The other day, we were having a long discussion about the act of enthusiast driving. How internal combustion is now fed by computers rather than all-mechanical carburetors. How automatic transmissions are pushing out manuals (though interestingly the thought never popped up that the double clutch gearbox isn’t technically an automatic as defined by how automatics were first developed). How traction control integrates all the different systems. How the sound of the machines we love is sometimes ducted to make them come out a particular way. How some supposedly sporty brands have decided that car speakers are now a part of the exhaust systems. All that.
Then they asked me what we were featuring this month.
On our cover is what would be flying in the face of all that traditional car enthusiast blood. Except that I want one. I have, oddly enough, been smitten with the power electric ever since we drove the half-a-million-dollar prototype Venturi Fetish on the Monte Carlo streets that were graciously blocked off for the F1 drivers that would be coming in a couple of days. Then, many years later, I would drive around a Toyota Prius and realize that the quiet made me calm.
The Outlander on our cover took a different route to my heart. It won me over on a muddy track outside Tokyo driven by the insanely adept Hiroshi Masuoka. Then, when I was able to get behind the wheel myself, I was hooked. I have always liked the brand and the look. The fact that they went and made it skewed electric while still heavily leaning towards fun was just perfect.
So yes, there is an increasing percentage of electronic intervention that comes into our driving, but that doesn’t mean things have to be slushy or boring. It doesn’t have to be particularly expensive either, and would go over even better if this technology got the government support that other governments and communities seem to think important enough to push for.
There are a few other opinion-changers in this month’s issue. Someone possibly predisposed to avoiding the French turns out to rather enjoy their vision of the sport wagon. One writer was smitten by the BMW X1, which he previously didn’t think deserved a place anywhere. Even the brand Ssangyong got a bit of a rethink when we looked deeper into their plans for the future.
If you close your mind, yes, things can look pretty boring. If you open your mind to understanding new things, you will find that passion and enthusiasm will continue where it truly resides. Yes, the new cars and new technologies can isolate you, but they will also reward you if you know how to drive correctly and use them well.
EIC, Carl S. Cunanan