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Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Skoda Just Ruined the “RS” Badge

I really can’t remember when an automaker used the “RS” badge on a car for the first time, but I recall some Porsche and Alpine race cars from the 1950s and 1960s. You shouldn’t expect me to remember this kind of stuff anyway. Ya know, old people tend to forget a lot. Anyway, I specifically remember that RS-badged cars, be them road-legal or race-ready, have always been synonymous with performance. Well, Skoda just ruined that with the Kodiaq vRS.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: I told you the Nissan Leaf Nismo will suck

Hello there! You’re probably asking yourselves where I’ve been lately. Well, it’s none of your business. But since you’re reading this, I just came here to tell you that I told you so! Oh, wait, that’s not very specific. I told you that the Nissan Leaf Nismo would suck. I did that in October 2017, when Nissan launched the concept car. Now it’s July 2018, and we have a production model that looks like the concept but sucks where it matters most.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Your complaints about the new Chevrolet Blazer are invalid

This just in: Chevy revived the Blazer after 13 years! That’s pretty cool, but this new crossover makes a few people unhappy. Because it’s not a boxy hunk of metal and it doesn’t ride on a body-on-frame platform. And it’s wrong!

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Nurburgring Records You Should Know About

Oh look, we have a new Nurburgring record for seven-seat SUVs. Nope, it’s not a super-fast benchmark set by BMW or Audi, companies that have actual performance seven-seat SUVs, but a boringly slow record set by… wait for it… Skoda. Yes, a company with limited global availability drove a diesel-powered, somewhat performance-oriented SUV on the ’Ring to set a record for a class that no one cares about. And it’s damn slow too at 9:29.84 minutes. I bet SUV enthusiasts will take the showrooms by storm to buy the 236-horsepower Kodiaq RS later this year.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Screwed Up Big Time with the New X5

Hey, look, the brand-new BMW X5 is here! I know, it’s yesterday news, everyone has seen it. Well, I’m not exactly anxious to get up early in the morning so yeah, I’m usually late on the news. But here’s something no one appears to have noticed yet: the SUV’s trunk is now smaller. And not by a little bit, it’s significantly smaller, despite the X5 being slightly bigger.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Tesla Should Change its Name to “Fix It Again Elon”

Hey folks, it’s Friday again, and I’m here to say “I told you so!” Yes I know, you need more than that. Here it is: I told you Elon Musk has a hard time admitting that Tesla cars have certain issues that take several months to fix.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: The Abominable Snowman Is Real! It’s Called the Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Last week I wrote a big rant about how the BMW M5 with the Competition Package is an abomination. I take that back. The new Rolls-Royce Cullinan is the supreme abomination. A luxurious, boxy abomination on wheels. And the perfect example of how to be lazy in the design process. Okay, I’m not taking that back actually, I still think that the M5 Competition Package is a useless piece of junk, and you should buy a proper sports car instead, but the Cullinan is my all-time favorite automotive abomination. Until Boeing builds an airplane-shaped SUV that is!

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: The BMW M5 Competition Package Is a Useless Abomination

The BMW M5 is an abomination. There, I finally said it. If you’re a diehard fan, you can now have an aneurysm, take a deep breath, and continue reading. Or you can yell “you know nothing” and go complain on your crappy BMW forums. Because that’s what true BMW fans do. Either way, the M5 sucks, and I’m going to explain why because it’s way too hot outside to go for a bike ride.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: And the Award for the Worst Car Design of 2018 Goes to Mercedes-Maybach

I know we usually hand out awards for the best and worst of the auto industry at the end of the year, but I’m going to start early in 2018 and give Mercedes-Maybach a medal for the worst car design of the year. And the award goes to the Vision Ultimate Luxury, which made its debut among a handful of China-exclusive vehicles at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show. Yes, it’s that ugly!

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: GM’s Decision to Fire Johan De Nysschen Might Have Been a Big Mistake

Cadillac just fired president Johan de Nysschen, four years after it brought him in from Infiniti to revive the luxury brand. The news made headlines all over the world and sparked debates on whether the brand will do better without de Nysschen. The consensus seems to be that he made a string of bad decisions and that Steve Carlisle might be the man who will make things right. Well, I disagree.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Is the BMW M4 Worth it with the M2 Competition around?

Back in 2015, BMW did something really cool for old-school enthusiasts by launching the M2. A spiritual successor to the highly acclaimed 1M Coupe, the M2 is a tad smaller than the M4, and although it misses 60 horsepower and 63 pound-feet, it’s only three-tenths of a second slower to 60 mph and only six seconds slower on the Nurburgring. The M2 is the modern embodiment of the original M3, a status that the M4 will never benefit from. Things have just become a lot more serious for the M2 now, which climbed another step on the performance ladder with the Competition package.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Bugatti Is Trying Way Too Hard with the Chiron

The Bugatti Veyron was a really cool car. When it arrived back in 2005, it had never-before-seen power, a crazy engine, and the highest top speed of a production car. But it had one big issue compared to the other extreme supercars on the market and the ones that followed: it wasn’t suited for track performance. At more than 4,000 pounds, it was way too heavy, and the way it was built prevented it from becoming a part-time track car. Bugatti did launch a Super Sport model with more power and better handling, but the purpose of that vehicle was to set a new world speed record. The Veyron was replaced with the Chiron after ten years on the market, but sadly Bugatti did not change its strategy. If we ignore all the new tech and the revised drivetrain components, the Chiron is just a beefed-up Veyron that still sucks on the race track.


The Buggati Chiron Sport Weighs Less, Gets Carbon Fiber Wipers and a New Exhaust Layout; Costs an Extra $1 Million - image 772077
“Isn't the aim to make cars lighter for the new generation? Not for Bugatti apparently”

Bugatti may want you to think different with the new Chiron Sport model, which gained a few chassis updates for “significantly improved handling and even greater agility,” but things haven’t changed that much. Sure, the French claim that the Chiron Sport is five seconds quicker than the regular model around the Nardo track, but I haven’t seen any videos yet. And I’d like to see this car take on the Nurburgring. Or the Spa Fancorchamps or Laguna Seca tracks.

Bugatti also brags about the Chiron Sport being almost 40 pounds lighter, but what it doesn’t say is that it’s slightly heavier than the Veyron. Isn’t the aim to make cars lighter for the new generation? Not for Bugatti apparently. You can’t really expect a 4,400-pound car to handle well at the track. At least not in the same way the Koenigsegg Agera and the McLaren Senna do. These supercars were designed to handle a weekend at the races. The Chiron, on the other hand, is focused on luxury and top speed.


The Buggati Chiron Sport Weighs Less, Gets Carbon Fiber Wipers and a New Exhaust Layout; Costs an Extra $1 Million - image 772080
“Stop trying dudes, you're really good at building fast potatoes on wheels anyway”

And there’s nothing wrong with that, but Bugatti should stop talking about handling and agility on the racing circuit. It already has its very own niche and a well-established customer base. Why would it drag the Chiron into the track-prepped supercar war? It’s really rough out there, and very few vehicles manage to stand out. And none of them weigh as much as a full-size sedan with all the electronics and safety features in the world. Not to mention that Bugatti doesn’t really have a talent for race-ready vehicles. It failed with the Veyron, and it failed with the EB110 before it. And before that… well, nothing happened since the 1930s. You can’t rely on motorsport success you had almost 100 years ago.

And you know what? The Super Sport model that will probably be here next year won’t be a better track car either. It will just be another attempt at a world record. Especially now that Bugatti can’t sleep at night due to Koenigsegg having set a new benchmark. With top speed a priority, track performance will always fall behind. And the Chiron won’t become significantly lighter, as it already has all the carbon-fiber in the world. Unless Bugatti finds a way to build a carbon-fiber engine, it will still tip the scales at more than 4,000 pounds. Stop trying dudes; you’re really good at building fast potatoes on wheels anyway.

References


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 667473

Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron.


The Buggati Chiron Sport Weighs Less, Gets Carbon Fiber Wipers and a New Exhaust Layout; Costs an Extra $1 Million - image 772167

Read more on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron Sport.


2021 Bugatti Chiron Super Sport - image 675474

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Bugatti Chiron Super Sport.


maker logos - image 743561

Read more Bugatti news.


Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing - image 712265

Read more Pops’ Rants news.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Yup, Ferrari Can No Longer Be Trusted

Like many business relationships, that between carmakers and customers should be one of trust and respect. Automakers should make sure that they deliver a solid product as they cash the check, while customers should use the cars accordingly. Unfortunately, recent events prove that car companies can’t be trusted. Volkswagen was caught cheating on their emission tests for diesel cars, while many other brands have admitted to lying about MPG figures for some vehicles. Mercedes and BMW have been accused of testing dirty diesel engines on monkies, and some reports claim that they used human volunteers as well. Now, it turns out that Ferrari can’t be trusted either. Ferrari! An automaker that asks between hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars for its cars and has strict rules for potential customers.

I’m not saying that Ferrari should stick to the rules more than any other automaker out there, but it’s massively ironic that Maranello cheated its clients. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, it has been revealed that Ferrari allowed its dealers to roll back odometers on used cars in the U.S., a move that inflates prices for used models artificially.

Greedy Much?


2014 Ferrari LaFerrari - image 685812
“Ferrari tried really hard to keep it in the vault”

As with most scandals of this type, Ferrari tried really hard to keep it in the vault. They actually fired a longtime dealer from Florida for trying to unveil the odometer rollbacks. And then Maranello sent a memo to all dealers to halt the rollbacks. Fortunately for us, the said dealer sued Ferrari and the aforementioned memo made it to the lawsuit file and it’s now available publicly. Funny how karma does it’s thing all the time, huh?

Long story short, Ferrari knew that its dealers were using a device to roll back odometers in order to pump up resale value and did nothing to stop it. This is a big deal, and I find it amazing that such a high-profile manufacturer resorted to this type of scheme to increase the value of its cars. I mean really now, aren’t Ferraris already pretty expensive, even on the used market? Isn’t the brand big enough nowadays? It definitely is, but for some reason, Ferrari is too greedy to acknowledge that. And the fact that it has such strict purchase conditions makes it a much bigger deal. “Don’t make a fool of yourself” should be a goal for all automakers, no matter how big.


2014 Ferrari LaFerrari - image 495577
“Ferrari knew that its dealers were using a device to roll back odometers in order to pump up resale value and did nothing to stop it”

Unfortunately, there is another issue here. While Ferrari admitted that it allowed dealers to roll back odometers, sometimes all the way back to zero, the market and the customers won’t punish the Italian firm. Ferraris are too desireable for wealthy customers to boycott the cars. New or used, they will still buy them. And they will put up with these awful practices in order to own a Ferrari. It’s the same reason why automakers are getting away with cheating devices and gassing monkeys and why the industry won’t change in the future. Ferrari can no longer be trusted, but the force is strong with the Prancing Horse.

Well, have fun paying extra for rolled back odometers then!

But wait, I’m not done for today.

Seat’s Confusing Marketing


2019 Cupra Ateca - image 770198
“Someone over at Seat must have gotten all this marketing stuff a bit wrong”

Seat recently joined the automaker elite with its own performance brand. Yey! This is actually great news as the company’s Cupra-badged models are pretty cool (despite the Leon Cupra being a rebodied version of the Golf GTI). By separating the Cupra as a stand-alone brand also means that we will see more Seat models with high-performance engines, including SUVs. Given that Volkswagen itself doesn’t offer one yet, it’s another good selling point in Seat’s bag.

But there’s an issue.

Apparently, the Spanish carmaker is still selling Cupra models with the “Seat” badge alongside the new ones from the independent Cupra division. And I’m not talking only about the existing Leon Cupra 300. Seat just launched a station wagon version of the Leon Cupra R at the same time it announced the brand-new models of the Cupra sub-brand. Well, someone at Seat must have gotten all this marketing stuff a bit wrong. It’s like Mercedes would be selling a stand-alone Maybach model alongside the existing Mercedes-Maybach version. Or another AMG GT model but wihtout the Mercedes badge alonside the already available AMG GT lineup. Confused? Well, that’s what Seat is doing right now. Or Seat and Cupra, it must be a collaborative effort of sorts.

Maybe the firm is trying to please customers that like the new “Cupra” badge and those that still want a “Seat” insignia on their cars. Yes, I’m being sarcastic. Seat needs better marketing.

References


maker logos - image 742470

Read more Ferrari news.


maker logos - image 764380

Read more Seat news.


Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing - image 712265

Read more Pops’ Rants news.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: All This Hype about Tesla Outselling German Luxury Cars in Europe Is Misleading

Tesla has been offering mass-production electric cars for six years now, and it’s safe to say that Elon Musk’s company is doing great. Sure, the Model X came a bit late and Tesla is still struggling to put the Model 3 on the assembly line, but the carmaker’s EVs are becoming increasingly popular, especially in Europe.

Norway continues to be Tesla’s second largest market after the U.S., where the Model S actually climbed atop the all-popular Volkswagen Golf. More recently, the Model S also began outselling German luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series in Europe for the very first time. It’s a big deal, and I can understand why most outlets are going crazy about it, but all this talk about Tesla ripping the Germans to shreds is misleading.

For starters, this has happened before in the U.S. I know, the U.S. is Tesla’s home turf, and it’s easier to sell cars here rather than export them to Europe, but it’s a valid precedent. Second, and what everyone seems to be missing, the Model S is not a competitor for the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, and Audi A8. It’s actually more the size of theE-Class, 5 Series, and Audi A6, something Elon Musk himself stressed a while back. Here’s why this is important.

Continue reading for the full story.

We’re Looking at Different Sales Figures


2017 Tesla Model S - image 703865
“Mercedes sold more than 120,000 E-Class models in 2017 or about 750 percent more than the Model S”

With sales of more than 16,000 units in 2017, the Model S is indeed above the S-Class and 7 Series, which moved 13,359 and 11,735 units last year, respectively. No argument here! However, if we compare the Tesla to the cars it actually goes against, things aren’t exactly spectacular. For instance, Mercedes-Benz sold in excess of 120,000 E-Class models in 2017, or about 750 percent more than the Model S. Simply put, the Germans sold more sedans in the last two months of 2017 than Tesla did throughout the entire year. Moving over to the BMW 5 Series, the firm delivered almost 110,000 examples in 2017, again, far more than the Model S. Believe it or not, it’s not that unbelievable…

Before you say anything, I’m well aware that the Model S is far more expensive than the E-Class and 5 Series and that it’s sticker puts it in S-Class and 7 Series territory. But, at the same time, the S-Class isn’t a luxury car. It has all the cool gadgets, but is by no means as fancy as the German flagship models. If we take all of this into account, the comparison becomes rather pointless. It’s just a reason to poke at the Germans for falling behind an electric car. Or a reason to feel good about ourselves for trying to save the planet.

Well, the fact of the matter is that we’re not saving anything. Some 16,000 expensive electric cars sold in Europe in 2017 won’t help the ozone layer.

Stop Fooling Yourselves


2016 Tesla Model X - image 559188
“At most, Tesla is mainstream in Norway, where wages are among the highest in Europe”

Then there’s all this talk about Tesla finally becoming mainstream. Well no, that’s not what’s happening here. At most, Tesla is mainstream in Norway, where wages are among the highest in Europe and where people have been buying electric cars and hybrids in large numbers for many years. A few tens of thousands of Model S in Europe make no difference among hundreds of millions of gasoline or diesel vehicles.

I know I’ve said this before, but Tesla will become mainstream when it starts offering affordable cars that the average Joe can buy. And I’m not talking about the Model 3, which will cost $35,000 bone stock and close to $50,000 with all the desirable features. It will happen when Tesla provides a roomy sedan that can be had for as low as $25,000 and maybe a hatchback at around $20,000 before options.

It will probably happen when batteries become better and cheaper in a few years, but Tesla won’t be alone on the market when that happens. Every important automaker will have at least a couple of EVs in two years or so and the market will get really tough. Tesla has done great things so far, but a big automaker with factories all around the world is more capable of providing affordable cars. We need to keep this in mind every time we read some new hype about the Model S outselling slow-selling vehicles in certain markets.

References


2017 Tesla Model S - image 672438

Read our full review on the 2017 Tesla Model S.


2016 Tesla Model X - image 648879

Read our full review on the 2017 Tesla Model X.


2018 Tesla Model 3 - image 727971

Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.


maker logos - image 746180

Read more Tesla news.


Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing - image 712265

Read more Pops’ Rants news.

PostHeaderIcon Why Are Automakers Getting Away with Cheating Devices and Gassing People?

There’s something terribly wrong with the auto industry today! And reading this week’s news is enough to notice it. Assuming you’re a sane person that is! While the folks over at Jalopnik uncovered how Goodyear hid evidence of a tire that caused at least nine deaths over nearly 20 years, other outlets are reporting how certain German carmakers paid scientists to gas monkeys and humans with toxic diesel fumes. Yeah, I know, it sounds like an overinflated conspiracy theory, but it’s all true, unfortunately.

Goodyear, one of the world’s most biggest tire manufacturers, is now under scrutiny for an issue that dates back to the early 2000s and is linked to more than 40 lawsuits and at least nine deaths. In short, the brand approved the G159, a tire designed in the mid-1990s for lower-speed delivery vehicles, for motorhome use. Motorhomes usually run at higher speeds than the said tire can handle, which resulted in numerous crashes and deaths. On top of that, it turns out that Goodyear managed to keep complaints and claim data sealed from auto safety regulators for all these years. It’s only now, in 2018, that a proper investigation was launched. Check out Jalopnik’s story for the full details.

Then we have all the big media outlets reporting about German scientists having gassed human volunteers with toxic diesel fumes in tests funded by big car manufacturers. Commissioned by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT), these tests were backed by Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz. In the U.S., then monkeys were gassed with exhaust fumes from a VW Beetle in 2014 by the U.S.-based Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.

The EUGT was dissolved in 2016, and it remains unclear whether the carmakers were aware of monkeys and humans being gassed, or at least that’s what many reports claim. Be that as it may —, and I must say I have strong doubts that VW, BMW, and Daimler were unaware of what happened behind closed doors — it’s still a sick thing to do in the name of science. And the big problem is that the carmakers will get away with it.

Hurt Them Where It Matters Most


BMW, Daimler, and VW Paid To Put Monkeys In Diesel-Emission Gas Chamber For “Research” - image 763868
“Carmakers don't get the punishment they deserve”

Yes, the “Dieselgate” scandal sent some high-ranking representatives to jail and forced Volkswagen to pay some serious fines, but hey, it’s been only a couple of years since the German firm admitted to using software to cheat tests and the Volkswagen Group is again the world’s largest automaker by sales. So nothing really changed outside the fact that regulators are more careful when certifying diesels. And that’s the biggest issue: carmakers don’t get the punishment they deserve.

You know what actually prompted Volkswagen to cheat? Becoming number one! Selling as many cars as possible and beating Toyota as the world’s largest manufacturer. It’s all about this race to gathering bragging rights. And as it turns out, automakers will do anything to get there. Anything! They will lie about their car’s emissions, they will gas animals and human beings, and, much like Goodyear did, they will use the law to prevent you from finding out that some of their products are crap. All this is possible because the penalties aren’t harsh enough.


Why Are Automakers Getting Away with Cheating Devices and Gassing People? - image 765081
“Governments should put a ban on their sales”

So what if a couple of former Volkswagen executives have been sentenced to years in jail? Their lives have been destroyed, yet Volkswagen continued to sell millions of cars. So what if VW pays billions of dollars for recalls and compensation? It’s not like they won’t get it back by selling millions of cars every year. Not even the fact that the firm deceived its customers doesn’t matter much. Faulty cars are being replaced with vehicles from the same company and as it turns out drivers still want to buy Volkswagens in massive numbers.

The way I see it, there’s only one way to punish companies that do all of the above: governments should put a ban on their sales. The U.S. Government should have issues a stop-sale for al Volkswagen cars until all drivetrains were checked and all of their diesel models should have been banned. The same actions should have taken place in Europe. A stop-sale order for a couple of months would have been enough to dig a big hole in the VW Group’s finances, reducing profits by around 20 percent. As a big company, you only learn valuable lessons when you lose money. That’s when you realize that things must change and that you can’t lie and get away with it.


Why Are Automakers Getting Away with Cheating Devices and Gassing People? - image 765080
“BMW and Daimler should be held responsible for gassing people in a similar way”

And yes, BMW and Daimler should be held responsible for gassing people in a similar manner. Halt diesel sales until the court figures out what happened and then hit them with a massive fine. Same goes for Goodyear, which shouldn’t get away with just fines and recalls. A measure that hurts the company’s sales will be the most efficient. The market shouldn’t tolerate thieves and liars and companies that hide behind court settlements to get away with selling faulty products. Hurt them where it matters most and they will their shit together. It’s either that or bankruptcy.

Yeah, I know this is a radical idea, and I’m pretty sure we won’t see it put into practice anytime soon, but is it really that crazy?

References


VW, BMW, and Daimler Also Gas-Chambered Humans In Diesel Emission Study - image 764208

VW, BMW, and Daimler Also Gas-Chambered Humans In Diesel Emission Study


BMW, Daimler, and VW Paid To Put Monkeys In Diesel-Emission Gas Chamber For “Research” - image 763868

BMW, Daimler, and VW Paid To Put Monkeys In Diesel-Emission Gas Chamber For “Research”


Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing - image 712265

Read more Pops’ Rants news.

PostHeaderIcon Why Are Automakers Getting Away with Cheating Devices and Gassing People?

There’s something terribly wrong with the auto industry today! And reading this week’s news is enough to notice it. Assuming you’re a sane person that is! While the folks over at Jalopnik uncovered how Goodyear hid evidence of a tire that caused at least nine deaths over nearly 20 years, other outlets are reporting how certain German carmakers paid scientists to gas monkeys and humans with toxic diesel fumes. Yeah, I know, it sounds like an overinflated conspiracy theory, but it’s all true, unfortunately.

Goodyear, one of the world’s most biggest tire manufacturers, is now under scrutiny for an issue that dates back to the early 2000s and is linked to more than 40 lawsuits and at least nine deaths. In short, the brand approved the G159, a tire designed in the mid-1990s for lower-speed delivery vehicles, for motorhome use. Motorhomes usually run at higher speeds than the said tire can handle, which resulted in numerous crashes and deaths. On top of that, it turns out that Goodyear managed to keep complaints and claim data sealed from auto safety regulators for all these years. It’s only now, in 2018, that a proper investigation was launched. Check out Jalopnik’s story for the full details.

Then we have all the big media outlets reporting about German scientists having gassed human volunteers with toxic diesel fumes in tests funded by big car manufacturers. Commissioned by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT), these tests were backed by Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz. In the U.S., then monkeys were gassed with exhaust fumes from a VW Beetle in 2014 by the U.S.-based Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.

The EUGT was dissolved in 2016, and it remains unclear whether the carmakers were aware of monkeys and humans being gassed, or at least that’s what many reports claim. Be that as it may —, and I must say I have strong doubts that VW, BMW, and Daimler were unaware of what happened behind closed doors — it’s still a sick thing to do in the name of science. And the big problem is that the carmakers will get away with it.

Hurt Them Where It Matters Most


BMW, Daimler, and VW Paid To Put Monkeys In Diesel-Emission Gas Chamber For “Research” - image 763868
“Carmakers don't get the punishment they deserve”

Yes, the “Dieselgate” scandal sent some high-ranking representatives to jail and forced Volkswagen to pay some serious fines, but hey, it’s been only a couple of years since the German firm admitted to using software to cheat tests and the Volkswagen Group is again the world’s largest automaker by sales. So nothing really changed outside the fact that regulators are more careful when certifying diesels. And that’s the biggest issue: carmakers don’t get the punishment they deserve.

You know what actually prompted Volkswagen to cheat? Becoming number one! Selling as many cars as possible and beating Toyota as the world’s largest manufacturer. It’s all about this race to gathering bragging rights. And as it turns out, automakers will do anything to get there. Anything! They will lie about their car’s emissions, they will gas animals and human beings, and, much like Goodyear did, they will use the law to prevent you from finding out that some of their products are crap. All this is possible because the penalties aren’t harsh enough.


Why Are Automakers Getting Away with Cheating Devices and Gassing People? - image 765081
“Governments should put a ban on their sales”

So what if a couple of former Volkswagen executives have been sentenced to years in jail? Their lives have been destroyed, yet Volkswagen continued to sell millions of cars. So what if VW pays billions of dollars for recalls and compensation? It’s not like they won’t get it back by selling millions of cars every year. Not even the fact that the firm deceived its customers doesn’t matter much. Faulty cars are being replaced with vehicles from the same company and as it turns out drivers still want to buy Volkswagens in massive numbers.

The way I see it, there’s only one way to punish companies that do all of the above: governments should put a ban on their sales. The U.S. Government should have issues a stop-sale for al Volkswagen cars until all drivetrains were checked and all of their diesel models should have been banned. The same actions should have taken place in Europe. A stop-sale order for a couple of months would have been enough to dig a big hole in the VW Group’s finances, reducing profits by around 20 percent. As a big company, you only learn valuable lessons when you lose money. That’s when you realize that things must change and that you can’t lie and get away with it.


Why Are Automakers Getting Away with Cheating Devices and Gassing People? - image 765080
“BMW and Daimler should be held responsible for gassing people in a similar way”

And yes, BMW and Daimler should be held responsible for gassing people in a similar manner. Halt diesel sales until the court figures out what happened and then hit them with a massive fine. Same goes for Goodyear, which shouldn’t get away with just fines and recalls. A measure that hurts the company’s sales will be the most efficient. The market shouldn’t tolerate thieves and liars and companies that hide behind court settlements to get away with selling faulty products. Hurt them where it matters most and they will their shit together. It’s either that or bankruptcy.

Yeah, I know this is a radical idea, and I’m pretty sure we won’t see it put into practice anytime soon, but is it really that crazy?

References


VW, BMW, and Daimler Also Gas-Chambered Humans In Diesel Emission Study - image 764208

VW, BMW, and Daimler Also Gas-Chambered Humans In Diesel Emission Study


BMW, Daimler, and VW Paid To Put Monkeys In Diesel-Emission Gas Chamber For “Research” - image 763868

BMW, Daimler, and VW Paid To Put Monkeys In Diesel-Emission Gas Chamber For “Research”


Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing - image 712265

Read more Pops’ Rants news.

PostHeaderIcon Why Are Automakers Getting Away with Cheating Devices and Gassing People?

There’s something terribly wrong with the auto industry today! And reading this week’s news is enough to notice it. Assuming you’re a sane person that is! While the folks over at Jalopnik uncovered how Goodyear hid evidence of a tire that caused at least nine deaths over nearly 20 years, other outlets are reporting how certain German carmakers paid scientists to gas monkeys and humans with toxic diesel fumes. Yeah, I know, it sounds like an overinflated conspiracy theory, but it’s all true, unfortunately.

Goodyear, one of the world’s most biggest tire manufacturers, is now under scrutiny for an issue that dates back to the early 2000s and is linked to more than 40 lawsuits and at least nine deaths. In short, the brand approved the G159, a tire designed in the mid-1990s for lower-speed delivery vehicles, for motorhome use. Motorhomes usually run at higher speeds than the said tire can handle, which resulted in numerous crashes and deaths. On top of that, it turns out that Goodyear managed to keep complaints and claim data sealed from auto safety regulators for all these years. It’s only now, in 2018, that a proper investigation was launched. Check out Jalopnik’s story for the full details.

Then we have all the big media outlets reporting about German scientists having gassed human volunteers with toxic diesel fumes in tests funded by big car manufacturers. Commissioned by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT), these tests were backed by Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz. In the U.S., then monkeys were gassed with exhaust fumes from a VW Beetle in 2014 by the U.S.-based Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.

The EUGT was dissolved in 2016, and it remains unclear whether the carmakers were aware of monkeys and humans being gassed, or at least that’s what many reports claim. Be that as it may —, and I must say I have strong doubts that VW, BMW, and Daimler were unaware of what happened behind closed doors — it’s still a sick thing to do in the name of science. And the big problem is that the carmakers will get away with it.

Hurt Them Where It Matters Most


BMW, Daimler, and VW Paid To Put Monkeys In Diesel-Emission Gas Chamber For “Research” - image 763868
“Carmakers don't get the punishment they deserve”

Yes, the “Dieselgate” scandal sent some high-ranking representatives to jail and forced Volkswagen to pay some serious fines, but hey, it’s been only a couple of years since the German firm admitted to using software to cheat tests and the Volkswagen Group is again the world’s largest automaker by sales. So nothing really changed outside the fact that regulators are more careful when certifying diesels. And that’s the biggest issue: carmakers don’t get the punishment they deserve.

You know what actually prompted Volkswagen to cheat? Becoming number one! Selling as many cars as possible and beating Toyota as the world’s largest manufacturer. It’s all about this race to gathering bragging rights. And as it turns out, automakers will do anything to get there. Anything! They will lie about their car’s emissions, they will gas animals and human beings, and, much like Goodyear did, they will use the law to prevent you from finding out that some of their products are crap. All this is possible because the penalties aren’t harsh enough.


Why Are Automakers Getting Away with Cheating Devices and Gassing People? - image 765081
“Governments should put a ban on their sales”

So what if a couple of former Volkswagen executives have been sentenced to years in jail? Their lives have been destroyed, yet Volkswagen continued to sell millions of cars. So what if VW pays billions of dollars for recalls and compensation? It’s not like they won’t get it back by selling millions of cars every year. Not even the fact that the firm deceived its customers doesn’t matter much. Faulty cars are being replaced with vehicles from the same company and as it turns out drivers still want to buy Volkswagens in massive numbers.

The way I see it, there’s only one way to punish companies that do all of the above: governments should put a ban on their sales. The U.S. Government should have issues a stop-sale for al Volkswagen cars until all drivetrains were checked and all of their diesel models should have been banned. The same actions should have taken place in Europe. A stop-sale order for a couple of months would have been enough to dig a big hole in the VW Group’s finances, reducing profits by around 20 percent. As a big company, you only learn valuable lessons when you lose money. That’s when you realize that things must change and that you can’t lie and get away with it.


Why Are Automakers Getting Away with Cheating Devices and Gassing People? - image 765080
“BMW and Daimler should be held responsible for gassing people in a similar way”

And yes, BMW and Daimler should be held responsible for gassing people in a similar manner. Halt diesel sales until the court figures out what happened and then hit them with a massive fine. Same goes for Goodyear, which shouldn’t get away with just fines and recalls. A measure that hurts the company’s sales will be the most efficient. The market shouldn’t tolerate thieves and liars and companies that hide behind court settlements to get away with selling faulty products. Hurt them where it matters most and they will their shit together. It’s either that or bankruptcy.

Yeah, I know this is a radical idea, and I’m pretty sure we won’t see it put into practice anytime soon, but is it really that crazy?

References


VW, BMW, and Daimler Also Gas-Chambered Humans In Diesel Emission Study - image 764208

VW, BMW, and Daimler Also Gas-Chambered Humans In Diesel Emission Study


BMW, Daimler, and VW Paid To Put Monkeys In Diesel-Emission Gas Chamber For “Research” - image 763868

BMW, Daimler, and VW Paid To Put Monkeys In Diesel-Emission Gas Chamber For “Research”


Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing - image 712265

Read more Pops’ Rants news.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Karma Just Kicked Elon Musk in the Nuts

Another day, another carrot. I just dropped by to tell you that I love karma. Nope, not the Fisker Karma. That karma. The principle that Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. It’s the concept that keeps all life in a perfect balance. And the same concept made Elon Musk look pretty dumb after Hyundai launched the Nexo hydrogen fuel cell SUV at the Consumer Electronics Show. Yup, gotta love karma!

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In case you haven’t been following the latest electric car market disputes, Elon Musk made a few smug comments in recent years. One was aimed at the Nissan Leaf when Musk said that the Model 3 will provide more range at a more affordable price. The compact sedan isn’t yet available, as Tesla is struggling with production issues, but we already know that it’s more efficient than the redesigned Leaf. However, it’s a bit more expensive in base trim and significantly pricier if you want the longer range option and some tech. Pricier as in you can buy a BMW instead.

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In early 2016, Musk made a public statement in which it called hydrogen cars “incredibly dumb” when compared to electric vehicle. Granted, he had a few valid reasons about the process of splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen and compressing the latter cars, but it was still pretty rude to just take a dump on all automakers working on fuel cell technology. Especially with so many engineers claiming that it’s a viable solution. Well, Hyundai just launched the hydrogen-powered Nexo SUV with a range of 370 miles, 75 more than the range-topping Tesla Model X. And karma entered the room to kick Elon in the nuts.

Sure, only time will tell if the Nexo is as good as Hyundai claims, but some were skeptical when the Toyota Mirai entered production, and the Japanese sedan has done pretty well until now. And, unlike Tesla, Hyundai has kept its promises recently and didn’t miss its production schedule due to rash decisions. Maybe Elon could take a break and take a few notes from the Koreans. Hydrogen might be worth something after all now that carbon tanks are becoming more affordable and hydrogen stations are becoming a thing. Let’s not forget that hybrid and all-electric drivetrains were considered ludicrous a few decades ago…

Karma wins. Every time.

References

Hyundai Nexo


2019 Hyundai Nexo - image 756408

Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai Nexo.


2016 Tesla Model X - image 678035

Read our full review on the 2017 Tesla Model X.


Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing - image 712265

Read more Pops’ Rants news.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: The Automotive Sausage Fest Is Real!

And how are you folks doing in the new year? Any new year resolutions for 2018? Nah, don’t bother, I don’t care. It’s not like these resolutions last more than a few weeks anyway. But hey, since we’re allowed to make wishes I’m gonna blow the candles and say it: I wish automakers would stop making all their cars look the same. I hate the corporate look strategy. I used to only hate Audi for doing it, but this thing spread like the Black Plague in recent years. Mercedes is also doing the “same sausage, different lengths” thing and BMW is very close to implementing it across the range. It will be complete once the 6 Series is phased out. It’s a sausage fest I’m telling you, and it just got worse!

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“What was once an Audi thing, spread like the plague throughout the group.”

Have you seen the sketches of the upcoming Volkswagen Jetta? If not, check out our review, I’ll give you a few moments. Looking good right? I no longer feel like I want to kill myself when I look at it. Sure, the front end is taken off the Passat and it’s not very inspiring but I don’t mind. I get the marketing behind the corporate look. But that rear end has Audi A4 written all over it. Just like the Passat looks like a poor man’s A6. And how the Toledo looks like the A4 and the Leon X-Perience looks like the A4 Allroad.

Yup, not only have most Volkswagen Group brands adopted the “same sausage, different lengths” approach on their own, but they’re actually using it as some sort of group identity. What was once an Audi thing, spread like the plague throughout the group. And it sucks! While I’m not a fan of products from the dirty VAG, I always loved the fact that the Seat Leon is significantly different from the Volkswagen Golf it was based on. Or that the Audi R8 has its own identity, despite sharing underpinnings with the Lamborghini Huracan. But, everything else has become increasingly diluted in recent years and it appears to be getting worse.

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“We're an inch away from getting perfectly identical cars that are only longer and wider depending on the segment they're competing in”

It’s not only Volkswagen that is being moved closer and closer to Audi up the premium ladder, but it’s also using more and more styling cues from its Ingolstadt cousin. Just look at the Passat, Arteon, and now the Jetta. Even Seat models are starting to look more and more like their Volkswagen counterparts, also getting Audi bits here and there. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that the next-generation Touareg is a rebadged, poor man’s Audi Q7, either.

We’re an inch away from getting perfectly identical cars that are only longer and wider depending on the segment they’re competing in. Damn, even “The Flintstones” animated series had more exciting cars than Volkswagen. Footmobile power!

References


Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing - image 712265

Read more Pops’ Rants news.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Dear Lincoln and BMW, Please Stop Being So Pathetic

Man, this has been a rough week. Automotive-wise. The Los Angeles Auto Show sucked on so many levels. I haven’t seen so many crossovers in one place since the Soccer Mom Annual Meeting. Oh wait, that doesn’t sound right. Give me a minute here… Since the… uhm… wait, I got it… since the… Ah, screw it, I’m not in a mood for jokes. It just sucks! Then there’s the Urus, which isn’t a real Lamborghini and everyone gets excited as if they just launched the second-generation Miura. Do millennials even know what a Miura is? But the worst thing about this year’s L.A. show is that some automakers were set to remind me that press releases have more bullshit than a dairy farm.

Stop calling mild facelifts “brand-new,” you half-baked hippies! You’re not fooling anyone.

Yeah, they’re at it again. Especially Lincoln and BMW. The American brand, which is struggling to stay afloat these days, just launched a mid-cycle facelift for the MKC with a new front grille. That’s it, a new grille! And they call it “new” with a “commanding new design.” Hello?! It’s a new grille, not a new car. Now repeat after me: a new grille doesn’t make the entire car new. But wait, there’s more. Lincoln also introduced the Nautilus, a brand-new SUV according to the company’s PR division. Except it’s not new. It’s the MKX with a new grille and a new name. Hey, I like the fact that you’re using actual names now Lincoln, but it’s not a brand-new car! I can’t change my name and pretend I’m a new person. Okay, I can actually do that, but I may be spending my final years in a nuthouse. And trust me, the nuthouse isn’t good for business; there’s no room for a car production line in there.

But Lincoln isn’t the only company pretending customers are stupid. BMW also called the facelifted i8 new. Sure, the Roadster version is new indeed, but the coupe is identical to the car launched in 2014, save for the wheels, mildly revised headlamps and taillights, and the 12 extra horsepower. This is the most pathetic facelift I’ve seen in years. It’s not a new car, just a BRAND-NEW way to be lazy and pathetic! Go home BMW; you’re drunk!

References

Lincoln MKC


2019 Lincoln MKC - image 746611

Read our full review on the 2019 Lincoln MKC.

Lincoln Nautilus


Lincoln Updates MKX at L.A. Auto Show, Renames it Nautilus - image 747903

Read more about the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus.

BMW i8


BMW Debuts “New” i8 Coupe and the First i8 Roadster - image 748136

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8.


2018 BMW i8 Roadster - image 748125

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster.


Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing - image 712265

Read more Pops’ Rants news.

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