Depending on the capitalization, the term “Fiat/fiat” can mean many things.
In Latin, “fiat” is a commandment from on high meaning “it shall be”. It’s also what Zeus yells before triumphantly flushing the toilet.
Some people cheekily call their Ferraris “Fiat”. Others think of “Fix It Again Tony”, in reference to the repair shop regulars from the 1970’s.
When a lowercase “f” is used, the economically-minded among us think of currency.
By Peter Dushenski
In 7 short days, the 2013 Formula 1 season begins in Melbourne with the Australian Grand Prix!
Last year, your author watched more than half the races, many of them live at completely obscene hours of the morning. So if you’re looking for a devoted perspective, you’ve come to the right place. It’s easier for our European friends to watch F1 races live, but the TV schedule is rather more challenging for us igloo-dwellers 8 time zones away!
While we followed F1 more closely than ever before in 2012, most of our thoughts on the matter were published on Twitter. Only Jenson Button’s cries for a RHENOCÉROUS were loud enough to prompt an article on these pages. Interestingly, that article was more prescient than most, as Button’s boys at McLaren have followed Ferrari’s pull-rod (i.e. “rhino-faced”) front suspension design for the 2013 season, the only other team to do so. We already knew Jenson was quite the hobbyist, running marathons in sub-3hrs, but who knew he was such a lobbyist too!
Since you already know CarEnvy doesn’t make predictions, let’s kick off the 2013 season with a few Hip-Hip-Hoorays!
Here are 5 things worth cheering for in 2013!
By Peter Dushenski
Is it sexist to think that a woman designed this?
On second thought, it’s probably just reverse-sexism. I hope compliments count towards reparations…
Nonetheless, what could only have been a very smart, careful, and ingenious woman at GM has done what Steve Jobs did with the music player – borrowed a bunch of other people’s good ideas and brought them together into an elegant and user-friendly form. The result is not only lovingly crafted but is also the best upgrade to the facelifted 2013 Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Chevy Traverse. If you’ve driven these triplets, you’ll find the refreshed to be remarkably familiar, with the exceptional exception of 3 very expensive knobs.
This isn’t faint praise. It’s more like reverse-faint-praise.
By Peter Dushenski
“To the mountains!” I proclaimed to myself, not quietly enough. The office paused momentarily before key taps and paper shuffling resumed.
My friend Conal had just asked a dozen of his closest friends, myself included, to join him at his family’s Canmore home for the weekend! Just like that, the stage was set for a weekend road trip to the ever-imposing Rockies. Our chariot for the 900 kilometer (555 mile) round-trip? The all-new, niche-defying (but quasi-Prius-fighting) Ford C-MAX, an all-new vehicle for 2013. Then…
Just like that, 50 hours after we left Edmonton, we were home again. In between, we skied, hiked, died of laughter playing Cards Against Humanity, baked oatmeal cookies from scratch, teased each other about budding romances, relieved hundreds of glass bottles of their contents, and used only 58L of gas.
The weekend was a perfect opportunity for us to let off some steam, grow closer, and enjoy Ford’s foray into the growing market of family-oriented green vehicles.
Without further ado, here are the 5 C’s of C-MAX:
“On an early summer morning, July ’69” — thus begins a 2000 song “One Small Step” by the Dutch musician extraordinaire Arjen Lucassen. The song is likely autobiographical. One simply cannot fake the childlike joy that courses through its lyrics. The childhood experience of waking up at 3:45 AM in a small Dutch town Hilversum to watch Neil Armstrong land on the Moon foreshadows the rest of Arjen’s life. It marks the moment when he began his lifelong infatuation with space that would later take him to writing bombastic space-themed rock operas and becoming one of the most influential figures in the world of progressive rock. Those little things in our childhood do make a big splash.
My story begins at a different time of year and in a place much less cozy than Hilversum. A gentle night in July is replaced with a snowy March morning and a postcard Dutch town is replaced with a freezing Siberian city of Omsk, where Stalin used to send German POWs during WWII. It was Sunday, March 5, 1995, it was –25o C outside, and I was 7 years old. It was in that cold Siberian city on that very day when my fascination with cars began.
Back then, I lived in a very different world. It had been just 3 years since the Soviet Union had collapsed. The Iron Curtain fell almost immediately, and a sea of Western imports flooded the country. Among these, one particular import stood out for 7-year olds like me. Like millions of other Russian children, I would get up every Sunday at 9 AM — which was quite a feat considering we had a 6-day school week — to sit in front of a recently acquired Western-made TV to watch Western cartoons. As fate would have it, on that day my weekly fix of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe happened to be followed by a car show. I never knew its name, but this was a car show that would change everything.
By Peter Dushenski
Forecasts are rational, useful, and necessary. Right?
Whether it’s 2013 US car sales forecasts made by Edmunds, Audi’s ambitious sales forecasts, population forecasts made by the UN, or inflation forecasts made by the Federal Reserve – everyone’s in on the forecasting game. But not all forecasts are created equal.
Listening to the weatherman for a week and comparing his predictions with climatological outcomes would show you how tough the forecasting game really is. And weather systems are far simpler than most of the systems we try to make date-specific predictions about. Is it really any wonder that everyone from Audi to the United Nations revises their forecasts until prediction and predicted merge seamlessly, like an outfielder catching a fly ball?
Forecasting of complex systems is nearly, if not completely, impossible. So why do we keep believing them?
Every day is an opportunity for us to reflect and yet it’s during the holidays that we actually get enough breathing room between the incessant buzz of modernity and ourselves to make it happen. So let’s take this moment.
We have much to be grateful for: Peace in our country, heat in our homes, cars in our garages (maybe even a Fiat 500), food on our plates, and loved ones nearby. And more.
CarEnvy is also grateful for where we came from. Just over four short years ago, in October 2008, CarEnvy bursted forth from the frozen landscape with short drive reviews of the Lexus IS-F, Lexus LX570, and Lexus RX400h all in the same day. Oh how very, very far we’ve come. Exactly four years ago, we visited Cuba and marveled at the rolling automotive museums in the streets. Exactly three years ago, we played badminton in the Honolulu Open and saw Schumacher’s 2002 F1 car. Exactly two years ago, we volunteered in Costa Rica where we ran head-on into a non-Porsche Cayman and lived to tell the tale. Exactly year ago, we toured Maui in a Kia Soul and bicycled down the Haleakalā volcano. This year, we’re in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with friends and family, braving -30C temperatures and experimenting with low-carb nutrition just when ginger snaps and perogies are tempting us the most. The journey, as challenging and rewarding as ever, continues.
Thank you so very much for following CarEnvy’s journey over the past 4+ years. It’s been an honour to share our stories with you and we’re very excited for the year ahead.
Merry Belated Christmas, Happy Belated Hannukah, Happy New Year, and a very Happy Holidays!
Yours Most Sincerely,
[Image Credit: 500blog]