Heading into the New Year this paper’s Weekend A Plus featured the Grumps Guide to 2014. It was a grump’s guide to indulgence detailing what most of the section’s ‘friends’ didn’t want to eat, drink, watch, read, see or hear in 2014. Did editor Stephen Brook ask his poor relations in the motoring section, Phil King and me, what we didn’t want to drive, watch or eat? No. Of course not. So here it is.
I don’t want to drive: The Lexus IS 350 F Sport ($81,000 here. $$49,000 in the US). Toyota we know what you are doing. Lexus is a brand for people who want a sanctuary. Somewhere quiet, somewhere with no surprises, something like an upmarket Volvo that will never break down. Excitement and fast is another world. A world for people who don’t remember a time before seat belts. A world full of WRXs, M3s and even Mercedes A 45 AMGs, which are too out of control to be sold to the dopes in the USA. But everybody knows you have to keep these worlds apart. Kramer and George Costanza had it right: “if the worlds collide they explode into something like a Skoda”.
I don’t want to read: Car manuals, particularly from countries where English is a second language. Car manuals are as interesting as Baltic Exchange rates, as long as Mark Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and as dense as Lee Smolin’s ripper on string theory. They serve no useful purpose except to confuse you and as a fallback for manufacturers who can say ‘but it says in the manual you are not meant to do a three point turn with the radio on’. Any manual that comes with a Japanese or Korean car might as well be in Urdu.
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