Elon Musk tells VW how to build cars

An electric car, yesterday. © Rubberball/Corbis

An electric car, yesterday

Elon Musk was among the forty-five signatories on an open letter to the California Air Resource Board, urging CARB to direct beleaguered pollution manufacturer Volkswagen to build more electric vehicles.

The letter suggested that instead of fixing the small number of diesel cars on the road in California, Volkswagen should be required to build more zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) than currently required. The letter also suggested that Volkswagen be allowed to buy additional ZEV credits to allow more time for development.

“Conveniently, Tesla sells ZEV credits to other manufacturers. In fact, selling ZEV credits is the only thing that makes the company profitable,” neither the letter nor Elon Musk said.

Volkswagen expressed relief at the contents of the letter.

“We’re very pleased that Elon Musk and his friends have told us the best way to run our business,” said Volkswagen spokeswagen Hermann Van Agon. “We’ve been spinning our wheels since just after World War II, desperately waiting for someone to come along and tell us what to do. The Beetle, the Bus, the Golf, the GTI — people think these were brilliant products, but in fact they were all just lucky breaks. Now that Mr. Musk has spoken up, we can finally get on with the business of building proper cars.”

“All I want to do is make the world a better place,” Elon Musk told Autoblopnik during a quick break between nap time and macaroni painting. “This isn’t about me. This isn’t about Tesla. It’s about demanding that the automakers clean up our planet by making more electric cars. That way they won’t have to rely on companies like mine to sell them ZEV credits. Of course, that means we’d have to design a car that was actually profitable, and… er… oh, crap. Excuse me a minute. Linda? Hey, Linda? You didn’t mail that letter to CARB yet, did you?”

© Autoblopnik — Image © Rubberball/Corbis

Mitsubishi announces improved Mirage

A 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage, yesterday

A 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage, yesterday

Mitsubishi has announced that the subcompact Mirage will receive significant updates for the 2017 model year. The current version of the Mirage has met with sharp criticism in the automotive press, despite being named Best New Product of 2014 by Shitty Stuff Magazine.

“We haven’t just redesigned the Mirage,” said Maurice Fedora, chief spokesman and glutton for punishment at Mitsubishi cars. “We’ve taken an in-depth look at the way we design and engineer our vehicles and made some fundamental changes to the way we do business.

“For example, one of the major operational decisions we made was to insist that our chief designer actually design the Mirage’s new front fascia himself, instead of handing his four-year-old son a box of brightly-colored crayons and a drawing pad, as he did for the current version of the Mirage,” Fedora explained.

Besides the refreshed styling, the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage will get revised suspension tuning and a more powerful engine.

“Our suspension engineer recalibrated the springs, dampers and sway bars based on real-world testing results,” he continued. “This differs greatly from the process he followed for the current car, which involved falling asleep at his desk and drooling into his keyboard.”

Automotive journalists frequently complained about the sluggish acceleration from the Mirage’s 74 horsepower three-cylinder engine.

“It turns out that our chief powertrain engineer was under the mistaken impression that he was only allotted 500 horsepower for his entire career, so he’s been trying to spread it out slowly,” Fedora explained. “Unfortunately, we’ve been unable to convince him otherwise, so the 2017 Mirage will only get four additional horsepower. We have, however, put the letters ‘GT’ on the trunk, which should help improve the Mirage’s 0-60 time to well under eight minutes.”

Fedora says he hopes that by explaining the reasons for the Mirage’s initial crappiness, he can clear up some misconceptions about the way the automotive industry works.

“A lot of people in the media think that when a car appears to have been designed by idiots, its shortcomings are in fact the result of many carefully-weighed decisions and compromises based on market trends and opportunities in specific segments,” he told Autoblopnik. “But that’s not necessarily the case. Sometimes a car really is designed by idiots.”

© Autoblopnik.com

Volkswagen announces TDI fix

There is absolutely nothing wrong here, yesterday

There is absolutely nothing wrong here, yesterday

Volkswagen today announced that they had developed a fix for the emissions “cheat” affecting their 2.0 and 3.0 liter TDI diesel engines.

“It’s a simple matter of reprogramming,” said Volkswagen spokesprogrammer Paul Looter.

Volkswagen has issued a timeline for the program, saying that key staff members of the Environmental Protection Agency and California’s Air Resource Board will be rounded up for reprogramming starting December 15th.

“It took us a little while to figure out the best methods of persuasion,” Looter told Autoblopnik.com. “Finding something that would work on people who had no children, spouses or pets was more difficult then we anticipated. But so far the pilot program has gone well, and none of our test subjects are inclined to find even the least little problem with the TDI engines.”

Looter said that if all goes according to plan, reprogramming will be completed by the end of June.

“Best of all, this fix won’t have the slightest effect on the cars themselves,” Looter said. “And if any of our owners do feel the performance of their Volkswagen is not what it should be, we are happy to have them reprogrammed as well.”

© Autoblopnik

2015 Los Angeles Auto Show

The 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show is, like, so totally in Los Angeles! California correspondent Callie Fornyakor-Espondent reports on some of the car that were, like, totally at the show.

Hyundai Elantra

ab_15la4I saw the new Hyundai Elantra and I was so like, eeew! What is this, the car that you drive from your crappy one-room in the Valley to your $10-an-hour job as a cashier at Ross? Um, like, no! This is so North Hollywood and I am, like, so, like, Beverly Hills adjacent. Which way to the BMW stand?

Alfa-Romeo Giulia Quatrofoglio

Is this, like, Italian? Oh my God, I love Italian!

Porsche Cayman GT4

ab_15la6OMG this is looks like so frickin’ fast! I drove a Porsche once, and I was all like, okay, take this away from me before I totally lose my license. And then I went to Rocco’s, and Becky showed up with some guy in a Jaguar, and she was all thinking she was, like, it, and then she saw me and she was like so super-J!

Fiat 124 Spyder

West Hollywood is over that way, honey.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet

ab_15la5So there’s this guy and he’s standing next to me at the Mercedes booth? And he’s all like, hey, you want to go topless in an S-class? And I was so totally going to smack him, and he’s all, like, no, this is the S-Class Cabriolet, it’s like the first S-Class with a removable roof since the 1970s, and was thinking, dude, I wasn’t even alive in the 1970s, and if you drove one of these, you would have to take me somewhere really expensive, and don’t even think you’re getting past second base, but he was kind of cute, so I said so what do you drive, and he said a Camaro, and I was all like, oops, I have to go meet my boyfriend at the Audi booth, bye! Loser.

Range Rover Evoque

ab_15la1_evoqueOh. My. GOD! Want, want, want! I was second lead in this indie and it’s like so like in development hell, but as soon as it gets the green light, which my agent says will happen any minute now, I am, like, so getting one of these, and when Autoblog drives by and thinks they’re all hot in their Porsche Macan Turbo, I’ll be all like, “Later, bitches!”

There were more cars, but I, like, had this audition? It’s a cattle call, but it’s a numbers game, you know? You have to put yourself out there or you’ll never be out there, that’s what my voice coach tells me. Later! Love you! Text me! Bye!

©, like, Autoblopnik

Volkswagen denies latest EPA allegations; Porsche “surprised”

A fully emissions-complaint Volkswagen, yesterday

A fully emissions-complaint Volkswagen, yesterday

According to a report in Automotive Nudes, Volkswagen has denied the allegations of the EPA’s latest Notice of Violation, which claims that the 3-liter V6 TDI engine found in the Touareg and several Audi models uses the same “cheat” mode as the four-cylinder engines.

“The EPA is absolutely wrong on this,” said Volkswagen spokeswagen Paul Lucion. “The allegation that the V6 TDI engine is not emissions compliant is absolutely false, and is a fabrication of a select group of people who are trying to rewrite history for their own gain. And even if the engines aren’t compliant, we were just following orders from our leader, which I never really agreed with.”

Meanwhile, Porsche said they were “surprised” that the Cayenne TDI, which uses the 3.0 liter TDI engine, was named as non-compliant by the EPA.

“We couldn’t find any problems with the engine in the Cayenne,” Porsche spokescayman Penn Dulum told Autoblopnik. “Actually, we couldn’t even find the engine itself, until someone pointed out to us that it wasn’t in the trunk.”

© Autoblopnik

Budget cuts impact the Bugatti Chiron

An artist's rendering of the Bugatti Chiron Sport, yesterday

An artist’s rendering of the Bugatti Chiron Sport, yesterday

Volkswagen Group AG today announced that the cost of the TDI emissions debacle will result in budget cuts that will affect the Bugatti Chiron, the upcoming replacement for the Veyron supercar. Sources inside the company have revealed the scope of these changes to Autoblopnik.com.

o Instead of making its debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the Chiron will be revealed at Vince Boticelli Volkswagen-Hyundai-Subaru’s Spring Sale-a-Thon Tent Event in Paramus, New Jersey.

o While the sixteen-cylinder engine will remain in top-line Chirons, only nine pistons will be installed.

o The Chiron’s carbon-fiber brakes will be replaced with a front disc/rear drum setup. Ceramic pads and shoes will be offered as a €12,000 option.

o A new entry-level model known as the Chiron Sport will get cloth seats, manual windows and locks, black plastic bumpers and body trim, and 20-inch steel wheels with plastic covers.

o In order to maximize economies of scale, production of the Chiron will be increased from 500 units to 250,000.

o The carbon-fiber bodywork will be replaced by papier-mâché. VAG claims the Chiron will feature the most extensive use of papier-mâché in the bodywork of a supercar built by a non-communist nation.

o Instead of the planned seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the Chiron will feature a four-speed automatic with a lockup torque converter.

o A low-cost version of the Chiron with a two-liter diesel engine will be sold in select European markets as a Skoda.

o The “Buy a Bugatti, get an island free” sales campaign will be suspended indefinitely.

o The custom-designed Michelin PAX ultra-high-performance tires have been scrapped; in their place, the Chiron will be fitted with Kumho Solus Eco Mileage Maker all-season tires in readily available sizes.

o An extended-wheelbase model of the Chiron will be produced exclusively for the Chinese market.

o Production of the Chiron will be moved to Volkswagen’s Puebla, Mexico plant.

© Autoblopnik

Land Rover insists they are “completely serious” about Evoque Convertible

A bad idea undergoing testing, yesterday

A bad idea undergoing testing, yesterday

A spokesman for British automaker Land Rover today insisted that the company was “completely serious” about producing the Range Rover Evoque Convertible.

“Yes, we’re completely serious about producing this vehicle,” said Sir Nigel Elton Colin Hammersmith Cockfoster-Wingebastard VIII, MBE, MP, OIC, OU812, Fifty-Third Earl of Nosingham-by-the-Dumpster. “And frankly, I can’t understand why the automotive press would think we weren’t.

“Our press office has been inundated with enquiries asking if this is a joke, or that if there was some sort of a late-night alcohol-fueled office party preceding the announcement,” Cockfoster-Wingebastard told an assembled group of journalists at a press conference earlier today. “I have told them, and I will tell you, that nothing of the sort is going on. We really think the world is ready for a convertible crossover utility vehicle, and– please, gentleman, I can’t make myself heard if you’re going to keep laughing so loud.”

Land Rover issued a press release saying the Evoque Convertible would be revealed in November and go on sale some time in the spring of 2016.

“No, we haven’t scheduled the debut for the first of April,” said Cockfoster-Wingebastard in response to a reporter’s question. “Why would we do that? Really, gentleman, I don’t see what is so funny. What? Murano? Never heard of it. What is that, some sort of cheese?”

© Autoblopnik