No. 951
June 20, 2018
 

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Good luck with that.

Judging by recent articles, it seems that Ford CEO Jim Hackett is spending much of his time on the plans for Ford's new campus at the Michigan Central Station. Ford is making glowing statements about how this will attract young professionals to work at Ford, rather than Silicon Valley — good luck with that.

GE's Jeff Immelt made similar pronouncements when he spent hundreds millions to relocate the GE headquarters from Connecticut to Boston. How'd that work out for GE? Well, it seems that Immelt should have spent more time on the nitty-gritty of GE's business, rather than relocating the headquarters, as he was out the door not long after.

I think this move by Ford isn't as bad as Cadillac's move to Manhattan, but I doubt it will do anything to move the needle on their business. I think that Ford would be better off if the executives spent their time on the car business, rather than on urban redevelopment.

JaredN
Boston, Massachusetts

 

Ultimate Pony Car.

The new BMW 850 appears to share it's DNA with the Ford Mustang. And, it's got a V-8. I'll bet it probably has IRS as well. “The Ultimate Pony Car”!

Rick S.
Baltimore, Maryland


German Mustang.

Sorry, I'm not impressed with the design of the new BMW 8 Series. I have always thought of German brands as leaders, not followers. But this new 8 Series may change my mind… it's a Mustang with a BMW nose and a Lexus tail. C'mon BMW, you can do better than that...

JR
Rochester, New York

 

Racing and such.

Your rant about IMSA and French ACO/whatever is but another reason why I rarely watch races anymore. There is nothing about most forms of racing that offer any relevance to vehicles that people aspire to own – neither drivetrain nor chassis or styling.

I will say that the younger 20- and 30-somethings are doing great things with their Japanese tuner cars. There's a guy in my neighborhood with a 2003 Civic coupe that he's turned into a beast. Accord block and head, de-stroked to 2 liters, and put on a turbo the size of a bowling ball. Lord knows what else is in it, but he and his friends have done it all themselves during evenings and weekends. He runs it on E85 and has a dyno sheet showing 700+ HP at the wheels. He takes it drag racing and usually cleans up in his class. Now THAT is racing.

The car looks like a typical rodent Civic. Heck the wheels don't match! In other words, it's perfect. I told him to avoid making it too nice, and of course he won't.

Jim Jones
Cape Flatulence, Missouri

 

The new BMW M850i.

In other words, the 850i will be a maintenance nightmare when the warranty runs out. I guess that's why people lease most BMWs. My brother is paying through the nose for his BMW post-warranty. If I wanted a Mustang, I would buy the real thing and it would probably be more reliable and it is better looking. And one more thing… 4,478 lbs. You've got to be kidding. Cars are getting way to heavy with all these b.s. options.
 
J. Prinzivalli
Antioch, California

 

Time for a change.

The FIA has put the world on notice. It is time for a new/old Can-Am series based in America. Forget about ersatz top of the line unobtainable “production” hyper cars.

Minimize rules, maximize noise!

ChuckB
Rockville, Maryland


Mustang vs. BMW.

Ha – I thought the same thing as soon as I saw the photos of the undisguised new 850i – it's a Mustang GT with 1000 lbs. and $100,000 added. Here's a visual comparison I made up this morning:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zx729omsbg43shs/850i%20vs.%20Mustang%20GT.png?dl=0

Austin Steele
Fullerton, California

 

Balance of Politics.

WEC is a dying series. Grandstands are mostly only partially filled. Managed competition and cost will drive competitors away. Jumping the shark with a winter series probably won't work.

BoP = Balance of Politics

(BTW, the photo of Le Mans in 1967 indicates pit stops then were a bit more leisurely than today.)

DRG
Rochester, New York



The Corpulent Driving Machine.

At 2262lb, the ’68 BMW 2002tii is just a tad over half the weight of the 2019 M850i xDrive: The Corpulent Driving Machine. After fifty years of pursuing superior driving dynamics, they’ve discovered road-hugging weight. And thank you for the (Tom) Pease & “karats!”

Chris Blanchard
Prescott, WIsconsin

 

Motor City shuffle.

I see a lot of evidence of a lot of people all doubling-down on Detroit, and I guess that's a good thing. But you are correct in wondering if, ultimately, there's any ‘there’ there. But what choice is there? “Detroit” has to fight for domination over transportation, no matter what form it takes. The stakes are too horrible to contemplate, and at least people can say ‘we tried’ if it doesn't work out.

Ford deserves HUGE kudos for having the balls to actually buy Michigan Central Terminal and transform it into a showpiece property. I'm truly awestruck by the vision, the courage and the commitment their decision represents. I know it'll be magnificent when it's done. But then there's the whole rest of the City that needs fixing…

I agree tat the dizzying pace is, well, dizzying. But it's also majorly satisfying, if not downright freak-me-out-I-never-thought-I'd-see-this-in-my-lifetime crazy. One can actually see young couples pushing strollers in Campus Martius at 10:00 at night. Freakin' WEIRD!

As for the Q-Line. It is a great big, giant ‘MEH’, but it was built mostly with private money. And we'll see if it's ever added onto. I think a link from Eastern Market towards Campus Martius might make the thing actually useful. Again, a giant bowl of we'll see, right?

All of this leaves one wondering when the termites will go after the ‘autonomous balsa wood smiley cars’. And do they replace the flatulence-powered clown cars previously predicted? I say let's leave the clown cars to the clowns in Silicon valley.

Sandman
Motown and Beyond

Editor-in-Chief's Note: Yes, the flatulence-powered clown cars have been superseded by the new-generation autonomous balsa wood smiley cars. Progress! -PMD

 

Johnny Cabs.

I refer to these autonomous vehicles as “Johnny Cabs” (from the 1990 movie Total Recall). How are the Johnny Cabs supposed to work when our present road infrastructure is so abysmal? Heck, we can't even get the lane stripes repainted on a regular basis. I can't believe the auto companies are so gung ho to assume all the potential liability of these Johnny Cabs. Besides, I like to go where I want, when I want, and on my own. If I don't wish to drive, I'll take the bus or taxi.

D. Miller
Dearborn Heights, Michigan



Time for a change.

When Don Panoz worked with the ACO to bring the series together, I was all for it. But after this years 24 Hours of Le Mans, it is time for the US to do its own thing. This year's Le Mans was a complete sham.

Tucker C.
Richmond, Virginia

 

Le Mans, etc.

You're too easy on Le Mans. What a BS event it has become. BOP changes at the last possible moment. And it seems that BOP adjustment instead of facilitating competition anoint the chosen for an EZ road to the top; did anyone say Toyota or Porsche? Maximum laps between stops, minimum refueling times. Oh didn't it used to be about innovation?
Really has it come to this? In GTE Pro do they sit around a table and assign who will win this year and for others to await their turn. Not a fantasy thought here. And I have followed the event since at leas 1960.

EJC
Hackensack, New Jersey
 

Editor-in-Chief's Note: Too easy on Le Mans? Hardly. I have been the most vocal critic of the ACO/FIA for years. The ACO/FIA basically determines which teams will be competitive before the races are run. Especially in GTE Pro. The ACO blatantly allowed Ford leeway with the GT to make sure it would either win, or be close in 2016 to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Ford's first win with the GT in 1966. Hell, the Ford GT didn't even see production until almost eighteen months after the Le Mans win in 2016, which is a blatant disregard for the rules. But then again the French have always made up the rules as they go, and it usually depends on who wants to line their coffers the most which determines where the favors are bestowed. And it is unmitigated bullshit. I've never been a fan of the French controlling racing, and I've never seen the point of American racing interests bowing to them at every turn. And it's time for it to stop. -PMD