No. 976
December 12, 2018

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

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JANUARY 10, 2018


(newspress USA)

arrowdown.gifarrowdown.gifarrowdown.gif   Byton. Editor-in-Chief's Note: Though the precious tech "intelligentsia" hordes insist that the Consumer Electronics Show has superseded all other shows - auto or otherwise - the fact remains that when CES keeps allowing blatant celebrations of vaporware to happen on a consistent basis, the credibility of the show is more than a little suspect. The latest evidence, or more specifically the latest outrage unleashed on the landscape? Byton, which is the brand name of Future Mobility Corporation of Nanjing, China. “The name ‘Byton’ comes from 'bytes on wheels' so it somehow reflects our idea to make a computer on four wheels. The focus of the brand will be much more on the experience of the passenger on the inside,” said David Kirchert, President of Byton. Uh, sure. This crap-tastic "concept" is not a concept at all, it's a pipe dream brought to so-called life on a wing and a prayer and not much else. Filled with promises - $70,000 of technology for just $45,000!! - the Byton sounds like every other blue-sky concept of the last half-decade. In other words, going nowhere fast. Faraday Future, anyone? Bueller? The best part of this glorious charade? The company has raised $250 million so far. Yes, you read that correctly, $250 million. That's it. Do you know what $250 million will get you toward the development of a new car? A lot of nothin'. Again, the fact that the CES allowed this unmitigated bullshit to be presented at its show is pretty much an indictment of everything they stand for. I would recommend that the CES organizers stand down and institute a moratorium on having any automaker introduce anything at the show for at least two years. Then we can all regroup and let the serious future transportation issues be addressed by companies that actually know what they're doing. -PMD

(newspress USA)

(Mercedes-Benz images)
When you're a car manufacturer and you want to extract even more money from your customers, the go-to thing to come up with is a "special edition." This usually means a special package consisting of options, exclusives and additions bundled together - replete with stinkin' badges - that ultimately costs more money. Mercedes-Benz has demonstrated repeatedly that it isn't above gorging at the "special edition" trough, thus, say hello to the Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition. Mercedes PR minions state that the Grand Edition "combines luxury with impressive levels of comfort, agile dynamics and extensive safety systems... featuring luxurious interiors and edition-exclusive components..." So, what do you get with the Grand Edition? The interior features Porcelain/Espresso Brown and designo Nappa leather seats with exclusive diamond quilting and special Budapest-design piping; open pore brown ash trim with light stripes and Nappa leather on the dashboard and other stuff. The Grand Edition on the GLS450 4MATIC features 20-inch, 10-spoke two-tone wheels and an advanced LED Intelligent Light System; the GLS550 4MATIC has 21-inch wheels and Active LED headlamps. Both models are - of course - finished with special "Grand Edition" badging. The Grand Edition will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show and will be available in U.S. dealers by mid-2018. Bring money.

From the "Intermittently Sublime To The Flat-Out Ridiculous" File: 2018 marks ten years of smart sales in the United States. And to recognize this milestone of abject futility, Mercedes has decided that a 10th Anniversary Edition 2018 smart fortwo electric drive coupe is just what the market needs. The fact that Dieter Zetsche - and make no mistake it's all on him - clings to the notion that this clown car is worthy of any attention at all is an homage to delusion that is simply unfathomable. Someone needs to tell Dieter - and smart - to stand down, permanently.

(Ford images)
Ford is introducing an all-new ST to its Edge lineup, the first SUV to be tuned by its Ford Performance team. The Edge ST has a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost® engine with 335HP and 380 lb.-ft. of torque - the most powerful V6 engine available in its class - according to Ford PR minions. The package includes a 8-speed automatic transmission, standard all-wheel drive with selectable traction control, an available performance brake package, and ST-tuned sport suspension.
 The Sport Mode on the Edge ST allows for more aggressive throttle response and shifting patterns that hold gears near redline through cornering maneuvers, sharper engine braking, and a more resonant exhaust note. Drivers can also manually shift using the steering wheel-mounted SelectShift® paddle shifters. The Edge ST features new front and rear styling, a wide mesh grille for optimal cooling, side skirts, dual-exhaust outlets and ST interior design cues on the steering wheel, seat backs and scuff platesUnique 21-inch wheels are available.

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