40 SHADES OF GOLF

VW has gone all in with their new Spektrum Program with 40 new colors available to the Golf R and only 10 of them are variants of silver or grey.

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Photo Credit: Volkswagen Group

White, Grey, Silver, Black, Charcoal, Beige, then the same Blue and Red. Looking through the color pallet on cars from the last 15 years has been a slog. At one point when I walked onto the lot of a Mazda dealership while helping my mother look for a car, I called an optometrist because I thought I may have gone color blind. Do you remember back in the 1990s when you could buy a pink GMC Sonoma, a Teal Honda Civic, or a purple Ford Escort? Volkswagen even took it to the next level back then with their Harlequin Golf in Europe where it came in four different colors, at the same time.

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It was a golden era for car colors but it seems like everything else in the 2000s, everything got boring. Your Electron Blue Pearls and Pink Coral Micas were replaced with Desert Sand Mica and Seaside Pearl Mica, aka those generic earth tones Toyota had on everything. Yes, you could still get super cars or the occasional special edition sports car in an exciting color but that’s really where it ends.

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Photo Credit: Groupe Renault

With the exception of some Asian countries, this seems to be a very American phenomenon for buyers to stay within the monochrome scale as many European markets have wide ranging color palates available. Renault for instance has a bright blue, yellow and orange option for their Megane Sport and Skoda even allows you to have a light blue Citigo with multiple accent colors for the roof and mirrors!

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Photo Credit: Volkswagen Group

Since the recession we have seen a resurgence in exciting colors, luckily. The second generation Honda Fit had Blue Raspberry Metallic, which was arguably Honda’s best teal color and the Mitsubishi Mirage debuted with Plasma Purple, a loud retro 90’s pink hue. But even then, manufacturers have had one or maybe two exciting colors on their pallet lately but VW has gone all in with their new Spektrum Program with 40 new colors available to the Golf R and only 10 of them are variants of silver or grey.

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Photo Credit: Volkswagen Group

The new color palate has colors from Volkswagen’s past such as Ginster Yellow, originally found on the 1997 Driver’s Edition GTI, but also has new colors that pay homage to Volkswagen’s history of excellent colors. At the cost of an extra $2,500 Volkswagen will build a Golf R in any requested color on this list, they expect to have a two to four month build time until the car is ready for delivery.

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Photo Credit: Lamborghini SpA

Volkswagen also pulls some colors from their other lines like Viper Green, found on the Mk3 Scirocco and Lamborghini Huracan. With a company like Volkswagen with such far reach across the automotive spectrum, I like that they’re taking the effort to give enthusiasts the ability to choose essentially any color they want. Part of me wants to complain about the $2,500 up charge but I’m not terribly bothered by this since brands like Mercedes have been doing this for years.

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Photo Credit: Volkswagen Group

Overall it is a good thing that we’re seeing more of the color spectrum explored by automakers. Volkswagen could have very easily just said “silver, black and grey have the highest take rate so we won’t stray from that.” That is a fact by the way, that’s why you see so many non-car enthusiast people driving cars that are that color.

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Photo Credit: Volkswagen Group

I will say that this new color palate makes the car much more desirable. If I was in the market for a Golf R, I would absolutely spring for the Spektrum colors. Volkswagen will soon be updating their online builder tool for buyers to configure their own car. This is exciting to say the least and I hope more manufacturers stray from this whole monochrome plus red and blue palate scheme they’ve stuck to for so long.

FORMULA E: IS THIS THE MOST EXCITING MOTORSPORT?

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Photo Credit: Formula E, FIA

Formula One isn’t what it once was, it’s entering the realm of boring, or has entered, depending on your point of view. It wasn’t always this way, F1 used to be serious wheeling at insane speeds, massive crashes, a technological arms race and rivalries between drivers. Now days it’s more a matter of how exactly will Louis Hamilton win this race after qualifying for pole position. You can watch the first corner then go about your business for the day now that you’ve seen the whole race. This isn’t much of an exaggeration either, do you know how many passes there were in all of Formula 1 last year? 435. Between 20 races and 20 cars on the grid, that means that only about half of the cars do anything during each race.

If you were hoping to find entertainment elsewhere in F1 you will be sadly dispirited since crashes rarely happen, any actual drama that occurs is in the backroom politics, and the technology is stagnating. F1 truly has become Bernie Ecclestone’s jejune dream come true.

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Photo Credit: Formula E, FIA

What if I told you that there is a race series out there that is as exciting as the 1500 HP turbocharged glory days of Formula 1? A series where the names Prost and Piquet still ring true, and what if I added that you don’t require an 88 MPH DeLorean to see it? Madness, I know, but it really does exist.

Formula E offers everything we would all want from Formula 1 that the powdered wigs of Formula One Group refuse to let us have. I know that everyone has universally been singing the praises of Formula E but, I personally don’t pay much mind to that. You can’t really tell how much is genuine and how much is noise from the hype train. I do have to say that this is real hype though.

I popped on Race 1 of the 2018 Hong Kong E Prix a while back on a whim only to be pleasantly surprised. It is a bit cheeky to call their grand prix the E Prix but don’t let that dissuade you from actually watching it because this is some of the best actual racing I’ve seen in quite some time.

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Photo Credit: Formula E, FIA

Some of this might be a by-product of the track since the Hong Kong harborside street course is very narrow and technical, even F1 would have a hard time making boring. That being said, these cars were being flung around a track by mad men and women. That made for a good race with some really spectacular mid-corner passing and least a half dozen spin outs.

With Formula E you get a relatively short races of only 43 laps, a break, then some more racing, which means you can sit down, watch it then get on with your life. You also get a sense that these races matter, these cars are test beds for manufacturers to experiment with EV technology. Brands like Mahindra, Renault, Citroën’s DS brand and Jaguar all have a stake in this series, in addition to other racing only brands such as Penske and Venturi. As much of a touring car and drag racing fan as I am, you don’t get the technology trickling down to standard cars like you do with these top tier motorsport ventures.

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Photo Credit: Formula E, FIA

With the traditional big names in racing, namely NASCAR and Formula 1, becoming excruciatingly boring these days it’s refreshing to sit down and be legitimately vested in motorsport again. Yes, I know we have WRC Rallycross and Stadium Trucks which are just as exciting but there is something to proper asphalt racing without having off road sections or a bunch of jumps along the track. This is pure driving in anger and it feels good to have it back again. So the next time you have a chance to pop on a Formula E race, I highly recommend doing so because you will not regret it.

MOTORCULT EPISODE 39 IS LIVE

On this episode of MotorCult Berger gets hassled by the police, Volkswagen discovers colors, the World Cup of Cars continues and we talk about the wheels on the Miami Vice Testarossa…

On this episode of the MotorCult podcast we start off with Berger’s story of getting hassled by a police officer, who turns out to be a very nice person. Ryan, Jana and Berger discuss if he was actually that nice though.

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Berger gives us a preview of Monterey Car Week when he went a week early. Despite being unintentional, he says the days before Car Week are a must see. Berger for possibly the first time, mentions a pre-war car not prompted by Ryan when he describes a Locomobile he saw at Laguna Seca. We prime the audience about what Ryan and Jana will be up to while they’re out there.
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In news Ryan covers an incredible barn find story, Brabus makes a 125 HP Smart FourTwo and Bugatti unveils their DiVo.Volkswagen makes cars with colors after the astonishing discovery that people like choices. They expand the color catalog of the Golf R from 3 to 43!

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Our Interesting Engineering topic is metric tire sizes, why they existed in the first place and why they went away.

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We come to the World Cup of Cars semi-finals with France battling it out against Iran and Japan taking on Sweden for a chance to compete in the final match of the World Cup of Cars.

To listen to the latest episode of MotorCult click the link below!

MotorCult Episode 39

MOTORCULT EPISODE 37 IS LIVE

On this episode of the MotorCult podcast we discuss Berger’s adventure to Powercruise and Ryan’s adventure to Drive Cartel’s Cars and Crafts event. We discover that if you’re in the show crowd or the race crowd, Minnesota offers some of the best events in the midwest.

Japanese Monsters 1250
On this episode of the MotorCult podcast we discuss Berger’s adventure to Powercruise and Ryan’s adventure to Drive Cartel’s Cars and Crafts event. We discover that if you’re in the show crowd or the race crowd, Minnesota offers some of the best events in the midwest.

G29 BMW Z4

Ryan tells us about karma hitting a daily dick driver in his Maserati like a wall, or more literally like a Hyundai immediately followed by a wall. News includes the G29 BMW Z4, Tesla taking the company private once stock hits $420 and Roadkill Nights in Michigan. The Diamler F Cell hydrogen fuel cell vehicle comes up in conversation and we immediately think of how awful the hydrogen infrastructure in America currently is.

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As a topic of discussion we ponder good looking but awful to own vehicles and how the ownership experience can spoil the car as a whole.

Bugatti Type 35 B

Finally we get to the World Cup of Cars where Iran’s Zamyad Z24 takes on the best of Russia. The second match up is the best of modern French motoring represented by France’s Renault Aventime versus the best of old French motoring, the Argentinian Pur Sang Bugatti Type 35.

To listen to MotorCult Episode 37 click the link below

Episode 37

MOTORCULT EPISODE 32 IS LIVE

MotorCult Studio

On this episode of the MotorCult podcast we review a Goose Island witbier, which has finally reached a chilled enough temperature to drink and talk the week’s news and our standard shenanigans. Continue reading “MOTORCULT EPISODE 32 IS LIVE”