18 April 2008

Audi Q5 Pictures Leaked

I'd be all excited at this thrilling news, but really, who cares? Another boring design from Audi that looks like a big bar of soap, but with a large chromed mouth. Yeehaw. Apart from the R8, does this company have any idea what they're doing or who they are?

Audi, and VW for that matter, have to be the most overrated automobile manufacturers on the planet. Yes, they have a very nice VR6 engine, and yes the 2.0 turbo engine is nice and tractable (but probably not suitable for a luxury car...and that's an argument for another day), but everything else is bland, uninspired and suffers from a severe case of resting on laurels. The vaunted interiors? Yeah, the feel nice and the materials are top notch, but sitting in one feels claustrophobic and the actual DESIGN is lacking. The handling? Apart from the RS4, we're talking copious amounts of understeer due to a FWD biased AWD system.

The cars are bland, the designs are bland, and the outlook is horrendous- Audi and VW are two companies in search of an identity. And they better find it fast. And no, cute utes that look like every other vehicle on the market are not the answer.

And don't even get me started on the VW CC.

13 April 2008

You Stay Classy Jaguar

The brand new Jaguar XF for '09 is quite the practical and functional sedan with much cabin room, a huge trunk complemented with 60/40 rear fold-down seats, a button on the console, once pressed, adapts the vehicle for winder driving modes, has a heated windshield and rear windscreen, and best of all, retains its prestigious Jaguar heritage. There are so few on the road, and thus, the model I showed you will only be produced in limited numbers, since it's the S-Type replacement. The true 'Jaguar' substitute for a Lexus LS430 would really be the XJ8, or the extended wheelbase Vanden Plas saloon.

Please accept my token of appreciation for your visit, and 'Jaguar' product considerations. Perhaps you'll at least win a cup of coffee or a lunch on me. I remain appreciative of your interest in fine English motor cars.
That, verbatim, is a handwritten note I received from the local Jag dealership after looking at the new XF. Included with the note, the 'token of appreciation' was 3 scratch and win tickets, one of which won me $12.

In regards to the tickets...

Unique and fun touch by a salesman looking to sell a car?
Budget mindset not suitable for a high end luxury dealership?

I'm leaning towards the former.

Oh, and the XF is stunning, at least on the inside.

Chrysler Hates Nice Door Cut Outs

Surely I'm not the only who has noticed this, but the next time you're on the road, pay close attention to the Chrysler vehicles around you. It's dawned on me that they have a curious design element that I see on basically no other competitor vehicles on the market- a rear door cut line that goes straight down into the rear fender.

What's the reason for such an odd touch? Is it cheaper? Is it easier to set up the manufacturing facility? I have no idea. What I do know is that it looks very cheap. Very very cheap. It looks as though the designers have put function, or ease of manufacturing, over style- and for all their faults, that's not something I've come to expect from Chrysler over the years. In contrast, most vehicles on the road have a rear door cut line that looks like this:

And I didn't put another Chrysler up there by accident. Coincidentally, the 300/Charger were designed and built during the Daimler era, and probably not so coincidentally, they're one of the few continued bright spots in the Chrysler lineup to this day.