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Old 07-14-2009, 09:34 AM   #1
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Default Edmunds Journalist talks Taurus SHO

This semi-regular column is written (in his own blood) by an automotive sage and noted malcontent, known as The Mechanic. Mercilessly beaten as a child with rolled-up back issues of old car magazines, our free-spoken hero developed a unique "for your own good" take on cars and the auto industry, along with an unfortunate habit of setting himself ablaze. Later, after a distinguished career as an automotive journalist and magazine editor, he cast off the reins of his musty oppressors, carved out his superego with a plastic spork and became The Mechanic.

Hmmm, what to rant about this week. Maybe I'll bitch about car names and how lame and repetitive they've gotten. Do I really want to drive around in a Venza? I can't decide between a Highlander, an Outlander, an Outlook or an Outback. Screw it, I'll get the MDX. Or is it the MKX? Hey, Rocko, I just bought myself a 3. A 3 Series? Nope. A Mazda 3? Nope. Audi A3? Nope, a G3. A what? A Pontiac G3. They're giving them away. Gets good mileage.

Nah.

I could complain about Obama and the fact that he's destroying the American auto industry and my freedom to choose my personal vehicle based on my personal likes, dislikes and desires, not some nationalistic agenda founded solely on totalitarian ideals and increasing federal involvement in the day-to-day lives of Americans.

Nah.

How about the new 2010 Ford Taurus SHO? I've driven one. Wasn't very impressed. I thought it would be faster. I also thought it would handle better. The steering is really bad. Electric assist? Kiss of death. Feels like video game steering, especially on-center. Funny thing is that our long-term Ford Flex has better steering. And why does the brake pedal have to feel like I'm pushing it into a bowl of mashed potatoes?

Then there's the packaging. The beltline and cowl are so high you feel like you're sitting down in a cave, while the rear seat is high enough to induce nosebleeds and acute vertigo.

I remember looking at the SHO at the Detroit auto show and telling everyone I could that it was going to be great. I stood there watching it spin on its turntable like the automotive version of our "Star-Spangled Banner." I remember thinking that this is the car that is going to show the world we can do it. It looks good, has a new high-tech turbocharged engine, and I love big cars with big power. A poor man's M5.

But now I've driven it and I've seen the price and I can think of a couple dozen sedans I'd rather have. Remember when I said Detroit's big problem is that its cars are never the best? Well, here we go again.

Nah.

Man, usually I've got something to say. I don't know what's wrong with me this week. Maybe I'll take on NASCAR.

What the hell has happened to NASCAR? Darn thing has turned into a bunch of millionaire pretty boys driving around in a 500-mile commercial on their way to more media training.

Nah. Nobody cares.

I could take on the new GM and its plan for success after bankruptcy.

Nah. Too easy.

I know. I'll give credit where credit is due. I'll use this space and my vast talent to praise those in our automotive world who have earned a collective and heartfelt pat on the back. Men like that fool Franz von Somethingorother, the designer who put a big dumb smiley face on every Mazda and then bailed for Tesla.

Or the jughead at GM who decided to kill Pontiac and keep Buick. Probably Susan Docherty, but I don't care enough to verify that.

And then there's Andrew Farah, the chief engineer on the Chevy Volt who last week told Automotive News, "We've got the feel of a sports car," referring to the way the Volt drives. Why would you say that? Mr. Farah must have gotten up that morning and said to himself, "Today, I'm going to set myself up for failure."

Note to Mr. Farah: Keep your mouth shut, just get back in the lab and make the car. Stop with the hype. Make the car great and the world will hype it for you. Considering no front-wheel-drive sedan GM has ever produced has had the feel of a sports car, I find it very hard to believe that you and your underlings will perform this miracle with the Volt. Stop the nonsense. Go make a better battery.

Nah. -- The Mechanic, Inside Line Contributor
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:35 AM   #2
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interesting read
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:36 AM   #3
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lol talks sho?

talked like he was pissed about today. lol.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:44 AM   #4
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I like this guy
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:48 AM   #5
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i lol'd at this...

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What the hell has happened to NASCAR? Darn thing has turned into a bunch of millionaire pretty boys driving around in a 500-mile commercial on their way to more media training.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:37 AM   #6
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Sums it up pretty good!
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:19 AM   #7
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His concerns are pretty common and spot on. I like the car but it's a SHO only by name.
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