No. 927
December 13, 2017

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

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On The Table


NOVEMBER 29, 2017

Editor-in-Chief's Note: The hue and cry over this week's column - "Huckster's Paradise" - has been significant. The furious outrage from Motor Trend editors was to be expected and has turned into a firestorm; with one editor demanding that I "walk back" my column because they did not do anything that I inferred in my column, meaning, this isn't the old days and that they conducted themselves above board and with the utmost integrity throughout the evalauation process. I am not going to "walk back" anything, however. At the very least, the Motor Trend editors are guilty of woefully piss-poor judgement in canonizing a car that doesn't deserve any of the accolades it has been given. And if any of these self-righteous M/T editors bothered to check out even a sample of the comments out in the Internet, they'd realize that Motor Trend's credibility when it comes to the COTY is at the very least highly suspect, if not out and out dimissed as a perennial revenue grab. But what's really amazing to me is the hand-wringing by enthusiasts who should know better. Let me back up right here, because the notion that there are FCA/Alfa Romeo fans is puzzling to me. Do these people actually think that Sergio Marchionne and his posse actually give a shit about them? Do they think that by buying into the Alfa Romeo "renaissance" they will gain acceptance into an exclusive club that will improve their lives substantially? Here's the thing - the myth of the Alfa Romeo brand exists in history books only. The latest rejuvenation of the brand is an egregiously cynical ploy by a carpetbagging mercenary who is arrogant enough to believe that he can lead people around by the nose and get exactly what he wants from them. The blind devotion to a brand that has been ginned-up to fleece people while they're advised to conveniently ignore major quality issues and nonexistent resale performance for the "privilege" of being associated with it is simply incomprehensible to me. I don't know what the Motor Trend editors were really thinking but they clearly talked themselves into believing in this charade, and that is beyond unfortunate. As for those Alfa Romeo homers out there, people need to get a grip. And in case you're wondering, I stand by every word of my column. The High-Octane Truth hurts sometimes. -PMD

Editor-in-Chief's Note:
 The news that BMW is considering taking its Mini brand all-electric makes sense. Why? Mini is played out as a brand and has lost its mojo. After myriad forays in trying to extend the brand, which failed miserably (remember "The biggest Mini ever"?), Mini simply has nowhere to turn. If Mini is going to survive at all, it will be as a fully-electric niche brand. -PMD
Volkswagen Group of America confirmed it will introduce an all-new electric compact sport-utility vehicle in 2020 based on the I.D. CROZZ concept vehicle, which made its North American debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. 
The I.D. CROZZ, first shown in Shanghai in April and updated in Frankfurt earlier this year, is expected to precede the revival of the iconic Volkswagen Bus in 2022, a vehicle based on the I.D. BUZZ concept. “The I.D. CROZZ and the I.D. BUZZ will help Volkswagen to kick off an EV revolution in the United States. All of our I.D. concept cars demonstrate the inherent flexibility, driving range and smart design that can serve the needs of 21st century drivers," said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. The I.D. CROZZ and I.D. BUZZ, along with the original Volkswagen I.D. concept vehicle, appeared together for the first time in Los Angeles. The modular electric platform the three vehicles share will underpin all future Volkswagen-branded EVs, and make possible Volkswagen’s goal to build 15 different VW EVs globally by 2025.
Chevrolet staged the global introduction of the 2019 Corvette ZR1 convertible in Los Angeles, the first ZR1 drop-top since the original 1970 model-year ZR1. The Corvette ZR1 coupe will carry a suggested retail price of $119,995, while the ZR1 convertible will start at $123,995 (prices include destination charge, but exclude tax, title and other dealer fees). They will arrive at dealers next spring.
(Lincoln images)
Finally. The Lincoln Motor Company is slowly but surely going back to naming their cars. The first signal that this change was coming was the reintroduction of the Continental name to the market. Then the completely revamped Navigator arrived with its name intact. And now they're reintroducing the new 2019 Lincoln Nautilus (formerly called MKX), "a midsize luxury SUV delivering a powerful turbocharged engine range and a suite of advanced technologies designed to give drivers greater confidence on the road," according to Lincoln PR minions. The new Nautilus will arrive at dealers next summer.
BMW has introduced the BMW i8 Roadster, which adds the top-down experience to the BMW i8’s "combination of locally emission-free mobility, high-caliber performance," according to BMW. Optimized BMW eDrive technology means more power – total output increased to 369 hp (+12HP) - and a refined high-voltage battery with increased capacity and range. The new BMW i8 Roadster and BMW i8 Coupe can cover up to 18 miles (preliminary est.) in purely electric driving. With hybrid-specific all-wheel drive, combustion engine driving the rear wheels and the electric motor driving the front wheels, acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes 4.2/4.4 seconds (preliminary est.), Coupe and Roadster respectively, with both reaching an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
This is the new 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS, "which is recognizable by its clear contours and reduced lines" according to Mercedes PR minions. Well, that may be true, but when you choose to show the car in the now completely yesterday's news flat gray paint, it comes off as uninspired and schlocky. Beyond that, we find it really hard to give a shit. Details? The CLS450 is equipped with a new inline six-cylinder engine with 362HP in addition to a 21HP boost from the integrated starter-generator. It is also the first vehicle in the Mercedes-Benz lineup with 48-volt technology with ISG that offers increased efficiency and comfort. And the all-new four-door coupe seats five passengers for the first time. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS will go on sale in the U.S. fall, 2018.
(Autosport International images)
The newly launched Ferrari FXX-K Evo is the third - and latest - car to be confirmed for the main feature at Europe's biggest pre-season motorsport show, Autosport International. The exclusive Ferrari FXX-K Evo made its world premiere at Finali Mondiali at Mugello last month. Autosport International will be the first time that an XX Programme car has been at an event outside of Italy, prior to its on-track debut. It is set to play a feature role in the 2018 Ferrari XX Programme. Ferrari has adopted much more carbon fiber for the FXX-K Evo than its predecessor and it still produces more than 1000bhp from its 6.3-liter V12. Autosport International will take place at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, England, January 11-14, 2018.
Editor's Note: Be sure to check out Dr. Bud's column this week, where we're re-running one of the all-time favorites, "Ridin' A Hot Red Rocket to Hell." -WG