Vigo UltraDork
5/7/13 5:20 p.m.

Just wanted to share my thoughts on the article with GRM staff and the GRM community.

I like the fact that it's outside the magazine's normal box, basically. I read a few car mags and it's rare to see so much effort and space devoted to something so far outside of the publication's 'norm'. I appreciate reading a magazine that can and will zoom out from its relatively narrow focus (not a bad thing; i only say that to illustrate this point) and take on an issue that is common to all auto enthusiasts. I like the very general way it's couched in the intro, in that it alludes to the idea that when you peel back enough layers, all car enthusiasts have similar interests and goals (and the state of new cars eventually affects us all, regardless of whether we're buying them new or not). That's something that is often lost when a magazine or a group of people takes on a specific role/niche, and i've seen it become a very juvenile and cliquish thing when it's allowed to go too far. The article is inclusive of all people interested in cars if they are willing to commit any brainpower to the topic it handles, and i liked that.

I feel that the article struck a very good balance by presenting the right amount and depth of information. It's something that someone who has no previous knowledge of the subjects could read without losing interest due to not being able to take it all in. As someone who has interest and foreknowledge in the technologies in the article, i found my natural craving for more depth of info counterbalanced by the realization that the type and depth of information that IS provided makes the article an excellent introduction both to the project and for people who are new to the subject.

In a somewhat related way, i think the article also struck the right balance in the way that it addresses/debunks some common misconceptions without seeming overly antagonistic to the people who may hold them. If i'm being completely unfiltered, my tendency is towards exasperation when speaking/writing to people who jealously guard their factually false preconceptions about energy issues, which are often manifestations of an underlying political/ideological subject which is hard to peacefully broach. Im fairly amazed that a reference to Obama 'birthers' was even allowed into print in a 'car magazine'. The fact that it can be referenced without starting a E36 M3storm is due to hitting that happy balance point between presenting fact and turning people who hold misconceptions completely off/away. Once you do that, your opportunity to teach them anything is lost. So, well done there.

Today was a good day to read this article. I saw it yesterday but flipped past it because my attention span for reading was already near maxed when i saw it and i didnt want to give it short shrift by trying to read it when my mind had already stood up from the table and gone somewhere else. So today, as i was driving my hybrid to go run some errands, i decided to stop by a local high-end use dealership to look at a pair of really clean 3000gts and get some ideas for my own. While i was there, i also looked at a Fisker Karma and started to think about all the facets of the Fisker situation and whether or not it was a tragedy, and how it would affect the remaining players in this budding genre of vehicles. My mind went to the recent appearance of Tesla founder and supporters in my state capital an hour away, lobbying for fair regulation of a new type of vehicle sales. From there i drove to an electronics store to get some zener diodes for my turbo caravan (which i have hybrid plans for!) and asked a few questions about battery welding for purposes of repairing my high-voltage pack. As i was leaving, i looked at an employee's modded TT Z32 and wondered how that guy felt about hybrids, working at a battery/electronics store. My mind also went to thinking about how battery manufacturer A123 went down with the Fisker ship, and if that had any significance for a future high-voltage pack rebuild in my Insight. Everywhere i go, people look at my hybrid because, even though it's nearly 15 years old, it still stands out. Is that good? I tend to think no. When i got home, i read the article, and really enjoyed it as something that will hopefully pull more people into these conversations im mostly only having with myself.

My experience as a hybrid/alt fuel vehicle owner has done nothing but broaden my view of the world of cars and technology. It's been a totally positive experience that's made me more honest about every other car ive ever owned (and probably ever will) and made me raise my goalposts for the current and future crops of new vehicles. I still love the same kinds of cars i loved before i got a hybrid. Now i'm just interested in, and know about, even more stuff! I think when we as enthusiasts really take on the whole energy problem as it applies to automobiles, it just makes our whole experience bigger, and probably better. And, we as enthusiasts are THE people to be shaping perceptions on these issues! We need to be at the front, guiding things to a place that is enthusiast-friendly while still being better in the ways that non-enthusiasts care about. We have the most to gain and lose, so the more of us start thinking about this stuff, the better.

So, long story short, i just wanted to say to J.G. and to the rest of the team that runs a sports car mag thats willing to talk about the future of energy: Good job!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/7/13 5:29 p.m.

Thanks. JG did a killer job on that piece, from concept to execution. Plus his photography rocked.

Vigo UltraDork
5/7/13 5:30 p.m.

Bonus points for gratuitous colorful bird pic.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/7/13 5:31 p.m.

Yes, the bird pic rocked, too.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid UberDork
5/7/13 6:26 p.m.

Haha what was the story behind the bird?

Anyways I thought it was a great article and I can't wait to see more.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
5/7/13 6:29 p.m.
SyntheticBlinkerFluid wrote: Haha what was the story behind the bird? Anyways I thought it was a great article and I can't wait to see more.

I needed something "green" to make the caption work. He was handy. Anyway, it was cuter than putting a gallon of the organic hippie laundry detergent my wife buys next to the car.


JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
5/7/13 6:40 p.m.
Vigo wrote: Just wanted to share my thoughts on the article with GRM staff and the GRM community. blah blah blah I'm awesome blah blah

Thanks so much. From my end, that was my entire intent with the story when I first got the Volt, and when the TDI came along, it just made the whole thing that much more interesting. For me the bottom line is that technology is changing, and while we'll still be able to enjoy triple Webers and 4-into-1 headers, there's a whole bunch of new stuff on the horizon that we'll be enjoying in similar ways some day. And I firmly believe that whatever new technology is developed, it will never be "the end of performance." The paranoids said the same thing about OBD, and ABS, and traction control and pretty much every other technological advancement in automotive history. But not long after someone makes it, someone else figures out how to adapt it for recreational use.

But currently it's so hard to address any of this without at least addressing the political aspects. When I interviewed Eric Bolling, I found it interesting that he was quick to heap praise on "traditional" hybrids in comparison to the Volt. Ten years ago, it was his camp that was openly mocking the Prius and its ilk.

So thanks for appreciating something different in the mag. For me it's been a lot of fun to take a more journalistic approach to a project car. It's nice to exercise some different muscles.


forzav12 HalfDork
5/7/13 9:47 p.m.

A good read although a "new beetle" doesn't interest me regardless of its efficiency. My Volt operates within its ideal design parameters(my commute is within is electric only range) and I am completely satisfied with it. It was obtained with a very generous lease, supplemented with GM card points, resulting in a very inexpensive opportunity to go hybrid. The Volt is quiet, rides well, has a nice sound system, free OnStar for the life of the lease, XM radio, an incredible array of tech features and is very easy to live with. It is interesting how easily I have gotten out of the habit of visiting gas stations. In California, an added bonus is the ability to use carpool lanes while driving solo-fantastic! I am quite satisfied to leave some pretty interesting vehicles at home during the weekly commute and drive my Volt. The money I save of gas and toll fees means my Volt is essentially a free car.

dj06482 GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/7/13 9:53 p.m.

I read the article today and really enjoyed it as well. Nice work, JG!

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/2/22 12:31 p.m.

Strange revival of a 9 year old thread (from 2013) but now I want to see the original article.  

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/2/22 1:10 p.m.

Did it get zombied? Either way, let me see if we can get it online if not already online.


Duke MegaDork
6/2/22 1:33 p.m.

I'm just curious about whatever happened to Vigo.


In reply to Duke :

He's still around.   I talk to him from time to time on IG.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/2/22 4:01 p.m.

I actually re-read this article again myself recently—I guess it'll be posted here soon, too, so everyone can see what we're talking about—but, anyway, it's kind of shocking it's almost ten years old now. It's also really sad that I bought a plug-in-hybrid ten years ago, knowing that the charging infrastructure was mediocre at best, and here today it's maybe even worse than it was back then. here's actually way more good electric options available now, but sadly they're buried in their own ecosystem (Tesla) or held hostage by the hot garbage infrastructure that is the public charging network. Honestly it's a big part of why I don;t currently own any plug-in cars.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
6/2/22 4:54 p.m.

And here it is for the rest of the class to read:

Efficiency Experts | Chevrolet Volt vs. VW Beetle TDI

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