No. 848
May 25, 2016

About The Autoextremist@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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On The Table


MAY 25, 2016

Editor's Note: Attention all ye hipsters! Mark your calendars, create a New Event on your smartphones, get a temporary tattoo, do whatever you millennials do to remember things these days: Cadillac House will open to the public on June 2, 2016! As today's breathless press release explains, Cadillac House is "a physical manifestation of the brand’s cultural world," (cough, hack), and it will be positively overflowing with excruciatingly hip art, culture and fashion. (Click here if you missed the Rant to get Peter's inimitable take on the matter.) And you will, of course, be able to have your cup filled to the rim - not with Brim, but with java from New York-based Joe Coffee (evidence of Cadillac's commitment to being "a positive and responsible neighbor"). Whatever. So there you have it - fulfillment of yet another need you didn't know you had is just a few short days away. "A meeting place where innovators, creators and the curious can find inspiration – and one another." Hey, wait a sec, that's it! "Find inspiration - and one another"? Why not a new singles app, so all of the arty Cadillac House patrons can find their true Cadillac-scented soulmates, without having to ferret through the hoi polloi found on all those sites for the unenlightened commoners? And this one's on me: Date Greatly. -WG

(Aston Martin images)
Aston Martin and Italian design-house Zagato introduced the Vanquish Zagato Concept at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este last weekend. This is the fifth machine in a collaboration that stretches back more than five decades, from the iconic DB4 GT Zagato of 1960 through to the V12 Vantage Zagato of 2011. The Vanquish Zagato Concept is the result of a joint design effort by the Aston Martin Design team led by Marek Reichman and Andrea Zagato and his dedicated team in Milan. Developed and engineered at Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon, England, the new bodywork is entirely shaped from carbon fiber, with the split lines on the body reduced by the use of large one-piece panels. Editor-In-Chief's Note: This is yet another entry in what seems like an endless series of takes on the classic Aston Martin design language, something we've seen over, and over, and over again. Will it be produced? No. Is it interesting? Somewhat. Does it matter in the giant scheme of things? No. Does it a hold a candle to the original 1960 DB4 GT Zagato from 1960? Oh, hell no. -PMD

The 1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato.

As part of celebrations commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Miura, Automobili Lamborghini sent two Miuras from its museum down the route used in the film, “The Italian Job,” directed by Peter Collinson. In the opening sequence of that 1969 cult film, the cars traveled up the hairpin curves of state road 27 around Great St. Bernard mountain, in the heart of the Italian Alps. During the event, the “fathers” of the Miura met in a warm reunion. Gathering together were engineers Gian Paolo Dallara (right) and Paolo Stanzani (left), who were in charge of the technical side, and Marcello Gandini, who came up with the exterior design for Carrozzeria Bertone.

The Beauty of the Standard Car.

We've had some pretty fabulous cars to drive in the past, to the point that some readers have complained that we don't drive enough "real world" cars. Well, this week we tried out a Chevrolet Cruze LT Sedan. This is about as close to a "standard" car as we'll see around here, although "standard" these days still means you get a lot for your money (pricier RS and Premier versions can be ordered, and a cheaper LS model is available too). Not heavily optioned - all-in the sticker was a little over 24 grand - the Cruze nonetheless proved to be a perfect car for its mission in life. Slightly larger but lighter, which is the GM "way" of late, the Cruze went about its business in impressive fashion. It's roomy, quiet and comfortable - the standard cloth seats were very good - and the performance, though not earth shattering, was perfectly acceptable for the urban slog. And on the highway it was even better, displaying a calm composure in the 80-mph range, while delivering around 35 mpg at that speed. Are we talking a VW GTI driving experience here? No, of course not, that's not why the Cruze exists. Though we live in an automotive world that glorifies the newest, the latest and the fastest, sometimes a more basic car will suffice just fine. In this case there is nothing really "basic" about the Cruze, as the engineering effort put forth by GM's troops in Product Development is indeed impressive. There is something good to be said about the standard car, because there's a beauty about it and a lack of pretense that's refreshing. And you'd be hard pressed to find fault with the Chevrolet Cruze. -PMD
2016 Chevrolet Cruze 4-Door Sedan LT: $24,640 ($21,120 Base Price; Tungsten Metallic, $495; Dark Atmosphere/Medium Atmosphere interior; 1.4L I4 DOHC VVT with direct fuel injection, 153HP and 177lbs-ft of torque; Front-wheel-drive; Hydra-Matic 6T35 six-speed automatic transmission; Stop/Start technology; Four-wheel-disc brakes with ABS, StabiliTrak ESC and Duralife rotors; Chevrolet MyLink audio system; 7" diagonal color touch screen; OnStar; Select Bluetooth streaming; Apple Car Play capability and Android Auto capability provided by Apple and Google, available with compatible smart phones; OnStar Remotelink app; XM Radio + service subscription sold separately by SiriusXM after three months; 4G LTE WI-FI Hotspot with limited data trial; Tilt and telescoping steering column; Sun and Sound Package - Power sunroof, Chevrolet MyLink Audio System with 8" diagonal color touch screen and select Bluetooth streaming, Bose premium 9-speaker audio system, Multi-color driver instrument info enhanced display, Interior lighting, Illuminated driver and front passenger visor vanity mirrors - $1,495; Convenience Package - 8-way power seat adjuster, driver, EZ Key passive entry system, Keyless start, Remote vehicle start, Heated seats, driver and front passenger - $1,150; Destination Charge, $875)

Adherence to Brand Image: Once upon a time the idea of a "standard" car held sway in this country, and a Chevrolet usually occupied a high place on the list of choices. And though the market is completely changed now and there is a kaleidoscope of choices, the Chevrolet Cruze reaffirms the idea that a standard Chevy is definitely worthy of consideration. -PMD

Editor's Note: Ford has just released "Let's Race" - the third of five chapters in “The Return,” which is a long-form documentary that follows the development of both the street car and race car versions of the Ford GT from the decision to build the cars to the return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Watch chapter one, "The Decision," here and chapter two, "The Cutting Edge," here. (FYI: The Autoextremist makes a cameo appearance in chapter one.) -WG