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Time To Buy American


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Insideline

This semi-regular column is written (in his own blood) by an automotive sage and noted malcontent, known as The Mechanic. Mercilessly beaten as a child with rolled-up back issues of old car magazines, our free-spoken hero developed a unique "for your own good" take on cars and the auto industry, along with an unfortunate habit of setting himself ablaze. Later, after a distinguished career as an automotive journalist and magazine editor, he cast off the reins of his musty oppressors, carved out his superego with a plastic spork and became The Mechanic.

"A foolish consistency," Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "is the hobgoblin of little minds." And so, after bashing America's homegrown carmakers here over the past few months, today I boldly reverse course and assert that it's your patriotic duty to once again buy American. I'm clearing out my hobgoblins in a full-on effort to save our domestic manufacturers, and so should you.

If you're even half-awake you know that Chrysler, GM and Ford are all on the brink of financial obliteration. Within the next six weeks it's conceivable that one or two of them could go bankrupt and it's likely that by the end of next year all three will have. That is, if nothing changes. And the thing that needs to change most is, well, us. And by us, I mean you.

It's pathetic to watch a once-mighty company like GM grovel for government cash, but expecting a change in federal policy to be the change that saves the car companies is flat stupid. Giving the car companies buckage for doing nothing more than pulling political strings doesn't change the underlying weakness of the industry. All it's going to do is postpone the reckoning, not avoid it.

The fundamental underlying weakness of the American car industry isn't labor cost (though that needs to change, too), but that Americans aren't buying American cars. Even the good ones.

And there are 40 years of good reasons for this, stretching back to your Uncle Ted's Pontiac Parisienne with the red velour interior, the wire wheel hubcaps and the ability to shed chrome trim at highway speed.

But today there are more competitive domestic models than ever before. GM, Ford and Chrysler each have their fare share of cars and trucks that pack high levels of build quality, driving dynamics and overall design. In other words, there's no reason not to do the patriotic thing and buy an American set of wheels.

And I'm not listening to any crap that says a Toyota Camry assembled in Kentucky is an American car. Forget it, Bud; that thing's as Japanese as whale hunting and ritual suicide.

Meanwhile, it's impossible to argue that cars like the Chevrolet Malibu, the Ford Fusion and the Saturn Aura aren't competitive with the Accord and Camry. Even if they are still a smidgen behind those Asian benchmarks, that smidgen should easily be overcome by patriotic duty.

Patriots know that one of the things that makes America great is that it has an auto industry. And patriots don't want Ford, Chrysler and GM to swirl down the same toilet bowl that flushed away British Leyland and the rest of the English car business.

This happened once before, you know. It was 30 years ago. Chrysler was done, bailed out by the government and revived by the buying public. The CEO of Chrysler at the time, Lee Iacocca, convinced Americans through a series of TV commercials he appeared in, that buying a K-car was the right thing to do at the time.

Buying American became fashionable and Chrysler thrived. Next thing you know, we have the minivan, the Viper and the Grand Cherokee. Things turned around, because Americans cared about America.

You do care about America, don't you?

Look, you may want a BMW 5 Series and you may even deserve a BMW 5 Series, but right now it's important to do the right thing and buy a Cadillac CTS. Even if you think the BMW is better in every conceivable way, you ought to also know that the world would be a much worse place if America didn't have General Motors in it. The mush in your skull knows damned well that GM is a linchpin in our economy and that its failure will lead to a cascade of failures including, most likely, your job, too.

Don't whine that you can't afford a new car. Of course you can. It's just a matter of manning up, gathering your wits and skipping the three six-buck lattes you drink every day. Because if the American auto industry is going to be saved, then damn it, it needs to be saved by Americans. And those lattes are making you fat anyhow.

Here's one American who's shopping for a new American car right now. What are you doing? -- The Mechanic, Inside Line Contributor

E-mail me at themechanic@edmunds.com

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+1

That one line was worth the whole article! And I totally agree that people should really look at these cars because we all KNOW that most of them are at the very least competitive with the rest of the market.

Even though, I'm on of these people, I also liked the line about the lattes making society fat...ha ha

Then again the most unamerican vehicle I've ever owned is my current Grand Cherokee...because it was sold by DaimlerChrysler

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And if the members of the automotive press actually voted with their dollars instead of writing with their hearts, they would all be driving something from Japan or Germany. Well, the smart ones would anyway. The ones who don't live in Detroit. -- The Mechanic, Inside Line Contributor

That statement right there tells me enough about this guy to know that he automatically values imported cars OVER domestics despite his claimed 'logic'. he looks down on Detroit cars and Detroit car buyers.

You do care about America, don't you?

Nope.

I am loyal to Detroit, my friends, my community and the soldiers that protect my life. Sadly, I don't give 2 sh*ts about this country because it sold me and my community and now my last bastion of americana (Detroit) out.

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Damnit! That was MY favorite line from the ariticle!!!

I only disagree about the point he made about the cars being a smidgen BEHIND the Camry and Accord...they are equal or BETTER than the Camry and Accord.

It's perception... People are to damn stupid to realize that the domestics are as good or better than the imports because the PERCEPTION and MYTH of Japanese superiority still lingers. And 1) this MYTH pervades EVERY aspect of our lives here in america and 2) the media continues to sell this outdated theory on a dily basis to reinforce BAD purchasing habits.

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So you can spend more to drive a BMW that loses to Chevys?

What Chevys? The only ones on the market now that can beat the 135 are the Vettes and they cost more.

I love GM. I race a Chevy. But there is nothing in the 135's size that is RWD and can touch it in performance for under 50 grand.

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Again, I found the remarks to the posting more illuminating than the article itself. The guy who remarked his kids will have a dim memory of American cars, like AMC, just makes me want to buy a gun.

Is this the level of ignorance and self-loathing that we have achieved? Wow. Judging by the majority of the posters remarks, I do believe it is time that China or India or the Taliban invade.

We don't deserve to command the world.

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What Chevys? The only ones on the market now that can beat the 135 are the Vettes and they cost more.

I love GM. I race a Chevy. But there is nothing in the 135's size that is RWD and can touch it in performance for under 50 grand.

Cobalt SS is faster around Nurburgring than an E92 coupe. The Cobalt SS can be purchased with Stage II kits.

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If only the Cobalt SS Turbo was RWD, but it isn’t so I’m buying a BMW 135i.

Nice to see a Camaro driven in anger during an autocross.

Chris

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What Chevys? The only ones on the market now that can beat the 135 are the Vettes and they cost more.

I love GM. I race a Chevy. But there is nothing in the 135's size that is RWD and can touch it in performance for under 50 grand.

Your car looks a whole lot like a 92 Camro that runs at our local SCCA events. Your not a member of the OVR region of the SCCA, are you?

Either your car or one jsut dead identical to it lost the E street prepared chamionship to a grabber orange Mustang in the last event of our season.

Chris

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If only the Cobalt SS Turbo was RWD, but it isn’t so I’m buying a BMW 135i.

And this would be the Quote of the Day.

I would call this the definition of irony: here is a man who clearly doesn't understand the point to the posting in Edmunds. GM, Ford and Chrysler must (and I can't be bothered to count them) build at least 100 different models of vehicle, available right here for purchase at a local dealer. But, no, that is clearly not enough for some people.

Is there no end to this madness? Must we walk into a liquor store and spent 45 minutes trying to pick out a bottle of wine because there are, like, 300 brands? Do we have to stand in line at a coffee shop to pay $5 for a coffee while some ingrate tries to choose between the 50 flavors, 12 sizes and 18 cups? It's friggin' coffee!!!!!

Nothing personal, Axoid, but every time some a-hole in a BMW tries to run me off the road while yakking on his/her cell, I pray that his/her job is the first one gone as our society circles the drain.

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Cobalt SS is faster around Nurburgring than an E92 coupe. The Cobalt SS can be purchased with Stage II kits.

I haven’t seen a time for the 135 on the ring, but I would guess that it would be faster than a 335 since it is lighter, smaller, runs bigger brakes and has the same engine as the 3 series.

In all the other metrics that I have seen, the 135 matches or beats the Cobalt SS. Specially at 0-60, by a full second.

Your car looks a whole lot like a 92 Camro that runs at our local SCCA events. Your not a member of the OVR region of the SCCA, are you?

Either your car or one jsut dead identical to it lost the E street prepared chamionship to a grabber orange Mustang in the last event of our season.

Chris

That is me running at OVR. I missed 3 events and lost the championship by one point. The mustang only actually beat me once. Over all it was a good year.

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And this would be the Quote of the Day.

I would call this the definition of irony: here is a man who clearly doesn't understand the point to the posting in Edmunds. GM, Ford and Chrysler must (and I can't be bothered to count them) build at least 100 different models of vehicle, available right here for purchase at a local dealer. But, no, that is clearly not enough for some people.

Is there no end to this madness? Must we walk into a liquor store and spent 45 minutes trying to pick out a bottle of wine because there are, like, 300 brands? Do we have to stand in line at a coffee shop to pay $5 for a coffee while some ingrate tries to choose between the 50 flavors, 12 sizes and 18 cups? It's friggin' coffee!!!!!

Nothing personal, Axoid, but every time some a-hole in a BMW tries to run me off the road while yakking on his/her cell, I pray that his/her job is the first one gone as our society circles the drain.

I get the point just fine. Every car or truck that I have owned in the last 20+ years has been American. All but one was GM. I would by American again, if they had a car that meet my requirements, a performance car that is small, fast, seats four and is rear wheel or all wheel drive. There are at least 6 on the market that meet that spec. Most are Japanese, none are American, and since I still won’t by Japanese, that leaves the Germans.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the average buyer looking for a consumer car. I had great hopes when Pontiac was supposed to become the rwd performance division, but that has come to nothing. I was also interested when Lutz was talking about the next Caddy BTS, but that is not here ether. If I was in the market for a mid-size family sedan, I would be the first in line at a Saturn dealer.

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I get the point just fine. Every car or truck that I have owned in the last 20+ years has been American. All but one was GM. I would by American again, if they had a car that meet my requirements, a performance car that is small, fast, seats four and is rear wheel or all wheel drive. There are at least 6 on the market that meet that spec. Most are Japanese, none are American, and since I still won’t by Japanese, that leaves the Germans.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the average buyer looking for a consumer car. I had great hopes when Pontiac was supposed to become the rwd performance division, but that has come to nothing. I was also interested when Lutz was talking about the next Caddy BTS, but that is not here ether. If I was in the market for a mid-size family sedan, I would be the first in line at a Saturn dealer.

I'm scratching my head trying to come up with all of them:

1-series

Impreza

A3

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Lancer Evo

RX-8

VW R32

G37

On is a sedan, one is a hatch, and the other is a sedan or coupe. Need I remind you that the Lancer Evo is AWD based on a FWD platform and the R32 is FWD. How do they meet your requirements? What the hell are your requirements?

Want a RWD car? How about a CTS, CTS-V, the upcoming Camaro? Wants something small and fast? Cobalt SS, Sky Redline or Solstice GXP

The G37 isn't all the small, a little bigger and you have the CTS/CTS-V.

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On is a sedan, one is a hatch, and the other is a sedan or coupe. Need I remind you that the Lancer Evo is AWD based on a FWD platform and the R32 is FWD. How do they meet your requirements? What the hell are your requirements?

Want a RWD car? How about a CTS, CTS-V, the upcoming Camaro? Wants something small and fast? Cobalt SS, Sky Redline or Solstice GXP

The G37 isn't all the small, a little bigger and you have the CTS/CTS-V.

..if they had a car that meet my requirements, a performance car that is small, fast, seats four and is rear wheel or all wheel drive. There are at least 6 on the market that meet that spec.

The VW R32 is all wheel drive. I agree the G37 is a little on the big size, but it is still more than a full foot shorter than a CTS.

Edited by axoid
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Axoid is the exact reason why GM must build Alpha!

The time is right for such a car.

I love the Zetas, and the CTS is impressive, and the Cobalt's abilities at its price point are flat out stunning - but Axoid is right.

None of those are suitable for his intent.

It is a hole that GM must fill ASAP, and not just in Caddy trim.

The natural home for Alpha is Pontiac!

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I'm pretty sure the Cobalt is Ohio-built, just like the Accord.

Yes it is. I also see the point of the BMW one series. We had a blue 2 door coupe (1 series) show up at our Miata club autocross. That is an amazing car.

As is the Cobalt SS. I don't think that there is anything wrong with buying a BMW, my wife and I have owned something like 23 vehicles, and 20 of them have been "American."

(Like I've been saying, I'm in lust over the Solstice and I want one badly.)

Chris

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I would help, if the Solstice coupe wasn't that expensive. It's just too difficult to shell out money lately.

Bingo. In a better economy, a Solstice would be under a car cover in my garage right now.

Chris

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...and let me give a brief, totally shameless plug. If your ever in Ohio, come to an OVR event and watch axoid drive. Seriously. He is soooo smooth with that Camaro...

Chris

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Yes it is. I also see the point of the BMW one series. We had a blue 2 door coupe (1 series) show up at our Miata club autocross. That is an amazing car.

As is the Cobalt SS. I don't think that there is anything wrong with buying a BMW, my wife and I have owned something like 23 vehicles, and 20 of them have been "American."

(Like I've been saying, I'm in lust over the Solstice and I want one badly.)

Chris

I like the 1 series..I wonder how the sales are, though...I rarely ever see one, compared to the 3 series. I've owned 7 cars in a little over 20 years, one a BMW (loved my '96 M3) and one a Mopar ('00 Jeep).

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On is a sedan, one is a hatch, and the other is a sedan or coupe. Need I remind you that the Lancer Evo is AWD based on a FWD platform and the R32 is FWD. How do they meet your requirements? What the hell are your requirements?

Want a RWD car? How about a CTS, CTS-V, the upcoming Camaro? Wants something small and fast? Cobalt SS, Sky Redline or Solstice GXP

The G37 isn't all the small, a little bigger and you have the CTS/CTS-V.

G37 isn't all that sporty, and is more of a Japanese thunderbird IMHO. (but I still like the thunderbird ford built in 64 better for a "luxury touring car")

R32 is AWD, with an excellent AWD system but like a lot of Audi's it is biased towards FWD.

Lancer Evo, we've got some guys in the Miata Club that own them as their "other than Miata" and I don't think that they are a well packaged car.

The RX8 I've driven in anger on an autocross course, and it really does need more tourque. Great car, phenomenal chasis...but needs tourque. This is the car my son Joel wants once he gets out of high school, and he has wanted one for several years.

CTS-V is an amzing car but it is about 25K more than a BMW 1 series, IIRC.

Chris

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I like the 1 series..I wonder how the sales are, though...I rarely ever see one, compared to the 3 series. I've owned 7 cars in a little over 20 years, one a BMW (loved my '96 M3) and one a Mopar ('00 Jeep).

96 M3 is a wonderful car. I prefer the E-30 chasis M3 (prev. gen) but they are a little "high strung" for a lot of people.

There is a car lot near one of our clients that specializes in older european cars, and they have older, clean M3's from time to time. I may own one yet.

Chris

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Again, I found the remarks to the posting more illuminating than the article itself. The guy who remarked his kids will have a dim memory of American cars, like AMC, just makes me want to buy a gun.

Is this the level of ignorance and self-loathing that we have achieved? Wow. Judging by the majority of the posters remarks, I do believe it is time that China or India or the Taliban invade.

We don't deserve to command the world.

Don't worry, we won't for long.

Chris

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96 M3 is a wonderful car. I prefer the E-30 chasis M3 (prev. gen) but they are a little "high strung" for a lot of people.

There is a car lot near one of our clients that specializes in older european cars, and they have older, clean M3's from time to time. I may own one yet.

Chris

I've driven an E30..they are fun... a few performance cars I want to own eventually are an E46 M3--the last of the 6 cyl ones, a 993 (mid '90s) Porsche 911 (last of the aircooled ones), and an Acura NSX. I've driven a friend's NSX a few times, it's a sweet car.

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I actually like the idea of the 1 series that we were talking about earlier. My wife and I like to go places, and it would be small enough to park anywhere, it is a great looking car, and it is more user friendly on a day to day basis that the Porsche or Acura you brought up.

Chris

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I actually like the idea of the 1 series that we were talking about earlier. My wife and I like to go places, and it would be small enough to park anywhere, it is a great looking car, and it is more user friendly on a day to day basis that the Porsche or Acura you brought up.

Chris

Ya...speaking of sports cars for daily drivers, a friend of mine this summer had a Z3 as his commuter car, it got t-boned at an intersection...he replaced it with a new Boxster. He and his wife took a 3500 mile road trip in it in August... says it's a great daily driver. He's put on snow tires for the winter.

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oops! what he said, LOL

the accord is not capable of lapping the nurburgring like that however,

True..the Accord's natural habitat is a busy freeway in a metro area, doing the daily commute, like the C470 around the Denver area or the 101 in the Phoenix area..

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Lancer Evo

RX-8

VW R32

G37

Not denying the great cars you picked, but still

The RX-8 can seat 4 as long as the two in the back are under 5ft tall.

The G37 is a full 10 inches longer than the 1-series, that's why I didn't think it would fit in your list.

What about the 9-3xwd? I'm guessing the CTS is too big even though it's just slightly larger than the G37.

What of the new Camaro?

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But getting back to buying American, it doesn't matter if axoid buys a bmw 1 series. I would encourage everyone here (even gm4life!) to try a few "foreign" cars.

At the same time, I am really impressed with how far the American cars have really come. My younger son wanted to go look at cars after a Boy Scout activity (yes, I am raising my kids to be gearheads). We went and looked at a Ford Fusion. From a fit and finish standpoint, I would say that it was honestly better than the Accord one of my wife's friends just bought.

I'm really thinking we need to get Americans into American cars, and fast. Our automakers have really done their homework.

Chris

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Not denying the great cars you picked, but still

The RX-8 can seat 4 as long as the two in the back are under 5ft tall.

The G37 is a full 10 inches longer than the 1-series, that's why I didn't think it would fit in your list.

What about the 9-3xwd? I'm guessing the CTS is too big even though it's just slightly larger than the G37.

What of the new Camaro?

He's already got one Camaro in the fleet.

My only real gripe with the CTS is the current gen and prev. gen car have not much more room in the back seat than the RX-8 when you get the CTS with a sunroof.

Chris

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CTS is 191.6

G37 is 183.1

.... but what's 8 inches among friends.... :AH-HA_wink:

And 2 extra doors. Though the CTS coupe if it ever gets in production is shorter than the sedan, I think. The G37 is a nice size...a friend bought one recently, seems like a nice competitor to the 3-series coupe.

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But getting back to buying American, it doesn't matter if axoid buys a bmw 1 series. I would encourage everyone here (even gm4life!) to try a few "foreign" cars.

At the same time, I am really impressed with how far the American cars have really come. My younger son wanted to go look at cars after a Boy Scout activity (yes, I am raising my kids to be gearheads). We went and looked at a Ford Fusion. From a fit and finish standpoint, I would say that it was honestly better than the Accord one of my wife's friends just bought.

I'm really thinking we need to get Americans into American cars, and fast. Our automakers have really done their homework.

Chris

I figure I'll continue buying American w/ the occasional German (maybe Japanese) car here and there. I'd consider buying a new car now if the economy was looking up, but it's nice having no car payment, a short commute, and a reasonably high bill rate...building up the cash reserves now in case the job market completely crashes next year (I'm still getting 1/2 dozen or so calls and emails every week from headhunters, so tech isn't completely dead right now).

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But getting back to buying American, it doesn't matter if axoid buys a bmw 1 series. I would encourage everyone here (even gm4life!) to try a few "foreign" cars.

At the same time, I am really impressed with how far the American cars have really come. My younger son wanted to go look at cars after a Boy Scout activity (yes, I am raising my kids to be gearheads). We went and looked at a Ford Fusion. From a fit and finish standpoint, I would say that it was honestly better than the Accord one of my wife's friends just bought.

I'm really thinking we need to get Americans into American cars, and fast. Our automakers have really done their homework.

Chris

I've driven a Malibu compared to an Accord. Fit and finish seemed on par but the style of the Malibu's interior (in the right colors) just blows the Accord out of the ballpark. Sure the Accord's 4 revs high nicely, but that's because it has to. The Ecotec isn't as smooth at approaching redline, but it feels like it doesn't have to work as hard to move the car around either.

Didn't drive the Camry but have ridden in one. Toyota is trying hard to beat out the last gen Century for boring with that car.

As for the 1-series, I just wish he'd give the CTS or 9-3XWD a chance.

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He's already got one Camaro in the fleet.

My only real gripe with the CTS is the current gen and prev. gen car have not much more room in the back seat than the RX-8 when you get the CTS with a sunroof.

Chris

How tall are you? The back seat of my CTS with a sunroof was quite comfortable...... erm..... so I've heard. :unsure: :unsure:

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My son has several friends that are 6'1 to 6'3, and my 18 year old daughter has a few friends that are 6'0 to 6'1 of the female variety. Looked a a beautiful white CTS, but couldn't fit tall teenagers in the back and keep them comfy, so it was a no go.

It was a clean used 1st gen CTS, which was quite affordable. BTW, have you ever seen a CTS in the flesh in white? It really is a beautiful car in that color.

Chris

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...and I can't speak for him, but I think he is thinking of perhaps Autocrossing the Bimmer. Not sure of what class in the SCCA the CTS or Saab run in, but that may very well be in the back of his mind.

Chris

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My son has several friends that are 6'1 to 6'3, and my 18 year old daughter has a few friends that are 6'0 to 6'1 of the female variety. Looked a a beautiful white CTS, but couldn't fit tall teenagers in the back and keep them comfy, so it was a no go.

It was a clean used 1st gen CTS, which was quite affordable. BTW, have you ever seen a CTS in the flesh in white? It really is a beautiful car in that color.

Chris

I've seen, but they don't catch my eye like the black ones do.

With that crew, you should be shopping for a Traverse!

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We actually had a guy show up to one of our autocrosses in a Semi truck. He was quite angry when we turned him away.

Chris

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We actually had a guy show up to one of our autocrosses in a Semi truck. He was quite angry when we turned him away.

Chris

By the way, didn't autocross events used to be called 'gymkhatas' or 'gymkhanas'? I vaguely remember that from my old R&Ts (I've subscribed to Road & Track since I was 7!).

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I have a Saturn VUE Readline and at 181" it just fits in my garage. The 192" Camaro takes the long side of the garage. So I'm needing something that is 183" or shorter. That kills the CTS and the Camaro. And even if I went with the Camaro, it still a 3800+ lbs beast that I doubt will be able to match the 135 in performance and will be for the next year selling for more than 36 grand price of the BMW. I did look at the CTS. I love the exterior, but the interior is too pimp-my-ride for my taste.

I hadn't thought of the awd 9-3. It is still heavy at 3800 lbs. and significantly more money than the 135.

The 92 Camaro is staying on autocross duty.

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I have a Saturn VUE Readline and at 181" it just fits in my garage. The 192" Camaro takes the long side of the garage. So I'm needing something that is 183" or shorter. That kills the CTS and the Camaro. And even if I went with the Camaro, it still a 3800+ lbs beast that I doubt will be able to match the 135 in performance and will be for the next year selling for more than 36 grand price of the BMW. I did look at the CTS. I love the exterior, but the interior is too pimp-my-ride for my taste.

I hadn't thought of the awd 9-3. It is still heavy at 3800 lbs. and significantly more money than the 135.

The 92 Camaro is staying on autocross duty.

Provided GM survives, I think that an Alpha Camaro will be tailor-made for your purposes.

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So you can spend more to drive a BMW that loses to Chevys?

if GM had not said F*** You to all us RWD-only car

nuts they would be doing a WHOLE lot better.

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Oh.... and before I forget. GREAT ARTICLE!

66S: why'd you turn him away? :(

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By the way, didn't autocross events used to be called 'gymkhatas' or 'gymkhanas'? I vaguely remember that from my old R&Ts (I've subscribed to Road & Track since I was 7!).

yeah i posted a vid of some sweet driving skills in the lounge from streetfire

http://videos.streetfire.net/video/Ken-Blo...12.htm?Ref=Blog

theres the vid.

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if GM had not said F*** You to all us RWD-only car

nuts they would be doing a WHOLE lot better.

I know I'm not going to get a rational answer to this.... but GM produces a FWD car that out handles and out runs previous generation M3s.... If the car is doing that to RWD cars of twice the price, what advantage does RWD bring to the table?

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Provided GM survives, I think that an Alpha Camaro will be tailor-made for your purposes.

That has been what I've been hoping for.

Just curious, how?

The wood trim, the busy aluminum center stack with that "I want to be a Bentley" clock. It is like it's trying too hard. I have simple taste, anything more is a distraction. It is the same reasoning that will keep me from having any BMW with iDrive.

Then again I would probably be happy with a car that had a striped interior and a roll cage. Wait a minute, I have one of those. :lol:

:mullet:

If the car is doing that to RWD cars of twice the price, what advantage does RWD bring to the table?

If you have to ask that, then I would bet you have never driven a RWD car in anger. I raced FWDs, RWDs and AWDs and I swore to myself that I would never own another FWD car. With a FWD all you can really do is throw it into a corner and hope it sticks and if your really good maybe play with the parking brake a little. With RWD and the better AWD setups you can literally dance the car on the edge of grip using the throttle and a light touch of the steering. It is had for me to explain, you have to experience it to know what I'm talking about.

Edited by axoid
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Having 'grown up' with RWD and now 'married' to FWD, I understand the advantages/disadvantages of both. However, what I don't get (and I know I am pissing into the wind with many folks on C&G) is why are so many 'enthusiasts' prepared to throw Detroit into the dumpster just because somebody, somewhere builds a RWD car that can 'drift?'

BIG DEAL. There's a whole lot of growin' up to do.

The problem is, these are the same guys who write in the car mags and influence the wannabees out there. So, you end up with a 40 year old housewife buying a BMW 3 series for the 'image,' even though the half-wit wouldn't know RWD from FWD from the end of her curling iron. (My apologies to the 4 housewives in North America who show up at NASCAR events.)

Whether we like it or not, manual shift/RWD/300+ horsepower vehicles are going to die very soon, thanks to a perfect storm combination of legislation, the insurance lobby, dwindling resources and pure common sense.

Before some of you reach for your shot gun, think about it: oil will be expensive again; you are financing terrorists that hate you; automobiles were intended as transportation, not toys; speed does kill; insurance is expensive and as society we are going to have to make tough choices in the ensuing years.

I doubt many of you would bother to haunt any of the 'green' sites, but obviously they are diametrically opposed to most of what is said on C&G. Many of those types won't be happy until all forms of personal transport (other than bicycles perhaps) are outlawed.

Furthermore, if you look at where auto technology is going (more computer control, drive by wire, hybrids, telemetrics, etc.) we are truly seeing the birth of an era where most if not all driver input is being taken out of the equation. There are many reasons for this, but the overwhelming one is that of efficiency. Automatic transmissions are one good example. As they have improved, they are more efficient in most cases than a manual shift. That is why you don't (or won't) see any hybrids with a manual shift.

For the vast majority of people out there, automobiles are little more than transportation. These people have (in their minds) busy lives and will not take the time to learn the proper use, care, etc. of their vehicles. It is for them that GM and Ford have catered over the past decade or more. Once the car mags are driven into extinction (probably when oil hits $200 a barrel and nobody can afford to drive 5 series Beemers that require premium fuel), there will be a return to sanity within the automotive engineering/design community.

The question is, will GM and Ford survive long enough for the enthusiasts to realize and accept that?

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If you have to ask that, then I would bet you have never driven a RWD car in anger. I raced FWDs, RWDs and AWDs and I swore to myself that I would never own another FWD car. With a FWD all you can really do is throw it into a corner and hope it sticks and if your really good maybe play with the parking brake a little. With RWD and the better AWD setups you can literally dance the car on the edge of grip using the throttle and a light touch of the steering. It is had for me to explain, you have to experience it to know what I'm talking about.

I went from a DOHC 3.4 litre Cutlass Supreme to a CTS 3.6. I've taken both of them to the edge and slightly beyond. Now I don't rallycross like you, but I do understand the difference between a well balanced RWD car and your typical, front heavy, torque steering, FWD, car.

What I'm trying to say is that the Cobalt SS has shown it's chops on the Nurburgring and beat Audi S5s and previous generation M3s and tied the Nissan GT-R R32. Now I know that the 'Ring isn't the only measure of a car, but that the Cobalt SS can even run with those big guns should really tell you something about it's abilities.

Can't you give the hot little Chevy a chance?

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FWD cars really do kinda suck when they are driven hard. Come out and Autocross sometime...I've only been doing it for less than a year, but I've worked as a corner worker in the SCCA and been on an SCCA pit crew, as well as worked crew for a circle track team.

Driven in anger, there is a real difference between FWD and RWD. I really would be happy if I never owned another FWD car.

But I can really see CARBIZ's point about FWD and "growin up," and I'm enough of an automotive whore to really be lusting after the Cobalt SS.

But when the ink dries on a purchase contract, I really want RWD.

Chris

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But when the ink dries on a purchase contract, I really want RWD.

Chris

My experience w/ FWD has been limited to rental cars and the Escort diesel I had in high school (and it was my folks' tow car for their RV, not something I bought). FWD is fine for vanilla, mainstream cars for the mainstream driver that want a transportation appliance.

If I'm buying something for myself--be it a daily driver or a weekend fun car, I want RWD...

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RWD is Nirvana. Wagon will be sweet car done. It would make a great tow vehicle for a vintage british sports car like an MG TC...

Chris

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Received this at work today from a reputable source... gives us all something to ponder!!

__

Come on North America … give your head a shake! Nothing more needs to be said, when the metal hits the meat, are you making the right decisions ... Ford, Chrysler and GM's contributions after 9/11:

'CNN Headline News did a short news listing regarding Ford and GM's contributions to the relief and recovery efforts in New York and Washington. The findings are as follows.....

1. Ford- $10 million to American Red Cross matching employee contributions of the same number plus 10 Excursions to NY Fire Dept. The company also offered an ER response team, services and office space to displaced government employees.

2. GM- $10 million to American Red Cross matching employee contributions of the same number and a fleet of vans, suv's, and trucks.

3. Daimler Chrysler- $10 million to support of the children and victims of the Sept. 11 attack.

4. Harley Davidson motorcycles- $1 million and 30 new motorcycles to the New York Police Dept.

5. Volkswagen-Employees and management created a Sept 11 Foundation, funded initial with $2 million, for the assistance of the children and victims of the WTC.

6. Hyundai- $300,000 to the American Red Cross.

7. Audi-Nothing.

8. BMW-Nothing.

9. Daewoo-Nothing.

10. Fiat-Nothing.

11. Honda- Nothing but did boast of having the second best sales month ever in August 2001.

12. Isuzu-Nothing.

13. Mitsubishi-Nothing.

14. Nissan-Nothing.

15. Porsche-Nothing. Press release with condolences via the Porsche website.

16. Subaru-Nothing.

17. Suzuki-Nothing.

18. Toyota-Nothing but did communicate high sales in July and August 2001.

Whenever the time may be for you to purchase or lease a new vehicle, keep this information in mind. You might want to give more consideration to a car manufactured by an American-owned and / or American based company. Apart from Hyundai and Volkswagen, the foreign car companies contributed nothing at all to the citizens of the United States ... It's OK for these companies to take money out of this country, but it is apparently not acceptable to return some in a time of crisis. I believe we should not forget things like this. Say thank you in a way that gets their attention..

Wake Up North America … Pass it on, I just did.

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