By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Promising us "the bare-knuckled, unvarnished, high-octane truth," Autoextremist.com peels away the spin and the sheen of the auto industryespecially its American branch. Smartasses of all stripes will relish the rants, cynicism, and butt-chewing product reviews, and corporate critics can enjoy the fireworks of the Autoextremists as they skewer the industry.
Peter DeLorenzo spews the most venom at the horseless-carriage manufacturers, whether railing at the sky-high salaries of top execs or at Porsche's plan to introduce a down-market SUV: "Porsche's legendary blind arrogance will see them through this crisis, won't it?" Methanol Boy offers unsparing commentary on the racing scene, and Wordgirl thinks out loud on topics ranging from new tollbooth technology to the horrible taste of the car-buying public. "[I]f the Publisher's Clearinghouse Prize Patrol were to show up at your front door," she writes, "would you run out and buy a Volvo? (If you would, I'd like to hear from youafter you've had your medication.)"
Autoextremist readers are no kinder to the industry. One typical letter lambastes Ford's much hyped plan to make its gas-guzzling SUVs more "green": "What a classic spin-doctor's opportunity. . . . Start with one of your greatest deficiencies, which your rivals have failed to exploit, commit to an ambitious goal of becoming average, and focus all of the media attention on the impressive percentage improvement you have yet to achieve."
It's not all Detroit-bashing, though. The Autoextremists radiate praise when a car company does something right. And the Spy Photos section is an enthusiast's wet dream, with its advance photos, illustrations, and insider scoops.
The official Net-O-Matic vehicle is a thousand miles overdue for an oil change, and we don't even know how to change the freaking oil, but we love this site.