scratched and fades away from enduring sunny, hot summers after snowy, freezing winters.

The new paint is called Structural Blue, and you saw it for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show. Granted, it’s gorgeous to look, and it’s not the typical blue you get from other carmakers. But it’s still paint, and it’s still blue. It’s far from amazing. So why the big fuss? Well, Lexus says it spent a lot of time to create a color that’s “more blue” than anything seen before. Much sense, such wow!

“I can live without the bluest blue out there”

Okay, okay, this one’s is more serious to read: Lexus says the specific hue it wanted to create was so complex that it required 40 separate layers. Sounds difficult and expensive to create. So it worked on it until it managed to obtain it with just a seven-layer structure. That’s great progress from a technique point of view, but I’m still missing on what they actually did in those 15 years.

And why in the hell would you spend 15 years to make a special paint? Entire cars need less than that to be designed, built, showcased, and launched. Heck, in 15 years we get two and a half generations of any popular car out there. That’s five models including the facelifts. Maybe Lexus should spend more time on improving some of its design. I can live without the bluest blue out there, but I can’t stand that ugly front grille and headlamps arrangement. Get your damn priorities straight!

References

Acura NSX


2019 Baby Acura NSX - image 634346

Read our full review on the 2019 Acura Baby NSX.

Lexus LC


2018 Lexus LC Structural Blue Edition - image 737617

Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus LS Structural Blue.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Here’s Why the Nissan Leaf Nismo Will Suck

If you’ve been following me, you probably know that Nissan is my favorite brand. Yeah, I know, why can’t I be a normal person and worship brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini or Bugatti? Well, I’m not in the mood to write a piece on why I like Nissan, so I’ll explain it in a few simple sentences. I think that cars made by this brand come with a lot of bang for the buck, I love its latest design language, and the massive efforts it makes to keep all motorsport projects alive. I also think that the Maxima, Juke, and Murano are exotic vehicles in their respective niches and that almost every other car or crossover have what it takes to give the competition a run for its money.

But I admit that Nissan has its own flaws. For starters, both the 370Z and GT-R are getting a bit too long in the tooth, which leaves the brand without a solid sports car lineup. Second, the Rogue and Rogue Sport are too damn similar, and the $3,000 price difference between them has cannibalization written all over it. And third, I simply can’t forgive them for giving up on the GT-R LM Nismo project at Le Mans. Nissan just gave up too soon. Which brings me to today’s rant: why can’t Nissan build every Nismo the proper way, as in with a significantly more powerful engine than the standard model? More specifically, why in the hell is the Leaf Nismo Concept — and at the same time the upcoming production car — just a regular Leaf with a nicer appearance? It’s so frustrating!

Continue reading for the full story.

What’s Wrong with the Leaf Nismo Concept?


2017 Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept - image 735737
“Nismo means more power and enhanced performance, and this is exactly what I can't find in this concept car”

I could say nothing because it has a cool, sporty exterior packed with Nismo-specific features. Seen from the outside, it says what a proper Nismo should say: “I look cool, and I’m faster, more powerful than my standard sibling.” The interior isn’t bad either with all that contrast stitching and the sportier seats. I could spend hours in that cabin with a big smile on my face every day. But it all becomes disappointing under the hood, where the Leaf Nismo Concept is just a regular Leaf.

Am I being picky here? Some would say yes because the new Leaf is significantly more powerful than the outgoing model, it has a better range, and it has many new features that make it more exciting to drive. But, I’m not. Nismo means more horsepower and enhanced performance by tradition, and this is exactly what I can’t find in this concept car.

Why Is This a Problem?


2017 Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept - image 735736
“A production Leaf Nismo with the same specs as the standard Leaf wouldn't do much to help Nissan in the current EV market”

For starters, I’m pretty certain that the production Leaf Nismo will be 99-percent identical to the concept car. Just look at it, it’s basically ready to go on the production line. The design add-ons are similar to those seen on production Nismo models, and those interior updates are definitely doable, simply because they aren’t such a big deal. And, the drivetrain… well, the drivetrain is already in production and a revised suspension isn’t something that Nissan and Nismo couldn’t develop immediately.

The big issue is that a production Leaf Nismo with the same specs as the standard Leaf wouldn’t do much to help Nissan in the current EV market. Sure, some would pay the premium to get that sexy exterior so sales wouldn’t be bad, but the issue here is that Nissan actually needs a more powerful version of the Leaf. With an output of 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet, the standard Leaf falls behind the Chevrolet Bolt (200 horsepower, 266 pound-feet) and it will probably do the same compared to the upcoming Tesla Model 3. The same happens in the range department, with the Leaf being able to deliver 150 miles, whereas both the Bolt and Model 3 are returning in excess of 200 miles.

A proper Leaf Nismo version would reduce that deficit — and maybe even deliver matching performance — but for some reason, Nissan doesn’t want that yet…

It Already Happened


2017 Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept - image 735735

Sadly, the Leaf Nismo won’t be the first Nismo to lack proper engine/motor upgrades. While the GT-R and Juke received notable drivetrain updates with the Nismo badge, cars like the Sentra, Patrol, Note, and Micra didn’t. And don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Nismo as an appearance and suspension package, but it’s been a while since Nissan launched a proper Nismo car with a noteworthy engine under the hood.

References

Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept


2017 Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept - image 735734

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: The Booming SUV Market Is Ruining Racing and it Pisses Me Off!

I don’t know about you, but I love spending the weekend watching some serious racing. Be it turn-left-all-day NASCAR or proper track chasing; I dig just about any motorsport league out there. Yeah, including Formula E, which can be surprisingly spectacular. I also enjoy the Pirelli World Challenge quite a lot, mostly because it features race cars that are closely related to production vehicles. Unfortunately, this competition won’t be the same next year, and it’s all because of the damn SUV craze that’s been going on for a few years.

Nope, I’m not senile just yet. It may seem weird for the SUV market to influence motorsport, but it can happen. In this case, Cadillac’s desire to build more and more crossovers instead of cars is putting an end to its successful run in the Pirelli World Challenge. And it’s not that Cadillac simply decided to call it a day and focus on its DPi program, the ATS-V.R is being discontinued as its road-going counterpart is getting dropped from the lineup in 2019. A rather harsh decision if you ask me, and it’s essentially why I’m pretty mad about it. And why I hate crossovers and SUVs even more.

Continue reading for the full story.

The End of an Amazing Effort. And for What?


2015 Cadillac ATS-V.R - image 577721
“The ATS and CTS are the only production Cadillacs that made it onto the race track”

Cadillac says it’s retiring from the Pirelli World Challenge to focus on its IMSA DPi campaign, where the carmaker has already won the championship in its maiden season. But this isn’t the only reason. The company’s current model strategy is programmed to axe both the ATS and CTS in 2019, and replace them with one model called the CT5. As you may know, the ATS and CTS are the only production Cadillacs that made it onto the race track.

The CTS-V made its debut as early as 2004, winning the title in 2005 and 2007, while the second-generation CTS-V Coupe stepped in as a replacement in 2011. It won two more championships in 2012 and 2013 before it was replaced by the ATS-V.R for the 2015 season. The smaller car debuted with a win in 2015, but missed the championship in the following two seasons, even though it finished second and third in the drivers’ standings.

In all, these two cars took part in 332 races, scored 25 pole positions, and won 33 events. On top of the seven manufacturers’ championships, they also claimed five drivers’ titles. All of them in 13 years. The CTS-V.R and ATS-V.R are by far the most successful race cars Cadillac has ever built. So you can see why I’m pissed off that the ATS-V.R is being retired.


2015 Cadillac ATS-V.R - image 577720
“The ATS-V.R should have lived on. Its achievements deserve another two seasons on the racetrack”

But it’s not just Cadillac’s strategy to replace the ATS and CTS with a single model so it can launch more SUVs. The replacement is set to take place in 2019, so the ATS-V.R might have had another two seasons in the Pirelli World Challenge. And while I can understand that Cadillac wants to focus on DPi racing, for now, it should at least offer the ATS-V.R to private teams. More upsetting is the fact that the Pirelli World Challenge program is being dropped for IMSA, a championship that sees many rule changes each year and a lot of teams and carmakers choose to retire because of them. So while Cadillac is very excited about IMSA DPi right now, there’s no telling how long it will last.

Just look at Porsche, which joined the FIA World Endurance Championship only a few years ago, has a very competitive 919 Hybrid race car, and it’s looking to retire at the end of the year. The same could happen with Cadillac. Sooner than we might imagine. The ATS-V.R should have lived on. Its achievements deserve another two seasons on the race track. But Cadillac doesn’t agree. Because money. I’m so disappointed I can’t even joke about it…

Waaaaait!

I think I got one.

What does it take to bring an Escalade to the track and race it? Nothing, yo mamma is so fat that when she… oh wait. Wrong joke. Oh well, let’s just say that the Escalade sucks!

References


Pops' Rants: The Tesla Model 3 Isn't That Affordable; Toyota Supra Without a Manual? Yikes! - image 726175

Read more Rant news.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: I Told You the BMW 8 Series Won’t Be That Exciting!

Remember how you were all excited by the upcoming BMW 8 Series and M8? Do you also remember my rant about why this big revival won’t be as exciting as BMW wants us to believe? Well, it turns out I was right. Yeah, yeah, I’m well aware that both the 8 Series and M8 are still under wraps, but BMW just unveiled the M8 GTE race car, which basically means that the Germans showcased more than 50-percent of the production model. And look, it’s pretty much a redesigned M6!

Come on, did you really believe that BMW was planning to revive the 8 Series nameplate for something completely new like it happened when it was first introduced in the late 1980s? Wasn’t the fact that BMW discontinued the 6 Series before the announcement a big enough hint? How can you be so naive? Well, if you’re still expecting the 8 Series to be a unique model in the lineup and not just a reheated 6 Series soup, keep reading to find out why you should stop being the world’s most optimistic BMW fanboy.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Styling Isn’t All that Great


BMW's M8 GTE Le Mans Competitor Previews Production M8 Model - image 731266
“The next-generation 6 Series would have looked the same”

What, were you under the impression that you’ll get that sleek concept car on the road? Nope! All you’re getting is a very toned down version of the M8 GTE race car. And that’s the M8 we’re talking about. The 8 Series will be even more boring. And just look at it. Haven’t you seen those headlamps and taillights somewhere else? Sure, the grille is big and juicy, but there’s really nothing new to see there. The new 6 Series Gran Coupe has a similar kidney grille, the only reason why the GTE’s looks so menacing is because there are no vertical slats.

Shape? Same thing. It’s a two-door coupe. It’s just as sleek as any other coupe out there. Okay, so maybe the rear glass is flatter and the quarter windows are a tad more aggressive, but I bet the next-generation 6 Series would have looked the same.

Same Size


BMW's M8 GTE Le Mans Competitor Previews Production M8 Model - image 731261
“What's the point of competing with the S-Class if you're not making a slightly bigger coupe?”

The M8 GTE is 4,980 mm long and 2,046 mm wide. That’s only 86 mm longer and 152 mm wider than the outgoing 6 Series. Not a lot bigger for a flagship luxury coupe. And given that the GTE has a few extra aero bits that alter its dimensions, there’s a good chance that the production model will be a tad smaller and basically identical to the old 6 Series.

Now, a well-informed BMW fan would tell that the first-gen 8 Series wasn’t bigger than the first-gen 6 Series it replaced in 1989. And I would agree, the numbers speak for themselves. But you see, we can’t compare 1989 with 2018. Supposedly BMW is reviving the 8 Series in order to save its ass in the big luxury coupe segment. Read that as in “it desperately needs a competitor for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.” And guess what, the Merc is a tad longer. So what’s the point of competing with the S-Class if you’re not making a slightly bigger, which could mean more comfortable, coupe?

Again, I’m not saying the 8 Series is a bad idea. I’m just saying that Munich could have easily redesigned the 6 Series into a better competitor for the S-Class Coupe. Marketing money is money well spent, but we need great cars and a bit less hype.

We might as well put a 2002 badge on the 1 Series and call it a day…

References

BMW M8 GTE


BMW's M8 GTE Le Mans Competitor Previews Production M8 Model - image 731266

Read our full review on the BMW M8 GTE.

BMW 8 Series


2019 BMW 8 Series - image 688342

Read our full speculative review on the next BMW 8 Series.

BMW M8


2019 BMW M8 - image 718202

Read our full speculative review on the next BMW M8.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Best and Worst of 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show

Oh boy, my first auto show as an editor for this outlet! You know what this means? I get to rant about a whole bunch of cars. Yeeey! Okay, so you’re wondering why I am doing a “best and worst” type article instead of the usual weekly rant. Well, it’s what everybody does. Go read every major automotive website, and you’ll find one of these pieces. But, and I mean a biiiiig BUT, they’re doing it all wrong, and they’ve been doing it like that for years! Why? Because every freakin’ article of this kind comes with a “best in show” list that contains mostly supercars, sports cars, and luxury cars. And that’s wrong!

Yeah, they’re fancy and stuff. They’re quick, exotic, and have all the horsepower in the world. We like looking and them and hearing them growl and we like dreaming about owning each and every one of them. But you know what? We will never be able to buy any of them. Because they’re expensive, exclusive, and some carmakers won’t even sell you one unless you already own at least a couple of other models. So why in the name of dinosaur juice are you all listing these expensive lumps of carbon-fiber and metal as best-in-show vehicles over and over again? How about we make a more practical list for normal people who might want to buy a new, regular, mundane, not-so-fancy, and not so freaking expensive car in 2018? Here, I’ll show you how it’s done!

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Here’s Why the Mercedes-AMG Hypercar Sucks Big Time

Phew, it’s Friday again. The weekend is just around the corner and summer is officially over. Well, the heat will still be around for a while, but at least the temperature is going down, and we’re getting rain on a regular basis. If you’ve been living under a rock, you should know that I hate heat. And summer. And fancy concept cars that scream “I won’t make it into production, haha!” Just like the Smart Vision EQ ForTwo. Seriously now, what’s the deal with all these cookie concept cars that look like they came from the future only to get stuck in the past, with no production model in showrooms? Aren’t you getting tired of that? It’s like automakers have some sort of target to reach. Just imagine some CEO rushing into a meeting to yell “okay folks, it’s 2017, and by 2022 we need to build five fancy concept cars. Don’t worry, we won’t put them into production, but they have to look futuristic and feature fancy gadgets.”

I swear that this is exactly how the Smart Vision EQ ForTwo concept was born. And Mercedes even had the nerve to give it an “EQ” badge to make us believe we will be able to buy one in the future. No, we won’t! I mean, we will be able to buy a better Smart EV at some point, but it won’t like this concept. It won’t be fully autonomous, it won’t have the fancy, lounge seat, and it won’t be able to read your mind. It will be just another cramped, overrated ForTwo with enough luggage room for a head of cabbage, three carrots, and half a cucumber. At least you can make a salad once you’re back from the market…

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: The New BMW M5 Isn’t Worth the Premium; Audi’s Naming Strategy is Dumb

It’s Friday again, and I’m having a bad day. And I’ll probably have a bad weekend too because I just found out that FCA will shut down the Conner assembly plant in a few days. Why is this a big deal? Because the Dodge Viper will die along with it. Yeah, it’s no big surprise. The Viper had it coming, and we knew it would happen since 2015, but the thought of America’s greatest modern muscle car being killed off is depressing. And please don’t tell me about the Chevrolet Corvette and Dodge Challenger Demon, this is a sad day for American sports car enthusiasts regardless of what other performance vehicles you can get.

And, you know what bothers me more? The fact that FCA does nothing about it. Yeah, Chrysler claims the Viper has to die due to slow sales, but we all know that’s not the reason. It all has to do with new safety regulations, which require that all production models have side airbag curtains. And, you can’t fit them in the current Viper. It needs a new platform and a new design. So why isn’t FCA making a successor? It’s too expensive obviously, and it would rather go bankrupt with a bunch of crappy cars rather than a performance coupe. So many decades of experience and FCA still doesn’t know that an iconic car requires a lot of work. But enough about the Viper, it’s been a hectic week.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes Let Us Down with the Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet

Now that we’ve seen Mercedes’ “latest” concept, I have to say that I’m not impressed in the least bit. When we first saw the teaser video back at the beginning of August,(art177208) I thought for sure we would get the “big surprise” that Chief Designer Gorgon Wagener promised us. This concept was supposed to be an “icon for the brand,” but all I see is a lazy concept that was thrown together just a few weeks before it was set to debut… Did you forget there was a concept lawn at Pebble Beach, Mr. Wagener? Now I’m wondering if that teaser video from within the bowels of the Advance Design Center was actually the very first meeting to discuss the new concept.

With that said, I will say that the Vision 6 looks good as a droptop, but it definitely falls short of what was promised. In the video, it was even mentioned that the front end would be “different.” Of course, they were talking about in comparison to the Concept IAA, but still. In the end, the Vision 6 Cabriolet is every bit the Vision 6 with a standalone windshield and no roof. Of course, they did change the interior a bit to account for a slightly revised dashboard with a set of HVAC vents in the center – that’s something the coupe doesn’t have. It is also a bit less futuristic in comparison but still far on the red side of my “never-gonna-see-production” meter. The car itself is attractive, and I even love the scheme of the interior, but when I saw the similarities in Merc’s second teaser video, I should have known. But, I don’t want to be all negative, so let’s move on from this rant and talk about something good that comes from this specific concept.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: The Tesla Model 3 Isn’t That Affordable; Toyota Supra Without a Manual? Yikes!

If you’ve been reading my rants, you probably know I’m a big fan of the manual transmission, and I hate almost everything with an automatic. Yeah, I’m the guy who went as far as to say that the Dodge Challenger Demon sucks because it doesn’t have a stick and a clutch. Well, bring out the tar and the feathers because I have a big announcement to make: the next-generation Supra will suck too! Why? Well, some leaked documents say that the all three drivetrains fitted in the upcoming model will have automatic transmissions only.

And, here’s the thing. While you might argue that the Challenger Demon needs an automatic to achieve all that amazing performance at the drag strip, the new Supra wasn’t designed to win NHRA races. It’s a freakin’ sports car in which you’re supposed to have fun. And, the best fun can only come by way of a proper shift stick and three pedals. Seriously now, this automotive evolution is ruining a lot of cars, and the Supra is probably the biggest one yet. Stop chasing profits only and give people what they want. Man, it’s so long since I last yelled “shut up and take my money!” toward a carmaker. And this is just the tip of the iceberg this week…

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon With Clarkson Out with Pneumonia, The Grand Tour May Finally Live Up to its Potential

Hey folks, did you miss me? Yeah, it’s me, Pops! What? Did you think I only write on Fridays? Although I hate early Tuesdays, I had to get out of my lazy routine over this fracas about Jeremy Clarkson being in the hospital with severe pneumonia. Don’t get me wrong, I think that being sick is awful, but we pay way too much attention to an old man that gets by making dreadful jokes about cars and insulting just about everyone with the sole purpose of getting a bigger audience.

Although I’m a sucker for a good show with solid punchlines and great humor, I’ve never been a fan of Top Gear. And obviously, I’m not a fan of The Grand Tour. And, Clarkson is too blame for this. Yeah, I know, it’s a show that doesn’t take car reviews very seriously and making fun of everything is a big part of the plot, but I just feel as if they’re producing for an audience that’s 16 years old on average. Tops! But I digress. I’m writing this because Clarkson made a joke about how James May is the only “functioning member” of the Grand Tour team (Richard Hammond had a serious car crash in June) and added the caption “God help us.” Keep reading to learn why.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: The Lexus LFA Is Overrated and Why the Challenger Angel Ain’t Gonna Happen

The Dodge Challenger Demon is a fine piece of machinery, and I can definitely understand all the hype around it. Despite the fact that it doesn’t have a much-needed manual transmission. What I don’t get is this new hype around the fact that Chrysler trademarked the Angel name and that most car enthusiasts already see it as some sort of anti-Demon version of the Challenger. Come on man, what’s this, finger-painting class? I’ve been in the business long enough to know that the Chrysler Angel could very well mean squat. Nothing, nada, zero, just a name on a piece of paper at a trademark agency.

But this isn’t the only thing that grinds my gears this week. Everyone seems to have gone berserk over the fact that some 12 units of the Lexus LFA, which was discontinued in 2012, are still available at dealerships in the U.S. Hey, that’s pretty spectacular, because we’re talking about a supercar that hasn’t been built for five years, not to mention that production was limited to only 500 examples, but I still don’t understand why this LFA thing is such a big deal. But more on this below.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: The Lexus LFA Is Overrated and Why the Challenger Angel Ain’t Gonna Happen

The Dodge Challenger Demon is a fine piece of machinery, and I can definitely understand all the hype around it. Despite the fact that it doesn’t have a much-needed manual transmission. What I don’t get is this new hype around the fact that Chrysler trademarked the Angel name and that most car enthusiasts already see it as some sort of anti-Demon version of the Challenger. Come on man, what’s this, finger-painting class? I’ve been in the business long enough to know that the Chrysler Angel could very well mean squat. Nothing, nada, zero, just a name on a piece of paper at a trademark agency.

But this isn’t the only thing that grinds my gears this week. Everyone seems to have gone berserk over the fact that some 12 units of the Lexus LFA, which was discontinued in 2012, are still available at dealerships in the U.S. Hey, that’s pretty spectacular, because we’re talking about a supercar that hasn’t been built for five years, not to mention that production was limited to only 500 examples, but I still don’t understand why this LFA thing is such a big deal. But more on this below.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: The New Rolls-Royce Phantom Is Already 10 Years Old

And how are you folks doing this week? I gotta tell you, last week was rough with all that Mercedes X-Class jazz. And awkward and funny at the same time with reports that Jeep is doing better than FCA. And just when I thought that I would take a break from writing this week, Rolls-Royce launched the new Phantom. The NEW Phantom. With new everything. Except for the design. Have you seen it? Well, if not, have a look at the old Phantom because they’re basically identical. Remember how a while back I said that some at Rolls-Royce must be smoking pot at the office? The new Phantom is proof of that.

Seriously now, I wish this was some sort of prank, but April 1st is… ermmm… seven months way? What’s Rolls-Royce thinking? And what with the Pagani Zonda Fanstasma Evo that just broke cover? Wasn’t the Zonda discontinued years ago? And, why would Jaguar waste a more powerful V-8 engine on an XJR that doesn’t have an “SVR” badge? Yup, that’s what’s bugging me today, and it’s exactly what we’ll discuss below. So grab a cup of something and read on.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: The X-Class Sucks Because You’re a Snotty Elitist

Another day, another carrot. Oh wait, scratch that, the folks over at Warner Brothers may not like it. Just like I don’t like the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class. But hey, unlike Warner Brothers, I can’t sue the Germans for launching the most boring pickup truck ever. But you should know that already, because I posted a big rant on the matter yesterday. I simply hate the design. I think it’s uninspired and lacks everything a Mercedes should have, minus the subdued — and incredibly booooring — styling. Both inside and out. And the worst part is that the truck it is based on, the Nissan Navara, looks way better.

But leaving the X-Class’ design aside for a bit, there’s one more thing that’s been bugging me. It doesn’t have to do as much with the X-Class as with the Navara and with people complaining that Mercedes used a Nissan-Renault Alliance platform for its first pickup truck. I keep seeing this as an argument as to why the X-Class is a big disappointment and I find it ridiculous. And I’m gonna explain why.

(add link to this article in the first paragraph: https://www.topspeed.com/cars/car-news/here-s-why-the-mercedes-x-class-design-sucks-.html (

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PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Scam Friday

And how are you folks doing? I assume “just dandy” is the answer. It’s Friday; the weekend is just around the corner, all is good. Well, no! Everything’s not so good. Not when big carmakers are unveiling cool cars that are already sold out. Sounds familiar? Yup, I’m ranting about the new Porsche 911 GT2 RS again. How can I not? How in the hell do you launch a 1,000-example limited edition that’s already sold out by the time you unveil the car to the public?

I totally get that these exotic cars are very popular with collectors and some are willing to pay ludicrous amounts of hard-earned to get their hands on one, but what’s the point of launching an online configurator if you can’t get a car to a potential customer? It’s like giving us a configurator for the Porsche 959. You can’t buy this car anymore, but hey, here’s a nice configurator to play with the options. This is all you get for not buying one in the 1980s. Okay, so maybe having a configurator with Porsche more classic cars would be nice, but you get the point.

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PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Civic Type R Drama and Why the New GranTurismo Sucks

The 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed is well underway, and I couldn’t be happier. Long live internet video streaming, old track, short but exciting race tracks, and the good people taking care of the Goodwood House. I’m a happy chap, but hey, there’s still room for rants. And boy there’s plenty to talk about this week. You might find it hard to believe, but there’s something about Goodwood that has been bothering me for years. It’s the hill climb record, which stands since 1999 when Nick Heidfeld completed the course in 41.6 seconds in a McLaren MP4/13 Formula One car. Really, now; isn’t there anyone capable enough to put together a car that’s faster than that?

Yes, I know, it’s a Formula One car and these things are really fast and aerodynamic, but the MP4/13 dates back to 1999. That’s 18 years. Eighteen!!! You know what changed in 18 years on the Nurburgring? The lap record was improved by more than a minute. That’s about 15 percent, which makes sense given how fast cars and technology are evolving nowadays. Yet, no one is able to put Heidfeld’s record to rest. Not even the Peugeot 208 T16, which set a seemingly unbeatable record at Pikes Peak, was able to do that back in 2014 when it completed the course three seconds slower.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Civic Type R Drama and Why the New GranTurismo Sucks

The 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed is well underway, and I couldn’t be happier. Long live internet video streaming, old track, short but exciting race tracks, and the good people taking care of the Goodwood House. I’m a happy chap, but hey, there’s still room for rants. And boy there’s plenty to talk about this week. You might find it hard to believe, but there’s something about Goodwood that has been bothering me for years. It’s the hill climb record, which stands since 1999 when Nick Heidfeld completed the course in 41.6 seconds in a McLaren MP4/13 Formula One car. Really, now; isn’t there anyone capable enough to put together a car that’s faster than that?

Yes, I know, it’s a Formula One car and these things are really fast and aerodynamic, but the MP4/13 dates back to 1999. That’s 18 years. Eighteen!!! You know what changed in 18 years on the Nurburgring? The lap record was improved by more than a minute. That’s about 15 percent, which makes sense given how fast cars and technology are evolving nowadays. Yet, no one is able to put Heidfeld’s record to rest. Not even the Peugeot 208 T16, which set a seemingly unbeatable record at Pikes Peak, was able to do that back in 2014 when it completed the course three seconds slower.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Hybrids Are Dying, Porsche Is Playing Dumb

You know I hate summer right? Well, you might as well hear it again. It’s way too hot and it makes me too lazy to go to the fridge to make more ice. And I’m really cranky when I run out of ice for my whiskey. But, there is one thing I do like about summer: the racing! Oh man, June is simply packed with good quality racing. There’s the 24 Hours of Le Mans, there’sPikes Peak, and there’s plenty of action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Yeah I know, Goodwood isn’t a sanctioned racing event, but you get to see a bunch of cool cars going up the hill. Old cars, the kind that Pops likes. Unfortunately, this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans was a bit of a disappointment.

And, before all you Porsche fans start yelling that it was awesome because they won again, I’d like to point out that they were extremely lucky and the racing sucks. And yes, I had my money on Toyota this year. Because I like the Camry (yes, it’s irrelevant blah blah) and I think they deserve the title after so many unlucky stints at Le Mans. But, it wasn’t to be. Their cars crapped out and the 919 Hybrids had fun doing donuts around the LMP2 cars. Because Audi is no longer racing in the prototype class and hybrid race cars suck. Yes, I said it, they suck!

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PostHeaderIcon The Lancer Evo Could Come Back… As a Freaking SUV…

So, here I am reading through automotive headlines for the day, ready to see what this week will bring, and what do I see? “A New Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Could Happen…” After making the most lady-like squeal to come out of a man’s mouth, I clicked on the link with more enthusiasm than Donald Trump has for complaining on Twitter. But, I was let down, because we’re not talking about the rally-bred, dirt-chewing Lancer EVO. No; Mitsubishi is probably going to ruin yet another name and make the next EVO a freaking SUV.

Well, that’s the word anyway, after Motoring had a little conversation with Mitsubishi Global Boss, Trevor Mann. Apparently, he has said that a new performance flagship is one of many considerations on the table, but that the performance concept won’t necessarily be based on a sedan… sigh. Given the nature of the automotive market and the fact that every automaker is too dumb to realize that SUVs will eventually fall off the radar once again, you know that means another SUV. We could have already seen a hint as to what the next “EVO” model will be thanks to the 2015 eX Concept.


PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Nurburgring Wood and Covfefe

Yee-haw, Pops is back! Did you miss me? In case you’re wondering, I’ve taken a short vacation last week. Ya know, old people need to rest a lot. But if you don’t care about that, we can assume I was too lazy to do my gibberish routine for the weekend.

Anywho, I came back to the Internet only to find out that we have a new Nurburgring record. Boy, I should definitely spend less time in bed – it’s not the kind of activity that allows you to keep up with those fast Nurburgring runs. And you know what? I don’t care much about McLaren’s new record. And this comes from a man who lived to see McLaren’s glorious Can-Am and Formula One performances back in the day and who’s a tremendous fan of its road cars, especially the F1. Simply because all these records are only about automakers waving their pricks at each other.

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