One Lap of the Web: Mock the Week EditionMon, 17 Feb 2014
-- Mazda Europe designer Peter Birthwhistle talks about the future of Mazda: potential hybrid and electric powertrains for the Skyactiv-obsessed company, and how we'll all be driving Mazda-branded pods in the 22nd century. But he also mentions, rather interestingly, how certain Mazdas capture a quintessentially long-hood, RWD look -- and not just the Miata, either, which is RWD. No, it's the exhaust systems on those Skyactiv engines that force a longer, larger hood compartment, and the "long, flowing looks" not usually found on FWD engines. Birthwhistle is on his 25th year at Mazda after stints with Vauxhall, Audi and Porsche, and is someone who has one of those great and impossibly British names.
-- An update on the irrepressible Mr. Regular, of Regular Car Reviews: after writing off his poor Toyota Echo he offered $5,000 on a first-generation Honda Fit Sport, and will soon be making obscene jokes at Soichiro's expense. Now you can sleep better at night knowing one more Pennsylvanian has upgraded to heated seats.
-- We're pretty glad that this isn't a real BMW 7-series magazine advertisement, mostly because the copywriters would never settle for any unapologizing halfwit who spells "theese." The best part about buying a BMW for Corolla money? It looks better rotting away on your driveway than any tidy Japanese compact sedan. Current Craigslist searches for "750iL" (go big or go home, amigo) show everything from a paltry $3,700 to an exuberant $11,999, which is really just proof that nobody takes car guys seriously.
-- And in other news, here's what a Toyota AE86 Corolla powered by a 20B rotary engine sounds like: it sounds like Satan upon finding out that he needs to make a second DMV appointment. Said the friend who tipped me to this video: "Japanese people are either totally nonplussed or completely hyper stoked." Here, they're the latter.
By Blake Z. Rong