Just for Fun 26

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Two VWs You’ll Love

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In the market for a new CC Volkswagen? The ultimate in comfort and luxury, the CC provides a spacious cabin, that staple German engineering under the hood and the sleek lines that make every trip from the morning commute to the grocery store run memorable. Choose from the Sport, R-Line, Executive or VR6 Executive 4Motion and even customize your CC so that it perfectly suits you and your needs. With an MSRP starting at around $31,000, this is one model that fits neatly into any budget. Plus, drivers get up to 31 city miles and 32 highway miles, making the CC an optimal choice for commuters.

Trim options include 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels, clearcoat paint and body-colored bumpers on all models. Get the exact features you want at Strong VW, Salt Lake City’s leader for all things Volkswagen. Front fog lamps, cornering light and LED brake lights ensure that you and your ride are a real show stopper. However, you know what they say: It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Heatable front seats and leather or “leatherette” fabric extends the luxury to the cabin. Enjoy a 6-way power drive seat with manual tilt/telescope steering for the utmost in comfort. Power rear windows, a compass, and valet function sweeten things up even more. Add in a driver footrest for those epic road trips, leather or leatherette steering wheel and shift knob, and plenty of cargo space and you’ve got the makings for sheer luxury in your garage.

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EOS About Time

Designed for the sports lover, the Eos is a sport compact that’s been a favorite since it rolled off the assembly line in 2006. Complete with a retractable hardtop roof, this convertible came on the heels of the Golf Cabriolet and quickly won the hearts of VW lovers. Dubbed Eos, the Greek goddess of dawn, nothing beats a sunrise or sunset drive through a gorgeous Utah national park with the top down. The MSRP starts at just above $35,000, making this a cost-effective sport option for just about anyone in Salt Lake City.

The seamless roof design is the first thing that catches many eyes, with an independent sliding sunroof. The Eos is the only vehicle of its kind, from any manufacturer, that offers such a retractable feature. It slides effortlessly into the trunk space in just 25 seconds, but there’s still plenty of cargo space to spare. With the top down, the trunk goes from 10.6 to a still spacious 6.6 cubic feet. With a roof design compliments of OASys, another German company, drivers rest easy knowing German engineering is still intact.

Featured as a concept car in 2004 at the Geneva Motor Show, it got the buzz going early. Opt for the White Knight special edition to enjoy custom wheels, a black and white color scheme with a Candy White body, and customized black interiors. A Climatronic control system, sports chassis that lowers the body and cozy heated front seats make for a perfect blend of luxury and sportiness. The latest models boast options for V6 engines.

Why You Might Or Might Not Drive A Passenger Car.

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By Paul Wimsett from our UK desk

The term “passenger cars” might seem a bit dubious, after all, most people agree that all cars are passenger cars and even AVs (self-drive) cars are ultimately designed for passengers (though there may be self-driving lorries which will do away with passengers altogether).

Ironically, what it means is a car designed for less than 10 people, for example, an SUV. So ultimately it refers to a lack of passengers! Go figure. It is a confusing term though it can refer to all cars as opposed to trucks. It includes taxis and Ubers. It may even include pick-ups.

One reason for the distinction is tax and license designation. If you don’t use a car on the road, say you use it as an off-road vehicle or store it in a carport, a garage or some other long term storage it doesn’t count as a passenger car. If you keep a car outside your house whether you move it or not it still counts as a passenger car and needs to be treated as such, that is all the tax and insurance needs to be kept up to date.

If you build a car from a kit or convert it from a tractor or similar vehicle it does count as a passenger car.

So to reiterate SUVs and pickups may not meet the description of passenger car. But what does this mean in practice?

Well, when collecting data for example. Since SUVs are the most popular type of vehicle eliminating them from the figures might not seem a good move. After all, if the figures say that sales of passenger cars are falling and it fails to take into account that SUV figures are rising, it gives a false idea about what the car market is doing.

mercedes-benz-3395531_1920Though Mercedes believe items like the G-class and GLE are passenger cars. A G-class is a jeep like a vehicle while a GLE is more SUV like. Possibly different firms have different descriptions? It all becomes complicated but it must ultimately come down to figures. So be wary of what a car-related statistic is saying and research the figures thoroughly.

It’s not exactly clear why buyers are rejecting a traditional car shape and prefer something like the SUV or jeep isn’t clear. This may just be a blip as crossover vehicles (those which aren’t quite SUVs so are more likely to qualify as passenger cars) build up in popularity, such as the Honda R-V. The fact all these cars have an all-wheel drive may suggest a liking for survival type vehicles, rather than something more A to B?

It seems that baby boomers are the ones who have moved away from the sedan, it is possible that they see them as a Dad car (remember the male market is strongest for this age group). So a full overhaul might be needed to save the sedan. Except it’s hard for a car to change its form without changing its name.

 

5 Surprising Things About Your Golf Cart (UTV)

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You know that golf cars are great little machines to drive you and your golfing buddies around the course. You also might think of them as moving refreshment stands, bringing you icy beverages and your favorite treats. Some of the posher ones might even hold your clubs or provide a radio—but it’s time to get that stock image of golf cars out of your head. They can, and do, provide so much more than a simple means around 18 holes.

Here are a few things that some golf cars feature that may surprise you. Golf may be a traditional game for ladies and gentlemen, but that doesn’t mean golf cars have to stick to the course. However, when they do, why not indulge in something more than what’s expected?golf-229395_1920

  1. Ergo Seats

You know the importance of ergonomics at work and at home—but what about at play? Ergonomic features in your golf car can make your ride even more pleasurable, whether your car is for a day on the links or regularly takes retirement community guests around the grounds. Developed via ergonomic software, seats are taller and larger to encourage proper posture. Consider the Signature Edition 4-passenger for a comfortable, ergo-friendly ride.

  1. Intelligent Drive Systems

When your golf car is used more for turf work than leisure activities, you might be facing some rocky (or snowy, or sandy) terrain. The IntelliTach 4-wheel drive system, available on the Carryall 295, 295 SE and 295 with IntelliTach, keeps you and your employees safe. This feature senses the outdoor terrain and adjusts accordingly. It’s the easiest 4×4 to use, taking the wonder and work out of navigating tricky driving conditions so your drivers can focus on the project at hand.

  1. Spacious Seating at High Speeds

You’ve probably seen those old school golf cars hauling around guests at airports and apartments at bumbling speeds. However, you don’t have to sacrifice efficiency for space when you choose a model like the TransPorter 6. It offers six seats, including the fold-down backseat, but can travel up to 17 mph. That’s about as safe of a break-neck speed that’s available, and it’ll get your guests where they’re going—whether it’s to the pool or the next flight.

  1. An Ant of a Machine

Just like ants, some golf cars provide exceptional power even for their relatively small size. For example, the Carryall 295 with IntelliTach can lift up to 500 pounds with zero counterweight and travels up to 25 mph. And the hauling and loading? It can take care of 1,200 pounds and boasts 12-inches of ground clearance. It’s an insane workhorse, which means your workload is drastically lightened.

  1. Why There Are 18 Holes…

golf-cart-3117094_1920As any avid golfer knows, there are 18 holes on a course because there are 18 shots in a fifth of whisky. While you may not be imbibing at every hole, it’s still important that the hospitality golf cars on your property are equipped with plenty of goodies. Something like the Café Express Deluxe can carry 150 12-ounce bottles, has a water drain system for easy cleanup and three separate compartments. It’s a mini food truck designed for the course.

There’s the perfect golf car for everyone, with features designed to simplify your life. Sometimes sticking to the basics makes sense. But in the case of golf cars, why settle?

 

Attacks on Self Drive Vehicles

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When the title says “protests” pictures of angry mobs in the streets come to mind, and that’s not exactly what’s happened yet. Instead, Autonomous Vehicles are being outright attacked or vandalized by individuals, but in numbers that indicate more than something random. Though the media has yet to sensationalize it, they are reporting it, and you might be surprised by who that upsets most.

Before diving into that aspect lets make the case that these attacks are significant. Do they, in fact, indicate that the public isn’t embracing this whole notion of computer-driven vehicles? If you were in an AV, how many times would someone have to attempt to intentionally ram you before you decided John Q Public is not quite ready for this kind of technology?

Another example involved a taxi driver exiting his car and slapping the windscreen of a General Motors self-driving car.

This came to a head in Chandler, Arizona in December 2018 when police were informed of members of the public slashing tires, throwing rocks and pointing guns (thankfully so far no bullets fired) at driverless cars.

It seems that this kind of behavior happens nearly every day and just isn’t being reported, to the police or the media. Waymo, who have created a fleet of self-driving cars, also had vehicles attacked in October 2018. They expressed doubt that a police presence on the issue would reduce attacks, in fact, they felt it generally not a good idea to popularize the idea that you can attack a self-driving car.

Not unsurprisingly the police take a dim view of rock throwing and tire slashing and likely desire a solution to the heightened tensions. But it seems unlikely these protests will do much to change the march of tech in places like California, which since March last year has allowed driverless cars to operate without anyone in the driving seat.  Other states which approve driverless cars are Alabama and Washington.

Surely someone should do something! Maybe the marketers of these cars should worry about this strength of feeling they face instead of sticking their heads in the sand? AV makers seem focused on the inevitability of their product and not very focused on consumer sentiment.

That is the problem with self-driving cars though; it is easier to get annoyed with a person in a car. A self-driving car is a bit more removed.

Think about when robotic answering services took over answering your phone calls. Ten years ago when you’d have a problem with a product you’d call the helpline and spend an eternity of hold listening to music. Sometimes when someone answered they’d pass you around to different departments but eventually, someone helped.

woman-3797696_1920Then came the automated service that pre-sorted your call based on your needs. Push one for “X,” push two for “Y.” It felt efficient. And they could take some basic information while you waited. Companies jumped at the chance to lay off extra help desk employees. Then they turned the automated system into an automated runaround. When a human finally answered they usually asked for all the same info you already gave, proving that it was just a delay tactic to waste your time.

If you’re a maker of AV’s think about that angry guy who just hung up on the automated answering device because he’s the same guy who isn’t excited to share the road with automated cars.

Maybe people are right to protest, the ability to drive is all about complicated algorithms or programs in order to be safe and the driverless car has yet to learn all these algorithms. Humans make mistakes, sure, but robots with a systematic error will make the same mistake over and again until a human fixes their programming. John Q. Public maybe doesn’t have much faith that companies will even bother to fix these problems. Not based on their last call to correct a utility bill.

The driverless car industry is valued at 100 billion dollars so it may need a massive PR campaign in order to get people to change their mind about using it. Makers are throwing money into attempts to get the government on their side, but the Senate isn’t planning to launch a self-driving bill until either 2022 because they don’t think there is enough public support for a bill any earlier.

Poles and sales data indicate that 25% of all cars will be driverless by 2030, yet they also say that 15% of the public don’t see a fully autonomous car as ever happening, despite “forever” being a hell of a stretch. This might simply be the product of cynical minds and may even change over time, but fixing all the safety issues and a PR campaign faced toward the public would help in that effort.

The big players such as Uber want driverless to be the way of the world but it’s yet to be carved in stone. In addition to the safety issue, they might want to consider making these cars less like something from a sci-fi dystopia.

What has Volkswagen been up to Since the Beetle and the Van?

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In 2018 we ran a series on mustangs. People loved the focus on a classic, even iconic, American sports car. Well, welcome to our new series. This time we’re going foreign, but sticking with the iconic angle. In this first installment, we’re starting with VW’s follow up to the popular bug and van.

The Golf has been available since 1974, when it released on the tail end of the classic Beetle’s and van’s popularity. It was a welcome change that grown-up flower children took to right away, and the appeal has stuck for 40 years.

Australians Love the Golf

Australia’s CarsGuide has a history of naming Volkswagens “Car of the Year” and that include the Golf. It’s been called “the hatchback Rolls Royce would make” by judges.

Volkswagen has had plenty of time to perfect the sleek, powerful, yet accessible and affordable Golf. There have been 30 million Golfs sold since 1974, which include 150,000 in Australia.

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Playing Favorites

Aussies aren’t the only ones who play favorites with the Golf. It’s been Volkswagen’s best-selling machine for years with about 16,000 sold annually. Squarely in the Top 10 for most popular cars overall, it just keeps racking up the awards—and sales. Specifically, it was the Golf TSI Comfortline complete with DSG transmission that caught the eyes of the judges. With a $27,450 sticker price, it left nine other budget-friendly “competitors” in the dust.

According to the judges, “never has a ‘small’ car so seamlessly combined the verities of a suburban family vehicle and a long-distance tourer.” They point to the 1.4-liter turbo engine as marrying economical and amiable standards. Originally designed to take the place of the beloved Beetle, Volkswagen learned that there was plenty of room for two in their lineup. The Beetle is, of course, back in full force and has been new and improved for years, but Golf lovers have clearly staked their claim and proudly drive what’s considered the best car—period.

Dashed Dreams

There were murmurings that the Mazda6 diesel Touring Wagon would end up taking home the gold, but Mazda was left firmly in second place. The runner up is described as a “luxurious” family wagon and the three misguided judges who didn’t vote for the Golf adorned praises on Mazda’s creation. However, with a price tag of nearly $42,000, it was almost $14,000 more than the Golf and when it came down to it, the judges found it wasn’t worth the price tag.car-3333780_1920

Now, a $40,000+ Golf would be worth a second (or even tenth) look. Imagine what the auto giant could do it they opted to offer a Golf with that kind of price tag; doubtless, luxury would abound. However, ever mindful of their customers’ desires for both economy and luxury, it’s a good thing the Golf has always remained affordable for all. Everyone deserves the best in German engineering and a lounge on wheels, whether for their weekend warrior escapades or simply for their drive through the espresso stand en route to the office.

 

4 Cars for Geeks

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You need a suitable ride to get from your LARPing activities to Dungeons and Dragons sessions. You also want to be eco-friendly in your choice, whether that means waiting for Volkswagen’s new hydrogen-powered option or choosing a classic that doesn’t require more manufacturing in order to call it yours. If you’re a geek on a mission for the perfect ride, there are many options.

However, no matter what you choose, make sure the ride is road-ready with safety precautions. If there’s a crack in the windshield, get it fixed first. If the tires are worse for wear, make your first stop a tire shop. Otherwise, here are some of the best cars for geeks to add to your bucket list:

 

73donecar003a ’73 Oldsmobile Delta 88

 Ideal for horror geeks, this Oldsmobile is featured in every single Evil Dead movie and in the vast majority of Sam Raimi movies in general. The famous director never explicitly says why he features his college car so much, but his friends have suggested his first “intimate moment” took place in the back seat. According to the Daily Beast, there are many reasons we love horror movies, and if that’s where you geek out, you’ll love this ride.

 

car-3333780_1920 2015 Golf GTI

 This ride won accolades from Yahoo! and Motor Trends as well as from a slew of lesser-known parties. Renowned for energy conservation, performance and just the right amount of sleek lines, it’s the no-nonsense car you need to have. Check out what the judges from Motor Trends have to say about it and you’ll see that it has just enough cabin space for all your Cosplay gear.

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Tesla Model S

 This is the option for a geek with plenty of moneybags and swag, but it’s a sweet choice if you can swing it. Clearly the most luxurious green model of its time, the bad news is that it got a bad reputation for catching on fire. The good news (kind of) is that you’re still more likely to get into an accident in any car then get caught in a Tesla fire (and nobody was harmed in any of them). If you want to lead the way for green geeks, a Tesla is the only way to go.

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1979 Pontiac Trans Am

 Of course, you parlayed your computer skills into a not-so-small fortune and it’s finally time to buy the car the cool kids drove to sporting events while you toiled away at your keyboard under fluorescent lights. If you grew up in the 80s, you know all the cool kids drove a Trans Am. That can still be a reality, and today they’re affordable (even fully restored) and will still garner plenty of admiring glances. Who says you can’t re-do your childhood? Get the car you’ve always dreamed of for a steal.