Tag: Rants

By on June 15, 2021

Ford

It’s almost a cliché at this point.

“The Mustang Mach-E is a great crossover,” they say. “It’s quick, it’s capable, it’s got great range — it’s even pretty good-looking for a crossover. But it’s not a real Mustang.”

There are a lot of “theys” saying stuff like that, too. And they’re all wrong. Yes, even you — because the Mach-E is every inch a Mustang. And, arguably, the most “Mustang” Mustang ever.

(Read More…)

By on June 11, 2021

The word of the week has been Maverick.

The 2022 Ford Maverick has gotten plenty of coverage on this site and elsewhere, plenty of buzz on Twitter, and every auto journalist I know, self included, has strained to find the best joke referencing either Top Gun or a ’90s Western comedy starring Mel Gibson and James Garner (both flicks are excellent, by the way).

I want to be excited by this truck. I should be excited by this truck. And yet, my prevailing feeling about it could be summed up by a gif of a shrug.

(Read More…)

By on April 27, 2021

Last week, we reported about a crash in the Houston area involving a Tesla Model S – a wreck in which authorities claim there was no one in the driver’s seat at the time of the impact.

It’s unclear if the car was equipped with Tesla’s Autopilot autonomous-driving system, and it’s also unclear if the authorities’ claim has been verified (The Verge reports someone may have been in the driver’s seat after all). Still, there has since been debate over whether it’s even possible for Autopilot to be defeated in such a way that someone could leave the driver’s seat.

(Read More…)

By on April 15, 2021

In addition to Elon Musk’s title as CEO — sorry, Technoking — of Tesla, along with his role as boss of SpaceX, we need to add professional troll to his resume.

How else to explain his latest Twitter spat?

(Read More…)

By on February 9, 2021

Screenshot YouTube

While we’re on the subject of Super Bowl commercials, there wasn’t just one, but two, that irritated me on Sunday.

This one has little, if anything, to do with politics, so you can relax and cancel out that angry email you were about to send me.

Nope, this one has to do with the misinformation circulating about autonomous cars.

(Read More…)

By on December 29, 2020

Screenshot of Mercedes ad

You’ve probably seen a certain Mercedes-Benz ad this year. Or maybe in years past – I think the ad in question ran last year, as well, and maybe even before then.

It’s a holiday ad featuring one of the brand’s luxury SUVs and advertising a winter sales event for Mercedes.

(Read More…)

By on December 21, 2020

TTAC Christmas wish list unrealistic - Images: AutomakersFrench hot hatches. Affordable full-size wagons. Manual-shift rear-wheel-drive sports sedans under $30,000. Production versions of the Chevrolet Code 130R, Dodge Hornet, and Ford Start. The reincarnation of Isuzu’s VehiCROSS and Trooper. Standard-of-the-world Cadillac sedans and ordinary BMWs that drive as well as modern Cadillacs. A hiatus on coupe funerals.

My unrealistic auto writer’s Christmas wish list could go on forever. Much of it is based on nostalgia. Some of it simply isn’t cognizant of current market trends. A healthy portion of it simply denies the lack of performance-oriented interest among 2020’s car buyers. The remainder shows a lack of gratitude for the spectacular automotive era in which we live.

But what about realistic hopes of what could be gifted to the auto enthusiast community in the new decade?

This is my realistic Christmas wish list for 2020, not for me personally but rather for the North American auto industry as a whole. (Read More…)

By on June 30, 2020

Nascar fans. Grindstone Media Group/Shutterstock.com

A while back, I penned a piece describing my mixed feelings about NASCAR running without fans during the pandemic.

Now, a few weeks on, I have a bit more clarity.

I was worried that even with NASCAR’s safety protocols in place, the coronavirus might spread among crew. I was also worried about contact between the safety crews and a driver after a crash that could lead to virus spread (this worry didn’t make the final edit).

(Read More…)

By on June 26, 2020

By now we have a pretty good idea about the facts surrounding the noose that rocked NASCAR, although there is still more to learn.

We know that it doesn’t appear to be a hate crime directed at Bubba Wallace. We know Wallace never saw it (unless at least one of a group including him, an anonymous team member, and NASCAR president, Steve Phelps are lying). We know, thanks to a pic shared by NASCAR that the rope was definitely tied into the form of a noose, and we know it’s been there since at least October of last year.

(Read More…)

By on June 16, 2020

 

Ren Cen. GM

After saying that it will take “years and decades” before General Motors can effectively transition into a company focused primarily on electric vehicles, plenty of outlets (including ours) accused CEO Marry Barra of lowering expectations. She held another press conference this week to set everyone straight, letting the world know GM will perpetually be at the forefront of the green movement.

The 20 EV models planned for launch by 2023 are still coming. “We have a steady drumbeat of EVs coming out across segments to appeal to a variety of customers,” Barra explained.

She then added that internal combustion vehicles will remain a staple of GM’s lineup for the foreseeable future. Oh, and its first driverless vehicle is coming out in 2025 — instead of 2019, as originally planned. “I definitely think it will happen within the next five years. Our Cruise team is continuing to develop technology so it’s safer than a human driver. I think you’ll see it clearly within five years,” she said in a recent interview with Dave Rubinstein(Read More…)

By on May 1, 2020

Elon Musk + Tesla Model S Circa 2011

Elon Musk — a polarizing figure, if there ever was one, in the world of cars — marked the end of what would normally have been a typical work week by tapping into the deepest reaches of his mind.

In compliance with his personal credo of treating us all like one of the family, the Tesla CEO made sure we were all privy to this stream of consciousness by pulling out his phone and opening up Twitter. And in doing so, as has happened before, his company’s stock suffered. (Read More…)

By on March 3, 2020

Listen, I know I’ve given Aston Martin a hard time ever since I’ve started writing about cars. My diatribe about the marque choosing New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as a brand ambassador netted me no shortage of attention from upset sportswriters and morning DJs who cared more about football than I ever could. To my surprise, the ordeal even landed my name in a book about the NFL that nobody read. Despite the indescribable waves of pleasure I feel from bashing the marketing efforts of any high-end brand, Aston’s cars have historically been quite desirable. In fact, I have a gigantic soft spot in my head heart for the V8 Vantage Volante Timothy Dalton drove around in The Living Daylights.

That bodes well for Aston as I prepare to exercise every ounce of pettiness from within my soul to comment up its 70th anniversary celebration of the Vantage. But then the manufacturer decided to put a bunch in an empty aircraft hangar for a photo op and I suddenly remembered that the Vantage name has been tainted by more than just Mr. Brady.  (Read More…)

By on June 17, 2019

When the invite from Fiat Chrysler came in, I hemmed and hawed. The event in question was an off-road drive of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, along with other off-road-oriented Jeep and Dodge rigs, taking place at an off-road park in west-central Indiana. This was a regional event — media invitees all came from Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis.

If I hadn’t already driven the Gladiator in March, I’d have gone without a second thought. That’s why I hesitated – I’d driven the truck on the launch, and I’ll learn more from a second-look that takes place over a week-long loan (I have one scheduled) than I would from a few more hours of rock-crawling. Was it worth the time out of office?

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By on November 7, 2017

stunt driving

On Friday’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” the titular host said something pretty dumb about cars, driving, and the stunt driving seen in car chase movies that have graced movie screens for ages.

It’s not the most galactically stupid thing he’s said this year – that award goes to use his use of a racial slur while interviewing a sitting U.S. senator – but it was so off the mark that I felt compelled to rant.

In the interest of disclosure, I generally like Bill Maher. I don’t watch every week, but I catch the show when I can. Politically I agree with him on some things and not others (we’ll leave it at that), but as a TV host I find him to be relatively funny and smart, and I applaud his willingness to invite folks from all political stripes onto his show.

However, he can be smarmy, and occasionally I wonder if his staff has fact-checked something he’s prattling on about. And sometimes he just goes off the rails.

(Read More…)

By on September 19, 2017

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

Before joining the gang at TTAC, I was freelancing, and a lot of my work centered around electric vehicles. Which means I was reading and writing a lot about Tesla, especially during that time a few months ago when the small California-based automaker somehow became the most valuable automaker in the world, at least from Wall Street’s perspective, based solely on its potential.

Some of my work took me into the depths of the pro-Tesla blogosphere. While these sites can serve as valuable sources for news about the company, they also have an unabashed pro-Tesla stance. Objective, they (mostly) ain’t.

And that’s okay – while many, if not most, media outlets default towards being as objective as possible, there’s no rule stating that your blog or outlet has to be objective. It’s okay for HuffPo to be leftist and National Review to lean right. And so it is with outlets that cover Tesla – no one expects Teslarati to be critical of the brand.

It’s one thing to have pro-Tesla blogs, of course, but another to be unable to even talk about the brand without dividing into two tribes – the fanboys who think Tesla is the best company ever and can do no wrong (as it disrupts the industry and solves every one of the world’s problems), and the “haters” who think that Tesla is doomed to fail any day now and it’s a minor miracle the company has lasted this long.

(Read More…)

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