How ’bout that new Civic sedan? I don’t know about you, but I think it’s the boldest mainstream design I’ve seen from a Japanese manufacturer since Honda got rid of the hidden headlamps on the Accord back in ’92. It’s got a ton of surface texture, a vicious fastback profile with a tiny trunk opening, and big wheel arches like a show car.
There’s only one problem; it’s a clear and present riff on the Audi A7. But as we’ll see, this is a game Honda has played before.
Since we’ve been doing these Ask Bark columns at the beginning of the year, I’ve received well over a hundred questions from you, our loyal readers. While I truly want to answer all of them, some of them don’t need a 1,000 word response, so they’ve been languishing in my inbox because I can’t turn them into a full column on their own.
So, today we’ll be doing some quick hits and answering several questions in one column. In other words, here’s your chance to call me an idiot multiple times, which I know that some of you are already quite giddy about.
Let’s get to it.
Alas, no wagons among them, but Audi is launching four new diesel powered models for 2013, marking one of the biggest pushes for diesel in the North American market.
You’ve seen the Baldwin brothers. Canadians are very acquainted with the Sutter hockey dynasty. At their best, any of the nine Jackson siblings could almost pass for any of the other eight.
After I went to California and induced some dude at Toyota to loan me a Hot Lava Orange Scion FR-S earlier in the month, I figured I’d see if Audi’s PR types had forgotten how I compared the R8 to my hooptiefied ’92 Civic. Sure enough, Audi’s institutional memory proved to have some threadbare spots, and so I was able to arrange for the use of an Audi A7 for my trip to California for the Vodden the Hell Are We Doing 24 Hours of LeMons at Thunderhill Raceway. That meant a lot of rural highway driving, a lot of loading of race equipment into the cargo area, and exactly zero pushing-the-edge-of-the-performance-envelope 11/10ths-tyle driving. We’ll follow up Mr. Karesh’s impressions of the A7 from last year with a few of my own. (Read More…)
Large four-door cars with the style of a coupe aren’t a recent innovation. But early attempts, like the 1995 Oldsmobile Aurora, failed to captivate car buyers. It fell to Mercedes to launch the “four-door coupe” segment with the 2006 CLS. Though sales have long since dwindled to exotic car levels, back when the CLS was new about 2,000 of them left dealer lots each month. This apparently provided sufficient motivation for other manufacturers to offer their own “four-door coupes.” Volkswagen didn’t stray far from the original with its CC. Audi, on the other hand, has taken a very different approach with the new 2012 A7.
Audi’s new A8 and a prototype of its upcoming “four-door coupe” cousin, the A7, get caught looking mighty similar by Auto Motor und Sport’s Erlkönig spy photographers. And though it’s unfair to judge prototypes too harshly, the Nürburgring footage at AM und S reveals an A7 that leans in the sweepers and looks confused in kinks. With the rumors of an S7 and RS7 sporting the R8’s V8 and V10 respectively floating around, one hopes that Audi gets the chassis sorted quick smart. The A7 has to offer something besides worse rear headroom.