AD #1967 – VW Scandal Costs Audi Le Mans Effort, Apple Scales Back Auto Program, The Supercar Anyone Can Drive

October 17th, 2016 at 11:38am

Runtime: 7:18

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- Apple Scales Back Auto Program
- Don’t Call it AutoPilot
- Sales of Semis Struggling
- VW Scandal Costs Audi Le Mans Effort
- Ford Recycles Design Clay
- Red Hot China Will Go Ice Cold
- The Supercar Anyone Can Drive

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24 Comments to “AD #1967 – VW Scandal Costs Audi Le Mans Effort, Apple Scales Back Auto Program, The Supercar Anyone Can Drive”

  1. Buzzerd Says:

    NSX- yes very accessible for everyone to drive… but few can afford.

  2. Buzzerd Says:

    Audi and American Le Mans, personally I have little interest in the LMP classes, the GT classes is what I like watching.

  3. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Echoing Buzzard, I also enjoy the GT classes (more); I believe them a lot closer to what someone can buy. The ‘elites’ do transfer some technology, but too much function over form, leaves me waning/wanting.

    The NSX, although lauded (even the first one), will need to wait and see if there is better acceptance (referring here to sales); there are plenty of ‘supercars’ out there and I don’t see the Acura/Honda as: the one everyone craves.

  4. Lisk Says:

    I am surprised that automakers can sell these hyper-performance cars without the buyers having any qualifications to own/drive it except the cash. I see the same thing in the RV industry as well. Someone who has never driven anything bigger than a pickup can leave with a 40-foot motorhome. I’m sure that if there was some kind of test you have to ace before you could own either one of these scenarios, sales would plummet.

    I’m sure the new NSX is an easy car to drive fast, but the limits the car are so high, a small mistake can be a big one.

    I do think it’s good that some car manufacturers do offer schooling to show just how scary fast these cars can be, but I’m guessing the take rate is something like 1 out of 50?

  5. Buzzerd Says:

    Lisk- I’ve taken a few riding schools-motorcycle and raced a little and have had more than a few people question and or argue as to the value of either of those activities when on the street.
    Driving is one of the few things people learn while young and then never – read a book, take a class, watch a video…. but still think they are pretty good. It’s like passing grade 8 math and then thinking you pretty much know as much as there is to know about math.

  6. Drew Says:

    Instead of “AutoPilot”, they should call it “Co-Pilot”. It’s there to help the driver… not replace the driver.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The NSX seems to be a case of technology for technology’s sake, with the hybrid power train using three electric motor-generators, and not even getting good highway gas mileage, 22 EPA highway mpg. Not that people who buy $160-200K cars care much about gas mileage.

  8. Lisk Says:

    5) I agree with you. I’ve done a few driving schools myself and I think the one thing they do teach is awareness; to not be looking 25 feet up the road, but hundreds of feet up the road. After attending one of the schools, one of my coworkers asked “how fast did you go”? I told him I had no idea because I was paying attention to where I was going. He couldn’t believe I wasn’t watching the speedometer.

  9. RumNCoke Says:

    That’s what we need – unconscious drivers. In fact, one of them in an Escalade just about ran me off the highway this morning. How about a MORE demanding sports car that actually requires skill and attentiveness? And three pedals.

  10. Drew Says:

    @7 – Kit, hybrids rarely garner good fuel economy on the highway, where the battery is quickly spent yet the vehicle has to carry all of the mass of the battery and electric motors for no benefit.

  11. RS Says:

    @5, 8 and 9
    It would be much more effective for law enforcement to reduce the intense focus on speed and concentrate instead on driver attention. One of the ways inattention becomes obvious is in the lack of understanding of lane discipline.

    I think the courts are hesitant to support the lane-use regulations because there is no precision to the legislation. “How long can you remain in the passing lane when you are not actually passing?”

    At least there would be some thought required if drivers had to think about being in the correct lane.

    All the lanes are NOT the same…

    Drive right… Pass left

  12. Lisk Says:

    11) If you are driving an early 2000s Lincoln and you have your left turn signal on, it is OK to drive in the left lane until it’s time to exit; then it’s across all three lanes in one move. :)

  13. JWH Says:

    #4 – Regarding buyer qualifications – I believe the most extreme example of this is that anyone can go purchase a motorcycle that will turn a 10 second 1/4 mile & go riding. Even if someone takes an equivalent to motorcycle safety foundation course it is basically parking lot maneuvers at low speed. As someone mentioned, at least track days & track based riding schools (no legal requirements) are good learning experience.

  14. Marshall Says:

    Biggest issue with the NSX is its price. When it originally debuted it was priced at $60K and was a Ferrari fighter. Now the new version is priced like a Ferrari, leaving its core audience behind.

    Acura should have kept it simple and priced below $80K

  15. curley Says:

    Like the old saying (ala Pancho Barnes)…”There are old pilots and bold pilots, but not any old bold pilots”…same applies to operators of motor vehicles… as a long time motorcyclist, I often tell the newbies to have a “High Visual Horizon”…those who get it often live to ride another day…doubt if any new autopilot/co-pilot can adjust to speed and distance as fast as the human brain.

    Come on Honda/Acura…leave the hybrid electric stuff in the lab and give us a gasoline IC engine only powered NSX…price it in Corvette territory…nothing happens in manufacturing until something is sold…you’re gonna need the $$s to pay for all those engineers.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @10 — Drew
    Yeah, I agree, and should have added more to my post, like: Even the city mileage is only marginally better than that of other high powered sports cars, and not as good as a Porsche 911 Carrera S.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=37436&id=37459&id=37869&id=38136

  17. Drew Says:

    @16 – Amen, Kit.

    @12 – Lisa, I see the multi-lane change behavior in two types of drives – distracted drives who realize much too late they are in the wrong lane to exit… and self-centered brats who think their ownership of an over-priced German sled gives them the right to ignore whoever they cut-off. I simply want more (any?) enforcement of lane change signal usage.

  18. JWH Says:

    #17 – And perhaps many people need training on using the stick that hangs off the left side of their steering column to at least give us some warning they are going to attempt to cut us off.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From my recent experience, Honda CRV’s, and such, have been the worst culprits for deliberately driving in the passing lane, below the prevailing traffic speed. I will be taking a, no doubt frustrating, 1100 mile trip on the interstate this weekend. I need to get to where I can just pass the jerks on the right without getting pi$$€d, but I find that difficult.

  20. Len Simpson Says:

    accidents will be cut in half as soon as serious driver training becomes a requirement for license.

  21. Ukendoit Says:

    Most people now-a-days don’t know how to drive a stick unless they are a serious, trained driver. That could be a good limiter for super powerful sports cars; only sell them as manuals and the untrained will not be able to move them. That has always served me well in keeping people from wanting to drive/borrow my cars.
    As for that other hard to comprehend stick, usually the “no turn signal” culprits here are large trucks (or Escalades) that think people will yield to them rather than get run over. Maybe with all the new technology, when one gets close to departing their lane, the vehicle could anticipate turning its own signal lights on if the driver hasn’t?

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Manual transmissions are becoming an endangered species in high powered sports cars, especially the “exotics.” The F cars, Lamborghinis, McLaren, etc. are all automatic only, as are the R8, GT-R, Mercedes AMG-GT.

    You can still get manuals in 911′s, Corvettes, 6 cylinder F-types, and one 12 cylinder car that I know of, Aston Martin Vantage, but maybe not too much longer.

  23. woscar Says:

    Apple probably decided to back off from building cars when they realized they’d have to include Windows.

  24. motojerry800 Says:

    23 :Best Line All Day!