(Last) Weekly Roundup: Like An ACR Viper Edition


The Neon ACR… it’s much like a Viper ACR.

After the success of the NASA sprint race at Autobahn, we were hoping for great things out of the Neon at NJMP… but we had one little mechanical issue after another. At least it was a chance to see a bunch of our friends, meet a few readers, and see Alex Roy wearing a white hat in a ’65 Stingray convertible.

Let’s recap what Bark and I wrote before we headed to that race, shall we?

Brother Bark fielded an unusual question about whether the juice is worth the squeeze and explained the hidden costs behind used-car dealer pricing. He also indulged in some heresy regarding sedans and crossovers.

If you want to read the post that has actually gotten me banned from NASA Performance Touring racing in my region, check out this honest look at the costs of racing. For those of you who would rather be driven by a robot, I’d recommend a brief discussion of semi-autonomous driving.

At Road&Track, I set the world ablaze by suggesting that the media should Leave Tesla Alone. The reaction to this column was, to put it mildly, considerable. One Aspie even went through the trouble of “annotating” the column with a series of butthurt comments that only really make sense if you read them aloud in the voice of a World-Of-Warcraft player telling his mom that he can’t take the trash out because he’s in the middle of a village raid. I twisted the knife further by suggesting a racing future without human beings. It will be awesome.

And that’s all, folks!

24 Replies to “(Last) Weekly Roundup: Like An ACR Viper Edition”

  1. B.C.

    Banned? How? And do you write these things knowing you might get the ban hammer, and if you keep writing and getting banned are we going to see you relegated to racing unicycles?

  2. Norman Yarvin

    As regards (in the “leave Tesla alone” article): “I’m not aware of any serious Tesla critic who has the ability to design, and engineer, and produce so much as a $19.95 remote-control electric car on his or her own.”

    That’s actually a pretty high bar. One could even argue that nobody in the world can do that: such cars are all made by teams, not by individuals on their own — at least not at competitive prices. (Not that I actually _will_ argue that, but I think you see how it _could_ be argued.)

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      That’s fair. I should have said that they don’t even understand the concepts involved.

    • everybodyhatesscott

      Every place I’ve ever been that had ‘civility rules’ implemented ended up with the comment section going to shit because it’s really an excuse to ban badthinkers. Maybe Mark’s are different but I somehow doubt it. I think grown men can handle being called names. Whatever, not my website. I mostly only read Jack and Bark there anyways and I rarely comment.

      • jz78817

        ” Maybe Mark’s are different but I somehow doubt it. I think grown men can handle being called names”

        you can’t make a point without calling someone names?

        There’s a difference between friends busting each others’ balls, and strangers on the internet. You’re not my friends; if you call me a name or otherwise insult me I assume you mean it. You seem to think it’s a bad thing that Mark wants to reduce that. So be it.

      • Athos

        Couldn’t be bothered reading them. I follow Farago’s initial code, enforced at that time with am iron fist. Have even kept his emails.

        Nowadays I avoid commenting there.

  3. Kevin Jaeger

    Good article on Tesla. While I think there are some legitimate questions one could raise about how Tesla has implemented Autopilot (and some other issues) by far the best approach is to leave them alone and let them incrementally improve it. This should be worked out by their engineers in competition with the other manufacturers, who seem to have been less aggressive with their semi-autonomous systems.

    That would be the best approach by far, but I fear America’s modern legal and regulatory apparatus will find Tesla a too tasty target to resist.

  4. everybodyhatesscott

    I have a very ‘don’t start nothing won’t be nothing approach online’ so I’m usually pretty civil in comment sections. Civility is good. But nothing anyone says on the Internet can hurt me. I usually read the comments in the jack and bath articles and there’s only been one where i really though civility left the room. Barks a big boy who can handle himself. But whenever i see ‘don’t be a bigot, i see an excuse to expand the use of the word bigot to mean ‘disagreement’ I’m almostalmost certainly a bigot in certain circles for thinking men and women are different.

    Again, mark can do whatever he wants but i dont think it will actually improve civility and I’m guessing the comments sections will get worse.

    • jz78817

      Ok I see what you mean now. I think the problem Mark is trying to get a handle on is a few people who derail comments via their bickering, namely Big Al from Oz, Lou_BC, DenverMike, and a couple of others. They all apparently have history with each other at other websites (pickuptrucks.com?), and are crapping up TTAC comments with their personal beefs.

      any time one of them starts posting comments to a TTAC article, the rest are sure to arrive and drag it all off into the weeds.

      • everybodyhatesscott

        Ok, that’s a little different. I don’t mind moderation for significant nuisances who always go off thread and fight with each other. I hadn’t noticed those guys but I don’t read every section.

    • Scotten

      My name is Scott too, and I don’t hate you. And not everyone hates me!

      I’ve taken to skipping the comment section going forward (I banned the site completely earlier this year for the same reason). Without the ability to block selected people from my view, I won’t scroll through the annoying ones over there.

  5. E. Bryant

    It’d be easier to leave Tesla alone – or maybe even admire its accomplishments – if only the company hadn’t walked into the auto industry acting as if all the established players were idiots. Trust me, as someone whose core identity is tied to the concept of designing and building stuff, I want to see it succeed, but the company doesn’t seem to acknowledge that it is standing on the shoulders of giants.

    If I establish my bonafides as someone who “[has] a vague idea of how electric cars, or even just regular cars, work” (life-long gear head, electrical engineering degree, a near-two-decade resume in the automotive world including a stint as an technical director at a Tier 1 supplier, professional training in relevant topics such as product liability and functional safety), can I then engage in picking on Tesla? Or do I need more than that; maybe I can’t pick on Musk and his hubris unless I have an nine-figure net worth and a history of launching start-ups that tangle with various regulatory agencies? If that’s the case, I can just go back into the salt mine and let the adults handle all these real-world problems.

    If Tesla still exists ten years from now, they will be making much better product by virtue of the criticism heaped upon them than by the knob-slobbering of their fanbois. Between now and then, perhaps the company can explore such revolutionary concepts as purchasing a suspension ball joint that can make it past the 100k mark.

    • jz78817

      I don’t mind Tesla’s cars at all. They do something you can’t get from any other car company right now. Mostly because nobody else could sell the business case for a long range EV to their boards, at least not until now. I don’t think the Chevy Bolt would be coming w/o Tesla starting the way.

      No, my problem is with the guy running it. And mostly because he has the kind of personality I detest. an arrogant, self-aggrandizing, Type-A, “I’m smarter than all of you combined” bombastic temper-tantrum-thrower.

      but I noted in one comment on TTAC that Tesla fans and SpaceX fans were almost always the same people, and I read something that explained why. Elon Musk is to geeks what Lebron James/Tom Brady/Derek Jeter/Sidney Crosby are to jocks. He is what these people dream of being. People arguing about Tesla are no different than people arguing about Yankees vs. Red Sox.

      • Will

        Agreed. However, they don’t do it profitably which is a huge problem. I could take the arrogance if it was insanely profitable, but alas….

        • everybodyhatesscott

          I had a friend a few years ago who was interested in Tesla Stock when it was at 55 bucks a share or something. He goes “What do you think?” I told him “I don’t think Tesla will make any money just like all the other electric car companies. (Which have all subsequently gone bust I think)” Now it’s trading at 228 bucks a share and I never hear the end of it. The thing is, I’m still not sure they’ll make any money. I mostly find electric cars boring and even if I had fuck you money, I probably wouldn’t pick up a Tesla but the autopilot is cool.


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