The Drive Really Published This Piece Of Hot Garbage

The Drive Really Published This Piece Of Hot Garbage

Before we begin, I have a confession to make: I don’t read automotive blogs/websites. I mainly avoid reading them because:

A. Most of them are terrible.

2. I don’t have a ton of spare time.

D. I’d prefer not to have my own opinion of a car/topic colored by somebody else.

There are, of course, exceptions to this. If a friend or colleague I respect writes something about a topic which interests me, I’ll read it, regardless of the outlet in which it appears.

Which brings me to The Drive.

The Drive started about a year and a half ago, flush with cash and backing from one of the biggest names in the news business, Time. They hired a lot of talented people and personal friends of mine, including Zach Bowman and the aforementioned Messrs. Roy and Farah. I’ve never been super high on the folks at The Drive, but I still clicked on my friends’ articles—at least, initially. Since then, however, the leadership at The Drive has taken some silly social media shots at other friends and colleagues of mine, flat out stolen stories from Jalopnik, and largely acted like idiots.

Well, Time isn’t doing so hot, as you may have heard. Naturally, The Drive, with its insignificant audience and minimal industry influence, is feeling the parent company’s pain more than most. Bowman was let go sometime in 2016. Back in January, The Drive furloughed all non-full time writers. And now? Well, they appear to be publishing just about anything from just about anybody, and I suspect that they’re paying many of these new writers with all the exposure they can handle. 

But this latest, er, article might be the worst thing they’ve run yet. It’s penned by Alex Ghorishi, who appears to have sprung fully from the womb at some millennial age with five posts for The Drive on May 31st, 2017 (I can’t find anything else written by him anywhere, or even a social media presence of any type outside of this GoFundMe page asking people to pay for repairs on his clapped-out bimmer). I’m not gonna link to it—it deserves exactly no clicks. But I will give it the play-by-play it deserves below.

The post, entitled “Can Alfa Romeo Succeed In the US?” makes the classic mistake of attempting to answer a question which nobody is asking. Nobody thinks Alfa is going to be a rip-roaring commercial success…do they? Nevertheless, let’s dive in. Ghorishi starts off with a hot take. 

Alfa Romeo put itself directly in the spot light after a series of advertising spots during this year’s Super Bowl. Alfa started shipping vehicles to North America in 2014, after a 19 year hiatus, but hopes to make a roaring comeback.

Does The Drive employ editors? “Spotlight” is one word, and it’s in the very first sentence of the post. This doesn’t bode well for the rest of it. The second sentence makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Take out the middle clause (“after a 19 year hiatus”) and re-read it. Yeah, still makes no sense. Let’s continue.

The debut of the 4C was fairly successful, a two-seater sports car widely regarded as fun to drive but with a spartan interior for the price tag. Although Alfa has begun to establish itself as a sporty and desirable brand, only 1,106 sales were made in the first quarter of 2017—in other words, Mitsubishi sold nearly five times as many Lancers as Alfa sold cars in that period. After making a bold comeback by introducing the 4C into the North American market, Alfa Romeo began looking into higher volume automobile segments, such as the competitive premium mid-size sedan sector.

First sentence fails to make any sense whatsoever. Let’s rewrite it like so: “The debut of the 4C, a fun, well-regarded roadster, seemed to be the beginnings of a promising reboot for Alfa.” At least that’s a complete sentence that doesn’t switch tenses and could possibly have some sort of tangential relationship to the remainder of the paragraph. Two sentences later, after comparing a luxury brand to an econobox, we’ve switched from a “roaring comeback” to a “bold comeback” and we’re talking about the launch of the 4C again for some reason. Okay, then. Moving on.

Director of Alfa Romeo North America, Pieter Hogeveen, believes in the brand, “If you look at the premium mid-size sedan, customers have only had a few choices when it comes to vehicles and brands in the last decade. We believe Giulia will do very well based on its positioning, rich content, and race inspired performance.”

Newsflash: employee of Alfa Romeo says he believes in Alfa Romeo. And what the fuck is that comma doing there? Is there an opening at The Drive for an editor, or do they simply not believe in the practice?

In addition to focusing on brand awareness and building exhilarating cars, Alfa Romeo has quietly grown their number of U.S. dealerships. By the end of 2015, there were 122 dealerships. In 2016, Alfa increased this number by 35% to 165—and 2 more showrooms have opened since 2017.

Dude, it’s still 2017. How has something happened since 2017? Are you writing this drivel from the future?

According to Hogeveen, many dealerships are reporting visitors walking in their doors to learn more about the brand and their cars.

Get the fuck outta here. People are walking into dealerships to learn about the cars inside? This is newsworthy, indeed!

The Giulia has begun to successfully cement Alfa Romeo’s brand as a top-notch luxury and performance-inspired brand. Just to name a few, the Giulia was named one of Ward’s Best Interiors for 2017, won the prestigious EuroCarBody 2016 award, and was given Popular Mechanic’s 2017 “Super Sedan” award.

Just to name a few what? People who should be fired for allowing this whatever-it-is to be published? People who contributed to your GoFundMe? (Just kidding. Only one person has contributed.)

Many journalists have consistently attested to the car’s fun-to-drive nature and even its practicality.

This would have been a good place to mention some of these “journalists.” Maybe throw in more excessive hyperlinks.

To appeal to an even greater number of buyers, Alfa Romeo released the 2018 Stelvio with an accompanying racy Quadrifoglio version. Sharing much DNA with the Giulia, the Stelvio is bound to be a performer, with its sights set on rival Porsche SUVs.

Even more buyers? You mean even more than the number that whack-ass Lancer managed to outdo? Also, you might wish to mention exactly what a Stelvio is, hombre.

By 2020, Alfa has plans for six additional vehicles, including a full size sedan, two utility vehicles, two “specialty” vehicles, and a hatchback. However, these plans hinge on today’s success. Despite previous broken promises made by Alfa—specifically the 159, which lacked performance and quality — Harald Wester, Chief Executive at Alfa Romeo and Maserati, is aware that disappointing vehicles will destroy the brand in today’s market.

He is? Did he tell you that in some sort of awesome exclusive interview that you’ve failed to mention?

Although Alfa Romeo could steal form the Chrysler or Maserati parts bin for its cars, an emphasis has been made on 100% new and improved body, suspension, and engines.


Wester reports that FCA will be spending around €5 billion on structure, costs attributed to building factories and designing the automobiles. With this heavy influx of resources, and a dedicated ‘skunk works’ group of engineers committed to building the perfect car, free from corporate constraints, Alfa Romeo shows the potential to revolutionize the North American car industry. Germans beware.

The CEO is reporting on Alfa Romeo? That seems odd. Also, again, EDITOR. You meant to say “infrastructure,” not “structure.” The last sentence fragment is very scary, though, and not just because it’s missing a comma. The last time Italians posed this much threat to Germany, Pietro Badoglio was in charge. Look it up, Alex, and you’ll get why that’s funny.

Listen, I don’t blame Mr. Ghorishi for being so terrible. He’s a young guy who likes cars and pitched an idea to somebody who, amazingly, accepted it. No, I blame The Drive for having had every resource in the world available to it, blowing through mountains of cash in less than two years, firing people who could actually write, and resorting to publishing this trash.

It’s no wonder your traffic is about 15% of your competitors’, who operate on a budget about 10% as large as yours. So, as one of your writers might say, The Drive Beware.


  1. Full disclosure, this comment was written upon clicking the link to his GoFundMe and reading no further:

    “Keep my car alive. It currently has 354,000 miles but has many more to give. It needs a new oil pan, driveshaft, wire harness, rear driver-side door, rear passenger-side window, and a few more things. If all these problems can be eradicated by the summer, my car will pass inspection and I can drive to the biomedical technology lab that I work at and further my passions in medical sciences and oncology. ”

    Fuck everything about this guy and his parents’ four million dollar house. Lease a Corolla.

      1. That’s the tip of it. I didn’t choose your 354k mile BMW, nor will I finance the transitory period between your life at home and your (hopefully) fruitful career as a biomedical scientist.

        Pro tip, don’t take the pictures for your GoFundMe in front of a beautiful house in one of the most expensive areas in the country.

  2. “Get the fuck outta here. People are walking into dealerships to learn about the cars inside? This is newsworthy, indeed!”


  3. The kid has a linkedin and his current position is listed as “Contributing Writer – Time Magazine”

    In his own words:

    Contributing writer to The Drive, an automotive news source which is a subsidiary of TIME, Inc, which publishes the world famous TIME magazine. Focused on newsy topics in the automotive industry, with a targeted audience of over 500,000 facebook followers, a featured program on NBC sports, and over 300 million views on Youtube

    And he says he got a 36/36 on the ACT – which might mean two perfect scores. That’s one hell of an accomplishment for someone who struggles with verb tenses.

    Well, this is certainly the fire I need to write something and pitch it to everyone. How can I fail when someone like finds success?

    1. How much seat time do you have with the original Comma One?
      Ever see it’s disengagement warning system? Interval timer/confidence meter?
      It was better than Gen 1 AP.

      Hotz may be nuts, but there’s better semi-AD tech there than most of the shit the Tier 1’s are throwing around.

      Go grab a 2017/18 e-class and check out their LKAS. JUNK.
      FYI, MB stopped using the Drivepilot brand. I wonder why.


      1. Have you actually looked at any of the code powering that thing? If you did (and actually understood it) you would never let it control any car you were in.

        “Looking through the code, at least part of the cruise control code is written in *Python* of all languages (, which is terrifying.

        Python is a fine language for quick application/script development, but is an absolutely horrible choice for safety critical realtime systems. Everything about Python and its design means it *cannot* meet realtime requirements (garbage collected, pool based heap memory allocator, dynamically typed, etc).

        Based on language choice this was written by someone who may be a fine hacker, but doesn’t understand the first thing about realtime, safety critical systems.

        Anyone running this on a real road is posing a danger to themselves and others.

        I like this comment in the collision handling code:

        # this function returns the time to collision (ttc), assuming that a_rel will stay constant
        # TODO: Review these assumptions.”

        Hotz is a tinkerer and script kiddie who only goes so far as to get something barely working, and the instant he has to do the “grunt work” of actually finishing something, he throws a temper tantrum and quits. Oh, he also stole credit for the Playstation 3 hack; fail0verflow actually did the work and he leaked the code.

        You, on the other hand, are a shining example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. You don’t know what you don’t know; you assume that just because people pay you to write about cars you have the knowledge and expertise to decide that one guy with a little smartphone-like device running Python scripts and an obscure binary blob has “embarrassed” companies like Google, Ford, Uber, etc. who are spending millions on autonomous vehicle tech. If this thing was so damn good and about to “embarrass” the rest of the industry, why the hell did he say “fuck it, I’m not doing this anymore” when NHTSA had the temerity to ask him some questions?

        1. I’ll leave the evaluation of coding and autonomous systems to people expert in the matter, but at the time I looked into NHTSA’s letter to Hotz, and it seems to me that they exceeded their authority in calling Hotz a manufacturer of a device that falls under the FMVSS. A working prototype does not make you a manufacturer. A warehouse full of gizmos ready to ship doesn’t make you a manufacturer. It’s not until you make your first “blind sale”, you sell your product to someone outside your company, that you become a manufacturer.

          Hotz may have overreacted, but they did threaten him with large fines if he didn’t answer those questions, a point you didn’t mention.

          1. “and it seems to me that they exceeded their authority in calling Hotz a manufacturer of a device that falls under the FMVSS.”

            so let me get this straight. you think NHTSA- the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration- doesn’t have the authority to regulate something which can control the on-road operation of a car w/o human intervention?

            I know you despise the very notion of any government regulations whatsoever, but it really requires incredibly tortuous “reasoning” to claim NHTSA has no jurisdiction over it.

        2. I about spit my coffee up all over my monitor. Python!?! PYTHON!?!. UGH!

          I have been doing embedded real time software for over 10 years. Python is a great language for getting some things up and done quickly, but its NOT designed to do real time calculations or real time software in general. C or C++ is and has been the first choice in real time embedded systems. I would say some psuedo real time applications could be done in C#, but garbage collecting is always an issue.

          1. Well, you have to figure out that Hotz was just doing proof of concept.

            If he’d managed to get someone’s attention they could have spent unlimited funds making his concepts work in real time.

          2. “Well, you have to figure out that Hotz was just doing proof of concept.”

            by his own words he was intending to sell it by now.

          3. C#????

            I hate C#. Seriously, C# major has seven sharps. FFS, having played a trombone (Bb instrument) since 4th grade, the sight of sharps makes me a little queasy. Seeing seven makes me sick. Why compose in C# anyway? Just to say you can/did?

            Wait. What? Oh. Wrong C#. Sorry. But still, Bark, my question still stands. WTF is with C# anyway?

  4. I think I would be the worst editor in the world. My mind as a read this glosses over or autocorrects just about all of those errors, despite knowing I should be looking for them to enhance my enjoyment of the article. Often after I send an email or print a document the change in format makes me think that the printer added errors though the USB connections somehow as what I read and re read is much different on paper than I thought it was on the screen.

    I had to read
    “Wester reports that FCA will be spending around €5 billion on structure, costs attributed to building factories and designing the automobiles.”
    three times before i notice “structure” was not “infrastructure”, despite being told that was the error in the next paragraph.

    I also have no trouble forgiving the opening statements, drivel as they were its just a preamble to be skipped.

    It was the lack of context for the facts that drive me insane. 5 billion on various developmental and industrial costs? 5 billion sounds like a lot of money, 20 years ago that would have gotten you most of the way to an aircraft carrier, but against the need to design test and manufacture an entire automotive product line set across multiple segments as well as overcome a history of manufacturing suckitude, it doesn’t seem like so much. Is that on Alfa alone, or spread throughout FCA? (the full article might make that more clear)

    I don’t know if 5 billions is enough, or how much of that Alfa will get, but from what I have seen its not worth it.

    I hate everything happening in the mainstream automotive world now, as a consequence I would not be a constructive member of the board.

  5. Why would Time have any more integrity with their automotive product than they do with their political and cultural coverage?

    In our current debate about fake and biased news, the point must be made that many journalists are crappy writers with poor research skills and little knowledge of anything outside of their own bubble. They repeat stuff from tertiary sources and expect us to believe unnamed “former officials” just because.

  6. The answer is NO.

    Alfa Romeo is being forced upon us.

    Like the “people lined up for anything with a manual” there are a handful of drivers who aspire to own an Alfa Romeo. Their cars are way overpriced and in my opinion: UGLY.

    I visited AR to drive the Giulia and Quadrafoglio. Both are nice cars, but not only don’t they have the brand equity of “easier” brands like Mercedes and BMW, they just cost way too much. The dealer was desperately trying to move their cars with lease deals in the one-of-two-dealerships which go unnoticeable, virtually tucked away in quiet areas of Westbury and South Jamaica. Fiat cars and AR cars being sold together, and the only energy being generated is for the upper end G.Quadrafoglio and Stelvio (which you can’t even get yet).

    On a side note: MASERATI is probably making better sales than ever, but there’s really no energy for the brand because, once again, the cars are overpriced and you don’t get much beyond styling that “Could” be an inifiniti when viewed from certain angles.


    That’s the only way they can move these things.

    1. Are you one of those people that aspire to drive a Genesis? Lexus? Nexus? Texas?

      You are what is wrong with car enthusiasts in North America

      One day you may understand what the Giulia means to the art of the of the automobile

      1. “One day you may understand what the Giulia means to the art of the of the automobile”

        which would be what, exactly? ‘cos near as I can tell it means “Hey you! Car geek who has no money! You know that Italian sports sedan you want but can’t afford? We’re going to make it, and throw our actual money-making products under the bus to make them for you to not buy!”

        1. The Giulia is priced relatively high for a brand with very little brand equity in America.


          Both my Jeep SRT and Hellcat Automatics are not only faster than the manual 6 speed, but operate FLALESSLY.

          As for the car itself…it’s UGLY and it’s overpriced.

          This is a “me too” car for leasees who didn’t want to say “me too” in a BMW, Mercedes or Audi – but just didn’t have enough to buy a Maserati.

    1. Maybe I should write a 5000 epic agreeing with Jack Baruth, my favorite automotive journalist, and see if I can get it published without editing!

      Thanks for the kind words, JB!



      1. It was my brother… I don’t much care for your writing, I’m more a fan of your indomitable sprezzatura!

          1. Not that obscure if you’re a men’s clothing geek. Especially if you were hanging around a couple specific forums (forvms?) around the early/mid 2000s.

          2. Hahaha good(?) ol FNB. You see that Manton emerged from the darkness back into the public sphere shortly after Trump’s win? Some high up position in national security IIRC.

    2. honestly, minor errors in punctuation, capitalization and verb tense shouldn’t really bother anyone. how is it not possible for someone to look past those minor errors and understand the basic message the writer is trying to convey.


      1. I think the fact that you are being paid, however slight, for such work should demand some professionalism and actual writing skill. Your “article” wasn’t some free blog or Facebook post, in which case nobody would give a shit if its poorly constructed.

        1. I tried. Maybe some people enjoyed my article, I’m not sure. I’ll try my best on future articles if I am ever given the chance to write one. I actually consider myself to be a somewhat OK writer who is capable of producing decent content. I’m sorry you were so offended by this one article.


          1. Alex ;

            I’m guessing you’re young and still learning .

            Don’t sweat it, just decide to work hard as you can at the details as that’s what separates the wheat from the chaff .

            Most areas have Community College classes for English composition if not Journalism .

            Some just like to nitpick, you have to develop thick skin .

            Me, I can’t write for spit so I just read and try to gather info from any source, some Writers are better than others, some are still learning .

            Carry on .


  7. A friend mentioned me to this site, and I was slightly interested until I saw some of the content. I lost all interest when I got an email from them saying I could do as many as five posts per day but as few as three per day. Three? Per DAY?

  8. He graduated high school in 2015, and appears to have just finished his sophomore year at Case Western. Guessing he got 50 bucks to write this.

    Jack, this is bit too much punching down, my friend.

    1. Jack didn’t write this.

      Maybe this is punching down. I don’t think so. There’s a lot to be embarrassed about, obviously the person needs some notes they’re not getting from anyone else in their life. And somehow there are younger people who write better.

      The tuition for two years at Cast Western is about $90k. Does it look like the author is getting their money’s worth?

    2. i actually only got $25 for an article. really didn’t give a fuck while writing them. probably wrote this piece in about 15-20 minutes tops.

  9. Very humorous .

    Maybe they’re using the same ‘Editors’ yahoo news uses ? .

    Lack of comprehension of the English language is it’s basic uses is why I never try to write ~ it’s be on par with this boob’s drivel .

    My Daughter In Law in a Gen X’er and she’s often making humorous snide comments about Millennials, now I see why .


  10. Yeah The Drive is pretty lame. I lost interest in it after I read an interview they did with the man himself – Niki Lauda, and instead of talking about interesting things, they tried to pin him down as saying F1 cars should be made deliberately unsafer, when what he actually said that they should be made more challenging to drive so that the competition was a better spectacle.
    The only good part is The Warzone because Tyler Rogoway is the fuckin’ man.

    1. Given his life history, I would expect Niki Lauda to be the last person on earth to champion making F1 cars less safe.

      1. Some people have died of venereal diseases, but that doesn’t mean that the safest sex is the best sex.

          1. Are you the arbiter of brilliance now? You were a dolt before I tried to enlighten you, and you aren’t one of my success stories.

  11. “Nobody thinks Alfa will be a reap roaring success… do they”?

    Bark, I think Fiat believes that. How else can one explain number of commercials we see and hear for Alfa Gulia/Julia? Yet, we don’t see any commercials for a better product like Chrysler 300. In Atlanta suburbs I am yet to encounter an Alfa in wilds or zoo (my local Jeep/Chrysler dealer). Yet every day I see Chrysler 300s on streets. My dealer has a few 300s in the back lot hiding while many Jeeps and Rams are on front page/front lot. It is a travesty that Fiat spends so much on a product in America with so little following (Alfas) while letting 300 virtually rot.

    1. the 300 is barely changed since it was re-freshed in 2011. Y’know, because they’re spending all the money trying to cram Alfa down everybody’s throat.

      1. I think Chrysler updated 300 with the ZF 8 speed automatic and they added that rotary shift knob. They also resdesigned the grill some. I really like what 300 brings, I think it is the classic American full size sedan, but I am just surprised they don’t market it agressively. But yes I understand how the design language may be getting a little tired now.

  12. Sad facts:
    1) Alex is unlikely to ever read this
    2) Donating Daria thinks his ass is only cute enough for $20
    3) If Alex wrote “covfefe” not only wouldn’t it be funny but no one would notice

  13. The only reason I visit The Drive is to read Foxtrot Alpha, otherwise… it’s mainly dead to me too.

  14. Since I am an adjunct English instructor at an Arizona community college (really), I have to read stuff like (I presume Mr.) Ghorshi’s to earn a paycheck. I had to stop reading it after the first sentence since it dredged so many bad memories from grading papers.

    1. Based on my minimal exposure, I must agree that this is very typical of the writing for people of his age in this age. I know that 1800’s grammar primers meant for farmhands seem to exceed the levels of almost any graduate student today, but I get a feeling that the decline in the last two decades or less has been at least as precipitous as was that of the entire century or more before.

      I know that my grammatical education was sparse, and that I’m guilty of haphazard mimicry of more erudite writing styles, but I get the sense that grammar (like spelling) is now being taught with an osmotic look-see technique with no explanation of basic structure are rules.

      1. you’re falling into the trap of romanticizing the past. “Communication” means “getting your message across to others.” It doesn’t mean “trying to sound smart.”

        I mean, if the old ways were the best ways, there’d have been no reason for us to leave Old English behind, or to get rid of superfluous “u”s and Francophile nonsense from Commonwealth English, and so on.

        1. I can attest that at least one master’s degree (continual) student gave me a paper they wrote in which sentences had no verb. It was stream of consciousness notes, presented with no formatting for clarity. The inability to grasp you’re/your and their/there is a minor frustration compared to sentences that make no sense.

          New does not mean improved. I can read colonial writings and merely have to look up a word or two or re-read a lengthy sentence. The writing still makes sense. Subliterate students of today seem (seam harharhar) to routinely write indecipherable babblings. They likewise claim that people understand what they mean, but just because people aren’t constantly asking them WTF they are trying to say does not mean the message is properly conveyed. This is rather like the atrocious driver claiming that he hasn’t crashed. They have outsourced their job of being understood onto others.

      1. I mean, on most sites, there’s a role called an “editor” who does well, editing—not just for grammar, but to give pointers on flow, structure and other bits that make an article coherent and readable.

        I’m glad to see a lot of younger writers gung-ho about contributing articles at The Drive, but it’s not that much of a leg up over an unedited Medium post if nothing’s polished, and no feedback is given to learn from.

        Where are the editors on The Drive and why aren’t they doing the basic job of editing?

  15. “It’s no wonder your traffic is about 15% of your competitors’, who operate on a budget about 10% as large as yours.”


  16. Wait! You can set up a crowd source page for vehicle repairs??
    My 95 F150 has 175k and needs an oil pan, trans rebuild, front axle u joints, tires, brakes all around, a new bed, carpet, seats, and could use a new paint job.
    I was going to buy a new truck but this sets me right!
    I’m really starting to hate the internet..

  17. My brother fixes industrial machinery for a living in Israel. Last year, his car got stolen with all of his work tools. Insurance companies there won’t cover his tools unless he parks the car in a locked garage and that’s just not doable vis a vis their apartment/condo. Renting storage would end up costing as much as the tools. When I told someone about it they suggested a GoFundMe page to help him. I said, “My brother is very self-reliant, I don’t think he’d like that. It’d probably embarrass him.” When I mentioned the suggestion to him, he said, “Is that where you ask complete strangers to give you money?”

    I’m setting up an IndieGoGo campaign for the Harmonicaster, so I can “sell” the initial production run and publicize the idea. I’m sure there will be changes but right now I consider things to be production ready. I’m not sure what is more surprising, the fact that people expect others to fund the development of prototypes without any demonstration of proof of concept, or the fact that people will pony up money for unproven ideas.

    Of course if people will give money to complete strangers who are not really in serious financial hardship to pay for their ordinary expenses with nothing gained in return other than warm fuzzies, it shouldn’t surprise that people will take a flyer on an investment in an unproven business idea. One is tempted to quote Barnum’s competitor Hull regarding what is born every minute.

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