Monday, March 18, 2024


Here it is, finally, a hopeful replacement for the ICE Golf GTI, the 2023 VW ID GTI "concept", an EV (hold onto your butts...).

NOW, lets see if VW is expert enough, with their manufacturing prowess to be able to get this fabulously wonderful CONCEPTUAL design to production, without destroying the sveltely cool proportions and styling. VW has historically produced some of the greatest automobiles ever, the Beetle, the Buss, the Type 3, the Golf, and I'll NEVER believe that they can't do it again. Previously, for whatever reason of incompetence, VW just wouldn't step up to their own level of automotive glory and success, as they have seriously botched many of their new products. Nothing that they currently have in production is anywhere near as awesome as most of their offerings before 1990. They're finally showing some glimpse of desire, starting with their ID Buzz, which is almost as cool as the concept.

Part of VW's problem of living up to the high expectations set by their Beetle, is among many things, the following hallmarks of the VW Type-1, the Beetle:

  1. The Beetle is Simple, Beautiful and a very Practical design.
  2. The Beetle is relatively reliable.
  3. The Beetle is Fun and Exciting (see 6).
  4. The Beetle is Economical and relatively affordable.
  5. The Beetle is DIY serviceable. The Beetle could be maintained and repaired in your own garage!
  6. The Beetle is Mod-able to-no-end!!!
  7. Last but not least, this one feature of mod-ability, is where VW (and most auto manufactures) fail, spectacularly! With only a few accessories, modifications and a little work, anyone could have a personalized Beetle to suit their tastes and desires. Their Beetle could be their own creation in wonderful fashion. It's to VW's shame that not only did they destroy this ideal, but they actively brought legal action against any and all 3rd party producers of anything VW. VW went after clubs, repair shops, and everybody that had any association with them. They all but completely alienated their once huge and loyal fan base, creating a lot of animosity and hatred all along the way (all while the VW executives lived in gluttony and debauchery). If it wasn't for Tesla waking up the automobile world to the complete failures of legacy-automobile, VW and the rest of legacy-auto would still be wallowing in their own personal, manufacturing, committee, and sales-&-marketing vomit and vile (some of legacy-auto may never get out of their own muck).

Update, 20240408:

Report is that VW will not bring this ID GTI to the U.S. looking like this awesome concept, but will instead fatten it up to hideous proportions. Very sad, but figures. Legacy auto has never been able to take their increadible concepts to production without beating them with ugly sticks (except in very rare cases, such as with the Soltice).

Give it up for the VW ID GTI "concept", designed by Andreas Mindt

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.