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Scrapple, Your Guide To The “meh”-worthy News: Last Call For 2014!

Scrapple, Your Guide To The “meh”-worthy News: Last Call For 2014!

What a year it has been! We have the Hellcat from Dodge, the flat-plane-crank 5.2L Voodoo V8 from Ford, and the LT4 blower motor from Chevrolet. We also have the EcoBoost four-banger from Ford pumping out the same power level as a 2005 Mustang GT, the diesel Grand Cherokee that makes for a purposeful and economical SUV that doesn’t look like a toy car, and a Corvette that, if you somehow restrain your right foot from putting the pedal through the firewall will return 30mpg. 2014 has been an absolutely glorious year for the auto industry, regardless of the recalls, re-naming, and, uh…. did I mention recalls? However, as good as it is and has been, there’s always stuff going on that elicits a “eh, so what?” response, and it wouldn’t be right to not look at the last week of 2014 and see what’s barely news.

1. Ford will offer factory ECU reflashes for EcoBoost motors that are factory approved and warranty friendly.


I can hear you already: “That’s actually pretty good news, what the hell is it doing here?” So far, the only versions out right now are for the Fiesta ST and the Focus ST, and it’s mostly a good sized torque-bump according to dyno testing. What isn’t mentioned is that if you apply one of these tunes to your car, your warranty shifts from Ford’s 5-year, 60,000mi warranty to Ford Racing’s 3 year/36,000 mile warranty, and that’s if it’s new. If your car already has 36,000 miles on it, forget warranties altogether. They are working on the Mustang EcoBoost flashes now.

2. Fiat Trademarks “124” and “124 Spyder”


My own personal biases against the Fiat 124 Spyder notwithstanding (I hate those little “Feeyotches” much like Lohnes hates Ford Thunderbirds), it appears that a new version is due to grace our presence here shortly. The rumor mill isn’t too sure on whether this will be a joint effort with Mazda’s MX-5 or if this will be a completely in-house deal, but either way, expect more “Americans Love Italian” ads soon. BTW, to FCA’s ad department: we may love Italian food, exotic cars and models, but tiny cars that only a third of Americans can fit into, not so much.

3. Name The Most Expensive 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350:


Courtesy: Carscoops

Yep…VIN #0001 will go to the auction block at Barrett-Jackson. Is it just me, or is this the rich person’s version of an idiot YouTuber commenting “FIRST!” everywhere they go? Moving on…

4. The Google Car Got Some Updates, And A Thumbs-Up From The Oatmeal


Take that for whatever it’s worth to you. Pro-Tesla cartoonist Matt Inman, better known as the Oatmeal, recently got the opportunity to ride in the Google Car and fell head-over-heels in love with it (to be far, he did make the best point yet for actually having these things around: disabled and elderly people who probably shouldn’t be driving.) Honestly, how this is even news is beyond me. If the “Mutts Cutts” van from Dumb and Dumber is a full-size dog, this is the bumbling little puppy.

5. A new crossover SUV by….wait, Lotus?


If Lotus has one thing down, it’s light sports cars that handle. And lately, that hasn’t been enough to save their bacon, so in what only looks like a desperate grab for cash, apparently the troubled firm is going to attempt their first crossover based on the Evora. Good luck with that one, boys, because competing in a saturated market as a low-volume sports-car manufacturer sounds like a great idea.

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10 thoughts on “Scrapple, Your Guide To The “meh”-worthy News: Last Call For 2014!

  1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Google are seriously worrying me – they are the Matrix in its kindergarten phase!

    Besides which who would want to drive a car that looks like a British copper’s helmet or the end of a strange rubber – depending on your point of view.

    Ahhhh! I am being absorbed by my lap top for I have angered the great God Goo-google!

    1. mooseface

      I always thought of Google as being more along the lines of the Cylon ancestor.
      In the end, it will be their robots killing all humans in direct competition with Apple in their own quest to assimilate us all into mindless iBorg drones.

  2. Nick D

    The Miata should never share a platform with any car, let alone Alfa and Fiat. Although on the flip side, we might get a Fiat or Alfa that’s actually reliable.

  3. mike armstrong

    The Google Car…. You are effin kidding right? A bunch of “designers” got together, felt that this was the ultimate vehicle to put the Google name on and were proud of the looks? They need to go back to work for Yongkang Xiaotongban Toy company where their creations might be more suitable for sale as an entry level toy.

    What a joke!

    1. Burner303

      Well, Google is looking at the car as an appliance or device. And they nailed it, in that respect. It is devoid of any excitement whatsoever, much like a toaster. All you want the toaster to do is make toast, you don’t care what it looks like. Apply that same logic to a car, and here ya go. Plus, something about them wanting the car to be unintimidating, since it is new tech and people are going to be nervous about wanting to use it, so make it look as harmless as possible …

      I, for one, love the design. Lemme explain: It is so stupidly cartoony and goofy looking, that it (hopefully)shouldn’t do as well as Google hopes, and will maybe hold off this whole self driving cars thing off a bit longer(It is eventually coming, folks!)

  4. Matt Cramer

    A Lotus crossover based on a mid engined sports car? I have to wonder if that rumor got started with some automotive equivalent to The Onion. It seems like the result would resemble an AWD VW Squareback.

  5. William Wilson

    I’m all for self driving cars.

    Because I am all for people who shouldn’t drive being out of the driver’s seat.

    I for one will never stop driving because I like it and am good at it,

    But so many people of all ages could benefit from these cars.

    Especially as TAXIs I’d much rather take a Johnny Cab then be driven around by who is barley qualified to operate pedals.

  6. John T

    the whole Google car thing worries me from a much different angle than its looks…ever had your computer freeze on you, or an app just stop or whatever? Of course you have, its just one of those things computers and software do… so you curse, restart it and move on….OK so what if that happens in your google car at 50 mph? these things don’t apparently have steering wheels or controls….you wanna be in one when it goes wrong? Or pushing your kid in a pram or whatever when one comes at you out of control? Ever had your GPS insist black and blue that there IS a road there, even though your eyes tell you there isn’t? What do you reckon’s steering this googlemobile? Jeez I hope they have a large team of lawyers, they’re gunna need it for all the law suits.

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