Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Did the treatment pills work? Is the Auto industry back on the sanity ground?

As you probably know, my view on today's automotive industry is pretty dark.

I'm a purist and as such, Honda going hybrid and 2wd turbo is wrong, toyota going hybrid is wrong... every manufacturer going 2wd turbo is wrong... everything is wrong out there expect maybe for some enlightened souls that mostly work for lotus... and a couple other manufacturers.

The problem? First came the politicians with their stupid taxes, forcing smaller and smaller engines to be produced... then came their policemen with orders to "invoice" and the speed limit made us run highways at parking lot speeds...then came Al-Gore and his army of zombie tree-hugers that killed some of the most brilliant engines ever made...and finally came the economists and mediocre managers that turned the engineering passion into a blind pursue of profit with total disregard for design quality.

These last years, we saw Toyota kill the Supra, Mazda kill the RX7, Honda kill the NSX...and the S2000... and the Civic Type-r...and the integra Type-r, BMW killed the glorious NA in-line six of the M3, Saab... well no more Saab and I could continue with the kill list on to the trash produced list starting with all and any hybrid with a battery bigger than a standard car battery.

In truth, we have gone back years in engineering terms. I find my self worried, because I'm now buying cars from no later than 2006... and eventually as the years go by and I need to replace them, I might find my self out of options.

Well It seems from this last week that there might be a salvation in the industry after all.
Behind all that madness and stupidity that produces hybrid crap and cars that are as dull as the advertising stating it pollutes less than your farts, some engineers might actually have survived.

So out of those manufacturers that where extremely hill, Honda make the top of the list. With extra needed care as the "return" they attempted was a copy of the recipe from Renault and VW... stating that such a level of desperation could mean "terminal case".... but I guess that some miracle drug treatment worked and a couple of engineers actually survived. They went to the surviving BIKE department, grabbed a proper NA stratospheric revving engine and put it into a car, then the materials and minimalist design, then the disk brakes and controls... and the result, is a brilliant drivers car.

The Honda 2&4 project is an extreme vision of the same genesis I had with my S2000rr concept...and I love it.



Finally, after years stating that Honda was dead to me, I can say that there is a sign of recovery. There might be resurrection after all.

The other manufacturer is a less complicated case. I mean they did got the Turbo on FWD disease (they got that big) but at least they know what is the proper usage for a cars battery.

FORD was BIG. They has the RS Cosworth... they had 2, the Sierra and the Escort... and for the enthusiast that doesn't want to go sideways, they had the FWD, non turbo XR3i... and they had the brilliant fiestas. Then some designer smoked really bad weed and they entered the "new edge design"! Horrible cars to say the least, but at least the chassis design team where working as good as ever and the ugly cars performed brilliantly... and enginewise... well they turned to Yamaha for those... I mean no argues there.

But then the Escort was gone and the Focus needed to show that it was a true successor (not an easy task).
We waited and Ford unveiled the Focus ST... is this the new Cosworth? let me see... no! it FWD YUCK!
Then came the news that the REAL beast was underway and that the RS would have the T5 volvo engine... this was promissing... and when it came out it was... FWD!?!?!? TURBO?!?!?! Why oh why would FORD put a beast of an 5 cylinder TURBO engine on a FWD car??? And as expected the differential Quaife put there and try to solve the impossible,  generated very violent torque steer. Not just bad... stupid!

And Fords performance car became the much better handling and less power through the front wheels Fiesta!

Then FORD knew about the rehabilitation clinic HONDA had just entered and tried some of the same medicine... and voila!
The all new Ford FOCUS RS 2016 is a 2.3 turbo, BUT it is, as every turbo should, AWD!
Not just that, they beefed it up with active diffs and the computer that controls them has a "drift" mode :) and just to put the cherry on top of the cake, do you know who they used to tune the "Drift mode"?
Ken Block! I mean the guy doesn't drive competitively in rally, but give him a junkyard, unlimited set of tires and replacement cars and time, and he will manage to drive sideways the entire time, even indoors... between pillars... and container towers.... and inside airplanes...under a jumping bike...while in the air...and talking to James May!

Ken Block may not be king of rally but he sure is king of gymkhana ... and having set the RS drift mode, fun is assured :)


Well done Ford... and welcome back...now please continue to take the medication before you create a 500bhp 2.0 triturbo FWD Ka, ok? ok.