So, apparently we are skipping spring. I wasn’t told this as I was sifting through the piles of news bites that swamped my desk, but sure enough there was snow falling on the hood of the truck parked out front. My poor flowers and fruit trees are confused as to what the hell is happening, as are the neighborhood birds. At least it’s been quiet around here…can’t say that for the rest of the country! While we go review the weather forecast for the billionth time, here’s a bit of Scrapple from this week’s wacky world of automotive news:
1. Because goats.This is a story that couldn’t be written. Earlier this week, Pennsylvania turnpike workers and highway police had to rescue two goats off of an eight-inch-wide ledge off of the Mahoning River Bridge. They were over 100 feet above ground level and stuck face-to-face on the beam. The goats have been removed from the bridge and returned to the farm that they escaped from. (Photo: Todd Tilson/PA Turnpike Commission)
2. Gone, baby, gone.
Police near Glenwood Springs, Colorado had to cut bait on a pursuit after the car, a dark-colored, older model Ford Mustang, straight-up walked away from police to the tune of over 150 miles an hour. The police called off the chase after officers couldn’t keep up or even get a better description of the Mustang. This comes after a driver in Indiana was busted at well over 160 MPH in a Challenger Hellcat. Knock it off, morons…the last thing car culture needs is a reason for government to step in!
3. You ain’t a man until you own one!Toyota sells tons of RAV4 crossover vehicles…over 400,000 alone in 2017. But that isn’t enough for Toyota, who saw a problem that needed to be addressed with the redesigned 2019 model: not enough men were interested in the RAV4. The split of buyers for the previous model were 56% female/44% male. Apparently, making the design “edgier” and adding some butch looks to the off-road Adventure package and some sporty looks to the higher-performing XSE package. On a side note, I miss the old 1980s 4Runners and pickup trucks.
4. This one’s getting neutered.The Chevrolet Cruze is a decent choice for a daily driver: comfortable interior, competent (if not truly exciting) engine, and a manual transmission option. Well, hurry if those ideas appeal to you, because 2018 is the last year that the Cruze is getting a stick-shift option. From 2019 onwards, it’s an automatic and that irritating stop/start feature.
5. Dead cars rolling…
This week has a list of cars that are rumored to be on the chopping block thanks to the popularity of crossovers and the absolute boredom of what’s being cranked out, including:
- Ford Taurus
- Ford Fiesta
- Ford Fusion
- Chevrolet Sonic
- Chevrolet Impala
Two full-size sedans, two entry-level hatchbacks and the mid-size Fusion. Start looking at this as a future trend, because I’m willing to bet that this is only the first of a long line of disappointments waiting to happen.