Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Geneva 2008: Jaguar XKR-S

I scanned the press release for this car and all it seems to be is new wheels, brakes, and skirts on a regular XKR. Still the same 420hp and autobox with the underwhelming (albeit hide-liciously fragrant) interior. On paper the XKR doesn't really stack up against 911s or Aston Vantages, let alone the new rockstar R8... but everyone I've seen drive it likes it a lot. Even with all the fancy kit this one has, it's still no rockstar. But it sure is pretty.

[Source: NetCarShow]


Thursday, February 28, 2008

COTD: BMW M3

I'm a fickle bastard of a car dork. I waste large quantities of time at my job fawning over GT-this, or RS-that... I really need a career that allows me to synergize this verve into professional productivity. Anywho, I'll be posting my car-boner of the day semi regularly from now on. The thoughts are there, the blog is here... I might as well. Though today's is fairly obvious and unoriginal, trust me they won't always be. Last week I really wanted a 2003 Saab 9-3 for some reason. Stay tuned.

Today I'll have an Alpine White M3 Coupe just like the one in this InsideLine article--> Enjoy.



[Source: InsideLine]

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dispatch drives the 2008 Taurus, and it doesn't completely blow

So I went on that Chicago trip and the dowdy Ford Fusion we thought we booked just happened to morph into a spanking new Taurus. I was delighted with the swap however, as this is a car that has been in the news recently... though not necessarily for good reasons. This would also be my chance to sample Ford's new V6, which it seems quite proud of and in turn will be stuffing in every one of its cars it fits in.

If you've read a few reviews of this car from different sources, you'll see that some like the new engine a lot, while others say it ain't all it's cracked up to be. Stock me in with the former, as I found it to be smooth and quite powerful. It's got plenty of power for families that will buy this car, probably more than enough actually. I had a decently good time heaving this massive car through traffic, and flooring it from a standstill resulted in impressive acceleration.

In newly chrome-spangled Taurus guise, it looks approximately 20% better than it did as the Five Hundred. Thankfully though, the example we were issued wasn't fitted with the horridly ribbed chrome wheels you'll see on most of these, rather these unoffensive two-tone 17s.

That said, this is still a boring car. The high seating position combined with 5-beer steering leaves you with the impression of rolling down a back alley in a wingback perched atop a Radio Flyer... and the strong V6 makes it a very steep alley.

The interior isn't terrible. Most of the plastics have some squish and don't shine too harshly. The worst stuff I found was right on the steering wheel directly above the radio/hvac buttons... not the best place to hide it. There's plenty of room obviously, though I expected even more given the hugeness that permeates the driving experience. My most curious discovery had to be the many dead insect trapped within both of the reading lights of the overhead console (4th picture below). How they got there is a noodle scratcher for the books.

Bottom line: There's nothing wrong with this car. If the Taurus was the only car sold in America, everyone would be perfectly happy with it. But it isn't, and the others are just better.






Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Resemblance?


This just made me chuckle...


2008 WRX STi

Just fine:


Vomit:


Better-ish:


Hey, cool car!:


After weeks of playing hide-and-go-f*ck-yourself with dark shady images, Subaru has officially released clear shots of the new WRX STi. Still looks goofy to me. I admire that they made the car lighter, but from what I've seen so far, the power/drivetrains are damn near carryover.


I recently sat down in a new WRX Sedan and I can tell you that it is a perfectly nice place to be. The quality of the interior is much improved and it feels just like a little Legacy... except nobody wanted a little Legacy. So if you want you can finally be a little more comfortable in your new, every so slightly lighter but much sillier looking WRX STi, and you'll surely be paying more for it.

I guess it's not God-awful though, I might even warm up to it in person. But that's just it, these cars have always been borderline cartoonish with their wings and scoops; they're inherently over-the-top... I shouldn't have to warm up to the design. It should smack me in the face with instant awesomeness. The STi is an improvement for sure, but they can only do so much for the oinker they're working with. There is no excuse for it not to have been great from the beginning.

The Evo always drove a little bit sharper, and with the new one they've succeeded in making it far cooler looking. Subaru has succeeded only in making a lot of peoples' decisions far easier.

[Source: NetCarShow]

Monday, October 8, 2007

Ford is Dumb Vol. 1

I'm not going to make the clich├ęd argument you probably expect and have all heard before. Something like "Ford sells great cars in other markets and tripe here on its home turf... why can't they bring the good stuff to us??" I've pined before on what a good Yaris / Fit competitor the Euro Fiesta would make, especially the snappy looking XR4 model pictured below. Even if it trailed the Asian offerings slightly in terms of outright economy and refinement it would still sell well just because it looks neat. It even has a proper looking interior, something the 'new' US Focus designers weren't capable of.

All around bone-headedness aside, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt that it just isn't doable. Money, crash-certification, exportation cost, whatever... they just can't make it happen. Fine. The thing I'm wondering is given the fact that they can't get their act together enough to offer us the quality product of the rest of the world, why not at least make our dismal product look like the good product?
(Continue reading below)





The Aussie Ford Falcon FPV Cobra isn't going to win any subtlety awards. You'd be hard pressed to call it 'pretty', let alone elegant. What it does have is a whiff of that special something that makes people pay $20grand over sticker for some Mustangs and GTs. It looks like a badass Ford. They could have saved a lot of money and dignity if they made the Five Hundred look like one of these from the beginning instead of pulling that just-kidding-it's-a-Taurus-again BS. True, it would still be novocaine to drive but the overall package couldn't be worse than what it's been so far.

Bottom Line: They wouldn't have to worry nearly as much about what it's called if it looked interesting.

[Source: WorldCarFans]



Here's the Ute version. Why? Cause I like it and it's my blog.