In what we can only describe as the final nail in the coffin known as the “import scene,” what is seemingly the final Import Showoff of our lifetime made its appearance during the Nisei Week festival in downtown Los Angeles. This is the car show that started it all and it is the show that will end it all. With participants showing what could be considered the “cream of the crop” of Southern California, they gathered under sunny August skies to mark the occasion. Here’s to you, Ken Miyoshi, for pioneering something that took over the entire country and, to a certain extent, the rest of the world.
It looks like a Google Street car got access to Laguna Seca while some cars were driving around. That, or it made a wrong left turn somewhere. Nevertheless, this is definitely some awesome footage, riddled with race cars. Hopefully, it wasn’t this guy!
At first glance, the Volkswagen CC captured our attention. With its “4-door coupe” styling, it’s an attention-getter by all measures. Falling somewhere between the Passat and the defunct Phaeton in the VW lineup, the CC represents a bold and edgy entry into the mid-sized sedan market. Looks aside, however, we wanted to find out if the CC’s performance and driving impressions would live up to its aesthetic demeanor.
Incredibly high value for the money – For a mere $27,679 (with optional Bluetooth connectivity and rear curtain side air bags), you get a vehicle that’s built with German engineering; everything fits together with precision, high quality materials and utility
Leather everywhere – All seating surfaces & the steering wheel are wrapped in high quality leather; try finding the same level of quality in competitors at the same pricepoint
Upscale styling – Needless to say, the first vehicle the CC reminds you of is the upscale Mercedes CLS sedan; unlike its rather mundane and boring competitors, the CC offers awesome looks and styling that belies its low price of entry
Ample power – Under the hood of the CC, you’ll find the same peppy 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder engine you’d find in the VW GTI; although it’s not a rocket, it’s certainly more than enough power to deliver good standing and passing acceleration
Excellent gas mileage – With an estimated 21mpg in the city and 31mpg on the highway, the turbocharged engine provides the benefits it should – power when needed, while delivering excellent efficiency when not on boost
Full array of safety features – Anti-Slip Regulation (traction control), Electronic Stability Program, Electronic Differential Lock and anti-lock brakes should keep any journey safe for all involved
With so much to like about the VW CC, what did we not like? There were two dimensions of the driving experience that lowered what would have been an excellent evaluation of the Vee Dub:
Sloppy shift mechanism – We specifically requested a manual version of the 2.0T, with “sporty” expectations… we were disappointed; the shift action is rubbery and throws were excessively long by our standards
Completely mute clutch action – With 99% of the cars we test, we can figure out the catch point on the clutch quite easily… this wasn’t the case with the CC; the catch point was so mute and the clutch pedal so soft, we hated dealing with the CC’s hydraulically actuated manual transmission within the first 5 miles of driving it
If you are considering the CC Sport, skip the manual tranny and opt for the automatic transmission with Tiptronic. Sure it costs a bit more and adds some additional weight to the car, but the standard manual transmission just doesn’t deliver enough to convince us. Equipped with the optional automatic transmission, we feel the CC Sport 2.0T will be a fine, capable daily driver / commuter with more than enough pizazz for nights out on the town or road trips with friends.
Recently, CARS (Car Allowance Rebate System) has sent out step-by-step directions on how to disable a “clunker”:
“Engine Disablement Procedures for the CARS Program
THIS PROCEDURE IS NOT TO BE USED BY THE VEHICLE OWNER
Perform the following procedure to disable the vehicle engine.
1. Obtain solution of 40% sodium silicate/60% water. (The Sodium Silicate (SiO2/Na2O) must have a weight ratio of 3.0 or greater.)
2. Drain engine oil for environmentally appropriate disposal.
3. Install the oil drain plug.
4. Since the procedure is intended to render the engine inoperative, drive or move the vehicle to the desired area for disablement.
5. Pour enough solution in the engine through the oil fill for the oil pump to circulate the solution throughout the engine. Start by adding 2 quarts of the solution, which should be sufficient in most cases.
CAUTION: Wear goggles and gloves. Appropriate protective clothing should be worn to prevent silicate solution from coming into contact with the skin.
6. Replace the oil fill cap.
7. Start the engine.
8. Run engine at approximately 2000 rpm (for safety reasons do not operate at high rpm) until the engine stops. (Typically the engine will operate for 3 to 7 minutes. As the solution starts to affect engine operation, the operator will have to apply more
throttle to keep the engine at 2000 rpm.)
9. Allow the engine to cool for at least 1 hour.
10. With the battery at full charge or with auxiliary power to provide the power of a fully charged battery, attempt to start the engine.
11. If the engine will not operate at idle, the procedure is complete.
12. If the engine will operate at idle, repeat steps 7 through 11 until the engine will no longer idle.
13. Attach a label to the engine that legibly states the following:
This engine is from a vehicle that is part of the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS). It has significant internal damage caused by operating the engine with a sodium silicate solution (liquid glass) instead of oil.
14. File this document in the file for the new vehicle purchase. ” Cars.gov
Which doesnt sound that harsh at all, until you watch the video:
That must be what a dying Transformer sounds like. Wait a minute, could this be part of a storyline in the next Transformers movie? I hope not, the car sounds terrible.
Not to get left behind in the zero emissions race, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Japan) today unveiled the Nissan LEAF, “the world’s first affordable, zero-emission car.” Scheduled for launch in late 2010 in Japan, the United States, and Europe, the LEAF, according to Nissan, will present:
Zero-emission power train and platform
Real-world range autonomy – 160km (100 miles)
Connected Mobility: Advanced intelligent transportation (IT) system
The LEAF is powered by laminated compact lithium-ion batteries, which generate power output of over 90kW, while its electric motor delivers 80kW/280Nm. A combination of the LEAF’s regenerative braking system and innovative lithium-ion battery packs enables the car to deliver a driving range of more than 160km (100 miles) on one full charge*. (*US LA4 mode)
The LEAF can be charged up to 80% of its full capacity in just under 30 minutes with a quick charger. Charging at home through a 200V outlet is estimated to take approximately eight hours.
The real question we have, however, is… although the LEAF and other electric vehicles themselves may not produce any emissions, they still do not solve the emissions that are created by electricity production. Whether it’s coal or nuclear, electricity is still produced for the most part by processes which consumes fossil fuels. Until the production process and the infrastructure to support it switches over to wind, solar and hydroelectric systems, we at RevdCars still feel the notion of an emissions-free electric vehicle is just that… a notion.