Pops’ Rants: Civic Type R Drama and Why the New GranTurismo Sucks
Goodwood is still good wood thoughby Pops, on
The 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed is well underway, and I couldn’t be happier. Long live internet video streaming, old track, short but exciting race tracks, and the good people taking care of the Goodwood House. I’m a happy chap, but hey, there’s still room for rants. And boy there’s plenty to talk about this week. You might find it hard to believe, but there’s something about Goodwood that has been bothering me for years. It’s the hill climb record, which stands since 1999 when Nick Heidfeld completed the course in 41.6 seconds in a McLaren MP4/13 Formula One car. Really, now; isn’t there anyone capable enough to put together a car that’s faster than that?
Yes, I know, it’s a Formula One car and these things are really fast and aerodynamic, but the MP4/13 dates back to 1999. That’s 18 years. Eighteen!!! You know what changed in 18 years on the Nurburgring? The lap record was improved by more than a minute. That’s about 15 percent, which makes sense given how fast cars and technology are evolving nowadays. Yet, no one is able to put Heidfeld’s record to rest. Not even the Peugeot 208 T16, which set a seemingly unbeatable record at Pikes Peak, was able to do that back in 2014 when it completed the course three seconds slower.
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I'm finding it hard to believe that a modern car can't be quicker than a Formula One vehicle from almost two decades ago.
I really don’t get. And, it’s because the hillclimb isn’t restricted to some class or specification. Anyone can do it. And I’m finding it hard to believe that a modern car can’t be quicker than a Formula One vehicle from almost two decades ago. Sure, I get it, the Goodwood Hillclimb isn’t as important the Nurburgring Nordschleife or Pikes Peak, but it’s the kind of event that automakers should pay more attention to. Beyond showcasing their latest cars or celebrating various anniversaries, that is! And it’s not like some drivers aren’t trying, but it seems that those who push it to limit have slower cars. Or they crash, like it happened with that rally-spec Ford RS200 Evolution this year. What a shame!
How Extreme Is Extreme?
Automakers rarely squeeze the most out of their cars, always leaving room for something better.
Moving along to other silly things that happened this week, Aston Martin just launched the Vulcan AMR Pro. Cool car. I’d hit that. I’d hit it on the race track with the pedal to the metal. So, what’s it doing in these week’s rants? Well, it comes with a few pounds of baloney. Basically it reiterates the fact that "the most extreme and most track-focused vehicle we can build" is just one of those lies that automakers like to throw around. And just like the AMR Pro arrived this week, I see a lot of extreme cars getting topped by even more extreme versions. Don’t get me wrong, I like it when companies push the envelope, but I just wish they’d stop it with the PR talk. They rarely squeeze the most out of their cars, always leaving room for something better. Something with a wing and a splitter or something with 10 extra horsepower. There should a rule that all automakers end their press releases with the following statement: "this is the most powerful and track-focused (insert nameplate) we ever made. But we will launch a more extreme version in (insert number) years." Honesty!
I guess the Levante is more important now. Maserati likes the green.
Speaking of things done right, Maserati doesn’t want to quit and it just launched a revised version of the GranTurismo. It has a few improvements here and there, but it’s not enough for a car that’s already 10 years old. Hey man, weren’t you supposed to unleash that sexy Alfieri? Or, after countless postponements, weren’t we supposed to get a successor to the GranTurismo? Is this it? Because if it is, it kinda sucks. Really now, how is this car new? Sure, it’s cool, it has an naturally aspirated V-8, which again is very cool in today’s market. But it’s not new. It’s reheated soup and it’s not how things should be when a company is trying to get back on the horse. And, that’s what Maserati wants to achieve, but fails to deliver. I guess the Levante is more important now. Maserati likes the green.
Dealers Suck! Big Time!
Delays, price markups, owners trying to sell their reservations at ludicrous prices, waiting lists; I'm sick of it.
Oh man, is this Honda Civic Type R drama gonna end anytime soon? Delays, price markups, owners trying to sell their reservations at ludicrous prices, waiting lists; I’m sick of it. For a new vehicle launch, it sure sucks. And, the fact that it’s a high-performance car coming to the U.S. for the first time makes it even worse. Now, a Texas woman says that a Honda dealership is refusing to deliver her Civic Type R after putting a deposit down for the first example to arrive at the said dealership. According to screenshots of text messages between her and dealerships employees, the car was supposed to be delivered this month and sold at MSRP, without the now familiar markup. But come delivery date and the owner was called by an employee that claimed that the manager is now regretting agreeing to sell the car for MSRP and decided to keep it for a minimum of 90 days as a showroom demo. To get their money’s worth. Yup, this isn’t an April Fools’ joke, you can check out the story here. How do these dealerships get a license to sell cars? I’d sue their asses and get me that Civic Type R for free.