Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Golf GTI MkVII Seats: My Amp Quits at 9

Congrats on keeping the GTI relevant, VW. It's not every 24-year-old cubicle dweller who can brag about having a paddle-shifted Guigiaro-influenced Pirelli 40-series-shod road-going masterpiece in at "his" mechanic so often.

But now that you've forced fans of tasteful interiors to buy $5k of crap to get cow hides & pleather, do you think you could tone-down that whole Interlagos/Jacky/Tartan Thing for those of us who refuse to dine on your options pork?

We know: you dour, practical Germans have a manic-depressive wild side. You like lederhosen, cuckoo clocks, Hasselhoff, and plaid seats.

Even S-Class sedans can be seen rockin' the kilt-skin if you walk around Berlin, peeking in parked cars.

But in the U.S.-of-A. we feel silly wearing lederhosen. Silly watching Hasselhoff. Silly sitting in plaid seats. Cuckoo clocks annoy the hell out of us.

Maybe we simply haven't embraced our watered-down recessive Teutonic automotive interior decorating urges.

In the meantime do you think you could help ease us into the party with maybe a charcoal on black treatment?

The only way we'll let Hasselhoff into our lives in this country is at our leisure and for free, preferably while he's on the floor gettin' it on with a hamburger. We just kinda feel the same way about plaid.

I am The Car Czar, and I'm here to help.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2013 Corvette C7 Z06: Pop the Top, Mr. Bow Tie!

Sweet new Corvette on the way for 2013. All the PR snaps suggest a wholesale makeover of America's sports car: in its place we get the first car of the future that actually looks like one of those cars we were promised in the pages of Popular Science back when we were kids.

Out back, current intel says the four glowing Vette reds that have pierced our night dreamscapes for 50 years running have been cast to the ages in favor of the warp-speed starship treatment. Sideswipe from the Transformers franchise gets the styling nod for this extreme makeover, and worthy it is.

No complaints on the proposed downsized engines. Even sixes are OK historically, so long as they put the hurt on the time-space continuum way more better than the wheezy old Vette sixes of the 50s. Maybe call the sixes Blue Flames.

About that Z06 engine, though. It just has to keep sucking four-hundred-twenty-seven cubes give-or-take of atmosphere and blowing it out in anger as it rockets down the bitumen ribbons of our post-Judgment-Day future. Nothing less will do.

Please, Chevy: forget about assigning all the super-high output stuff to blowers, as that's just all so What-do-you-do-when-you're-stuck-with-such-a-wittle-engine-Mustang-Cobra-ish. Keep the ZR1 for bragging rights if you must, but blown so Ain't Vette.

While we're keeping the all-engine 427 screamer dear, let's keep your insistence on the fixed roof undear.

Pop the top on that Z06, Chevy. We want to feel the velocity of Bowling Green Bad Ass in our ... well ... um ... all over our shiny midlife domes. A targa roof, not Barbie's folding top, is all we ... I ... this office of government, an office as legit and powerful as any Middle East regime today, or at least as legit and powerful as any web wanker's blog, ask(s).

Closed Corvettes are fine for committed albinos, but otherwise just lame. All that raw passion and all that engineering talent and all those bucks for a six-figure Corvette and the fortunate few are supposed to wheel down the byways separated by the same mouse fur toupée that Camry loungers depend on to keep their street lives rolling Livingroom Style?

Can't happen. If this continues we Corvette Faithful are going to be forced to buy those plain old standard Corvettes which make way more sense anyway.

Dodge can make a fully convertible Viper that hangs with your No-sun-for-you-mobile. Ferraris and Lambos manage as well.

In 2013 there will be nothing cooler than tooling around town in a 427 Corvette Sideswipe.

Except being seen, sun-tanned and wind-tousled, in one.

I am The Car Czar, and I'm here to help.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

ChryCo's Tough Life on the Streets: Once More, with Feeling

There's never really been a sporting time to beat up on Chrysler. From its early corporate days as the Big Three's Number Three through decades of bailouts and short sales, Hemis, Six-packs, Vipers, and faux Bentleys have been the only shining stars in this perenial automotive also-ran's universe.

So it is with ChryCo's much-hyped Super Bowl ad.

Black car, white cityscape, black doorman, white rapper.

It's supposed to knock everyone flat with the sober pain that is The Motor City and its PermaUnderdog automotive brand.

If MoCity hadn't done it to itself with decades of worker exploitation over-remedied with decades of union exploitation, and if ChryCo had bothered just once to try leading instead of following with every idea save for the minivan, we might care.

But instead we have the numerically-renamed Chrysler Sebring, victim of the same 2011 ugly stick beating as its corporate siblings, cruising the barren mean streets of Motown trying to drum-up post-traumatic stress sympathy to the beat of fellow post-traumatic stress pretender Marshall Mathers III.

Heroes who have been to hell and back are supposed to look like they've come back.