TTAC Hot Takes: VW's Diesel Excuses, Crooked Cops in Michigan, and the Focus RS Breaks Down

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

(TTAC Hot Takes are video roundup posts which will occur whenever we can get Michael Accardi into hair and makeup. These posts are a mandate of our VerticalScope overlords, who are fascinated with the new video medium of YouTube. Watch our other videos here.)

Scandal and doubt were the primary motivators in the automotive news cycle over the past couple of weeks. After the jump, Michael Accardi wears a brown sweater and shares the Mitsubishis, corruption, fake news, and awful CUVs that drive us all to the brink in a special Christmas 2017 video installment.

From the video, here are the Top Ten Takes from the past couple of weeks at TTAC.

  • Not surprisingly, our Diamond-Star Motors QOTD post got the Slack chat going, as old Mitsubishi and Chrysler vehicles interest TTAC staff more than any new cars could.
  • Ford Fusion production might be shipped off to China, unless you believed Ford when it said, “No, it’s not.”
  • Volvo’s Polestar brand is going to open up some shops in enlightened cities, where you’ll be able to manhandle the new Polestar coupe to your heart’s content.
  • A financial man who knows financial… things predicts Tesla is not all that long for the world, and will falter and flop. But that hasn’t deterred Pepsi from ordering some Tesla semi trucks for its fleet — 100 of them.
  • Managing editor Tim Healey went out west to drive the new off-road-ready Jeep Wrangler in some carefully controlled circumstances (like one often finds off-road).
  • Nissan’s front-drive CUV, the Kicks, is coming to market soon, and it will be a sales success despite the “ugh” reaction from the B&B.
  • Some police over in Detroit were fond of stripping, but there wasn’t a pole in sight.
  • Volkswagen seems intent on lecturing Germany on the need to get rid of diesel subsidies, which is perhaps a bit self-serving given its past and present history with the subject.
  • The Ford Focus RS isn’t reliable, and has head gasket issues like an old Subaru or Northstar Cadillac.
  • Finally, Florida could get some new legislation to tackle idiots who also own a car, which could be a problem for a good number of people living there.

[Image via YouTube]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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3 of 19 comments
  • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Dec 19, 2017

    The Jalopnikfication of THE TRUTH ABOUT CARS continues!

  • Dangit56 Dangit56 on Dec 20, 2017

    Corey is one of the wittiest writers I’ve seen, quick one-liners are his unique talent. Jack is alternately annoying and awe-inspiring, especially in his ability to humble-brag. That said, your site is spirally downhill rapidly, and video is not helping at all. There are thousands of car (reviews, commentary) videos out there. There is NOT need for another, especially one so substantially sub-par. I want to read of cars/the business/its sales, NOT watch... Good Luck with this month’s reboot. Your site view stats must be plummeting.

  • ShitHead It kicked on one time for me when a car abruptly turned into my lane. Worked as advertised. I was already about to lean into the brake as I was into the horn.
  • Theflyersfan I look at that front and I have to believe that BMW and Genesis designers look at that and go "wow...that's a little much." Rest of the car looks really good - they nailed the evolution of the previous design quite well. They didn't have to reinvent the wheel - when people want a Mustang, I don't think they are going to cross-shop because they know what they want.
  • Theflyersfan Winters go on around Halloween and Summers go on in late March or early April. However, there were some very cold mornings right after the summers went on that had me skidding a bit due to no grip! I do enough (ahem) spirited driving on empty hilly/mountain roads to justify a set of sticky rubber, and winters are a must as while there isn't much snow where I am (three dustings of snow this entire winter), I head to areas that get a bit more snow and winter tires turns that light, RWD car into a snow beast!
  • SCE to AUX My B5.5 was terrible, but maybe the bugs have been worked out of this one.
  • Zerofoo 5-valve 1.8T - and OK engine if you aren't in a hurry. These turbocharged engines had lots of lag - and the automatic transmission didn't help.Count on putting a timing belt on this immediately. The timing belt service interval, officially, was 100,000 miles and many didn't make it to that.