No. 979
January 16, 2018

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Editors' Note: If you have a comment, please include your name or initials (AND YOUR HOMETOWN TOO, PLEASE). We do not print email addresses. If you want to read previous issues, click on "Next Entry" on the bottom of each section (we do not save emails from previous issues, however). Thank you.


Ford-VW Allliance, eh?

Well, as Elmer Fudd would say, “Be careful, be vewy, vewy careful” This could easily slip into one of those “Merger of Equals” deals where only one of the “equal” ends up with anything--or everything.

Wilmington, North Carolina

Sergio's rules.

While things didn't gel for FCA, the new Ford/VW strategy is proof that Sergio's global message to automakers did not fall on deaf ears.

Frank S.
Rochester, Michigan

The Cadillac XTX.

On Sunday, a local TV newscast anchor breathlessly announced the upcoming Cadillac XT6 reveal, EXCEPT he kept referring it as the XTX. The XTX this and the XTX that… WTF!? It's easy to get tongue twisted when the XTX looks like the current GMC ACADIA with the dinner plate grill stapled to it from the in-your-face ESCALADE and Cadillac's Scrabble game selection of model designators. Quick to market without much design thought. Side view is generic GMC SUV.

Rochester, Michigan

A Kia more convincing than a Cadillac.

It pains me to say this, but the Kia Telluride is a more convincing Cadillac than the XT6. It's as if GM bench-marked the QX60.

Peachtree Corners, Georgia

The Cadillac Sleepy Time.

If Cadillac expects the next-gen Escalade to generate a lot of interest, it will need to look a lot better than a larger version of the XT6. The front end of the XT6 doesn't inspire me, and the rest of the vehicle puts me to sleep.

East Galesburg, Illinois

Attention Mark Reuss.

“All I’m focused on is what we’re doing right now…”, Mark Reuss said, “and getting momentum back in Cadillac.” Eschews Super Cruise for XT6 Launch. Hey Mark: Wanna get some momentum back in Caddy? How about offering Super Cruise in your newest SUV? Or, even better, a new GPS assisted version of Super Cruise similar to Porsche’s InnoDrive? (And later, maybe a bespoke fully Nav-integrated Super Cruise system with Automated Guidance including Lane Change.)

Madison, Alabama

The XT6? Not desirable.

The XT6 could be a Kia Telluride, it could be a Hyundai Palisade, it could be a Volvo X-90. What it isn't is original, exciting, or especially desirable. According to Car and Driver the interior materials are one step above Chevy Trax. Cadillac, “The Standard of Blah Blah Blah.”

Brian Daniels
East Nassau, New York 

Fashion statements vs. practical statements.

How about Ford and VW developing a “small” pickup instead of more monster size “midsize” trucks? One of the design factors needs to be a bed height that allows you to load from the side without lifting anything higher than your head (hear me Chevy/GMC/Ford). There are too many (read all) design statements out there that are more fashion statements than practical statements.

Warren, Michigan


From the "You Just Never Know" File.

I used to bag on Toyota for copying anything worthwhile from American manufacturers, but now we've come full circle. The original Highlander was basically a contemporary Grand Cherokee in drag… but it seems if you'd like a “Grand Highlander”, Cadillac would love to speak to you. Somehow I don't think that's what “daring greatly” was supposed to mean. (And on second thought, “Grand Highlander” sounds WAAAAY better than XT6).

Meanwhile, I'm personally bored of squinty harpoon headlights and chisel-cheek maws, and half the vehicles wearing this meee-tooo fashion aren't even for sale yet. Here's a wild ass thought: maybe some design houses need to move away from the west coast. That pithy “Designed in California” tag only works for Apple anyway.

Finally, I'm surprised VW is tapping Ford for pickup assistance as I've always understood (maybe incorrectly?) that their Ragnarok and similar derivatives were always well regarded – in the rest of the world, which is what the Ford-sourced trucks are supposed to fill. It's not like VW is seeking to build trucks for the US (which Ford would be stupid to concede) or even China, where Ford is an also-ran. What does VW really stand to gain from this? Meanwhile, I'm excited at the prospect of Ford having access to what seems to be a compelling and viable EV platform. While I can't wait for VW to bring its EV-Bus to market… Ford making its own practical retro play with a capable minivan called the “Electrostar” (yeah yeah I'm an idiot but I can dream) would be a very welcome reboot/alternative of its own. But like Ford ceding truck share, that might make too much sense for VW to allow. On the other hand, Ford's out of the “car” business now so who sells what to whom? Maybe in time the brand “blaupunkt” will soon be known as "blaudasoval"…

Tony Lucio
Frankfort, Kentucky

Editor-in-Chief's Note: If anything, Ford needs to be aware that the End Game might mean a "deal" will be offered by VW to take control of the company. -PMD


Why don't we just forget the whole thing?

Give The People What They Want! Why don't we just cancel all auto shows? The CES is pretty much going in the direction to become an autoshow anyway. The auto show committees can devote their money and resources to creating great virtual websites and issue everyone virtual reality glasses so they can experience all the wonder of the automobile while in the comfort of their own personal space. The younger kids don't want to own cars anyway. Save the auto as we love it for classic car shows and museums.

Kevin L.
Warren, Michigan


Thank you to the True Believers.

The new Supra is probably a good car in its own right. Inflation-adjusted it is priced about the same as a 1987 MkIII Turbo (and even cheaper than the 1993 MkIV Turbo by about $20,000!). However, like the 1987 Turbo, it will likely suffer from price/performance comparisons with the Corvette which itself is struggling to sell at acceptable levels in a market that cares less and less about sports cars. But no one should complain in this golden era of performance and variety. Thank you Toyota and BMW for providing more choice.

Jacksonville, Florida


The Detroit Auto Show.

A splendid recap of the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. Even better than being there in person and fighting the swirls of rock salt dust blowing into my eyes down Jefferson Avenue. The best overview of the show out there. It's hard to pick a favorite line from this year's recap. Love the Risky Business lines. But upon careful consideration, my nomination for favorite line from this week's Rant: " …is the design language for these electric vehicles already blending together like a drawer of black socks? " The line really captures the essence of the whole EV niche for me. Bravo!

Carry on the good work, on behalf of all of us car guys & gals.

John Bomarito 
Henderson, Nevada


BMW's scary monster.

Someone at BMW was playing with photoshop, and thought it'd be a nice joke to graft a double-kidney on a previous-generation Honda Accord. Then they stretched the grill out to make it look a little silly, like a caricature. Then they emailed it to a few of their buddies, for a laugh. Then they went on vacation.

By the time they came back to work, it was too late.

Snohomish, Washington

Dear Cadillac,

After the introduction of the “meh” XT6, I have decided to do some much needed soul searching. I think it is time for a trial separation. I would like to date a few others that have caught my attention (see Aviator, Telluride, Palisade) and see where the relationship goes. Maybe we can seek some therapy to see if we can work things out in the future, but in the meantime, I wish you all the best.Remember, it's not me, it's you!


A former Cadillac fan
Atlanta, Georgia