Friday, January 29, 2010
Speed:Sport:Life has taken a few minutes out of their usual pompous arrogance to produce a frighteningly lucid explanation of why "Prius" = "cool." I expected to be angry, or to be able to argue with them. I can't.
Some choice quotes:
"If you asked Prius owners why they made the choice to buy their car, I imagine you would hear a lot about the environment, sustainability, reducing dependence on foreign oil, blah blah blah. That's all crap. I know that's all crap because the Honda Insight is rusting on dealer lots as we speak."
"If you buy an Insight, you'll have to explain why you didn't buy a Prius. People will ask you if you own a Zune. If you buy a Civic Hybrid, then some self-righteous woman in cat-eye glasses will stop you in the university parking lot and tell you that your sports car is killing the environment."
"Don't bother to "think different" here. Put an iPod and an iPad in your Prius and relax, knowing that you are just as unique as everyone else in your social group."
And finally, "The Lexus HS250h is a Prius with a trunk. Don't buy one. Nobody's buying one. Toyota is learning the hard way what Honda, Ford, and GM already know. "Hybrid" is a pretty meaningless badge. It's the "Prius" one that counts."
I don't normally agree with the SSL guys, but in this case, I have no choice. The idea that people are buying the Prius to save the world, to use less oil, to save on gas money, or even because it's better than other options is absurd. People are buying the Prius because it's the car they want, and it's the car they want because it's the car "cool," "hip," "eco-conscious," and "::insert other flattering adjective here::" people want.
There are a lot of good reasons why Toyota isn't doing well lately, but on occasion it's definitely better to be lucky than good.
Monday, January 25, 2010
ICON is a Los Angeles-based automotive company founded on the idea of revisiting classic off-road vehicles. Having tackled Toyota's FJ, ICON has now turned its attention to the Jeep CJ. Per Autoblog's article:
- 24.5 inches (as in more than two feet!) of suspension travel at each wheel
- Dana 44s
- 45 degree approach and departure angles
- GM Ecotec 2.4
- Did you see that photo?
Autoblog has the details, but you won't need them to know this thing is awesome.