We Need to (Finally) Discuss That Road & Track Article

A few weeks ago, venerable car-enthusiast magazine/Web site Road & Track created a mini-controversy with the deletion of an article from the Internet.

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QOTD: Influenced by the Automotive Press?


After last week's story on how Consumer Reports slapped the "avoid" label on the popular Ford F-150, I was going to ask you how much CR shapes your purchase decisions. The magazine is popular, and I know a lot of people, both car enthusiasts and not, who trust it.

Yet sometimes CR says not to buy a car and it sells well. Or vice versa.

After some reflection, I figured opening this QOTD to the larger automotive press would generate a more robust discussion.

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Opinion: NYT Pundits Finally See Tesla As It Is

As I wrote a week or two ago, the outside world is finally catching on to what automotive journalists, industry analysts, and car enthusiasts have long known about Tesla. This week, two columns in The New York Times showed that well-known pundits like Farhad Manjoo and Paul Krugman are catching on/catching up.

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Opinion: The New York Times Needs to Get Autonomous Driving Terminology Right

The New York Times often gets unfairly criticized, usually by readers who have their own political biases (right and left), but sometimes the criticism lobbed its way is not only very fair, but accurate.

And when it comes to autonomous driving, the vaunted Times has stepped in it, big time.

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Opinion: Tesla and Elon Musk Need to Hold Themselves Accountable

Tesla and its boss, Elon Musk, stepped in it again this week.

As we reported the other day, Tesla faced a recall of 54,000 vehicles because the company had programmed its Full-Self Driving software to allow rolling stops.

When the Associated Press’s Tom Krisher wrote a pretty straightforward news story describing the recall, Elon Musk called him a “lobbyist” while replying to a tweet.

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Chip Shortage Claims an Unusual Victim: DriveTribe

DriveTribe, a social-media site that was focused on the automotive industry and car enthusiasm, has shut down.

The cause: The semiconductor chip shortage.

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On Decisions, Consequences, and Being 'That Guy'

We are constantly making decisions as we all hurtle through this life toward a destination unknown.

Sometimes these decisions turn out to be the “correct” decision, however “correct” is defined within the relevant context. Sometimes it’s the opposite.

The problem is that while the outcome of our decisions is sometimes obvious – I know when I order that one more beer that I’m kicking a payment of minor pain down the road to tomorrow – sometimes, the outcome isn’t foreseeable. Especially when you’re making a decision that feels correct at the moment (and defensible in hindsight), and yet a nasty surprise is just seconds away from smacking you in the face.

In other words, sometimes you make a decision that seems correct, seems low risk, one that others would agree with – and it still all goes to hell.

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CarBuzz Forgets to Mention Why Tanner Foust Would Praise Volkswagen

If Tanner Foust was given the keys to a Volkswagen GTI or Golf R, and told to track it at Willow Springs, all while being filmed by Volkswagen, what do you think the VW-sponsored professional driver would say about it?

Yeah, exactly. Seems CarBuzz either didn’t know or flat-out forgot to mention that Foust is sponsored by VW when it wrote a quick piece on how Foust was touting the virtues of the two cars. A piece that appears to be based on a Volkswagen media release.

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That Tesla Model S Plaid 0-60 Time is Bunk

Continuing a theme from earlier today, we need to remind you to read beyond the headline.

Especially when someone like Tesla boss Elon Musk makes a claim that seems too good to be true.

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Stop the Porsche Panic: The Stop-Sale of Manual GT3s in California is No Big Deal

It’s a headline that sounds ready-made for outrage-clicks from both the #savethemanuals crowd and those who dislike too much regulation of autos: “Porsche 911 GT3 Manual Can’t be Sold in California.”

Some outlets used some variation of that wording when reporting the story. A story that sounds like a case of overbearing regulators killing the fun by meddling in the free market. Add in the California factor — remember, it’s the only state that can set its own emissions standards — and feel the blood boil.

Truth is, the story is a bit more mundane than all that.

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Housekeeping: There Are Gonna Be Some Changes Around Here

Hi there. Your friendly Managing Editor here. I am checking in with you out there in B and B land to give you a quick update on what’s going on over here on this side of the computer/phone/tablet screen, over here in TTAC country.

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There's Even More to the Voltswagen/Volkswagen Story [UPDATED]

While giving my opinion last week on the Volkswagen April Fool’s Day scandal, I wrote that I hope it would be the last time I posted about it.

Cue Ron White voice: “I was wrong.”

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Volkswagen's Prank Play Presents Problems [UPDATED]

I hope this is the last time I write about Volkswagen’s April Fool’s Day faceplant this week.

Really, I do. The clicks are nice, but variety is the spice of life.

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Beware the Secret Guest Post

Every day my inbox fills with scammy, scummy come-ons from folks who are trying to sell TTAC on allowing them to guest post.

They usually work like this – the “person” (emails could be coming from someone operating under a pseudonym, or even a bot) behind the email is either offering to pay us to run a guest post, written by them, that would create a bunch of links back to whatever product they’re hawking.

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On Tiger Woods, Auto Journalism, and Clickbait

Golf legend Tiger Woods was involved in a nasty one-car accident yesterday. He survived, but he suffered serious injuries, and his golf career might be in jeopardy.

Not long after my social feeds lit up with the news, I came across a tweet in which it was clear that he was driving a Genesis GV80. One that bore the logo of a recent golf tourney on its door. Woods had apparently been loaned the car by Genesis.

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  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.
  • The Oracle These are all over the roads in droves here in WNC. Rarely see one on the side of the road, they are wildly popular, capable, and reliable. There is a market for utilitarian vehicles.