Thursday, May 31, 2012

Toureg Hybrid

How did SUVs get their name? What sport could they possibly be used for? Their high ground clearance limits their utility, because it means a lower carrying capacity. Very few of them have any off-road capability. The only letter in the acronym with any justification is the "V," because they are vehicles.

With that in mind, here is the VW Toureg hybrid. I wonder why anyone would bother with a hybrid drive train on an affront to the laws of physics such as this. The big tires offer high rolling resistance. Elevating the vehicle means sacrifices in aerodynamics.

Still, this isn't anyone's fault. Mutual copying is the way of the business. Lexus SUV hybrids come to mind.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Seen but not photographed: BMW 328i

I saw this one in a parking lot.  For those of you who are informed about such things, the VIN ends with J88606.

If this car is any indication, BMW is completely rudderless.  It looks like 3 different cars.  From the side, it looks like any other sedan.  The uneven taillights slanting down from the corners to the center look like they were designed by two committees who did not know of the other's existence.  The front end is more of a problem.  It is a pinched taffy look.  There are all sorts of creases and folds.  The phrase used to describe an Edsel, "Like an Oldsmobile sucking a lemon," comes to mind.  The BMW looks modern, but as in the Edsel, a bunch of disparate design elements come together to form a bunch of disparate design elements.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The last Hummer?

At a used book store, the cheapest books are the ones that predicted the future. What they have in common is that their vision of what lies ahead is how things are now, only more so. Trend lines continue as they are.

This picture was taken near the end of 2008. The SUV/ big truck trend was already over, but GM thought they could milk the segment at a premium. They did not realize that a segment in decline would drag down their own sales.

Looking back on it, it appears that GM could have looked to the election at the time for a guide to where things were headed. A former governor of Texas was leaving the presidency due to term limits. The two possibilities on the way in had grown up in Coronado and Honolulu.

In less than two years, Hummer was finished.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Seen but not photographed: Cadillac Cherokee

It flew by me in Westlake Village. Of course, it has another name, but it looks like the box that AMC and Chrysler made for too long.