No. 926
December 6, 2017

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PMD unplugged.

Your column is spot on. I would like to add though, perhaps part of Cadillac's problems are self inflicted. Why so much emphasis on China? Maybe they would have been better off concentrating on the US market. I think we are one financial downturn away from seeing the end of the “Big 3”. They sacrificed all of their other money making operations for the sake of being in the black and now all three are nothing but appliance manufacturers. The decades of “not invented here” have finally bit them in the ass.

Detroit, Michigan

Did they forget about the LM002?

I expect VW will make a boatload of money selling the Lambo Urus. And with that name it should be especially popular with wealthy urologists! But it's a bit strange to hear Lambo saying the Urus is “the first Super Sport Utility Vehicle,” I suppose Lambo is run by young VW/Audi transplants because there was a “Super Sport Utility Vehicle,” before the Urus and it was built by Lamborghini. Yes, the Lamborghini LM002! So of all the sports car makers, the one who can claim an SUV is part of their DNA is Lamborghini. Of course the Urus isn't a unique beast like the LM002, the Urus is just another flavor of Toureg. I do have to give VW credit. Can't think of another vehicle that that has been sold in so many flavors across so many demographics, Toureg, Q7, Cayenne, Bentayga, Urus, can a Bugatti version be far behind?

Mitch S.
Orangeburg, New York

Nanosecond attention spans, etc.

It seems we are entering into a nanosecond patience and boredom threshold period of society-ness. Just as the iPhone 8 ads hit our flatscreens, they’re shoved off the bandwidth by the iPhone 10. Apparently, my Paleolithic-era 6s is soup can-on-a-string technology by comparison. The car biz is now sticking its collective toe in the subscription service concept waters. You can change out your ride as often as once a month. Probably a good thing, as the increasing amount of sub prime and 84 month financing is going to catch up with them. Personally, I don’t think I’ll get involved just yet because I wouldn’t want to be tethered to one brand. What if I wanted to put in a different sound system, or a set of 32’s on my Mercedes Maybach S650?. There will probably be some kind of restriction on such, buried deep in the 10,000-word agreement I would skip over and go right to the “I have read…” check box.

Chris Blanchard
Prescott, Wisconsin

LUV guru.

Twelve years ago I drove down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on an absolutely terrible road. There, dead, on the side of the road was a new Cayenne. So some guy spent big money on a Porsche SUV without sport or utility. Maybe the term SUV should be limited to real ones, like the 4Runner, and we can use LUV for luxury utility vehicles like the Cayenne and the Urus. LUV use case: driving the kids to school, bringing groceries home or taking golf clubs to the course.

John Page
New Orleans, Louisiana

Oops, they did it again.

I see M/T did it again. In a 3 way comparison between the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla S3, they threw their “support” to the Tesla. Not withstanding that the $39k Tesla, as tested, was $69k.or the chronic problems even getting an S3 off the end of the assembly line. They sort of acknowledge those two points, but in a way that was essentially saying: Yeah, we know. But we don't care and neither should you.

Southern, Minnesota

Ground Control to Major Elon.

I have to say I'm disappointed. I completely expected you to cover the latest Tesla shiny wet Twitter fart – namely launching his own Tesla in to Mars orbit while playing "Space Oddity." I had to double check to make sure I wasn't reading The Onion. I doubt I was the only one. I also doubt I was the only one to wonder why a guy with his own rocket doesn't know the difference between ‘deep space’ and ‘Mars orbit’. I'm probably overthinking at this point.

Houghton, Michigan

We guess he won't be ordering one.

I find the Lamborghini Urus to be a complete letdown. To me it looks very much like the Honda Crosstour or the BMW X6, neither of which I gave a damn about. Same for this Urus. It's not even good-looking. Bor-r-r-r-ring. Seems a magnificent waste of effort.

Dave G.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


The CERV I is almost 60 years old and still looks the like it would be the baddest MF-er on the road! That rig has a screaming cool factor that has not gone out of style and never will. A beautifully executed piece of automotive design and performance!

Northville, Michigan


Just as some limousine chauffeured politician in Sacramento moves to outlaw the gasoline engine in California, Audi-Volkswagen releases a near quarter million dollar, unobtanium, Lamborghini SUV.

To quote the Wicked Witch of the West, “whata world, whata world, whata world!”

Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania

And then what?

The term “transportation dichotomy” really nails it on many fronts. In my own case, nearing retirement, my wife and I are discussing the future two car scenario, one “grey car” for everyday and mundane use, and a second car, being one we are enthusiastic to own and drive, albeit at a significant commensurate cost. At least we can afford this option. For many, the “grey car” appliance will be the only viable option, as truly interesting cars geared towards enthusiasts are steadily creeping into un-affordable territory for many. There are no encouraging signs the dichotomy will be reasonably and cost effectively unified into a single multi-use vehicle by any manufacturer in the future.

Jim D.
St. Louis, Missouri


Mega Money? I've read these articles on the various forms of autonomous cars and my questions are: A.) Why does GM think there is a boat load of money – who's going to manage these cars – Hertz? National? Ryder?, even if it happens, you'll have some leasing/maintenance company buying thousands, sounds like the rental industry to me. B.) Why will people jump wholesale into a function that essentially exists today – between traditional taxies, Uber/Lyft, the car share companies, etc., an urban dweller can essentially not own a car today? I do agree that it may be big boon to those who can't or shouldn't drive. I guess we will find out how much people truly like or dislike driving and what the price elasticity curve is on that.

Gurnee, illinois

CERV I, II and Corvette SS.

Very interesting bits and pieces about the research vehicles. I was aware of them but had no understanding of the politics holding things back. I saw the Corvette SS in the flesh at the IMS museum quite a few years ago and it was one of the most beautiful cars I ever laid eyes on. I'm really looking forward to learning more about the era that produced these vehicles and the Chapparals. As a kid I was mesmerized by them and lucky enough to witness Jim Hall behind the wheel of his masterpieces on multiple occasions. Watching the group 7 cars in person left an impression on me that to this day gives me goose bumps.

Holly, Michigan