Kyle Johnson
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If You Call the Youabian Puma Ugly, You Could Get Sued

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Youabian Puma

Youabian Puma Source: YouTube

The Youabian Puma shocked the world to its core back in November at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show by doing just like your mother told you and being itself. It’s a $1.1 million “pleasure vehicle” that was created “for those individuals who dare to be different than the ordinary” and—apparently—for those with no regard for grammar.

Also, it is hideous.

Being that it is my job to write about cars and the like, I took my pound of flesh upon this momentous occasion and effusively praised the Puma for its refusal to adhere to crushing social pressure to be anything even approaching comely or appealing.

Apparently, Dr. Kambiz Youabian did not take kindly to this, threatening in an email to pursue legal action against me and The News Wheel for our various alleged Internet crimes.

Of what charges am I purportedly guilty? According to Dr. Youabian, my blog contained a number of derogatory remarks about his personal character despite being entirely bereft of any actual mention of the man behind the monster. To be fair, Dr. Youabian is clearly a homosuperior, which would explain how he was able to decode the uncrackable cryptogram I utilized in order to adequately defame his character without tipping off any other living being. His other mutant powers would likely include laser vision, energy absorption, and an advanced ability to build godawful-looking cars in a misguided attempt at a vanity project.

Then again, it’s also entirely possible that Dr. Kambiz Youabian is not a sapien at all, but rather a sentient motor vehicle given the hideous gift of life and forced to bear the sticks and stones of frightened, torch-wielding villagers and automotive writers. That no one has chased the Youabian Puma into a windmill and set it on fire yet is beyond me. At least if it followed the path of Universal’s Frankenstein, it would eventually come to the conclusion that it belongs dead.

Dr. Puma’s legal threat also hinges on the presentation of “numerous incorrect facts”, or as we laymen call it, factual inaccuracies. Not wanting to ignore the good doctor’s claims, I took a look for myself.

Rather than take down the blog, I would like to offer up a line-by-line revision of my original piece. I hope that this mea culpa will hold as a sign of good faith and an act of genuine contrition.

Let’s start with the title of the blog:

The Youabian Puma: Hey, Look! A Thing!

I apologize for suggesting that anyone should look at the Youabian Puma. This was reckless and irresponsible of me, like suggesting that you stare straight into the afternoon sun in order to alleviate a particularly bothersome headache. I regret the error and apologize for any pain and suffering I may have caused (note: please don’t sue me for pain and suffering).

You will also apparently find the Youabian Puma, which is a thing.

What I should have said here is that the Youabian Puma is an action verb rather than a thing. Used in a sentence: I was enjoying my evening at the bar until I lost count of how many boilermakers I drank. Overcome by a wave of nausea, I fled to the bathroom, but I couldn’t hold it in and Youabian Puma on my shoes before I could get to the toilet.

The Puma is arguably proof that the universe doesn’t care about the human race whatsoever.  

Rather the opposite: the Puma actually provides better support for the argument that the universe has turned against mankind and wishes to do us harm. Something like the Youabian Puma could never have been forged in the kiln of an uncaring universe; rather, it is a weapon of war intended toward the undoing of our species.

It is probably the closest we will ever come to recreating a Lovecraftian horror.

The Puma is not Lovecraftian at all. It’s more likely influenced by Blackwood’s “The Wendigo,” which predates Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. The following passage draws a number of parallels between the mythical beast and the all-too-real beast:

“Out there, in the heart of unreclaimed wilderness, they had surely witnessed something crudely and essentially primitive. Something that had survived somehow the advance of humanity had emerged terrifically, betraying a scale of life still monstrous and immature.”

Youabian Puma Lawsuit

The Wendigo and the Youabian Puma: One is a monster of terrible design. The other is The Wendigo.

Okay, if you’re a video game nerd, here’s an analogy: if you ever played Resident Evil 2 (and if you love video games and have not, shame on you), you’ll remember the various transformations of mad scientist/recurring boss William Birkin.  By the end of the game, the once-dashing virologist had undergone multiple T-Virus-induced transformations—the last of which rendered him into some kind of corpse-slug-beast with a million teeth that was approximately the size of a train car.  The Youabian Puma is like the fifth and final boss transformation of a sports sedan, and a firm and horrifying reminder that man should never try to play god.

I should have used historical present tense in that second sentence since I was discussing a work of fiction.

Its brochure says “The Youabian Puma was created with one goal in mind: to standout and be unique.”  Well, mission accomplished, we suppose.  

I didn’t point out the fact that standout is not one word in this instance. Suggesting that Dr. Youabian has some difficulty with the English language would have actually approached something remotely close to defamation of character at least, even if it’s still not in the same ballpark whatsoever. But I wouldn’t suggest this without cause, of course. I mean, it’s not like Dr. Youabian is the kind of person who can’t even proofread his own email signature in his super-serious legal threat, right? Right?

Youabian PumaOh.  Damn.

The Youabian Puma is only slightly less horrifying than Seth Brundle’s slow, agonizing transformation into an insect man in the 1986 David Cronenberg classic.  It’s still vastly less repulsive than the hand-liquefaction scene, but unlike The Fly, the Youabian Puma lacks absolutely any Jeff Goldblum shirtlessness to redeem such grossness.

I should have checked with Dr. Youabian to be absolutely certain that there is not a shirtless Jeff Goldblum in the Puma. That was just bad form on my part.

Talking Ford EcoSport

Disclaimer: Goldblum could be lurking in any car at any time. Please observe all Goldblum safety procedures before entering your vehicle.

Let’s see if we can describe the Puma: well, it’s big.  It is definitely big, with a 242 inch length, 93 inch width, and 72 inch height.  It has a 163.5-inch wheelbase.  20” chrome wheels.  44” monster truck tires.  It is also blue, and I have given up all hope that people are naturally good.

Barring that last independent clause, everything here is accurate. This is also one of only two paragraphs that include actual facts about the Puma. The rest of the blog, as it were, is what I like to call painfully obvious assertions as to this vehicle’s unsightliness.

The engine is a 7.0L V8 that doles out 505 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque.  According to AutoBlog, it is good for 14 miles to the gallon in the city, 22 mpg highway. 

Only correct facts about bloated power numbers and hideous fuel economy here.

In contrast, the Challenger Hellcat will get you 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque and probably comparable fuel economy for about $60,000. You could buy 18 Challenger Hellcats for the cost of one Youabian Puma. I just thought you oughta know that.

I have it on good authority that the Youabian Puma also runs on the tears of children and every bad thing your ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend ever said about you behind your back.

I should have been clearer about the (correct) fact that this was merely a rumor, but I refuse to divulge my sources. Okay, if you want to press, I heard it from a person who was standing in the general vicinity of Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was photographed standing in the general vicinity of the Youabian Puma. How’s that for a celebrity endorsement? The former Governor of California and star of such films as Junior and Hercules in New York stood next to the Youabian Puma for a period of time without spontaneously combusting! Well, hot damn, I’ve got to order me one! To be fair, getting Schwarzenegger to stand near the Puma is probably better than any endorsement Lincoln’s gotten in the last decade.

Arnold Youabian Puma

For-real exclusive snapshot of the actual Ahhhnold in the Youabian Puma

Oh, and it costs $1.1 million because why not?  If you’re going to go absolutely through-the-roof epic with the ugly and unnecessary, you may as well throw it out there at a price that no reasonable human being of sound mind would ever pay.

I will gladly retract this statement when it is proven that anyone willingly plunked down $1 million and change for this abomination. Said individual must also pass a psychological evaluation and write a 2,500 word essay explaining why they felt $1 million was better spent on a Youabian Puma than on something like bringing clean drinking water to developing countries, promoting literacy, or funding cancer research. Or, perhaps, why it wouldn’t be a better use of money to just stuff it all into a trash bag and set it on fire just for that pleasing aroma of a good ol’ fashioned cash fire.

I sincerely hope that this resolution is an agreeable one for the purposes of Dr. Kambiz Youabian, Youabian Puma Automotibles, and the singularly terrible product thereof. I feel like we’ve all come away from this having learned an important lesson. So what I’m trying to say is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.

*Cues up “Hearts on Fire,” pumps fist into the air*

*edited to add the shirtless wonders