Episode 845 – Nissan to Race DeltaWing, Hauler Shortage Will Hinder Supply, Audi to Buy Ducati

March 13th, 2012 at 11:52am

Runtime: 8:47

Nissan will race the revolutionary DeltaWing car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Car sales are on the way up, up, up, but a lack of car haulers and other supply chain issues will prevent sales from hitting their potential. Audi is in talks to buy luxury motorcycle manufacturer Ducati. All that and more, plus Craig Cole has his first impressions of the new Toyota Prius c.

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Welcome to Autoline Daily, today is March 13, and here’s the news.

ExxonMobil just issued released its forecast of energy usage in the U.S. through 2040. It predicts that liquid fuels will be the dominant fuel source for cars for the next thirty years. Despite all the government incentives and regulations to get us into electric cars, ExxonMobil believes that gasoline and diesel will still power 90 percent of all the vehicles that will be on the road in 2040. It all comes down to energy density. Liquids hold far more energy than energy stored in chemical form in batteries. For example, ExxonMobil calculates that one gallon of gas could run your smart phone for the next twenty years.

Car sales in the American market hit a 15 million SAAR rate last month, prompting some eager analysts to predict it could hit 16 million by the end of the year. But suppliers say that’s not going to happen because of constraints in the supply chain, especially with car haulers. They took out an enormous amount of capacity when the auto industry collapsed in 2009. Right now there is such a shortage of trucks and trains to haul cars from the factories to the dealerships. That shortfall stands at 1.7 million vehicles. One reason that Class 8 semi-trucks are selling so well right now is because car haulers are buying them as fast as they can. Even so, they are far short of capacity.

This just in. Nissan will be racing the DeltaWing race car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year. The radical design uses a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 300 horsepower. That’s not a lot of power at this level of racing, but the car is half the weight and has half the aerodynamic drag of a conventional racer. The DeltaWing was designed by British designer Ben Bowlby, it was built by Dan Gurney’s All-American Racers team and will be raced by Duncan Dayton’s Highcroft Racing. The car will first hit the track on Thursday in preparation for the 12 Hours of Sebring. To me, this is the most exciting technological development in motor racing in more than 40 years.

Audi is in talks to buy Italian luxury motorcycle builder, Ducati. The German automaker is looking to buy the brand for around $1.1 billion. Ducati sold 42,000 bikes last year and saw its revenue rise by 20 percent. This shows just how independent the different brands are within the Volkswagen group. And it is this autonomy that explains why VW AG can successfully manage so many different brands, while GM and Ford could not.

Speaking of VW, its spat with Suzuki won’t get settled until next year. A few years ago, VW bought close to a 20 percent stake in Suzuki. But that deal went sour, with both accusing the other of breaking the agreement. It was supposed to give Suzuki access to VW technology and provide VW with greater access to the Indian market where Suzuki leads the field. Suzuki filed for arbitration in a London court to end its relationship with VW. But there will be no court decision until next year.

(Our report on the Toyota Prius c only available in video version of today’s program.)

Great report, Craig, I can’t wait to drive that car myself.

A programming note here. Autoline After Hours is moving ahead one hour with the Daylight Saving Time change. We’ll be starting the live show at 6PM this Thursday, one hour earlier. Be sure to join me and Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist, for the best insider information in the business. And joining us on this Thursday is reporter Bryce Hoffman from The Detroit News who’s just written a book on all the inside info of what’s been going on at Ford. That’s this Thursday starting at 6PM Eastern Time, or 22:00 GMT.

And that wraps up today’s report, thanks for watching we’ll see you tomorrow.

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72 Comments to “Episode 845 – Nissan to Race DeltaWing, Hauler Shortage Will Hinder Supply, Audi to Buy Ducati”

  1. Jon M. Says:

    I’m not sure any buyers of the Prius C will much care about its lethargic acceleration. Certainly those who choose such a frugal vehicle do not do so for performance reasons, and I doubt any offspring of the Prius is intended to lure the enthusiast. I’m sure most–if not all–who buy the Prius purchase it for the same reason most people buy a minivan: because it serves a specific purpose. Driving dynamics, if you get any, are just an added feature.

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    I think the C will sell as expected, but I also think it will take sales away from the regular Prius, I don’t think it will bring too many new buyers to that brand.

  3. tj Martin Says:

    AUDI buying Ducati ;

    Your info is way off base this time ALD.

    IF ! Audi buys Ducati , the actual purchase price will be between 1-10 Million €’s while absorbing the additional one billion in debt that Ducati currently holds . Pennies on the € are the claims from the UK/Italian and EU press … or no sale to Audi .

    Also . Have a close look see at Bentley , SEAT, Skoda , Lamborghini and especially Bugatti’s books and then tell me how successfully and competently VW-Audi manages so many different brands .


    RECALL HONOR ROLL as of 3/13/12;

    JEEP – 210,000

    Toyota – 700,000

    Volvo – 17,000

    FORD – 1.92 Million

    And we’re only what ? 2 1/2 months into the Year ?

    Maybe its about time ALL the Automakers realize that they Cannot build that many cars , with that many complicated systems ….. without ( bleep ) up a whole lot of them along the way

    Nahhh . That’d take a modicum of common sense , which in the Corporate World of the 2010′s has long since gone out the window .

    Never mind


    One last News Item .

    Now Bob Lutz ( the putz ) is trying to defend both the VOLT and his involvement with it on his Online Blog , trying to call in the ‘ served as a Marine ‘ factor to prove his honesty and Right Wing leanings

    Sorry Bob , but ;

    #1 The VOLT you were involved with was supposed to be the Skateboard Platform / with interchangeable bodies and a Hydrogen Fuel Cell power plant …. not the pathetic re-made Cruze with an electric motor and a battery pack its become

    #2 At least 70% of the Veterans I know ( especially from the Iraq/Afgan conflicts ) are further to the Left than one can imagine

    #3 Though there are many honest Vets with great integrity , their numbers are no greater , and in fact may be smaller ( due to PTSD etc ) than the civilian population

    Talk about desperate attempts to validate ones mistakes . Bob Lutz takes the cake so far for the 2012 Automotive PDVS Award ;-)

    ( PDVS = Post Decision Validation Syndrome )

  4. W L Simpson Says:

    DeltaWing —- designed & built by Dan Gurney’s

  5. tj Martin Says:


    As I predicted yesterday .

  6. C-Tech Says:

    I understand ExxonMobil’s explanation of why liquid fuel will continue to power vehicles, however the cell phone analogy is a little ridiculous. Would you be willing to hold up a gallon (or even a half pint!) of gasoline to your ear to power your phone?

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just saw a TV ad for the Volt, not bad at all, but I’m thinking: what kind of message is GM sending to prospective buyers who watch this ad and read that production has stopped?

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Those who are obsessed with the “slowness” of an 11 second 0-60 time should realize that the American cars of the 60′s with the standard V8 performed about the same. The guy saying that the Prius C has 1930′s performance is, well, very uninformed. A lot of 30′s cars wouldn’t even go 60 mph.

  9. C-Tech Says:

    John, surely there is someone out there with who can come up with a solution to the car hauler issue, even if it means getting drivers to drive these vehicles to dealers in addition to using the car haulers. This is how it’s done for a lot of dealers when getting their used cars from the auction.

  10. C-Tech Says:

    Considering ALL the technological changes in auto racing since 1972, I’ll hold my judgement until we see how well it fares on the track.

  11. C-Tech Says:

    Why is VW-Audi buying Ducati?

  12. C-Tech Says:

    A slow, bare-bones Pruis is the “C”, I think I CAN wait to test drive it (along with the Smart car, and several other unimpressive entries into the automotive market).

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A “halo” brand, like Bentley and Bugatti?

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If you put the Prius C (or regular Prius) in the same category with the smart, you really need to drive both. The rough, lurchy transmission in the smart absolutely sucks, while the Prius just goes about it’s business smoothly, if boringly.

  15. C-Tech Says:

    @ #13
    Kit, that may be true, Bentley and Bugatti make sense when you own other Car brands, but VW-Audi does not make any other motocyles. Is there some technology that Ducati has which VW thinks it can use?

  16. C-Tech Says:

    @ #14
    I’m sorry Kit if you think I am comparing the Pruis to the Smart, I’m not. I’ve driven the old and new Prius, and been very impressed with the improvements, and the way the latest Prius driving feel. It just does not sound appealing the Prius C.

  17. Brett Says:

    If the price of gas stays near $4/gallon, Toyota will sell the Hell out of those Prius C units.

    Imagine a petrochemical company study validating their business model! Astonishing!

    DeltaWing: love it. If Dan Gurney saw something in that design, then it definitely has something going for it. I hope it doesn’t succumb to misfortune or teething problems during the race. I’d like to see how the concept performs on it’s merits against the traditional designs. I hope it’s has an impact similar to when the first European rear-engined car appeared at the Indy 500. :)

  18. C-Tech Says:

    @ #17
    It is unfortunate the way U.S. open wheel racing (Indycar) is being run these days. If this group were running Indy in the 60′s, that rear-engined Lotus probably would not be allowed to race.

  19. dcars Says:

    I know GM has stated that they will support the Volt into the future, but that is not what they have done in the past. They normally don’t spend another dime on car that bombs.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks for the clarification. I suspect the Prius C will drive pretty much like the liftback, but a little slower, and maybe a little “sportier” handling. I’ll want to drive one, just to see what itcs like, but I think I know what to expect.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I suspect it would be even harder now than a year ago to allow innovative designs in Indycar, because of Wheldon’s death.

    Indycar will be at least a little more interesting than in the recent past, now that there will be more than one engine builder.

  22. Chuck Grenci Says:

    While I have great respect for Dan Gurney, just because he is the creator of the Delta-Wing doesn’t guarantee anything spectacular. I’m hoping it is (because it is definitely thinking outside of the box), however, remember he is also the creator of the “Alligator”(motorcycle), which appealing as it looked, was non the less, a flop.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The only unique technology Ducati uses is desmo valve actuation, which doesn’t make much sense for either cars or bikes. The bikes have a following, though. 40K a year is high volume for a European brand of big bikes, and the Ducati fans really show up in droves at the Moto GP in Indy.

  24. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I think the analogy of the gallon of gasoline, that could run your smart phone for twenty years is a good one. It wasn’t implying that that gallon would be chugging along with a miniature ICE; just that the energy potential (contained in the liquid) had that much energy potential). Perhaps a kilowatt-hour might have sufficed but it still rang true (to me).

  25. tj Martin Says:


    To be blunt and honest . If Gurney’s Deltawing racer works as well as his Gator M/C did it’ll be on the scrap heap in 24 months or less

    Dan’s forte having ‘ been ‘ driving and team management … not technological innovation . And my suspicion is there’s more than one reason why Indy Car flat out banned the thing …. while ALMS LMS .. being desperate for competitors and attempting to prove themselves the ‘ Innovators ‘ of modern day racing may have ignored those reasons in a vain hop that the slippery beast might work .

    Oh well . Worst case scenario Gurney can always take the Deltawing to Bonneville and maybe snag a record or two


  26. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Audi buying Ducati leads me to believe that Audi was looking to expand its appeal to other ‘liked-mined’ enthusiasts; as Ducati is noted for its performance and exclusivity (as Audi once was; now, Audi not so exclusive but performance oriented still).

  27. tj Martin Says:


    Why is VW-Audi considering buying Ducati ( the deals far from done BTW )

    Its really quite simple . Nothing to do with owning another ‘ Premium ‘ brand . Even less to do with any technology Ducati may have to offer ( which BTW goes way beyond desmo valve trains … way beyond … look it up )

    To put it plainly … the ONLY reason VW-Audi is considering buying Ducati is …. in plain English …

    BMW Envy . Period . End of discussion . Thats the long … short … sideways and upside of it all in a Nutshell

    BMW Envy

    Any questions ? ;-)

  28. T. Bejma Says:


    The message is clear Pedro, there is too much inventory, so rather than heavy discounts or flooding the market, GM is scaling back production. What kind of message does this send? That this is not the same GM of before and protecting the balance sheet is much more important than keeping a factory running. That’s the right message and should give any perspective buyer confidence that GM will be around for the long term.



  29. tj Martin Says:


    Stats show ( oh dear … here it comes …. ) that an overwhelming majority of Ducatistas have as their automotive daily driver , at least one if not more ……….

    BMW’s ! As well as MINI’s . Not Audi’s

    Fact is if you were to have visited the Ducati factory as I did five years ago you’d of seen the Employees ( both staff and management ) Parking Lot Full of BMW’s and MINI’s from one end to the other .

    Like I said . BMW Envy on the part of Audi . Plain and simple .

  30. Chuck Grenci Says:

    If you mean BMW envy (in motorcycles); that is a doubtful comparison. Ducati and BMW’s (beemers, not bimmers) make different type bikes. While BMW does make sport oriented bikes, Ducati is almost exclusively sport bikes.

  31. tj Martin Says:

    T Bejima

    Your question to #19

    Seriously ?

    Heck GM doesn’t even stand behind potential winners these days ( the Nomad comes to mind ) never mind abject losers .

    Lets face facts T . GM only stands behind what ever the Bean Counters tell GM to stand behind … win , lose or draw .

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “( which BTW goes way beyond desmo valve trains … way beyond … look it up )”

    The only significant unique-to-the-market technology Ducati uses is desmo valve train.

  33. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The Nomad, (are you kidding); that was only a winner in hindsight. They didn’t sell too many, new, because they weren’t practical in the family oriented time of their creation.

  34. tj Martin Says:


    Oh dear . Not been paying attention to the M/C world of late has ya there Chuck ol bean ?

    Missed out completely on the SS1000RR thats been kicking everyone from the Japs to Ducati ‘s butts , both on and off track ?

    Kind of let the naked sport models from BMW lately slip past you ?

    No Chuck ol bean …. BMW’s been kicking some serious Super/Hyper Bike tail over the last few years and is on the move to do even more damage ( CycleWorld Hellforleather Motorcyclist etc etc )

    But ….

    The POINT of my BMW Envy comment was …..

    Audi is envious that BMW does make Motorcycles and Audi does not .

    Especially when BMW’s got a Supercar in the works to go chasing after Audi’s R8 and Lambos

    Guess you might of missed that one as well . Thats OK .

    Its a complicated world out there .

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe GM should just give the entire Volt operation to the new “do no wrong” car company, Hyundai. They can afford to lose money with it for a few years, with the hope of eventually making money. In today’s political climate, under GM, Volt will always be controversial, for reasons having nothing to do with the car. Under Hyundai, that would not be the case.

  36. tj Martin Says:


    Once again Chuck a correction is in order

    I was talking about the 2004 Chevy Nomad ‘ concept ‘ that had more offers for initial deposit than any other Chevy in the companies history .. including any of the Vettes …. yet never saw the light of day .. production wise .

    Another round perhaps ?

    ( sorry if that last sounds a bit snobbish … but it was typed in Jest not insult )

  37. tj Martin Says:


    Do the research . I don’t have the time or desire to post that much info here .

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I did, and there is nothing significantly unique, other than the desmo stuff. Yes, their frame is a little different. They use upside down forks, but so do others, etc.

    You have plenty of time to type other things, so how about typing this long list of unique features of Ducati bikes?

  39. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I know my bikes pretty well; you can’t assault Ducati with a single BMW model. I know BMW makes some fine sport bikes but Ducati (again) is almost exclusively sport bikes. BMW’s, claim to fame, are their road/touring bikes (which they do quite well; um, except for maybe their rear gear drives). I don’t see BMW in much of sport bike racing (again, no condemnation; just that I think, the ‘Ducs’ have better ‘claim to fame’) in this type venue.

  40. tj Martin Says:

    AUDI ( and VW )

    For those of you that may not be aware … Audi has had a Self Esteem problem since the 80′s with both BMW and Mercedes .. constantly trying to mimic their every move … trying to out do them both ….. do what they do … as well as trying to be bigger and better than them both .

    An interesting problem in light of the Well Known fact that that ( Envy ) mentality has led to the eventual Downfall of each and every business thats ever been plagued by the ‘ Green ‘ Mist .

  41. tj Martin Says:

    # 39

    Wanna bet on that ? look it up . the SS1000RR has been THE Superbike worldwide since its introduction …. been more competitive in WSBK in a shorter time than any other new comer to the series and IS now the M/C of choice for those wanting the Ultimate Road Going or Track M/C

    Ducatis as much as I love them are leagues behind the SS1000RR as well as the Beemer Nakeds …. Ducatis’s MutliStrada is a vague wanna be shadow hiding under all BMW’s GS’s etc etc etc

    You’re a bit out of step with BMW’s recent bikes there Chuck . Well … actually if you’d been reading the M/C press the last few years …. you’re a LOT out of step .

    Catch up mate . BMW’s been raising (____ ) in the performance M/C world and promises to do even more

  42. T. Bejma Says:


    You are serious? This thing:


    A Solstice with a hatch? This is the savior of Chevrolet? You’ve got to be kidding tj my friend. This is just plain ugly, back then – underpowered and would have been the Aztec of the 2000′s. Seems like it was good decision in hindsight… ;-)

  43. shan Says:

    Looks like the Prius C is built on the new Yaris platform. Can’t Toyota do anything to boost that 1.5 4 banger? Direct Injection? Turbo? Anything to keep you from being run over by a semi when your coming off a exit ramp onto a interstate.

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    Lifetime guarantee on the Hyundai Sonata hybrid battery, if that doesn’t get sales moving, along with $4.gas, nothing will!

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t think being run over by a semi while entering an interstate would be a problem. The Prius C does 0-60 in 11.5 seconds. A loaded semi does 0-60 in about 35 seconds. Empty, it takes 20 seconds. Without a trailer, a modern semi tractor is only slightly quicker than the “C.”

  46. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Well, the SS1000RR came on the scene in 2009 (not much of a legacy), so currently top of the heap; for now. Not here to argue (per say; okay, maybe a little :) ) but them Ducati’s have been around for the long run (in many venues); they have ‘legs’. Ever notice your arguments revolve around ‘one’ significant fact that doesn’t tell the whole story. Anyway, you keep me on my toes; good for you (at least for that).

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, if Hyundai got the Volt tooling and had a lifetime warranty on the battery, I bet they’d sell a lot more of them than are being sold now, even at the current price.

  48. tj Martin Says:


    ( subtitled ; Especially Dan Akerson )


    Its garbage like this ( as well as claiming GM had paid off the Government loans etc etc … on and on and on … ) that have GM’s back up against the wall .

    One lie after another . And they really expect a discerning consumer to Trust their products when you can’t even trust the GM CEO to get the facts straight when in Public ?


    @ T Bejima – If’n you’ve got any clout / pull at GM . Give someone with power hell from all of us ….. please !

    And do remind them that with the SRX …… when I rented it I was REALLY really hoping to like it … buy American … keeping my money on Us soil …….. but ….. well ….. this …. and you know the rest of the story

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    Can’t believe this idiot lies like that, does he think no one is gonna check facts??? He makes Sergio look like a Mullaly!

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I kind of liked the Nomad concept, which may have been a good reason not to produce it. My last Chevy was a Malibu Maxx. It was a good car, but didn’t sell so well, even though they actually advertised it some.

  51. tj Martin Says:

    @ T Bejima

    Here on Planet Gearhead the Nomad was seen as GM’s answer to the MINI . Fact is it was seen as better . No Solstice either ( based on it but that was it ) as if you look into GM’s vaults it was to be one heck of a little Micro Hot Rod

    Seeing as how well the MINI is doing , ya still so sure that was a good decision ?

    Gee. I wonder where GM would be today had they come up with an American Hot Rod MINI like the Nomad concept ?

    Probably not up to their ears in debt to the US tax payers , not having lost a good portion of that $23.77 billion .. as well as not needing all those Subsidies just to try and sell a car ( VOLT ) that nobody Worldwide wants .

    Hmmmn ! Methinks thats my point there T :o

  52. tj Martin Says:


    Good point !!!

    Yeah Pedro … Akerson really is giving Stronzetto Marchionne a run for his money in the Fertilizer department .. isn’t he !

    Hadn’t though about that when I posted #48

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Akerson didn’t really lie. The last paragraph of the TTAC article says:

    “Oh, and back to Akerson. I know how to get him out of this. He should say he was misquoted. He should say he meant calendar year. Launched in December 1997, the Prius sold 323 in that month and year. Launched in December 2010, the Volt sold 326 in that month and year. I know, it’s a lame excuse, but it beats being called a liar.”

  54. tj Martin Says:

    @ Chuck Grenci

    So here’s a little factoid to tuck under your hat during your next Gearhead conversation over a good brew with some buds

    Who do you think has won more MotoGP championships ?

    Harley Davidson or Ducati ?

    Believe it or not …… its H-D ! In the 250 class .

    Then … have a look see at how many World Championships ( other than MotoGP ) BMW has won …. off and on road . You’ll be amazed .

    So plenty of History in BMW’s corner as well

    Win yourself a bet or two with the Ducati/H-D thing ;-)

  55. tj Martin Says:


    Thats just TTAC’s sarcasm coming thru . Akerson lied thru his bloody miserable teeth . Like every other GM CEO since the bailouts . Before as well actually !

    Oh and 31 days does not constitute a year in anybodies book

    Jeeze TTAC’s sarcasm makes Akerson look even worse when you think about it . Good Ol ( most of the time ) TTAC .


    Oh PDL !!!! . Y’all out there ? There’s some serious fodder here to stoke the Anti GM fires if’n you’re willing !

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “Thats just TTAC’s sarcasm coming thru”

    Yes, I think that is obvious.

  57. RS Says:

    Sounds like VW/Audi buying Ducati is a “Honda in reverse” strategy. Do they see a market for an expanded lineup of bikes to edge into emerging markets?

  58. XA351GT Says:

    The Deltawing looks more suited for a drag strip or salt flat than a road course. Narrow front track no wings for down force . I see no way this will corner all that fast and straight away speeds will be negated by the low cornering speeds.

    Prius C it’ll sell okay. Here’s a question though . This gets a combined 50 MPG right? Sounds like the best in the industry ,right? How if this is the best that any manufacturer has done how will they all reach 62.5 MPG in the future as a fleet average? There is no way in hell this will happen. So then ,what happens to them do they get fined?

  59. Matt Says:

    While the Prius C isn’t about performance there’s no denying it will be a force that will be noticed with its mpg. Especially with the volatile gas prices people will flock to it. Its a great value and its the highest officially rated mpg car on the market (U.S.). Its not bad looking but the taillights are barf. Plus I think they could have come up with a better name than Prius C. Oh well. Can’t wait for afterhours this thursday John. Love that show. It will be interesting to hear about that book on Ford.

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That 62.5 corresponds to a much smaller EPA number. I’ll try to find relevent info and post a link later.

  61. M. Campbell Says:

    John got this right but some others have not. So to clear up some of the mis-information about the DeltaWing:

    It was NOT designed by Dan Gurney or his company. Ben Bowlby designed the car, initially for Indycar as a bid for their new base chassis.

    Gurney’s company, All-American Racers, are constructing the DeltaWing, which actually uses the tub from the now-defunct Aston Martin AMR-One LMP1 car that raced last year. It was chosen because it already met the FIA’s safety standards.

    The highly advanced, 1.6 litre, direct-injection, turbo 4 cylinder is actually built by the British company RML for Nissan. Incidentally, RML also build a highly advanced 1.6 litre, direct-injection, turbo 4 cylinder for Chevrolet to use in the Cruze WTCC car…

    Duncan Dayton’s Highcroft Racing will be the team to race the car. Highcroft, of course, were a partner to Honda Performance Development and raced the Acura LMP car to great success in the ALMS.

    The DeltaWing will make demonstration laps ONLY at this weekend’s Sebring 12 Hours. It begins testing there in earnest next week for its racing debut at Le Mans in June.

    There are better videos of the DeltaWing at Highcroft’s website, including this in-car clip from the shakedown run:


  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Edmunds has some info on CAFE vs EPA ratings at:


    If you go down a ways, they say “The talked-about 2025 CAFE standard — usually described as 54.5 mpg — amounts to a figure of 36 mpg Combined on a window sticker.”

    That means a current Prius is well over the requirement, a Camry or Fusion hybrid is somewhat over it, but even a 4 cylinder, non-hybrid Camry or Accord is below it, at 28 and 27 mpg respectively.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t see them going into “emerging markets,” if you mean selling 100cc commuter bikes in Asia. If they do that, they will lose their following of people who kind of consider Ducatis to be bargain Ferraris. If, by emerging markets, you mean China, their present stuff might do pretty well.

    I’d like to see Ducati get over their thing with the desmo valve train, if they could do that with some of the bikes, and retain their fanatical following. I suppose that wouldn’t be a good idea, though, since the desmo thing is Ducati’s trademark. I’ll just get by with my “rice burner” SV650 which, like a Ducati, has a 90 degree V twin, but cost less than half as much, and is zero maintenance, except for changing the oil, and adjusting and oiling the chain.

  64. Bob Aubertin Says:

    I would like to clarify comment #8 made by Kit Gerhart.

    1.) A 1932 Ford with a Flathead V8 ran much faster than 60 m.p.h.
    2.) A ’65 Mustang with a 289 c.i. V8 ran 0-60 m.p.h. in 7.5 sec.

    In conclusion,Craig was Totally Correct and you were Totally Wrong and very Uninformed.Well done Craig.

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1) A 1931 Modal A Ford, and most other early 30′s four cylinder cars wouldn’t go 60 mph. Yes, by the mid 30′s, most cars went faster than 60 mph, but in the early 30′s, the cheaper cars did not. Even the quicker 30′s cars accelerated much slower to 60 than even the slowest of today’s cars.

    2) A typical “family car” of the 1960′s, like a Chevy Biscayne with the standard V8 and automatic, as typically equipped, ran 0-60 in about 11 seconds.

    Yes, a Ford flathead, the “hot rod for the masses,” went a lot faster than 60 mph, and a Mustang, a light weight “sporty car” was quicker than 11 sec. 0-60, but the most common “family cars” of the ’60′s were not.

  66. tj Martinj Says:


    The car ( Pagani ) with the man himself ( Horatio Pagani ) at the wheel .

    ( bottom of the page )


    Atsa da ‘ Real ‘ Italian exotic car ! Ironically , designed and owned by an Ex Pat Argentinian 8)

    Hmmmn . Maybe thats what we need here .

    An Ex Pat from some other country running one of our automobile makers , finally building ‘ Real ‘ American cars .

    Seeing as how the local boys can’t seem to get a grip on the idea ;-)

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Having a Benz engine, I don’t see the Huayra as a “real Italian exotic,” but having the Benz power train probably helps make it much better.

  68. tj Martinj Says:


    Yeah but the Multistrada ‘ Black ‘ will kick your rice burners tail in any contest , for much less than twice the price ( more like a grand or two more and the Monster Black is even less $ and faster yet ) and anyway Kit the Desmo WORKs , and works VERY well ( F1 is still looking into adapting it ) , as well as long after your rice burner is on the scrap heap them Ducati’s will still be on the road and riding .

    The SV’s a decent OK bike , but lets face it . Its a major snooze to ride , has all the personality of a box of Corn Flakes , all the collectability of a cardboard box and all the visual appeal of watching paint dry .

    Comparing your SV to a Ducati is like comparing a Honda Civic to say a BMW M3 . Similar to a point in looks , but leagues apart in function

    Some of us Kit prefer less vehicles in our garages with more style and SPM factor ( Smiles per Miles ) Owning a MINI as you do , you of all people should comprehend that . Face it . You could of spent a heck of a lot less money for an equal performing car from the Japs ;-)

    And ahhhhh … I’ve stayed out of the discussion for obvious reasons I’ll not state here … but Bob Aubertin # 63 has you dead to rights

    The Prius C is a ‘ Dog ‘ in modern acceleration terms .In other words …. Pathetic and unbecoming of Toyota .

  69. tj Martinj Says:


    Then you have zero comprehension of what it is that makes a real Italian Exotic ” Italian ”

    To paraphrase an old rock tune ;

    ” It aint the engine … its the style and the motion … that makes one Italian ‘

    Anyway till you’ve owned one or at least driven one extensively you just won’t ‘ get it ‘

    The AMG ( big difference BTW ) in the Pagaini’s FYI is the result of Horatio’s Tie in with Juan Manual Fangio .. who if’n you know your History …. was directly involved with M-B till his end of days ( first Argentinian to import them … main distributor in Argentina … owned the majority of Benz dealers as well … )

    Fangio was a Benz man till the end … Horatio is his protege’ … hence Pagani’s have AMG engines .

  70. pedro fernandez Says:

    tj Martinij?? What’s up with that J??

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yes, the SV is a “snooze,” as you put it, but it works. No, I’m not saying that it is the same as a Ducati, just that it works well, is stone reliable, and is much cheaper than a Ducati. My bike is an ’04, and has had zero repairs.

    Ducatis typically last longer than “rice burners” for the same reason that Ferraris typically last longer than Chevys, they are well taken car of, rather than being treated as expendable. It’s the way they are treated, not the machine.

    Even IF F1 at some point uses Desmo, that doesn’t mean it makes sense for a road vehicle, other than being something different.

    …and Bob Aubertin was mostly wrong, as I clearly pointed out in #64. Actually, I found that he was even more wrong than I mentioned in #64. R & T only got 9 seconds 0-60 out of a 289 Mustang, WITH A 4 SPEED. A Prius C accelerates about the same as a typical 60′s family car, such as a 1965 Biscayne with a 283/automatic. It is much quicker than a big Chevy, Ford, or Plymouth with a six cylinder, and people were still buying such cars in the 60′s.

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