By on July 14, 2014

A hardcore car disappears, a softcore one is on the way, the bus goes upscale, Red Ink Rick has a fan!

Shame, It Was A Great Way To Meet Guys: Caterham has discontinued production of the Superlight R500 with the 174th example, which is heading to Peru. Supplanted in the lineup by the supercharged R620, the R500 seemed upon its introduction to be perhaps the most illogical extension of the brand ever, particularly by those who had never seen a Westfield SEiGHT or a Donkevoort d8. While the R500 never made it to the United States, the Superlight R can occasionally be found on these shores and your humble author had the opportunity to test one for Road&Track last November. The story of that day will be in next month’s issue, I believe.

I Was Really Hoping They’d Say “The Arrival Of This Nondescript Sedan Will Be, At Best, A Disaster”: Speaking to Automotive News, Honda senior VP Mike Accavitti drew a deep breath and gamely expressed optimism concerning the arrival of the $30,995 TLX sedan. “By pricing the four-cylinder version of what is essentially an Accord heads-up with the six-cylinder Accord, we’re expecting showroom traffic to come exclusively from people who are turning around in our lot to get to the Wendy’s across the street,” Accavitti most definitely did not say. “Furthermore, by shit-canning the one model that had any respect in the enthusiast community, the six-speed Type-S, we’ve done an outstanding job of ensuring that the fanatical young customer base we accidentally built among used-Civic buyers in the Nineties has absolutely nowhere to go, now that they have jobs and stuff,” he failed to add, certainly not following up with “If you’re on the run from the law and want to make sure that absolutely nobody sees you, the driver’s seat of whatever TLX we anchor in the showroom would be the best possible place.”

The Other Sixty-Eight Percent Are Homeless People Who Smell Like Grease Traps: Greyhound buses have an image problem. Surprise! Not to worry: like everything from PBR (the beer) to PBR (the bull riding), the Southwest Airlines Of The Ground is going upscale. USA TODAY gushes that “Almost 32% of Greyhound passengers earn more than $35,000 annually.” Another staggering figure: 15% of riders are traveling on business, presumably the most dismal business imaginable, with the other 85% presumably traveling to evade child-support obligations. Still, think of what it might have been! If you took a bus to Chinatown! I’d be standing on Canal! And Bowery! And she’d be standing next to me! Ho! Hey!

Nobody Tell Her It’s Not A Real Story: “I always felt sorry for Sisyphus, and Wagoner, for that matter.” So says superstar auto reporter Jamie LaReau in a surprisingly sympathetic tribute to Rick Wagoner. Why bring up something Miss LaReau wrote months ago? Well, as a form of apology. After I made her the target of some extremely mild satire a few years ago, Miss LaReau Facebook-friended your humble author. It would appear that she didn’t catch the aforementioned mild satire. For a few days, it appeared as though I might be able to add the lady in question to my list of intimate acquaintances among the distaff side of the autojourno biz. Unfortunately, somebody clued her in right as I was FB-messaging her some poetry I’d written about her legs, and she blocked me. Then the Buick Encore went on to be quite a success, showing that she knows the business better than I do. Keeps me humble, it does.

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19 Comments on “While You Were Sleeping: July 14, 2014...”


  • avatar
    cargogh

    I thoroughly enjoyed Mike Accavitti’s insight and honesty. I wish you could do a whole interview with him.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The TLX comments knocked me down; the Miss LaReau story flattened me.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I don’t mind Acura bashing… They earned it when they sold out their youth base to get more soccer moms. Now they want the youth back, but I don’t think the cars are worth the asking price.

      Just like Blackberry gets ripped on tech sites, Acura is one of the enthusiast favorite whipping boys. Every culture has one.

      The company could put $0 into R&D, only produce the rdx and mdx, and do just fine. That’s all which keeps them going anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “They earned it when they sold out their youth base to get more soccer moms. Now they want the youth back”

        Young soccer-moms = MDX

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          People are such silly folk, nothing says middle age to me more than MDX. Heck I’d say Caravan is more youthful just for the fact young families need them have more limited funds. MDX and its ilk are kinda pricy and require that halfway though life salary.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            All the MDXs I see are women with kids, which means they’re more then likely under 40 which to some of us =young, you’ll get there. Now, Honda CRVs are more the under 30 starter kit.

            I like the new RDX with it’s healthy V6 and no 3rd row seat which screams NO kids

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “Furthermore, by shit-canning the one model that had any respect in the enthusiast community, the six-speed Type-S, we’ve done an outstanding job of ensuring that the fanatical young customer base we accidentally built among used-Civic buyers in the Nineties has absolutely nowhere to go, now that they have jobs and stuff,””

    This.

    Acura has been aimless since the RSX was cancelled; it was the perfect “gateway drug” for the brand: small, sporty, premium-feeling and easy to keep. A young professional could have bought one on a stretch at his/her first real job, and then moved up to the TSX, TL and/or MDX as income and needs grew.

    Now there’s no entry point to Acura; they’d hoped RSX buyers would buy Civic Si’s and then move to the Acura store and pay good money on an RDX. Instead, erstwhile buyers bought Mini Coopers or whatever German car was on a lease special instead.

    Ooops.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Did I really just get moderated for quoting Jack? Really?

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    The last time I took a Greyhound I almost got bumped. Can you imagine having to wait another four hours at a desolate bus station for the opportunity to ride a bus? When we got where we were going some ten hours away, ICE was waiting for some poor bastard. Whatever your feelings on immigration I think we can all agree that letting him make the whole trip instead of picking him up sooner was cruel and unusual.

  • avatar

    I took Greyhound from Louisville to Seattle over 10 months ago. Went up to Chicago, then through Minneapolis, Fargo, Williston, all the way to the old station that was on Ninth and Stewart; new one is in SoDo under the western terminus of I-90, moved there this May.

    While I sometimes think about repeating the trip — especially stopping in Williston — I’d rather fly than have my head bash against the seat belt buckle of a Jefferson Lines bus while falling asleep against the window.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    I spent a LOT of time in greyhounds in the late 80’s and early 90’s. If I never sit in another it’ll be too soon.

    Planes, trains, and automobiles for me!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    …and VW confirmed a SUV will be built in Chatsnooga adding 2K jobs and $900 mil in investment

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    I hope that statement also includes PBR, the brake components from Australia.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Re Ms. LaReau;
    I’d be afraid to park my junk anywhere where the garage director wasn’t sure if that story was complimentary. What if something went horribly wrong? You’d have a half stupid kid in the back of your Accord! Too much risk.

  • avatar

    Sad. Acura has gone from the best of engineering driven Honda to the worst of marketing driven drivel with nice underpinnings. I have a job and I’m the target buyer for them and every “near lux” car maker.

    My MDX is a grocery getter but one tuned by guys given an X5 as a target, and the SH AWD really works in making the water buffalo scoot. I’ve run some twisties in this car and it drives way smaller than it is. End Links and sway bar bushings are drastically under sized and over stressed, but fairly easy to replace, so every 30-40k, fix them and the car will stay tight. I recall seeing the “new” MDX and RDX have a lesser form of AWD, but since soccer mommy only wants it “for the snow”, I guess Acura is making the right call.

    Having said that, the new MDX does NOT call out “replace me” to my old one. Likewise, there isn’t anything else that cries out. My wife likes the TSX Wagon…er, euro accord…but SHE wants it with a stick !!! (no sale)

    The tragedy is if you look at the Honda worldwide production lines…there is so much out there, so many good things, that we don’t get……..

    All the guys in the car industry with wide ties and polyester suits work now in the Acura marketing department. They’ve driven off all the enthusiasts and engineers…..

    When the MDX finally goes, it will most likely be replaced by a German, or SRX….

  • avatar
    Hillman

    Not sure why anyone would take the greyhound bus. Between the china town buses and the bolt/ mega bus, you have no reason to pay 3x the price to ride on a greyhound.

  • avatar
    vcficus

    Rick Wagoner got off easy… at least the President called him or something!

    Our man who built GM in the first place (twice…) got a bowling alley in Flint and forgotten by almost all but the dedicated few…

    (cue the music)
    “Here’s to YOU, William Crapo Durant… you wore your hat at a jaunty angle and then got it handed to you… but you set The Mark of Excellence in motion!”

    Only to have Roger B, that Proctor and Gamble clown I’ve forgotten already and Rick the Red Wagoner auger it into the ground 50 years later.

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