If you're the sort of person who reads Ars Technica, there's a good chance you appreciate the finer details in life. You know, the tiny nuggets of information other people might leave out, like a 12-part history of the Amiga, told over more than a decade, or just why the kerning in the OS X Terminal was so objectionable. If you're feeling seen right now, and you're looking to amass more obscure facts that you can use to educate the normies in your life, do I have the book for you. It's called A Medium-Sized Book of Boring Car Trivia, and it's written by Sniff Petrol, aka Richard Porter, a British automotive journalist and writer whose work you almost certainly know from Top Gear and The Grand Tour, even if you didn't know that you knew that. (See? Another way to "well, actually" your less erudite friends.)
The experience of reading this book was a little like the first time I played Forza or Gran Turismo online. Up until then, I thought I was pretty good, but realized quickly there are some true aliens out there, with skills that are the benchmark to aspire to. When it comes to knowing random car facts, Porter is up there.
Some of the trivia is recent, like the fact that Jaguar's current supercharged V6 actually uses the same engine block as the V8, just with two cylinders blanked off. That's either a wonderful example of British engineering efficiency or of its audaciously cheeky laziness. Maybe both. Other facts date back a bit, like explaining how you can tell the true color of a 1996 Volkswagen Polo Harlequin, seen below:
A whole section is devoted to car names. Many of these anecdotes involve fights between car companies, like when Porsche told Aston Martin it couldn't use "GT3" for a spicy variant of the Vantage, so the latter called its car a GT12 because that was four times better. Porter also explains acronyms, like the XJ that Jaguar uses for its sedans or what Mitsubishi actually meant by Read More – Source