Nismo? Gazoo Racing? Just Stop Already

Back in the day, Nismo meant something. TRD meant something. And, until recently, Gazoo Racing meant something. They all held the deepest level of respect among car enthusiasts as these sub-brands of OEMs went racing. And they won. And these brands were attached to some of the most iconic Japanese supercars of yesteryears – namely, the Nissan GT-R, the Toyota Supra and, most recently, the Toyota TS050 LMP1 Le Mans and WEC champion. So, I ask, why take such respected names and just, well, screw it all up?

Basically, Nissan and Toyota have taken the Nismo and Gazoo Racing brands, respectively, and slapped it on any ‘effin car they deem fit. Hell, the new Supra isn’t even powered by a Toyota engine but they felt it was appropriate to slap the GR moniker on that car as well. With an even greater level of shameless-ness, they’ve slapped the GR name to a hybrid Yaris that tops out at 108mph.

Didn’t know Toyota had so many Gazoo “Racing” models in development. Horseshit.

Nissan isn’t doing much better either. They’ve managed to slap the Nismo branding onto the 370Z and the Sentra. Neither of the Nismo versions offer any performance advantages over their non-Nismo brethren. It’s all exterior bullshit. Might as well add a bunch of stickers to the non-Nismo versions (don’t forget the “NOS” sticker!) and save some money. The stickers will add as much horsepower as the Nismo versions!

For shame!!

Toyota and Nissan: instead of making these cars “sticker-fast,” why not start making some cars that are actually fast? Yes, the R35 GT-R is a fast car, but it’s a bit long in the tooth (probably an understatement) and the latest additions have made the car about as attractive as Pete Burns, lead singer of an old band who’s had one too much plastic surgeries.

Current Nissan GT-R. Oh so hot! (NOT)

2014 LA Auto Show

The 2014 edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show came upon us yet again and, for the first time in quite a while, we decided to take a look at what the OE world had to offer. We came away a bit underwhelmed. There was nothing revolutionary. Merely evolutionary at best. Nothing blew us away, really. All signs point to yet another year of dull vehicles. Regardless, we thought these following vehicles have some ability to quicken the pulse. Even if just a little bit.

(Incidentally, all photos were taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Image quality is pretty awesome, especially considering it’s just a smartphone)

The Ford Transit Connect - we LOVE this utilitarian vehicle
The Ford Transit Connect – we LOVE this utilitarian vehicle

The new Ford Explorer - looks very Range Rover-esque; we like it
The new Ford Explorer – looks very Range Rover-esque; we like it

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The redesigned Ford Edge - yet another attractive small SUV from Detroit
The redesigned Ford Edge – yet another attractive small SUV from Detroit

The first Shelby without Carroll Shelby
The first Shelby without Carroll Shelby

The front end of the revised Mustang looks awfully familiar. Gotta say it shares design DNA with the Fusion. And several Aston Martins. And the Nissan GT-R. And the Dodge SRT Hellcat. And the Mazda 6.

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This was one of only two vehicles on display within the Mitsubishi booth - are we close to seeing this OE leaving the US market?
This was one of only two vehicles on display within the Mitsubishi booth – are we close to seeing this OE leaving the US market?

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Looks nice and all but is it worth $64,000? For a Dodge?
Looks nice and all but is it worth $64,000? For a Dodge?

Some sort of hybrid / electric car based on the Delta Wing racing car - you won't see us driving this thing
Some sort of hybrid / electric car based on the Delta Wing racing car – you won’t see us driving this thing

Yet another "Nismo" version of the Z - perhaps they should add some power to the damned thing instead of prettying it up all the time
Yet another “Nismo” version of the Z – perhaps they should add some power to the damned thing instead of prettying it up all the time

Can't get enough of the mighty Porsche 918
Can’t get enough of the mighty Porsche 918

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Porsche made a lot of noise over the "new" 911 GTS - frankly, it looks the same to us
Porsche made a lot of noise over the “new” 911 GTS – frankly, it looks the same to us

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An offering from Morgan - always a little "different"
An offering from Morgan – always a little “different”

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The VW GTI Roadster Concept - definitely worth of Gran Turismo
The VW GTI Roadster Concept – definitely worth of Gran Turismo

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This looks very worthy of a RevdCars evaluation
This looks very worthy of a RevdCars evaluation

Didn't see anything of interest in the Mazda booth except this...
Didn’t see anything of interest in the Mazda booth except this…

Look at the rear "spoiler" of the new Vette convertible - it's a giant Gurney flap
Look at the rear “spoiler” of the new Vette convertible – it’s a giant Gurney flap

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The Infiniti Q80 concept was curvaceous
The Infiniti Q80 concept was curvaceous

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Wow... Lexus outdid themselves with this ugly beast - think they should start calling themselves Lesux instead
Wow… Lexus outdid themselves with this ugly beast

We ABSOLUTELY LOVE the Jaguar F Type
We ABSOLUTELY LOVE the Jaguar F Type

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Something straight outta Tron in the Toyota booth
Something straight outta Tron in the Toyota booth

Who needs the Lexus LF-A when you have the Toyota FT-1? We sincerely hope this is the foundation for the new Supra
Who needs the Lexus LF-A when you have the Toyota FT-1? We sincerely hope this is the foundation for the new Supra

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