Episode 747 – Votes Reverse on Ford Contract, Toyota Hybrid to Compete in Le Mans, BMW 3-Series

October 17th, 2011 at 11:00am

Runtime: 7:41

The voting on the UAW contract at Ford swung to 62 percent in favor over the weekend. Toyota is building a hybrid racecar to compete in the 24 hours of Le Mans and other FIA World Endurance Championships. BMW just introduced the all-new 3 Series which will go on sale next February. All that and more, plus Bob Lutz gives us a walk-around of the new Lotus Evora.

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This is Autoline Daily for October 17, 2011. And now, the news.

Over the weekend, the voting on the UAW contract at Ford swung heavily in favor. As more and more of the plants voted, the tally swung to 62 percent in favor. So while the disgruntled dissidents had their day in the sun, this contract now looks as if it is going to sail through with a solid majority of workers supporting it.

I’ve been a motor-racing fan since I was 12 years old. I’ve seen a lot of races and I’ve seen a lot of accidents. But the 15-car pileup at the Indy race in Las Vegas yesterday was the worst I’ve ever seen, and as you undoubtedly know by now, it tragically took the life of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, Dan Wheldon. Everyone knows that motor racing can be extremely dangerous, but this race track seems to be particularly ill-suited to Indy race cars. My bet is that Indy cars will not race there again unless major modifications are made to the track.

Toyota is building a HYBRID racecar to compete in the 24 hours of Le Mans and other FIA World Endurance Championships. The chassis was developed by the company’s motorsports division in Germany. Its hybrid drivetrain will be produced in Japan.

Maruti Suzuki is the top automaker in India, with something like 43 percent of the market. But across the subcontinent things are heating up like a bowl of spicy curry. Now Hyundai is the latest to go after the market leader, and it’s doing it with a new small car, the Eon. This subcompact hatchback is priced at 270,000 rupees. Sounds like a lot, I know, but it’s only $5,500. The company is gunning to sell between 140,000 and 150,000 of them each year. Smaller than the price is the engine. The Eon is powered by an 814-cc three-cylinder that delivers 55 horsepower and 55 foot-pounds of torque.

In an effort to grab a larger piece of the growing luxury market in China, Hyundai just introduced the long-wheelbase version of the Equus into the market. The car starts at just over $140,000, but that price comes with a number of perks, like unlimited, five-year service. If the owner wants to get rid of it after one year, the dealer will buy it back at 80 percent of the original cost. And if it’s damaged in an accident Hyundai will replace it, if the repair costs exceed 30 percent of the car’s value. Mercedes, BMW and Audi control 90 percent of the Chinese luxury market and Hyundai hopes these promotions will help elbow its way into that segment.

BMW just introduced the all-new 3 Series which will go on sale next February. The car is slightly larger than before, but it’s close to 90 pounds lighter. The 3 series comes with a choice of four engines – two four-cylinder diesels and a four and a six-cylinder gasoline engine – each one features BMW’s TwinPower Turbo technology. Each engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and has stop/start technology. A hybrid will be available later in 2012.

Coming up next, Bob Lutz gives us a walk-around of the new Lotus Evora.

Bob Lutz is still a consultant to General Motors, but he’s also on the advisory board to Lotus, and Lotus has just updated the Evora. We recently ran into Lutz, who gave us a walk-around of the car, pointing out the new highlights.

Cool car, but will there be enough buyers to spend a small fortune on an exotic sports car with a Toyota engine in it? Lotus certainly has ambitious plans, now we’ll have to see whether it can really pull them off.

Don’t forget to tune in for Autoline After Hours this Thursday night. Our guest will be Jack Hollis, who’s in charge of the Scion brand. We’ll be talking about the new iQ and what Scion has to do to regain its momentum. Join me and the Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo, for the best insider information in the business.

And that’s today’s report. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and WardsAuto.com

120 Comments to “Episode 747 – Votes Reverse on Ford Contract, Toyota Hybrid to Compete in Le Mans, BMW 3-Series”

  1. Tony Gray Says:

    Dan Wheldon was a class act. I hope that IndyCar can learn from this and improve safety much like F1 did with the loss of Senna and NASCAR did with the death of Earnhardt.

    That many cars, running on a 1.5 mile track at those speeds was a recipe for disaster.

  2. Jonatan Says:

    Nice show…really good to see and hear Mr. McElroy interview Mr. Bob Lutz in such a casual yet exciting atmosphere….

    The new Lotus Evora with 450hp and an under 3000 lb curb weight sounds exciting if a bit expensive.

    Not something I’d trade my 436hp LS3 powered 3200 lb corvette in on….but at only 50 large…its not nearly as expensive.

    I look forward to the Lotus faithful having such a supercar to aspire too and as a mid engined rocket…the engine based from Toyota or lexus and then heavily breathed on my Lotus is ok in my book…

    would have rather seen a Chevy V8 in their but toyotas breathed on powerplants a smart move towards reliability and relatively inexpensive parts compared to a solely sourced Lotus engine..

    Just my two cents…the vehicle would benefit nicely from just dropping in any V8..either lexus’s 414hp V8 or better yet GM’s less expensive and lighter…LS3!!!! ;)

    Good luck to lotus and thanks again for all your great shows!


  3. JB Says:

    one more thing…Lotus needs a dual clutch transmission and dump the torque convertor version of the base evora…

    offering this ubber lotus with a dual clutch makes sense too…

    The dam computers are just too efficient when it comes to track cars..

    Just like ferrari found out…the clients demand it.

    Not even niche manufacturers should consider not having a dual clutch as an option or standard..


  4. motorman Says:

    they need to take some down force out the the indy cars as it is now the car weighs 1700# with 3000# of down force. this means they can run those NASCAR ovals wide open without lifting in the turns. they need to get them to have to back off or even use the brakes going into the turns to slow them down. less down force will do this.

  5. tj Martin Says:

    To John McElroy , Peter D. and the entire ALD Staff

    RE; Question

    Subject – Plethora of New Cars Self Igniting ( catching fire )

    With todays announcement that the MINI Cooper S is now amongst the ranks of Spontaneous Combusting New Cars (www.jalopnik.com ) : the number of automobiles doing so is becoming STAGGERING

    From the low end of VW Jetta’s to the upper reaches of the Ferrari 458 , it seems of late NO new car , regardless of price , manufacture etc is immune from this rampant and ever growing Epidemic

    In light of the rapidly growing numbers , isn’t it about time someone does an In Depth Investigation into this ever expanding trend ?

    Honestly in the beginning I was joking about the Ferrari Line of Nomex Sports , Casual , Business and Formal Wear , but if this trend continues to grow its going to go from Humor to Necessity in a very short time

  6. HtG Says:

    Was anyone else who was watching the start of yesterday’s race in Vegas not expecting an early accident? I know I wasn’t getting off the couch before ‘it’ inevitably happened. These guys have been bashing into each other all year, and I personally thought the opening laps were horrifying to watch. Some of these drivers shouldn’t be in the cockpit. And giving Weldon a 5 million dollar rabbit to chase probably wasn’t a good idea either; that’s all I’ll say. Something needs to be changed with the management of the sport, I believe.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    At least they have a manual transmission available in the Evora, (I guess they sell it un the US) so you don’t have to get the torque coverter automatic.

    I suppose they wanted lots of camshafts on the engine for the image, but an Chevy LS3 would be a great engine, and little, if any heavier than the Toyota V6.

    They defenitely did the right thing by using somebody else’s engine, rather than designing and building one in-house. My experience with Lotus engine parts was with a Dodge Spirit R/T which had a Lotus head on a beefed up Chrysler 2.2. It went like stink, for a tweaked economy car, but the head was seriously underdeveloped. The heads cracked, the belt drive geometry was flawed, causing timing belts to break often, and the engine was much more prone to head gasket problems than other Chrysler 4 cylinder engines at the time. At least it had non-interference valves, very important, given the frequent timing belt failures.

  8. tj Martin Says:


    Its problem as far as sales are concerned can be summed up in the following ;

    1) Poor quality of construction
    2) Its lack of reliability in spite of its Toyota engine
    3) Poor performance for the Dollar
    4) Lack of genuine usability

    Had LOTUS priced the EVORA well below its superior competitors ( Porsche Cayman & Boxster , Corvette C6 etc ) the EVORA would probably sell like hot cakes both in the US as well as the EU and UK

    But in fact when equally equipped it prices out well above its competitors which also have superior performance and handling .

    Which has been LOTUS’s problem since the advent of the Elise . Its over priced for what you are getting and still maintains that English ( read poor ) quality of construction , which Mr Lutz seems powerless to have any effect upon .


    Speaking of the EU and UK has anyone been watching CNBC in the last hour ?

    All the EU markets ( including Switzerland ) are tumbling at a frightening amount , along with now the US market as well , as the realities of the PIIGS becomes more exposed .

    So once again why is anyone thinking Car Sales are going to soar ? Plummet would be a more accurate assessment in light of the World around us .

  9. tj Martin Says:


    In light of what’s been going on over the past two seasons HtG I’m only surprised it took this long for a Tragic Fatal accident to occur with the series

    Anyone with half a brain could of seen this one coming .

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    Wow! you develop a like and trust of a certain individual in the public light and then you see them for a fee promoting an unreliable POS like Lotus and you wonder why I can’t trust no one, not what they promote or what they say, These clowns sell an expensive toy with a Corolla engine and charge a ton of money for it!

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that they shouldn’t run open wheel cars at the Las Vegas track, for the same reason they decided not to run them at Daytona after a disastrous test many years ago.

    While this type of racing is inherently very dangerous, it seems to be much more so when you have high enough banks that you can run flat out at over 200 mph.

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    I heard an “expert” this morning on the radio saying that NASCAR races were safer because the cars there are modified versions of your typical passenger car. Where has this moron been in the past 20 yrs or so?

  13. HtG Says:

    Settle boys. I’ve been for a hell ride in the Evora, and it’s quite nice. It’s beautiful in the flesh, the interior is rich, and getting in and out is much easier than in the Elise. If I lost my mind for an hour, who knows what I’d come home with. One problem selling them in NY area is there’s only the single dealer on Long Island.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    All recent Lotuses have been expensive toys for those who wants something different. The Elise, et. al. were expensive toys with Corolla engines. The Evora is an expensive toy with a Camry V6. Either way, you can get a much better, more useful car for less money with a late model Corvette.

  15. HtG Says:

    @12 Jimmy Johnson had a killer crash the other night as well. If not for the SAFER barrier and HANS, I think we’d have had a historically horrible weekend. Just remember the footnote, that Jimmy Johnson is fine.

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Even Top Gear UK makes fun of the poor quality of British cars, except the Rolls and Bentleys, of course; who are we to argue with them?

  17. HtG Says:

    @14 Hey Kit, back seats in the Evora. Though I want to see Lutz get in there.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    in that case, buy a used Corolla or a Camry, (stick, of course) stiffen the suspension, add rims, turbo charge it and save the rest of the money for a vacation.

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    @14 but it’s all about the “exclusivity” factor, isn’t it?

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @17, Yeah, that’s true. You wouldn’t want to ride there very long, but that’s an advantage over a Corvette for taking four people to lunch.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @19 It’s mostly the exclusivity factor, but the Elise and Exige are apparently about as fun as it gets, for playing on a race track with a street legal car. At least that’s what I was told by an Exige owner I talked to a car show.

  22. HtG Says:

    @20 Two of those people had better be expecting a happy meal, Kit. It’s tight back there, like in Porsches.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @22 How does it compare to a non-Clubman MINI? I got in the back seat of my MINI once to see what it was like, but I sure wouldn’t want to ride there.

  24. HtG Says:

    @23 I’ve only sat in the back of the Mini once, but am pretty sure the Mini is loads bigger. The Evora is only for little kids with tough shins, and who don’t get car sick if they can’t see out.

  25. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG


    Well I had one for a day and yes I’ll agree its beautiful to look at ( until you look closely at the fit and finish ) drives like a hoot and a half ( except for less money the Cayman and the C6 will have it for lunch without blinking an eye ) and the back seat is all but worthless which is why the overwhelming majority of buyers ( of which there isn’t many ) in the UK /EU order them Back Seat Delete . FYI its tighter than a 911′s pretend rear seat by a fair margin ! The MINI’s back seat , as small as it is is Rolls Royce comfort in comparison to the EVORA .

    The EVORA , though a full two steps above , reminds me of the Pontiac Fiero . All the possibility and promise in the World and delivering absolutely none of it at a price no one in his/her right mind should accept

    And …….. its reliability in the UK ( where reliability is NOT a priority ) has been called dreck by more than one member of the UK Automotive press , as well as they also bringing the build quality into question

  26. HtG Says:

    Jay Leno interviewed GM President Mark Reuss. They talked about the new Camaro ZL1. Amazingly, Leno listened.


    ps Sorry Jay, but you must learn to share the limelight.

  27. HtG Says:

    @25 I’d say the back seat on the Evora is half rationalization fodder, half helmet holder. So how is it as a driver’s car, tj? You got all 6′ 4″ in there in one try, then? I’m guessing you’ll not even mention the blind spots.

  28. tj Martin Says:


    You’re right in saying the Fun Factor of the Elise/Exige is very high . But once again that poor build quality as well as lousy reliability has infected both models to the point where if you look there are used bargains galore on both models available , with minimal mileage .

    A Lotus dealership I know personally has said he can almost bet any Elise/Exige he sells will be back for a Trade In within 6 months of purchase to the point where he’s had to refuse to take them on trade unless its for something new and very expensive ( read new Ferrari ) as he cannot sell the cars used at nearly what the customer expects the Trade In Value to be

  29. HtG Says:

    @28 I started feeling those six months kicking in after just a few minutes in the Exige. I couldn’t see how someone could live with it.

  30. Lex Says:

    Very Sorry about Dan Weldon. My Condolences to his Wife and Children.

    Hyundai is really atttempting to capture market share throughout the world. I hope it does not erode their future product quality and performance especailly in North America. They seem to be growing too fast in a short period of time.

  31. tj Martin Says:


    1) Its mid engined , so I find its blind spots to be well within reasonable limits for the genre ( even if the NSX was ten times better )

    2) As a driver , as I said it was a hoot . Until …………. you drive it back to back with said Cayman and C6 at which time you’ll seriously question the EVORA’s bang for the buck factor .

    3) Getting in and out once again was reasonable for the genre ( though once again the NSX was superior )

    Honestly and I’m not the only one to say this , had LOTUS taken the EVORA just a half a step further as well as priced it correctly they’d be flying off the lots .

    But ……. with the likes of Dany Bahar , who to remind you as the CEO of LOTUS REFUSES to even drive a LOTUS never mind own one ( thats public information by the way ) running the show along with LOTUS’s delusions of grandeur and elevated self esteem that’ll never happen

    Which is too bad because as Maxwell Smart so often said ;

    ” We were That close 99 ” And they ( LOTUS ) were

    Opportunity lost

    Should of checked out the competition before signing off on the EVORA

  32. tj Martin Says:

    Definition of a CEO in the 21st Century ;

    An over paid over inflated CPA with more authority than brains , and who in truth has little or no interest in the product(s) he oversees as the companies CEO

    And thats being very generous IMHO

  33. HtG Says:

    Does anyone have an opinion about the 3-series hood? Safety fascists have given designers quite the ‘hump’ to get over.

  34. tj Martin Says:

    Dan Wheldon’s tragic accident

    Let me say this about the current state of Indy Car racing and why I think this accident was inevitable .

    Especially over the current season ( but this began last year as far as I can tell ) Indy Car has been trying to bring in more of a NASCAR mentality ( Rubbing is Racing etc ) over promoting the bangs and crashes of late as well as the hype and war of words that’s been going on .

    Now ” Rubbing is Racing ” may be OK with a huge fully enclosed , purpose built race car with enough roll cage tubbing to plumb a house with ( hyperbole intentional )

    But with a fragile Open Wheel car that mentality is plain Out & Out STUPID

    And now that Stupidity has exacted its price . A human life !

    Truth be known I think F1 may sometimes be going overboard with their penalties etc for on track accidents , but in light of yesterdays occurrence , maybe being Overly Cautious as F1 has been is the wiser route .

  35. tj Martin Says:


    New or previous ?

    New I couldn’t say as I’ve not seen one in person and haven’t heard what the criticism is

    Old …. well again I haven’t heard any of the critique , but I can’t see a problem with it . Even the M3 with the V8 hump wasn’t enough of an obstacle to complain or comment about . IMHO

  36. tj Martin Says:

    HECK !!!!

    I should a bought an FX ;


    Could of even gotten the Vettel Special Edition FX50 if I’d of waited :(

    Well in truth , no I shouldn’t have , and in fact am glad I didn’t , but it was a fun way to announce this link for you F1 fans on sight .


  37. Gene Says:

    As far as Indycar goes, the drivers are professionals and should be in control of their vehicles at all times.
    When CART cancelled the race at Texas a few years back for speed / G force reasons, I thought that the simplest solution would be to put the same size wheel / tire combination on the rear as was on the front. That would force them to lift in the entrance to the corners without jacking with the handling characteristics of the cars.
    Race drivers are like thoroughbreds they only know 2 speeds.
    My condolences go out to all of the people affected by this tragic incident.

  38. HtG Says:

    @35 New. My point is that the required gap from block to hood has forced a high hood look onto all cars with non-boxer front engines. It’s interesting to see more designers solving the problem by scalloping the fenders down, and styling the edge of the mesa over the engine. Personally, I find the new look unfortunate.

  39. C-Tech Says:

    My condolenses to the Wheldon family and his many friends on and off the track. Hopefully IndyCar will seriously review its safety policies and listen to the drivers and engineers. There had been some comments by NASCAR talking heads about the sport becoming “too safe”. I pray this answers their question – absolutely not.

  40. tj Martin Says:


    Hmmmn .

    I kinda see what you mean . Its a bit ‘ snouty ” looking , at least from the photos .

    I’ll have to pay attention when the real deal shows up in my neck of the woods and can see it in person .

  41. tj Martin Says:



    For those faint of heart or squeamish , DO NOT watch the video and only read the article ;


    And people wonder why Chinese Cars are so unsafe ?

    Because ultimately Loss of Human Life means very very little to them .

  42. W L Simpson Says:

    Re: Beamer 90 # lighter—once upon a time I noticed my 37 Ford was quicker at the stop light drags if my 95# girl friend wasn’t in the car.

  43. HtG Says:

    For John, I eagerly await the Autoline impressions of the Hyundai Veloster.

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    #41 disturbing indeed, most probably a girl, (dispensable) wasn’t that the same country that was having couples abort baby girls cause they only wanted you to have boys so they can build the army that will eventually take over the whole world

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #44, I think it is the couples wanting to abort girl fetuses, rather than the government telling them to.

  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    Why would couples do that? I know the govt wanted a 2 child limit so they would not have the inherent problems which come from over population and they would prefer more boys tha girls,how they worked it out I am not sure but nothing surprises me about a commie system, I lived under one.

  47. tj Martin Says:

    AutoAnarchists VeloToaster Impressions ;

    Well all I can say is I’m sure glad the Copy Machines in Korea are working overtime and reliably .

    From a distance ( and when I first saw the Ads ) I could of sworn I was looking at a Nissan Juke .

    Fact is until I was right in front of it ( and when the Ad does a close up ) I was sure it was the Juke .

    Ahhhhh but Grasshopper I was wrong . Because upon closer inspection , there was the dreaded Hyundai badge , proving once and for all said Pastiche was in fact the dreaded and little hoped for VeloToaster .

    Summation ? ( both in person and on the Tube )

    Pathetic !


    @pedro – In fact “removing ” a female child has more to do with Chinese Culture than Communism as a Girls VALUE to the family is about 1/10 that of a boy . Hence with a two child limit imposed by the Government , couples will ” remove ” a girl child in hopes of gaining a boy .

    So again thats Chinese Culture and in fact has been thus ( even pre communism it was not uncommon to eliminate a girl child if the couple in question didn’t have the funds to bring up a larger family ) for a good 2000 years

    And yeah … we want to trust these folks to build cars for us ?

    Not I !

  48. h Says:

    @46 It’s worse than you might imagine, Pedro. A few weeks ago there was the news that powerful people in China scour the country and force families to give up girls for adoption. Papers are then ‘arranged’ to create the impression they were given up willingly, since we americans are so sure girls are unwanted. Then the nice US couple comes to China to collect the girl. I know one of these couples, but I play dumb. Something is wrong in China, and I’m not sure it’s all down to a short communist spell.

  49. HtG Says:

    @48 that’s me HtG. Fat fingers

  50. HtG Says:

    Maybe my taste in cars needs a reboot, tj. I like the Juke and Veloster plenty. But then, 1941 is one of my favorite movies.

  51. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    #1 What’s with post # 49 ?

    #2 Honestly I’ve got nothing against the Juke , its kinda cute in a WRC sort of way and makes a little bit of sense ( no less sense than the MINI Countryman )

    But when the Mimeograph Company . otherwise known as Hyundai comes along and all but copies the Juke ?

    Well mein freund , thats a step too far in my book . Not that its any surprise from the likes of H/K as they wouldn’t know an original thought if it slapped them upside their Creativity Addled heads

  52. pedro fernandez Says:

    This is the type of news we don’t read about in the main media simply because the powers that be want the average American to think that our only adversaries and enemies are the middle eastern groups and muslims and Arabs and such, and the Chinamen and Ruskies are our friends and business allies and would never do anything to hurt us or our way of life, because now all they care about is making money and raising their standard of living. They don’t explain why they keep building their military even though they got no real enemies, and their military is NOT defensive it is indeed a conquering military.

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC has tried out both the Juke and Veloster and while they Juke is for real, the latter is more like eye candy, reminds me of the Hyundai Scoupe from the 80″s. It’s just looks, no substance.

  54. HtG Says:

    @51 #1 A fat finger error is when you mistype an order entry. I typed h where I meant HtG.

    #2 I’m unsure if you saw the Veloster in the flesh, tj. Did you see an outdoor ad, or an actual car? The profiles are similar, but otherwise I don’t catch the similarities. I read somewhere that Hyundai’s designers were inspired by a driver’s helmet; look at the little rubber slots on the hood, for example.

  55. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’ve seen videos of these morons protesting in NY and other places and have yet to see one placard asking for more jobs or to stop exporting jobs which one of the primary reasons we have all these problems. The I read about the millionaire heiress getting photographed laying on a bed of money. 1 million British pounds of her own money, NICE! No wonder we have all these problems.

  56. pedro fernandez Says:

    I don’t think it looks bad, I always liked quirky cars, I am just saying that the TTAC reviewer who tested did not find that its performance matched its looks.

  57. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    # 52 Yeah everybody ( thats sticking money in the back pockets of our Politicians ) is our Bestest Buddies , even if they do hate our guts , can’t wait to bump us all off , make every attempt to rip us and our entire economy blind , along with making us look like fools in the press every chance they get ( re ; Angela Merkel ) and go to bed every night praying to what ever god they believe in for our Ultimate Demise .

    Yeah but what do you and I know Pedro . We wouldn’t recognize a friend if ……………. well ……….. as a matter of fact ……… WE WOULD !


    Good Ol TTAC . Never short of an honest opinion . I’d agree ( not having driven the Velotoaster

    Juke = Good little WRC replica zippy car for the $$

    Velotoaster = The VeloJokeSter . The joke being on who ever pays the $$ to buy one .

    Pay a dollar or two more and get the Real Deal . Copies will only ever be that . Copies . And in the case of H/K bad copies at that .

  58. tj Martin Says:


    Real deal w/ Manufactures plates . They seem to run rampant ( manufactures prototypes and pre- release models ) in KC . For what reason I know not why . Saw the GT-R a good six months before even the magazines got ahold of one , blasting around the town

    And how the heck did a post come up without your full moniker ?


    @ pedro – Went to see the OWS protest here in KC Saturday in front of the USA/IOU sculpture ( which is along side the Federal Reserve )

    My concerns with them and the WS bunch are

    1) Too unorganized
    2) Far too many agendas on deck w/zero focus
    3) Most of their agendas are Pie in the Sky rather than viable and real e.g Placing limits and restrictions on WS , restricting salaries of Bailed out Banks etc.
    4) I watched when we were there as a bunch of nutters came in and all but took over the Protest until they got bored and left , verging on violence , though not quite getting there while the main group did nothing
    5) Way too many Conspiracy Theories which in fact discredits the Protesters ( there was even a table of Kennedy assassination theorist there eeeeeeesh )

    and finally

    6) Far too few were involved to make any difference/impact as well as them being well off the main Traffic Roads just so they could be in front of the sculpture

    e.g. the only way you’d know they were there was if you intentionally as we did go to see them .

  59. pedro fernandez Says:

    According to this review, the Veloster fared worse than the Accent, from which is based on, even he was confused how that could be. I also remembered the Honda Del Sol, Civic based, yet inferior to its Pappa.

  60. pedro fernandez Says:

    It’s almost hysterical if things weren’t so god-awful bad, it’s like little kids complaining that they want the toys they see in the windows of F A O Schwartz but have to take what’s available at Wal-mart.

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    pedro, #46
    It’s kind of a cultural thing in China, and also India. This a from one of several articles you get by googling “china abortion girls”:

    “The age-old bias for boys, combined with China’s draconian one-child policy imposed since 1980, has produced what Gu Baochang, a leading Chinese expert on family planning, described as “the largest, the highest, and the longest” gender imbalance in the world.

    “Ancient practice
    For centuries, Chinese families without sons feared poverty and neglect. The male offspring represented continuity of lineage and protection in old age.”"

  62. Tom Says:

    Dan Wheldon’s tragic accident illustrate the fallacy in reducing the power of Indy cars in the name of safety. The current spec car formula allows every driver to run the track flat out and produces this kind of pack racing. Many drivers have advocated INCREASING engine power so that flat out running is not possible. Forcing the drivers to lift and brake should spread out the fields and eliminate this pack racing. I agree.

  63. tj Martin Says:


    So what the review is saying is that Hyundai hasn’t quite gotten the knack of Badge Engineering down yet .

    Hmmn . That is interesting in light of H/K’s ability to blatantly copy everyone else …… but themselves .. hee hee

    That really is funny :o


    @ Kit – Takk for the follow up (re ; #61 ) That pretty much explains it to a tee . Ancient Traditions accentuated by Current Government Policies

    Also the story HtG told about baby girls being illegally adapted is true … except he was missing one very important point .

    Many of the baby girls are in fact being Abducted by said gangs that may or may not be Chinese Government sponsored

    (the fact is , some are and some are Chinese Mafia ( Tong) and some are US based Adoption For Profit Gangs ……. )

  64. tj Martin Says:

    And to end the day on a more pleasant note

    Did you guys catch a glimpse of this hairy beast , talking bout the Nissan Juke ?


    Hmmmn . IF Nissan makes this . Sells it for about $40-50K . Makes it available by December of 2013 . Hmmmn. Do I perhaps feel a Mid Life crisis coming on ?

    Hmmmmn . May have to get all Automotively Medieval one last time .

    Here Ferrari 458 ! Tj’s gonna slap it to ya !

  65. HtG Says:

    The Daily Mail has this piece on Wheldon’s death. Stop action photos let you see what happened better than the US stuff I’ve seen.


  66. pedro fernandez Says:

    #63 I LIKE it, I like it a lot. Perhaps the Chinese will start exporting baby girls to Western countries so they can make more money and have baby factories where the girls will be sold and they can keep the boys, sounds like a plot for a 1960′s sci-fi movie.

  67. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    # 64 – Pure , unadulterated Carnage . Looking at the photo sequence I’m surprised Wheldon was the only one to perish in that Debacle from Hades

    @ pedro

    #65 – pt II ; Sounds more like an impending reality if you ask me . There’s things I can’t talk about publicly but suffice it to say that 60′s Sci Fi Fiction you’ve presented is closer to Reality than anyone here would care to think about ;-) If you catch my drift .

  68. cwolf Says:

    I’m not sure what will become of the OWS protests. These folks are undefined,as described by tj.But,then again,WS is such a tangled web of manipulation how can ANYONE specifically define their gripe when there are so many and intertwined? And both gov’t parties are in WS pocket in some shape or form,so who can these people turn to? Would the media and sceptics feel better if these assembled protesters were funded by Kock brother foes,took an oath to rally behind an outlandish belief just to receive funding and to sign a pledge not to waver an inch from this agenda regardless of who it hurts? I think these folks need a fair chance to express ALL of their beefs and let a common cause be found amoung them alone and untouched by polititians. These groups are now locayed all across the US and in at least 4 countries. If these are morons,I guess there are a whole bunch of them and growing!

  69. tj Martin Says:


    My hope is they’ll settle into five to ten items on their agenda , looking for improvement , not the unnattainable perfect solution as well as get organized ( asking to sit down with the owners of the properties they’re occupying and offer to do all in their power to maintain the properties as well as restore them once they’ve left would go a very long way to gaining credibility and respect ) Nationwide rather than every group doing its own thing

    Also making the organization strong enough to avoid the protest being Hijacked by Violent Seeking outsiders , because once things get violent their cause is lost

    As a now aging Rebel : in my Yoof , I got chased by more than one cop in my day armed with Tear Gas : I tried to talk some sense into the KC bunch , but they would have none of it .

  70. tj Martin Says:

    Oval Racing

    i watched the video and looked over the photos again that HtG put the link up for and I have to say this ;

    Maybe its about time for the concept of Single Seat Racing on Ovals to be finally brought to a close .

    Like I said earlier , this was an accident/tragedy waiting to happen with many in the Racing Community saying it was only a matter of When not If for the last two years .

    Either that or the speeds need to be drastically reduced . The cars might survive accidents at these speeds , but I think we’re now exceeding the ability of the Human Body to do so as well .

    Time perhaps , as the Romans did ( by force in their case ) to put the Gladiator Contests and the Chariot Races aside and once again Focus on more meaningful pursuits .

    Just one mans humble opinion ( who’s too well versed in Roman History to ignore the similarities ) but I’m sticking to it

    Soapbox Over :(

  71. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ would it be so difficult to install some kind of roll cage into these Indy race cars or even the formula 1 racers, seems to be these guys are way to vulnerable to serious injury/death from crashes. Also when these things go airborne, they act like planes.

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You definitely have a point there, but if you are from Indiana as I am, it would be a hard sell to quit holding the Indy 500.

    As far as making it safer, anything you can do is good, and a lot has been done over the years. Slowing the cars down helps make it safer, and maybe cages or taller bars would help, but it’s getting tough to make big improvements in safety when you run open wheel cars.

  73. Kit Gerhart Says:

    How about making the cars heavy? They would need better brakes, but they wouldn’t get airborn as easily.

  74. XA351GT Says:

    Can someone explain to me how the hell the Evora can be that heavy? It’s the size of a shoebox is built of mostly carbon fiber and has a V6 engine. My 40 year old all steel musclecar with a cast iron V8 live axel and cast iron 4 speed only wieghs 3400 lbs. I just can’t see how it weighs more than a ton.

  75. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s surprising how heavy today’s cars are. I was at the Auburn Cord Deusenberg museum a couple weeks ago, and the plackard for a Lincoln Zephyr said it weighed 3300 pounds. That’s about what a Camry weighs, and the Zephyr has an iron V12.

  76. pedro fernandez Says:

    #74 I don’t understand how that can be when in the good old days, they used thicker sheet metal and what is now plastic, was then metal and chrome, things like bumpers, handles, even steering wheels, dashes, etc.

  77. HtG Says:

    Dolphins or Jets, Pedro?

  78. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oh pleeeeze, these Dolphins are going to be win-less this year, I’ll bet on that! You can’t be competitive without a good QB and they just don’t have one. The coach’s got no control over the team, but he’s a nice guy and Parcells screwed them in the Uranus without even using any lube!

  79. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It doesn’t sound right to me either, but I’ve seen listed weights of other 30′s to early 50′s cars that seemed lower than I would expect, compared with today’s cars. The new ones have more sound deadening, but they must also have a lot of steel you don’t see that helps make them crashworthy.

  80. tj Martin Says:

    LOTUS Evora weight ;

    ( subtitled ; Colin Chapman is rolling over in his grave )

    Sadly 2976 lbs is considered ‘Light ‘ these days , and it is in comparison to most other cars on the road

    But with the MINI some 400 + pounds lighter , the question does need to be asked : Why couldn’t LOTUS of done better , especially in light ( pun intended ) of its long history of Small motored , light weight , fantastic handling sports cars .

    The answer is one a lot of folks do not want to hear , but its a simple one .

    LOTUS has lost its way : trying too hard to become the English Porsche / Ferrari and Maserati all rolled up into one .

    The result being overweight , over priced and underperforming EVORAs , the phalanx of pretentious SuperCars they intend to build as well as dumping the Elise/Exige rather than reconfigure the construction process in order to bring their prices more in line to their uses ( weekend toys albeit damn fun weekend toys )

    But in conclusion , it must be said that like the American ( and now Worldwide ) waistlines , the Size and Weight of new Cars seems to be on an ever expanding Trajectory .

    Fat n’ Huge is In as far as the Auto Manufactures are concerned .


  81. tj Martin Says:

    # 70

    At the point they try stuffing Roll cages etc into open wheel racing they might as well bring the era to a close .

    All that plumbing hanging over the cockpit would take any last remaining vestiges of visual appeal away from the cars , so you might as well go to LM style cars or …….

    And anyway its the ‘ open wheel ‘ aspect that makes the cars so damn dangerous . Watch the video of Wheldon’s crash and its him hitting the cars wheel in front of him with his wheel that launched his car into the wall . A feeling I know too well as I did the same in a Formula Ford albeit with much less tragic results .

    Launching an open wheel racer is almost more dangerous than a head on into a wall because of the repeated violence of flipping etc .

    @ Kit

    Yeah I was thinking about the Indy 500 when I put up that post , and i’d agree that’d be a hard sell to the people of Indianapolis . But then again ….. the question still needs to be asked . Is it worth it to keep open wheel racing ( at least as it is now ) going when the consequences seem only to have the possibility of getting worse .

    Don’t have an answer myself , but it is a question that needs serious consideration .

  82. tj Martin Says:

    On the lighter side ;


    Will we ever learn ? Just what the World needs . An E/V version of one of the most Spectacular and Controversial FAILURES in recent Automotive History .

    This one goes down in the Most Laughable category , almost surpassing the TESLA and Fisker debacles ( just wait to see what’s coming with them )

  83. pedro fernandez Says:

    The DeLorean was the period’s Tesla, Fisker, Chery all rolled into one disastrous package. Tj have you seen any of the reviews from down under about the Chery J1 or some crappy designation like that?

  84. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Looking back at the history, the Indy 500 is much safer than it was at one time. There were 7 drivers killed during the 1950′s in the race and practice/qualifying, and 5 killed in the 1960′s. Three drivers were killed in the ’70′s. The last driver to die in Indy 500 activity was Scott Brayton, who crashed in practice in 1996.

    Still, “how safe is safe enough?” is a hard question to answer, and, seeing that Las Vegas incident, it’s easy to think that the racing community has just been lucky for the last several years. The same thing could certainly happen at Indy.

  85. pedro fernandez Says:

    Sacrificing an occasional driver for the sake of having a “stylish” racing car is a hell of a price to pay.

  86. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ according to TTAC a new MB AMG small hatch is coming here and for those who can afford it , should just be a freaking thrill to drive, Well, I hope you’re not getting too attached to the GLK unless Mrs TJ over rules you.

  87. pedro fernandez Says:

    For those of us of lesser means there is also a review of the new Kia Rio and they also give it thumbs up, except for road noise isolation, don’t understand why can’t the H/K engineers bring the same level of quietness of the Sonata/Elantra to their smaller vehicles? Even the base model is desirable.

  88. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I agree.

  89. tj Martin Says:

    Well heck since no new show yet I’ll put this here !

    ATTENTION all LF-A fans

    A must see video


    Say thank you HtG

  90. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    TTAC ______ed up ! Thats the B-class with AMG treatment .

    And yeah , let me tell you if its got AWD and actually comes here ( has a better chance than the Nissan Juke-R ) I may still have that Mid Life crisis and get one more nuclear auto .

    I’m loving the GLK but smaller and a little better MPG might just tempt me away from it . They’ve ( MBUSA ) got till December 2013 to get it here so we’ll see

  91. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    Here’s a clue for TTAC in case you’re logged in and can comment there ( I’m sure not gonna join , this being more than enough for me )

    Mercedes Benz A Class – MINI sized

    Mercedes Benz B Class – Golf sized

    How’d they confuse that I’ll never know !

  92. pedro fernandez Says:

    Tj I just did comment there, I go by Volt 230 over there as a homage to one of the biggest automotive BS stories of this century.Besides who is gonna pay such a high premium for a B class MB? I don’t care how HOT this Hatch is!

  93. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    Didn’t see any reference to price , but I’d guess $40K

    And for that ……… well it does have that AMG moniker which is worth quite a premium if sales of other AMG models is anything to go by .

    Honestly though , much as the thought of a Giant Killing AMG hatchback might excite me , the reality of driving it every day leaves me a bit cold .

    Hate to admit it but the ‘ Adult ‘ car ( GLK ) has me pretty much won over . Damn comfort is a nice thing .

  94. pedro fernandez Says:

    Ah, but then again there’s a kid inside all of us, right?

  95. Kit Gerhart Says:

    TTAC says they aren’t going to have the B hatch here anyway, just the sedan, coupe, and a trucklet.

  96. pedro fernandez Says:

    Where is the show for today, did someone misplace the video camera?

  97. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just read the TTAC Rio article, and while they generally loved it, they really dwelled on the road noise. I’ll have to take a test drive when I get to Florida in a couple weeks. I’m curious.

    To me, the road noise is the biggest weakness of my MINI as a highway cruiser, but I don’t consider it to be terrible. It sounds like the Rio’s noise might be terrible, though.

  98. pedro fernandez Says:

    I don’t get it, is it the new tires that are creating the noise for the sake of lower rolling resistance, saving weight by skipping sound insulation, whatever the reason is, it’s a dumb, engineering oversight that has even cost Accord to lose its lead in the segment, every Accord review I’ve read refer to it as the noisiest in its segment. While Fiesta, Focus and Cruze have garnered universal praise for their quiet, serene interiors.

  99. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    If the KIA Sportage I rented in March is anything to go by the RIO will be about 20 times worse than our MINI’s on their worst days . Least that was my experience .

    And yeah . where the heck is the show today . The big guy not feeling well or what ?

    @ pedro – All indications and reports say no Hatchback B Class Benz for the US . We’ll see .

  100. HtG Says:

    Maybe AD is awaiting news of the Ford UAW vote.

    and thanks for the LFA video, tj

  101. tj Martin Says:


    As for the MINI its ;

    1) short wheelbase
    2) Those damn run flats
    3) Light weight so not much sound insulation ( and in all honesty they do that partly to ‘ Enhance ‘ the Sportiness of the car )

    …. that causes the road noise to be up there , though like Kt says , far from uncomfortable or annoying . We did an extended Road Trip when we had ours and it was fine . Not GLK Luxury , but it was fine . And a heck of a lot of fun to boot ( showing up at a resort in a MINI gets as much if not more attention than a Ferrari . Seriously )

  102. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    You sind willkommen ( sheesh , hardly seems worth the translation )

    I thought you’d enjoy that

    I sure as _____ did !!!!! :o

  103. pedro fernandez Says:

    Tires make such a big diff in noise, handling, comfort, I don’t think people realize how so until they go from a crappy set of no-name Chinese tires to a really nice set of still Chinese-made, famous brand rubber. My Vibrolla rides and handles a lot better now, even a bit quieter!

  104. tj Martin Says:


    Maybe John and the boys took my ” Look into the Spontaneous Combustion Cars ” question seriously and are doing some research ?


    Must have a bug er somthin

  105. pedro fernandez Says:

    These dummies at Top Gear UK tested the LFA and even though they liked it, they said that it was too much money for a Lexus branded vehicle. Supposedly Lexus loses money on that car, hard to believe at that price.

  106. Chuck Grenci Says:

    pedro @ 105
    I hope you are referring to the U.K. Top Gear guys in a joking manner; their show is so much better than Top Gear U.S. it’s like they shouldn’t even share the name. I guess I have acquired liking the British humor.

  107. tj Martin Says:

    Top Gear and the LF-A

    1) Yes thats a matter of record , Lexus losing money on each sale . In order for Lexus to recoup the development and engineering costs they’d have to sell …. I think the number was 20,000 units which they won’t do

    1A) But as the video reiterates in reality the LF-A was an engineering exercise who’s results are spreading thru out the entire Lexus line up so in the long run they probably come out even

    2) Spend any time in the UK as well as read and watch Top Gear ( I buy an issue when it has a car featured I’m interested in ) and you’ll find very quickly that In Spite of shows like ‘Spooks ” , ” MI5 ” and ” Doc Martin ” featuring Lexus products the Brits have an extreme prejudice against the brand ( and Toyota in general ) calling them ‘ Fridges ‘ and ‘ Appliances not Cars ‘

    Go figure !

  108. tj Martin Says:

    Chuck Grenci


    Top Gear UK = Genuine and Serious Automotive Journalists sometimes acting like fools for the sake of humor

    Top Gear USA = Three Fools attempting to act like Automotive Journalists when in fact they don’t know cars from their backsides and couldn’t Write a decent Automotive Article if their lives depended on it

  109. pedro fernandez Says:

    Chuck I like it also, but to say that this LFA, no matter how much technology they put into it and how great it is to drive, it’s not worth the price cause it’s a Lexus is stupid, did they forget that BMW did not use to be a “Luxury” brand decades ago and now they get well over 100k for their top cars? Lexus was always a luxury brand and this is an exercise on how far their engineering and technology has advanced.

  110. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Maybe the ‘Brits’ have it right, what they are saying is, is that Toyota’s (as a whole) have got no soul. They, the ‘Brits’ seem to take on the outcasts of automobiledom and embrace the quirks (their history in odd is legendary) and Lucas electric is notorious for junk (but they persevere).

  111. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’ve seen Top Gear Australia and it resembles the American version Not the UK one. These guys are the masters of the game but they have a bias against most stuff that does not come from Europe!

  112. Chuck Grenci Says:

    tj @ 108
    Couldn’t have said it better; nice.

  113. HtG Says:

    @1071A I suppose Toyota learned a bit about making carbon fiber parts. If you look at the loom process in the video it seems the part they are making is an A pillar, which is an important structural piece. In the LFA this part is very narrow so the driver can keep tracking as his head shifts from windscreen to side glass. I am also struck by how the VW chairman was measuring the base of the Hyundai’s A pillar. If Toyota learns how to make their cars more resistant to crush, while saving weight, then maybe LFA work will have a rational dividend.

  114. tj Martin Says:

    And yes if anyone is asking , the Mrs and I are just a bit o the Anglophiles .

    If anyone’s interested ( She’s half Brit half Dutch so there’s her connection . Mine being [ oh this will get HtG scrambling ] my spending more than a fair amount of time there as well as performing and working with more than a few Brit musicians of note , as well as dating a full on English Girl back in college , who was related to someone in the UK rather ‘ famous ‘ )

  115. pedro fernandez Says:

    Question: if Top Gear, US got canceled, would anyone even take notice? Remember these guys from TG UK come from a country well known for poorly built, low quality cars, ( they point it out often in the show}it took the Germans and Ford to go there and teach them how to properly build a car.

  116. tj Martin Says:

    @ Htg


    The IS-F underneath has a fair amount of LF-A in it already .

    The next round of ‘Fs ” will have even more .

    No I think Toyota will do just fine with the LF-A unlike VW who lose twice as much for every Veyron sold , while incorporating none of it ( not that they could ) in Anything else they’re involved with .

    Now that ( the VeryGoneWrong ) was a Serious Waste of Time Effort and Money .

  117. pedro fernandez Says:

    To them the Prius is like our Yugo, that says a lot about their bias.

  118. Chuck Grenci Says:

    new show’s on; see you guys over there

  119. pedro fernandez Says:

    Remember. Toyota took a lot of the Lexus innovations and moved them down-market, hence the quiet, almost luxo ride of the Camry and others.

  120. tj Martin Says:

    @ 115

    No ! Unequivocally ! No I would not ( watched two episodes and never went back )

    IFfffffff Top Gear USA would hire some serious auto journalists with some TV presence I might be interested , but I’ve been reading James May since his CAR days ( back in the wonderful LJK Setright days ……. oh talk about automotive journalism . More like Automotive Fine Literature ) The Big Baffoon has hs credentials in order as well and hey the Hamster isn’t half bad for a DJ turned Automotive Journalist either

    So who we gonna come up with ?

    I got nuthin