There’s a new Maserati! ‘Nettuno’ V6 or all-electric power! It looks great—mostly!
But first, we check in with a guy who’s speaking to a lawyer about an enforcement letter* sent by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)… 😬
“Remember the Flint water issue? People were drinking lead. Hair loss, rashes—40% of people lost their hair and the EPA wrote them a letter saying: ‘Hey, people of Michigan, we are sorry we failed you. But did you see the diesel truck spitting out that black smoke? That’s what we went after instead’.”
– Rich Rebuilds
Can’t and won’t argue with that. Nor would I argue that having emissions controls on our fossil fueled vehicles is crucial for our health and the environment.
Here, Rich Benoit (aka Rich Rebuilds) expertly plunges a dagger of sarcasm straight into the heart of an important issue, as he often does.
Many of us have been seeing it for months, and have been talking about it on Twitter: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is disproportionately policing everyday citizens (diesel truck owners) and small businesses (diesel truck mechanics) instead of going after the country’s largest polluters.
I think it’s because this approach is easy, cheap, fast, and outwardly it will look like they’re getting results. Don’t let douchebags rolling coal off the hook—but first, put all your efforts into fining the largest polluters, banning political contributions from the fossil fuel industry, and kicking their lobbyists out of jobs, ok?
Then you’ll have time to scan Facebook Marketplace for shitty old Dodge Rams to ceremonially crush.
Back to the video: it ends up a fascinating conversation between Rich Rebuilds and an expert lawyer about the future of cars.
*And the specific letter? It was a hoax… But the issues remain. ;)
I’ll start with the good: there’s a new Maserati GranTurismo. Now, great: the all-electric GranTurismo Folgore is the range’s halo car with a claimed 760 horsepower.
The fabulous: Maserati’s exterior design team nailed the brief. “From an aesthetic point of view, the GranTurismo design represents an ideal balance between beauty and functionality, without ostentation,” Maserati says in its release, and I can’t argue. Folgore in particular is resplendent in that ancient, coppery bronze suit.
Pitched as an alternative to cross-continental train journeys and flights—like GT cars always were—I think Maserati’s approach is a smart one. This or a flight? Toss me the keys and I’ll even pay for gas.
Now for a huge-a** red flag, about the new digital architecture the car’s systems use, and will down the road affect everything from over the air updates to if your local mechanic can even read the messages without their own subscription to Maserati’s servers for repairs and diagnostics.
“This approach is paired with new Atlantis High electrical/electronic architecture, based on canFD messages sent at speeds of up to 2 ms. The system also comes with advanced level 5 cyber-security and flash-over-the-air features. The fulcrum is the Vehicle Domain Control Module (VDCM) master controller, a 100% Maserati project consisting of the software that provides 360° control of all the most important car systems, for the best driving experience in all conditions.”
Growing up in my small hometown, I remember my parents sometimes driving past an old Maserati Biturbo parked beside a modest residential garage, getting more and more beat up as the years passed. Given parts, expertise, and not too much rot, that car could be resurrected at any time. I don’t know what happened to it—maybe it’s on the road right now.
Until companies release open source vehicle code or modders make it possible to bypass control software, I worry that future “barn find” cars from brands like Maserati will be more useful as scrap metal than a car worth saving. That would be a real shame.
Why is this an issue? Now, hundreds of factors, from connectivity issues to faulty chips, corporate acquisitions to halted development can artificially shorten a vehicle’s useful life. Of all car companies, this one should be more in-tune to this than others: since 1914, Maserati has had more owners than a Premier League football team.
You can call it a rich history, I call it a rollercoaster—just the sort of environment ripe for long-term software development.
With nothing more than a few words for each prompt and a lot of time, I generated hundreds of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-generated Volvo race cars, and narrowed them down to 130 examples. Reaction so far has been decent, but if you have any favourites please share them on social media!
If there’s a future Part II, I’d like to further refine what has been presented to only a few well-resolved designs. For now, I am not chasing photo realism: I’m presenting AI-generated sketches in a style closer to what you’d find on video game box art, in books, or published by motorsport-focused artists.