Most importantly, that was the case because I was stubborn to focus, as always, on the North American side of the big pond (aka the Atlantic Ocean). Otherwise, I could have ranted about the 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan, which is now more mature than ever – or a lot more boring; it all depends on your POV.
Frankly, it is entirely understandable if regular folks will have trouble discerning the changes between the current Tiguan and the third iteration – even more so if they were unfortunate to see the Chinese Tayron in advance. Basically, the VW design style is stretched to infinity and beyond in this compact crossover SUV that I am sure will sell in spades on the Old Continent to folks who won't even remember its signature features after owning it for a couple of years.
However, in Europe, the attraction toward VW vehicles is still there, even if the passionate automotive kid from inside me screams that they're just killing all the joy of life with these bland models. Anyway, the most interesting thing I found about the new Tiguan is the brewing controversy about what is coming to America. The rumor mill was quick to claim that Volkswagen would just rebadge that Chinese Tayron as the US-bound Tiguan and call it a good business day.
Some publications even quoted VW spokespersons for that piece of information. However, the company issued a statement from Volkswagen of America clearly stating that while the global reveal of the third-gen Tiguan was on September 19, we still have to wait a little bit more for the North American version. In turn, that one will be "based on the LWB version of the car, which will debut next year." And that car is the European Tiguan, written in black and white in their press release.
Secondly, I could have talked about the 2025 Ford Ranger Plug-in Hybrid and its desire to electrify the mid-size pickup truck sector, at least in Europe. Apparently, that, too, is a forbidden fruit in the United States. However, I find it quite hard to believe that Blue Oval's corner-office head honchos would pass the chance to give the N400 Toyota Tacoma i-Force Max a taste of its hybrid medicine if given the opportunity. The 326-hp Tacoma is a regular hybrid – a Ranger PHEV with 28 miles of electric range would be even better in my book.
Or maybe that's just me, so let's move on – given the Tiguan experience, let us learn not to trust 100% the words of spokespersons. They're only human and prone to error, after all. Barring lots of 2024 model year updates, I don't have much to discuss the US car market – the 2024 MINI Countryman EV debuted in North America, and it looks cool. Still, I'm 101% sure that deliveries slated to begin late next year will be hampered by the brand's continuous pledge to drive away customers due to exorbitant MSRPs.
If we talk a little more about Europe, quirky things have happened there – and I don't mean the McLaren GT by MSO, which debuted solely for the UK with colors inspired by the F1 and P1 plus a unique new shade. Instead, I am thinking of the Bentley Tricycle for toddlers, inspired by Mulliner, or the return of MGB with V8 and electric restomods featuring manual gearboxes and 50:50 weight distribution.
Now, back to the United States, the lifesaver wasn't Toyota's 2024 RAV4, which starts from almost $30k now and comes complete with a two-tone Woodlands Edition. Nope, the one model that made me dream about feisty quarter-mile dragstrip craziness in the same vein as the CTS cult following was the Hennessey H1000 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. And I don't even care if they lied about the drag race with the stock C8 Chevy Corvette Z06 (it was a couple of roll races, actually, the video is embedded below – both cars sound absolutely glorious on the Pennzoil Proving Grounds).
Instead, all that's important to remember is that Hennessey trialed and tested (extensively) the gorgeous Blackwing up to 1,000 horsepower and dared to offer a 2-year / 24,000-mile limited warranty. If they vouch for that, I am pretty sure that other aftermarket outlets will kick off the goods well beyond 1,000 horsepower when the owners are willing to agree to a trailered, pampered life at the local quarter-mile dragstrip. Hopefully, we will see a few Blackwings with hypercar levels of power before the EV revolution takes hold, and all we hear is the faint whisper of Plaids, Sapphires, Neveras, and the lot!