Monday, May 8, 2023

Renault 5 EV ..."concept".

"Concepts" are probably the most blindly disappointing bait-&-switch practice maintained by the world's auto-manufactures. Blindly, because most people have no idea what's going on and pay little attention to them. Concepts are usually the coolest most svelte designs ever, straight from the pencils of the designer, unadulterated by weak committees, board-room ignorant investors, short-sighted engineers, and poo-slinging, destructive marketing apes.

Having said that, this 2021 Renault 5 EV concept is incredibly awesome looking. If it actually ends up in production, looking like the concept, it will be overwhelming successful, or at least, a beautiful welcome to the current bland eye-sores everywhere on the streets. However, if Renault brings this beautiful concept to the U.S., with the meager and pitiful 134 HP (100 kW) electric motor. with 248 mile range, I'm gonna guess it will fail. Most electric cars are coming out with offerings around 200 HP, so that's the expectation. Coming out with something that just barely meets what everyone is used to in an ICE car, is going to be a let-down. Further, if Renault offers some sort of performance package, with a slightly more powerful electric motor (a 160 kW Alpine variant) and its not really powerful (à-la the modern Fiat 500 Abarth edition, which was/is an unfortunately anemic, lackluster, pile-of-garbage), then Heaven help them.

In any regard, this thing is beautifully awesome!!! Here's to the Renault 5 EV, designed by Gilles Vidal!!!

Friday, February 3, 2023


I've always been intrigued with the 1975 Ford Gran Torino used in the TV series, Stasky & Hutch, "Zebra 3" (fan-based nick name for Starky's car). The Ford Torino is a plain awkward looking land-yacht, nothing to really get your undivided attention or desire, so it's amazing that such an ugly car could be transformed into something so cool with a simple stripe.

Visiting my grandparents in Denver CO in the '70s, I started seeing several 1974-1976 Gran Torinos with all sorts of graphics, decals and stripped paint jobs. Even the police department there had many Gran Torinos with various interesting graphics on them.

Graphics and stripes overcame the ungainly hideous shape and contours of the Torino. There are many other examples of this, but the "Zebra-3", is one of the best.

Thursday, August 11, 2022


DREAMS COME TRUE AND MIRACLES HAPPEN! Meyers Manx is reinventing the Manx Dune-Buggy! ...and it's a 100% electric BEAST!

The original Bruce Meyers geniusly created Meyers Manx dune buggy, has been re-designed by Freeman Thomas (now the CEO of Meyers Manx). Beginning in 2023, with 50 Beta vehicles, the electric Manx 2.0 will hit-the-pavement! I've always liked the Manx Dune-Buggy and have for the last few years been slowly and quietly building a parts collection of things for a Meyers Manx Dune Buggy build. I've been heavily researching and working, with my Electrical Engineer son, towards building an electric Manx. It has been done before, with limited success and sketchy aesthetics, so I've been following previous builds, what Michael Bream has been doing at his EV West company, and closely watching PlayTech's adventures with their Tesla Powered Dune-Buggy.

SO, I was beyond excited when Meyers Manx released information about their new, up-and-coming MEYERS MANX 2.0 EV! THIS THING SERIOUSLY ROCKS. It looks like the original Bruce Meyers created Old-Red Manx, but it's now basically a beach, sand, and road rocket! You won't have any problems getting up-to-speed and merging onto the freeway, here.

The new Manx 2.0 will be 8 inches wider, 12 inches longer, and only about 200 pounds heavier than the original Meyers Manx! My 100% restored '66 Beetle weighs almost the same as the Manx 2.0, at a reported weight of only 1650lbs! This beautiful thing, in it's 40kWh configuration, has a range of 300 miles, and will produce from dual electric motors, 202hp at 240 lb-ft torque!!! ...0-60 in 4.5 seconds!!!!!!!!!!!

Check out the re-imaged Meyers Manx 2.0 beach-rocket (original page for the Concept):

UPDATE 20230812:

New site for the Meyers Manx 2.0 EV Concept:

UPDATE 20230817:

Tentative pricing has been revealed:

We're pleased to announce that the Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric Vehicle will be available from $74,000. The limited Launch Edition, offering exclusivity and the first taste of the Manx 2.0 experience, is priced at $125,000. -Freeman Thomas    ;;;O.O;;;    Good feelings gone.

Specs for the new Manx 2.0 EV! Bruce Meyer's 1964 Old-Red, and my 1966 & 2008 Beetles for comparison
MANX 2.0 - 20 kWh 123.5 70.3 53.3 82.0 ??.? ??.? 20kWh Electric ??? ??? BATTERY LG lithium-ion Pouch
3 packs
150 1500
MANX 2.0 - 40 kWh 123.5 70.3 53.3 82.0 ??.? ??.? 40kWh Electric 202
0-60=4.5 seconds
240 BATTERY LG lithium-ion Pouch
6 packs
300 1650
'64 OLD RED 112.0 62.0 57.0 80.0 51.3 est:51.3 1973 (Type 181) 1600, 96.7cuin, 1.5L 46 @ 4000rpm 72 (98NM) @ 2800rpm Gasoline
12.5 gallons
200-300 1420
1966 Beetle 160.2 60.6 59.1 94.5 51.4 51.2 1300, 1285cc 78.4cuin 1.3L 50 @ 4600rpm 69 (94 NM) @ 2600rpm Gasoline
12.5 gal
200-300 1665
2008 New Beetle 161.1 67.9 59.1 98.8 59.0 59.0 2.5L 5cyl 150 @ 5000rpm 170 @ 3750rpm Gasoline
14.5 gal
290-406 (city/hwy) 3248

Elon Musk and Tesla's Compact...

Haven't made a post in while because there has not been much to be excited about, automotive wise, in the last few years. ...and I've been patiently waiting for Tesla to announce progress on their "Compact" EV.
At the 2018 Tesla annual shareholder meeting, Elon Musk made a brief mention of the possibly of a Compact Tesla, in the range of $25k. A sketch was released, and a couple of other remarks about it occurred over the following years. In 2020 at the Tesla Battery Day event, Musk, again, mentions a Compact car, and says we could see it in 2023. However, then in 2022, Musk says Tesla is NOT working on a Compact! 2023 is now quickly approaching, and there's no more news about a compact Tesla. Sad, because their official sketch is cool looking. :'(
Here's the official sketch released from Tesla, persunebly drawn by Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's increadible designer. Very nice lines and shape to this thing.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Honda's "e", a "production concept"...

It's been a while since posting. Reason being because there is a big movement amongst the manufactures and their small affordable cars (they are ALL ditching their small cars) and almost nothing related is going on in the world, good-design wise, that is worthy of desire, money or talking about. Even the Teslas, as awesome as they are, are not the best looking (and they are BIG). The $250,000 Tesla Roadster is great looking, but we are interested in functional, durable, and beautiful designs the masses can obtain and enjoy. While Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bugattis are some of the most beautiful cars on the planet, most people will never own and enjoy one. Beauty and great design can and should be for all. If people and societies die without beauty and great design, then it is of upmost importance and the paramount of responsibility that the top goals of all manufactures should be beauty and great design.

 The Honda e is making big headlines in the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) world, right now. Honda is calling it a "production ready concept" whatever than means. I suppose it's supposed to mean that Honda is not going to bait-and-switch us with a fabulous concept and a really ugly production model. However, Honda is still using that word "production". They are the ones doing it, which means they want the liberty to bastardise the beauty of the "production concept" and then when the masses complain about the lack of beauty from concept-to-production, Honda will simply point out "production...". Sigh.

 Tangent rant: The manufacturers need to get it through their salesmanship-&-marketing thick skulls that nobody cares that they can create a really cool looking concept! WHO CARES!? They have the highest paid, most skilled, talented and trained artists and designers on Earth! Of course they can create and churn out the most beautiful concepts, day-in-day-out. Big deal. They are manufactures, not What everybody expects from manufacturers are responsibility and stewardship! We expect that they will produce fabulously beautiful and great designed PRODUCTIONS, for us to spend our hard earned money and desire on. /end-rant.

 Back to the Honda e: Its an amazing looking car (production-concept)! The gestalt for this little B-segment grocery-getter is practically perfect. THIS is what small cars should be looking like, that someone in charge at the manufacturer, has a spine and cares about making a small car worthy of desire and money. NOW, lets see what makes it to productions.


The Honda Urban EV "PROTOTYPE":

I like the square-ish tail lights of the Honda Urban EV "Prototype" much MUCH better.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lets not leave Chevrolet alone in this "Automotive Critique". Ford is equally at fault:

Look at these fairly recent and fabulous Ford concepts!  
Even this grocery-getting, rinky-dink 2000 Ford 021C concept (designed by the visionary Marc Newson) is far cooler than anything Ford is manufacturing right now!  How hard can it be to create a car of desire!?  It was done all though the 40s, 50s, and 60s!  30 years of automotive bliss!  Then the 70s hit us with a bricks of ugliness (which also leads me to the pitiful housing market of the last 40 or so years.  The barely-meets-code-houses built these days are absolute hideous trash!  I don't care how big they are or how many dormers they have, they are not worth money.  Period!).  
 The 2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept.  This is so beautiful that it boggle the mind why Ford would not produce it.
 The 2003 Ford 427 concept.  This concept lead to the current Ford Fusion. This concept is fabulous.  The Fusion is not.

 The 2004 Ford Bronco concept.  How is that Ford is so inept that they can not bring this, something that they have already succeeded in manufacturing in their previous 1960s Bronco, to light!?  Even their 1966 through 1977 Bronco is hands-down the coolest SUV EVER!

The 2005 Ford Interceptor Concept.  Where in the world is this car!?  Why is Ford not making this incredibly awesome car?

 The 2007 Ford Airstream concept.  Ok, this is a little out-there-spacy, but man, it is so much cooler than ANYTHING Ford is currently delivery to us, that... that, well, I'm speechless.

The 2010 Ford Start concept.  This is a bread-box B-car of dreams!  Designed by Freeman Thomas (Audi TT, New Bettle) this is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL grocery-getter I have ever seen!  This car is so incredibly cool, that if Ford would manufacture it, it would ruin the rest of the automotive world, it would be so succesful.  That Ford does not bring this to the people is a sure sign of incompetence!  Dear Ford, make this car (not some ugly derivative) and I'll buy THREE of them, right away!

 This 2011 Ford Evos concept, like the Ford Start, this is what car-dreams are made of.  This Evos is one of the most beautiful mid-size concepts EVER!  This is what the current Mustang should look like (and not the hideous, bloated monstrosity that Ford is currently manufacturing!)! WHERE IS THIS CAR!?

Now, must we compare the above to what Ford is currently manufacturing and bringing to the people? Shutter... sadly, we must, and I don't want to ruin this heaven;y post with what we are now going to see below.  ...sigh.
The 2015 Ford Fiesta.  Ok, this car is a LOT better than anything from Chevy, but it is still lacking in the desire department.
 I feel bad for the 2014 Ford Focus.  Even the smaller Fiesta is cooler looking that the Focus!  Ford also needs to get rid of the goofy looking forward pointed tail light that wraps around the side of the car.  What exactly were they thinking there?
 The 2015 Ford Fusion.  What is this, Fords version of the Chevy Malibu?  It's a pitifully ugly generic wonder of trash!
 The 2015 Ford Mustang.  Sigh.  I'll start off here by saying that I have never, ever, liked the Ford Mustang, from 1964 to now.  I'll admit that the early 1965-1968 Mustangs have a lot to desire and have a lot of beauty to them, but I have never personally liked them.  However, this current 2015 thing that Ford calls a Mustang, is a hideously bloated ugly behemoth!  The 1960s Stang is so sleek and crisp!  What is happening with this thing?  Where is the Evos-Stang!?
The 2015 Ford Taurus.  ...or is it the 500?  Whatever Ford wants to call their land yacht, it is a only remotely worth money.  I'm guessing that Ford's adherence to their supposed design-language is killing all the beauty that they thought may have existed with their original concepts that their designers, I'm sure, have so masterfully created.  Where is all the beauty that they are able to create in their concepts???