Pops’ Rants: The Tesla Model 3 Isn’t That Affordable; Toyota Supra Without a Manual? Yikes!
Let’s also have a laugh over Ferrari losing the Testarossa nameby Pops, on
If you’ve been reading my rants, you probably know I’m a big fan of the manual transmission, and I hate almost everything with an automatic. Yeah, I’m the guy who went as far as to say that the Dodge Challenger Demon sucks because it doesn’t have a stick and a clutch. Well, bring out the tar and the feathers because I have a big announcement to make: the next-generation Supra will suck too! Why? Well, some leaked documents say that the all three drivetrains fitted in the upcoming model will have automatic transmissions only.
And, here’s the thing. While you might argue that the Challenger Demon needs an automatic to achieve all that amazing performance at the drag strip, the new Supra wasn’t designed to win NHRA races. It’s a freakin’ sports car in which you’re supposed to have fun. And, the best fun can only come by way of a proper shift stick and three pedals. Seriously now, this automotive evolution is ruining a lot of cars, and the Supra is probably the biggest one yet. Stop chasing profits only and give people what they want. Man, it’s so long since I last yelled "shut up and take my money!" toward a carmaker. And this is just the tip of the iceberg this week...
Continue reading for the full story.
Sticking it to Ferrari
You probably heard the news that Ferrari has lost the rights to the Testarossa name in Germany a few days ago. As much as I like the original Testarossa race car from the 1950s and the road car in the 1980s I think it’s pretty darn funny. And you know why? Because Ferrari is the company with the tightest sphincter in the world when it comes to using its names, buying its cars, modifying them, or even testing them as a journalist. There are countless rules, countless restrictions, and Ferrari does everything it takes to keep its cars from getting a bad name, even when they deserve it. And yes, they’ve been working hard to prevent head-to-head comparisons of the LaFerrari with the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918. They’re that anal!
So yeah, losing the Testarossa name is damn funny and proves that karma works like a charm. Sure, it’s not a big deal as Ferrari doesn’t plan on launching a new Testarossa model, which it won’t be able to sell in Germany with this name, but it’s painful to lose the rights to an iconic name, even though it’s something local. And, you know what makes things that much more hilarious? The company that won the lawsuit arguing that Ferrari hasn’t been using the name for more than two decades plans to manufacture electric shavers, bicycles, and remote-controlled toy cars and helicopters. I’m a beard guy and I rarely use a blade, but I’m definitely buying a Testarossa shaver. It would look great next to my Ferrari 250 GTO scale model.
Rolls-Royce Thinks too Highly of Itself
Here’s another funny thing I ran across this week. Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said, during the new Phantom’s launch in Europe, that "We are not using mass-manufactured body shells. That limits what you can do on the design side, and it undermines exclusivity massively. You don’t want a camouflaged Audi Q7 in that segment. You want to have a true Rolls-Royce." He’s obviously referring to the upcoming Rolls-Royce SUV not being a dressed-up Audi Q7 like the Bentley Bentayga, its main rival in this very expensive market. As if the upcoming Rolls-Royce SUV won’t be a big lump of metal that will look like a utility vehicle anyway. What’s more, judging by the spy shots, it will look more like a brick on wheels. Who cares about platforms anyway? Do automakers really think that rich people willing to spend some $300K on an SUV care whether the underpinnings are custom-made or borrowed from another vehicle? No! What they care about is the comfort, the luxury, and the ludicrous options. For a CEO of a premium company, Mueller-Oetvoes is a bit too hasty.
Elon Musk doesn’t Know what Affordable Means
So the Tesla Model 3 was launched recently. The shrunken Model S that’s supposed to be affordable. But it’s not. Sure, it costs significantly less than the Model S, but at $35,000 before options, it’s beyond what the average Joe can afford. And, please don’t tell me about the $7,500 rebate you can get, because not everyone has access to that and most of the times it’s a smaller sum. And you know why $35K isn’t affordable? That’s the sticker of a BMW 3 Series. How many 3 Series do you see on the road as opposed to say Toyota Corollas and Camrys, which cost under $20,000 and under $25,000, respectively? Not that many! Again, I’m not saying the Model 3 isn’t more affordable than other Teslas on the market, but it’s not where Elon Musk promised it would be. In order to achieve that affordable status that would allow us to change our habits and switch toward electric power, an EV should cost less than $25,000. And at this sticker, it should offer seating for four or five people, decent storage room, and solid mileage. A more affordable EV the size of the Model 3 will probably happen in five years or so, but for the time being, most people will prefer Corollas, Camrys, and other truly affordable gasoline cars. So much for PR.
And before I end this, yeah, I still think James May would be better off doing a car showby himself, while Jeremy Clarkson spends his retirement at home. I still don’t like the schmuck.
Read our full review on the 2018 Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
Read our full review on the Tesla Model 3.