RE: PH 2017: Disappointment of the year

RE: PH 2017: Disappointment of the year

Saturday 30th December 2017

PH 2017: Disappointment of the year

It's very nearly all over - so let's a bloody good moan about all the things 2017 failed to be...



Looking back at the year, it has been a pretty grim one and even though we would love to give our opinions on everything we held back. But not entirely. Here is the list of our biggest car-related disappointments over the past 12 months.



'Wrong' automatic gearboxes
Don't misunderstand - I like automatic gearboxes, and in some cars a manual option just wouldn't suit. Certainly there's no point when driving a 720S where you think 'this would definitely be improved by three pedals and a stick.' What I do have an issue with, however, is when automatic or dual-clutch gearboxes have manual modes the wrong way around, i.e. push the lever away to change up, and pull it towards you for down. This makes no sense and is very annoying, so please stop it. The VW Group is especially bad for it, compounding the issue with crappy plastic paddles. If autos are to become the mainstream, then why not let those people who do want to be involved actually enjoy it? Kudos to BMW, Alfa and Renault Sport for having things the correct way around, and using decent paddles too. The rest of you should look long and hard in the mirror about what you're doing wrong. Then reverse it.
(Matt Bird)



Formula One
This has nothing to do with the Liberty Media takeover, the ridiculous grid penalties or the continued dominance of one manufacturer. It doesn't even have to do with the new logo. Despite having grown up loving the sport, watching on adoringly as Michael Schumacher romped to victory after victory, title after title, and having devotedly recreated his heroics on my Nintendo 64, I had never had a chance to attend a race until this year.

I'd seen and heard the cars in action at multiple Festivals of Speed, of course, but those represented a now bygone era, one that I'd missed out on. So, having been to rounds of WRC, Blancpain GT3 and WEC, as well as Le Mans, the N24 and several Revivals, I finally got the opportunity to see the big one. And it was just, meh. The atmosphere was lacklustre, the cars even more so, and the on track action was few and far between. The greatest drivers and engineers in the world, perhaps, but the pinnacle of motorsport? Not for me.
(Dafydd Wood)



Death of the Dodge Viper
With the world moving towards hybridisation and electrification there was no place in it for an 8.4-litre V10 with 'only' 645hp. The Viper was seen as a blunt instrument and far too basic to compete with its European counterparts. More practical and powerful cars in the brand's line-up were the final nail in the coffin for the American brute, and 2017 marked the end of Viper production. I unfortunately never got to drive a new Viper and now I never will.
(Nikolai Attard)



The used car market
By which I mean the apparently vertical ascent of some used car prices. Now, I can accept that a select few - and I'm talking about the fantasy stuff we all covet - are always going to be pricey. Fine. They were very expensive to buy; they always will be. Also, as distasteful as it might seem, I can even understand the doubling or trebling of list prices for some rarefied stuff that's plainly been flipped for profit. That's market forces for you, sadly. But the values being bandied about for fairly modest 15-20 year old cars now border on the offensive. I love the spikily brilliant Peugeot 205 GTI as much as anyone, but it simply isn't worth £25k. We've seen them in the classifieds recently for more than £40k. Ditto early versions of the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Sure, stuff gets more covetable as it becomes rarer, but £13k for a Ford Racing Puma with 128k on the clock just doesn't represent value for money - unless you're betting on prices continuing their remarkable climb. And if that happens, the young, penniless car enthusiasts behind us won't be left with anything old to enjoy when their time comes.
(Nic Cackett)



The Jaguar E-Pace
Jaguar said it was trying to give the new E-Pace similar driving dynamics to its XE saloon, which is one of the best drives in the compact executive class. It didn't manage it. The E-Pace is too tall to retain the same characteristics as a sporting saloon, so it neither rides nor handles well enough to feel like an authentic Jaguar. Try as you might, you can't change physics, which is a perennial problem when you're trying to put more 'S' into SUV.
(Matt Prior)



Reception for the McLaren Senna
I'm wearing full body armour and wrapped between mattresses for this one. Because one of my biggest disconnects of the year was reading the online reaction to the new McLaren Senna, a fair amount of it on PH, and thinking I was on a different planet. I was lucky enough to see the car at its media preview and reckoned that, although no natural beauty, its brutal styling was a perfect summary of its uncompromising mission for aerodynamic efficiency and downforce. Besides, how much did that matter compared to the ultra-light construction, a power-to-weight ratio superior to both the P1 and F1 and the fact it is named after the most famous racing driver of all time?

Yet most online criticism seemed to head straight to the car's design, a playground pile-on that quickly escalated to the point of suggesting anyone buying the thing was guilty of High Crimes Against Taste and seemed to almost entirely miss the point that this is a car that's designed to be driven, and which will have truly astonishing performance figures. Here's my prediction for 2018: the Senna is going to be the fastest road-legal car in the world before the Aston Valkyrie and Mercedes-AMG Project 1 get here. I'm looking forward to it enormously.
(Mike Duff)

[Formula One photos: LAT Photo]

Author
Discussion

The Crack Fox

Original Poster:

12,985 posts

123 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
Can we have a "PH thread of the year about a thread of the year" thread. Of the year. Thread. We don't seem to have enough of them.

moffspeed

793 posts

138 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
A possible addition to the list - the new TVR - personally I like it and suspect that the production model with a few tweaks (the wheels in particular?) will be bang on.

..but judging by the PH collective response ( a la McLaren Senna) - a disappointment vote ?

Nobler88

1 posts

29 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
I am with Dafydd with regards to F1. I went for the first time in ten years and was left cold by the whole event. The cars are boring, no noise no smell no feeling of speed. The grandstand I was in at copse was full of drunks who cheered Hamilton on the first lap and they barely looked at the race again. Shame. Go to BTTC, Superbikes, GT etc. and it feels like you are part of the day. F1 is in dire need of crawling from up itself and thinking on that the money comes from us saps who are being short changed, unlike those few teams at the top who are drowning in it. Moan over ....

parabolica

4,475 posts

115 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
Nobler88 said:
I am with Dafydd with regards to F1. I went for the first time in ten years and was left cold by the whole event. The cars are boring, no noise no smell no feeling of speed. The grandstand I was in at copse was full of drunks who cheered Hamilton on the first lap and they barely looked at the race again. Shame. Go to BTTC, Superbikes, GT etc. and it feels like you are part of the day. F1 is in dire need of crawling from up itself and thinking on that the money comes from us saps who are being short changed, unlike those few teams at the top who are drowning in it. Moan over ....
I went to Montreal; best weekend of my year. 30c minimum, 360,000 fans packed onto the island, festival atmosphere, great food, tons of support races and extra things to do around the island, and the city was buzzing every night Thursday-Sunday. Yea the cars don't sound as good as they used to, but they are faster and the smell of burning rubber wafting off the track and into our grandstand was just as reminiscent as when I was at Silverstone 10-15 years ago.

9k rpm

74 posts

141 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
Have Audi/VW ever stated why their sequential shift is upside down? Also I haven’t driven a Porsche PDK is it the same?

I test drove an RS5 and couldn’t get over how stupid it was especially as the paddles were so crappy in terms of feel.

Another issue I find with autos becoming the norm is they have so many ratios; 8 in a lot of cases causing shifting manually to become pretty pointless and tiresome.... might just be me.
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sparta6

752 posts

31 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
Current F1 cars are dreary compared with the V10's.
Mercedes is designed in Britain and built in Britain. perhaps Ferrari should perform the same trick.
McLaren should build it's own engines and not be victim to the whims of French or Japanese manufacturers.
Jean Todt is a liability to the sport.

Herringbone

233 posts

20 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
What happened to the fine British humour of years gone by?



Edited by Herringbone on Saturday 30th December 13:13

warch

766 posts

85 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
Herringbone said:
What happened to the fine british humor of years gone by?
Why have Aussies started spelling like Septics?



phoenixz

383 posts

97 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
Another year goes by and pistonheads is still the biggest dissappointment for me.

I have gone so far as to remove it from my bookmarks. It has now become the yearly nostalgia trip. The site i check up on once a year to see if there has been any change or improvement.

After last year's rant and being PM'ed by the editor, i had high hopes that at least some of my suggestions would be taken on, most of which were simple and cheap to do. Evidently the PMs were just to stop the public bashing of pistonheads on their own site.

Car Throttle will continue to grow, Drivetribe seems to have invaded all parts of social media (however unwanted at first), even Petrolicious (which used to just be fantastic clips for occasional watching) has become a bigger reference point and thus more relevant.

I wish PH and the team all the best, but at the moment the only future i see for pistonheads is obscurity.

Regretfully,
Phoenixz

HardtopManual

878 posts

97 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
Nobler88 said:
The grandstand I was in at copse was full of drunks who cheered Hamilton on the first lap and they barely looked at the race again. Shame.
Silverstone is one of the worst places to see F1 live. Try one of the continental races before giving up on it entirely.

To be honest, it's the same with any sport that costs a bit of money to see in this country. Go to an Ashes match at Lords and most of the crowd are more interested in getting p*ssed and saying they were there rather than actually following any of the action. Same with the tennis at Wimbledon. Anything with an ounce of prestige is full of people taking selfies for Instragram.

Loyly

16,163 posts

90 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
PH would probably be the biggest disappointment this year.

I logged into the classified section the other day and realised that it was the first time in 2017 that I had done so! I used to use the classifieds every day a couple of years ago. It's still not as good as it was a few years ago before the 'upgrade'.

Other than that, the quality of content from PH has been worse than ever this year. More and more articles just read like thinly veiled adverts.

givablondabone

2,498 posts

86 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
Totally agree with the issue of used car prices. It's mad and sad. As for F1 then 2017 has nothing to do with it. It's been like this for years, but to be fair it does vary between races/locations. You'll never beat the FoS and Le Mans for me.

Then there is the PH site. It seems people just want to disagree and rather than discuss simply prefer to get personal. Shame.

Alex Langheck

801 posts

60 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
Agree about the F1 which seems to still be dining out on it's history. It's mainly disappointing - yet continues to receive massive coverage. I'd love for some of the daily newspapers to just drop it, and cover something else instead. There's plenty of decent series out there. MotoGP, WRC, WEC, etc

ChilliWhizz

8,418 posts

92 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
Front end of new Griffith followed a few weeks later by front end of new Vantage, two British icons... what were they thinking frown

swisstoni

6,612 posts

210 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
Loyly said:
PH would probably be the biggest disappointment this year.

I logged into the classified section the other day and realised that it was the first time in 2017 that I had done so! I used to use the classifieds every day a couple of years ago. It's still not as good as it was a few years ago before the 'upgrade'.

Other than that, the quality of content from PH has been worse than ever this year. More and more articles just read like thinly veiled adverts.
Yep, I'm not a huge reader of PH's journalistic output (mainly lurking on forums instead) but they do seem to carry very little weight at all.

Anubis

876 posts

110 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
Agree with PH content. Times have indeed changed in the past 5-10 years.

They seem to have fallen into the trap of not keeping up with the latest trends. They need to get out there more on social media and put up WAY more content on YouTube and the like.

The competition are putting videos out there on a daily basis - I don’t expect PH to do some naff vlogging thing, but they should do a video at least every fortnight. Even if it’s to keep up with what it’s like living with a certain car.

If I was working at PH I’d be asking why one chap with a selfie stick and a camera is outputting more high quality content than a small team of professionals - you’re becoming obsolete over time guys. Keep up!

Reading thingy veiled adverts and articles that have lots of grammatical mistakes isn’t really cutting it in 2018...

Edit: also please stop comparing everything to Porsche. Use a different, refreshing take on the motoring world. It’s very very boring reading about the same company; especially when the article is about a totally different company and offering.

Edited by Anubis on Saturday 30th December 14:38

HighwayStar

1,822 posts

75 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
9k rpm said:
Have Audi/VW ever stated why their sequential shift is upside down? Also I haven’t driven a Porsche PDK is it the same?

I test drove an RS5 and couldn’t get over how stupid it was especially as the paddles were so crappy in terms of feel.

Another issue I find with autos becoming the norm is they have so many ratios; 8 in a lot of cases causing shifting manually to become pretty pointless and tiresome.... might just be me.
The PDK sequential shift was upside down... it certainly is in my 981 Cayman S and subsequently corrected in the 718.....

V8 FOU

2,500 posts

78 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
Agree. PH continues its inexorable slide downhill..Very poor journalism - so many junkets and yet such piss poor write ups. Or is it all just re-hashed press release verbiage?
No incisive interviews. No interviews of any worth at all, really. No proper motorsport wrtite-ups.
For 2017 it has been now many the ICE is dead - long live the ICE articles can we do this week?

Just boring.........


Kierkegaard

981 posts

29 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
I agree with the used car pricing.

Things are getting - or have been for a while now, very silly. Absolute shyte you wouldn't have bought when it was cheap suddenly have ridiculous price tags and 'investment grade' potential. Naming no names in terms of cars and dealers. Reading classic car adverts now have "will be worth 10x as much in 5 years" and the like, I suppose it's a gentle reassurance to the buyer that their money is safe. But dealers are getting far too greedy.

wab172uk

1,012 posts

158 months

Saturday 30th December 2017
quotequote all
The whole backwards gearbox on VW Group cars is very very annoying.

It's the only reason (apart from the small plastic paddles) why I didn't order an RS3 Saloon.

I'd have more likely ordered one if the box was the `proper` way round, and deffo would have ordered one if it came with an option to have a manual box, to replicate the B7 RS4 Saloon.