So chic, the Celestiq, but six-figure EVs are losing propositions … and other news

Cadillac has been releasing news and photos of the Celestiq show car, which ought to be one of the main attractions a few weeks from now at the North American International Auto Show. An electric vehicle, the Celestiq is positioned to play at the super-premium level that Cadillac has heretofore been unable to attain. Drawing cards are the interior’s “high level of craft” and the lighting inside and out that’s as good as a fireworks show every day and night.

“The interior is open and spacious, and creates an experience unlike anything else with a focus on meticulous detailing overlayed [sic] on a clean cutting-edge design,” Cadillac says.

The dictionary says “overlaid.”

We’re supposed to start seeing EVs in the mass market, but we get Hummers and Cadillacs and six-figure price tags. Good for you if you can buy one and get a nice kickback from the government. The well-to-do deserve their subsidies.

Meantime, the cheaper Volkswagen ID.4 is stacking up on dealer lots, so that even in a market where a month’s inventory on hand is a big deal, this EV from Wolfsburg has accumulated 153 days’ inventory.

Herbert Diess has just been fired as VW’s leader, being replaced by Oliver Blume from Porsche.

Autoline Daily says, ” Blume is considered a consensus-builder, and he’s not as gung-ho on going all-electric as Diess was. In fact, Blume has called for the development of low-carbon, synthetic fuels for internal combustion engines, instead of going all electric.”

Flivver and Furious on Horsepower Heritage

I was on vacation for the first three weeks of July and barely kept up with headlines. We were in the Four Corners area and ranged from Monument Valley to Mesa Verde National Park. My 11 year old Jetta SportWagen (seen with this post in photos by Karin Brøgger) covered 3,000 miles from home and went down some pretty sketchy tracks in Butler Wash and between Bears Ears in Utah.

We saw a whole lot of heavy-duty pickups and maybe 20 Teslas in all that time. A friend who wants to buy an electric car told me last month that it won’t be a Tesla because he finds Elon Musk reprehensible. The Wall Street Journal has reported a new Elon Musk sex scandal, prompting Musk’s retort with asinine chatter about his lack of sexual activity. The guy is on the verge of wearing everybody out.

Anyway, I had been putting off the promotion of my appearance on the Horsepower Heritage podcast with Maurice Merrick. Here is the link:

I’m trying to work up the nerve to listen to the episode. But I do remember saying toward the end of the interview something about low-carbon liquid fuels. I also talked about growing up at local speedways in Nebraska and Iowa and about a couple of my favorite stories for the late and much-lamented Automobile Magazine. A video version of the interview may soon be coming on YouTube, and I’ll share the link.

Iowa Speedway Twin-Bill proves fascinating

Returning from vacation, I was rewarded over the past weekend with further reasons for indolence. In other words, I watched both NTT IndyCar Series races from Iowa Speedway, wishing I could have been there in person.

I attended the press conference when the track opened in 2006 but have never attended a race there.

It’s great TV, though, with plenty of breathtaking moments. Josef Newgarden dominated Saturday’s race and was the class of the field on Sunday, apparently cruising to an easy victory, until something broke in his car. He went backwards into the wall, and although he seemed fine in a trackside interview–saying he was ready to cry from disappointment, which made perfect sense–he went to the hospital for tests. Team Penske has announced that Santino Ferrucci is on standby to drive this weekend at Indianapolis if Newgarden fails a medical check before practice starts on Friday. Here’s wishing Newgarden well. I’ve interviewed him for Hour Detroit and found him to be world-class.

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