In the first “comeback” article I would like to talk about Cadillac ELR’s failure and road rage.
OUT OF JUICE WITHOUT LEAVING THE HOUSE: CADILLAC DEALERS REFUSE TO TAKE ON ELR
This is it, ladies and gentlemen. Cadillac’s answer to Tesla, Nissan Leaf and Toyota “Borius” – Cadillac ELR. It is supposed to be the “upper class hybrid car”, representing the new, high quality direction of GM and Cadillac as a brand. Expectations were high, reviewers loved this car…but just after they began to be shipped to the dealers in December, 2013 (pictured above) more than half of Cadillac dealers in ‘Merica looked at the car and said “NO! We don’t want it.” Why such sharp change of plans?
Well…it turns out that dealers in question (410 out of 940 dealers in the States) are ones located in areas where electric cars is a rare sight. They said that this car will be as had to get rid of as an Edsel because of low popularity of alternative energy and bad infrastructure for rechargeable cars. They justified their claim by saying that areas where most of ELRs will be sold are California (the hive of flower-kissing environmentalists), New York, Miami and other densely inhabited states.
If they do decide to sell ELRs, there’s also quite a lot of costs involved in tooling the dealer’s services, adding charging stations and other tools that would make these Caddies roll.
Personally, I think ELR is a waste of energy and steel. Why? Simple – first of all it is based on Chevrolet Volt’s (Vauxhall/Opel Ampera in civilized world) platform. That means the engine and the electric drivetrain is the same of the “cheaper-badged” sister. The similarities don’t end there because Caddie engineers weren’t bothered on changing the infotainment system a lot which, according to reporters from pages like “Wired” (http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/02/cadillac-cue-update-coming/) say it is an absolute, irresponsive and slow joke of a system on which Chevrolet’s system is based on.
Also, I do not see the point of Caddie putting this car into production. What is it’s direct rival? Leaf? That’s a cheap city car. Tesla Model S? COMPLETELY out of the league in looks, drivability, emissions and value for money. Fisker is dead…and there are no more cars that could be related. What idea did Cadillac’s Marketing Department came up with to put this pointless brick on wheels into production will remain unanswered…for now. For it to sell well you need a miracle and a couple of people who have lost their mind.
GET OFF MY LANE: Road rage
My friend from Uni Alex took me for a spin in his Mini yesterday and we were talking about how us two react of those people who, by an utter miracle, have received a driver’s license and ruin our days by their absolutely ridiculous maneuvers. And we both came to a conclusion that every time there’s an idiot on the roads, our faces turn red, we suddenly know how to do sign language and there’s a bit of steam coming out of our ears because they “sinned in front of God Asphalt”. But we don’t feel guilty for our rage. And our rage doesn’t lead us to “aggressive driving”, we just love expressing ourselves to help other motorists…at least that’s what I thing.
It happened last Summer in Riga. I was driving into town centre to go to the cinema with my sister (yes, she’s 14. No, I will not tell you her name). We had a great time, listening to music, playing “seat heater game” and looking forward to our film. Then, suddenly, music stopped, fun was interrupted and my hands started to play the game “show all of the signs you can” when a black, second-generation Porsche Cayenne with Estonian number plates and tinted windows (on a new car, tinted windows could mean: 1) you’re a politician; 2) you were bullied at school or 3) you think you see too well) suddenly pulled right in front of me without turning turn signals about 8 inches from the front bumpers.. The horn of the BMW I was driving squeaked into life, expressing my overall “love” towards the driver. There was no reaction, not even a “thank you” sign (i.e. flashing hazard lights for a little bit in order to express your gratitude. There are nice drivers in Latvia).
After a second, the Cayenne saw the traffic in the lane we both were in, so it went back into the right lane where it came from, again…without flashing turn signals. The thing is that intersection we were at, the right hand lane goes right and straight on (in Latvia they drive on the right-hand-side. So does 90% of the world) and the lane I was in goes left. I had my eyes clicking once a second towards the ridiculous Cayenne. At the very last moment, before I had to turn off left, guess what…the Cayenne changed its mind and came back in my lane. This time…driving painfully slowly. I honked and again no reaction. We turned into the street on the left and the grand finale came – the Cayenne was driving RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, on the lane-dividing line. I thought the driver is deaf, because there was no reaction from my horn and my Italian-like hand gestures.
After pulling up next to this evil Porsche my all emotions died down and feeling of helplessness kicked in, finding out that the driver of the Cayenne was…Paris Hilton-looking blonde. Seeing all those videos on the internet where their “intelligence” have been reflected by their chihuahua rat dogs and utterly pathetic general knowledge, I decided to drive on.
Is it fair that people like this are let on the road? So us, nice, polite and respectable drivers get our moods ruined by some truly questionable maneuvers. I am not talking about people who cannot concentrate until the music is turned down to 2 or who’s steering wheel is in their face. It doesn’t matter what is your driving position and your personal habits. If you are on the road, please, respect others.
The other problem on the roads is when someone is the other type – sneaking into your congested lane, overtaking people in the city on the oncoming lane, not letting you out of the street etc. The most common drivers that I have noticed of doing this have been driving BMWs, over-tuned japanese cars and cheap European hatchbacks who’s appearance is sacrificed for no good reason (in the automotive community we call them “Ricers”), van drivers and all of Bentley drivers. But I have noticed that the most polite drivers out there are SAAB drivers. Almost every time I see a SAAB driver I see a Halo over the car and they ALWAYS have let me go through. Makes me smile. ^_^ Also all of Ford Mondeo and Hyundai drivers. Probably because they are pensioners.
Anyone’s had any examples or views on road rage? Any idea which other car drivers have a terrible road rage? Or views on such “Barbie” drivers? Please, share it in the comments.