Category Archives: Opinions

Discussion of matters in the automotive industry and in car culture. Our opinions on what is going on, manufacturer’s products, etc

Why I don’t think the Japanese “Get” the American Performance Market At All

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Various media outlets have been reporting headlines along the lines of “Subaru Adds More Power to the STI!!!” But in reality, it’s just 5hp which changes absolutely nothing. It does, however, raise a larger issue I’ve had with Japanese automakers seeming to lack a basic understanding of the American market’s constant need for improvements.

Honestly, I say Subaru can go screw themselves until they make some real and meaningful improvements to the STI. They’re over a decade late on a real power bump for this car. My 04 STI was a Porsche 911 killer when it came out, and now an STI will lose to a V6 Camry on a highway pull. Even though the STI hasn’t changed much at all, somehow it’s nowhere near the same caliber of car it once was.

I don’t think the Japanese really understand the idea of growth in the performance market because they’ve made the exact same mistake with many other models over the years. They always seem to make a great product to start, but then they leave it the same for 10-15 years and finally kill it because it’s not selling and they wonder why…

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Mind Over Motor Podcast 5 – Cadillac Vsport, Nick’s Car Shopping, and How Much Performance is Enough

Podcast 5 is here. Give it a listen.

-Nick

Can Cadillac Connect with Millennials via their new XT4?

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Cadillac is not a brand known for being popular with Millennials who are looking at luxury transportation. No matter how good their cars are (and for the most part, they’re far better than they were when I was in high school), people of my generation, for the most part, have stayed away–preferring either Buicks (shockingly enough), Audis, and Lexuses. I’ve also seen an increasing number of well-heeled fellow twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings chasing after the usual BMW and Mercedes suspects. Well, I think Cadillac might have a winner with their new XT4. Continue reading Can Cadillac Connect with Millennials via their new XT4?

The Senna is awesome, but please stop calling it a “hypercar”

The new McLaren Senna is sure to be many things, but I really don’t think it should be considered a “hypercar.” Yes, that’s right, while most others are writing the same sort of ass-kissing articles about the Senna, I’m over here with my critic hat on.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the Senna a lot, and I’m sure it will be fast in ways not thought possible, but performance alone doesn’t constitute what makes a hypercar a hypercar. In fact, I’d say it’s traditional for the next generation of track-focused supercars to exceed the performance of the previous generation’s hypercars. I mean, the Porsche GT2 RS just shattered the 918’s Nürburgring time, but does anyone consider that a hypercar?

To me, the Senna seems pretty much the 720S equivalent of the 675LT in the previous generation, an ultra hardcore track-focused version of the McLaren Super Series car. Now, it does seem as though the Senna is an even more of a step up over the 720S than the 675LT was over the 650S. They’ve definitely raised the stakes here, so if the 675LT was the 650S turned up to 11, then the Senna is the 720S turned up to 12. But, faster lap times or not, that sure as hell doesn’t put it at the relative level of a P1, let alone the legendary F1.

Continue reading The Senna is awesome, but please stop calling it a “hypercar”

Digesting the Lamborghini Urus, I just can’t shake this bad aftertaste

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I love the idea of a Lamborghini SUV, and I’m a HUGE fan of the LM002 because it was a different type of Lambo, but it was unmistakably a Lambo. I mean it was an Italian Humvee with the V12 engine from a top-tier supercar, what’s not to love about that?

But as I look at the new Lamborghini Urus, I’m really struggling to see where it’s actually a Lamborghini. I mean, the Urus is effectively an Audi Q7 with an RS 7 drivetrain, and some more angular bodywork. It’s very clearly a parts bin car, and I really don’t think that suits the Lamborghini brand at all.

Continue reading Digesting the Lamborghini Urus, I just can’t shake this bad aftertaste

Some say self-driven cars will be extinct in 10 years. They must all be test tube babies…

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If everyone is really turning their backs on the automobile, then why does Singer exist? I mean, there’s a very long waiting waiting list of very wealthy people excited to spend many hundreds of thousands of dollars on a car they apparently don’t want. No, it’s clearly a chore for them when they’d all rather be carted around in autonomous electric cars, because that’s the future. I mean why would anybody want a tiny loud car that actually requires effort to drive? And with 500hp in such a featherweight package, isn’t it terribly unsafe? Why would people be lining up to get their hands on something like that in 2018?

Continue reading Some say self-driven cars will be extinct in 10 years. They must all be test tube babies…

What the Pagani Zonda tells us about the future of the sports car

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Pagani said the Zonda would be finished after 2013. AMG stopped producing the V12 at the heart of it, and well, the whole world was going turbo, right? Even so, there’s been at least one or two new Zondas produced every year since it’s production was supposed to stop. People have actually been willing to pay AMG to custom fabricate the V12 engine, paying astronomical sums that make a mere Huayra seem affordable. Prices of pre-owned Zondas are also through the roof at multiple millions, depending on model and spec.

It seems pretty clear that the market still has quite an appetite for the Zonda, and what’s more, many of them being ordered even have a true manual gearbox.

The Zonda you see above is the Pagani Zonda HP Barchetta, revealed just this past weekend at Pebble Beach. It looks pretty fantastic for a car that was originally designed in the early 1990’s, and that finished production four years ago. I know there is word going around that the three Pagani Zonda HP Barchettas may in fact be the last three Zondas, but I think that would be a big mistake on Pagani’s part.

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The new BMW 8 Series Concept looks incredible

The old BMW 8 Series was many things, good and not so good, but it was most definitely sexy as hell. This is BMW’s concept for a new 8 Series, and I think they’ve managed to capture the sexy very well so far. We’ll see how much makes it to production.

This car is supposedly set to replace the current BMW 6 Series, which I had said was already basically filling the shoes of the old 8 Series. I’m all for this, and I hold out some hope that we may also get a genuine 6 Series again, you know, one that isn’t based on the 7 Series platform. One step at a time, though.

I love what I see here so far.

-Nick