On Friday I talked about two of the most egregious offenses to naming in recent automotive history, MyFord Touch 2.0 and the BMW M550d, so for this morning’s Philosophy of Driving, I’m going to explore another aspect of this discussion, and in doing do, parry my previous position.
I previously, and cynically, argued that the German Horsepower Wars had (d)evolved into the German Naming Wars, with the greatest honour going to he with the greatest discrepancy between real and claimed specific output. I then went on to pick apart, quite pedantically, the “2.0″ attached to the new MFT software update. It was all very anal.
But it was hardly a new and refreshing perspective. We love this kind of stuff. We love to to groan about trivial discrepancies. Nothing gets us riled up like lap times, torque figures, and claimed displacement. We live in the scientific era, after all, and precision is King. If we can’t figure out something with absolute certainty, down to the last micrometer and millisecond, it’s probably because we aren’t using sufficiently sensitive instruments. This is the way of science.
This is not, however, the way of our pre-scientific ancestors.
BMW is famous for many things. The tagline “Ultimate Driving Machine”, its compact luxury car that wins every comparo it enters, and the inorganic X6 are but a few. But its reputation for broad daylight dupery is growing faster than even its impressive profit margins. Almost every BMW review you read now has a caveat about engine size politely disagreeing with the chromed numbers on the trunk lid. And it’s not just the new turbo M-cars that are attracting the poetic furor of car blogs and print mags (whatever those are) alike. It’s a pandemic!
328i with a 2.0L, 750i with a 4.4L, and their most brazen yet: M550d with a 3.0L!
If you were from another planet and didn’t know that BMW had a marketing department, you’d swear they used a giant spinning Ferris wheel and a team of carnies/interns to determine the names of their cars. It’s even possible that, given the recent petering out of the German Horsepower Wars (the new RS4 has fewer horsepower than the old C63), that Teutonic engineering pride is now given to he with greatest spread between actual and claimed engine size. If so, BMW is now in the lead with a untouchable two point difference. Audi and Mercedes don’t stand a chance!
Between the Occupiers, Arab Springers, deposed despots, wobbly Euro, Japanese quake, economic stagflation, and the passing of Steve Jobs, 2011 was rocky like Banff. Still, CarEnvy managed to publish over 70 articles and complete a top-to-bottom site redesign. Not bad for a mostly-one-man-show, eh? In that time, we also reviewed 18 cars, a new record for us. So let’s recap the year that was with CarEnvy’s Best and Worst of 2011 including such categories as Worst Car We Reviewed, Best Interview, Best Press Trip, Worst Movie We Saw, and Best Car We Spotted.
Welcome back to anova glue-huffin’ addition of da CarEnvy MegaFair™ Comparison Test!
In dis mega-masha’ smackdown, two 5-door wagons vie for street supremacy. It be kinda like da Bloods vs. da Crips, but wit’ way mo’ at stake. Da Countryman be Mini’s first 5-door and da most biggest vehicle in da company’s history. Dis has given lots o’ peeps lots to chatter about, but none of dem has looked at its bad ass G-ness. CarEnvy be changin’ dat by pitting it against da new tech-poppin’, rock-slingin’ Ford Focus. And we ain’t talking about da kind of rocks dat David slung at Goliath oh no, we be talkin’ about da kinds of rocks you smoke, baby. Cuz da Focus plays for keeps!
Now, deez two might be seemin‘ like a pair of mild-mannered hatchbacks marketed and designed for da young urban professionals who be wearin’ thick-rimmed glasses and practicin’ Anusara yogaz, but dat ain’t da whole truth. Sure, dey both be upmarket whips that be eager to differentiate demselves from da pack with a slammin’ combo of panache and practicality, but don’t let dat costume fool you da way it has so many others! Deez two only wear cardigans during da day to fool dey oblivious bosses, but by night, y’all better believe that dey be some of the baddest motherf*ckers dis side of East Hastings. So which one of these two G-Units has da walk to back up da talk?
As usual, we has devised 5 devastatingly difficult tests to find out. Respek!
If you live, breathe, and sweat cars from every pore of your being – like we do – then using your more logical left brain simply doesn’t enter the equation when you’re looking to buy a new car. You probably leave that up to your parents, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, etc. Right? Of course you do, you’d be banned from your favourite forum if you even uttered otherwise. This is all well and good when you want to escape to the nether regions of the internet to shoot up on automotive heroine (also known as The Supercar), but in the real world, where people open their wallets and drive cars home from the dealer, a little sensibility goes a long way. Particularly when you’ll be keeping the car for anywhere between 5 years and the rest of your life.
So let’s delve into the all-new, entirely unrecognizable as such, Ford Focus. Bring your left brain this way, monsieur.
It’s hard to imagine a more awkward-sounding displacement than 379 cubic inches. This description fails on several levels because not only does it fail to recall the glory days of Detroit and its synonymous muscle cars, it also begs the question: What the hell is a cubic inch?
Long gone are the days when we measures an engine size by this anachronistic American standard, even if we still use the Almighty Inch to measure penises, plywood, and TV screens. Metric is the new standard and we now measure engines by the number of milliliters, or cubic centimeters, they displace. This puts everyone in the world on a level playing field, including today’s competitors.
In this edition of the CarEnvy MegaFair™ Comparison Test, 6210cc plays 6162cc as the 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew faces off against the Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible. They’re both American, both unnecessary, and both attention-grabbing fun machines.
Responses to this unusual experiment will undoubtedly range from “Compare apples to apples, idiots”, “GM rulz, Ford drulz”, but we can hardly confine ourselves to such pedantic logic. We have to think BIG! Besides, didn’t you see the part of the title that says “MegaFair”? We wouldn’t write that if it weren’t true. Plus, if you can afford the $54,000 Camaro SS, chances are that you could stretch the ol’ budget to include the $65,000 Raptor. Also, they both have 6-speed automatics inextricably intertwined with 6.2 Litres of USDA Approved Grunt. So which of these two gas-swilling, grin-inducing, hunks of steel and plastic should earn your money? We’ve devised 5 distinct tests to determine exactly that.
Advertising is powerful. Advertising is pervasive. Advertising is also frequently ignored because it’s absolutely everywhere. Except Sao Paolo, Brazil. But other than that, it’s on buses, benches, billboards, bicycles, and burritos. You’ve never seen a burrito with an ad on it? You need to get out more.
We’ve been inspired by Hyundai’s latest banned ad – seen above, developed by Amsterdam ad agency Fitzroy and only mildly creepy – to compile a list of our all-time favourite banned car commercials. Here are the top 5 (that’s not including the one above!)!