Everyone seems to be lazy this week

And how are you folks doing this week? I gotta tell you, last week was rough with all that Mercedes X-Class jazz. And awkward and funny at the same time with reports that Jeep is doing better than FCA. And just when I thought that I would take a break from writing this week, Rolls-Royce launched the new Phantom. The NEW Phantom. With new everything. Except for the design. Have you seen it? Well, if not, have a look at the old Phantom because they’re basically identical. Remember how a while back I said that some at Rolls-Royce must be smoking pot at the office? The new Phantom is proof of that.

Seriously now, I wish this was some sort of prank, but April 1st is... ermmm... seven months way? What’s Rolls-Royce thinking? And what with the Pagani Zonda Fanstasma Evo that just broke cover? Wasn’t the Zonda discontinued years ago? And, why would Jaguar waste a more powerful V-8 engine on an XJR that doesn’t have an "SVR" badge? Yup, that’s what’s bugging me today, and it’s exactly what we’ll discuss below. So grab a cup of something and read on.

Continue reading for the full story.

I’ve Heard of Evolutionary Design, but this Is Ridiculous!

2013 Rolls Royce Phantom Series II
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2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII Wallpaper quality High Resolution Exterior
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I never thought I'd live to see Rolls-Royce launch a new-generation model that looks like a facelift of the previous design.

Evolutionary design is all around us nowadays. Most current BMWs are very similar to those from 10 years ago, and don’t get me started on cars like the Audi A6 and A8. But, I never thought I’d live to see Rolls-Royce launch a new-generation model that looks like a facelift of the previous design. Yeah, I’m well aware that Rolls-Royce is part of the BMW Group, but come on, we’re talking about different things here. Rolls-Royce is all about flamboyant luxury and features you can’t get anywhere esle, plus a ridiculous amount of bespoke items you can order as long as you have a big, fat wallet. So what gives?

Just look at it. It’s the same concrete block-shaped front fascia with the square radiator flanked by rectangular headlamps. Yes, the headlamps are a bit narrower with a different cluster under the glass, but it’s the same freakin’ thing. And instead of the LED daytime running lights below, Rolls-Royce carved two openings. Now that’s what I call innovation! NOT!!!

2013 Rolls Royce Phantom Series II
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Rolls-Royce Reveals Next-Gen Phantom VIII High Resolution Exterior
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The side panels are almost the same, the roof is almost the same, and the rear end is almost the same.

And it gets worse! The side panels are almost the same, the roof is almost the same, and the rear end is almost the same. Even the taillights are almost identical and a big disgrace for the "New Phantom" lettering on the rear license plate. What new Phantom? Where is it? I’d like to buy one. Okay okay, I admit that there a few notable design changes in the grille, the beltline, the door handles, and the trunk lid, but it’s not enough. This isn’t a new design, but a polished mid-cycle update. Open the door and there’s another horror movie before you. The interior isn’t that much different than the old one.

It’s a good thing that the platform is new and the V-12 is strapped to a pair of turbochargers. It doesn’t save it, but at least I can’t say it’s not utter crap. Unfortunately, potential Rolls-Royce customers won’t care. They would’ve bought the old model anyway. Because why not...

Pagani Zombie Evo

2005 Pagani Zonda F
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2017 Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo Exterior High Resolution
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The Zonda is a thing of the past and it should remain there.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Pagani discontinue the Zonda in 2011, replacing it with the Huayra? I can definitely understand that some special-edition models arrived later, because these cars are assembled by hand and it can take a while, but it’s 2017 and Pagani just unveiled a new version of the old supercar. Marketing much? Seriously now Pagani, this throwback thing is becoming ridiculous, and surfacing a "new" Zonda from time to time isn’t going to change its production timeline. The Zonda is dead. How about you focus on the Huayra or maybe even a successor for your only supercar. Oh, and here’s some good advice: maybe it would be a good idea to develop a second and even a third nameplate to keep the business alive. The Zonda is a thing of the past and it should remain there.

SVR Everything Damn it!

2018 Jaguar XJR575 High Resolution Exterior
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In all seriousness now, all Jaguars should get SVR versions at some point.

So Jaguar just launched a thing called the XJR575. If you haven’t seen it yet, it stands for XJR with a bit of extra power and a higher price tag. And, not a lot of changes inside or out, aside for the dark trim that gives it a stealthy appearance. Normally, I would say it’s a bad deal, but I just can’t get past the fact that Jaguar could make better use of its SVR brand. The XJ would make a great performance sedan — and a cool competitor for the Mercedes-AMG S63 and BMW M760i xDrive — and Jaguar is doing it all wrong.

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 Exterior High Resolution
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2017 BMW M760Li xDrive Exterior High Resolution
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Instead of sticking a more powerful 5.0-liter V-8 under the hood, Jaguar should’ve let the regular XJR top the range for a while and come up with a properly beefed-up version wearing an "SVR" badge. Just think about it. It could have a 600-horsepower engine, aggressive aerodynamics front and rear, and chassis tuned for track performance. Heck, Jag could even go wild and set a Nurburgring record for full-size sedans! But no, they just had to make a slightly better XJR. Opportunity wasted...

In all seriousness now, all Jaguars should get SVR versions at some point. And limited-edition Project X variants that will make all Mercedes-AMGs, BMW Ms, and Audi RSs seem slow.

References

2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review of the 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII.

2017 Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review of the 2017 Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo.

2018 Jaguar XJR575 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review of the 2018 Jaguar XJR575.

Hey, I’m Pops, and these people here said I need to have a bio next to a picture like everyone else. I don’t like it one bit but heck, here I am. You’re probably wondering what my real name is, huh? Well it doesn’t matter and you shouldn’t care. People call me Pops and it’s been like that for a very long time. Heck, I think I’ve been the pops of the group since I was in my early 20s. Something to do with the fact that I rant a lot and I hate pretty much everything. "Hey look, here comes Pops to bitch some more," they used to say. They used to, get my drift? What a bunch of assholes! I never bitch, I have opinions. Sure, I kind of like hearing myself talk but hey, if you don’t like it, you know where the door is. I hate it when people don’t like what I have to say but still stick around.

Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing
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Which brings me to why I’m here. You know what else I don’t like? This silly thing they now call an automotive industry. One of man’s greatest achievements has been pussified so every blockhead can drive a car while using smartphone apps, verifying his tire pressure, calling his wife, and checking whether his dog pooped on the neighbors lawn. Instrument panels have lights for every little thing that goes wrong under the hood and sends you to the dealer to change the oil. Change the oil yourself you lazy prick! Back in my day I did that in the garage, getting all sweaty and greasy. No car told me what to do and where to go. Buttons, swipes, screens, voice activation, I’m just sick of them. Wasting time and money on silly things instead of simply enjoying driving. I still do that you know. In my 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner. But not you. No, you’re too busy getting the latest apps. Ah screw it, you’re not gonna get it anyway. And I’m tired of this bio thing...

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