75 percent stronger and 103 percent lighter

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If you read the publicity handouts from automakers you soon begin to see that much of what you read has been made up.

What you have to remember is that all of the manufacturers employ writers to cobble together the nice words about the new vehicles. Some of these writers are employees of PR firms, and some are actually in-house writers. And I will state that none of them are design engineers.

Take, for example, the latest blurb from Detroit about the new Chevrolet Camaro. Don’t get me wrong, I like Camaros, but to tell me this new one is: “The body is said to be 28 percent more rigid, while contributing two thirds of the weight savings.” There is also a weight saving in the rear suspension of 12 kg. Really?

Here’s some more PR spin, announcing that the Abarth Fiat will have JBL sound system. “Harman (JBL) and Abarth share the same brand values in their DNA – both have a tradition of uncompromising performance, quality and innovation, and appeal to customers looking for prestigious quality. And we’re confident that this shared sense of purpose will deliver some superior audio products to enhance the listening experience both inside and outside of the vehicle.” Really?

The Latin phrase “Cum grano salis” (with a grain of salt) comes immediately to mind.