Friday, September 13, 2013

Car rant-I blame you America!

Somebody said something a few days ago, that made my head spin, and it's time I get it off my chest! Brace yourself this is going to be a semi-lengthy rant.

I don't quite remember what the article/video was now, but one of the comments was "bring back the G8" (a pontiac 4-door sedan, V6 or V8, RWD..a proper sedan, if you will). It had a short run of 2 model years, because of the impending bankruptcy, and lack of interest really. Now a few short years later, people crave this car, and other like it. The bankruptcy of GM was hard on lots of people, especially those directly effected by it, but also hard on enthusiasts like myself who saw their favorite brand in uncertain times. Enough of that though, lets talk about the vehicles themselves. What upsets me the most about the recent turbulence of the auto industry is that not once did anyone consider, that maybe THEY were to blame for it. If you read my blog, or facebook posts, or listen to me talk at all, you will know a car is much more than 'just' a car to me, and many like me. But not to you...the general public. Today we are in a new golden age of cars, performance driven, highly optioned, better equipped machines like no other time. In my humble opinion it rivals the former "golden age" of automobiles (think muscle era), maybe even edging it out. My complaint is we could have had this YEARS ago, but you wouldnt have it. 10 years ago, the general public didn't care about performance, whether it be handling, engine, braking, or otherwise. You became obsessed with getting the highest MPG possible, with gas prices and all. You needed the maximum number of cup holders possible, big enough to fit a big gulp in hopefully. You wanted a navigation screen, the size of a TV, a simple map or mapquest would not suffice. You let yourself be convinced that the natural progression of technology needed to be included in your vehicle. All that is fine and dandy, until you realized you were driving a piece of shit, that had 8 cup holders, navigation, back up cameras, blah blah blah. I am all for the natural progression that technology has taken, I use it every day. BUT, you were willing to sacrifice the quality of the car itself, for more equipment. As a college student, who is very broke, I understand the role the price of gasoline plays in everyones life. Todays engine technology is achieving great things to reduce gasoline consumption. The great things we have today, could have been had a long time ago, if you were willing to worry about the car as a whole, and not the options it had. Back to the G8, which is a car I am quite fond of. Today we have the upcoming Chevrolet SS sedan, which is basically an updated refresh of the G8 from the now dead Pontiac, both of which are more or less Holdens from Australia (also a division of GM). A couple of years ago you didn't want it because it was a performance car, today we get word there will only be 900 units built initially, and the internet goes ablaze with complaints. YOU HAD YOUR CHANCE TO OWN a similar car in 2008, but it didn't have enough gadgets for you. You let yourself be convinced you needed a car with lots of gadgets, even if it was an absolute embarassment to the industry. It needed an EPA estimated 40 mpg, with no guts to get out of its own way. News flash, good MPG can be had, with technology and a proper driving skill set.

So, what were manufacturers supposed to do? They put out exactly what you wanted, a shiny piece of junk, with gadgets. So the rest of us had to partake  in the junk buys, because we wouldnt afford the 1 or 2 performance cars. Or buying a car strictly because it had the mark of your favorite brand, even if it was junk. This can be applied to anybody's brand...90's/2000's mustangs, decent looks, sounds good, decently put together, turd in the performance realm, save for the 03-04 cobras (note: mustangs have come a long way, the new 5.0's are great). What about the almighty LS1 powered F-bodies from 98-02? Huge leap in engine technology and design, rest of the car slowly rattles apart (I've owned 3 F-bodies, and worked on numerous) note: I do still love the 4th gens, no matter if they rattle apart or not. Dodge/Chrysler? Please! Nice engines, rest of the car falls apart around them though.

Today we get a new 5.0 Mustang, Gen IV powered Camaros, absolutely wicked Corvettes, etc etc. And they do much more than recent vesions could ever hope to do. Manufacturers are finally bridging the gap in all around performance, with the junk the rest of you want.

Of course all this is a matter of opinion, but seriously, the rest of us are tired of hearing your praise to your respective brands for the nice cars they are finally putting out. We could have had them years ago if you hadn't wanted anything but, at the time.