If you haven’t consumed some content, starring or authored by Jonny Lieberman in the last, well, two decades, you’re living a different kind of Car Person life than most of us. On television and YouTube, across pages both digital and print, or starring on a growing list of podcasts, Lieberman is one of the biggest voices in automotive media, full stop.
The Senior Features Editor at MotorTrend is a wildly busy guy these days. In addition to his 9-5 driving and reviewing some of the most interesting cars in the world, he’s the co-host of two podcasts – Spike’s Car Radio and The InEVitable – training for a competitive run up Pikes Peak in just a few weeks, and Dad to a very literary 5 year old.
The perfect candidate, in other words, to kick off our new 5 Questions interview series. Watch this space for answers from interesting people we connect with in or around the automotive space (and or folks we just find wildly fascinating). But now, here’s Jonny.
Which car was the most important to you when you were growing up?
"Three cars jump to mind, but I'll kick the Lamborghini Countach out for now. But my answer is two cars. The Lamborghini LM002 and the Vector W8. I do what I do now in large part because those two were parked near each other at the 1990 Los Angeles Auto Show. I'm still in shock."
You have a ticket to go anywhere in the world with any vehicle. What are you driving and where?
"Definitely Germany, as you've got unlimited Autobahn, the Nurburgring, and you can pop over the border to drive Spa in Belgium. I'm going back and forth on which car. I know of this dead-straight, 4-lane, 30-mile long section of Autobahn between Wolfsburg and Berlin, so a Bugatti Chiron 300+ with the limiter removed would be the ticket. But if you're going to the racetracks then you probably want the Chiron Pur Sport, right? It's a real conundrum."
Tell us about a person, product, or company that we should be paying attention to in the next year?
"All eyes should be on Lucid. It hasn't even been selling cars for a year, and yet Lucid just released its second vehicle that has over 1,000 horsepower. Put it like this, the Tesla Plaid makes 1,020 hp with three motors. Lucid has two models that make more power than the Plaid, but do so with just two motors, and the three-motor car is coming. Did I mention that the cars get at minimum 450 miles of range, and some do as much as 520 miles on one charge? Plus, unlike Teslas, the cars have great interiors, and Lucid's CEO has yet to turn into a shitposting troll."
What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?
"The most exciting thing I'm working on? I'm running Pikes Peak in June! Yes, I'm freaking out."
What are three interesting items that can always be found on your desk?
"I don't have a desk. We live in a tiny, 1,100 square foot, $1.4M house in Los Angeles. My lawyer wife gets the desk. I work at the kitchen table. Right now there's Luke's Land Speeder from Star Wars in Lego form, a rainbow collection of espresso cups my sister gave me, and a book about our dogs that our 5-year-old wrote and illustrated. Plus an empty cereal bowl."