Chevy Corvette E-Ray, Nissan GT-R update, Mazda's rotary revival | Autoblog Podcast #764

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, the last of 2022, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder. The reveal of the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray hybrid is the big news this week, but we also talk about the updates to the 2024 Nissan GT-R, Carvana's woes, Polestar's snow showroom, Mercedes moving away from EQ naming, Mazda's rotary range extender for the MX-30 and this year's NACTOY winners. We also talk about the cars in our long-term fleet — the BMW 330e and Kia EV6 — as well as the new 2023 BMW X1.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Video Transcript

[INVIGORATING MUSIC]

GREG MIGLIORE: Welcome back to the "Autoblog" Podcast. I'm Greg Migliore. We have an awesome show for you today multiple things. We have a jam packed news segment. Plus we're going to talk about what we're driving in our long-term garage.

And John Snyder, Senior Editor for all things green, is getting our first taste of the BMW X1. But before we get into all of that, we buried the lead. At long last, behold, the Corvette E-Ray exists. So with that, I will welcome in John. What's going on, man?

JOHN SNYDER: Not a whole lot. Just open for some real winter weather. You know, we're getting snow tires on all our long term racing stuff. And it'd be nice to get a chance to test them out and maybe do some skiing or build a snow fort or something. But other than that, you know, I'm doing good. Just trying to stay healthy. And you know, it's that time of year. Everything's going around, but so far, everything that's come through my family has been super mild.

GREG MIGLIORE: Same. Knock on wood.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. But, yeah man. It's weird. It's not-- I know you're a skier. It's like literally another 10, 15 degrees. I'm good. Maybe go see if there's a golf course still open. Like it's 38--

JOHN SNYDER: --Yeah, no kidding.

GREG MIGLIORE: I just walked the dog through the woods-- quick kind of lunchtime walk-- and it's like-- it's just it's weird, it's like mid-to-late January. There should be like a foot of snow, you know. And it feels like more like mid-to-late March, but I don't know.

I almost bought a pair of skis from Play it Again Sports this year. It's like, you know what, this is going to be the year I need an expensive winter hobby to go along with my expensive summer hobby. I didn't do it. And I don't think I'm going to. I'm disappointed because I really kind of wanted to get into it a little bit. So--

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah, I mean, it's fun. I got in back into it last year after about a 10-year hiatus. I grew up skiing, loved it, and then moved to the Midwest. But yeah, my son, Wally, who's now seven started skiing with me last year. And it's great, you know. Seeing which cars the skis will fit in, and, you know, it's been pretty fun. It's Mount Brighton. And it's--

GREG MIGLIORE: --Yeah, it's a good one

JOHN SNYDER: --a little sort of a landfill of old road pieces but it's only 30 hours-- 30 minutes-- from my driveway to their parking lot-- so, yeah, and especially if I've got something fun to drive. It's always interesting to see how I can fit all our gear inside of a car.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. I agree. I have our long-term 330e which we'll get to in a minute. But I would love to get that sort of iconic shot. You see that a lot of like 1970s press photos of the Cooper, the sedan, with skis on the top, like strapped down. That's kind of what I'd like, but I don't know. It doesn't seem like it's playing out this way.

And I don't think I have the bimmer for much longer. It's been here quite some time. So, hey, Zach, if you're listening, it's probably time to do a car swap. Well we'll figure that out. Perhaps I'll reach out to you directly versus over the airwaves.

[LAUGH]

GREG MIGLIORE: But what do you think of the Corvette E-Ray, long awaited. This is the most change we've seen for the Corvette in the last four years versus probably the previous 40. It's-- I mean-- initial impressions, what do you think?

JOHN SNYDER: Well

[SIGHS]

I was half expecting it to be a plug-in hybrid. And I was tempted to be cynical about it just being a standard hybrid. But now mulling it over, I don't think it's a bad thing. It gives it all-wheel drive. And the Corvette is supposed to be sort of the everyman supercar sort of thing, you know. And I feel like a plug-in hybrid would have raised that cost quite a bit right off the bat.

And with this E-Ray, you're getting all-wheel drive. You're getting Z06-type horsepower for about a little less than Z06-type prices. So the more I think about it, the more excited I am to drive. I think it's going to be a blast to drive.

I think about the Acura NSX and just how neat that is, something super powerful, really powerful combustion engine paired with, in that case, three electric motors. This is just one. But still, I think it's-- the Corvette is just such a great car to drive. It's-- really punches up above its weight in terms of performance and driving enjoyment and style for the money.

And yeah, I think the E-Ray is a nice step-up for people who maybe live in Michigan and want to drive their Corvette year round. Just slap some winter tires on that. And with all-wheel drive, and you're going to be know maybe flying around in the snow doing awesome donuts.

[LAUGH]

Um yeah, you could do it with rear-wheel drive too, but it's just the all-wheel drive adds plus 10 confidence power--

[GIGGLING]

--you know just a little badge on a car with all-wheel drive here. So I think just opening that up to more driving use cases, making it more of a year round thing is pretty neat.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. I don't know if you saw the clip of "All Things The Today Show," the Corvette actually debuted. It was like 8:30, so a little bit before actually the embargo, before everybody else had it up. Hey, I guess you're NBC. You're "The Today Show." And it showed the Corvette lapping the rink at Rockefeller Center, which--

JOHN SNYDER: Oh, nice.

GREG MIGLIORE: --was kind of cool, and--

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: --as much as I'm intrigued by the like the hybrid performance, really intrigued to finally try to see what an all-wheel drive Corvette feels like. I think they did it the right way.

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah I think that's the bigger er piece of news or interest here is the all-wheel drive than the fact that there an electric motor. I think it's a great way to ummm add all-wheel drive to a car like this. But, yeah, I'm really looking forward to driving it. I can only imagine how fun it's going to be. I'm curious to see what it's going to sound like to. It should be interesting. And gosh, you know, the performance specs are really impressive too.

[LAUGH]

GREG MIGLIORE: It's the LT2 for ya, you know--

JOHN SNYDER: Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: So although you have the electric motor up front. You've got that LT2, which is going to sound pretty good I think.

JOHN SNYDER: Oh, it's gotta. Yeah, it's going to still sound great. And it's a little bit heavier, but I think that's fine, you know.

GREG MIGLIORE: Agreed.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah. It'll still do 0-60 in what? Like, 2 and 1/2 seconds? Who cares if it's a little heavier. If it's got the extra power up front to help pull the nose around, that's great.

GREG MIGLIORE: I mean, to me, I would use an analogy that makes almost no sense, but it's like you've got the espresso, which I'm drinking right now, in my left hand and then the regular coffee, which I have in my right hand. I'm a little bit tired. So you know you've got the traditional performance and then you've got just that little something extra, you know? And I really think the electric running gear is going to add that shot of espresso to the Corvette.

I mean, I am more excited to drive this Corvette than I am any other variant. It's been a long time coming. We still don't know all of the efficiency specs.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Right.

GREG MIGLIORE: Obviously, it's too early to know how it's going to rate on the EPA.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Probably not great.

GREG MIGLIORE: Probably not great, you're right. But the Corvette has never been a terrible as far as-- except for, like, the Z06 and some of the other ones, like a gas just guzzler. It's always been a fairly like car. You've been able to get some respectable fuel economy, at least on the highway with these things.

But to me, that's obviously the unanswered question. So not concerned about it. I think it kind of adds almost, the way they did this, instead of going full electric right away, it almost is like, it's very much like a science experiment kind of vibe.

Where it's like, here, we're going to add the stuff, we're going to add some performance. I kind of like the sort of measured step for the Corvette. I think it's good too to get Corvette buyers used to the idea. I mean, we've both driven the NSX and I think that offers a similar idea of how you can use hybridization to make the performance car even better.

So I think that's a really good template for Corvette. And there's some other ones out there, like McLaren, Ferrari, they've used different forms of hybrid tech to really add more performance than efficiency. But I think that's OK for now.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, I think so too. And for the enthusiast, the Corvette purists, if they weren't pissed off by going mid-engine with it, then they probably shouldn't be too upset about the small step of just going lightly hybrid instead of going full electric. I mean, they'll get there. They'll get to all electric someday, but as of right now, this is just a little taste of how electrification can enhance performance and sort of a little appetizer for what's coming in the future.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I think it's a long time coming. It makes a ton of sense. I think it's a situation where, to me clearly with the benefit of hindsight, going to a mid-engine layout, it's clearly the right move for Corvette.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Oh yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: They didn't have to.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: It's an awesome play.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. I mean, look at what you have now. This is an exotic super car. I mean, that's what this is. So I cannot wait to drive this thing.

I am very excited by it. I'd love to drive just a base Corvette first and then drive it right back to it, you know? Sort of like my appetizer, if you will, appetite, and do it that way, just to kind of like really dial in the different vibes. I'd love to do that.

I can only imagine where they'll do this press trip. I mean, you think like Spring Mountain or VIR. Corvette's done some stuff, I think, at The Place Atlanta. They could be crazy and do something, like go to France and drive like some of the Lamar roads. That would be an epic one too.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: I'm looking forward to Mark Reuss driving it as a pace car and turning traffic control off and putting it into a wall.

GREG MIGLIORE: Oh jeez. Yeah, that's tough, man. It was funny. Here's a total tangent.

I was at the Detroit Grand Prix a few years ago. I don't think it was the same year, but one of the support trucks was coming around, it was just like drenched. And we were sitting like front row and I think it could have been the Chevy, it might have been the Honda Chalet, either one. We were sitting front row with a bunch of other journalists and Indy drivers are going straight into the wall.

I mean, it was literally like, we didn't say till the end of the race because we were like, are they going to finish this thing? We got to get home. It's late. We're tired.

And then the support truck went through. It was one of those big, blocky things. Dude literally like fishtail they're of the quarter and they just planted it straight, nailed the apex and kept going.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: That's awesome.

GREG MIGLIORE: And I remember like everybody like applauded the guy. It was like, whoa, who is this guy? He probably knows the course better than most of the drivers. But it was one of the cooler things I've ever seen. Just some guy behind me let out like a, "woo-hoo".

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, put him on a team, man.

GREG MIGLIORE: It was hilarious. He fishtailed, perfectly righted it and accelerated through the curve. It was like, what was that? You know?

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: That's awesome.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. So I think that's the main things. Anything else here you think about the E-Ray?

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: I don't know. It's going to be a joy to drive, with magnetic ride control, ceramic brake, carbon ceramic brakes. I imagine it's going to be a nice, well-balanced drive that is just a little more pinned down and maybe a little more efficient, But. Probably not that much at all. But, I mean, I just think it's cool.

GREG MIGLIORE: The all wheel drive is going to be interesting in winter, but I do tend to think it's just such a low like land borne jet of a car. It's still going to be essentially a three seasons car. I mean, not right now. It's 38 degrees of the roads are fine, but you know I tend to think, I don't know.

All wheel drive is going to be interesting. It's clearly a performance play, not a snow play, but yeah, I'm intrigued by that. I'm way more interested in driving this than I am the Z06. I haven't driven the Z06, but sign me up for this one first. If you're asking me, give me this one first.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, I don't know which I would choose. Probably this. Probably the hybrid, yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: All right, so that's the Corvette E-Ray. Check out the full story. News editor Joel Stocksdale reported that out for us.

Tons of pictures out there. Really, some of the liveries they offer for this one too with like the gray with the blue stripes, very classic endurance racing looks. It's a really good look.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: It looks like something out of the '90s almost.

GREG MIGLIORE: A little bit, yeah. I mean, Corvettes were pretty great in the '90s too. That was a good period for them.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: All right, so let's go back in time a little bit. The GT-R has an upgrade. I was out for most of the end of last week and then just got back yesterday and when I was like, wait, the GT-R got a refresh? I'm like, what year is this?

What are we talking about? This is the first upgrade, major upgrade in seven years. And the T Spec is back, which I had forgotten about. So I think this is a way to keep this thing moving until they're done with this generation-ish of the GT-R. And they actually skipped a model year here.

So it's kind of interesting that Nissan's doing this, but I mean, it's still out there. There's still people that are going to want it. I think, obviously, this is a good move, to git a little bit of a refresh.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, I mean, I think, let's start with the looks. It looks nice. It looks a little more refined and mature, especially up front. That nose, that front fascia looks a little more polished and finished.

But I just think it's neat that this, it's not a big sales model by any stretch. The last few years-- I mean, well, last year didn't really count. They sold a few that were still on lots, but we're talking triple digits since 2016. But they're not killing it off, which I think is good too.

And every time they touch it and bring it back, they add a little something of value to it. Here we get some new looks and we get, yeah, the T Spectrum comes back. Then we get some new arrow stuff, which could actually make it a little faster round a track with the same powertrain as before.

So I think just it's one of those cars that if you're a fan of it, you're going to know everything about it, like the little changes from model year to model year that make each one just a little bit unique. And this one, it's a little bit bigger of a change, a little bit of a face lift. But yeah, I just think it's neat that they're keeping it alive and even though it's such a rare and small selling vehicle, they keep improving it, keep enhancing it.

GREG MIGLIORE: I didn't notice the changes at first. To me, it looked like a GT-R, but they did do a good job of cleaning it up, I think. Some of the really almost like autobot kind of vibes, I think they've smoothed those out a little bit. Still the same 3.8 liter motor, soldiers on.

This to me right now, now that they've redone the Nissan Z, it's somewhat, very significantly, the GT-R to me seems almost like they're like museum piece that they just keep kicking on down the road and you know if this is your car, it's there for you. They've always been a riot to drive. I really enjoy them. Godzilla.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, it's been a long time since I've driven one, but wow. Yeah, I mean, Godzilla is a good nickname for it. This thing is a beast. It's fun. It's pretty raw.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: And yeah, it's larger than life. It's one of those cars that's like it feels more substantial and more important than it is when you first look at it or look at the specs on paper.

GREG MIGLIORE: I think it may have been, and I had driven it previously, I think it may have been the first press car I drove at "Autoblog."

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Oh, wow.

GREG MIGLIORE: I don't know, it just was like, our old managing editor, Steve Ewing, was like, hey, you want to be in cars? Funny back story, I think I literally was hired for like a minute to be the social media manager. I don't even know how that worked. Our all EIC, Sharon Carty, just was like, hey, it'd be great to have you in here. Fill this out. And that never actually happened. I was like immediately doing writing and editing. And Steve was like, well, we don't really know what your job was, I think at the time, but hey, just press cars, and thankfully, I've been in them since. But I mean, he had known that I had worked for "Auto Week" and "Automobile" where I was in press cars. But it literally was something like, hey, we have a GT-R. You want it? Cool.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Heck yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: I remember parking it on the street when we lived in Berkeley and it was like, we had these big, big old streets with curbs and I was like inching it close to the curb, but not like curb it. And there were these leaves that you're like, well, can I park on those leaves? I don't want to start a fire with this huge engine and exhaust. So that's my reminder of the GT-R. I think I cruised Woodward in it too at one point, for like a Dream Cruise Nissan thing.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah. Good thing to do with it, for sure.

GREG MIGLIORE: Mm-hmm. All right so let's shift over to the business side of things. Carvana, it's not looking good. It's not great, Bob.

I mean, there's just a lot of things to peel back here. We've been following it a little bit. They're basically on the verge of circling the drain, being taken over.

Many things are not looking good here. The vitals are all over the place. Stock actually went up when it sounded like they were trying to take the poison pill defense, if you will.

But not to get too much into the weeds here, Carvana is in a rough spot, I think let's put it that way. This time next year, do you you still think they're a thing? Do you think they're bought out by somebody? I think they're bought out, that's my guess.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, I don't know. With the poison pill thing, I mean, they'd have to strike the right deal. Because they don't want to get taken over. They don't want someone else to be a big shareholder because then they can't claim their losses as much. And if they can get through the next year, claim those losses and restructure, then after that maybe someone steps in and helps them out.

But you know, I'm no economist, but the poison pill thing is interesting. I remember Twitter was considering that with Musk. But yeah, basically, if any of their shareholders goes over a certain percent, they lose a lot of that being able to claim a lot of that loss. So what they're doing is if someone does try and take a larger share of them, they'll probably sell or give away shares to current shareholders to sort of dilute that stock, which is an interesting thing.

But yeah, I think if they can hold through that and then either see what happens after next year, maybe they'll make it. I mean, it was a neat service. I mean, the vending machines were kind of hokey. It was interesting marketing.

But I've known people who have sold cars through Carvana and they were able to get good prices and it made it sort of convenient for those who didn't want to go through selling a car privately. It makes it sort of easy on them, the pickup and delivery and all that. So I think there's still a place for Carvana in the world, but I don't know. What do I know? Like I said, I'm not an economist, but I can see them sticking around.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, well said, first of all. You really explained it very clearly there. I think it's a weird situation to be in. I feel like, I mean, I've thought of using them. I have a car I'm looking to unload.

I need to do some stuff to it first or have the dealer do some stuff to it, but it can be a relatively convenient way to move a car and we know a couple of people on staff have done it. So I think the business model is actually pretty good. It's not one of those things where you're like, this is like a meme stock or something. This is like a company who I think their time is still very much around, but it's just the car business has been so on even the last few years. It's been tough for them, I think, to do things with certainty.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Right. And hopefully used car prices will stabilize a little bit. It sounds like they're starting to drop on average just a tad. But you know if that could stabilize and they can get through until it's stabilized, then yeah, like you said, it's a good business model.

It's a valuable tool for people, for customers. I just hope the Carvana name doesn't get sort of tarnished too much by this whole debacle, that they go away and then someone else would start up with the same idea. And they'll be like, oh, it's just another Carvana. Look what happened to them. That's a good idea. I mean, stick with it.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, no, I agree. I think, I wonder if, like the poison pill is a really-- not to get too stocky here, but I wonder if, to me, it's a company and maybe even part of the industry that is ripe for some consolidation. But to your point, I don't know how that would be possible at this moment. So who knows?

We'll see. I mean, really, when you look at some of the challenges the car business faces, it's like, electric vehicle infrastructure and it's, of course, selling the cars. I think the dealer model is something that's going to be in for a shift in the coming years.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Oh yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: Polestar has a take on that. They're trying to sell their cars out of snow palaces in Finland. Test drives with hot chocolate, that sounds pretty good to me.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: That's really cool. Yeah, they have that snow space that they built in Finland, which is really cool, offering test drives and hot chocolate, which is just awesome out in the Arctic Circle. I'd like to see inside of it. I've only seen exterior photos of this showroom, but it's really cool.

It looks like it's a little cube, like their headquarters. If I were anywhere near there, I'd certainly go visit it, just to check it out. But places where they generally do make like ice castles and they have ace hotels and stuff, it might not be as novel for them, but I think it's cool either way, from where I'm sitting here in the warm, semi rainy US.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. And if you're wondering what we're talking about, Polestar announced this kind of like showroom, if you will, where you can go in Finland and it's like a snow castle. And I believe you can drive a car on like a snow sort of space track like thing. And check out the story again if you want more details.

It looks cool. It's going to be dismantled towards the end of winter. It's not a permanent thing. And Polestar, which speaking of sales model, they sell a lot of their stuff, I believe most of it, online.

So what you would do is you would go there, sample the car, have a hot chocolate, then probably pull up your phone or go home and try to make the deal. And I'm sure they could help you with that too. But this to me is sort of like an edge case, but also a way that I think car companies are going to try to make the dealership experience a little more warm and friendly and cozy and benevolent and factory-controlled. There's a lot of things here that I think play into it.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Some of the specs on the building itself are kind of neat. It's from a ski resort nearby, but 106,000 cubic feet of snow from that ski resort. 6.5 foot thick walls. It took about 20 days to build, which actually isn't bad when you consider how long it takes to build an actual building. And then, yeah, they're going to dismantle it February 26 and return the snow to the ski resort, which is kind of neat.

GREG MIGLIORE: Sounds good. Sounds good. I see a theme developing in this podcast, skiing.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: All right. Here's another news hit that I thought was kind of interesting, but I kind of saw it coming. Mercedes might stop using the EQ name just because a big chunk of their lineup is going to be electric. So there's not really a reason to keep using EQ as you might see on like the EQS, the EQS SUV.

This is a report from "Reuters." It's interesting, we don't totally know what they'll do exactly next because they're developing some brand awareness with this. So yeah, it's a little tricky, I think, because look at this, by the end of 2024, what do these cars then become? I don't think Mercedes is going to be all electric at that point. I'm pretty sure they're not.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, no.

GREG MIGLIORE: So it's like, to me this is sort of an obvious choice, but it's also like, how do you implement it? So I don't know.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, I'm curious. I mean, are they just going to go back to the EQS SUV will be the GLS?

GREG MIGLIORE: Exactly. Yeah.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: That remains to be seen. But it's an opportunity for them to make some naming choices that are a little more intuitive for consumers. Because adding EQ to everything just made it even more kind of complicated between the SUVs and sedans. And when I first read, I saw a headline that Mercedes would end the EQ brand, I was like, what? Like, no, they're just dropping the name and incorporating it into their regular thing. It makes total sense if everything's going to be electric. Yeah, simplify that naming structure, but please make it something a little more intuitive for consumers.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. I mean, I think when you have a small lineup like of EQS, EQE, SUV, like regular EQV, people can sort of figure it out. It's sort of like an annex to your conventionally ice-powered vehicles. But when you're more and more electric, it's just confusing. It's like, well, this is electric.

Well, isn't this electric? What are you doing here? Who's on first? So I kind of like it, though, just from a pure aesthetic standpoint.

Like, EQ, EQS, that's not a bad. We've seen worse. Look at Infinity a few years ago or Acura a few years ago.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Wouldn't it be something if Mercedes actually started giving their cars actual names instead of the alphanumeric thing? I doubt they would, but boy, that'd be something. That'd be big news.

GREG MIGLIORE: I would say you've got as much a chance of that happening these days as that ski resort in Finland totally melting down in January or something.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, I think you're right.

GREG MIGLIORE: So you're not a big fan of this rotary extender thing for hybrids. You wrote a column on that. I think News Editor Joel Stocksdale has a bit of a different take on that, so check that out.

He's a little more bullish on them. Not to put words in his mouth, but he had a very nice history piece. And your take with this is like, well, you can do it, you should bring back rotary, or you could bring back rotary, but this is not the way to do it.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, I mean, I don't know. For one thing the car that's going in, the MX 30, already has very little range, 100 miles of range. And then to add a range extender, they are decreasing the battery size significantly and adding more range overall.

But it sort of defeats the purpose of this being built as an EV first. I mean, there's a reason, I mean, the Volt is gone, the I3 with a range extender is gone. I mean, if people are going to buy something like this, they're going to buy something that is sort of based off an internal combustion vehicle and that's made into a plug-in hybrid.

If you're going to revive the rotary, have it actually do something cool. It's an oddity. It's sort of a piece of history. And having it just running at some sort of constant RPM silently in the background.

Mazda says that they've corrected some of the efficiency and reliability problems with the rotary, but we'll see if that's true. If you're going to put it up with that, have it drive the wheels. You make a plug-in hybrid where the rotary engine supplies power to the wheels and you get to hear it rev and make all those weird noises that we used to love or some people used to hate. But I don't know.

It's just, I would have liked to seen a rotary engine go into something new, like a new vehicle, not just plop it in an already super flawed vehicle and try and sort of fix its flaws with this. But I don't know, that was just sort of my take on it. I hope to be proven wrong in that maybe this rotary range extender will be super efficient and it'll work really well and won't have any problems. If it's running at stable RPMs it'll be quiet, which is great.

It's lightweight, which is also great, but I don't know. There's different ways to bring back the rotary. And Mazda, I just saw a report today, Mazda, it's still a dream to bring back a rotary in a sports car. They say now is not the time, obviously.

I mean that time is going to probably run out before they get a chance to realize that dream, but I don't know. We'll see. It's easy to be cynical about it for me, but yet Joel has some points about the light weight and the quietness and VH. But gosh, just what a weird car. The MX 30 with a range extender, just, I don't know.

It feels like the whole diesel debacle all over again. I'm surprised that they went through with the cost to develop this and put it in this car. Maybe they've got some other plans for the rotary in cars better suited for it in the future, in which case I'll happily eat my words. But for now, I just think it's weird. It was a weird choice to reintroduce it this way.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. I basically agree with you. I'm intrigued if there will be broader uses of the rotary tech, and that might make a little bit more sense. And this is almost like a test case.

Like hey, we're going to put it in this car crossover thing that we know isn't going to really be like a huge sales volume. So we can test it out. We've made this kind of like Frankencar experiment thing, but we'll sort of verify the tech and we'll make this kind of-- Some people will love the MX 30 with this, I would venture a guess. And they do improve it, because it's a better product.

That being said, the MX 30 is a weird duck. Let's put it that way. I think it's at least more of the times than like a diesel Mazda that they rolled out a few years ago. So there's that. But it's a weird car.

And I want to keep an open mind, because as automotive journalists, sometimes we get very dogmatic in how things fit and what their missions are. I haven't driven it. I'd be intrigued to drive it, but I do tend to agree broadly with your thoughts. Like, what's the point here?

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: I found the MX 30 on its own to be pretty frustrating to use. I mean, it's got those rear half doors that open backwards and they're not really much use. It doesn't make it any easier to get a car seat back there, than just to have a slightly longer door. That would actually make it easier.

And just a lot of weird things like that. But I will say this, it is kind of neat in that it's interesting and odd. Whatever the future version of RADwood is in 20, 30 years, the MX 30 would be a cool car for that.

I mean, it's a weird car. It's rare because partly because no one wants it, And those are the cars that a lot of times find love later in life. And then add a rotary engine to that, doesn't matter if it doesn't drive the wheels, it's just another fun fact about the car that people will maybe look at fondly with a little chuckle in the future.

GREG MIGLIORE: I'm curious too, as to what, if anything, this means for rotary for Mazda going forward. Because for them, rotary is a signature technology, you know? So there's little risk here.

You're bringing back something that has a lot of meaning, especially to your brand loyalists, so you don't want to misuse it. So I think there is a level of risk here with that too for Mazda. Perhaps we'll know more. I mean, when I think of rotary, I think of the last RX-8 press car I drove.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Oh yeah. That was fantastic.

GREG MIGLIORE: It was amazing. I loved everything about that car. Obviously, it was horrible for gas and even in 2008 I think it was past its time, 2009, somewhere in there. But I also happen to really, really love the RX-8.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Oh, it was incredible to drive. Just really well balanced. And you could have put a different engine in it and it still would have been great. But the rotary made it all that more interesting, the high revs and the sort of slightly different sound signature to it.

And again, it's just kind of neat. It's different. Yeah, that was such a fun car to drive. I don't know if I'd want to own one, but man, I loved when I got the chance to drive it.

GREG MIGLIORE: That'd be a summer car. Like I would put it in the garage, enjoy it, drive it around town and that's what it is. That's like your toy car. Do you have that? Do you have a classic?

Do you have an off-road kind of thing? Pick your third or fourth car, and that to me, is where that would sit right now. Unless you have a really short, really clear sort of commute. Maybe you work remotely and you don't drive, necessarily.

Like you drive like four or five times a week instead of necessarily every day, this could be your car in that circumstance. It's almost like a motorcycle at that point. You don't get all the practical benefits of a car, let's put it that way.

Cool. So close off the news section here with the North American Car, Truck, & Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards. Sort of like the Oscars of the car business as far as the awards. Full disclosure, I am a juror and--

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Treasurer now.

GREG MIGLIORE: Treasurer, that's right. That's right. You may be getting an invoice from me, let's put it that way, if you're listening to this. I get the invoice even more people than I do already as Editor.

But So yeah, the winners, in case you missed it, we're a little bit behind this because I went to Florida right after the announcement, so there was that. But the winners were the Ford F-150 Lightning, that's in the truck category. It beat out the Lordstown Endurance and the Chevy Silverado ZR2.

The car category, the Acura Integra won. And then in the utility side of things, it was the Kia EV6. So you know what was a great field this year? A lot of electrics made up the finalists here.

The way we do it is you review the vehicles throughout the year, either on press trips or what comes through the press fleets, and then there's a big fall drive in October where there's like basically two or three days of testing and then the final vote is in January. So I've been on the jury for a couple of years. It's a lot of fun. I guess I think, I thought it would be more interesting rather than debating the winners is I just kind of throw my ballot out here and you can tell me if you think I'm crazy.

I'll collate them against the winners, if you will. I've talked to some colleagues. I'm allowed to reveal my ballot, if you will, others have to. But I don't, obviously, talk about what other people did and I don't know what other people did.

So let's see, in the truck category I went with the Lightning. I mean, it was a slam dunk. I think the Silverado ZR2 is an awesome truck, very cool, but I mean, you've got the most advanced pickup truck ever, you know?

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Oh yes. it's amazing. It's a great truck. It's just so good. How could you not pick that one?

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. I mean, it was really, really awesome. Most of the people on staff have driven the Lightning. I think it was definitely one of my favorite vehicles that I drove last year.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, me too.

GREG MIGLIORE: Looking forward to getting into more time in the spring. I got to get some new mulch this year.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, there you go. You got plenty of places to put it. You can put it up front.

GREG MIGLIORE: That's right.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: You can throw it in the back.

GREG MIGLIORE: This year, for my mulch run, I think I want to do it myself, get into a Lightning or a Ram or Silverado. Because the delivery guys have been bringing me too much and I literally have like a beachhead of mulch now. Maybe you've noticed it when we swapped cars.

It's like, there's a little too much mulch. So I need to maybe sort of throw some of that somewhere else, maybe into the woods or something, and then we're gonna try to go with clean wood chips this year. That's what we're going to do.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: There you go.

GREG MIGLIORE: So that was the truck category. In the car category, I voted for the Acura Integra. It also won. It beat up the Genesis G80, which is electrified, by the way, and the Nissan Z.

This one I think was a very-- It was a tough call for me. What I do with my votings, I like to kind of depending on the year, and I do this for other, like whether I'm voting for an "Autoblog" Award or just other publications I work for, I like to weigh my points towards what I want to be the winner. And then I sort of scale it out, so like second and third place get a few points.

So I can still have like a little bit of a say if what I think is going to win doesn't win. Like, if you give all your points to something and it doesn't win you're like, well, OK. What did that get me? So I like to try to, my thought is try to balance it.

Not everybody does it that way. Again, different people did it that way for our editor's picks, things like that. But again, I weighted very heavily towards the Lightning and I did weigh pretty heavily towards the Integra. I just really liked the car resonated with me pretty deeply at the drive and then in some other press loans I had.

I thought it was tricky this year because the Genesis G80, the electrified one, was only available in eight states for a good chunk of the year. So that kind of was a bit of a hold up. And the Nissan Z I really, really like that one too. But I just thought of these, based about how they measured up against their competitors, I just, for me, the Integra was a really solid choice. The car really resonated.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: So basically, the Civic won two years in a row.

GREG MIGLIORE: Sort of, yeah. It's been a good couple of years for American Honda.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: The Integra was one of these three winners that maybe surprised me a little bit. I might have had different finalists than these three, but I mean, I don't know. I haven't driven the Integra and I haven't driven the new Z yet, so I'll just leave it there.

GREG MIGLIORE: The Z was, I thought, incredible, a really, really good effort for Nissan. I kind of loved that it made it through to the finalists. To be quite honest, I was a little surprised to see that it did, just given how focused we are just as a society and an industry on like electric cars and just every other more mainstream offerings. But it was really an incredible offering.

And I think this is an example too where it's like, literally being a finalist was really a good thing. I mean, it's to me, like a true meat and potato sports car found a way to rise near the top. Almost like, I don't know, making the playoffs or making the college football playoff or something, like final four. It's still a really big deal, I think.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: I'm kind of surprised that the GR Corolla didn't make it to the finals. But I don't know, that's another one I haven't driven, to be fair. So I should stop offering my opinion on these.

GREG MIGLIORE: No, no. It's better than me talking to myself. And then one where I was a little torn on this, the winner was the EV6, which I did give some points to. But I actually went with the Cadillac LYRIQ.

I was really torn on that one. They only sold 122 of them last year, which I believe "Reuters" or "The Free Press" or somebody reported that. I thought the LYRIQ was an incredible offering. So I did end up giving that the most points in the utility vehicle category.

But I also really love the EV6 too. The EV6 got some points for me too, let me put it that way. And then I have third the Genesis JV 60, simply because I like the EV6 better than the JV 60. I really think it's a better value. I like how it looks better. The JV 60 is probably the right utility vehicle for some people.

If you want the facial scan, you want the orb, you like how it looks, you want the Genesis brand. But I mean, to me, the EV6. And then you factor in the GT, I mean, just to me it's like a mic drop sort of moment for Kia.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, that would have been hard for me between the LYRIQ and the EV6. Those are both just fantastic vehicles to drive and just really good packages all around. LYRIQ, tremendous interior design and excellent value too for what you pay, you get a lot. And yeah, just a really good step forward for Cadillac in terms of quality.

And yeah, also very fun to drive. The EV6, I don't know, the same thing can be said, really. You get a lot for your money. Again, really fun to drive, very useful. Yeah, it would have been a hard pick between those two for me.

GREG MIGLIORE: It was a little tricky too because on one hand, I was like, well, the G80, the electrified version, it's only available in eight states and then you've got the LYRIQ, which only sold 122 or delivered 122. Sort of my rationale and everybody's is obviously different, is that the LYRIQ will be a widely available vehicle at some point. And I assume the G80 will, I think. But I mean, for now, they are kind of sticking to certain states with that one, whereas I think once they ramp up production.

So that was kind of how I framed my decision making arriving to slightly different conclusions with somewhat similar situations. And I also did, I really like the LYRIQ. The G80 electric was great too, but I in that case, I actually happen to really like the Integra and how they matched up against their competitors. So yeah, those are the winners.

We'll see. We'll see what the next year holds. It's going to be more electric.

There's a lot of great things that are going to be coming out that I can't wait to drive for NACTOY and also for Tech of the Year. It's a really interesting time to be in this business. I mean, just to kind of close it out.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, so many new and interesting vehicles and new takes on vehicles from automakers. I think it's great.

GREG MIGLIORE: So let's talk about what's in our long term garage, specifically our long term garages. The 330e, that's a BMW, and you have the EV6, speaking of. I can give a fairly quick update on my long-termer. Took it to the airport.

We got three huge suitcases in the trunk, which I was surprised. I thought we were going to have to do one of those dreadful things where you stuff a suitcase in the back seat and that's never a good situation. We got a big stroller in there too, which worked out pretty well, more as like a mobile platform for my kid.

We got a ton of stuff in it. So it was really good at airport duty. I have mentioned this before that it's on Nokian winter tires, and obviously, that's all wheel drive, so it's been really good. We haven't had much, if any snow, since that bomb cyclone that hit us at Christmas. But even for Michigan, that wasn't that bad. It was just more like--

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: It was cold.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. And like if you were driving on Christmas Eve at like the wrong time, it wasn't a great thing. It's been very solid for me. I'm annoyed because I keep filling it up. It's like, it really is bugging me just how much I have to fill this thing up.

And I'm driving it in like Hybrid Eco Mode to just try to skimp on fuel. Really, it's frustrating. But otherwise, it's great, having a three series that handles well, looks great. It's been very enjoyable.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Mm-hmm. And yes, that trunk is quite spacious and useful. I've been able to fit a lot of big and odd-sized things in there too.

GREG MIGLIORE: As is the hatch of the EV6. I put some flowers in there last fall. A different EV6, but yeah, what have you been doing with the long-termer?

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: I was putting skis in it.

GREG MIGLIORE: Skis? Good. All right.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: And I was able to either put the rear one half of the rear seat down and still have Wally in the back and have room for the skis. Or alternatively, if I didn't want to take out Lola's car seat, I could just sort of lean it over the top of the seat and the headrest sort of kept them in place and they didn't slide around or anything like that. If they're flat on the floor, sometimes they slide around a little bit. But yeah, it's been holding stuff.

We have bo staffs for karate that we fit in there and yeah. Yeah, during that bomb cyclone, I had no real issues with it. Except the one thing was the automatic folding mirrors would kind of freeze in place. I'm surprised the pop out door handles were totally fine, though.

As the car was covered in like a nice coating of ice, but those still functioned perfectly fine. I was pleased about that. And those mirrors just needed just the littlest nudge to get them all the way open. But other than that, it was great. You definitely lose range and it charges slower in the winter, but it still operates just fine.

I found myself sort of wishing that there was a rear wiper on it, just as you know snow sort of gets blown back there from the arrow and sort of start sticking to it. I'd have the defroster on, but just when it was that cold, it just wasn't cutting it. And it get sort of dirty and as the snow melted and re-froze, just the dirt would build up on that back window. It'd be nice just to be able to press a button and have it clear off.

But other than that, yeah, it performed really well in the snow. And this was still on the all seasons. So Zack took it and got Blizzak's on it. So I'm a little jealous of whoever gets it next, if we get snow, because that's going to be that's going to be fun to drive in the snow with those winter tires on it.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. I would definitely enjoy getting that maybe, yeah, next month. Coming up pretty soon, I think that'll be good.

Like I said, I've really liked driving the 330e, but I'm about ready to try something new. It's the only press car I've had for about a month. I did have the Integra before that, which was obviously awesome.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah. And I feel like I've been seeing EV6's almost every day on the road. I wasn't the only EV6 at Mount Brighton.

I've seen them all over the place. Sometimes people spot me too and they'll give a little wave. But yeah, they're popping up around Ann Arbor quite a bit.

GREG MIGLIORE: I saw one not in Brighton, but sort of like Western Oakland County, way out there, so like sort of almost on the way to Brighton. We were at a Christmas tree farm and I pulled in and I was like, wait a minute, there was at least one EV 6 out there. And I'm like, OK, cool. So you are seeing more of them.

Guy at my kid's school has one. You definitely see him around. And I mean, it's a really good, electric car crossover. It's functional, it looks great, it's electric.

This, to me in some ways, is more like a Tesla than a Tesla is. The interior is better. I actually rode in a Model Y recently and I was like, wow, Tesla interiors are-- It was the first time I had been in a Tesla in a while. I was like, on one hand, I love how clean and minimalistic Tesla interiors are, I think that's a great thing.

But I also was like, man, this is pretty basic. Like, multiple electric cars or regular cars at similar price points have far better or nicer interiors. So yeah, it's just kind of interesting to roll around in a Model Y. It was a Lyft driver, so yeah.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, I've seen lots of Uber and Lyft Teslas on the road. I mean, it's a good car for it.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, yeah. So tell me about the X1.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: So far, so good. I've only had it for about a day now, but I've done a couple of runs in it and I really like the interior design of it. I feel like BMW's interior design as of late has improved and been more, had a little more personality, rather than just trying to be super design-y, for lack of a better word. Now it's got more depth and purpose to some of it, but while still looking special and new.

So I really like that. I sort of forgot how small it is. You got to really sort of move-- I put Lola's rear-facing seat behind the passenger seat. Had to move that way up.

But on the other hand, it drives really a lot like a car. It's very car-like in it's handling. Good throttle response. Really sharp brakes, almost too sharp.

I found myself, if I was trying to stop pretty smoothly, the pedal will go down and then the resistance just falls off. And then your foot just kind of goes almost to the floor and it bites down on the brakes and sort of jerks you around. But that's great when you're driving it a little bit more enthusiastically. It feels it feels wonderful for that application.

It's just when I want it to settle down a little bit that it gets a little-- Yeah, it's hard to drive smoothly. And yeah, this one is $46,000. It doesn't have a lot of added stuff to it, which is kind of nice.

It has a premium package, which gives you the heated steering wheel, some high gloss trim, heated front seats and some parking stuff and the Harmon Kardon audio system and the wireless charger for your phone. That is a little weird, because it's almost vertical. It's down below the center stack and it's sort of this wide thing and you're supposed to orient it, your phone, vertically on this charger. And it just leans back just slightly.

But there's nothing really on the sides to hold it in place. So every time you turn, it falls off the charger. If it were my car, I'd have to rig something up and put something, a little foam along the bottom so it would actually hold it in place or something. But it does make it really easy to access.

And if you've got a map, your directions on your phone and you're not using CarPlay or something, you can see it really well. It's in the proper orientation and not hidden away. But yeah, it's so far, so good. I think that the more I drive it, the more I'm going to like it.

The less the things like the grabby brakes and some of the-- There's some weirdness in the throttle performance. I don't know if it's turbo lag or what. I'm assuming it's turbo lag. I don't think it's just throttle response.

But sometimes there's just a little bit more of a delay for it rolling off the line than I would expect. But these are things you get used to and once you learn to drive, once they become sort of nature and you work around them, they can become, especially with the brakes, it can become an asset to it. So I think, yeah, I think this one's going to grow on me. I like the exterior design too.

I like the big kidney grill. I think it's a pretty good execution of it on this vehicle. And the nose is sort of slanted forward a little bit, which kind of reminds me of some of the old BMW noses. So overall, yeah, first impressions are really good.

GREG MIGLIORE: I agree with you. I think it looks really good. I think X1 competes in the category where you need to try to win with design. So I'm definitely interested to try this one out.

The X1 was always or had been sort of the runt of the BMW crossover litter, for obvious reasons. It's the X1, right? But it also wasn't always that good. I remember we had a long term X1 when I was at "Automobile" and it was not a very popular vehicle, let's put it that way.

It wasn't very sporty, it wasn't very big. But I feel like this, as we move on, I was at "Automobile", like, nine years ago. So I'm really talking about long generations ago. But it definitely is a situation where it feels like the X1 is very credible product.

It's larger. It has a good style play. 7-speed transmission with 241 horsepower, turbo 4. So just sort of saying that aloud, I could see where you would get some dissonance as far as taking off.

Like again, you've driven it, I haven't it, and it sounds like you're still trying to figure out what that slow first step is. I can almost picture that feel in a BMW, if you will. You know that kind of powertrain vibe?

But I like it and it's an interesting segment too, I think. Just going through, looking at different things we've written and then "Car and Driver" usually has a pretty good ranking. They actually put the XC 40 from Volvo number one in the small segment and they go with X1, X2, GLA and then GLD. And the X1 they have is number two.

I don't think I would probably rank them that way. Volvo tends to be a very polarizing thing, as in like everybody generally likes them in our business. But the question is, how much do you like them?

Do you rank them ahead of the Mercedes, the BMWs, the Audis in the field? Or do you bump them down a little bit? I tend to really like the GLB in this segment.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: The GLB is great.

GREG MIGLIORE: So that would be more like my take. Some of that is more on the aesthetics, though.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah, I'm a big fan of the GLB, but I don't know, there's something about this one it just it feels a little more sporty. The design, I mean, it's still fresh. So I think it looks really nice and it sort of stands apart on its own a little bit more than BMW has in the past generation or two in terms of design, especially interior design. Yeah, I'd have to drive them back-to-back, but it'd be a hard choice.

The GLB is a little bigger. This is still pretty big in terms of cargo room. That second row is, like I said, a little tight. But it's not bad if you're just sitting there and to kind of stuff car seats into it.

Yeah, it'd be a tough call. It'd be tough call. This one, I think, maybe feels a little bit sportier, a little bit better handling. A little more of a little more of a drivers compact SUV.

GREG MIGLIORE: I could see that. I mean, I haven't been very disappointed in any BMW I've driven lately. And just having our long term 330e has reminded me just how good they are at creating driver's products. So I could easily see me driving this getting very excited and bumping this to the head of the class and I would probably put it ahead of the XC40.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: I might, yeah. I might too. It's more fun to drive, for sure.

GREG MIGLIORE: So, I think that's the show. We've talked about a lot of things. We've gotten most of it in. I've been asking people about their fall-winter beer selections.

Do you have one of those? You're doing a dry January. What are you doing?

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: I haven't had a lot so far. I did bust out this, I think I've talked about before, but it's this Austrian stone pine schnapps called Zirbenz. It's just a really nice sipping thing. And let's see, I got some Mead for Christmas from Superstition Meadery.

I haven't cracked it open, yet but have had their stuff before and it's really good. If you like Mead at all, it's really, really good stuff. You got to get ready for that first hit of sweetness mixed with the hotness of the high ABV. But yeah, after the first sip or two, it just tastes really nice and they have some really sort of unique and different flavors, sort of a wide profile of different needs. So I'm looking forward to cracking those open, but I have not yet.

GREG MIGLIORE: Interesting. OK. Well, I'm definitely not doing a dry January up to this point. With the end of the holidays, there were some football on, and then going on vacation. I was definitely enjoying some post holidays Stella's.

That was pretty good. I think Stella is always a good beer, especially when it's cold out and around the holidays and into the new year. So I don't have any necessarily recommendations beyond what I was drinking up until I came back from vacay, but I am like I'm definitely not going to do a dry January. And great for you if you are, that's fine.

But what I think I might lean into though is maybe next time I run to the store, I may try like a non-alcoholic though, just to try it. I've heard from some people on staff who are into this, is that it is good for like, I don't know, your joints or something or relieving inflammation. You get some benefits from drinking non-alcoholic beers that you don't get from drinking regular beers. And I tend to like to just throw that kind of change up in my alcoholic consumption. It's also good in the summer for like golf course beers, like stay hydrated.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: And if you like sour beers at all.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Fruity, sour beers, kombucha is a pretty good alternative to that and yeah, really good for your gut too.

GREG MIGLIORE: It's expensive. That's the one thing.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: It is.

GREG MIGLIORE: That throws me a little bit, but I like that as well. Yeah. There's actually a tasting room somewhat near where I live called Cadillac Straits. Great name, right?

And they offer a pretty-- maybe not a tapas menu, but a little bit of food. And then like a few brews, some wine, and some kombucha. So you can pull up, maybe have a beer, try out whatever they have going on that day. And then just kind of draw things back and have a kombucha as you talk about, let things settle and you get some of the benefits of that.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: And you mentioned Stella. Sort of along that sort of style, sort of the skunky, green bottle beer, I had, for the first time in a couple of years I had a Kingfisher.

GREG MIGLIORE: Oh my god. I haven't had those in forever.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Yeah. I had an Indian restaurant and I was like, it immediately took me back to when I used to drink them when I was eating Indian food as much as humanly possible. But yeah, I just haven't seen it around for a couple of years and so I had it in a tasted exactly like I remember it. And yeah, it's that same sort of style there, but it's pretty good.

GREG MIGLIORE: Well, I'll see your skunky green bottle beer and raise you a Rolling Rock, which takes me back to like--

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: Oh, man.

GREG MIGLIORE: --my first year at Michigan State, because it was $1 for like a bottle of beer and you could have many of them for however much money, you had in your pockets. And I was just always a pretty clean skunky beer, if you will. So every now and then I'll see one of those and you drink one of those and remember what it's like to be young and that's another good golf course or lawn mower beer.

JOHN BELTZ SNYDER: I drank a lot of that my sophomore year. We lived above this liquor store called Sergeant Peppers and they had cases of bottles for super cheap. And so that's what we'd get.

GREG MIGLIORE: 20 years ago, Rolling Rock was apparently what people drank in college. So I guess we'll just leave it there. Enjoy the show. If you have any winter beer recommendations besides Rolling Rock or Kingfisher, let me know. Please give us five stars on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you get the podcast.

Send us your Spend My Money. I believe we have a pretty empty queue at this point. That's podcast@autoblog.com. Be safe up there and we'll see you next week.

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