What's Wrong With This Picture: Search for Toyota Camry Edition

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Obbop Obbop on Jul 08, 2009

    "auto snobs on one side and normal drivers on another" And a third category of drivers who view a conveyance as a possible domicile during tough times.

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Jul 08, 2009
    If I were president Obama, I’d restrict cars down to the two c’s: camry and corolla. You should be glad that I’m not the president.... Amen to that! A car does not have to be fast, but cornering is key. The "two c's" strike out big time on that score...It's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. Ugh. You sound like a retired car test for Consumer's Union. Time to move on to the peanut butter.
  • PG PG on Jul 08, 2009

    Automobile is the only printed car mag I still read. I really enjoy Ezra Dyer's work, and the magazine has done some awesome features — like the one about the greatest driver's cars of all time or the history of speed milestones.

  • Joeveto3 Joeveto3 on Jul 09, 2009
    Nobody buys a car mag with a Camry on the cover. The entire industry is based largely on testing relatively unobtanium cars as, generally, people who are passionate enough about cars to buy a magazine about them want to know about those things, and not so much how many miles per gallon the latest Prius gets, or how safe the latest Volvo is. And, with the trends sure to follow the Government Motors fracas, I would expect the sentiment of “boring cars suck” to only increase. Define "boring." Back in the early 80's when horsepower was choked and the engineers were doing their collective best to eek whatever excitement they could from the performance offerings, 1/4 mile and 0-60 times mattered. When the Lambo Countach broke into the 5 second 0-60 range, horsepower was exciting. When the Corvette and later the F-cars were blessed with TPI, horsepower (all 240hp) was exciting. Every incremental increase was exciting, because the journey as well as the destination were challenging. Finding the horsepower wasn't easy. The cars represented an achievement. The covers shouted: Look at what we can do. And look at what it will cost you! These days, it's been done. Seeing yet another high dollar, mega horsepower car on the cover of a magazine, or better yet, a slew of such creations on a cover...is boring. I shrug and move on. I'm a motorcycle guy, and I feel the same way about what I've seen for years with the lot of them. Sportbikes running 10's off the floor? Cruisers with engines as large as that found in my Miata? Why? Do we even need to ask about the relevance? I'm no safety monger, but in whose hands are such vehicles being placed? You get the typical young, dumb, full of....I've been there, and throw one of these bikes under him so he can feel like a man and score with the chicks, and you have a recipe for disaster. Who hasn't been passed on the freeway by one of these Yahoos pulling an 80 mph wheelie down a 4-lane freeway? Is that exciting enough for you? How about the neighborhood asshole who takes his Viper out on a Saturday morning, punches it, loses control and winds up spinning out on another neighbor's lawn. While kids are out playing. Is that exciting enough? Maybe that belongs on the cover of Car & Driver. The Bugatti has over 1000 horsepower and is available to whatever Oil Sheikh or NBA player can afford it. Is that exciting? I dunno. I just ask the questions. The real challenge, in case no one has noticed, is efficiency. No, efficiency won't pull your eyeballs into your skull. No, efficiency won't make your unit bigger. And unless she's a tree hugger, it won't get you laid (has a car ever truly gotten anyone laid?). Efficiency may or may not impress the neighbor and raise your status among them. Maybe. Depends on the neighbor and the hood. But in it's own way, as a testament to what can or cannot be done, efficiency can be exciting. Face it, increasing efficiency is one roadblock standing in the way of humanity and a much better place. I don't have a green agenda. I'm just stating a fact. If we increase efficiency, the environment and the economy will suffer less. We may even prosper. So yes, to me, that's exciting.