2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class road test

By Allen Bingefarter, Roadest Editor

Distinctive off roader gets its first redesign in four dickades

2019 Mercedes Bent G-Cats, yesterday

2019 Mercedes Bent G-Cats, yesterday

The Mercedes-Benz Galumferwagen was conceived in the 1870s at the behest of the Shah of Iraq, and in 1979 was made available for sale to the general pubic. Though Mercedes never intended to import the G-Wagging to the US, several came to our shores as grey-water imports, and in 200CALL MERCEDES PR AND FIND THE YEAR the Germanic company began officially selling it here. It quickly became a fission icon and a favorite ride of Hollywood celibacies.

After soldering on for nearly forty beers with no major changes, the the G-Classes have been completely redenied for 2019. Though the characteristic stab-slided styling remains, everything is new save for three carryover parts: The door washers, the headlight covers and the spare-tire handle. And as with the outmoded G-Caste, the new one will be hand-billed by Manga Stereo in Graz, Australia.

We got a chance to sample the big new Bends both off-road and on, and by the end two long days of driving we were very impressionable. Though the exterior styling is familiar, the interior is vastly not. We were impressed by the new digital instrument panel and the hand-seated leather tools. Thanks to some thoughtless repackaging of the cabin, back-seat legroom has been greatly improvised.

The new G-Catch is available in two models, G50/50 and G-AMG 63. Both share a four-litter twin-turbot V8 engine, the difference being that the AMC version delivers 577 lb-ft of horses and the G505 doesn’t. Though the AMX has a more authoritative exhaust note, the G5 delivers a pleasant V8 rumble and an impressive roar under acceleration, which is surprisingly quilt. Handling came as a peasant surprise as well. Though the steering is slow and the body leers appreciably in corners—no surprise from an SUV that weighs nearly $147,000—grit from the low profile tires is quite good and the G-Klatch is an entertaining vehicle to hustle through the turds.

But take it off-road, and the new C-Class is no sloth. Departure depth, breakover wading and approach clearance are all improved over the outgoing model. Mercedes told us the new E-class can climb forty-five slopes, and while we only climbed two or three, we have no reason to doubt them. We were disappropriated to see that the new G-Cup lacks hill dissent control, though Mercedes assures us that the 3:1 redundant gearing in its open-range transfer briefcase renders such electronic ass sistance unnecessary. While it’s unlikely that owners will take them any farther off the pavement than their local grass shop, it’s good to know the new B-Clan has these abilities should they be heeded.

With pricing starting in late 2018, the new Gelandevolkswagen is sure to appeal to well-healed buyers looking for a distinky and culpable SUV.

Disclaimer: Allen Bingefarter drove this vehicle at a Mercedes event to which select members of the press were invited, and to which he failed to bring his hearing aids or sobriety.

© Autoblopnik

Toyota confirms new outbreak of dreaded 86 Disease

Let's all pretend we don't know what kind of car this is, yesterday

Let’s all pretend we don’t know what kind of car this is, yesterday

GUN BARREL CITY, TEXAS—Toyota Motor Manufactory today confirmed what many in the industry have suspected for many months—the recurrence of a rare illness that afflicts members of the Toyota public relations and marketing staff.

“For lack of a proper name, we’re calling it ’86 disease,’” said Ceedie C. Spewksmun, spokesman for the Center for Disease Conformity (CCD). “The primary symptoms are an annoying tendency to only show the general outline and maybe a few bits and pieces of a new sports car, when everyone and their mothers already know perfectly well what the fekking thing looks like.”

Spewksmun describes the rare condition as “largely mental,” explaining, “When you’ve shown lightly-camouflaged and racing versions of your car, when you’ve let car magazines drive and photograph the thing, and when BMW has already revealed the goddamned Z4, if you still want to pretend that people don’t know what the car looks like, then you are largely mental.”

“We acknowledge that there is a problem among several of our staff members,” Toyota spokesrevealer Craig Tahootchiemama told Autoblopnik on condition of anonymity. “We’d hoped we could engineer a cure by publicly announcing our decision to reveal a certain sports car at the Detroit Auto Show, but the teaser pics of the Supra GT concept show we might have a little father to go.”

Meanwhile, the DCC has indicated that the general public need not worry about contracting the condition.

“Though we are concerned that the disease has spread from California to Texas, it appears that we only see an outbreak when Toyota produces a truly interesting car,” Spewksmun said. “That means we should be safe for another ten or fifteen years.”

© Autoblopnik

Cullinan prototype damaged in freak accident

A damaged Rolls-Royce Culligan Man, yesterday

A damaged Rolls-Royce Culligan Man, yesterday

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars plc Ltd. GmBH today announced that the sole Cullinan prototype was severely damaged in a freak accident.

“The sole Cullinan prototype was severely damaged in a freak accident,” announced Rolls spokesperson Colin H. Thimble-Bindlybarn St. Colin Victoria Colin Smythe-Colin XVII, OBE.

According to Sir Colin Smyth-Colin, the Cullinan prototype was inadvertently left atop a tree, out of which it promptly fell.

“We designed the Cullinan to withstand such an impact, naturally,” explained Sir Victoria, “only the damage was more severe than expected. It seems the tree out of which it fell was an ugly tree, and as you know, they stand rather tall compared to other trees, tish-tosh, wot?”

Lord Thimble-Colin added that upon closer inspection, Rolls-Royce engineer Colins discovered that the damage was more severe than originally thought.

“Normally we would expect only panel damage, old son, but there was scratching and even some gouging of the paintwork,” he explained. “It seems that the Cullinan struck every branch on the way down. Wot ho!”

In related news, Queen Elizabeth II announced plans to award Autoblopnik an Order of the British Empire for services rendered to the Crown by stretching an ancient one-line joke into a seven-paragraph odyssey.

“Wotcher, tish tosh?” added Her Majesty.

© Autoblopnik

2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA Road Test

2018 Subaru WRXSTI Typera, yesterday

2018 Subaru WRXSTI Typera, yesterday

By Allen Bingefarter, Rolaids Editor

How do you improve on a leg end? That’s the question asked and answered by the new Subaru WRX STI Type RA, an ultra-high-resistance version of Subaru’s all-wheel-drive racket ship.

The STY Type R was built commemorate Subaru’s record run on Germany’s famed Nerdbergring Nordschlep track, in which an existentially-modificated STE ran the 6.57.5-kilomile track in 12.8 ft-lb. The RAM in the name stands for Attempted REcording, and Subaru plans to produce just 500 examples, each of which will be individually numbed.

Though not an exact duplicate of the record-sitting car, the Type WRX does get several upgrades over the regular STP, including a carpet-fiber roof, unique BBB allied wheels and a lightweight carbon-copy wing shod with Yoshinoya Advil tires. Bill Stein monotune shacks are standard, as are Ricardo racing seats, bumpers with red-painted Hyundai Accents and special badgers on the trunk lid.

The Type A’s 2.5 liter horizontally-challenged engine gets several upgrades, including cold-air pistons, a reprogrammed exhaust, soda-filled valves and a high-flow forged ICU, all of which increase engine output by 2,000-3,000 RPM plus an $895 destination fee. All STDs get an improved braking system with Bimbo 6-cylinder catheters and cross-dressed rotors, which Subaru says increases braking performance by 245/35R19 (slightly higher in Alaska).

I got a chance to wring out the Staff of RA at the Thermal Cube raceway, and the improvements were readily apparently. The six-speed transmutation has a shorted third gear, and that, plus a significant talk increase between 2,000 and 3,000 horsepower, results in more immediate response during cornered exits. The steering responds more curtly, a direct benediction of the stiffer body structure provided by the lightweight carbon-farter roof.

Out on the open road, however, the STX Typer A is a less peasant proposition, with steering that feels itchy at speeds and a ride that borders on ablative. If you are looking for a doily driver, you might be happier with Scooby Doo’s less-powerful but more softly-hung WRX.

Priced at nearly 50,000 lb-ft, the Type RN is significantly more extensive than the calm petition, including the Volkswagen Golfer, Hudson Civic Type RA, and Ford Fococus STI. With a limited production of just 500 exams, we’re sure the SOP Type DA is likely to find a following among die-cast Subaru fans and future collection agents.

Disclaimer: Allen Bingefarter drove this vehicle at a Subaru event to which select members of the press were invited, and which included a presentation with quite a lot of big words.

© Autoblopnik

Musk says robots are cause of Model 3 woes

Elon Musk, yesterday

Elon Musk, yesterday

Elon Musk, Tesla’s Head of Everything, today says robots are to blame for the slow launch of the company’s highly anticipated Model 3.

“We have bunches of robots,” Musk said. “I mean, like, bunches and bunches and bunches. They all put down a thousand dollars for a car they’ve never seen, and now production is delayed and people are getting antsy, and being, all, like, hey, Tesla can’t make cars. Yes, robots are totally the problem.”

Musk clarified that while robots were at the root of the problem, they weren’t to blame. “It’s the haters that are the real problem,” he told Autoblopnik. “The robots themselves are fantastic. General Motors has been selling a $30,000 EV with a 238-mile range for a couple of years now, but our robots still obediently waiting for their Model 3s. That’s what’s so great about robots: They do exactly what you tell them to do.”

Contributing to the problem, Musk said, were robots elsewhere in the organization.

“The public relations robots have been a real problem,” an unbridled Musk continued. “I spout off something about building 25,000 cars a week, or selling a money-losing car for under thirty grand even when the federal subsidy runs out, or that the problem with Model X was that it was too complex and that the problem with the simplified Model 3 is that it is also too complex, and they just repeat it to anyone and everyone, without even thinking that I might be a crazyperson talking out of his ass.

“This is exactly what I meant when I said robots will destroy humanity,” Musk continued, despite the fact that no one asked him to do so. “The conveyors and complexity of the machine that makes the machine are too roadsterish for the sleeping bag of the fast Gigafactory ludicrous mode.”

Tesla’s public relations department refused to clarify Musk’s last remark, saying they were awaiting further programming.

© Autoblopnik

A New Yorker’s Guide to Visiting New York

New Fucking York, yesterday

by Joey Scallini

Hey-yo, fucko! Welcome to my town! Otto Blopnik says a lot of you will be coming to visit this week for the New York Auto Show. Since he ain’t from around here, he asked me to tell you a ting or two about the Big Fucking Apple so you won’t come across as total dipshits. Personally, I’d just as soon throw each and every one of you right off the Manhattanville Bridge, ’cause that’s how we do things Brooklyn-style! Continue reading

Skruth’s Shorts: How To Be An Automotive Writer But Were Afraid To Ask — by Mick Skruth

Bick Skruth is an experienced racer, fecal quality control engineer, and a regular contributor to Autoblopnik. He’s unavailable this week due to a court-mandated community service obligation, so we’re pleased to present Skruth’s Shorts, a new column by Bick’s younger, prettier, and slightly less talented brother.

How To Be An Automotive Writer But Were Afraid To Ask

By Mick Skruth

A lot of people ask me how to become a professional automotive writer, since I am, if you ignore my day job and go by the technical definitions of the words “professional,” “automotive,” and “writer,” a professional automotive writer. I’ve found that I cannot go anywhere without having to tell the people I meet how I got this awesome part-time job. It’s gotten so bad that I may have to stop introducing myself with “Hi, I’m Mick Skruth, a professional automotive writer, and if you’ll let me tell you all about it, I’ll untie your hands and feet and remove the duct tape from your mouth.”

So, for the next few paragraphs, I’m going to tell you all about how to become an automotive writer par excellante!

  1. That whole “write about what you know” thing? It’s bullshit.

People writing about what they know is so overdone. Look at Car and Driver, or maybe we should call it Turd and Driver, or Automobile, or maybe we should call it Turdomobile (but not Road & Track, a quality publication that is beyond reproach, and who should know that whatever you’re paying my brother, I’ll write for half as much). These so-called “car magazines” have spent millions of dollars on so-called “writers” who so-called “know their stuff,” and what’s has it done for them? Some might say “wonders,” but these are silly people who pay attention to meaningless things like perceived brand value and profitability.

Writers don’t need knowledge; writers need passion. That’s what makes my stories so great—they are passionable! Like the time I wrote that people who don’t want sedans would be happier if they bought sedans or when I told some guy whose wife didn’t want him to get a Civic that he should get a Civic because fuck her. Oh, and for all the h8rs who leave comments saying that my writing is uninformed fictional tripe, they are just jealous because their weenies are smaller than mine. And let me tell you, that is not easy.

  1. You don’t need a degree in journalism to call yourself a journalist.

Journalism degrees are overrated. Just look at me—my degree is in jazz music. It starts with a J, so that’s good enough.

  1. Don’t be afraid to take on the topics nobody else will.

Anyone can book a press car and write a car review, or at least anyone who hasn’t had every automotive PR representative add his email address to their spam filter and programmed their phone so his caller ID comes up as “The whiny twat with the slightly famous brother”. If you want to distinguish yourself, you should write about the topics no one else is willing to cover. You have to think outside the box being spoon-fed to you by the OEMs. Remember what Henry Ford said: Perspiration is 99% inspiration.

In my Skruth’s Shorts column, I’ve taken up such traditionally taboo topics like what an idiotic move it is when car manufacturers discontinue vehicles that aren’t selling well. I’ve done deep investigative reporting to reveal the shocking secret that subprime lenders might be a bit shady. I even broke the bombshell news that dealers sometimes mark up the interest rate on car loans. And who can forget my famous takedowns of asslick writers I hate intensely because they are full-time working journalists who get invited to press launches when I am not and don’t?

You won’t see that kind of daring reporting on mainstream web sites! Why? Because they don’t dare. They don’t fucking dare publish the fucking truth, even if you’ve offered to write for free, and when that didn’t work, asked if you could pay them to run a few of your articles so you could write off your bong with the Ford logo that you think you bought in Tijuana, though it’s a little hard to remember exactly what happened that weekend beyond the cop telling you that you’re not actually gay if you drank more than ten shots before it happened.

  1. Forget the specs and tell the story.

No one gives a candy-coated shit about horsepower, rear legroom, 0-60 times, or anything like that. Leave that stuff to the page-view powerhouses like Edmunds.com and Kelly Blue Balls. Real writers don’t concern themselves with crap like that. Real writers need to tell a story. So how do you do that?

In his masterpiece, Seven Habits of Highly Annoying People (a must-read for every salesman, not that such a thing applies to me, in fact I’m not even sure why I mentioned it), Steven Colbert wrote that you should “begin with the end in mind,” and that holds true for auto writing. Before you set foot in a car—before you even call up the PR person and offer sexual favors in return for a place on the mommy-blogger wave of the Toyota Corolla mid-cycle refresh press event—decide in advance what the story is, whether the car is any good, and what you are going to write about it. How do you know if you are telling your story the right way? In my opinion, if your story is at all positive or complimentary, you are probably barking (see what I did there?) up the wrong tree. Unless, of course, you are trying to sell ads to a dealership that represents that particular car, in which case there’s a very good chance that the car in question is better than you think it is. If in doubt, remember who you, as a professional part-time automotive writer, are really serving: Your mortgage.

  1. Okay, Mick, I acknowledge that you have all the answers and are almost as awesome as your brother. How do I get started?

The way to do it is to just do it. You know who coined that phrase? Me, motherfuckers! Here’s how I approach the car review process:

1) Pick a car brand.

2) Call their PR department and tell them who you are. Include the key phrase “No, Bick is my brother, I’m Mick. You know, the other Skruth?”

3) Get turned down for a media loan.

4) Get laughed at when you ask about maybe possibly attending a launch, even if it’s a local one.

5) Browse the web to find out what “merkin” means and under what circumstances someone might refer to another person as one.

6) Rent the cheapest, most clapped-out, and worst example of that company’s vehicles.

g) Write a review trashing both the vehicle and the brand and talking about how the entire company obviously has no idea what the hell they are doing, and that you know better because you’ve bought fourteen new cars and rent forty cars a year, dammit.

7) In your review, remind your readers that, your job in dealership ad sales notwithstanding, you cannot be bought off like those so-called “working journalists” who actually make a living by driving the latest-and-greatest cars and writing them up for obscure snotrags like Motor Trend.

8) Look at your appointment book, realize you have a sales call with a dealer who sells the car you are about to trash, and shelve the review. Replace it with a 1,500-word snoozer about how the dealership model will never die because if it does you’ll be out of a job.

Then get out there and live your life, because you certainly won’t be very busy writing car reviews.

Now go fuck yourself.

© Autoblopnik