Tag Archives: Auto

Beautiful Models Without Sexy-Bits

A number of beautiful models have been rolling around on the red carpet at shows around the world for a few months now.  Many, many photos have been snapped up close, showing the model’s most intricate parts.  All types of people line up to see each model’s offerings, lusting after the curves and drooling over the model’s body.  People walk around with towels, rubbing the models’ bodies to rid them of blemishes and bodily fluids.  The smell of wax and leather fills the air as people line up, one after the other for the opportunity to touch and feel the model’s interior.  I know what you’re thinking and you’d be wrong.  These shows have nothing to do with the adult film awards and they’re not set in the San Fernando Valley.  You don’t have to take an STD screen to go to the shows and participate.  Some of these models have bigger brains than your typical porn-star, and while some of them are just as dangerous as a sultry young vixen, most of these models are far more interesting to look at.  They’d also be more interesting to take for a spin, although doing that may cost you the same amount (or more) as a drug induced party spent “winning” with Charlie Sheen.

If you’re a car nut, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  Whether you’re in Paris, Geneva or Detroit, you’ve had the opportunity to behold some of the most wonderful pieces of engineering to ever exist.  You’ve also, no doubt, been subjected to truly terrible pieces that are reserved for people so boring that they have nothing for which to live and look forward to dying because it will at least give them something to do.  Toyota, I’m looking at your stupid f***ing Prius line.  You’re ruining the joy of driving for normal people by giving the weirdos that live in yurts and make their clothes out of leaves something to drive.  Stop it.

On the up-side:  Alfa stole the show with the 3C concept car in Geneva.

Alfa Romeo 3C Concept

This isn’t really a surprise though, because Alfa’s been creating beautiful cars for quite a while (they’re known for it).  It’s rumored that Alfa will be bringing it to North America and more importantly, the States.  This fact makes my gentleman’s area feel a bit fizzy, if you know what I mean.

Not to be out done, a couple other Italian automakers have presented their new offerings…

…Lamborghini, an auto maker renown for creating cars full of madness and testosterone has presented their all new Aventador.

New Lambo

I’ll spare you the facts of the car, as there are plenty of other places for you to research its 0-60 time or it’s carbon fiber body. But because it’s the newest raging bull, it’s slightly crazier than anything offered previously.

…And Ferrari brought out madness of their own.  They made an all wheel drive machine capable of getting the kids to school and you to work in the same time as it takes a Prius owner to show their idiocy by explaining why everyone should live in yurts and drive terrible cars.  Ferrari’s new ride is called the FF.  Look it up and behold the beauty of Ferrari’s newest creation.  I’m pretty sure they stole the front from the 458 Italia.   I think it’s an answer to Porsche’s Panamera.

Ferrari FF: Create your own!

Sadly though, I didn’t get to go to Geneva’s Auto Show.  That would have cost me an arm and a leg, and I couldn’t afford to take the time off work.  Nor was I in Detroit for the show there.  I am in Kansas City.  So, naturally, I went to the Auto Show here at Bartle Hall.  It didn’t have Ferrari or Alfa or Lambo.  It was smaller.  It was full of cars that people can actually afford.  There were only two supercars.  Nonetheless, it was a good time.  And we did see some good-looking models.  The women presenting them weren’t so bad either.

Of course, Ford had their new Global line to show.  The Fiesta and the Focus were present, as was the Fusion in all it’s forms.  While these cars were slightly interesting, there was no mention of the Focus ST (and, not surprisingly, the RS) or Ford Racing in the rally bred lines.  (I was hoping to see a rally version of the new Fiesta).  So I was bored.  Until I saw the Boss.

Laguna Seca Mustang

It’s exciting to see a car that’s actually been around the Laguna Seca race track.  It’s even more exciting to see it up close.  The most exciting thing of all:  You can order one for yourself.

Now, I don’t typically like trucks.  I’m not a farmer or a rancher and I don’t really have any use for something that can haul a Prius owner’s yurt.  I do however, see the reasoning for owning something called the Ford Raptor.  This thing is huge.  It’s got a nice, big engine, and it’s built for off-road purposes.

Ford Raptor's Engine

This means you can run over Prius owners, their stupid cars and, if you can vault high enough using the incline of their cars, their yurts.  Top Gear America reviewed the Hennessey-upgraded Veloci-Raptor this past season.

Suspension so huge, Audrey's Head Fits in the wheel. Prius Owners: Bring it on.

If you had that, you could destroy the lives of every Prius owner in the world in record time.  Anyone can see that owning this monster would be great fun.  Someone should just gift me one and then give me world-wide diplomatic immunity.  I promise I’d make the world a better place.

It’s no secret that Ford is one of the few car companies that has had positive earnings reports, but they have had a drain on those earnings:  Lincoln. Lincoln has been dragging Ford down, year over year.  They just haven’t been able to offer the same quality as BMW, Mercedes or Audi.  These new Lincolns aim to change that.

With Ford noticeably increasing the quality of their offerings, I wouldn’t be too surprised to find that the increased quality extends to Lincoln as well.  Time (and reviews) will tell.

It’s rare that I get stupidly giddy around cars.  Most of them aren’t anything too special, so I don’t become annoyingly excited about them.  However; There were two at the Kansas City Auto show that made me feel rather childish:

The first was the new Mercedes SLS.  Based upon the fabled 300 SL Mercedes gull-wing, the SLS is pretty cool.

Merc SLS

At $250k, it better be.  It’s fast.  Very fast.  It sounds spectacular.  And it’s one of the two cars that were at the Kansas City Auto show that most people can’t afford.  This means it was exciting.  Of course it was roped off, but they were allowing people to sit inside the passenger side.  I for one, wasn’t that interested in being a passenger in this car, so I opted to drool over the engine instead.

There is a problem with showing cars like this.  They make the average person feel inadequate, as they’ll most likely never be able to afford them.

But I also think that’s the reason people are drawn to them.  Take the Bugatti Veyron or the Shelby Ultimate Areo, for example.  Just living in the same world as these cars makes me feel better.  I may never own one.  I may never even sit in one.  But I like waking up every morning and knowing that they exist.

Parked next to the Mercedes SLS was the Mercedes SL300 gull-wing.  At $500,000, this was the most expensive production car shown at the Kansas City Auto show.  It was also beautiful.

This car held records for years before being beaten on the race track.  This car also inspired multiple auto designers to up the ante and work to create the wonderful speed demons available today.  I can’t say this car “started it all”, but it is responsible, in part, for the creation of Merc’s in-house tuning firm, AMG. And that, if nothing else, makes this car absolutely incredible.

There were a number of cars that were available to sit in and dream about.  Mercedes showing of their “normal” production cars was quite large.  Aristocrat Motors of Kansas City provided the Mercs, Porsches, Maseratis and Land Rovers.

I was surprised by their Porsche choices though.  Of course they brought the Panamera and the Cayman.  They had a couple of options for the Cayenne.  There was a Targa.  And all this is well and good, but I had to ask:  Did they forget something? Where’s the 911 Turbo?

Because it was the Kansas City Auto show, I wasn’t surprised that Aston Martins weren’t featured.  Jags were.  Recently, I haven’t really enjoyed the look of Jaguar’s cars.  Their ride seems fine, they supposedly don’t suck to drive, but I don’t really want an ugly car.  These concerns went out the window when I looked upon Jag’s XK-R. If you can’t afford an Aston, buy this.  It’s almost as pretty.

Sitting in the car, you wouldn’t think you were in a Jag.  It didn’t feel huge.  It felt small.  It felt that it could be nimble. It felt like I could toss it around, weaving between cars on the highway.  And because it’s got a supercharged engine, it’ll be quick too.  This means it’s fun to drive, and because it’s not ugly,   you won’t be embarrassed when you receive a picture of yourself speeding from your local law enforcement agency.

Speaking of speeding, I mentioned that Maseratis were present.  The  Quattroporte was there (that’s the one Auds wants, because it’s fast but can also pass for a family car).  I like the name.  Quattroporte.  That’s the benefit that Italian auto makers have over the English-speaking companies.  Simple words just sound better:  Quattroporte.  Sounds spectacular.  In reality though, it means Fourdoors.  Now you know why they kept the Italian.

The Maserati GT was also there.  I was surprised to see the Gran Turismo, since it is in the same class as Aston Martin.  Of course, because it’s a $200k car, the doors were locked.  I have no shots of its interior.  Check out Topgear.com if you’d like to see more.

Between Maserati and Jaguar, I’d take the Maserati.  This is because the world-famous Pininfarina design firm is responsible for its Italian beauty and because it’s rare.  There exist two positive things that come from its rarity: 1.) I’d be less likely to see someone else driving the same car.  2.) Because it’s so rare, you won’t be labeled a twat for driving one.  According to all the reviews, Maserati’s aren’t really better than Jags or BMW’s.  Supposedly, the buttons are in all the wrong positions and the gear box has historically left much to be desired.  They are rare, however and their exhaust note is just as beautiful as the car.  And Ferrari has had its hand in their creation.  That makes them wonderful.

Hyundai and Kia both had pretty good showings. I’m surprised I’m saying this, but the Hyundai Genesis is a good looking coupe.  It’s got ample horsepower and a big brake kit in the form of Brembos. I’m interested, and I’d like a turbo-charged one for a test-drive, please.  Thank you.

Kia’s Optima was present in all it’s forms, and I must say that when I sat inside, I was pleasantly surprised.  It didn’t feel like a tin box at all, but rather, a solidly built car.

These two South Korean car companies are stepping up their game, and I’m glad to see it.  They know what American drivers want in their econo-boxes.  The first thing they noticed is that we Americans like to have reliability in our cars (which is why Alfa Romeo didn’t survive).  So they started standing behind their products with the best warranties on the market.  Then they found out that we cared about the interior of the car, so they began offering luxury options at a fraction of the price that you’d pay the “other guys”.  Finally they learned we want something “fun to drive”.  So they stiffened suspensions and began offering turbocharged, inter-cooled cars.  And now that South Korea is delivering just what America ordered, Honda and Toyota better look to create something interesting for a change.

Honda:  You’ve built a car company based upon one of the best, most reliable racing engines in all the world.  In the past, every single other car company scrambled to come up with an engine as good as your VTEC engine, yet the best you can come up with in recent years is the good but tired S2000 and a different looking but exactly same Accord?  This year’s Civic SI is SLOWER than the last model.  And it doesn’t handle as well.  And it costs more.  Epic fail.

And Toyota:  Your cars are boring.  All of them.  Except for your SUV’s, which are well-built and thoughtful.  General rule:  if it has a Toyota logo, it makes me yawn.  Or a Lexus logo, for that matter.  The LFA doesn’t count (it’s a supercar) and for that same amount of money, I’d have a 458 Italia anyway.  Your “BMW M3 killer”, the IS-F, looks good but it won’t actually kill an M3.  And you’re not fooling anyone:  We know that the top two tail-pipes are fake and aren’t connected to anything.  Hell, the best thing to come out of Toyota recently is engine for Lotus’ newest offering, the Evora.  But you can’t take credit for that car though.  It’s designed and assembled in Britain, which means that it has soul, which cannot be said about the Corolla.

Are you two even trying any more?  South Korea’s got you in her sights and she just might lap you.

Moving on…

I was happy to see a very good selection of Audi’s line.  No R8’s, sorry.  But they did have the newest TT.  And almost the entire A line.  And a couple Q’s.

The newest TT is so much more a sports car than the old one.  It handles correctly.  It no longer looks so much like a smashed VW Beetle, and it’s fast.  But it’s pretty expensive… and while you can get it in the “S” type, I’d have a used Porsche instead.

The Audi that really caught my eye was the A5 Coupe. And that’s a lie.  I don’t want an A5.  I want the S5.  But it’s basically the same car… except the S5 has the power I want need.

The car doesn’t feel big (there’s a trend here: I don’t like big cars).  The steering wheel felt plush but nimble in my fingers, and it had a nicely moving gearbox.

Because it’s a A5 (S5), there’s enough room for passengers and groceries, the trunk offers a good amount of space and it is equipped with Audi’s AWD system.  That AWD would’ve been nice to have this past winter.  I’ll take one, with a proper manual gear box in black, please.

GM was present as well, showing every car they’ve ever made.  They took up one whole side of Bartle Hall, with their Caddies, Chevys, GM trucks and Vans and the car built for golfers and old people:  Buick.

I think they should make Buicks illegal.  They’re big, they’re ugly, and they’re an un-addressed danger on our roads today.  I know that it’s dangerous to drive drunk or buzzed.  I know that it’s stupid to drive while texting.  But what about DWOs:  Driving while old?  A drunk teenager who is texting while driving will still have a better reaction time than a sober one-thousand year old.  Just this past week, I was driving in the left lane with a Buick ahead of me in the right lane.  With no blinker or warning whatsoever, the Buick driver suddenly decided that a left-hand turn from the right-most lane was a good idea.  Luckily, I know that there are only two types of people in the world who drive Buicks:  People who can’t afford to drive something else, and old people who shouldn’t be driving but are because their children don’t have the required gentleman’s apples to take away their aged parent’s car keys.  Because I know this, I’m very careful around Buicks, and I knew enough to give this old person the “right of way”  which is a nice way of saying I slammed on my breaks, coming to a stop from 45 mph.  Thank God the lady behind me wasn’t a tail-gater or I would’ve had a Chevy Yukon up my rear end.  I would have honked, but the person driving the Buick wouldn’t have heard me.  Needless to say, neither Audrey nor I wanted spend much time looking at the Buicks.  The smell of imminent death and nursing homes was just too much.

Chevy was pushing their new Volt, which reminds me of the color grey.  In fact, Chevy’s entire line reminds me of a cloudy day.  Sure the new Camaro looks good, and yes, they’ve finally come out with the SS version, but I’m generally not a fan of muscle cars… which is why I have nothing to say about the Corvette.  I know just about nothing about it, and I don’t care to.  I think they had a blue one and a red one.

Chrysler’s showing was pretty grey as well, but they didn’t really have much to show.  There was the typical 300 there, and the new 200, which is basically just a smaller 300.  (About 100 smaller, actually.)  When the styling first came out, the 300 was a pretty exciting looking car:  all G’ed up and S***.  But eventually one realizes that the car drives like rubbish and that being a gangster means you’ll need to begin hitting women and dealing cocaine.  I, for one, have no interest in becoming a “baby-daddy”, nor do I want to meet an untimely end while doing a drive-by.  Therefore, we moved on.

I was stupidly excited to see Fiat’s 500.  They had three to explore.  This little car makes me happy.  Look at it.  It just wants you to smile.  And, according to the multiple reviews available, it will make you smile.  The little Cinquecento is good.  It handles well, it rides well, and while it’s inexpensive, it doesn’t feel “cheap”.  Sounds like Fiat got it right with this one.  The most exciting thing is this:  if the little 500 sells well here in North America, Fiat might bring us Alfa.  As of right now, there are three options:  Lounge, Sport, and Pop.  Fans of manual transmissions will want to avoid the Lounge, as it’s Automatic only.  I’d go for the Sport version, myself, if I didn’t know that we’ll be getting the Abarth version next year.  I’ll wait.

So, while Ferrari, Lambo, Bugatti and Shelby were missing from the Kansas City Auto show, there were plenty of autos over which this car-nut could drool, and plenty of trash products to scorn.  (Picture the Prius Stretched Limo).

While the Auto industry has had its troubles the past couple years, I see a turn-around in the future.  We’ve already seen the tip:  Ford increasing build quality, GM pushing the hyper-miles, Jaguars becoming beautiful again, good warranties coming from companies NOT based in South Korea, and Chrysler joining forces with Fiat.  This next decade is going to be interesting to say the least.  I’ll be watching closely.  I think we’ll see some great cars and some very strange bed-fellows.

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Filed under Cars, General, In the News, Personal Experience

Promising Cars Don’t Run Children Down

I love cars.  Most people who know me can verify that fact.  I’ve always enjoyed the styling of a beautiful car, the rumble of the engine, the interior feel and the layout of the cockpits.  There is just something about a beautiful car that draws me in and makes me weak in the knees.

The Ferrari 458 Italia is a great example.  Just look at it.  It’s car porn.  It’s almost naughty.  Jeremy Clarkson, England’s resident car nut, once criticized Ferrari for not designing a beautiful car since the F355.  I don’t necessarily agree, but I do contend that the 458 is just about the most beautiful car on the planet.

Powered by a 4.5 liter V8 engine, it’s capable of bringing itself and the driver from a dead stop to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds.  Keep your foot on the gas and you’ll max out at 202 mph.  To my eyes, we’ve got a car that’s both as beautiful and dangerous as a sultry young vixen one meets at a hotel lounge during a business trip.  You’ll begin pumping adrenaline and testosterone when conversing with her, make a few bad decisions and find yourself laying in bed the next morning, alone and without any cash.  Either that, or she will have killed you during your sexual escapades in the night, when you were playing “David Carradine”.  This is the problem with supercars.  They’re a hell of a lot of fun until you find yourself broke and wrapped around a tree or a steel girder.

This is something I readily accept.

People who know me can also verify the seething anger I feel when I see and read about the cars that Europeans, Australians and Japanese people have available to them.  We as Americans tend to get the watered down versions of great cars, if we even get them at all.  I don’t like my drinks watered down and I sure as hell don’t like driving a retarded car.

Historically, car makers have felt that many of the wonderful cars they make wouldn’t sell well over here in America, so they never spent the money to have them imported, marketed and offered here.  I hate to admit it, but I don’t really blame them.  They’re concerned that we won’t buy their cars because we won’t see the value, because we’re too fat, because we like boring speed limits or because they can’t create a cup holder that both fits into the car and will accommodate a full gallon of diet coke.  Maybe they believe that we all think that the Airplane model plastic that lines the interior of American cars is acceptable.

American car manufacturers sure do.  Next time you ride in an average American car (by this I mean a car created by the big three), look around you.  Touch the dashboard and notice all the cheap plastic.  But look at the market they’re selling to.

Americans like to throw things away.  Look around, we do it all the time.  We are seen by the world as a consumer nation.  We make things to throw away.  We have throw away furniture.  It gets kicked to the curb on pack-rat day.  We have throw away clothing. (I’m looking at you, Old Navy.)  We have throw away silverware, glasses, pots, pans, and kitchen knives that get dumped into the trash bin two years after we buy them brand-new at Wal-Mart.  We throw away TV’s, cell phones and computers knowing that a “better one” will hit the market next year.  We even throw away houses (but not so much now that no one can get a loan).  People in this country are seen as cheapskates because Americans refuse to spend an extra dime to purchase something that will last.  They know they’ll just throw it away when something else comes along.  I know this as a fact because I am an American and I have done it.

Naturally, we as Americans buy throw away cars too.  The car companies know this.  That’s the reason car companies have decreased the quality of the cars they’ve given us Americans.

This can be seen by the existence of the American Ford Focus and the European Focus available to people who live across the pond.  They’re not the same car.  We as Americans received the Focus in 2000, a full two years after the Europeans had it.  The European Focus had a sport-tuned suspension not available to the Americans, and although the Focus we received here in America was good, the ones available in Europe were great.

This is still happening.  Take the Focus RS, for example.  This car is a work of genius.  It’s supposedly the best handling hatchback in the world.  Not that I’d know, since I’m American and haven’t driven it.   300 bph from a 2-liter engine.  The car jets from 0-62 mph in just under six seconds.  With a top speed of 160+, its a car that makes ones mouth water, and it’s not even a supercar.  The coolest thing?  All this power and handling and the car is still capable of getting 30 mpg.  Why didn’t they sell it here?  Because it costs the same as a Subaru WRX STI or a Mitsubishi Evo X, and Ford didn’t think they could sell enough of them to make the investment worth it.  The crowd that can afford this car was not the same crowd that bought the original focus.  So they sold it overseas.  One of the best cars they’ve ever made never even saw it’s home soil.

This tragedy occurs with imports too.

Look at the Mitsubishi Evo X.  This car will bend the laws of physics for its driver, it’s so good.  The all wheel drive system will rocket you to 0-62 in 5.6 seconds, it has an Active Center Differential, ABS, Active Yaw control (it’s cool, look it up), and a computer so smart that it wants to know if you’re driving on snow, gravel or tarmac. It’s also got a dual clutch transmission, making switching gears easy — even on the steepest inclines or during the worst of LA’s traffic jams.  This car is sweet.  It looks good and will drive literal donuts around Subaru’s hideous looking WRX STI.  So whats the problem? We get the watered down version of this legendary rally car.  (However, I still want one.)

Yep, no surprise here.  We Ami’s get two versions to choose from:  The EVO X GSR and the EVO X MR, each limited to 295 hp.  The Brits?  They get three.  They get to decide how much horsepower they want.  They can get the Evo X with 400 hp.  That car is faster than the BMW M3.  Or a Porsche 911.  To be honest, any boy racer here in America can drop $15k into an Evo to get this amount of power and acceleration, but the Brits get it shipped to them from the factory.

Nissan as done it too.  They created a wonderfully fast car, the Skyline R-32.  It was a tuner’s paradise.  We didn’t get it.  It wouldn’t have been fiscally responsible to repackage the engine bay to accommodate a left-hand drive vehicle.  So Japan and England got the car.  (To be completely fair, left-hand driving Europe didn’t get it either).

Did I hear someone say they wanted a TVR?  I’ll warn you.  They’re absolutely mad.  TVR is so crazy, they forgot to add the airbags.  (TVR’s response was “Well, don’t crash then).  You can’t have one, anyway.  They’re not sold in the states.

“Hmmm.  I’d like an Alfa. A real driver’s car.  Can I get one of those?”  No.  No, you can’t, because Alfa pulled out of America in the 90’s (the car was below standards in quality at the time… Alfa Romeo is now owned by Fiat, and quality is much better), and they haven’t been back…

…But the winds are changing…

The first glimmer of hope came in June of 2008, when Godzilla finally set foot on North American soil for the first time. The Nissan GT-R is the new iteration of the Nissan Skyline I mentioned above, complete with all wheel drive and 480 hp, the car lapped the Nürenburgring in Germany faster than the Porsche 911 Turbo.  This is a supercar that costs less than half a nicely optioned 911 Turbo.  Apparently someone over in Japan decided after god knows how many years of tuners’ bitching, that Americans should be able to drive the Skyline.  And we rejoiced.

And then the American economy bit the dust harder than a middle schooler’s self-esteem and faster than Obama’s success rate, effectively taking out the “Big Three”.  There are many downsides to this that I don’t feel the need to get into, suffice to say that Chrysler is no more and that many cars were stopped in production, including the Pontiac G8, which really showed some promise and might have been nothing short of a bad-ass monster.  (The Aussies got it under GM’s Holden brand instead).

On the upside:  The remaining car companies have learned that yes, we do want good cars.  Yes, we do want them to stop using inferior plastics and parts to construct them, and no, we Americans don’t really care about their profit margins.  We just want well made, dependable and reasonably priced cars…  Not rolling turds made of plastic.

And so, Ford has made a great decision.  In the past, looking at each year’s Focus, America has received the shaft.  Some years, Europe’s Focus received what amounts to nearly completely rehashed new cars, where as America ended up with only minor changes to old parts.  Not anymore.  Ford’s Focus line will now be international.  This means that we Americans will be allowed by the all-mighty car company to drive the same Focus the Europeans get.

Ford has also stated that they fully intend to release the Focus ST to Americans, and while it’s not quite the RS, it’s also not quite as bonkers either.  The engine is a turbocharged 2.0 Liter EcoBoost four banger which produces 247 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque.  That engine gets mated exclusively to a 6 speed manual tranny.  One can imagine that 247 horses driving through the front wheels might create a good amount of torque steer.  Nope.  Ford’s new torque-vectoring power control system, with which the car is equipped, should help to minimize the insanity.

Why couldn’t they have just done this in the first place, instead of giving the Americans  a really decent car and the Europeans a much better one?

While the Ford news is pretty exciting,  there’s even more good news, particularly with petrol-heads and driving enthusiasts all across America:  Fiat, the European car manufacturer responsible for creating the Fiat 500 (which is expected to be released in America in 2012) and buying Chrysler’s sorry ass has decided that they want a piece of the American market.  While the 500 is a nice answer to the annoyingly gimmicky Mini, the best thing is that Fiat owns Alfa Romeo (and Maserati, 85% of Ferrari, and Lancia) and they plan to re-introduce Alfa to Americans starting in 2012.  I’m praying that they’ll have the quality of Fiat, and not that of Chrysler.  If so, I need one.  As soon as possible.

I can hear the flag waivers now, screaming at me like infantile toddlers, claiming that I should buy only American cars to help our economy and therefore I shouldn’t care about the cars offered in other countries anyhow.  They say that I would be a traitor to drive a car built by an overseas company.  I will first say this:  I have nothing but contempt for you.  You are what’s wrong with American society.  You should be ashamed of yourselves, because that statement is the most un-American thing one can say.  You claim to be a citizen and a supporter of America, a nation that is built upon the supports of capitalism.  Capitalism is the engine that powers the wheels of American economy, and in the spirit of that engine, I refuse to buy an inferior product just because “it’s more patriotic”.  That’s like saying I should give up Chinese or Italian food because they aren’t American.  All that would be left to eat would be hamburgers, “patriot fries”, and soybeans.  I could live off that.  I could also chew on the barrel of a shotgun and pull the trigger.  I’m not about to do either.

Then there are those people out there that contend that I shouldn’t be bitching about the quality anyway, that as long as the car runs and gets me from point A to point B, I should be happy.   I’m sorry, but as an American, I will spend an average of 15 hours a week in my car.  That’s a lot of time.  Why would I want to endure those hours in a car that’s not up to standards?  That’s like marrying an abusive woman.  Who resembles a hippo.  And cheats.  Also, if the only concern those people have about driving cars is that the car gets them from point A to point B:  that’s what a bus is for.  Those people should sell their cars, buy a bus ticket, and quit adding to the congestion on America’s roads.  Their existence is ruining the pleasures of driving for the rest of us.  Not only are they always in the way, driving slowly in the left lane or puttering about when entering an on-ramp, but it is precisely because of these people that the manufacturers found it suitable to produce such low quality cars:  the idiots accepted the rubbish.

The best example of people who vigilantly support terrible cars are the Prius people.  These people, in an effort to “support mother nature” will readily accept driving a car that is notorious for its under-performance.  Face it, the Prius is a terrible car.  It costs as much as a BMW or a Merc.  It can’t handle properly.  It can’t accelerate to highway speeds in the time allotted, and it runs on batteries that will do more damage to the earth when the car finally putters out and dies than the most aggressively tuned Shelby Cobra will do during its entire lifetime.  I cannot for the life of me understand their viewpoint.  The only positive thing about the Prius that I see is it’s noise factor.  There isn’t one.  It’s quiet.  And that will only come in handy when sneaking up on and running down children playing in the street.

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