Home » Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Hornet That Keeps Breaking: COTD

Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Hornet That Keeps Breaking: COTD

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New vehicle product launches can be a load of fun for customers and fans. If you’re a forum user or someone who joins Facebook groups, these places will often be abuzz with excitement. Right now, the Honda Motocompacto Facebook group is full of folks showing off modifications, pictures of scenic rides, and more pictures of different cars the scooter fits into. When most things are going well, forums and groups are wonderful places that add to the experience of owning your vehicle. It’s why I keep coming back to the Smart Car of America forums after nearly 16 years and tens of thousands of posts. You never know when another forum member will give you a great idea, organize a meeting, or teach you something new.

On the other hand, there’s a sadder side to forums. If a vehicle covered by the forum is one with some teething issues or one that’s old enough that people are experiencing failures, the fun can feel like it’s being sucked away by nonstop troubleshooting. Now that Smart is no longer sold in America, people aren’t coming to the forums as often to talk about how their cars bring them joy. Instead, they’re coming in to try to figure out why their transmission isn’t engaging, why the engine’s head warped, or why the headlights flicker on every gear shift.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

So, I feel for the people of the Dodge Hornet owners’ forum. It seems like a lot of those folks are skipping right past that lovely honeymoon stage where everyone talks about how much joy their car brings. A lot of these people instead just want a car that works right.

We hope these Hornet owners are able to get their wasps back in order so they can begin to enjoy their rides. For those of you who enjoy humor as medicine, TheFanciestCat has you covered:

Stellantis news is usually bad news, but this one really stings.

Of course, this started another one of those signature Autopian pun threads. From Data:

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Once the buzz gets out about the quality control, resale values are going to sting.

And Dar Khorse:

And unlike a bee, a Hornet can sting you many times before it dies…

Alt Schule also got one in:

Please tell me their online forum is called ‘The Hornet’s Nest’!

Cybertruck Into The Wild 2desktop
Tesla

Finally, this comment from V10omous on the Tesla Cybertruck left an impression on me:

My personal opinion is that the Cybertruck is hideously ugly, purposely difficult to manufacture and repair, portends an era of trucks incapable of doing work, and brings us closer to an electric future that I don’t relish.

All that said, I have immense respect for the engineering required to bring such a flawed vision to life. I legitimately did not believe it would be possible.

That’s something that I keep coming back to. The Cybertruck has polarizing looks and Elon Musk is, uh, we’ll say he’s also polarizing, to say the least. If you look past the craziness, the Cybertruck is impressive. From the 48-volt architecture to the true steer-by-wire system, Tesla’s engineers put in a metric ton of work to make the polygonal pickup a reality. Like V10omous, I respect that talent, even if it ended up in a strange package.

Have a great evening, everyone!

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Rapgomi
Rapgomi
4 months ago

Good engineering starts with good design. A bunch of clever solutions to problems that shouldn’t exist is not something to admire. This is not a low volume luxury toy but a truck that is supposed to be made in large numbers. While it has some very impressive electronics and concepts, I can’t get past its self inflicted failures.

Beyond the stainless steel body’s already discussed safety issues, do they really think they are going to sell a large numbers of trucks in shiny finger print silver or with an 8K wrap hurriedly put on at production line speed? And the number of places for galvanic corrosion, temperature related adhesive cracking, and part misalignment seems endless. The hyper tough stainless steel body over a crack and fatigue prone cast aluminum subframe makes me think of the Vega and its aluminum block and steel cylinder head.

The steer by wire with no backup sounds innovative until someone needs to tow or work on the truck and can’t steer it without the electrical system. The casting thread inserts look cool, but even with the best R&D multi-material interference parts like that are prone to long term issues. And all these new systems, from the steering, to the air suspension, to the traction control, mean new software.

The goal of good engineering is to make a great innovative product that works for its buyers. I want to admire the Cybertruck, but all I can see is a very large number of high risk poorly considered ideas that will make for almost certain reliability issues.

Last edited 4 months ago by Rapgomi
Chronometric
Chronometric
4 months ago

Wow I made COD. Time to change my username and image again!

Dolsh
Dolsh
4 months ago

If you look past the craziness, the Cybertruck is impressive.

I honestly wasn’t expecting that myself. I still think it’s the wrong vehicle. But after all these years, all the things that went into it that we didn’t see are actually very impressive. Which actually kind of frustrates me even more that it’s not something more useful, more interesting, and less polarizing.

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
4 months ago
Reply to  Dolsh

This is exactly my take too – Tesla is a company with incredibly capable engineers – if they applied those talents to making the right products they could do even more than they already have to make transport electrification better for us all.

Instead they’re investing that energy making cybertrucks, and no matter how impressive a feat that is, i don’t think that vehicle will help to make the world a better place.

RC
RC
4 months ago

Way back when, Toyota offered a new hybrid (the Prius) while Honda hybridized an existing platform (Civic in 2003 or 2004, Accord in 2005).

The original Toyota Prius was an ugly thing, with lines reminiscent of the Echo (a driving appliance if I ever saw one). Toyota intentionally – after some pretty exceptional market research – redesigned the Prius into the format we all know and love today in 2004.

If you want some comparison numbers, go here. (US government web site, because I like my sourcing).

In 2003, Honda and Toyota were roughly equal in hybrid cars sold in the US. In 2005, after the redesign, Toyota Priuses were far outstripping Honda sales. That Toyota market research? It uncovered that people who drove hybrids (or at least claimed to want to drive hybrids) – or otherwise considered themselves environmentally sensitive – wanted that belief to be known. Toyota took that to heart, designed something that was demonstrably visually different from the competition, and sales soared in comparison.

The cybertruck is the same thing, I’d argue. Yeah, it’s pointless as a work truck (outside of a niche of people with a small collection of high-value electric tools, I guess, where the Cybertruck could be useful as both a power platform and storage), but it’s a tech demonstrator intended for those who want to be known as people who are on the cutting edge. Most people who set out to make the world a better place fail in doing so because they assume everyone else wants to make the world a better place (most people, in fact, don’t). Toyota recognized that very few people want to save the world (the pre-2004 Priius), while a lot of people want to look like they’re saving the world (the 2005+ Prius), which is more or less the same acknowledgement Tesla is making here.

Last edited 4 months ago by RC
Ben
Ben
4 months ago
Reply to  RC

The Prius, while ugly, was also a great car though. The Cybertruck is not a good truck.

I guess it will be an interesting test of the hypothesis. Did the Prius sell because it was good, or did it sell because people wanted to be seen in it.

05LGT
05LGT
4 months ago
Reply to  Ben

Two things can both be true. Win win if you will.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
4 months ago

Thanks Mercedes!
I agree with both yours and V10omous’ comments about “Cybertruk”. When dealing with electricity, polarization is inevitable, I’m afraid.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
4 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

At least the puns cancel out the negativity. Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
4 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

A good pun always has the potential to defuse the tension in a room.

James Davidson
James Davidson
4 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

At least these thought and comments are well grounded in reality.

V10omous
V10omous
4 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

Ohm my, that is bad.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
4 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

Resistance to the Cybertruck still has the potential to blow Musk’s fuse.

Marlin May
Marlin May
4 months ago

All too true. However, once you get yours Ohm, it’s sure to spark a lot of conversations.

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
4 months ago

Sounds like the Hornet continues the tradition of Italian vehicles. Fun to drive, but not always drivable.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
4 months ago
Reply to  Speedway Sammy

My neighbor really wants an Italian car, but she says she can’t justify it because she rarely drives. I told her it would be perfect for her since it rarely runs!
*rimshot*

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
4 months ago

Couldn’t agree with you more about V10’s comment. Very insightful. Compliments.

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