Since Ferrari is bound to put me on some blacklist for what I’m going to say next, here’s a rundown of what I’ve learned as a motoring columnist. And, no, it’s not a top five list, since that would be me sharing really awesome things. If you want to read about something great, have a look at my Abarth review. Here they are:
1. Ferrari hasn’t done a great car since the 90’s
Did you know that Ferrari bribe the press, prepare multiple cars for the different conditions when testing, and don’t let people who write bad things about them into their cars? Well it’s true, and their last great car was the 456M. If you want the best, highest technology supercar with a sequential gearbox and all that goes with it, get a McLaren. Ferraris are overrated FIATs, and even the much better looking California T still has a lumpy rear end. Look for my next column in the coming weeks to tell the tale of why there are only 3 ‘modern’ Ferraris you’d want to drive.
2. Don’t go to a Motorshow on a Non-Press Day
Not only did I end up sick from norovirus due to not listening to my own advice, but you don’t get to spend more than a few seconds in each car. Me being one of those ‘awful elitists’ means I might dislike waiting around with the waddling mouth-breathers of world to see some car he can’t pronounce. It’s like being on a mass-market holiday or cruise ship, do you really want to be around the kind of people who plan a big family day out to go sit in cars Hertz and Avis buy by the ten-of-thousands? Somehow these people find their way beyond the GM that’s display always to the right when you enter, which brings me to my next point…
3. Always Keep Left
The herd goes right, so do the opposite. This also goes for any crowded place, and GM, which unless you actually want to see the Corvette should always be skipped, somehow always ends up on the right side of the expo centre anyway.
4. New Models aren’t always better than the old ones
Look at the latest generation BWM 3-series and 5-series getting worse ratings from all of the motoring press. In fact, the new ones lost to the old ones! If you don’t believe me, then read what Road and Track has to say on the matter.
5. Volkswagen must hate fun
Right, so this should something along the lines of ‘e-brakes are evil’, but VW has shown such disregard for their target market that it must shared with the world. The Mk. 7 GTI has an electronic parking brake instead of a proper handbrake; WTF? Not only do you have to reprogramme the car to change the brakes, which is utterly moronic, but who in the hell approved a hot hatch unable to do handbrake turns? However, this isn’t unexpected, since the same company fitted the Audi A and S4-5’s with one of these fun killers. At least this time they didn’t leave the big slot in the centre console reminding you of what could have been.
Obviously, I would have learned more things had I listened to certain people or not already known most of what they were saying at the beginning of the conversation, thus zoning out completely. Also, despite wearing a helmet, I did take quite a few knocks on the head during my time as a ski racer, so I’ve probably forgotten quite a bit. Oh well, it wasn’t all that important anyway, I think?
Also, before writing this column, I did get to go and watch them crash test cars, once. The staff parking are had the following cars in it: various Saabs, Volvos, Subarus, Mercedes M-Classes, and one woman had an E-320 diesel with a baby seat in the back. Make of that what you will.