The Rest of the Riffraff
Angus Mackenzie felt pretty good about himself as he flew around Silverstone in the Mclaren Senna until he watched Lewis Hamilton best his times considerably (“The Big Picture,” August). I can relate. Some 30 years ago I attended a track day at Lime Rock sponsored by the Aston Martin Owners Club. With my RHD 1977 Aston Martin V8 Vantage [sick humblebrag—ed.], I attacked with vigor. A guest there was one Stirling Moss. I watched him through the esses and thought, “I’m a truck driver, and he’s a ballet dancer.” In all, a great experience. PAUL GOLDSTEIN CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OHIO I, like many people, disagree with the verdict of the hot hatch comparison (“Sport Compact Car Revival,” August). The Focus RS should have won by a landslide. I’m also concerned about the Type R used. You said it had an as-tested price of $34,990, yet in your Car of the Year piece you said to expect $10,000 or $20,000 in dealer markups. Also, you stated there was no understeer, which seems impossible because the Volkswagen Golf GTI, for example, has about 100 less horsepower and understeers like crazy. I decided to test this with a lap of Laguna Seca on Forza Motorsport 7 with a racing wheel setup. They both understeered like crazy, and the Civic could not stay on the track. JOHN GRANT CAMPBELL CHATSWORTH, GEORGIA Heh. We’re not sure if you’re serious or trolling. We hope the latter. Forza is a fun game, but it’s just that. To see how the Civic Type R did against the really big boys on real roads, check Best Driver’s Car.—ed. It will be interesting to see how Scott Evans fares with the long-term test on the 2018 Alfa Romeo Ti. I rushed to buy a gorgeous new 2017 Ti Sport and can certainly appreciate why Motor Trend hailed the 2018 model as Car of the Year. The driving dynamics made me fall in love like a sixth grader pining for the eighth grade cheerleading captain.
After 27,000-plus miles, though, the honeymoon was over. In the 13 months I owned the Giulia Ti, it required monthly service visits. Constant software updates after all the idiot lights flashed on numerous occasions. I was truly frustrated with the lack of knowledgeable service technicians at my local dealership, and even more frustrating was the lack of a true U.s.-based supply chain for parts. On several occasions my beauty sat on the lot in excess of three weeks waiting for parts to arrive.
Sadly, after losing my beloved steed to the service department for over two months cumulatively in my 13 months of ownership, I made the decision to part with it. Reliability, good service, and available parts all need to be weighed against the passion of the driving experience. After all, what good is owning a phenomenal driving machine if you can’t drive it?
Fortunately I made the jump to MT ’s Truck of the Year—the 2018 Ford F-150. Opposite ends of the spectrum, but practicality and reliability won out—at least for the time being.
Good luck, Scott! I hope your experience is filled with more substantial bliss than I experienced. TONY KENNARD VIA EMAIL Sorry to hear about your Alfa, Tony. There’s no denying that some early Giulias were plagued by issues. It’s early in our time with our tester (page 102 for those who haven’t caught it online), but we’re happy to report so far, so good—rest assured we’ll keep you updated on the ownership experience, warts and all.—ed.
DISHEVELED EDITOR OF THE MONTH: