Tim Keen

A Fer­rari SUV. It’s mad­ness... Be a good dad, Ser­gio Mar­chionne and please say no to the SUV brats

Motor (Australia) - - SIDE SWIPE -

CON­SIS­TENCY is the hob­gob­lin of lit­tle minds, said Emer­son (then, the next day, prob­a­bly said, “No it isn’t”), but it’s the cor­ner­stone of both good par­ent­ing, and good cus­tard. And usu­ally I would care more about cus­tard than par­ent­ing, but hav­ing re­cently moved into new digs, I’ve had a crash course in in­con­sis­tency from the bad, no-good, re­ally ter­ri­ble par­ents next door, and their aw­ful scream­ing kid.

Th­ese par­ents can’t stick with any­thing: “Time for a bath. No, you’re def­i­nitely hav­ing a bath. Okay you don’t have to have a bath.” So the kid learns that noth­ing is re­ally fi­nal, and tantrums get you what­ever you want, and so grows into a spoiled turd, un­less some­one ar­ranges a ter­ri­ble “ac­ci­dent” on a day when I have a con­ve­nient al­ibi.

And that’s the same rea­son why or­di­nary car buy­ers are, by and large, spoilt brats. It’s be­cause most man­u­fac­tur­ers are not con­sis­tent. They tell us one thing for one car, then an­other thing for an­other car, and it be­comes clear they don’t re­ally mean any of it at all – ever.

In the 12,000 years or so that Luca di Mon­teze­molo was the

at Maranello, you knew what Fer­rari was about. Not all of those cars were born equal, but all of them were waisthigh sex ma­chines. Con­sis­tency. Good dad!

Then Ser­gio Mar­chionne took a break from al­pha­betis­ing his sweater col­lec­tion to take over Fer­rari, and now they are de­sign­ing an SUV, to please the brats throw­ing tanties over in the Lam­borgh­ini Urus aisle.

A Fer­rari SUV. It’s mad­ness... “But I want one! I want one! I want one!” “Okay, okay, I give in.” Bad dad! Bad dad!

Re­mem­ber that old BMW ad with the rab­bit with the big front legs, that said ‘This is why we don’t do front wheel drive’? Then they started mak­ing front-wheel drive cars, and as­sur­ing us that they were still ul­ti­mate driv­ing ma­chines.

In this case they may mean ul­ti­mate as fi­nal, as in af­ter driv­ing the 2 Se­ries Ac­tive Tourer you may be­come so dis­il­lu­sioned that you give up and never drive any­where ever again and bar­ri­cade your­self in­side your house un­til you’re crushed by a fall­ing stack of old news­pa­pers and jars of urine.

Con­sis­tency cre­ates re­spect. Tesla just makes elec­tric cars. (Ad­mit­tedly, not very quickly.) It’s not “elec­tric is the fu­ture” on Mon­days and Tues­days, and then tout­ing a V8 on Wed­nes­day. When they say it’s bath time, you know it’s bath time, and that’s fi­nal. No point throw­ing a tantrum.

Of course, car buy­ers aren’t ac­tu­ally chil­dren (ex­cept in Saudi Ara­bia, where they have to spend their mil­lion-a-week al­lowance on And while it’s pos­si­ble to for­give a three-year-old for be­ing a whiny lit­tle dump-smear (full dis­clo­sure: I don’t, I hate that kid), it’s harder to for­give car buy­ers for de­mand­ing com­pletely con­tra­dic­tory things.

“We want off-road­ers that can lap the Nur­bur­gring in three min­utes!” cry the have-it-all kids, wip­ing away tears with their pri­vate school ties. Re­mem­ber, Land Rover pro­duces the RR Sport SVR, while Jeep un­leashes the frankly bonkers Grand Chero­kee Track­hawk, which can tow an apart­ment build­ing and could prob­a­bly jump Snake River Canyon in sec­ond gear. All of which is sort of awe­some, even if it re­ally makes no sense; but then those same pun­ters fall on the floor, kick­ing their heels and snif­fling, “But it uses so much fuel! Wah!”

And Gay­don and Toledo are left dan­gling like the

Bad Dad on Christ­mas morn­ing, whose brats have slammed the bed­room door be­cause their new

PlayS­ta­tion is black in­stead of sil­ver.

Be a good dad, Ser­gio

Mar­chionne. Say no to the SUV brats. Tell them if they don’t quiet down, you’ll turn this car com­pany right around and no­body will get treats. And no, not even lumpy cus­tard.

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