BACK SEAT DRIVING—The EPA, together with the California Air Resources Board, accused Volkswagen and Audi of using software to circumvent emissions requirements on four-cylinder diesel cars sold from 2009-2015. The software detects when the car is hooked up to emissions testing equipment, changing the management system to pass the test, but allows the car to pollute up to 40 times the permissible limit during normal operation. Volkswagen has acknowledged it has breached the trust of the government regulators and the public. Editor Doug Stokes comments.
BACKSEAT DRIVING—BFGoodrich asks Andrew Comrie-Picard, the 2014 Rally America champion and one of the team members to pilot a win in the Baja Challenge class at the Score Baja 1000 race, to take its All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires for an all-day test drive in the off-road hills of Calamigos Ranch, just off of Mulholland and Kanan Dume Road. Editor John Grafman goes along for the wild ride.
CONSUMER TECH—It’s a Baja Buggy with a lightweight aluminum alloy chassis, powered by a 6.2 liter LS3 Chevrolet V8 tuned to 500 horsepower, and driving the rear wheels. It’s got California written all over it. Except it’s not California. It’s a river bond near Shanghai, in the People’s Republic of China. And it’s not Stillen, Penske or AEM behind this open frame tuner. The builder is Yu Guangyi, and he cranks out about five cars a year from his Eastern hot rod shop. The subject vehicle was designed for the Taklimakan Rally—one of Asia’s biggest rally events.
BACK SEAT DRIVING— California has a history of setting trends. Hot rods, Kustom cars, import tuners, Cars & Coffee, clean air regulations, skateboarding, gourmet food trucks, palimony. Get ready for another one: Dusty cars as a badge of honor. Who would have thought dust would share space as a status symbol alongside diamonds? Leave it to Californians to make that happen.