Tagged With torchlopnik

This past week, I was on a BMW/Mini-sponsored trip to drive some Mini Clubmans (Clubmen?) down the Panamerican Highway all the way to where it ends, at the Southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina. While there, I managed to get a little time to myself to do the only truly worthwhile thing you can do in an exotic place: find the junkyard.

Recently, Jalopnik reported that Volkswagen was either toying with the idea of a new, rear-wheel-drive electric four door Volkswagen Beetle, or our emotions, or both. Interestingly, the most interesting part of that is the four-door aspect, because there has never been an official four-door Beetle. There have been some sort-of close attempts, which you now have to sit down and learn about because it’s mandatory.

There's a bewildering variety of methods and systems and traditions when it comes to how carmakers name their cars. Luckily, I took some expired medication that lets me know which ways are the best. Even more lucky is that I'm now going to share this wisdom with you, because you know I love you best. Here we go.

I should be clear here that I'm not an official expert in words; I'm no entomologist. You can tell that's true because I just typed the word for someone who studies insects, not "etymologist," someone who studies words. But this hasn't stopped me from formulating a theory that there's a large number of people who learned the word "ajar" from a talking car.

We often refer to cars as boxes on wheels, or we describe car design in terms of numbers of boxes: one for van-like things, two for hatch/wagon-like things, and three boxes for sedan-like things. With this common way of thinking, you may expect that a car that was a literal, no-joke box-on-wheels would be something that wouldn't seem so weird, or alarming. You'd be wrong. If you don't believe me, have a look at that Bubu 502 up there.

Last week I was in Barcelona thanks to Volvo, who wanted me to devalue some of their first production XC60s by driving them. I was happy to oblige, and even happier to scrutinize, in conversation-killing detail, the cars of Barcelona's lovely streets. The big surprise? I saw a lot of cool vans. Come on, join me on this magical tour of whatever happened to be nearby me!