There I was, all ready to do something that no automotive journalist ever does: purchase a brand new performance car. I was days away from going down to the local Ford dealer and signing on the dotted line for a brand new Ford Fiesta ST. I had it all picked out: an ST3 model, with the Recaros, grey wheels and Performance Blue paint. And then I got a phone call from Volkswagen, offering me the chance to drive the brand-new, MK7 GTI.
Michael Macht, the man in charge of production at Volkswagen, is leaving immediately, with Automotive News Europe reporting that VW CEO Martin Winterkorn was unhappy with the rollout of VW’s MQB “toolkit” that will underpin everything from B-segment hatchbacks like the Polo to large sedans like the Passat.
Volkswagen will invest $900-million and add 2,000 jobs as part of a decision to build their long-awaited mid-size crossover in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Perhaps due to a trademark conflict with Alfa Romeo, the compact SUV concept that Audi has shown at the 2014 Beijing auto show will likely be marketed as part of the TT line and not get the Q4 badge.
Originally, I wanted to borrow an Octavia RS as the ultimate example of the “nice things you Americans can’t have”. But then I decided not to. I had three reasons. First, the RS, unlike “ordinary” Skodas, isn’t readily available in any shade of brown. Second, I had already tested a diesel, manual wagon recently. And third, the diesel wagon really isn’t the Octavia RS you really want. It’s a compromise, something you choose as a company car, because gasoline engines are verbotten by your company’s policy and you need the space for hauling stuff to your vacation home each weekend.
Today’s recall announcement by Toyota estimated to span at least 6.4 million vehicles, serves as a nice distraction from the ongoing recall occurring at cross-town rival General Motors. The Best & Brightest are free to squabble about which faceless corporate entity with zero regard for their individual well-being is the superior one. The rest of us have bigger fish to fry.
Why do we continue to lust after the Volkswagen Scirocco when the Audi TT exists? They’re similar cars, with a similar shape and if the two were to be sold in North America, their pricepoints wouldn’t be terrible far off one another. The answer is simple – because we must fetishize every vehicle that doesn’t make it to our shores are a priori superior to whatever dull crap is being gobbled up by Americans. Except that the TT has just leapfrogged the Scirocco, and it will be coming to North America.