On my first ride out on the Tracer this year I bumped into three guys doing publicity shots for a new AMG Mercedes C63s V-8 Bi-turbo at Cawfield Quarry, close to Hadrian’s Wall. It is a desirable beast which sounds very purposeful, even on tick-over. Fundamentally, it’s all about the thrill of speed, which makes you wonder why you would spend quite so much on such a car when could buy a garage-full of motorcycles for the same money. On two wheels, exposed to the elements, you really do get to find out what speed feels like.
Accompanying the post on Blipfoto I included a link to this video which for some reason became inaccessible – so here it is embedded in WordPress:
This was also the week that Nissan announced they would not be building the X-Trail at their Sunderland plant, all of which put me in mind of a prophetic piece written by Holman W Jenkins Jr, for the Wall Street Journal in September 2017 – Standby for a global car crash …
German politicians and journalists have spent much of the summer condemning Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and VW for ‘dieselgate’, saying they’ve besmirched the tag “Made in Germany”. And it’s true that the conduct of firms like VW, which cheated on emissions tests, was egregious. But it’s also true that the emissions scandal arose entirely from the politically correct meddling of European politicians whose pursuit of meaningless reductions in carbon dioxide forced car-makers to replace petrol models with diesel ones, thereby making air in European cities significantly less breathable. And it was politicians and policymakers who provided the loopholes exploited by car-makers because they wanted to ensure that their cars remained marketable. Governments from Berlin to Beijing are now doubling down on that mistake by insisting that car-makers build electric cars that can only be sold at a steep loss. With oil at $50/barrel, and petrol engines continuing to make impressive efficiency gains, that will require an even more implausible magic act to preserve car industries and jobs. A car-wreck is coming that will make dieselgate look like a fender bender.